NEW YORK — A divided federal appeals court in Manhattan struck down the Defense of Marriage Act Thursday as unconstitutional, joining an appeals court in Boston in rejecting the law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The Supreme Court is expected to take up the case in the next year.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its 2-to-1 ruling only weeks after hearing arguments on a lower court judge's findings that the 1996 law was unconstitutional.
The majority opinion written by Judge Dennis Jacobs rejected a section of the law that says "marriage" only means a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife and that the word "spouse" refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife. A federal appeals court in Boston earlier this year also found it unconstitutional.
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There are a bunch of cases of this type toward the Supreme Court. I wonder which one will be the one that gets chosen. I'm more familiar with Perry v. Schwarzenegger than this one, honestly, so I don't know the particulars. Given how poor of a job the defense did in Perry (Schwarzenegger refused to defend Perry's lawsuit challenging California anti-gay ballot initiative, as a result an outside anti-gay group took up the defense and did just a godawful job) I hope that ends up being the one they pick.
I'm not sure people are aware that appeals courts (of which the Supreme Court is the highest) only look at flaws in logic or the law. The "discovery" phase, where evidence is introduced, is only done at the initial stage. So it makes a pretty big difference which case ends up being argued in front of the Supreme Court. Perry, for my money, is a slam dunk.