We agree with SCOTUS Decision on DOMA

SCOTUS Decision on DOMA

UNITED STATES v. WINDSOR and Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)

By Albert N. Milliron,  Opinion-Editorial

Today’s Supreme Court decision  UNITED STATES v. WINDSOR which deals with the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is controversial.  We publicly stated that we thought that portions of DOMA would be overturned based on portions of the  Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution which reads:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation (US Constitution)

We believe the case rested on the Due Process clause and elsewhere on The Equal Protection clause.

Constitution-No-DOMAThe facts of the case are these.  Two women where legally married in Ontario, Canada in 2009. They moved to a state where same-sex marriage is legal.  One of the women died and willed her estate to her partner. The partner in this case sought an estate tax exemption for surviving spouses.  Her claim was denied by the Internal Revenue Service and was required to pay $363,053.00  in taxes.

The rational the federal government used for denying her claim was based in the text of DOMA.  DOMA amended the Dictionary Act which defines terms in over 1000 laws and countless regulations.   In this case DOMA defined the term “Marriage” as the union between one man and one woman.

The partner (through the executor) appealed to the courts that she was not afforded equal protection found with in the text of the Fifth amendment and sought a remedy.  During the time of the Suit, the Attorney General of the United States stated publicly that certain portions of DOMA where unconstitutional and would not be enforced.  The District court found that provisions were indeed unconstitutional.  Even though both the District court and the Circuit court ordered the money refunded (with interest), the United States had not complied.

An appeal was made to the Supreme Court for Remedy.

The Supreme Court simply stated that a same-sex couple should be afforded the same benefits and protections afforded to all married couples under the Constitution.  by doing so, they upheld the lower courts decision.  This includes not paying estate tax, receiving federal benefits, etc.

The writer is a right-leaning libertarian.  At times I am at odds with my fellow conservatives.  This is one of those times.

While I am an advocate of the religious institution of marriage, I believe the federal government got themselves in a bit of a pickle by promoting a religious sacrament and granting benefits to those who practice the sacrament. With all of the advocates on the left of “separation of church and state” and mostly a freedom ‘from’ rather than freedom ‘of’ religion posture, how could the state ever have allowed itself to be in the marriage business at all? But since they did, the government put themselves in this position and allowed  unequal protection under the laws.  This certainly could not stand for very long.

In my view, marriage is a religious institution, based on biblical principles that brings together one man and one women to be “fruitful and multiply”.  Government should have never been involved in this religious activity.

I see two solutions to this problem.  One requires that the state stop promoting marriage and revoke all benefits that are afforded to those who are married and make each individual equal.  Ministers and justices should stop saying, “by the power vested in me by God and the State of [Blank] I pronounce you married” and return the institution back to the religious.  But we know that is not going to happen.  In America, once benefits are  given, they are rarely (if ever ) taken away.

The other solution is to allow the law to be equal in the regard to partnerships.  Couples of all stripes are afforded the same protection in Government.  These means inheritance taxes, healthcare benefits, visiting rights to hospitals, Insurance etc..

In this SCOTUS case, I believe they provided the correct remedy.  There is no reason for a couple to pay estate tax who have been legally married as recognized by the state in which they reside.

Now that same sex couples are considered equal under the law, I am happy to afford them the same benefits of Marriage and DIVORCE!

Having said that, I think this is a perfect example why the Internal Revenue Service should be abolished and replaced by a fair tax that taxes everyone equally with some provision for a reverse tax for below the poverty line.  But that subject is for another article on another day.

Disagree?  Read the Courts Decision and comment below

About Albert N. Milliron 6991 Articles
Albert Milliron is the founder of Politisite. Milliron has been credentialed by most major news networks for Presidential debates and major Political Parties for political event coverage. Albert maintains relationships with the White House and State Department to provide direct reporting from the Administration’s Press team. Albert is the former Public Relations Chairman of the Columbia County Republican Party in Georgia. He is a former Delegate. Milliron is a veteran of the US Army Medical Department and worked for Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Psychiatry.

6 Comments

  1. Hey Al, you said, Government shouldn’t be involved in religious activity with regard to marriage. I must ask, Why not? Our Founding Documents involved themselves in religious activity when they said that we are “endowed by our Creator” didn’t they? Clearly, that statement takes a stance on religion, and declares that there is a Creator.

    With the opening of that Pandora’s box, which our Declaration of Independence did, how can one draw a line and arbitrarily decide where to put it.

    And incidentally, isn’t a ‘hands off’ attitude toward religion deciding in favor of – as the Supreme Court calls it – the religion of Humanism?

    No fair docking my pay, now.

    • Joe,

      No pay doc, I want various points of view and respect them. I do believe that America was based on Christian principles. It also is not a theocracy. America allow for freedom of religion and should support its free exercise. I further believe that homosexuality is condemned in the Bible. Having said that, to what degree does the federal establish religion? I believe that Jefferson’s statement to the Baptist minister is telling, basically he said our government has put a hedge between religion and the state. Probably saying, you do your thing, and we will do ours.

      Our constitution protects those of no religion as well as the religious, it cannot treat one group unequally then another.

      I disagree with homosexuality but why should the government treat these two women (even if they were sisters) differently than the married.

      The greater argument here is that once state gets involved in religious active, they inherently degrade it.

      In New York, where they lived, gay marriage was legal. Whether I like it or not, they cannot be treated differently under the law.

      Even broader, the issue is about taxes, my disdain for the tax system helped me arrive at this issue.

      Now I expect more, I believe if these folks really want equality, they should also engage in all of the requirements of equal persons (like registering for the Draft) My insurance rates should be made equal. Custody should be made equal without an idea that a women is more equal or can provide better for children.

      I also see that if equality is afforded to same-sex couples that there is argument based on equal protection for the unborn.

      Whether you agree with me or not on marriage, you have to respect my rational for arriving at this view.

      Or maybe not.. than I’ll doc your pay LOL

      Thanks for your comments!

      • Hey Al, I do respect your opinion. Like, two or three times I did a month ago (hint-hint).

        But seriously, if what you say is to be followed, then it stands to reason that if three or four want to be considered married that would be acceptable to you. If son and mother wish to be married, so be it, if dad, cousin, brother, uncle . . . you get the point.

        We either put restraints on human behavior or we don’t. If we don’t, anything is open, including the enslavement of blacks (Dred Scott), the oppression of women, etc.

        If we do put restraints on human behavior, then whose restraints are we to apply? God’s? Buddha’s? Hitler’s?

        We must decide, then live with that decision and implement it logically and consistently.

        Incidentally, any state may claim and hold to a state religion if it so desires. The separation clause in the Constitution is proscribed for the Federal Government only.