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Marriage Equality

Widow's Case Put on Hold While Supreme Court Decides What's Next

Widow's Case Put on Hold While Supreme Court Decides What's Next


The question of whether the Supreme Court decides to take up a case on the Defense of Marriage Act in its new session, which begins Monday, appears to have one widow in a holding pattern.

Jennifer Tobits is being denied an inheritance of her late wife's profit-sharing plan because her in-laws claim their marriage in Canada isn't legally valid in the U.S. Her wife, Chicago attorney Sarah Ellyn Farley, died in 2010. The National Center for Lesbian Rights filed the case, Cozen O'Connor v. Tobits, arguing that all the proper legal documents were filed and contesting any notion that the Defense of Marriage Act should be cited as reason to deny the inheritance.

Still, the Prop8TrialTracker blog reports that a district court judge in the case has suspended the case "pending the outcome of relevant cases and additional research on the pending Motions."

An NCLR spokesman told the blog that it seems like the case is being held up by uncertainty over what the Supreme Court might do next. Several plaintiffs in DOMA-related cases have petitioned the court, which could decide as soon as next week whether to hear the cases or let stand lower-court rulings that largely favor LGBT plaintiffs.

Read more about the Supreme Court's possible next moves.

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