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View Diary: DOMA declared unconstitutional... AGAIN (37 comments)

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  •  Actually not that often (1+ / 0-)
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    wilderness voice

    Generally they just pick the one they think (or perhaps their clerks that summarize the cases for the Justices) is the best example case on which to rule for the entire country. They will take multiple cases from different circuits sometimes if the underlying arguments behind the cases as to why a law is unconstitutional are different and could affect the outcome of the law's constitutionality. The Affordable Care Act as an example was challenged on many different fronts, necessitating the Court bundling many of them together and hearing them as a group.

    That may not be necessary here though I personally think it'd be a good idea because of the slightly different angles that have been used by the lower courts in finding DOMA unconstitutional. The 1st Circuit used the more rigorous form of rational basis, the California District Court in Golinski applied heightened scrutiny. The New York District Court in Windsor applied rational basis and here in Pedersen, the court said heightened scrutiny should apply, but found it unnecessary to do so since it failed even rational basis.

    The Court could decline to wade into the controversy over what the proper standard of review is, taking just one of the cases and apply the more rigorous form of rational basis. In that scenario, I would suspect they would hear the Massachusetts cases and decline Golinski. If they take Golinski too, as the DOJ has asked, we may see a broader ruling that includes the Court's determination on the suspectness of sexual orientation.

    "Lesbian and gay people are a permanent part of the American workforce, who currently have no protection from the arbitrary abuse of their rights on the job." --Coretta Scott King

    by craigkg on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 02:17:56 PM PDT

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