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

Wednesday, September 19, 2012
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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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