House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday described the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as “definitely unconstitutional.”

DOMA, the 1996 law which forbids the federal government from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples, is in national headlines as the Supreme Court prepares for next week's oral arguments in a case challenging its constitutionality.

Pelosi, a Democrat from California, also accused Republicans of working to undermine the court's authority to rule on the law.

“Around 2005, the Republicans, who were in the majority, passed legislation specifically related to DOMA, which had, as you know, passed some years before, in the 90s,” Pelosi told reporters. “But they came up with a specific bill relating to DOMA that stripped the courts of the right of judicial review. They said [that] Marbury v. Madison was wrongly decided, that the courts do not have right of judicial review, and therefore they were stripping the courts of judicial review.”

“Why would they do that if they thought they had a constitutional bill – specifically related to DOMA?” she asked.