Justices skeptical of benefits ban under DOMA

In oral arguments yesterday, court watchers trying to read the tea leaves pointed to several sharp questions by justices about benefits denied to same sex couples as  result of the Defense of Marriage Act. Ilya Shapiro at Cato: The jurisdictional arguments were even more complicated today, but if the Supreme Court reaches the merits, there seem to be five votes to strike down DOMA's Section 3: the four "liberal" justices on equal protection grounds and Justice Kennedy because the federal government is intruding on state authority to regulate marriage.  Now, my prediction is worth what you paid for it - and one or more of the liberals (or even Chief Justice Roberts) could join Kennedy to make the resulting ruling less stark - but there are good reasons to believe that a 4-1-4 merits decision is possible even if Kennedy is ultimately persuaded by the equal protection claim.  To the extent the swing justice is wary of the political implications of striking...(Read Full Post)