Let Me Start: DOMA goes down

Updated
Same-sex marriage proponent Kat McGuckin of Oaklyn, New Jersey, holds a gay marriage pride flag while standing in front of the Supreme Court November 30,...
Same-sex marriage proponent Kat McGuckin of Oaklyn, New Jersey, holds a gay marriage pride flag while standing in front of the Supreme Court November 30,...
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Supreme Court struck down the federal rule known as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in a 5 to 4 decision Wednesday that paves the way for full federal benefits for same-sex married couples.

“DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion.

And in a win for gay rights, the Supreme Court declined to overturn a lower court ruling that struck down California’s same-sex marriage ban. The decision clears the way for gay marriage in the state.

Rep. Ed Markey won the special election for Senate in Massachusetts. Markey defeated Republican Gabriel Gomez 55% to 45% in an election that was never really in doubt. And while Markey’s victory doesn’t change the balance of power in the Senate, it was crucial for Democrats to hold the seat after John Kerry left to become Secretary of State, and it gives Republicans a harder path to win control of the Senate in 2014.

Kerry is taking a softer approach with Russia as the U.S. tries to track NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who’s charged with espionage.

Despite gaining traction in the Senate, immigration reform is very much in limbo in the House. Republicans there say they feel no urgency to move quickly on immigration, especially considering a majority of Senate Republicans is still opposed to it.

Rep. Steve King, Republican of Iowa, has won a dubious distinction from his Democratic colleagues.

A new Quinnipiac poll for 2016 finds Hillary Clinton in a tight race against several Republicans in Ohio.

Finally, Anthony Weiner has vaulted to the front of the pack in the New York mayors race, according to a new WNBC/Wall Street Journal poll.

Let Me Start: DOMA goes down

Updated