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Ed Driscoll

Supremes Strike Down Clinton-Era Defense Of Marriage Act 5-4

June 26th, 2013 - 10:52 am

“Clinton Hails Supreme Court Overturning Law He Signed,” Daniel Halper quips at the Weekly Standard:

President Bill Clinton released a statement, together with his wife Hillary Clinton, hailing the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, a bill he signed into law in 1996.

“By overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, the Court recognized that discrimination towards any group holds us all back in our efforts to form a more perfect union. We are also encouraged that marriage equality may soon return to California. We applaud the hard work of the advocates who have fought so relentlessly for this day, and congratulate Edie Windsor on her historic victory,” the Clintons’ statement reads.

The statement makes no mention of their previous support for the law.

Or as Greg Pollowitz tweets, “Future Bill Clinton quote: I always thought DOMA would be overturned, that’s why I signed it into law.”

More from Glenn Reynolds:

Prop. 8 case goes on standing grounds, as expected. Ann Althouse has more.

Much more at Legal Insurrection and the Volokh Conspiracy.

FINALLY: Jonah Goldberg has the last word: Missing the big story on SCOTUS gay marriage ruling? Court delivers huge win to pro-SSM Koch brothers! #heh. Heh, indeed.

Plus this:

TWEET OF THE DAY: After the fashion of @instapundit, we must now make all efforts to assure that gay couples can exercise their Second Amendment rights.

We really are proceeding toward my ideal political world, aren’t we?

Regarding California’s Proposition #8, Ed Morrissey adds:

Looks like the court has punted on Prop 8. Roberts joins Scalia, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Kagan in declining to allow standing to a private citizen to defend a state statute when the state itself declines to do so. They will vacate the 9th Circuit’s decision with a remand to dismiss the appeal.

This decision bothers me a lot more than the DOMA case.  The voters in California amended the state constitution by referendum legally, to define a legitimate government policy regarding the recognition of marriage.  The court is making the case that this is a matter for California to settle, not the federal courts, and there is a very good case to make there.  However, the effect of this is to overturn an election whose legality was never in doubt just because some people didn’t like the outcome.  That to me is a more dangerous outcome than a precedent-setting decision on standing.

At Ace of Spades, Gabriel Malor writes:

Back on DOMA: Let’s talk consequences: Gay spouses may now file joint taxes, may donate jointly, may petition for legal residence for non-citizen spouses, may now obtain changes to their passports (married name corrections) the same as straight spouses. Military gay spouses are now entitled to the same survivor, housing, PX, and travel benefits as straight spouses.

That’s off the top of my head. There are probably a great many other consequences under federal law.

Some of those are explored by Bryan Preston in his post at the PJ Tatler.

At Commentary, Jonathan Tobin writes, “On DOMA, SCOTUS Follows the Culture:”

How did this sea change come about? Liberals may consider it a natural evolution of thought to more progressive opinion (since as we saw with President Obama and gay marriage, reversals on such issues that end with an endorsement of the more liberal position are regarded as evolution rather than a flip-flop). But it could never have happened outside of the context of American popular culture that has normalized gays and gay marriage in films and TV to the point that they are now regarded as unexceptionable. As my colleague John Podhoretz noted on Twitter this morning after the ruling, the credit for the decision on DOMA belongs as much to the producers of the Will and Grace television show as it does to any legal scholar.

I’m curious: In the coming years, what will be the next piece of the cultural Etch-a-Sketch to be upended by the left?

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"TWEET OF THE DAY: After the fashion of @instapundit, we must now make all efforts to assure that gay couples can exercise their Second Amendment rights."

That's really a bit silly. The DOMA being overturned is all about the rule of the rich and powerful as opposed to the rule of law. Are people who have summary powers going to be impressed by a silly constitutional amendment which purports to limit their powers? Of course not. We live in an oligarchy, we are under the thumb of the rich and powerful and the DOMA ruling is one way to show us.
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