August 2, 2013
Authored by: Stephanie Moll and Larry Brody
On June 26, the US Supreme Court decided the case of United States v. Windsor, holding (1) that the Court had jurisdiction to consider the merits of the case, and (2) that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment. For a description of the previous history of the case, see our prior posts here and here. In a 5-4 opinion, Justice Kennedy delivered the opinion of the Court. Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan concurred, while Justices Scalia, Roberts, Alito, and Thomas dissented.
Edith Windsor (“Windsor”) and Thea Spyer (“Spyer”), New York residents, were legally married in Ontario, Canada, in 2007, after being in a relationship since 1963.