TODAY’S DECISIONS: How the Supreme Court Voted on DOMA and Prop 8 [UPDATED]
The moment we’ve all been waiting started rolling out this morning around 10 a.m. First, with a decision on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA):
THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT (DOMA):
In a 5-4 ruling delivered by Justice Kennedy, the Supreme Court decided to strike down DOMA, the constitutional provision that denies federal benefits to legally married gay couples. The verdict is that “DOMA singles out a class of persons deemed by a State entitled to recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty.”
From the New York Times: “The decision will immediately extend some federal benefits to same-sex couples.”
You can view the entire opinion here.
PROPOSITION 8 (aka Hollingsworth vs. Perry):
In another 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court decided to dismiss the appeal on Proposition 8, the amendment to California’s constitution that bans same-sex marriage in the Sunshine State. According to the New York Times: “The Supreme Court’s ruling appears to remove legal obstacles to same-sex couples marrying in the state, but the court did not issue a broad ruling likely to affect other states.
A plain-English take on Hollingsworth v. Perry from Amy Howe of SCOTUS blog: “After the two same-sex couples filed their challenge to Proposition 8 in federal court in California, the California government officials who would normally have defended the law in court, declined to do so. So the proponents of Proposition 8 stepped in to defend the law, and the California Supreme Court (in response to a request by the lower court) ruled that they could do so under state law. But today the Supreme Court held that the proponents do not have the legal right to defend the law in court. As a result, it held, the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the intermediate appellate court, has no legal force, and it sent the case back to that court with instructions for it to dismiss the case.”
For now, according to SCOTUS, ”Same-sex marriage will be available in CA, at least where court clerks take the position that Prop 8 is unconstitutional.”
Read the entire opinion firstname.lastname@example.org.