Court asks lawyer to argue special DOMA question

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has asked a Massachusetts lawyer to present arguments on why the justices should not rule on a federal gay marriage law next year.

The high court says it invited lawyer Vicki C. Jackson of Cambridge to argue whether the high court can even rule on the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

The justices want to consider whether it's constitutional to deny married homosexual couples federal benefits that are available to heterosexual married couples. The Obama administration says it's not, and decided not to defend the law. In its place, a group of House lawmakers want to defend the law before the high court.

Jackson will argue that House members cannot substitute themselves for administration officials, and therefore the Supreme Court cannot rule on the issue.

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