This morning the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in United States v. Windsor, Case No. 12-307. In this case, Edie Windsor is challenging the constitutionality of the “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA), a federal statute that defines marriage for all federal purposes as a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife. Mrs. Windsor shared her life with her late spouse, Thea Spyer, for 44 years. They were married in Canada in 2007, and were considered married by their home state of New York. Spyer died in 2009. Because DOMA refuses to recognize otherwise valid marriages of same-sex couples, Spyer’s estate had to pay more than $350,000 in federal estate taxes. A heterosexual couple in the exact same circumstance would not have had to pay any taxes, pursuant to the estate marital tax deduction. Mrs. Windsor is seeking to have DOMA declared unconstitutional, an argument she won at the lower court level.
Read and/or download the transcript here.
Listen to the audio of the oral argument here.
As with the Prop 8 arguments that occurred yesterday, we will post our thoughts on the arguments in the next few days.
Supreme Court Oral Argument in DOMA case – full transcript and link to audio