Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Department of Justice will No Longer Defend DOMA; Obama Says DOMA Is Unconstitutional


This is some good news. From the site, Prop 8 Tracker, they received a statement from the DOJ about DOMA.

Adam Bink highlighted this key piece:
After careful consideration, including a review of my recommendation, the President has concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny.  The President has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional.  Given that conclusion, the President has instructed the Department not to defend the statute in such cases.  I fully concur with the President’s determination.

Consequently, the Department will not defend the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA as applied to same-sex married couples in the two cases filed in the Second Circuit.  We will, however, remain parties to the cases and continue to represent the interests of the United States throughout the litigation.  I have informed Members of Congress of this decision, so Members who wish to defend the statute may pursue that option.  The Department will also work closely with the courts to ensure that Congress has a full and fair opportunity to participate in pending litigation.
Furthermore, pursuant to the President’s instructions, and upon further notification to Congress, I will instruct Department attorneys to advise courts in other pending DOMA litigation of the President’s and my conclusions that a heightened standard should apply, that Section 3 is unconstitutional under that standard and that the Department will cease defense of Section 3.
Also included in their post is a letter from Attorney General Holder to Speaker Boehner.

Now to be clear, this doesn't end DOMA. Congress will need to do that, but the DOJ will no longer defend it.

I'm sure there's more to come on this story.

3 comments:

Cubby said...

Yay! If only this had happened last fall the community would have given the Dems loads more money and votes.

Wonder Man said...

That's why patience is a virtue

behrmark said...

So if gay marriage is on the horizon then I need to find me a bf quick so we can get married when it's legal. Any takers?