Two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court have inspired friend-of-the-court briefs from a broad range of interests.
One is a challenge of the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as “only a legal union between one man and one woman.”
The case of U.S. v. Windsor is about equitable treatment by the Internal Revenue Service relating to federal estate taxes for same-sex couples legally married in their own states.
An amicus brief was filed by 212 of 535 members of Congress. A strong show of support for knocking down a law that does not reflect or respect modern families. The brief agrees with a Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision which found DOMA unconstitutional.
The second case drawing outside legal endorsement is Hollingsworth v. Perry, which supports the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling which found California’s Proposition 8 unconstitutional. The proposition outlawed same-sex marriage.
Friend-of-the-court briefs were signed and filed by members of Congress and state officials including Washington Sen. Patty Murray, and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson. States around the country rallied to join and submit briefs. Gov. Jay Inslee expressed his pleasure with Ferguson’s “admirable work…ensuring our state continues to be a strong voice in this important campaign for civil rights.”
In addition, The New York Times reported Saturday that more than 100 corporations around the nation also registered their support with the high court.
The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear both cases at the end of March. Significant demonstrations of popular and legal support for same-sex marriage will resonate with an institution that is not deaf to changing public opinion.