A panel of the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. DOMA prevents the Social Security Administration from recognizing same sex marriages allowed under state law. The ruling has no immediate effect since the Court stayed enforcement of its ruling until all appellate review is finished. The practical effect of this is to make it nearly certain that the Supreme Court will review the constitutionality of DOMA in its next term which will begin, as always, on the first Monday in October. Social Security will be the federal agency most affected if DOMA is struck down.