The growing sense of today’s oral arguments before the Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor is that the majority of justices are leaning toward declaring unconstitutional the Defense of Marriage Act’s definition of marriage as limited to one man and one woman.
The justices spent the first half of Wednesday’s session discussing whether the court had jurisdiction to hear the case. Few justices, however, showed any discomfort with deciding the underlying constitutional questions raised by the case. Significantly, Justice Anthony Kennedy appeared ready to side with the court’s liberal faction.
Edith Windsor, the complainant, was not the first to challenge the law, but her case was the one the justices elected to review. It was one of two that led Attorney General Eric Holder to announce on Feb. 23, 2011 that he and the president had determined that Section 3 of DOMA was unconstitutional and, accordingly, the administration would no longer be defending DOMA in court challenges.
Windsor told BuzzFeed earlier this year:
The idea that I might be a piece of history blows my mind. I think it’s kind of wonderful that I’m getting my chance to really ask for justice, and I suspect I’ll get it.
It is beginning to look as though she might be right.
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