${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt}
We Can Help - Se Habla Español
Call407-680-1471

Supreme Court strikes DOMA provision against gay couples

The United States Supeme Court recently issued a ruling on U.S. v. Windsor, the estate tax case that pitted 84-year-old Edie Windsor against the Internal Revenue Service over taxes imposed when her long-time spouse, Thea Spyer, left Windsor her estate when she died in 2009.

The IRS believed that since the transfer was not made to a spouse recognized under federal law, estate taxes would be imposed. Property transfers upon death between heterosexual spouses do not trigger such taxes.

Windsor disagreed since she and Spyer had been married (as a result of a Canadian marriage) and had lived in New York for 40 years. She paid the $363,000 in estate taxes, then sued the IRS to obtain a refund.

In a 5-4 ruling, the Court found that the law recognizing marriage as one man and one woman (and essentially denying federal benefits for couples in states recognizing such marriages) was unconstitutional. The ruling follows a steady decline of support for DOMA as the U.S. Justice Department  had found it unconstitutional and has not prosecuted a case under the law since 2011.

Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy said that the law "for no legitimate purpose" overrides a state's marriage laws that recognizes same sex marriages. He also added that the law essentially says that these marriages are less respected than others. And as such violates the Fifth Amendment.

Kennedy was joined by Justices Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

In addition to estate taxes, the ruling could also impact other federal benefits that same sex couples enjoy in states that recognize such marriages, including Social Security benefits, income tax exemptions and health benefits.

Source: HuffingtonPost.com, Supreme Court DOMA decision rules federal same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, June 26, 2013

  • Avvo Clients' Choice
  • Lawyers.com
  • ATG
  • JDSUPRA | Give Content. Get Noticed.
  • SSF | Short Sale Facilitators
Email Us For A Response

Contact Korshak & Associates

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

North Office
950 South Winter Park Drive
Suite 320
Casselberry, FL 32707

Phone: 407-680-1471
Casselberry Law Office Map

South Office
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
13574 Village Park Drive
Suite 235
Orlando, FL 32837

Orlando Law Office Map

Back to Top