Damon Root on the Federalist Case Against the Defense of Marriage Act


Credit: C-SPAN

Next week the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in United States v. Windsor, the case arising from the legal challenge to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). At issue is whether Section 3 of DOMA, which forbids the federal government from recognizing same-sex unions that are permitted under state law, violates the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment. But as Reason's Damon Root explains, the case is also about federalism. Because DOMA exceeds Congress' enumerated powers while trampling on legitimate state authority, the law stands on shaky constitutional ground.