Saturday, February 7, 2009

Rulings on gay couples' benefits question Defense of Marriage Act

02/06/09 LA Times: "The 9th Circuit judges ruled in their capacity as dispute-resolution officials within the federal judiciary, whose employees are prohibited from suing in federal court." The rulings are limited to just the two employees who sought benefits for their spouses. "But legal analysts see the judges' orders as an indication that the Defense of Marriage Act is unlikely to stand up to the constitutionality test if it reaches a federal court. They also predict that the decisions will put pressure on the Obama administration to repeal the act as an unjust denial of rights to gay citizens." Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of UC Irvine's law school, said that Justice Stephen Reinhardt's ruling is "very important ... in terms of the application of the Constitution to sexual-orientation discrimination, especially with regard to partners." New York Law School Professor Arthur Leonard analyzes the decisions here.

02/11/09: For links to both rulings, see this post by Georgetown University Law Professor Nan Hunt. Thanks also to Laura Grant for helping me identify links.


Laura Grant said...

The ruling is at essentially the same location, a link on the 9th Circuit's home page. Here is the link to the PDF order:

Laura Grant

Michael Ginsborg said...


I am afraid that your link is incomplete. Could you please provide a full link? Thanks for your help and for your interest!


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