Obama is following up on the goal he set in May to finally repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. The Department of Justice is asking the Supreme Court to hear appeals for two different cases to finally decide whether or not DOMA is constitutional.
Metro Weekly's Chris Geidner reports David Verelli filed a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court asking them to review the law's controversial Section 3 to see if it "violates the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws as applied to persons of the same sex who are legally married under the laws of their State." The question is connected to the Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management case. In a ruling in February, a U.S. District Judge ruling on the case said that DOMA was unconstitutional. It's currently slated to be heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, but now it'll be presented to the Supreme Court before the Ninth Circuit can even make a ruling.
The other case the DOJ asked SCOTUS to look at is Massachusetts v. Department of Health and Human Services. A judge from the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled against DOMA in the case in May. Another judge from the First Circuit Appeals Court ruled that DOMA was unconstitutional at the beginning of June.
The Associated Press reports the "earliest the justices might decide to hear the case is in late September." Arguments would be made over the winter, with a final decision coming in late June. So basically, DOMA is the new
black Affordable Care Act.
The DOJ said it still thinks DOMA is unconstitutional, but now that the distract court judges do too it's time for the SCOTUS to make a final ruling. Until then, the law is still in effect and should be enforced. The main paragraph of the DOJ's filing:
Although the Executive Branch agrees with the district court's determination in this case that Section 3 is unconstitutional, we respectfully seek this Court's review so that the question may be authoritatively decided by this Court. As explained above, to ensure that the Judiciary is the final arbiter of Section 3's constitutionality, the President has instructed Executive departments and agencies to continue to enforce Section 3 until there is a definitive judicial ruling that Section 3 is unconstitutional.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.