Thursday, July 08, 2010
BREAKING NEWS: Federal Court overturns DOMA!
From the Boston Globe:
Judge declares US gay-marriage ban is unconstitutional
July 8, 2010 05:21 PM
By Michael Levenson, Globe Staff
A federal district court judge in Boston today struck down a 1996 federal law that defines marriage as a union exclusively between a man and a woman, according to the office of state Attorney General Martha Coakley.
Judge Joseph L. Tauro, in a 36-page ruling that touched on the history of marriage laws, found that the federal Defense of Marriage Act violates Massachusetts’ right to recognize same-sex unions.
“This court has determined that it is clearly within the authority of the Commonwealth to recognize same-sex marriages among its residents, and to afford those individuals in same-sex marriages any benefits, rights, and privileges to which they are entitled by virtue of their marital status,” Tauro wrote. “The federal government, by enacting and enforcing DOMA, plainly encroaches upon the firmly entrenched province of the state, and, in doing so, offends the Tenth Amendment.”
We have argued in this blog strenuously and continuously that the Defense of Marriage Act is a violation of the 10th Amendment of the US Constitution. Family law, and the laws surrounding eligibility for Marriage, have ALWAYS been issues reserved to STATE governments, not the federal government.
Some states permit cousins to marry, while others do not; the federal government has historically and routinely accepted each individual state's declaration of what constitutes a valid marriage, even if that changes from state to state. DOMA was a clear violation of this principle...it also meant that legimately married same-sex couples were forced to lie on their Federal Income Tax, were ineligible for federal survivors benefits, and had to pay additional income tax if they places their spouse on their health insurance.
Ironically, conservatives - who normally support 10th Amendment States Rights arguements - ignored this violation....While Liberals - such as the regular posters on blogs such as Joe.My.God...constantly called me a "Tea-Partier" and "Right-Winger" because I used a 10th Amendment arguement against DOMA.
Well, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley made this arguement, and won her case in district court.
To be certain, this is not the end of the issue: this was a ruling at the Federal District Court level, which opens up the possibilities of appeals and wrangling before the Appeallate Court and even the US Supreme Court itself if the US Justice Department chooses to pursue this.
But time is in the side of Justice.