The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) has sparked debate and litigation since its passage in 1996. Recently, the Obama Administration announced that it believed DOMA to be unconstitutional and would therefore decline to defend the law in pending law suits. Congress then appointed its own attorneys to defend the law in ongoing litigation. In this video, Goodrich Professor of Law Neal Devins and Assistant Professor Tara Grove discuss what DOMA is, why it is relevant, and the legal conundrums presented when one branch of government steps in as a party to a lawsuit after another branch of government has withdrawn.
Goodrich Professor of Law Neal Devins came to William & Mary in 1987. He serves as the Director of the Institute of Bill of Rights Law as well as the Director of the Election Law Program. He is author or editor of ten books, including Shaping Constitutional Values: The Supreme Court, Elected Government, and the Abortion Dispute (Johns Hopkins University Press 1996), and is editor of Duke University Press's Constitutional Conflicts book series. He also has published more than 100 articles, essays, and book chapters in some of the nation’s leading law journals. He received a J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School.
Professor Tara Leigh Grove received her undergraduate degree summa cum laude from Duke University, and attended Harvard Law School, where she graduated magna cum laude and served as the Supreme Court Chair of the Harvard Law Review. She clerked for Judge Emilio Garza on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and then spent four years as an appellate attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice. Prior to joining the William & Mary Law School faculty in 2011, Grove was Assistant Professor at Florida State University College of Law. She has published with such prestigious law journals as the Harvard Law Review, Columbia Law Review, and Cornell Law Review.
Members of the media wishing to interview Professors Devins or Grove should contact Suzanne Seurattan, director of news marketing, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757.221.1631.