Though a divided panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that Proposition 8 was an unconstitutional violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, it stayed its ruling while the parties appealed. Therefore, marriage license will not be granted to same-sex couples in California while the Supreme Court considers the case.
Congressional Democrats and Republicans have long clashed over the 1996 federal law, but both sides agree that the high court should step in. For Democrats, it is a matter of doing away with a statute that they say violates equal protection guarantees by withholding federal benefits from same-sex couples who were legally married under state law. Several federal appeals courts have agreed.
For Republicans, the law serves a legitimate governmental interest by promoting the traditional definition of marriage and encouraging family values, such as child-rearing with both a mother and a father.
In a filing at the Supreme Court in June, lawyers for House Republicans made clear that they prefer a swift resolution to the legal debate, particularly as challenges over the marriage law have emerged in more courts.
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.