As soon as I read the transcript from the Proposition 8 case, I felt in my mind that this was not a case that will spawn a milestone decision on same sex marriage.
The focus from the Justices was on procedural issues and questions of enforcement (or lack thereof) and Justices Scalia and Kennedy put a lot of emphasis on there not being enough in the way of precedent to apply the principles of this case on a national scale. Further, when you have multiple Justices wondering if they should even be hearing your case, it does not bode well historically.
My gut feeling is that they will make a narrow “California Only” ruling that basically says you can’t allow same sex marriage and then take it away. If they rule any other way, it will be to toss the case back to the lower courts to resolve.
Fast forward to the next day and the questions and discussions surrounding DOMA. This is the case with meat on its bones and IF the Supreme Court is going to make a landmark decision on same sex marriage, this case will be the one.
The Defense of Marriage Act is the type of legislation that the Supreme Court is supposed to be hearing. DOMA makes a clear definition of what marriage is and then ties benefits to that narrow definition at the exclusion of other human beings. This is basic civil rights type stuff and how the Supreme Court earns their keep in the whole checks and balances system of government.
I would like to add more substance to why I think there is a good chance the Supreme Court will make a ruling that modifies or strikes down DOMA but alas I cannot get that transcript downloaded. I am sure I will have time to come back and re-visit the topic before the ruling. At least I hope so. There was some really, really good stuff in that hearing. 🙂
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