Jun 26, 2013

Equality Wins One; Defense of Marriage Act Struck Down

In United States. v. Windsor, Court, in essence, says bigotry cannot win.

Five-to-four decision is written by Justice Kennedy.

Amy Howe of SCOTUSblog reports: "Bottom of [pp] 25-26 [of opinion reads]: 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."

The Prop 8 [Hollingsworth v. Perry] case has been sent back to Ninth Circuit, and marriage will once again become legal in California, without regard to bigotry.

Amy Howe from SCOTUSblog
Here's a Plain English take on Hollingsworth v. Perry, the challenge to the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage: 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

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