Windsor v. United States, No. 12-2335 (2d Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Intervenor appealed from the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of plaintiff. Plaintiff sued as surviving spouse of a same-sex couple that was married in Canada in 2007 and was resident in New York at the time of her spouse's death in 2009. Plaintiff was denied the benefit of the spousal deduction for federal estate taxes under 26 U.S.C. 2056(A) solely because Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), 1 U.S.C. 7, defined the words "marriage" and "spouse" in federal law in a way that barred the IRS from recognizing plaintiff as a spouse or the couple as married. The court held that plaintiff had standing in this action; plaintiff's suit was not foreclosed by Baker v. Nelson; Section 3 of DOMA was subject to intermediate scrutiny under the factors enumerated in City of Cleburn v. Cleburn Living Center, and other cases; and the statute did not withstand that review because it violated equal protection and was therefore unconstitutional.