DOMA And The Supreme Court

June 13, 2013, 1:00 PM GMT+0

(Week of 6/8/2013) Over the next few weeks, the Supreme Court will release its decisions on several critical issues, including campaign finance reform. Perhaps the most-eagerly awaited is its decision on two cases involving gay marriage. Can the federal government ignore laws passed by states legalizing same-sex marriage? And can a state choose to outlaw those marriages?

The latest Economist/YouGov Poll continues to find support for overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, which forbid the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, even if they were legal in some states. By 44% to 39%, Americans want DOMA overturned.

But there is one group that does not want to change the law – Republicans. By more than two to one, they want the law upheld.

One of the reasons Americans have changed their minds about same-sex marriage is because younger adults are overwhelming supportive. 60% of them favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally.

But if the Court agrees with younger Americans, it is likely it will anger Republicans. The Chief Justice, John Roberts, lost support with members of his own party when he voted with the Court’s liberals to uphold the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. A year ago, after that decision, 40% of Republicans were unfavorable towards Roberts; 30% were favorable. In this week’s poll, Republicans think somewhat better of him.

A year ago Democrats were closely divided on Roberts, as they are today.

Economist/YouGov poll archives can be found here

Photo source: Press Association