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DOMA Ruled Unconstitutional

DOMA 2nd Circuit Court Appeals Judicial Branch 2012

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#1 Cait


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Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:41 AM

And it begins...



NEW YORK -- A federal appeals court in Manhattan has become the second in the nation to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling Thursday. The decision upholds a lower court judge who ruled that the 1996 law that defines marriage as involving a man and a woman was unconstitutional.

The three-judge panel says the law violates equal protection. A federal appeals court in Boston earlier this year also found it unconstitutional.

The issue is expected to be decided by the Supreme Court.

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Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.


#2 BklnScott


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Posted 18 October 2012 - 03:31 PM

This is not the first time a federal court has ruled DOMA unconstitutional but it's a huge victory for Esie Windsor who I've talked about here before and it sets up a big Supreme Court showdown over not just DOMA (which most expect to fall) but over what kind of scrutiny laws and state constitutional amendments dealing with gay rights must pass.  The (very conservative) 2nd circuit says it must be heightened scrutiny (agreeing with the Obama administration on that).  Other federal courts have embraced a looser standard (even while ruling DOMA unconstitutional).  It will be up to SCOTUS to set a single federal standard for how courts are to review these laws.  

If they endorse heightened scrutiny, it's possible the vast majority of antigay laws and marriage amendments will fall... Perhaps even all of them.


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#3 Rhea


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Posted 18 October 2012 - 04:00 PM

Good. They should. Equal protection is meaningless unless it extends to all citizens.
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#4 BklnScott


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Posted 18 October 2012 - 04:15 PM

It's pretty much all up to Anthony Kennedy.  He's been the swing vote on gay rights.

We're still waiting to hear if they will take the appeal of the prop 8 ruling.  Should know soon on that.  I'm not sure how today's ruling could impact the decision on whether to take prop 8 appeal or not.  They will certainly have to take the windsor case because we now have a situation where the courts need clarification on which scrutiny standard applies.


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