Green Room

Misrule by Decree

posted at 9:28 pm on February 24, 2011 by

Yesterday, President Barack H. Obama decreed that the popular surge for restricting marriage to the traditional definition was unconstitutional; further, that the popular Defense of Marriage Act was likewise unconstitutional; and he forbade his racially discriminatory Attorney General, Eric Holder, from defending any anti-DOMA lawsuit that disgruntled gay activists might bring:

“The president has concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny,” Mr. Holder said. “The president has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional. Given that conclusion, the president has instructed the department not to defend the statute in such cases. I fully concur with the president’s determination.”

All I can say is — thank goodness! Three cheers for Obama’s moral resolve and newly grown spine — because that smirking trick of his clears the decks for for legal challenges to be answered by attorneys for House and Senate Republicans, who actually support traditional marriage and oppose the same-sex inversion of marriage.

And before going one nanometer further, I once again strongly support and defend both the repeal of Bill Clinton’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy of forcing gays in the military to remain in the closet, and also the seminal U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence v. Texas overturning all “anti-sodomy” state and federal laws. In other words, I have not budged on any of my positions:

  • I support allowing gays to serve openly in the military.
  • I support the fundamental liberty of consenting adults to have any kind of sex they want, so long as it does not cross the line into assault, battery, homicide, or public exhibition.
  • But I completely and adamantly oppose instituting same-sex marriage (SSM).

Back to Lucky Lefty, the Obamunist. Note the traditional liberal hubris and megalomania: First, he is not content to leave findings of constitutionality to the courts; Obama has discovered somewhere in Article II of the Constitution a clause that allows him to nullify, by presidential diktat, any federal law he dislikes, even though duly enacted by Congress and signed by the president. Second, he seemingly could not care less what voters in the United States think about the definition of marriage; he has concluded that SSM is cool with him, and the rest of us should simply fall in line.

But it’s not as if he even believes that he can prevent such defenses, thus forcing — as the state of California and its new (and its former) governor are trying — to deny all potential defenders standing, then eighty-six the laws due to lack of defense. Rather, the administration seems almost giddy at the thought of Congress defending traditional marriage, while the president attacks it:

The decision effectively throws the defense of DOMA into the lap of Congress, which can instruct its own attorneys to defend federal laws. Mr. Holder said he had informed members of Congress of the decision so that “members who wish to defend the statute may pursue that option.”

Supporters of traditional marriage immediately called on the Republican-majority House to intervene in the DOMA lawsuits.

“With this decision, the president has thrown down the gauntlet, challenging Congress,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. “It is incumbent upon the Republican leadership to respond by intervening to defend DOMA, or they will become complicit in the president’s neglect of duty.”

Many on the left are likewise giddy to the point of vertigo, calling the president’s principled act of unprinciple a tremendous victory for the forces of radicalism and transformation, hastening the eventual Europeanization of the United States.

But not so fast; lefties may be missing the point.

When the Attorney General or the Soliciter General of the United States undertakes to defend a law under constitutional assault, the courts surely consider that defense much more seriously than some outside, third-party, amicus curae brief; I’m sure they privilege those arguments, since it’s the official policy of the United States. Thus, if the administration’s defense is deliberately lame and incomplete, the law stands in grave danger of being overturned… even if a better argument was available but unused.

And evidently, the administration has been doing exactly that, offering an intentionally impaired defense of DOMA while ignoring winning arguments that have prevailed in state cases, hoping that the feds’ feeble efforts will “fail” to uphold DOMA; the crafty Obamunists will then have gotten a major policy change while leaving their own hands clean, thus sidestepping voter vengeance:

While it was sudden, Wednesday’s move did not come out of nowhere. Opponents of same-sex marriage had grown increasingly frustrated with the administration for what they called its underzealous defense of DOMA and its omission of key arguments.

In a brief filed Jan. 13 in defense of DOMA at the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Justice Department states that “the administration supports repealing DOMA,” but that the department must do its job to defend the law “as long as reasonable arguments can be made in support of their constitutionality.”

Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, told The Washington Times recently that he suspected the administration of purposely tanking its case.

“They purposely avoid arguments that are winning time and time again in court,” he said. “Even scholars on the other side of this issue have said, ‘What is going on here is wrong.’ Anyone who cares about constitutional government should be very concerned about what’s happening in the DOMA case.”

But Obama, Holder, and the entire administration are now openly at war with traditional marriage while aiding and abetting same-sex marriage, and congressional conservatives have been given the green light to vigorously defend the sanctity and necessity of a legal marriage being between one man and one woman. That very fact means that DOMA has a much greater opportunity to be upheld yet again.

Inadvertently, the tremendous victory is ours, not theirs, a gift from the smug and cocky Left. As usual, “Progressivism” overreaches and draws back a stump, setting itself up for voter blowback as well.

Thank you, mask man!

Cross-posted on Big Lizards

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0 and the Dems apparently see this as a wedge issue to try and peel away gays from the GOP. The motivation behind this is probably directed primarily at Sarah Palin who has quietly developed considerable gay support. In fact some of her most vociferous defenders are gay: The Hillboyz and Tammy Bruce most prominently among them. I suspect this ploy is to prevent Sarah from making further inroads into the 0’s support among gays by making the GOP the bad guys who are preventing gay marriage from becoming legal. Just one more divide and conquer tactic from probably the most divisive administration evah.

Too bad he’s such a phony. I think it’s clear to everyone by now that his so called policy statements are just bs, spewed for some imagined short term gain with the proviso of being immediately reversed if there is any hint of significant public displeasure. Latest example of which is his backing for the union protesters in WI.

shmendrick on February 25, 2011 at 12:17 AM

I hope this blows up in their face BIG TIME.

IowaWoman on February 25, 2011 at 5:37 AM

Boiled down to it’s social basics, marriage is a contract in which a man promises to support a woman in any pregnancies she has and her children to adulthood, while a woman promises that all said pregnancies and children will be from the man (with consideration as to what practices make these promises sufficiently likely to be kept). The state’s role is then to add some guarantee to that promise, smooth the legal issue of parentage, and possibly (but not necessarily) provide material incentive to enter into that contract. That does not discriminate based on “sexual orientation” as ones actual sexual preference doesn’t enter the equation — only the reproductively related promise made. There is no real social motivation for the state to grant the same legal considerations to pairs of persons that are not entering into that contract (whether it be non-reproducing hetero couples, non-monogamous hetero couples, gay couples, or pairs of non-sexually active cohabitants) — though it obviously can.

Count to 10 on February 25, 2011 at 9:09 AM

The President of the United States is the Chief Executive, which means that he must execute the federal laws passed by Congress. Why is his stated and deliberate refusal to do so not grounds for impeachment?

wright on February 25, 2011 at 9:28 AM

The President of the United States is the Chief Executive, which means that he must execute the federal laws passed by Congress. Why is his stated and deliberate refusal to do so not grounds for impeachment?

wright on February 25, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Important point: not defending the constitutionality of a law in court is different than not enforcing the. Congress is really the branch that should be defending the constitutionality of the law — the President should only defend the legality of his execution of the law.

Count to 10 on February 25, 2011 at 10:03 AM

wright on February 25, 2011 at 9:28 AM

I’d love to go one better. He took the oath of office…and he’s done almost anything, and everything but. I’d love to have access to a legal library. I’m sure there’s criminality in this as well. Impeach then imprison.

capejasmine on February 25, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Whew! Thanks Mr. President, that’s one more decision I don’t have to make since you’ve made it for me. He’s getting more like the WI dems every day. Running away from the hard job instead of doing the job he was elected to do. Just like every other AA employee I’ve ever known.

Kissmygrits on February 25, 2011 at 10:58 AM

I’m sorry, I just. Can. NOT get that last line out of my head. “What do you want that for? …The Act. BLAAAHH!”

mgman on February 25, 2011 at 11:07 AM

The President of the United States is the Chief Executive, which means that he must execute the federal laws passed by Congress. Why is his stated and deliberate refusal to do so not grounds for impeachment?

wright on February 25, 2011 at 9:28 AM

I ask the same question. It is not like the constitution is a democratic bill of over a thousand pages that no one can read or understand.

The constitution clearly states that only the Supreme Court has the power to declare a law unconstitutional and that the president shall enforce all laws passed by congress. It does not say he has any power to declare invalid any law that he does not agree with, or to decide the constitutionality of any law and order that it not be enforced or as expressed here, defended as constitutional.

He has effectively undenialbly breeched his oath of office to defend the Constitution and carry out all laws given to him by Congress.

Franklyn on February 25, 2011 at 12:15 PM

This is just another brick in his road to a dictatorship. The high points might be finding no wrong with armed black panther activous out side polling stations and ordering his AG not to procecute them. There is the Federal attack on a state to prevent they from enforcing Federal laws passed by Congress that he had decided not to enforce, essentially the same as declaring them unconstitutional without publically saying so, and getting one of his judges to back him up, not with constitutional law or findings, but with her own opinon, again as well as saying the laws are not constitutional, This was just the next step to making the constitution irrelevent to his goals. By declaring a law unconstitutional with no constitutional law supporting his action, if not forbidding it, and refusing to enforce the law, and ordering that his justic department not enforce the law, he is effectively ruling by decree. This is an important step for him to take and succeed in doing if he is to succeed in moving our nation from a republic form of government to a democratic form of government that will support a socilist government structure, central governmenatl control and single interpertation of laws.

Historically democracies still have constitutions, but the constitution is usully just a legal understanding rather than enforced law. The former Soviet Union is a great example of this, and interestingly, one that Obama would be very familiar with as a result of years of Mentoring by Frank Davis, the best American Communist the soviets could provide for him. They had a great constitution with all the goals of green laws they currently seek today. It was even written into their constitutions green laws that it was forbidden to spit on the side walk. It is also the constitution that actually has the constitutional law of “Seperation of church and state” that is so often quoted as being part of our constitution.

A good or even great constitution, but since the constitution was not enforced, never even read by police, and never taught in schools, or mentioned otherwise, who knew? Only a few judges who dealt with the mafia, who used it to their advantage when bribes were not enough, knew what it said.

It is getting to the point here that own constitution will not or cannot be taught in our schools or taken seriously in a court of law.

Case in point is Obama’s lates rule by decree on the constitutionality of a law. I am certified to teach classes on civics and government. This would be typical basic question on the subject.

Which branch of our government has the power to decide if a law is constitutional or not?

A. The Executive Branch
B. The Legistlative Branch
C. The Judicial Branch

Is the correct answer still C or is A now a vaild answer as well?

As a teacher, how do I explain why the Excutive branch is being allowed to decide a law is unconstitutional, without any constitutional support for doing so?

This is but one recent example of many over the years that has made me glad I am not trying to teach Government to seniors. Of course the issue is a personal problem; being conservative and constitutionally based in my understanding of my subject. If I were a Liberal or socialist, this would not be a problem but, rather a spring board to more radical interpetations of the “Living Constitution” that can be reinterpeted as political winds dictate. I could take a page out of the liberal Supreme Court justices book of rules and search other countries constitutions to find a provision that justifies his action and use that to make it right.

Franklyn on February 25, 2011 at 1:18 PM

this is an impeachable act.

Will it happen? Oh heck no.

May God save our country from two more years of this man.

golfmann on February 25, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Boiled down to it’s social basics, marriage is a contract in which a man promises to support a woman in any pregnancies she has and her children to adulthood, while a woman promises that all said pregnancies and children will be from the man (with consideration as to what practices make these promises sufficiently likely to be kept). The state’s role is then to add some guarantee to that promise, smooth the legal issue of parentage, and possibly (but not necessarily) provide material incentive to enter into that contract.


That is the only, ONLY thing about marriage — whether a sacred vow before God or a civil ‘license’ in a court of law. To have sex and share the burden of bringing up the offsprings. Any benefits that a govt bestows on the married couple stem from the societal interest that the children be brought up to contribute their part as citizens and thus continue the cycle of life.

Anything else is just embellishments to support the notion of marriage, whether by the Church or by the State.

AH_C on February 25, 2011 at 4:06 PM

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