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12-15409 #76

12-15409 #76

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Published by Equality Case Files
Doc #76 - DOJ opening brief
Doc #76 - DOJ opening brief

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Published by: Equality Case Files on Jul 03, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws, applicable to the

federal government through the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, see Bolling

v. Sharpe, 347 U.S. 497, 500 (1954), embodies a fundamental requirement that “all

persons similarly situated should be treated alike,” City of Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Ctr.,


Case: 12-15409 07/03/2012 ID: 8236883 DktEntry: 76 Page: 24 of 63

473 U.S. 432, 439 (1985). DOMA Section 3 is inconsistent with that principle of

equality, as it denies legally married same-sex couples federal benefits that are available

to similarly situated opposite-sex couples.

For the reasons set forth below, heightened scrutiny, rather than rational basis

review, is the appropriate standard of review for classifications based on sexual

orientation. Under heightened scrutiny, Section 3 of DOMA cannot pass constitutional


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