Citizens United Files Brief in Support of the Defense of Marriage Act and Takes Issue with Landmark Desegregation Case

4798 Citizens United, the conservative nonprofit organization perhaps most famous for its Supreme Court case regarding campaign finance funding, has made a controversial claim in an amicus brief filed in support of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Citizens United argues that DOMA -- which limits the definition of marriage to being between a man and a woman for determining beneficiaries for federal programs -- is constitutional. It also argues that the lower courts that ruled it unconstitutional are wrong.

One of the arguments Citizens United singles out is the "equal protection component" of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. This equal protection clause was solidified by precedent set during the Civil Rights movement regarding desegregation -- precedent the conservative nonprofit now says should be repudiated.

The group claims this "judicial fiction" of equal protection is a "mythical component" and should be acknowledged as such:

It is past time for this Court to bring to an end the line of atextual cases begun with Bolling v. Sharpe in 1954, and to place itself back under the authority of the Constitution as it is written.

The "atextual case" Citizens United is referencing, Bolling v. Sharpe, 347 U.S. 497 (1954), is a landmark desegregation case that was decided on the same day as its famous cousin, Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).

The Court ruled that "racial segregation in the public schools of the District of Columbia is a denial to Negro children of the due process of law guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment," according to Cornell Law School, concluding that while "the Fifth Amendment does not contain an equal protection clause, as does the Fourteenth Amendment, which applies only to the States, the concepts of equal protection and due process are not mutually exclusive."

Source: Black Voices | Meredith Bennett-Smith
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