In Day Three of her confirmation hearings, LGBT issues made their first appearance today when Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor was finally asked about same-sex marriage. Sen. Chuck Grassley, the conservative Iowa Republican, asked Judge Sotomayor about a 1972 marriage equality case called Baker v. Nelson, notes the Los Angeles Times.
Did she agree, he asked, that the case, Baker vs. Nelson, reserved the question of marriage to the states? As she has with other topics, Sotomayor said she couldn’t comment because questions about marriage are pending in many courts and might reach the Supreme Court.
Grassley challenged her on that point. He wondered aloud why she couldn’t comment on Baker because it’s legal precedent. He noted that on Tuesday she said that Roe vs. Wade, which legalized abortion, was an established legal precedent. If she could characterize the status of Roe, he asked, why not Baker?
The judge replied that she had not reviewed Baker in some time but offered to review the case overnight and report on it Thursday. Grassley said he would welcome that.
HRC Backstory notes: "Baker is the only U.S. Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that two men could be denied a marriage license because Minnesota law limited marriage to men and women."
Grassley followed up with a question on constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. Sotomayor refused to answer because of the pending DOMA cases, such as Gill v OPM and Perry v Schwarzenegger, the former being the Massachusetts case and the latter is the Olson-Boies case.
WHEN YOU JUMP, via HRC Backstory, watch the exchange between Grassley and Sonia Sotomoayor. Looking forward to tomorrow. Oh and how about a SCOTUS nominee who promises to study on a social issue and will discuss it the next day? You go girl.