Tea Leaves, Notes on Prop 8 and DOMA

Edie Windsor, the plaintiff in the DOMA case before the Supreme Court.

Edie Windsor, the plaintiff in the DOMA case before the Supreme Court.

There seems to be a growing consensus that the Supreme Court will strike down the Defense of Marriage Act but step away from Prop 8, ruling that the plaintiffs in the case — private citizens who led a public referendum to undo California’s same sex marriage legalization — don’t actually have standing.

If that’s what they do — and I tend to lean in that direction — the net effect will mean that, on Prop 8, the ruling of the lower courts will stand: Prop 8 will be thrown out and same sex marriages will be legal in California again. The ruling will affect only California.

Ruling DOMA unconstitutional will mean that same sex couples married in any one of the eight states and the District of Columbia that permit it will be eligible for all the rights and privileges of opposite sex couples — and as the Justices pointed out, there are more than 1,000 benefits from which same sex married couples are currently excluded, including Social Security survivor benefits, military family housing, tax filing, etc.

Read the rest…

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