Constitutional Law

US Supreme Court to Hear Same-Sex Marriage Cases

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The U.S. Supreme Court is going to weigh in on same-sex marriage.

Among the certiorari petitions it accepted Friday (PDF) are two in which this is a central issue, as the New York Times (reg. req.) details.

One of the two cases to be reviewed by the high court, Hollingsworth v. Perry, No. 12-144, is a California case over the constitutionality of Proposition 8, in which the state’s voters said marriage must be between a man and a woman, overriding a previous decision by the state supreme court OKing same-sex marriage.

The other, United States v. Windsor, No. 12-307, is a New York case challenging the Defense of Marriage Act. It limits certain benefits under federal law to opposite-sex married couples only, even if same-sex couples have been married in a jurisdiction in which they can do so legally.

In the Windsor case, the surviving spouse of a two-woman couple who had been legally married in Canada was hit with a $360,000 estate tax bill because the DOMA prevents the Internal Revenue Service from treating a same-sex spouse as a surviving spouse.

CNN, the San Jose Mercury News and Reuters also have stories.

Related coverage:

ABA Journal: “Marriage Proposal: Court May Weigh Levels of Scrutiny for Same-Sex Couples” “9th Circuit Won’t Hear Appeal of Prop 8 Same-Sex Marriage Case, Putting It on Fast Track to Supremes” “2nd Circuit Rules for Surviving Gay Spouse, Says DOMA Violates Equal Protection Clause” “Chemerinsky: Same-Sex Marriage May Finally Go Before the Supreme Court”

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