Online Content

Display: All articles / Browse By:

November 12, 2013

Why Scalia Should Have Voted to Overturn DOMA

Justice Antonin Scalia claims that when the Supreme Court invalidated Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in United States v. Windsor, it improperly impugned Congress’s motives. The Court held that the statute, which withheld federal recognition from same-sex marriages for all purposes throughout the U.S. Code, reflected a “bare congressional desire to harm a politically unpopular group.” Scalia is right that opposition to same-sex marriage is not the same as hatred of gays.

Editor's Note:This Essay is the last in a four-part series on United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court decision that struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last summer.

November 3, 2013

A Visual Guide to United States v. Windsor: Doctrinal Origins of Justice Kennedy's Majority Opinion

After finding that the Court had jurisdiction, Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion in United States v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013), reached the merits and concluded that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was in violation of the Fifth Amendment. In his dissent, Justice Scalia attacked the majority’s doctrinal reasoning on the merits as “nonspecific hand-waving” that invalidated DOMA “maybe on equal-protection grounds, maybe on substantive-due-process grounds, and perhaps with some amorphous federalism component playing a role.” Id. at 2707 (Scalia, J., dissenting).

Editor's Note:This Map is the third publication in a four-part series on United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court decision that struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last summer.

October 16, 2013

The Moonscape of Tax Equality: Windsor and Beyond

From a distance, the moon appears bright, shiny, and attractive. It is revered and romanticized. Lives (and deaths) are planned around its phases and cycles. But, upon closer inspection, this attractive object is actually scarred—pocked with craters left by past violent impacts. For same-sex couples, federal tax equality shares a strikingly similar duality.

Editor's Note:This Essay is the second in a four-part series on United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court decision that struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last summer.