The Defense of Marriage Act continues to be found unconstitutional in various jurisdictions across the country. Most recently, the Southern District of New York held it to be unconstitutional for discriminating against married same-sex couples. In Windsor v. USA, the issue was the assessment of $363,000.00 in estate taxes to Ms. Windsor from the estate of her spouse whom she legally married in May 2007. Because the DOMA would not recognize the marriage, the transfer of property was not viewed as between spouses and thus exempt wholly or in part from Federal estate taxes. An excellent summary of the case written by New York Law Journal report Mark Hamblett was published in the June 7th edition of the Legal Intelligencer.
This decision comes on the heels of last month’s First Circuit Court of Appeals in Massachusetts ruling on Section 3 of the DOMA and continues the successful attacks on the constitutionality of the 1996 law.