This week’s big legal news story is the same sex marriage cases being heard at the United States Supreme Court on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Tuesday, the Court will hear oral arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry, considering whether the Equal Protection Clause prohibits California from defining marriage as the union of a man and woman. On Wednesday, the Court will turn from Prop 8 to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), as it hears arguments in the case of United States v. Windsor. There, the issue is whether Section 3 of DOMA violates the Fifth 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.
There will be lots of coverage on these cases this week. An interesting pair of articles were published on SCOTUSblog the last two days, looking at the arguments made in the amicus briefs for these two cases. Part I of “Marriage and the Court’s ‘friends'” deals with the amicus briefs submitted for the Prop 8 case, while Part II looks at those filed in the DOMA case.