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Due process

Sexuality and the Law

University of Baltimore Law

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The Virtue Of Obscurity, Colin Starger Jan 2013

The Virtue Of Obscurity, Colin Starger

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The critics have panned Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion in United States v. Windsor. Supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage have together bemoaned what may be called Kennedy’s “doctrinal obscurity” in Windsor. Doctrinal obscurity describes the opinion’s failure to justify striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) using any discernable accepted test for substantive due process or equal protection. Specifically, Kennedy does not ask whether DOMA burdens a right “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition,” nor does he identify sexual orientation as a suspect or semi-suspect classification, nor does he subject DOMA to explicit rational …