Whether the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the State of California from defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.Scotus blog has links to the 9th Circuit opinion and all the filings with the Supreme Court in the case.
The second case in which the Supreme Court granted review is United States v. Windsor, (Docket No. 12-307, cert. granted 12.7/2012). In the case, the 2nd Circuit in a 2-1 decision held that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional under the equal protection component of the 5th Amendment. In a suit by the surviving spouse of a lesbian couple who was denied the spousal deduction under the federal estate tax law, the majority held that it must apply heightened (intermediate level) scrutiny because homosexuals are a quasi-suspect classification. (See prior posting.) The petition for certiorari (full text)-- which was filed before the 2nd Circuit came down with its decision-- defines the question presented as:
Does Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, 1 U.S.C. § 7, which defines the term “marriage” for all purposes under federal law as “only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife,” deprive same-sex couples who are lawfully married under the laws of their states (such as New York) of the equal protection of the laws, as guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States?Scotus blog has links to the 2nd Circuit opinion and all the filings with the Supreme Court in the case.
Press coverage of the Supreme Court's action today included the New York Times, Yahoo! News, and Wall Street Journal.
UPDATE: See follow-up post- "More On Yesterday's Same-Sex Marriage Cases Cert. Grant- Standing".