Attorney General Eric Schneiderman took to the airwaves today to denounce the Defense of Marriage Act on legal grounds, arguing that it will be ruled unconstitutional because it “discriminates” against New York State’s recognition of same-sex marriages. The high-profile case is set to go before the Supreme Court later this week.
“This is something that, without getting too far into the merits of the case, I think the Supreme Court will strike down,” Mr. Schneiderman said this morning on The Brian Lehrer Show. “This is an overreach by the federal government, this is inconsistent with our federalist system and I think this one will definitely fall.”
DOMA, which stipulates that marriage is a legal union between one man and one woman, permits states that have outlawed same-sex marriage to disregard same-sex marriages in other states where they are legal, like New York. Several federal appeals courts have ruled DOMA unconstitutional already and the Obama Administration has asked the Supreme Court to declare a crucial part of DOMA unconstitutional.
Mr. Schneiderman, who filed an amicus brief in support of the case–United States vs. Windsor–further contended that it’s “a fairly straight forward case” for the court to evaluate and rule upon.
“[DOMA] discriminates against the states that recognize same sex marriage because it says not only the federal government doesn’t have to respect our marriages and provide married couples from New York with all the benefits that every other type of marriage gets; it also says that other states don’t necessarily have to respect our marriages,” Mr. Schneiderman said. “This really runs against hundreds of years of jurisprudence in which the United States government, Congress, kept its hands out of domestic relations matters and that have always traditionally been a matter for the states. The DOMA case is a fairly straight forward case. It’s a matter of overreaching by Congress and overreaching by the federal government into an area that should be committed to the states.”