In a 2-1 opinion by Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs, a conservative appointed by the first President Bush, the Second Circuit has joined the unanimous chorus of federal courts striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages legalized by individual states. The dissenter was Judge Chester Straub, who was appointed by President Clinton. Applying intermediate scrutiny to sexual-orientation classifications, the court held that Section 3 violates the Equal Protection Clause. The decision comes as the Supreme Court is weighing whether to grant certiorari to determine the constitutionality of the Act. I may have more to say after I’ve had a chance to read the opinion.
HT: David Lat and Walter Olson.