Tags: Gay Marriage | Supreme Court | dershowitz | scotus | DOMA | ruling | supreme court

Dershowitz: Supreme Court Likely to Rule DOMA Unconstitutional

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Monday, 17 Jun 2013 06:11 PM

The U.S. Supreme Court's striking down of the Arizona voter registration law may be a predictor of its future rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, renowned civil-rights lawyer Alan Dershowitz says.

"The Supreme Court will not decide the issue of gay rights … [but] whether or not the federal government has the authority to regulate marriage within the states under DOMA, and the answer to that will be no," Dershowitz told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"The majority will say that DOMA is unconstitutional."

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down an Arizona law requiring people to submit proof of citizenship when they register to vote.

Its ruling said a 1993 federal law — the Motor Voter Act — takes precedence over the state law because of its requirement that states "accept and use" the federal voter registration form.

The court is expected to rule shortly on the Defense of Marriage Act, which was signed into federal law by President Bill Clinton in 1996, restricting federal marriage benefits and defining marriage as only between a man and a woman. It will also decide the fate of California's Proposition 8, the state's 2008 voter-approved ban on gay weddings.

"They will not uphold Proposition 8. They won't do it on the ground of gay rights," Dershowitz predicted.

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"They'll do it on the grounds that under California law, you can't overrule a constitutional decision of the California Supreme Court by a popular referendum, thereby striking down Proposition 8 and leaving, for years to come, the issue of gay rights."

Dershowitz said he believes gay rights and gay marriage "clearly can't be stopped at this point by the Supreme Court. The vast majority of Americans now favor it."

That is particularly true among the nation's young, he said.

"When you look at it from a point of view of young people, most young people don't even understand why it's an issue. I mean, why should we even be concerned about people getting married if they don't share our sexual orientation or preference?" Dershowitz told Malzberg.

The veteran Harvard University law professor also believes the Supreme Court may soon strike down the nation's longstanding affirmative action laws.

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"We may see the end of race-specific affirmative action and greater focus on class affirmative action; that is affirmative action that will include race but will not make it a separate characteristic," Dershowitz said.

"[It would be] based not only on need, but how far you've gotten. … Giving an advantage to the kid who traveled further makes a lot of sense."

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