Another court says DOMA is unconstitutional

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

Another court has held that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.  In Windsor v. United States, (SD NY, June 6, 2012), a New York federal district court awarded plaintiff Edith Windsor damages equal to the $353,000 in estate taxes paid to the federal government on her same-sex spouse’s estate. Edith and her long-time partner Thea Spyer, who were New York residents, were married legally in Canada in 2007. Spyer by will left her estate for the benefit of Windsor, but because of DOMA Spyer did not qualify for the unlimited estate tax marital deduction. Without invoking strict scrutiny, the court held that Section 3 of DOMA violates the equal protection component of the 5th Amendment because the government’s asserted interests are inadequate to support the law. Jurist reports that this is the fourth federal court decision invalidating DOMA. (See prior related posting.)