Case Note The Demise of the Defense of Marriage Act: Time of Death Still to Be Determined
Published in NAELA Journal
By Stephanie L. Schneider, CELA, and Lara Pietrzak
On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its written opinion on United States v. Windsor and held that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. While the ruling creates entitlement of same-sex married couples to receive federal rights, it is of particular interest because it addresses issues such as separation of federal and state powers and the power of the states to rule their citizens by defining the term “marriage.” Moreover, the actions of President Obama in the area of gay rights, which led up to the case receiving certiorari, also are significant to the outcome of Windsor. The President’s position in this lawsuit arguably will be his greatest legacy.