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Sen. Grassley: Do you agree that marriage is a question reserved for the states to decide based on Baker vs. Nelson?
Judge Sotomayor: That also is a question that’s pending and impending in many courts. As you know, the issue of marriage and what constitutes it, is a subject of much public discussion. And there’s a number of cases in state courts addressing the issue of who regulates it under what terms.
Grassley: … Are you saying that Baker vs. Nelson is not a precedent?
Sotomayor: No, sir. I just haven’t reviewed Baker in a while. And so, I actually don’t know what the status is. If it is the Court’s precedent as I’ve indicated in all of my answers, I will apply that precedent to the facts of any new situation that implicates it. …
Grassley: … Do you agree with Federal Courts which have held that the Defense of Marriage Act does not violate the Full Faith and Credit Clause and is an appropriate exercise of Congress’ powers to regulate conflicts between laws that differ in states?
Sotomayor: That’s very similar to the Austin situation. But the ABA rules could not permit me to comment on the merits of a case that’s pending or impending before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has not addressed the Constitutionality of that Statute, and to the extent that lower courts have addressed it and made holdings, it is an impending case that could come before the Supreme Court. So, I can’t make any comments on that case.
Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who is the first Supreme Court Justice nominee from President Barack Obama, responding to Republican Senator Chuck Grassley on issues related to gay and lesbian marriages and court cases that have challenged the constitutionality of the 1996 DOMA that President Bill Clinton signed into law. (C-SPAN)
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