DOMA, States Rights, and Compromise
Although this year’s election for President will come down to economic issues, social issues stand front and center in some states. Also, despite the fiscal concerns being the main driver of debate, when Obama and Romney square off, some of these questions may come up. And although abortion was/is the biggest of these social issues, ballot questions appear in only two states on this subject. | Read More »
Give An Inch, Take a Yard: The LGBT Agenda
I have written many articles on the subject of gay marriage and the developing case before the Supreme Court that involves the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) passed in 1996. This case originates out of the First Circuit Court of Appeals based in Boston and involves a Massachusetts same sex marriage statute in relation to the federal law. Specifically, the courts there | Read More »
Can the President Refuse to Enforce or Defend a Law?
Obviously, this title is in reference to two fairly recent acts by Barack Obama: his decision not to defend DOMA in courts, and his decision not to enforce certain aspects of federal immigration law and policy. Both issues are discretely different and require a different analysis. The absolutist view is that which we learned in grade school civics class: the Legislative Branch passes the laws, | Read More »
If DOMA Survives, Then What?
Working on the assumption that Section 3 of DOMA survives before the Supreme Court because the Court will determine it satisfies rational basis scrutiny, what then? Obviously, Section 3- the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman for federal purposes- is the framework as concerns the federal government that holds together the remainder of the law. As stated in previous entries, | Read More »
Gay Marriage and Equal Protection
All legislation generally creates classifications that work to the advantage or the disadvantage of certain people. For example, 20-year olds can drive; 12-year-olds cannot. You can legally drink at 21, but not at 16. An indigent single parent is entitled to government financial aid, but millionaires are not. And so on. The Equal Protection Clause does not mean that government must treat everyone equally, only | Read More »
Gay Marriage: Coming to the Supreme Court Soon
As expected and first noted here, it appears that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) cases will be taken up by the Supreme Court before the California Proposition 8 case out of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. That case involves totally different issues than those at stake in the DOMA cases. To further add impetus and urgency to the case, a serious separation of | Read More »
DOMA Headed to Supreme Court Soon?
On April 4th, the First Circuit Court of Appeals, despite some twists and turns (to be explained), will hear arguments on a lower court ruling that ruled the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed in 1996, unconstitutional. Specifically, Section 3 of that Act is moving towards a collision course with the Supreme Court. Section 3 defines the term “marriage” as being between a man and | Read More »