February 25, 2011
By Adam Bink
Here’s NOM’s Brian Brown and his hissy fit op-ed in today’s Washington Post. Brian:
President Obama’s announcement Wednesday that he will refuse to do his job when it comes to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is part of this stunning pattern of rejecting the democratic process. Obama said that his administration would not defend the law in legal challenges because it is unconstitutional but that it would continue to enforce the law selectively. This is incomprehensible and incoherent, except in nakedly political terms. The president is using his power to do what he – and his base – wants.
Particularly egregious is Obama’s unilateral declaration that homosexuals are a specially protected class under the Constitution and that this is the reason DOMA is unconstitutional. But the Constitution does not directly say so. Congress has passed no such law. Nor has the Supreme Court ever said that homosexual people are a protected class.
One is that the constitutional lawyers among us can discuss this further, but we all learned in grade school that the President, aside from signing laws and legislative responsibilities, must enforce the law and preserves, protects, and defends the Constitution. Hey, look, Wikipedia even tells us so:
The President, according to the Constitution, must “take care that the laws be faithfully executed”, and “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution”.
Last I checked, the President said his Administration is still going to faithfully execute the law while it is still on the books.
Second, this view may seem odd, but is it so crazy to say that we elect leaders to move forward on certain policies? I mean, Obama doesn’t allow discrimination based on sexual orientation in his Administration. He nominates people for the judiciary branch based on certain views. That is certainly different than what is actual enacted law or Supreme Court precedent, but I don’t think it’s so crazy that we elect candidates to carry out certain views and policies, and they go do that. The Administration is under no obligation to defend a law it thinks is unconstitutional (proving, ahem, the good people at AMERICABlog, and Richard Socarides, right on this issue), no more than the Governor and Attorney General of California are. That’s the way things were set up, Brian.