Forget the Senate floor fight.
By striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, the Supreme Court has cleared the way for gay U.S. citizens to sponsor foreign-born spouses for green cards a delicate pressure point threatening to burst a bipartisan coalition for immigration reform just days before the landmark vote.
Under DOMA, binational same-sex couples were barred from receiving immigration benefits, including the ability to have married partners live legally in the United States. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., withdrew his immigration amendment to extend that right under GOP threats to kill the broader bill. Until Wednesday's decision, as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups continued intense lobbying, a contentious floor vote on Leahy's amendment still was possible.