The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that DOMA is unconstitutional.
A federal appeals court Thursday declared that the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally denies federal benefits to married gay couples, a groundbreaking ruling all but certain to wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
In its unanimous decision, the three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston said the 1996 law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman deprives gay couples of the rights and privileges granted to heterosexual couples.
And according to ThinkProgress, the three-judge panel includes two Republican appointees.
Notably, the panel included Judges Juan Torruella and Michael Boudin, both of whom are Republican appointees. Judge Boudin, who authored the opinion, is one of the most highly regarded judges in the country; he frequently sends his former law clerks to clerk for Supreme Court justices.
This issue will now go to the Supreme Court where its fate is anyone’s guess.
My guess is DOMA will end under this president. The Department of Justice already declined to defend the law, so it will fall on Paul Clement, the man hired by John Boehner, to defend the law. And not-coincidentally, Clement is also responsible for the legal assault on the Affordable Care Act.