con law Sp 04 FINALEXAM (FINAL)ANSWER - Constitutional Law...

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Constitutional Law II Final Examination Professor Benner Spring 2004 Essay Portion 1. After living together in a committed relationship for several years, Alice and Betty wanted to have their relationship formally recognized. While they otherwise qualified for a marriage license, their application was denied because of the following state law called the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA): Marriage shall only be allowed between persons of the opposite gender. No union between persons of the same gender shall be permitted or recognized. During the debate on the above law in the state legislature, the sponsor of the legislation stated: “Throughout our history and moral tradition, our society has recognized only one form of marriage: the union of one man and one woman. It is our moral duty to protect the integrity of that tradition.” The preamble to the bill enacting the law identified the purpose of the legislation as follows: “WHEREAS it is the considered judgment of the state legislature that the traditional institution of marriage is threatened and undermined by the current permissive trend toward acceptance of non-traditional marriages, it is the purpose of this legislation to protect and defend the traditional institution of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Alice and Betty have come to your law firm seeking to file an action to have the above state law invalidated. Make all possible constitutional arguments that Alice and Betty could raise under the 14 th Amendment. With respect to each issue (1) identify the constitutional provision relied upon, (2) make the argument as to why that provision applies, including any applicable precedents which support your argument, (3) identify the standard of judicial review that applies and then (4) do the analysis. Q1. Sample Answer: Alice and Betty should argue that DOMA violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the 14 th Amendment by depriving them of a fundamental liberty interest and by discriminating on the basis of gender and sexual orientation.
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Due Process /Fundamental Right : Personal autonomy in choosing whom to marry is essential to self-identity and human happiness. The freedom to choose a marriage partner is thus a fundamental liberty interest protected by substantive due process
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This note was uploaded on 04/05/2010 for the course LAW LAW5502 taught by Professor Stern during the Spring '10 term at Florida State College.

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con law Sp 04 FINALEXAM (FINAL)ANSWER - Constitutional Law...

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