POL303: The American Constitution

Reflect: Three core values are often discussed when it comes to what all Americans hold dear: democracy, liberty, and equality. Equality, in particular, is a value and a right that Americans have fought other nations and each other to preserve and expand. Until the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution was passed, equal protection of the law was not part of our Constitution. This critical amendment was the legal vehicle that enabled our nation to prohibit discrimination based on race and sex and to also support and affirm the need for diversity. Nevertheless, the struggle for equal protection and due process continues, and other amendments to the Constitution, which include the Fifth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments, have become involved in this effort. One of the most debated legal decisions involving equal protection thus far has been the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) of 1996. In a 2013 Supreme Court decision, Section 3 of DOMA was found to be unconstitutional.

Write: In your initial post of at least 250, utilize the Constitution, established case law, and scholarly sources to answer the following questions:

  • What is one constitutionally based argument that asserts the Supreme Court justices correctly interpreted the equal protection clause from the Fifth and/or Fourteenth Amendments in the DOMA case?
  • What is one constitutionally based argument that asserts the Supreme Court justices incorrectly interpreted the equal protection clause from the Fifth and/or Fourteenth Amendments in the DOMA case?
  • Explain which argument is the most credible, reliable, and valid. Why?

Do not rely upon personal opinion to make your argument.  Support your claims with examples from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. 

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