Landmark Marriage Equality Cases Being Heard in Supreme Court
There are two landmark cases in the Supreme Court regarding Same-Sex Marriages.
Is Prop 8 Unconstitutional?
The first case, Hollingsworth v. Perry is about whether or not Proposition 8, which banned Gay Marriage in California, is unconstitutional. As it stands right now, the 9th District Court struck down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional. On March 26th, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for this case. In a surprising curveball, Chief Justice Roberts interrupted the Attorney representing supporters of Prop 8, Mr. Charles Cooper, by asking whether or not they even had the right to have their case heard in the Supreme Court. This is known as “standing.” Many Justices then asked follow up questions to see if Mr. Cooper had any evidence of injury, which would qualify him for standing. Obviously, it is unclear whether or not this case will even be argued for its substance, or if it will be dismissed based off procedural findings. Either way, the Supreme Court is about to make a decision that affects, at the very least, the citizens of California and even more so, of the United States.
Does DOMA Violate 5th Amendment?
The second landmark case is United States v. Windsor. This case is about the Defense of Marriage Act (or, DOMA) enacted in 1996. This Act definitively states that, under Federal Law, marriage is between a man and woman. This does not mean that under State Law that same sex couples cannot wed (as of now, anyway). What DOMA does is prevent same sex marriages from receiving the same tax benefits on the federal level that heterosexual couples enjoy. This leads to the major issue in the case, that this act violates the 5th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection. The Oral Arguments for this case were heard on March 27th, and it will be an interesting case for the entire country.
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