The big case last week was Commonwealth v. U.S. Dep’t of Health & Human Servs. out of the 1st Circuit, which found Sec. 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, 1 U.S.C. 7 (“DOMA”) unconstitutional. Section 3 denies federal economic and other benefits to same-sex couples lawfully married in Massachusetts and to surviving spouses from those couples, by defining “marriage” as “only a legal union between one man and one woman.” “Spouse” refers “only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.” The court applied “a closer than usual review” based on discrepant impact among married couples and on the importance of state interests in regulating marriage and tested the rationales for DOMA, considering Supreme Court precedent limiting which rationales can be counted and the force of certain rationales.
More coverage at the WSJ Law Blog.