Nothing like a Presidential push to get the ball rolling.
Yesterday was the deadline for parties to file amicus curae briefs — or “Here’s what we think you should do” memos — to the Supreme Court before the Nine hears the arguments facing DOMA and Prop 8 at the end of March. And, in this past week, they came flooding in.
At the start, over eight Republican figures signed a brief, showing their support for same-sex marriage in the name of conservatism. This notion was followed by the ACLU, California Assembly Speaker John A. Perez and, most importantly, the White House (which also filed one against DOMA on Monday).
Warm up the bully pulpit.
FYI: In Supreme Court cases, the White House briefs are voluntary as a good measure of judicial restraint on the executive. But, in the brief, the Obama administration’s Justice Department, led by Attorney General Eric Holder, stated the ways in which Prop 8 violates the Constitution. The main route of argument taken is one we’ve heard made by same-sex marriage advocates for a few years now: that the idea of marriage strictly for heterosexuals violates the equal protection clause in the Fourteenth Amendment.
Also, the White House is taking it a step further with something called the “eight state solution.” This legal gesture suggests states that already have all the benefits of civil unions might as well go all the way and legalize same-sex marriage. Eight states currently do this; hence the name of the plan.
We’ll leave you with a clip from the brief:
“Throughout history, we have seen the unjust consequences of decisions and policies rooted in discrimination. The issues before the Supreme Court in this case and the Defense of Marriage Act case are not just important to the tens of thousands Americans who are being denied equal benefits and rights under our laws, but to our Nation as a whole.”