Breaking Tweets from Inside Supreme Court DOMA Arguments


Reports from inside of the Supreme Court DOMA arguments are beginning to emerge via Twitter.

Refresh for updates…


Tweet: "Supreme Court conservative justices say they're troubled by Obama's refusal to defend marriage law."


Tweet: "#doma jurisdiction argument continues with no clear indication of whether a majority believes #scotus has the power to decide the case."

"Final update: #scotus 80% likely to strike down #doma. J Kennedy suggests it violates states’ rights; 4 other Justices see as gay rights."

Tweet: "J Kennedy asks two questions doubting #doma validity but nothing decisive and Chief Justice and Kagan have yet to speak."

WSJ Live blog:

"Conservative justices sharply questioned why the Justice Department is refusing to defend DOMA as unconstitutional but yet enforcing the law and placing the gay-marriage question before the Supreme Court. Justices also questioned whether the case belonged before the court at all."

"Chief Justice John Roberts told attrorney Sri Srinivasan, the principal deputy solicitor general, that the government's actions were "unprecedented." To agree with a lower court ruling finding DOMA unconstitutional but yet seeking the Supreme Court to weigh in while it enforces the law is "has never been done before," he said."

"Justice Anthony Kennedy cited the controversial and "questionable" practice of presidential signing statements as an example. He said if the president doesn't think a law is constitutional then he shouldn't sign it. And said the same principle perhaps applied in this case– meaning if the president believes the law is unconstitutional, he shouldn't enforce it."

"Lawyer Paul Clement, representing the House, opened the main portion of the morning’s arguments that examined DOMA’s constitutionality. He faced several tough questions from the court’s liberal wing—and from moderate conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy—that asked why the federal government had the right to define marriage, given that the issue was one traditionally reserved for the states."

"Mr. Clement said the issue of gay marriage implicates profound and deeply held views, but he said the key legal question in the case was a narrow one: Does the federal government have the flexibility to define marriage?"


  1. StillmarriedinCA says

    I would ask those same Supreme Court justices why they are refusing to defend the Constitution and its guarantee of equal treatment under the law.

  2. Michael says

    I believe they should worry about doing their own jobs and cease questioning other people’s jobs. Get on it Supremes.

  3. PTBoat says

    What’s with the political statement strawman by the justices? We had this yesterday with the timeline BS. Seriously, the behavior of a couple of the “conservative” members of the court is unprecedented. The appointment of a president was unprecedented. Indeed, it is this court that sets precedent and civil rights are the most important of all of them. Certainly, appointing a president was the most shameful act in history, but ensuring civil liberties is the most honorable.

  4. bobbyjoe says

    Uh… this isn’t the “What does President Obama think” case or the “hey, what do you guys think about Presidential signing statements” case. WTF? This is pure political posturing by the conservative Supremes at the expense of our rights.

  5. jamal49 says

    I am not very learned about these things, but after reading transcripts of today’s hearing, I fear that DOMA might be upheld.

  6. Jeff says

    “”Final update: #scotus 80% likely to strike down #doma. J Kennedy suggests it violates states’ rights; 4 other Justices see as gay rights.”

    OK, good!

  7. Francis says

    Kennedy is skeptical on the constitutionality of DOMA but also seems skeptical regarding forcing states to recognize marriages from other states that have marriage equality.

    All indications are DOMA is likely gone, but to the extent it’s gone and on what grounds are up in the air. There are issues of jurisdiction, state’s rights concerns and whether SCOTUS has the grounds to rule on DOMA at all. There are indications Kennedy may punt on DOMA too. I think Kennedy is pro-marriage equality but it’s clear he doesn’t want to make a grand ruling on it.

    Basically, I’m expecting as narrow a ruling as possible. But even a narrow ruling is a victory for us. It just means the fight will continue after June. I’m questioning how binational same-sex couples will be affected and same-sex couples in states that don’t recognize equality. There are a lot of procedural issues that could hurt us. But we won’t know what will happen for sure until June!

  8. Ralph says

    Regarding states that don’t recognize legal marriages from other states: was there any comment regarding the issue of recognizing civil contracts across state lines? As a state issue, a contract is a contract, whether marriage or something else.

  9. Jeff says

    Yes, a narrow ruling is a victory, and the fight will get easier after after June. Once is becomes perfectly clear that you can’t mess with the constitution to deny gays equal rights, then I think the game is over for the far right. They won’t win any more elections, they are outspent now anyway, the new younger generation does not like bible thumpers asking for their money.

    Look at how many have jumped on the band wagon for ssm in the last couple of months. Well…, by or after June we see even more folks coming on board for ssm.

    Obama siding with ssm, and then his statement at his inauguration address (re: gay brothers and sisters) was what I believe pushed over into our court the fence sitters. I believe it had that powerful an effect.

    Narrow victories are still victories, especially with what we have been through as a minority group. Two steps forward, one back. Except this time the steps are major, and we might not have to take one back here.