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Ginsburg predicts DOMA will ‘most likely’ be before SCOTUS within the year

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

BOULDER, Colo. — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Wednesday said that she believes the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) will likely go to the high court within the next year.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ginsburg, speaking at the University of Colorado in Boulder, was asked a student-submitted question about the equal-protection clause and whether the nation’s high court would consider it applying to sexual orientation, according to a report by Associated Press.

Ginsburg said with a smile that she couldn’t answer the question. She said she could not talk about matters that would come to the court, and that the Defense of Marriage Act would probably be up soon.

“I think it’s most likely that we will have that issue before the court toward the end of the current term,” she said.

Last week, the Justice Department filed legal briefs with the Supreme Court asking justices to take up two cases challenging the Defense of Marriage Act upon their return from summer recess.

The Obama administration asked the high court to hear Windsor v. United States, which was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, and Pedersen v. Office of Personnel Management, which was filed by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders. Both cases are currently pending before the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

The DOJ asked the court to take up the cases as a backup plan in case justices decline to hear two other DOMA cases they have been asked to review: the consolidated case of Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Department of Health & Human Services and Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management.

DOMA, enacted in 1996, is a federal law that defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman for federal and inter-state recognition purposes in the U.S.

Ginsburg’s remarks came at a conference sponsored by the University of Colorado law school.

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15 more reader comments:

  1. and i hope the Supreme Court strikes down DOMA which will prompt Congress to repeal it :D

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 8:09pm
  2. One last ruling Ruth, and you can go home.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 8:10pm
  3. Timothy, if the SCOTUS rules it is unconstituional that’s it. The Congress doesn’t have to do anything. It means Congress was wrong.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 8:11pm
  4. And that will end marriage equality in the United States

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 8:12pm
  5. Not necessarily Sam. It will end the discrimination at the Federal Level, but the states will probably not be included in the decision since most of the cases ask about DOMA specifically. It will take a case out of the states to do that, outside of Prop 8. So, a state that has a DOMA type law without previously having the right to marry…

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 8:26pm
  6. sam we dont have marriage equality in the USA

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 8:36pm
  7. DOMA is in violation of the constitution as it goes directly against article 4, sec 1 of the u.s. constitution, the Full Faith and Credit clause. DOMA has allowed states to deny the same rights and liberties to married same sex couples from other states that “traditional” married couples have where the clause above states its unconstitutional to do so. Striking down DOMA would require states to submit to art. 4, sec 1. And they would then have to equally recognize marriages conducted in other states across the board same sex or not. Basically it would be a win for equal rights though it would not mean the fight was over by any means.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 8:55pm
  8. I in no way meant to take away from the importance of DOMA going away as unconstitutional. I was pointing out that it would not cause marriage equality across the board. While it would force the states to recognize the marriage from another state, it would not change the fact that you cannot be married in most states. That would take a case out of the states that you cannot, and never have been able to, get married in to overturn the state’s refusal to allow marriages to happen in that state.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 8:58pm
  9. inch by inch…. stay strong neighbors to my south,You guys will catch up to Canada soon.. maybe not soon enough but soon I hope….

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 9:17pm
  10. screw a year do it now!! :D

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 9:21pm
  11. People in every state need to sue their governments for denying them their civil rights. it will happen, eventually.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 9:25pm
  12. Shouldn’t DOMA be considered unconstitutional as it discriminates against same sex couples? Or is the gay community not considered American enough to be included in anti-discrimination legislation?

    Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 10:10pm
  13. wwjd ( lol )

    Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 1:25am
  14. The Domestic Marriage Act is discrimination to the nth degree and it is just a matter of time before it is struck down. If you give President Obama four more years he may be the catalyst for this to happen. It sure will not happen withthe GOP at the helm. Get out and vote. Once Doma goes, then it will not matter to those states that deny marriage as without Doma, the states that deny will be forced to comply. Similar to what happened with interracial marriage.

    Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 4:01am
  15. I just hope when it does that SCOTUS sends DOMA into the deepest depths and frees all glbt to allow marriage for all of us.

    Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 3:29pm