Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 24, 2014

Same-Sex Marriage Roundup

Refresh this post for streaming news about the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage opinions. And check Wonk Wire throughout the day for commentary and analysis of the opinions:

Justice Anthony Kennedy writes for a 5-4 majority in United States v. Windsor that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional as a violation of equal protection protected by the Fifth Amendment. He is joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan. The federal government may not define “marriage” to exclude same-sex couples for purposes of federal law, including Social Security benefits and income tax filing.

(Point worth making: The Windsor ruling on DOMA is grounded in the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, which the Supreme Court has previously found applies equal protection doctrine to federal law. The Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause only applies to state laws.)

Windsor includes dissents written by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito. Scalia’s dissent, the most detailed of the three, is as long as the majority opinion.

Chief Justice Roberts writes for a 5-4 majority in Hollingsworth v. Perry, finding that petitioners did not have standing to bring the case in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is joined by Justices Scalia, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Kagan. This means the federal district court ruling will stand, but it does not serve as precedent in the Ninth Circuit or Supreme Court.

The dissent in Hollingsworth is written by Justice Kennedy. This case did not fall along the normal right-left divide on the Court.

SCOTUSblog also has a terrific live-blog as the opinions come down.

  • mstep

    Surely it is the 14th amendment, and not the 5th, that the opinion references.

    • Forrest

      “(Point worth making: The Windsor ruling on DOMA is grounded in the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, which the Supreme Court has previously found applies equal protection doctrine to federal law. The Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause only applies to state laws.)”

      DOMA was a federal law and therefore the 14th does not apply.

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