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US v. Windsor

(2013)

Supreme Court of the United States - 570 U.S. 744

tl;dr:

Invalidates DOMA (federal law defining marriage and spouse as solely heterosexual)

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Facts & HoldingUS v. Windsor case brief facts & holding

Facts:Congress enacted the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 which...

Holding:New York in common with 11 other states have recognized...

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US v. Windsor | Case Brief DeepDive
Majority opinion, author: Justice KENNEDY delivered the opinion of the Court.
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The Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act's (DOMA) exclusion of same-sex partners from the definition of "spouse" in federal statutes is unconstitutional. The Court must determine whether the Government or BLAG had the right to appeal. Windsor had standing to challenge the collection of a specific tax assessment as unconstitutional, and the United States has a sufficient stake in this case to support Article III jurisdiction. The Court must consider the evolving perception of same-sex marriage and the fact that some states have acknowledged that denying same-sex couples access to lawful marriage is unjust. Congress has the power to ensure efficiency in the administration of its programs and to choose what larger goals and policies to pursue.

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Dissenting opinion, author: Chief Justice ROBERTS, dissenting.
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The dissenting opinion agrees that the Supreme Court lacks jurisdiction to review the lower court's decisions and that Congress acted constitutionally in passing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). It argues against the majority's view that DOMA was motivated by a desire to harm and finds insufficient evidence to prove that the Act's principal purpose was to codify malice. The dissent emphasizes that the Court's ruling is limited to the recognition of same-sex marriages that a state has already recognized and does not address whether states can continue to use the traditional definition of marriage. The author argues that the Supreme Court lacked the authority to decide the lawsuit and suggests sending the case back to the Court of Appeals with instructions to dismiss the appeal. Justice Alito dissents from the majority's decision and argues that the issue of same-sex marriage should be left to the people and their elected representatives.

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