Massachusetts Gears Up For Court Battle Over DOMA

On Wednesday Massachusetts, the first state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage, will be the site of a court case over the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal benefits to married gay couples.

In 2010, Massachusetts judge Joseph Tauro ruled DOMA was unconstitutional because it “interferes with the right of a state to define marriage and denies married gay couples an array of federal benefits given to heterosexual married couples, including the ability to file joint tax returns,” according to the AP.

But even though President Obama has made it clear his Administration will no longer defend DOMA, there is still someone appealing Tauro’s decision: Yep, House Speaker John Boehner and his Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG).

Thanks guys!

BLAG has brought in Paul Clement (above), who’s been busy arguing against Obama’s health-care plan before the Supreme Court, to head up the challenge in the Bay State.

In legal briefs filed in court, Clement argues that the challenges to the law appear to be based on the claim that Congress has no legitimate interest in providing a federal definition of marriage and has no choice but to adopt the state definition.

“Congress has multiple rational bases for preferring a uniform federal definition over a patchwork, so DOMA should survive unless there is something categorically different about marriage. There is not,” Clement wrote.

“Congress has ample power to define the terms used in federal statutes to apportion federal benefits and burdens. Any other rule would turn the Supremacy Clause and our entire constitutional structure upside down.”

So not only will gay marriage destroy the institution of marriage, it’ll obliterate the Constitution. What were we thinking?!?

Photo via the U.S. Department of Justice

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  • 1equalityUSA

    Having two tiers of rights, one tier, separate for unpopular Americans, will be a source of constant tension and endless law suits. Equality must win out. Our country will have been made stronger by this. Careers have formed, Churches have dabbled in political spheres, hatreds have awakened, but in the end, our country will overcome all of this and see equality.

  • 1equalityUSA

    Being flagged as spam again, this time in “Republican are retreating” by making comparisons to Vi a gra being covered by insurance versus resistance to covering B ir th control. Really odd. Nothing inappropriate in the text.

  • Riker

    What the esteemed Mr. Clement neglects to mention is that the Fourteenth Amendment trumps the Supremacy Clause. Whenever an amendment is in conflict with an older part of the Constitution, the newer one is seen as modifying the older clause.

  • the crustybastard

    Obama didn’t have to defend DOMA, and he lied when he claimed he had some “duty” to do so.

    Obama didn’t have to appeal his loss in the DOMA case. All appeals are discretionary. He could have allowed the judgment to stand.

    Obama’s decision to appeal is no more to his credit than his conveniently timed decision to drop that appeal in the lap of a Republican-controlled BLAG itching to overturn the district court’s decision.

    Ferchrissakes, stop buying the propaganda that Obama’s doing us a favor, he’s on our side, and he has some brilliant legal strategy. NOTHING he’s done in this case indicates he’s on our side. He took up the wrong side arguing gay marriage should be banned on the same rationale incestuous and pedo marriages are banned, lost, jeopardized our win with his spurious appeal, then played everyone for chumps by pretending he’s seen the light, even as he lets the Republicans attack us on his behalf, so his hands stay clean.

    Meanwhile, Obama stands by his vile “separate-but-equal is good enough for you people” position, and his utterly inexplicable and unprecedented belief that an antigay law can somehow be at once unconstitutional and enforceable.

    OBAMA: “I’ve chosen to stop maliciously prosecuting you.”

    And what? I’m supposed to be grateful? You should be APOLOGIZING, not claiming credit, you prick!

    If you want to slobber all over Obama, pick something he did right. You’d have plenty to choose from. However, he has been and remains 100% wrong on this issue, to our detriment.

  • the crustybastard

    Seriously? I’m put in the moderation corral again?

    This site is starting to lose its charm.

  • Cam

    Boehner is just going to be another old man politician spoken of in the future the same way George Wallace is today.

    Just an old bigot doing what he could do to deny others rights.

  • Jaack65

    The current Speaker isn’t much different than a speaker called Newt. Few remember him. Hopefully Boehner will be as irrelevent.

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