DOMA Going Down?

After 17 years of existence, the Defense of Marriage Act looks to be in trouble based on oral arguments Wednesday at the Supreme Court. SCOTUSblog estimates that the likelihood of the law being struck down is 80 percent. CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin also says there’s a real possibility it will be overturned. “I think DOMA’s in trouble and I think it’s in trouble because Anthony Kennedy was repeatedly concerned that the Defense of Marriage Act violates states’ rights,” he said. “[Kennedy] was clearly very concerned that the Defense of Marriage Act was invading the province of the state to define marriage. … And that would certainly be suggesting that he was going to strike down the law. And certainly the other liberals, the four Democratic appointees, looked like they were going to vote to strike it down.” (Read more)

Coming Out in Support: Yet another Democratic senator has come out in support of gay marriage. Despite being up for re-election in 2014 in a state that only last year banned same-sex couples from getting married, North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan endorsed the idea Wednesday. “Marriage equality is a complex issue with strong feelings on both sides, and I have a great deal of respect for varying opinions on the issue,” she wrote on Facebook. Hagan’s announcement means there are just nine Democrats left in the Senate who do not support legalizing same-sex marriage. (Read more)

Taking a Pass: Sen. Ashley Judd? Forget about it. After months of flirting with the notion of running for the Democratic nomination in Kentucky, the actress and activist says she will not mount a challenge against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Previous reports indicated Judd would have a decision in early May around the time of the Kentucky Derby. But the actress surprised her 171,000 followers by announcing her decision via a series of tweets Wednesday. “I realize that my responsibilities and energy at this time need to be focused on my family,” she wrote. “Regretfully, I am currently unable to consider a campaign for the Senate.” (Read more)

Above the Law: When it comes to parking tickets, don’t mess with Texas Congressman Louis Gohmert. New reports say the Republican got into a verbal altercation with a U.S. Park Police officer this month over a parking ticket. Gohmert received the ticket the evening of March 13 when he parked his vehicle near the Lincoln Memorial in a spot reserved for National Park Service cars. Gohmert tried to weasel his way out of the ticket by pulling rank, telling one officer, “I was issued a ticket and I am a congressman and parked my vehicle in the NPS parking only because I have a Congress placard,” according to a report. One officer described the congressman’s behavior as “rude and irate.” The report concludes that the GOP lawmaker left his business card and told officers he wouldn’t be paying the ticket. Gohmert’s office, however, is telling a much different version of the story, giving an account that includes an officer taking back the ticket and apologizing. (Read more)

Video of the Day: Fox News host Bill O’Reilly made a proclamation on his program Tuesday that sounded an awful lot like he may support marriage equality. Discussing the hot-button issue with fellow Fox News host Megyn Kelly on his show, O’Reilly said he was unimpressed with the arguments presented by the anti-gay marriage faction. “The compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals,” the conservative said. “That’s where the compelling argument is. ‘We’re Americans. We just want to be treated like everybody else.’ That’s a compelling argument, and to deny that, you have got to have a very strong argument on the other side. The argument on the other side hasn’t been able to do anything but thump the Bible.” “The O’Reilly Factor” host also told Kelly that he had something coming up next week that she’s “really not going to like.” Does that mean a public endorsement of marriage equality isn’t far behind?

Bonus Video of the Day: Edith Windsor, the 83-year-old plaintiff in the Defense of Marriage Act case, gave an emotional speech on the steps of the Supreme Court after the justices heard arguments on the matter. Saying that someone had written a long speech for her that she wasn’t going to read, Windsor instead talked about what marriage meant to her. Marriage “is a magic word, for anybody who doesn’t understand why we want it and why we need it — it is magic,” she said, later adding, “Today is like a spectacular event for me. I mean, it’s a lifetime kind of event, and I know that the spirit of my late spouse Thea Spyer is right here watching and listening, and would be very proud and happy of where we’ve come to.”


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