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At ’95 Confirmation, Merrick Garland Disclosed Democratic Ties

At ’95 Confirmation, Merrick Garland Disclosed Democratic Ties

BY DUNCAN OSBORNE | Records from Merrick Garland’s nomination hearing for the federal circuit court in the District of Columbia show that he volunteered for a string of Democratic candidates beginning in the late 1970s, though his most significant federal government job began during the administration of President George H.W. Bush. “I provided volunteer assistance […]

A Contested Account of the Marriage Spring

A Contested Account of the Marriage Spring

BY DUNCAN OSBORNE | Let me first say what Jo Becker’s book, “Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight For Marriage Equality,” is not. Its title, promotional materials, and a few bits of errant prose notwithstanding, this book is not a history of the movement to win marriage rights for same-sex couples in America. It is the […]

Supreme Court Arguments Suggest DOMA May Be Doomed

Supreme Court Arguments Suggest DOMA May Be Doomed

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | The Supreme Court, on March 27, heard oral arguments in Edith (“Edie”) Schlain Windsor’s suit challenging the constitutionality of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act’s ban on federal recognition of marriages by same-sex couples. As was the case the day before when the high court took up the challenge to Proposition […]

No Clear Majority on Merits Evident During Prop 8 Arguments

No Clear Majority on Merits Evident During Prop 8 Arguments

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | On the tenth anniversary of oral arguments in Lawrence v. Texas, the historic 2003 ruling that struck down laws against consensual gay sex, the US Supreme Court took up the contentious issue of same-sex marriage on March 26. Late last year, the high court granted the petition by the Official Proponents […]

Obama Administration Steps Up on Prop 8

Obama Administration Steps Up on Prop 8

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a brief in support of the two same-sex couples seeking to overturn California’s Proposition 8. Their case will be heard by the Supreme Court on March 26. The administration does not explicitly argue there is a federal constitutional right to marry, but in […]

Prop 8, DOMA Defenders Rely on Federalism

Prop 8, DOMA Defenders Rely on Federalism

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | On January 22, attorneys defending California’s Proposition 8 and those defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) against constitutional challenges filed briefs on the merits with the United States Supreme Court. Given what they were defending, the two briefs struck me as extremely well written and well argued, and though […]