DOMA Ruled Unconstitutional

United States District Court has ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. The Plaintiffs are seven same sex couples married in Massachusetts and three survivors of same sex spouses, also married in Massachusetts. The Defendents included United States Attorney General Eric Holder.

In last two sentences immediately preceding the Conclusion of the ruling, wherein the Defendent’s (Justice Department’s) Motion to Dismiss was Denied and the Plaintiffs Motion for Summary Judgement was Allowed, the ruling reads as follows:
“And, where, as here, “there is no reason to believe that the disadvantaged class is different in relevant respects from a similarly situated class, this court may conclude that it is only irrational prejudice that motivates the challenged classification. As irrational prejudice never constitutes a legitimate government interest, this court must hold that Section 3 of DOMA as applied to Plaintiffs violates the equal protection principles embodied in the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

The Court’s ruling (MEMORANDUM) issued today, July 8, 2010 (PDF file) was uploaded by glad.org

The decision came to my attention both on the “crawl” at the bottom of a screen on a television station and in article at Salon.com by Alex Pareene titled: Section of Defense of Marriage Act ruled unconstitutional.

Vivienne Foley of CNN wrote an article titled: Judge rules same sex marriage ban unconstitutional. Department of Justice spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler is quoted as saying of the ruling: “We are reviewing the decision.”

In her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan had stated that as Soliciter General she supported the government’s (Defendent’s) side of the case which defended DOMA (the Defense Of Marriage Act). She could have declined to answer because it is a matter which may make its way to the Supreme Court, but she chose to answer. How does one interpret that?

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One Response to “DOMA Ruled Unconstitutional”

  1. Panty Buns Says:

    In the course of reading blog posts on this decision i discovered i’d somehow missed a post on a blog the feed of which i subscribe to. It was titles Federal Judge Rule Part Of Defense Of Marriage Act Unconstitutional and was writen by irin at Jezebel .
    Another post titled: Political InQueery: The Bill of Rights Strikes Back by EvMaroon at BitchMedia Blogs pointed out that the ruling interestingly zeroed in on the Tenth Amendment issues from a perspective that differs from some of the inconsistent ways in which some other right-wing Justices have seized upon when choosing to legislate from the bench or to refrain from protecting individual liberties and rights.
    The Fourteenth Amendment makes it clear that the phrase …nor deprive any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws is binding on the States along with the rest of the Bill of Rights when it declares that No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of the citizens of the United States; It thus extends the Tenth Amendment limitations on governmental power to the States along with all the other rights, including the unenumerated ones referred to by the Ninth Amendment (unlisted rights). It will not be that simple. A right-wing Justice once referred to the Ninth Amendment as an “ink blot”.
    It was refreshing to read the The United States Federal District Court ruling written by Judge Joseph L. Tauro (PDF file) uploaded by glad.org because it interprets the Tenth Amendment as limiting the ability of any governmental entity in the United States to take away people’s rights rather than seeking to prevent those government entities from protecting those rights.
    In summing up, some of the questions i have are:
    Will the current Supreme Court Justices decide:
    1) That the Tenth Amendment limits the Congress from legislating what rights a select class of people can be deprived of concurring with the Federal District Court that legislation by Congress may not single out a group to be denied 14th Amendment protections and privileges based on the gender or sexual orientation of the parties?
    2) Will the Supreme Court disavow the hands off attitude it took in the Marquette Decision, when it allowed, based on the “commerce clause” that banks operating in one State could impair the usury laws of other States with impunity because Congress had failed to write legislation regulating that king of inter-state loan-sharking?
    3) Will the right-wingers be successful in arguing that the government is limited to only respecting rights that are textual, that they can apply as many arbitrary exceptions to those rights as the wish, and that individuals have the rights and privileges in the Constitution EXCEPT that it’s okay for anyone else (government entities, corporations, private organizations, or privately employed individuals) to take those rights away.
    Inalienable rights? Not if the right wing has anything to say about it, because if they do, your rights are toast. How the Ninth, Tenth, and Fourteenth Amendments are interpreted and applied is crucial. Again i ask: What does Elena Kagan really believe about all of this?