Supreme Court Oral Arguments on DOMA: Best Moments

Justices consider the merits of a federal law defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
4:19 | 03/27/13

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Transcript for Supreme Court Oral Arguments on DOMA: Best Moments
I -- thought your answer would be that the executives obligation to execute the law includes the obligation to execute the law consistent with the constitution's. And if he has made a determination. That executing the law by enforcing the terms is unconstitutional. I don't seem. Why he doesn't have the courage of his convictions. And execute not only to statute but do it consistent with his view of the constitution. Rather -- saying -- -- way to the Supreme Court tells us we have no choice. The question is whether or not the federal government. Under art of federalism scheme has the authority to regulate marriage -- it's not an accident not a question in addition. Benefits -- -- every aspect of life. The -- partner is hit. And feel for security and we need it's it's pervasive it's not over I think this little federal fear and if Tony. In attacks that if it. As -- Kennedy says the statute that affect every area of -- And so he would be -- ending. Did mention what the state. And fall -- marriage -- -- saying narrow gate is contracted. To the full marriage and numbness problem. -- -- -- Gentlemen. For the most part and historically the only uniformity that the federal government has pursued. Is that it's uniformly. Recognize the marriages that are recognized by the state. So this was a real difference in the uniformity in the federal government was pursuing. And it suggests that maybe something. Maybe congress had something different in mind and uniformity. So we have a whole series of cases. Which suggests -- which suggests. When congress targets of group that is not everybody's favorite group and the world. That we look at those cases with solemn even affect not just that. But some weren't -- to say. Do we really think that congress was doing this for uniformity reasons. -- -- -- think that Congress's judgment was infected I dislike. I fear that I animus and so what they. His little doubt that the answer the question -- -- congress singled -- -- people's marriages for disrespect at Belmont. The answer can't be uniformity as we've discussed. It can't cost savings could you stuff it's blamed and why the cost savings -- being brought the expense of married couples who -- day. And it can't be any estate and trust. That -- discussed but not. Questions of family law and parenting and marriage are done by the states not by the federal government. Don't -- the only conclusion be drawn. Is what was in the house report. Which is world disapproval of gay people which it. Congress what's permissible in 1996 because it relied on reports I was stationed with -- -- it's -- with the wrong. Not only at the time it was this overruled -- warrants but was wrong when it was decided. So 84 -- it's the same question I asked for 84 senators. Base their vote on moral disapproval of gay people. Now I think I think what's true mister Chief Justice is at times can blind. And that aren't backing behind it -- people did not have an understanding that they have today. I suppose to -- change has a lot to do with the political force and effectiveness of people representing. Supporting your side of the case. I disagree with that mister Chief Justice I think the sea change has to do just -- was discussed in. -- and warrants with an understanding. That there is no difference there's no fundamental difference that could justify this kind of but it -- -- -- categorical discrimination between gay. -- you don't doubt that the lobby supporting the enactment of same sex marriage laws in different states is politically powerful you. Well with bush. Back to back category that federalization of the term. For purposes of Princeton I wouldn't honor I don't -- yes. As far as I can tell political figures are. Falling over themselves to endorse your side of the of the --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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