As Speaker Boehner continues his legal boondoggle to defend the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act in the federal courts, he is batting 0 for 4. Today’s ruling in Windsor vs. U.S. marks the fourth loss for his lawyers as the court ruled that DOMA serves no rational purpose and is unconstitutional.
In Windsor vs. U.S., Speaker Boehner intervened in the case of Edie Windsor who was penalized by DOMA to the tune of $350,000 after the death of her spouse, Thea Spyer, of 44 years.
When Thea died, the federal government refused to recognize their marriage and taxed Edie’s inheritance from Thea as though they were strangers. Under DOMA, only an opposite-sex spouse who dies can leave her assets, including the family home, to the other spouse without incurring estate taxes.
Boehner’s lawyers have now intervened in 14 cases and spent over $700,000 in taxpayer funds, but have now lost four cases in a row:
February 22, 2012 – U.S. District Court in California declares DOMA unconstitutional, in Golinski v. United States, ruling in favor of Karen Golinski who sought to enroll her wife in the federal employee health plan
May 24, 2012 – U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California rules DOMA unconstitutional and held that federal tax law cannot limit the participation of same-sex married couples and domestic partners in a long-term care insurance plan in Dragovich v. U.S. Department of Treasury.
May 31, 2012 – U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston rules DOMA unconstitutional in Massachusetts v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
June 6, 2012 – U.S. District Court in New York rules DOMA unconstitutional in Windsor vs. U.S.
More background and a timeline of Speaker Boehner’s indefensible DOMA defense are available here.