Main | Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Federal Judge Dismisses DOMA Case

Smelt Vs. United States, the case that caused all of the DOJ-DOMA brouhaha earlier this year, has been dismissed by a federal judge on the grounds that the litigants had failed to identify any personal harm they had suffered under the institution of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Assistant Atty. Gen. Tony West, in his brief filed before U.S. District Judge David O. Carter, agreed with Smelt and Hammer that the Defense of Marriage Act is discriminatory and should be repealed. But West noted that he was obliged to defend the law until Congress moves to repeal or amend it. He urged the court to dismiss the men's suit on grounds that their allegations "fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Carter agreed, explaining in his seven-page decision that the absence of "an injury in fact" meant the court lacked jurisdiction to consider the broader constitutional questions. Smelt and Hammer had also filed suit in California superior court. That action was dismissed earlier this year on similar grounds, as their marriage is legal in California.
The Obama administration's handling of the Smelt case drew the ire of LGBT activists back in June when the Department of Justice requested its dismissal in an outrageous brief that alluded to pedophilia and incest. Earlier this month the DOJ struck a more conciliatory tone, saying in a second filing that while the government felt that DOMA was discriminatory, they were obligated to defend it as long as it was law. But shortly thereafter our collective flabbers were thoroughly gasted to learn that the Smelt attorneys were really intending to somehow use the case to split California into two separate states.

Goodbye to Smelt and goodbye to its nutjob attorneys. Onward to the Olson/Boies case and to the work of overturning DOMA legislatively.

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