Supreme Court Likely to Overturn Part of DOMA
The U.S. Supreme Court appears more likely to overturn part of the Defense of Marriage Act after oral arguments in a case challenging the law’s constitutionality.
The Court is “80% likely to strike down” DOMA because Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is expected to be the swing vote in the case, “suggests it violated states’ rights,” Scotusblog tweeted after Wednesday’s oral arguments.
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin agreed.
“I think DOMA’s in trouble,” Toobin said, “and I think it’s in trouble because Anthony Kennedy was repeatedly concerned that the Defense of Marriage Act violates states’ rights.”
In the case, United States vs. Windsor, Edith Windsor sued the federal government, claiming that DOMA violated her constitutional guarantee to equal protection under the law. Windsor married her same-sex partner, Thea Spyer, in Canada. When Spyer passed away, she left her estate to Windsor, who then had to pay $363,000 in federal estate taxes. She would not have had to pay those taxes if the federal government recognized her marriage.