Why does Congress make laws that expire?|
|Date:||July 23rd, 2012 06:49 pm (UTC)|| |
The "Legal Group" mentioned there is the Congressional group defending the law (since the DoJ has said that DOMA Sec. 3 is in their opinion unconstitutional, they will no longer defend it). Part of their defense is asserting a "rational basis" for the law so as to meet that standard of judicial review. Part of that assertion is a claim that Congress passed DOMA in order to allow more time for lawmakers to consider the potential issues raised by a change in state marriage laws.
The judges point out, quite correctly, that if the intent of Congress had indeed been to allow such a delay (rather than to block marriage equality for an indefinite period) the law would have had an expiration date. Since it didn't, that can't be part of a "rational basis" for DOMA. The Voting Rights Act was cited as a demonstration that Congress has passed expiring laws before as temporary measures in areas where the situation is changing.