SCOTUS to determine the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

SCOTUS to determine the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

The Supreme Court has granted cert for two cases that face a similar issue: the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. In hearing initial proceedings on Windsor v. United States, the SCOTUS may well determine that the court doesn't even have standing to hear the case. The court of appeals already held DOMA unconstitutional and the Attorney General has declared their opinion, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 530D, that the Department of Justice will not defend the law, believing it to be unconstitutional.

This obviously has significant impact on the Department of Defense, which to date has been able to avoid making any major changes to their policies following the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. With the possible unconstitutionality of the DOMA, the DoD may have to make significant changes to policies concerning who is eligible for married housing, survivor benefits, and many on-base services.

Arguments are expected to be heard on March 27, 2013.

Citations: Windsor v. United States, 699 F.3d 169 (2d Cir. 2012)

Categories: Supreme Court
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