Legal Alert: Fall of the DOMA-n Empire: Practical Employee Benefits Implications

On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court decided United States v. Windsor, striking down Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional and holding that same-sex marriages recognized under state law must also be recognized for federal law purposes. The Windsor case raised questions regarding federalism, equal protection of same-sex couples, due process and jurisdiction under Article III of the Constitution. While conclusively establishing that the federal government may not discriminate against same-sex married couples, Windsor leaves unresolved many issues regarding the recognition of spousal rights and the interaction of state and federal law.

This Legal Alert supplements our earlier Legal Alert on the top 10 benefits issues raised by Windsor and includes a chart to aid employers in considering the broader implications of the case for their benefit plans.

Please see full alert below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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