Obama administration files brief asking SCOTUS to overturn DOMA
February 25, 2013
On Friday, the Obama administration filed a brief in Windsor v. United States, a legal case that will be heard before the U.S. Supreme Court on March 27, 2013. In the brief, President Obama and his administration ask the Court to overturn the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits federal respect for legal marriages between same-sex couples.
The Solicitor General, Donald Verrilli, specifically explains in the brief that DOMA's Section 3, which restricts marriage to different-sex couples, is unconstitutional. The brief also asks that classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to heightened scrutiny and that Section 3 of DOMA fails when considered with heightened scrutiny.
The brief, in part, reads:
Section 3 of DOMA targets the many gay and lesbian people legally married under state law for a harsh form of discrimination that bears no relation to their ability to contribute to society. It is abundantly clear that this discrimination does not substantially advance an interest in protecting marriage, or any other important interest. The statute simply cannot be reconciled with the Fifth Amendment's guarantee of equal protection. The Constitution therefore requires that Section 3 be invalidated.
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Windsor v. United States on March 27. A decision is expected in the case by late June 2013.