Legal Filings

Legal Filings
Jul 02, 2012

CREW and George Washington Law Professor: DOMA Undermines Current Laws

Amicus Briefs (Legal Filings), Governance & Legislation, Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA), Press Releases

Court gavelToday CREW and Alan Morrison, a professor at the George Washington University Law School, filed a friend of the court brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit asking the Court to find the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional.

Read the full friend of the court brief here.

CREW’s brief pointed out the perverse effects for ethics, tax, and bankruptcy laws DOMA has by recognizing only opposite sex marriages. For example, DOMA undermines a host of federal ethics laws by excluding from their reach same-sex married couples, who are free to ignore judicial recusal requirements, many requirements to report certain financial information pertaining to their spouses, and other provisions intended to protect against conflicts of interest.

CREW made these same arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and they formed the basis for that court’s discussion of additional reasons why DOMA is unconstitutional.

In today’s brief, CREW also highlighted how DOMA undermines provisions of the Tax Code by affording same-sex married couples certain tax benefits Congress denied opposite sex married couples seeking to take advantage of certain loopholes in the Tax Code. Similarly, DOMA’s exclusion of same-sex married couples from the definition of marriage also frustrates various provisions of the Bankruptcy Code.