DOMA Overturned, Prop 8 Case Dismissed for Lack of Standing

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Unsurprising results. Here is the DOMA decision, and here is the Prop 8 decision.

Both were 5-4 decisions. Kennedy delivered the opinion of the Court on DOMA, Roberts on Prop 8.  The lineups were slightly different. The dissenters on DOMA were Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas, and on Prop 8 Kennedy, Thomas, Alito, and  . . . Sotomayor. Prop 8 fell because of standing and not on the merits of the legal issue, so the Court lineup actually doesn’t say much on that one. Of course the end result is that California will now recognize same-sex marriage.

I’ll be back much later with a full analysis. What the Windsor (DOMA) case means is that the federal government cannot prohibit states from recognizing same-sex marriage, and those married in states allowing SSM must receive federal benefits. States are still free to not recognize same-sex marriage, but Kennedy’ s use of the Equal Protection Clause to underpin his argument means that the handwriting is on the wall. Scalia’s dissent is a must-read, but Alito’s is perhaps more significant – particularly footnote 7.

In the meantime, here’s some happy reading for you to ponder for the rest of the day.

Update: I think my explanation of the DOMA decision’s results is a little shaky. This was never about what the states could do, but it simply relates to granting federal benefits to same sex couples who claim to be married.



More to explorer

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Fifty Years

Hattip to commenter Dale Price.  My motto has always been:  “Slay all the Lunies, and let God sort ’em out!”

Deep State? What Deep State?

Surprise!:     Who would have thought that, this deep into the Russia collusion probe, we’d be learning about yet another dossier


  1. Busy day in the law mines so I do not have time to comment except to say that under the full faith and credit clause DOMA was always of dubious constitutionality. It was a successful tactic in the nineties by the left to derail the strong push to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, and that chicken has come home to roost. The Court sidestepped proposition 8 because Kennedy is not willing, yet, to impose gay marriage on the entire nation by judicial fiat. (There are very weird lineups in that case in the majority and the dissent, so my last statement may be completely wrong.) More from me after I have had a chance to read the decisions this evening.

  2. All:
    God save your majesty!

    I thank you, good people—there shall be no money; all shall eat
    and drink on my score, and I will apparel them all in one livery,
    that they may agree like brothers, and worship me their lord.

    The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.

    Nay, that I mean to do.

    Henry The Sixth, Part 2, Act 4, scene 2, 71–78

  3. I actually WAS hoping there was a silver lining in the link. Turns out it is more depressing an idea than the post itself.

    Satan has been having a field day in the West since the early 1900s and it feels like many bad roads are converging.

  4. Twitter: @GPollowitz:

    “Future Bill Clinton quote: ‘I always thought DOMA would be overturned, that’s why I signed it into law'”

  5. Well I haven’t read the Prop 8 case yet, but perhaps your silver lining is that it is good that it wasn’t decided on the merits, because if it had been decided on the merits the decision could have been very Roe-esque.

  6. Matthew 10:15

    Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.

    Luke 10:13-15

    Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will be brought down to Hades!

  7. “We shall go before a higher tribunal – a tribunal where a Judge of infinite goodness, as well as infinite justice, will preside, and where many of the judgments of this world will be reversed.” Thomas Meagher

    “How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” Abraham Lincoln

  8. I don’t know if it’s accurate, but I’ve read a couple of things indicating that the Full Faith and Credit clause has never been applied to states recognizing marriages in other states. If that’s true, it would mitigate the impact of this decision (for now).

  9. DOMA was always constitutionally problematic. No one should be shocked by it being overturned.

    The silver lining, if any exists, is that we live to fight another day at the state level on the defense of marriage. By punting on the Prop 8 case, the Court did not do what many same-sex “marriage” advocates had hoped it would do, which is to constitutionally enshrine SSM as a secular-left sacrament the way it did with abortion in Roe v. Wade.

  10. “How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” Abraham Lincoln

    That is a great quote, one I’ve never heard before. Thanks for sharing it.

  11. Spot on, T. Shaw! SCOTUS could issue a ruling declaring that a tail is a leg, but that wouldn’t make it so.

  12. The bishops have issued a statement ( declaring today to be “a tragic day for marriage and our nation.” Well and good, but it means next to nothing unless they put some teeth in it. It’s time for them to draw a line in the sand. It’s also time for a pastoral letter on the subject.

  13. The failure of our Bishops to speak is utterly demoralizing.

    Casey’s website displays his unfettered support for gay marriage. Pelosi and Biden seem to oppose every social position the Church has taken. Yet nothing happens. We have Dolan’s diocese paying for abortions through healthcare while the USCCB proclaims the same policy at a national level to be unconscionable. Our schools knowingly hire homosexual teachers, only to have the bishop of those diocese act surprised and dismayed when they lose in court due to inconsistent application of policy.

    For God’s sake… Well, for ours, actually… Can our hierarchy get their act together!?

  14. One of the probably-a-trolls over at Ricochet (the COC keeps ’em from being obvious) decided to throw an utter fit over the “how many legs does a dog have” thing, accusing the editors of ignoring slanderous comparisons of homosexuals to dogs….

  15. I have been on vacation with my family this week. It is the first one in five years and I really needed it. I am amazed at all of the HIV billboards I see in Miami Dade. It is nauseating.

    I hope Texas does secede. If not, I may move my family to Poland. This abortion and homosexual garbage has to end.

  16. Trolls need to shut off debate because all they have are ad hominems, distortions, fabrications, and “SHUT THE EFF UP!”

  17. The goblins gay undoubtedly will “heart” this from “Never Yet Melted” blog, “Life in a Nation Governed by 15-year-old Girls.”


    “We obviously live in a society led around by the nose by an elite which is too stupid to live. Any appeal to emotion and sentimentality will reduce even the learned Supreme Court Justice, nominated by a Republican and entrusted by Fate with the deciding vote, to the intellectual condition of a pubescent female in early high school who has been reading “Black Beauty.”

  18. Proposition 8 is peaceable assembly to petition the government for redress. Any and every citizen has the standing to appeal it, pro se, and not be denied our First Amendment civil rights. Denying a citizen access to Justice because of technicalities is denying Justice to all. Justice delayed is Justice denied.

  19. DOMA overturned. Let the gay agenda prove that they have the ability of two becoming one and claiming the definition of marriage of two becoming one. I say that I am wealthy but that does not raise my bank account not one red or rainbow cent.

  20. The consummation of two human beings, body and soul in the presence of God is the sacred state of Matrimony. In the fact that same-sex individuals cannot ever consummate their love for each other, leaves the disparaging fact of their commitment being undone, only half accomplished. No amount of constitutional investigation or encouragement will change the fact that same-sex couples cannot couple or consummate their relationship in the presence of God. Therefore, there is no marriage for gays to be constitutionally protected. Since gays have consistently rejected same-sex unions, it appears that gays are willingly complicit in rewriting our constitution without ratification by the people.

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