Gingrich on DOMA: What if President Palin refused to defend a law because she thought it was unconstitutional?

posted at 6:39 pm on February 25, 2011 by Allahpundit

Via Newsmax, a tangent on the news today that Boehner and the House GOP may intervene in the courts on DOMA’s behalf since Obama doesn’t want to. Ace is annoyed that Gingrich is pandering by wink-winking at impeachment at a moment when the public wants seriousness of purpose on fiscal issues. Point taken — this is obviously him trying to win the “Who’s The Most Anti-Obama Of ‘Em All?” contest in the primaries — but Newt’s argument about double standards is useful. This would indeed be an insufferable, five-alarm freakout in the media and in the lefty blogosphere had a Republican president refused to execute some law cherished by the liberal base. In fact, notwithstanding Obama’s DOMA precedent, it’ll still be a five-alarm freakout if President Palin or Romney or whoever decides that ObamaCare is unconstitutional and refuses to implement that. Why not get ahead of the curve by drawing the parallel now in case we have to fight that battle later?

The Roe analogy doesn’t really work, though. When you’ve got a controlling Supreme Court ruling, it’s much dodgier for a president to disagree than when the Supremes haven’t touched an issue yet and there’s divided opinion among the lower courts, as there is with DOMA and, for the moment, ObamaCare. Essentially, The One’s arguing that he agrees with one side of an unsettled legal debate; if the Roberts Court steps in by ruling in DOMA’s favor and Obama continues to decline to enforce the law, that’s a much more problematic executive precedent. Which, needless to say, the next Republican president can and will exploit to the hilt. Exit question: Is this going to be a grand backfire for liberals?

Update: Sloppiness on my part above. As a commenter reminds me, Obama’s not refusing to enforce DOMA, he’s refusing to defend it in court. Why a president would continue to enforce a statute that he thinks is unconstitutional is beyond me, but it’s a more modest executive power grab than a “no enforcement” stance. The basic point still stands, though: If O doesn’t want to defend statutes popular with social conservatives, don’t expect a Republican DOJ to be offering any appellate arguments in ObamaCare’s favor if the case hasn’t reached the Supreme Court by 2013.


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Comment pages: 1 2

You’ve got a better chance to be President than Palin does.

MJBrutus on February 25, 2011 at 8:19 PM

Palin is my choice President but I’d be happy to support Unseen for Veep!

Done That on February 26, 2011 at 7:09 AM

Of course it’s dereliction of duty.

Bush chose not to enforce the immigration laws, and he was derelict as well.

I guess no one cares.

rightwingyahooo on February 26, 2011 at 7:37 AM

This is only a test by our dear leader. Since it worked so well, the next time he will throw the law under his bus. President Palin will have too much respect for the rule of law and the Constitution to pull any stunts like this.

Kissmygrits on February 26, 2011 at 9:12 AM

When did the Executive branch get to decide which LAWS they want to defend in court? If BO thinks the law is unconstitutional shouldn’t be be encouraging his minions to legislatively revise it?

katiejane on February 26, 2011 at 10:34 AM

So what are we waiting for?

IMPEACH OBAMA NOW!

pilamaye on February 26, 2011 at 11:23 AM

DOMA should stand. The same knuckledragging states that thought it was a good idea to determine someones ability to relieve themselves with dignity on a road trip through the south based on their amount melanin should be able to remain ignorant on the issue of gay marriage.

If two guys or gals want to make a commitment together they should get the same benefits straight couples get. This battle over semantics is stupid and a consequence of the knuckledraggers marrying their sacrament to the state. A marriage is a civil union, a civil union with all the same benefits of marriage is marriage. This is like seeing a waddling, quacking animal with a bill, feathers, webbed feet and denying it is a duck. Anybody that is for civil unions is for gay marriage, they are just in denial, usually due to the same bigoted narrow mindset that made mother and daughters have to crap in the woods like an animal, that couldn’t eat lunch at the same counter with blacks in a restaurant. Get over yourselves, if you folks are the holders of the ideals of morality, we are all screwed.

LevStrauss on February 26, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Of course it’s dereliction of duty.

Bush chose not to enforce the immigration laws, and he was derelict as well.

I guess no one cares.

rightwingyahooo on February 26, 2011 at 7:37 AM

Bush did just not refuse to enforce immigration laws, he chose to create an economic environment that encouraged illegal immigration, and entire industries were transformed due to this influx of slave labor.

LevStrauss on February 26, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Get over yourselves, if you folks are the holders of the ideals of morality, we are all screwed.

LevStrauss on February 26, 2011 at 12:23 PM

QFT. For both sides.

Dark-Star on February 26, 2011 at 7:50 PM

Comment pages: 1 2