DOMA Declared Unconstitutional by Bankruptcy Court

In a ruling on a case filed one day after the Obama administration released its opinion, declaring Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutuional, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, in Los Angeles, has concurred.

Bankruptcy MetroWeekly's Chris Geidner reports on a bankruptcy filing brought by a same-sex married couple, Gene Douglas Balas and Carlos A. Morales:

After reviewing the law as it relates to DOMA, the court concluded:

This court cannot conclude from the evidence or the record in this case that any valid governmental interest is advanced by DOMA as applied to the Debtors. Debtors have urged that recent governmental defenses of the statute assert that DOMA also serves such interests as “preserving the status quo,” “eliminating inconsistencies and easing administrative burdens” of the government. None of these post hoc defenses of DOMA withstands heightened scrutiny. In the court’s final analysis, the government’s only basis for supporting DOMA comes down to an apparent belief that the moral views of the majority may properly be enacted as the law of the land in regard to state-sanctioned same-sex marriage in disregard of the personal status and living conditions of a significant segment of our pluralistic society. Such a view is not consistent with the evidence or the law as embodied in the Fifth Amendment with respect to the thoughts expressed in this decision. The court has no doubt about its conclusion: the Debtors have made their case persuasively that DOMA deprives them of the equal protection of the law to which they are entitled.

Geidner notes that the opinion was signed by 20 of the 24 (or 25) bankruptcy judges in the district.

In related news, Americablog reports that CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) has filed an ethics complaint against House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) for violating the Antideficiency Act:

In violation of a law designed to stop government officials from overspending appropriations, Speaker Boehner directed the House Office of General Counsel (OGC) to sign a contract to pay an outside firm $500,000 to defend the highly controversial Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Read the decision, AFTER THE JUMP...

DOMA Memorandum of Decision