September 20, 2012
By Jacob Combs
Speaking at the University of Colorado in Boulder yesterday, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she thinks the Supreme Court will take up the Defense of Marriage Act by the end of its next term, which begins in October and goes until June. Ginsburg’s remark came in response to a student’s question about the Constitution’s equal protection clause, asking whether the high court would extend its protections to sexual orientation. As the AP reported:
Ginsburg said with a smile that she couldn’t answer the question. She said she could not talk about matters that would come to the court, and that the Defense of Marriage Act would probably be up soon.
“I think it’s most likely that we will have that issue before the court toward the end of the current term,” she said.
Several DOMA challenges are currently pending at the Supreme Court. In one, the Gill case, DOMA was struck down by the First Circuit and is now before the high court; the other cases have been petitioned to the Supreme Court for review before they are heard by their respective appellate courts. The Second Circuit, however, has elected to hear oral arguments next Thursday, September 27, in one of the DOMA cases, Windsor, that has been petitioned to the Supreme Court.
At the Boulder event, which was sponsored by the University of Colorado law school, Ginsburg related her experience entering the legal world when they were few female judges and even fewer women on the bench. She told students a story of struggling to find the women’s bathroom at Columbia Law School in the 1950s, saying, “We never complained, that’s just the way it was.”