SCOTUS gives Edith Windsor a tax refund

Edith Windsor (left) and her wife, the late Thea Spyer

Edith Windsor (left) and her wife, the late Thea Spyer

Maybe you heard about this, but the Supreme Court has overturned the Defense of Marriage Act and, in the process, given Edith Windsor $350,000. Windsor filed suit against the federal government in 2010, arguing that DOMA unconstitutionally deprived her of a spousal exemption from the estate tax upon the death of her wife, Thea Spyer. This morning, the court ruled that DOMA “is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.” It also ruled that the plaintiffs in Hollingsworth v. Perry lacked standing, effectively driving a stake through the heart of California’s Proposition 8.

Continue reading

Oh thank Christ

The United States Supreme Court

I’m as surprised as you: the Supreme Court has ruled to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. The individual mandate is constitutional, albeit on the grounds that it is a tax and not a mandate. But no matter—minus some sticky stuff about federal coercion of the states to expand Medicare, health care reform stands, kit if not caboodle. “It is painful to recognize that the liberties which our forefathers fought a revolution to secure have been lost,” Karen Harned of the National Federation of Independent Businesses writes, “But it is clear that our original constitutional system has been thrown out, and we are left with only the democratic process to preserve our rights.” Let the hyperbole begin continue!

Continue reading