Thanks largely to a total lack of attorney Charles Cooper, United States v. Windsor wasn't nearly as entertaining as Hollingsworth v. Perry. There was some comedy. For example, this amazing exchange between Justice Kagan and Mr. Clement (attorney for BLAG)...
Justice Kagan: ...I'm going to quote from the House Report here -- is that "Congress decided to reflect an honor of collective moral judgement and to express moral disapproval of homosexuality." Is that what happened in 1996.There's more to that exchange. In fact you can listen to all two hours and read along at NPR.org. Mr. Clement goes on to say that if that's enough to invalidate the statute then the Court should invalidate the statute. He's totally right, the court should invalidate the statute for that reason.
Mr. Clement: Does the House Report say that? Of course the House Report says that.
Mr. Clement wants to argue in a vacuum that all Congress was trying to do was to create a uniformity of the definition of marriage because...you know...traditionally, the Federal government has had all kind of interest in marriage...except for when they haven't since the definition of marriage is pretty specifically left to the states to decide. Look, all the Federal Government wanted to do was to provide a uniform definition of marriage that maintained marriage as between a man and a woman because some states don't allow same-sex marriage and so the Government didn't want people to lose benefits in moving from a same-sex friendly state to a same-sex unfriendly state or to encourage states toward a particular definition of marriage.
Look, let's be serious for a second, and that's hard because BLAG's legal arguments are hysterically funny. You can argue until you're blue in the face that DOMA is about a uniform marriage definition, but there are two important things to remember:
- The Federal Government doesn't get to define marriage.
- As Solicitor General Verilli says, "the statute is not called the Federal Uniform Marriage Benefits Act"
This is not about uniformity, this is about a so-called moral judgement of a specific group of people. This is about people who are specifically discriminating against gay people. Period. To argue otherwise is simply disingenuous. The intent of DOMA is crystal clear. It's an indictment of gay people as inherently immoral. It has nothing to do with federal benefits or uniform definitions. DOMA is about hate and moral judgement. If there is any justice in this nation, the Supreme Court will find section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional.