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U.S. Supreme Court to hear Oral Arguments Regarding Same-Sex Marriage Cases on March 26-27, 2013

I handle many areas of Family Law cases, such as marriage, adoption, establishing paternity, and of course, divorce.  March 26, 2013 may be a new historical entry for textbooks (and casebooks) everywhere, and the decisions made in court, will of course affect all of the above. Beginning March 26th, the United States Supreme Court shall hear oral arguments regarding California’s Proposition 8 issue. On the day after, the Supreme Court will hear arguments regarding the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Regarding Proposition 8, the first question presented is “whether the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment  prohibits the State of California from defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.” But–and probably before the litigants can argue the first question–the Court will direct the parties to address whether the petitioners, who are the proponents of Proposition 8, have standing to argue the case before the Court.

For information regarding the procedural process and history of Proposition 8, click here. Additionally, to see our previous post about Proposition 8, click here.

The Court will also hear arguments about DOMA, with parties addressing three points:

  1. Whether Section 3 of the DOMA violates the 5th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws as applied to persons of the same sex who are legally married under the laws of their state;
  2. Whether the Executive Branch’s decision with the Court below (The Second Circuit Court of Appeals) that DOMA is unconstitutional deprives this Court (U.S. Supreme Court) of jurisdiction to decide the case;
  3. Whether the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives has Article 3 standing in this case.
For more information regarding the procedural history of the U.S. v. Windsor case, click here.
Currently, Florida does not recognize same-sex marriages and adoption for same-sex couples. But, I see that this may soon change. What do you think the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court will be, and how do you think it will affect family law in Florida?
Article by: Florence Chen

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