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Supreme Court DOMA decision – Unconstitutional

Supreme Court DOMA decision – Unconstitutional

Full opinion embedded at bottom of post.

Via ScotusBlog live blog:

10:02 Amy Howe: 5-4 per Kennedy.

10:02 Amy Howe: Roberts dissents. Scalia dissents. Equal protection.

10:02 Amy Howe: Alito dissents, joined by Thomas in part.

10:03 Amy Howe: DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment.

10:03 Amy Howe: “DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled ot recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty.”

10:05 Amy Howe: There is a “careful consideration” standard: In determining whether a law is motivated by improper animus or purpose, discriminations of an unusual character especially require careful consideration. DOMA cannot survive under these principles.

That is page 20.

10:08 Amy Howe: Bottom of 25-26: The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity. By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others.

An aside: This is vintage Kennedy.

10:08 Amy Howe: The Chief agrees with Scalia that there is no jurisdiction.

10:21 Amy Howe: What this means, in plain terms, is that same-sex couples who are legally married will be entitled to equal treatment under federal law– with regard to, for example, income taxes and Social Security benefits.

Supreme Court DOMA Decision


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Juba Doobai! | June 26, 2013 at 10:11 am

So now girls can marry their fathers?

    Emil Blatz in reply to Juba Doobai!. | June 26, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    No, but fathers can marry their sons.

    Awing1 in reply to Juba Doobai!. | June 26, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    While you may not like the result, this is a decision all true libertarians applaud. The Federal government should not be dictating what is and is not marriage, that is for the states to decide. If New York wants to say two women and an adoptive child are a family, who the heck is the federal government to say otherwise? Consistency is our most valuable asset, lets not lose it over something so trivial.

Juba Doobai! | June 26, 2013 at 10:11 am

This is war against the Church.

Equal protection, eh? Can’t wait to see the logic. You knew it wasn’t going to be a states right argument — not from the likes of the wise Latina et al. Well, this is what happens when you elect liberals to the presidency. You get liberal judges. Chalk up another consequence of McCain’s lousy presidential campaign.

call it a tax Roberts….

theduchessofkitty | June 26, 2013 at 10:39 am

Every Christian and every church in this country now has, officially, a target on their backs.

The Duke and I have been looking for a church home for years. Somehow, we have found nothing we can say, “Join” yet. But we have these neighbors, who are pastors of a church that meets at different places, including their home. We are getting a bit closer to them every day. I think these pastors have the right strategy, I told The Duke the other night. A moving target is not easily shot down.

    Explain what you believe to be the practical negative consequences to churches? Do you honestly believe that churches will be compelled to perform homosexual “marriages”? You don’t need DOMA to know that’s not going to happen without copious bloodshed.

      Uncle Samuel in reply to Immolate. | June 26, 2013 at 11:12 am

      Churches in Hawaii are now forced to allow same-sex marriages on their premises.

      Yujin in reply to Immolate. | June 26, 2013 at 11:45 am

      Churches will allow gay marriages or lose tax exempt status, just for starters.

        Immolate in reply to Yujin. | June 26, 2013 at 12:26 pm

        So this was a problem pre-DOMA? I’d never heard of it happening. We should encourage a nice gay couple to go to their nearest Mosque to arrange a ceremony.

        When I remarried, I wasn’t a member of a church. When we asked a couple of local churches about hosting the ceremony, they told us that we had to be a member of the church and that we couldn’t be living together. We opted for the JOP, but have since begun attending church and encouraging our kids to do so as well. I can’t express to you adequately how utterly impossible it would be for our pastor to perform a gay marriage. I can’t believe an attempt by the state to force a religious institution to perform gay marriages would survive more than a day before having the injunctive rug pulled out from under it. That which is allowed is not therefore required.

          theduchessofkitty in reply to Immolate. | June 26, 2013 at 12:41 pm

          “We should encourage a nice gay couple to go to their nearest Mosque to arrange a ceremony.”

          Yeah. Sure…

      theduchessofkitty in reply to Immolate. | June 26, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      “Do you honestly believe that churches will be compelled to perform homosexual “marriages”?”


      Not to mention that it will give a whole new meaning to the term, “shotgun wedding”… Only the priest or the minister will do it by the point of a gun…

      And yes, it will NOT end well.

      theduchessofkitty in reply to Immolate. | June 26, 2013 at 12:36 pm

      “Explain what you believe to be the practical negative consequences to churches?”

      Hey! Why stop at “weddings”?

      Funerals – The priest/minister might have to lie through his teeth during the funeral Mass/service and endure the general humiliation, if he wants to save his flock…

      Schools – Capitulate to them or your nice, little Christian school will be shut down. Don’t matter if all the kids from that school all go on to college! Oh no! And don’t even think about refusing the coming spokes-critter from the PC – approved group into that school to teach the kids about condoms, etc. And if parents object loudly – “Bigots, all of you!”

      Charities – No matter if you do it with the church’s funds, the biggest chunk of church funds may well go to pay for “protection”, just like with the Mafia. Kipling said it best, “[O]nce you have paid him the Dane-geld / You never get rid of the Dane.”

      Church property – “We’re renting this building for our Bacchanalia fest, or we’ll sue you for everything you’ve got.”

      Sermons – Only with their approval, since they’ll have spies from the IRS or any other group they could think of. (Don’t laugh – AUSCS already does that.)

      Missions – “You’re imposing your beliefs on others!” [Ahem!] Do charity in the Third World, but don’t even think about preaching Jesus Christ or about living a life that pleases God!

      I don’t even want to think about the Christmas pageant, Thanksgiving dinner, Vacation Bible School, etc.

    Ragspierre in reply to theduchessofkitty. | June 26, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Respectfully, there is a lot of hyperventilation here.

    Legally, most of the dooooooom here is not going to happen.

      Yujin in reply to Ragspierre. | June 26, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      Rags, what does “legally” have to do with anything anymore?

      With everything we have seen do you really think the DoK is hyperventilating?

      Hyperventilation? Thirty years ago, hell, twenty years ago, Leftists would have laughed at you for suggesting they were aiming for the “constitutional” right for gay marriage. Then it was, what happens in the privacy of one’s residence, behind closed doors, is nobody else’s business, therefor gays have the civil right to bugger, or finger, each other. At best, they would admit to legal recognition of civil unions – but not marriage.

      This is all about shutting down Christians 1st Amendment to disagree in any forum, public or private. Just the thought that someone in their vicinity disapproves of their behavior and sexual preference drives homosexuals crazy.

      Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | June 27, 2013 at 9:35 am

      OK, guys, let’s return to reality, shall we?

      The courts have been hostile to Obama. Look up his batting average. Really GOOD news for us (with some notable exceptions, I grant, like ObamaCare…which was simply BEEEE-zar).

      Nobody is going to successfully COMPEL a church, synagog, mosque, or temple to solemnize a gay “marriage” against their religious tenets.

      Nobody is going to successfully COMPEL any religious authority to accept gay “married” couples as full congregants against their religious tenets.

      Nobody is going to SUCCESSFULLY be robbed of their tax-exempt status for upholding their religious beliefs (people like me fight that kind of thing).

      This decision was bad on any number of levels…and really awful on a few more. Don’t make it what it is not.

theduchessofkitty | June 26, 2013 at 10:41 am

Funny how the release these decisions before they head for the hills… Just saying…

I disagree.

secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity

The Constitution recognizes the special status of heterosexual unions. It would appear that America’s founders were not unfamiliar with the terms and circumstances of reality, specifically evolutionary fitness.

Uncle Samuel | June 26, 2013 at 11:06 am

The Courts and Senate have in a matter of days pulled the last threads of law and order from the tapestry of society.

Now, anyone who wants to can be a citizen, get benefits, jobs, education, housing and vote.

Now, anyone can be ‘married’ if it is a matter of rights and fairness. Look for polygamists, incestuous, pedophiles, bestials to lobby for their own sexual proclivities and preferences to be granted equality under the law.

Political agenda (not statistical or scientific evidence, reality and logic) has increasingly become the guide for policy and law.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Uncle Samuel. | June 26, 2013 at 11:10 am

    It is a sign of the times that the same Universities exclude and bully Christian groups allow sadomasochist groups.

    Same thing with the UN censoring Israel for human rights abuse while ignoring the evils of Islam.

There’s been a lot of great coverage of DOMA and lgbt issues at Democracy Now, check it out

Fellini’s Satyricon has been coming to mind lately; that and the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to MAB. | June 26, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Every homosexual pride parade and street fair brings Petronious’s Satyricon to mind. Never saw Fellini’s, but I read Petronious’s.

At this point the only viable solution is to eliminate federal benefits for spouses, because (a) it was never in the first place the province of the federal government to grant benefits to people based on whether or not they were “married” (given that marriage is a matter of state law), and (b) it’s clear that “marriage” is just a legal tactic that in effect causes baseless discrimination against single people and others such as never-married living-together adult siblings who also want to pass their entire estate on to their closest person.

This, is as much of a shock as Barkey-Markey winning ASSatwoshits..

I’m not going to argue the merits of this case. I’ll leave that for others.

I do want to know more about this: Most radio news reports I’ve heard so far focus on the women from New York who were partners for many decades. They finally took advantage of the opportunity to marry in a jurisdiction which allowed that. Sadly, one of the women developed a heart condition which took her life at some point after the marriage took place.

The surviving partner has told the me-juh (and any number of third-person accounts describing the woman’s plight have conveyed the same thought for many months) how, because the IRS was governed by DOMA and did not recognize the womens’ marriage, she, the surviving partner, was forced to pay $300,000+ in federal estate taxes.

If that was true, that would, in and of itself, be an outrage. There is a problem, however. The Federal Estate and Gift Tax is a tax on estates. It is not an inheritance tax, due and owing by those who take bequests under a will or otherwise inherit money and/or property under a state statute of intestate succession.

The question is whether or not, perhaps, this woman’s plight, whether by negligence, lack of training/understanding, or design was described in a somewhat, um, er, incendiary manner? Perhaps, not understanding the niceties of the law of wills, trusts, and estates, the survivor and others were really saying that, as the estate fiduciary (executor/administrator), she was forced to pay the IRS the sum noted above rather than being allowed to take it as an inheritance.

I apologize, in advance, to those who think my concern silly. I think clarity is important. I really would like to know. Does anybody have some insight on this one?

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