Some quotes from the DOMA arguments......
"Suppose we look just at the estate tax provision that's at issue in this case, which provides specially favorable treatment to a married couple as opposed to any other individual or economic unit. What was the purpose of that? Was the purpose of that really to foster traditional marriage, or was Congress just looking for a convenient category to capture households that function as a unified economic unit?"
This, to me, is one of the more interesting things to come up for discussion. It leads one to question if there is real justification to give a married couple 'special' treatment under the federal law. Of course if the purpose of the estate tax provision is the latter as stated by Alito, then clearly denying that estate tax clause to same-sex couples would be highly discriminatory. I will call this the gbaji Effect.
You're saying, no, state said two kinds of marriage; the full marriage, and then this sort of skim-milk marriage."
Skim-milk marriage will be the catch-phrase of the week. Ginsberg was responding to Kennedy's question of whether DOMA is in conflict with the States power to regulate marriage, divorce and custody. A man-woman marriage would be considered a hole-milk marriage I suppose. But are either pasteurized?
I think this is my favorite quote. How bold of Kagan to point out the big ol' elephant in the room.
So we have a whole series of cases which suggest the following: Which suggest that when Congress targets a group that is not everybody's favorite group in the world, that we look at those cases with some — even if they're not suspect — with some rigor to say, do we really think that Congress was doing this for uniformity reasons, or do we think that Congress' judgment was infected by dislike, by fear, by animus and so forth?
Roberts tried to devalue the whole issue by attempting to pass it off as a political movement pressing for special rights for an identified group.
"You don't doubt that the lobby supporting the enactment of same-sex marriage laws in different states is politically powerful, do you?"
"As far as I can tell, political figures are falling over themselves to endorse your side of the case."
(responding to the lawyer for Edith Windsor - the woman who was hit with estate taxes after the death of her same-sex spouse).
And this guy is our Chief Justice..
I think Joph's prediction about DOMA being struck down still appears to be the direction things are going.