Wednesday, July 08, 2009

MA Cries DOMA Foul

Maybe I'll rethink the sponginess of our AG Martha Coakley. She filed a federal suit today against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). It apparently claims the feds overreached

When it becomes public, I'll analyze the suit and post a link to it. Likewise, I'm sure my favorite law prof, NYU's Arthur Leonard will do the best job discussing it and he'll get links here too. So far, Coakley's office has not issued a release and only scheduled a 2 p.m. press conference.

The short in today's Globe, cite's the claim:
In enacting DOMA [the Defense of Marriage Act], Congress overstepped its authority, undermined states' efforts to recognize recognize marriages between same-sex couples, and codified an animus towards gay and lesbian people
Also, DOMA "... interferes with the Commonwealth's authority to define and regulate marriage."

From here, I've long held that DOMA violates the spirit of comity under the guise of states rights. While prima facie, it looks like a hard sell to claim that the terrible inequity of denying federal benefits and protections falls under state law, but I have yet to read the suit.

More to follow.

P.M. Update: After some wonderful (and relatively inexpensive) IPAs at Cambridge Common, I returned to find the suit and a transcript of the press conference. The initial reading of the 32-page complaint shows it to be well constructed. I see a reasonable chance of success in winning relief for Massachusetts same-sex marrieds, with the implication that other states that permit SSM can ride this. Analysis will appear tomorrow (Thursday, 7/9/9).

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