No Supreme Court ruling on Prop 8 and DOMA yet

LGBT community continues wait - decision could come down Thursday or next week

No Supreme Court ruling on Prop 8 and DOMA yet
17 June 2013

The US Supreme Court on Monday (17 June) did not issue its highly-anticipated rulings on challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8.

Since a ruling could have come down, LGBT organizations had been geared up for press conferences and had interview subjects at the ready.

But the waiting continues.

The next window in which the rulings can be announced comes Thursday (20 June). If it does not happen then, it would then have to take place on Monday 24 June or Thursday 27 June.

According to according to SCOTUSBlog, the rulings will likely come at the end of the court’s current term and could conceivably be pushed back into early July. It is also ‘very likely’ that the rulings will be released at the same time even though they are different cases.

The justices are ruling whether Proposition 8 violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution. The ballot initiative banning gay marriage in California was passed by voters in the state in November 2008.

In February 2012,the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit struck the law down as unconstitutional, a ruling which was then appealed to the Supreme Court.

As for the DOMA case, federal appeals courts in New York and Boston had ruled that the law is unconstitutional – rulings appealed to the Supreme Court by the Republican leadership of the House of Representatives.

The justices have agreed to hear the New York case which was filed by Edith Windsor who sued because she was required to pay a $350,000 federal estate tax bill. The government does not recognize her marriage to her late wife Thea Spyer.

DOMA prevents the US government from recognizing same-sex marriages even in states where such marriages are legal so couples cannot file joint federal tax returns or receive survivor benefits if one spouse dies. It was passed by both houses of Congress by wide margins in 1996 and signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton.

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