Supreme Court conservatives are targeting President Obama’s decision in 2011 to not defend the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the Supreme Court and Proposition 8 are on the minds of everyone recently. Facebook was taken over by red equal signs in favor homosexual marriage. Even Bill O’Reilly is now in favor of gay marriage, dismissing proponents of traditional marriage as “Bible thumpers.”
In the case of Proposition 8 the citizens of California voted in favor of overturning a California Supreme Court decision in favor of gay marriage. The California law was then upheld by California lawmakers. But now CA governor Jerry Brown is refusing to enforce the law, which brings us to the United States Supreme Court decision on DOMA.
President Bill Clinton signed DOMA into law in 1996 after it passed Congress with only 81 of 535 lawmakers opposing it. Section 3 of DOMA says “the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife” for purposes of “any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States.” This would apply to the 1,110 Federal laws on marriage.
The reason DOMA reached the Supreme Court is because DOMA only permits benefits, such as Social Security survivor payments and federal tax deductions, for traditional married couples. The United States v. Windsor case would decide whether Edie Windsor would receive an IRS refund for the $363,000 in federal estate taxes she paid following the 2009 death of lesbian partner Thea Spyer.
In the past, President Obama has defended other laws passed by Congress but were challenged in court. Justice Anthony Kennedy, for example, finds it “very troubling” that President Obama would not defend the Defense of Marriage Act as passed by Congress.
In February of 2011 Eric Holder announced that the Obama administration would cease defending the law because they believed it to be invalid under the Constitution. This decision cuts to the heart of the pending Supreme Court decision in June or July, which will decide whether such laws violates U.S. equal protection rights as defined as part of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution:
“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Because the Justice Department would not defend the law as passed by Congress, Republican lawmakers were forced to step up to the plate. They hired Paul Clement, George W. Bush’s former solicitor general, to represent the federal government for this case.
What do you think about President Obama causing the Justice Department to not defend DOMA before the Supreme Court?