After Today’s Arguments, DOMA Reportedly In Trouble

800px-United_states_supreme_court_buildingThe SCOTUS Blog reports that the Justices could very possibly strike down the Defense of Marriage Act:

Justice Kennedy told Clement that there was “a real risk” that DOMA would interfere with the traditional authority of states to regulate marriage.   Kennedy also seemed troubled about the sweeping breadth of DOMA’s Section 3, noting that its ban on benefits to already married same-sex couples under 1,100 laws and programs would mean that the federal government was “intertwined with citizens’ daily lives.”   He questioned Congress’s very authority to pass such a broad law.

Moreover, Kennedy questioned Clement’s most basic argument — that Congress was only reaching for uniformity, so that federal agencies would not have to sort out who was or was not married legally in deciding who could qualify for federal marital benefits, because some states were on the verge of recognizing same-sex marriage.

Along with sharply negative comments about DOMA by the Court’s four more liberal members, Kennedy’s stance could put the law on the edge of constitutional extinction.

If the Supreme Court does strike down the law, it will most likely be on the grounds of states’ rights and not based on the argument of the Obama administration and gay rights advocates — that DOMA violates the Fifth Amendment guarantee of legal equality.