And now, a video statement from Eric Holder on gay marriage

posted at 2:01 pm on January 10, 2014 by Allahpundit

I … was not aware that Eric Holder’s in the business of issuing video communiques about DOJ policy. And there’s a reason for that: He isn’t. A peek at the DOJ’s video page reveals some two dozen clips posted since 2009, only one of which was uploaded after 2011. Nothing on Fast & Furious, nothing about vacuuming up reporters’ phone records to sniff out leaks, nothing even about terror busts. This must be pretty important news, huh?

Not really, no. All he’s doing is letting the public know that the DOJ will continue to recognize gay marriages performed in Utah as lawful while the appeal plays out in the courts. A federal district judge ruled on December 20 that the state’s traditional marriage law is unconstitutional; on Monday of this week, the Supreme Court ordered a halt to gay marriage in the state until the local federal appellate court has weighed in. In the interim, roughly 1,360 gay couples in Utah got married. The governor of Utah responded by ordering state officials not to recognize those 1,360 marriages yet given that the matter’s in dispute. All Holder’s saying here is that the feds won’t follow his lead:

Last June, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision – in United States v. Windsor – holding that Americans in same-sex marriages are entitled to equal protection and equal treatment under the law. This ruling marked a historic step toward equality for all American families. And since the day it was handed down, the Department of Justice has been working tirelessly to implement it in both letter and spirit – moving to extend federal benefits to married same-sex couples as swiftly and smoothly as possible.

Recently, an administrative step by the Court has cast doubt on same-sex marriages that have been performed in the state of Utah. And the governor has announced that the state will not recognize these marriages pending additional Court action.

In the meantime, I am confirming today that, for purposes of federal law, these marriages will be recognized as lawful and considered eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages. These families should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status as the litigation unfolds. In the days ahead, we will continue to coordinate across the federal government to ensure the timely provision of every federal benefit to which Utah couples and couples throughout the country are entitled – regardless of whether they are in same-sex or opposite-sex marriages. And we will continue to provide additional information as soon as it becomes available.

What makes this “big news” isn’t the legal implications, it’s Holder’s (and his boss’s) desire to pander to their pro-SSM base by signaling their disapproval of Utah in an unusually showy way. It’s an essentially political gesture made by an officer who’s not supposed to be political. And of course, it’s gratuitous: No one has a scintilla of doubt that Holder and O are on the side of legalizing gay marriage, and SSM supporters have been successful enough in both the courts and in turning the tide of national opinion that Holder’s expression of solidarity will help them only marginally, if at all. The Utah case could be a big deal if SCOTUS takes it up and finally decides to rule squarely on the constitutionality of gay marriage, but whether the feds do or don’t recognize a certain status among a small group of people during an appeal is not normally the stuff of cabinet members sitting down to face a camera. Read George Will’s column from a few days ago about “gesture liberalism” to understand. Obama loves small-ball fights like the minimum wage and the contraception mandate not because the stakes are huge policy-wise but because they’re ideological flashpoints with the right. This is another one. The backwards conservative state of Utah might not be willing to recognize 2,700 people as married during an appeal but your friendly neighborhood liberal federal government will. Let Eric Holder tell you all about it.

And by the way, his reading of Windsor is debatable. The Court struck down part of DOMA in that case because, it said, the feds have no power to refuse to recognize a marriage that’s already been recognized by the state, as Windsor’s was. (“DOMA seeks to injure the very class New York seeks to protect.”) Utah hasn’t recognized gay marriage yet; a single federal judge there has and his ruling’s already been stayed by SCOTUS. Admittedly, Kennedy’s language in the Windsor case about the due process and equal protection implications of banning gay marriage is so broad that full legalization of gay marriage nationwide seems a fait accompli; Holder’s whole point in mentioning Windsor, I take it, is to suggest that he’s already come to that conclusion himself. But the fact is, SCOTUS hasn’t reached that point yet. If he insists on siding with the lower court instead of with Utah, it’s because he wants to send a message. That’s what gestural liberalism’s all about. Click the image to watch.

eh2


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A subject that’s straight up the DOJs alley. I mean, within the scope of his responsibilities. I mean …

hawkdriver on January 10, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Crook.

ThePrez on January 10, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Focus on enforcing federal gun laws in Colorado, Mr. Holder.

rogerb on January 10, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Does he have the power legally (ha) to override the Supreme Court?

MontanaMmmm on January 10, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Eric Holder has surpassed John Mitchell and Janet Reno as the worst AG in the last 100 years….

Being AG means that one is responsible for the equal enforcement of the laws on the books – not defining which laws should be enforced or not or even determining what is law.

Athos on January 10, 2014 at 2:08 PM

Look! Gay marriage bridgegate!Squirrel! Pay no attention to o-care/jobs report/etc!

sandee on January 10, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Why hasn’t he been charged with perjury over F&F? Didn’t he get caught in a lie and that prompted the EO to excuse him and Obama?

DanMan on January 10, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Click the image to watch.

No thanks, I prefer to read about the destruction of the rule of law.

Happy Nomad on January 10, 2014 at 2:13 PM

What on earth does the DoJ have to do with marriage?

Othniel on January 10, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Why hasn’t he been charged with perjury over F&F? Didn’t he get caught in a lie and that prompted the EO to excuse him and Obama?

DanMan on January 10, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Why did Janet Reno walk away without spending a day in jail? Same reason….politics.

Johnnyreb on January 10, 2014 at 2:13 PM

How hilarious.

Stupid racist black child tries to pander to me based on my sexual orientation.

While I know the stupid racist black child is nothing more than a lying Nazi bigot who would do everything in his power to make my life miserable for being a conservative white male.

I want to spit on this man and scream in his face. Truly I do.

northdallasthirty on January 10, 2014 at 2:14 PM

What on earth does the DoJ have to do with marriage?

Othniel on January 10, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Department of *Social* Justice.

nobar on January 10, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Activst
General

antipc on January 10, 2014 at 2:17 PM

it’s Holder’s (and his boss’s) desire to pander

They do it so well.

GarandFan on January 10, 2014 at 2:19 PM

It’s an essentially political gesture made by an officer who’s not supposed to be political.

This describes pretty much the entire Obama Presidency to be fair.

Gatsu on January 10, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Fast & Furious

Gay & Fabulous

portlandon on January 10, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Why did Janet Reno walk away without spending a day in jail? Same reason….politics.

Johnnyreb on January 10, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Politics and knowing where the bodies are buried. In Reno’s case, literally.

Happy Nomad on January 10, 2014 at 2:24 PM

This POS should be behind bars.

jawkneemusic on January 10, 2014 at 2:27 PM

Bmore, photoshop him into pajama-boy.

Schadenfreude on January 10, 2014 at 2:27 PM

So we have an AG with as much respect for the judicial process as the president has for the legislative process.

How does Poodle Face have time to worry about SSM? Isn’t he spending his time on giving guns to drug cartels, selecting enforcing hate crime statutes on knockout attackers who aren’t black and, most of all, being the Attorney General who only enforces those laws his boss tells him to?

OrbeaRider66 on January 10, 2014 at 2:27 PM

Well he does remind me of a rodent…….

MontanaMmmm on January 10, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Holder, Reid and Pelosi are the three I truly want to see before panels and a jury some day.

Holder is an amazing dirtbag.

Must be on the down-low to care this much.

budfox on January 10, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Video from the Pillow-Biting Brigade.

Great.

For a group that wants people out of their bedroom, they spend a great deal of time dragging everyone into it–without wanting anyone to notice what it is that they actually do in it (see Robertson, Phil).

BuckeyeSam on January 10, 2014 at 2:38 PM

he learned a lot of crap from working under reno I guess.
just think, if she had morals we would not (most likely) have him now.

dmacleo on January 10, 2014 at 2:40 PM

No doubt Holder is fond of the smell of prison sex…

… No doubt.

Seven Percent Solution on January 10, 2014 at 2:41 PM

I want a mic shoved in the face of every abortion-rights advocate seeking a response to the following question: “So, when the gay-gene is uncovered, will support or oppose a law prohibiting abortions for the reason that the child will be gay?”

BuckeyeSam on January 10, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Dictators can pick and choose what laws they like.

faraway on January 10, 2014 at 2:43 PM

How exactly does the federal government recognize a marriage that doesn’t exist in a legal sense? Are they issuing their own licenses?

gwelf on January 10, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Lawlessness.

portlandon on January 10, 2014 at 2:46 PM

I seem to recall back in May when the James Rosen call-snooping was exposed that Holder was planning on stepping down at the end of 2013. I’ve heard no more about that and, of course, here he still is stenching up the office of Attorney General.

Bitter Clinger on January 10, 2014 at 2:46 PM

A subject that’s straight up the DOJs alley. I mean, within the scope of his responsibilities. I mean …

hawkdriver on January 10, 2014 at 2:03 PM

I see what you did there.

Ward Cleaver on January 10, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

Pass. We’ve seen this before.

kim roy on January 10, 2014 at 2:50 PM

10th Amendment, Baby!

Still, Utah has far more institutional experience of being at odds with the federal government over marriage.

Vanceone on January 10, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Focus on enforcing federal gun drug laws in Colorado, Mr. Holder.

rogerb on January 10, 2014 at 2:04 PM

FIFY

RDH on January 10, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Put it to a vote.
No courts. No rat faced megalomaniacs.
If it’s what everyone wants, put it to a vote.
And when you lose, CA, shut up.

AllahsNippleHair on January 10, 2014 at 2:59 PM

He would look and sound so much better in J A I L.

Erich66 on January 10, 2014 at 3:02 PM

….my peoples!

KOOLAID2 on January 10, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Focus on enforcing federal gun drug laws in Colorado, Mr. Holder.
 
rogerb on January 10, 2014 at 2:04 PM

 
FIFY
 
RDH on January 10, 2014 at 2:55 PM

 
Interestingly, we’re talking about the same thing:
 

Therefore, any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether or not his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or is addicted to a controlled substance and is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.
 
http://www.atf.gov/files/press/releases/2011/09/092611-atf-open-letter-to-all-ffls-marijuana-for-medicinal-purposes.pdf

rogerb on January 10, 2014 at 3:06 PM

so … in other words…. the Department of Justice…. will just ignore the order of the Court……. yep that sounds ’bout right….

roflmmfao

donabernathy on January 10, 2014 at 3:10 PM

They think their scoldings have the force of law.

Akzed on January 10, 2014 at 3:29 PM

RE: The Utah case could be a big deal if SCOTUS takes it up and finally decides to rule squarely on the constitutionality of gay marriage…

SCOTUS already stated that it is up the a state’s voters to make the choice. Which UT voters did, with 66% saying NO. As in NO WAIN IN HELL.

Not that Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion, then ignored his own words and voted Yes to gay marriage to contradict Prop. 8 state voters.

So, we have 2 major idiots in SCOTUS, one doesn’t understand the difference between penalty and tax, the other is senile and stupid enough not to understand his own thoughts.

Only 3 sane people in SCOTUS who abide by the law.

riddick on January 10, 2014 at 3:46 PM

riddick on January 10, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Yes…that pretty much sums it up!

texgal on January 10, 2014 at 4:03 PM

riddick on January 10, 2014 at 3:46 PM

And it’s funny that the libs are upset that Sotomayer issued the stay in favor of Utah

ConservativePartyNow on January 10, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Click the image to watch

Sorry, can’t do it. Too close to dinner time.

ConservativeinCO now in ME on January 10, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Does this mean that it is safer politically to be a staunch advocate of homosexual marriage than to be against it? I’m not at all sure that math works although the organs of state and the MSM have done their best to mute and marginal those not on board with the new orthodoxy. Still, I can’t help but believe that this will have a snap back effect as the public better crystallizes what this means for our society.

Mason on January 10, 2014 at 5:18 PM

HOLDER=JAIL

TX-96 on January 10, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Is he announcing his engagement?!

Axeman on January 10, 2014 at 6:42 PM

Well he does remind me of a rodent…….MontanaMmmm on January 10, 2014 at 2:31 PM

More like a meerkat

AH_C on January 10, 2014 at 7:10 PM

Yesterday, Instapundit posted a link to a piece by Arthur Leff, who wrote persuasively that without God, there can be no morality, something which I’ve believed all my life. He describes God, somewhat irreverently, as “the grand sez who.”

Without an ultimate authority, arguments about right and wrong are endless and pointless. Assertions of constitutional power to define morality without acknowledging God or, at a minimum, our individual consciences are just sophistry to justify tyranny. This is not about freedom or equality; it’s a power grab and a run around the First Amendment freedom of religion.

flataffect on January 10, 2014 at 7:55 PM

Baby killer…..

crosshugger on January 10, 2014 at 9:09 PM

Why doesn’t he do a video saying he’ll ensure due process for all the people who have no idea whether their healthcare.gov application actually resulted in a real policy, or whether it’s fallen into a ghost or orphan status (“don’t call us, we’ll call you!”)?

Seriously. A handful of marriages in Utah where status is at least controverted, or millions of Americans where federal benefits have been promised. Which group should he be reassuring and taking action on?

Dude. This DoJ is anything but.

rasqual on January 10, 2014 at 10:55 PM

Holder prefers Holdhim?

profitsbeard on January 11, 2014 at 4:11 AM

There is Stuck on Stupid.
There is Ignorance.
There is Malfeasance.
There is Gross Mismanagement.
There is Perjury.
There is Willful Misconduct.

All applicable to Holder.

Only Janet Inferno Reno will be held in lower regard as Attorney General of the United States.

I hold the present leadership of The Stupid Party in contempt for allowing this colluding, capricious, evil, scheister into office.

Missilengr on January 11, 2014 at 12:08 PM