Gay Marriage

DOJ Asks Supreme Court to Hear DOMA Challenge

Wants to use a recent Appeals Court ruling


The Obama administration Friday asked the Supreme Court to hear a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act that squarely raises the question whether courts should use similar skepticism in reviewing laws targeting gay and lesbian people for discrimination as they do when considering laws based on race, religion or sex.

The Department of Justice told the Supreme Court in a filing on Friday that it should use Edith Windsor's DOMA challenge to decide whether the federal definition of marriage being limited only to opposite-sex couples is constitutional — following a favorable ruling in the case at the appeals court hearing the case this past week.

The move represents a change for DOJ, which previously had asked the Supreme Court to use one of the other several cases presented to it as the case the court would use to resolve the constitutional question. The court is expected to take up the question of which case to hear sometime after the election, potentially at the justices' conference on Nov. 20.