Domo Arigato SCOTUS: Defence of Marriage Act deserved to end

The US Supreme Court has overturned the Defense of Marriage Act - not without reaction

by Andrew Ian Dodge on 27 June 2013 13:45

In a 5-4 decision the US Supreme Court has overturned the Defense of Marriage Act on the grounds it was unconstitutional. As the sober law blog Volokh Conspiracy put it:

“The DOMA case is also a success for supporters of constitutional limits on the scope of federal power, even if a limited one. The majority’s reasoning relied heavily on the idea that the definition of marriage is an issue generally left to the states.”

Consistent states’ rights advocates and federalists will be pleased by this decision smacking down the Congressional overreach passed during President Clinton’s time in office.

Rick Santorum, failed GOP Presidential candidate and anti-homosexual activist, questions the Supreme Court’s right to make such a decision according to PJTatler:

“I’m incredibly disappointed that the Supreme Court would continue a pattern of stepping in and making decisions that were very clearly left for the public and the Congress to make.”

Santorum, of course, routinely dismisses parts of the Constitution that are inconvenient including his famous anti 1st Amendment rant during his run for GOP nomination.  Bachmann was her normal subtle self in her reaction, dismissing SCOTUS out of hand: “Marriage was created by the hand of God. No man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted.”

Santorum and Bachmann were tame compared to the reaction of some like Bryan J. Fischer from the American Family Association whose reaction was forthcoming on Twitter: “The DOMA ruling has now made the normalization of polygamy, pedophilia, incest and bestiality inevitable. Matter of time.”, a conservative Republican homosexual group, reacted slightly differently to Perkins and company:

“As constitutional conservatives, we are pleased that the Supreme Court affirmed that marriage and family law is the purview of the states.  We have been long-time supporters of marriage being a states' right. DOMA was a gross federal overreach and the Court was right in striking it down.  We are also delighted that same-sex couples in California will now, again, have the freedom to marry the person they love.”

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal eschewed the emotion of the case and commented on some of the financial results of the ruling:

“The end of DOMA is a boon to very wealthy same-sex couples who are planning estates. The current estate and gift tax exemption is $5.25 million per individual, so married couples qualify for more than $10 million of exemption. In addition, a surviving spouse can use the unused portion of the partner’s exemption to shelter assets in his or her own estate.”

Those interested in a fairly simple, if complete, explanation of the Constitutional case for gay marriage and DOMA should check out this video from CATO.

Upon reflection of the debate over DOMA it could be argued that the Tea Party movement, and its obsession with state rights/limited government, influenced this result. Under any limited government scrutiny, DOMA falls pretty quickly.

Expect the fallout, both celebratory and bleating, to continue for many weeks to come. 

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