By Mike Lillis - 03/21/13 06:32 PM EDT
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) predicted this week that the Supreme Court will shoot down a federal law barring gay marriage.
The high court will begin next week hearing oral testimony on the legality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a 17-year-old law that defines marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman.
"DOMA is definitely unconstitutional," Pelosi said Thursday at a press briefing in the Capitol. She said she's "pretty confident" the court will strike down the law.
To make her case, Pelosi cited a GOP proposal — passed by the Republican-led House almost a decade ago — she said would have "stripped" the courts of their power to review DOMA. The Republicans wouldn't have done that, she argued, if they truly believed the law is constitutional.
"They came up with a specific bill, relating to DOMA, that stripped the courts of their right of judicial review. They said Marbury v. Madison was wrongly decided," she said. "Why would they do that if they thought they had a constitutional bill [in DOMA]?
"So I feel pretty confident about what will happen there [in the Supreme Court]," she added. "But you never know."
This time around, she's not guessing the breakdown.
Pelosi also entered the debate over "conversion therapy" — the practice of trying to change the sexual orientation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people — slamming such efforts as "disrespectful and discriminatory."
The issue is currently churning headlines in New Jersey, where a bill banning such therapy on minors is moving through the Democratic-led legislature and could have national implications. Republican Gov. Chris Christie (N.J.) is thought to be weighing a run for the White House in 2016.
"I don't know what the scientific evidence is to go down that path, but I do know it's disrespectful and discriminatory," Pelosi said of the practice. "What is their purpose?"
Christie this week declined to say if he'd veto the bill if it reaches his desk.