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Administration Weighs Options On Gay-Marriage Case

Publication Date: 
February 26, 2013
Source: 
The Wall Street Journal - Politics
Author: 
Jess Bravin and Evan Perez

Professor Michael McConnell spoke with the Wall Street Journal's Jess Bravin and Evan Perez about the Obama Administration's "argument in DOMA" and why he believes their stance may be "a little tricky." 

Just days before a deadline, the Obama administration is still pondering whether to weigh in on a Supreme Court case involving California's gay-marriage ban and is looking at options that fall short of embracing a constitutional right to gay marriage, according to people familiar with the matter.

At the high court in late March, gay-marriage supporters plan to argue the Constitution gives gays a right to marry that can't be taken away by any state. President Barack Obama cheered those supporters in his second inaugural address, saying, "If we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal, as well."

...

The administration's "argument in DOMA is based on federalism, that marriage is something that is governed by state law and not federal law, and therefore creating an unprecedented federal definition of marriage is unconstitutional," said Michael McConnell, director of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center and a former federal appeals judge. "It is, shall we say, a little tricky to make that argument and then say that actually, there is a national standard for marriage law under the Constitution."