How Much Do Same-Sex Marriage & Health Care Overlap Constitutionally?

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Clinton +Coakley

Socially liberal commentators opine against some conservative’s preference to nationalize the issue of marriage when they argue so strongly for a federalist impulse in many other areas of policy including health care. On display this past month has been the exact opposite positioning by Massachusetts’ Attorney General Martha Coakley.

It is interesting to juxtapose her two recent high profile affairs in the federal court system.

First up was her amicus brief in support of the President’s Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) which argued that the federal government has the right to regulate health insurance because it is an example of interstate commerce.

Weeks later she entered a federal appeals court leading the charge to uphold her earlier victory in court to overturn the federally passed Defense of Marriage Act, arguing that it “violates the US Constitution by interfering with the Commonwealth’s sovereign authority to define and regulate the martial status of its residents.”