In a stunning double victory, the U.S. Supreme Court today issued decisions that strike down both the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8.
The DOMA decision, a 5-4 split, was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy and joined by the four liberal justices of the court. It strikes DOMA as unconstitutional.
The DOMA dissent, based largely on matters of standing, was led by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by the court’s three other conservatives.
The Proposition 8 opinion, a 5-4 vote led by Roberts, vacates a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, saying Yes on 8 defenders of the law lacked standing as “private citizens” to make the appeal. The decision appears to leave intact the district
court decision, a much broader ruling.
The dissent was a surprise: Kennedy led two conservative justices plus liberal Sonia Sotomayor.
The court issued its decision in the two high-profile marriage cases just after 7 a.m. on June 26, the last day of its 2012-13 session.
The opinions in Hollingsworth v. Perry (concerning Proposition 8) and U.S. v. Windsor (concerning DOMA) can be read in their entirety at http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/slipopinions.aspx.
Watch this site for more in-depth coverage, reaction, and analysis on the decisions.
- reported by Lisa Keen