Gay Rights Groups Angered by Justice Department's DOMA Defense

  • metta

    Posts: 39099

    Jan 15, 2011 7:24 AM GMT
    Gay Rights Groups Angered by Justice Department's DOMA Defense

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20028532-503544.html
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    Jan 15, 2011 3:07 PM GMT
    I've said this before and I'll say it again: "The Justice Department should be independent and MUST defend the laws of the US."

    While I think that DOMA is completely useless and unconstitutional, our elected government at the time passed the law and it was signed by the President. It is not the job of the executive branch to interpret the constitutionality of a law. It is their job to EXECUTE it. Let the Supreme Court rule on it once and for all. That's THEIR job.

    We don't want to pick and choose which laws the Justice Department defends based on political whim. In our system of government, the people elect representatives that act on their behalf. Those laws should be defended by the government to the fullest extent possible as they are (right or wrong) the will of the people.

    What if this were the "Defense of Gay Marriage Act" and a Republican administration? Would we want that Justice Department to cave in due to pressure from their right-wing constituency and not defend a law that was passed through Congress and signed by the President that gave GLBT folks the right to marry?

    I applaud the administration for standing it's constitutional ground on this one.

    To all of the angry gay groups out there I would say, be careful what you wish for. The sword cuts both ways on something like this. A lot of the progress made over the past few years could be undone by a Republican administration using the same tactics that are being advocated here.
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    Jan 15, 2011 3:34 PM GMT
    ksig121 saidI've said this before and I'll say it again: "The Justice Department should be independent and MUST defend the laws of the US."

    While I think that DOMA is completely useless and unconstitutional, our elected government at the time passed the law and it was signed by the President. It is not the job of the executive branch to interpret the constitutionality of a law. It is their job to EXECUTE it. Let the Supreme Court rule on it once and for all. That's THEIR job.

    We don't want to pick and choose which laws the Justice Department defends based on political whim. In our system of government, the people elect representatives that act on their behalf. Those laws should be defended by the government to the fullest extent possible as they are (right or wrong) the will of the people.

    What if this were the "Defense of Gay Marriage Act" and a Republican administration? Would we want that Justice Department to cave in due to pressure from their right-wing constituency and not defend a law that was passed through Congress and signed by the President that gave GLBT folks the right to marry?

    I applaud the administration for standing it's constitutional ground on this one.

    To all of the angry gay groups out there I would say, be careful what you wish for. The sword cuts both ways on something like this. A lot of the progress made over the past few years could be undone by a Republican administration using the same tactics that are being advocated here.


    Bravo. I definitely agree. Guys, let's take it step-by-step less we find ourselves falling off a cliff. There's a whole world of issues out there that need to be addressed. It can all be done overnight.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Jan 15, 2011 4:52 PM GMT
    ksig121 said
    While I think that DOMA is completely useless and unconstitutional, our elected government at the time passed the law and it was signed by the President. It is not the job of the executive branch to interpret the constitutionality of a law. It is their job to EXECUTE it. Let the Supreme Court rule on it once and for all. That's THEIR job.



    That is technically incorrect. It is the Judicial Branch's responsibility to execute the law and the Justice Department falls under the Judicial Branch.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Jan 15, 2011 4:54 PM GMT
    My beef with the Obama administration defending DOMA isn't the defense itself, but rather how swiftly they respond and how strongly they defend it. The degree of defense helps shape the case.
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    Jan 15, 2011 10:57 PM GMT
    coolarmydude said
    ksig121 said
    While I think that DOMA is completely useless and unconstitutional, our elected government at the time passed the law and it was signed by the President. It is not the job of the executive branch to interpret the constitutionality of a law. It is their job to EXECUTE it. Let the Supreme Court rule on it once and for all. That's THEIR job.



    That is technically incorrect. It is the Judicial Branch's responsibility to execute the law and the Justice Department falls under the Judicial Branch.


    Dude, what civics classes did you take? The Justice Department is part of the EXECUT(E)ive branch. The Attorney General is appointed by the President. Even though the Justice Department is a part of the executive branch, it operates as an independent agency.

    The departments of the executive branch take laws that Congress has passed and ensures that they are carried out (or if you will executed. That is why it is called the executive branch... ).

    The Judicial Branch interprets the laws passed by Congress as to their constitutionality. They are not responsible for executing those laws.

    Seriously, this is taught in 6th grade civics.
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    Jan 15, 2011 11:18 PM GMT
    Just as the Supreme Court gets to pick and choose which cases it will hear, so the President and DOJ can decide which cases it will appeal. The O and DOJ have declined to appeal other cases.
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    Jan 15, 2011 11:25 PM GMT
    Caslon17000 saidJust as the Supreme Court gets to pick and choose which cases it will hear, so the President and DOJ can decide which cases it will appeal. The O and DOJ have declined to appeal other cases.


    Which ones?
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    Jan 15, 2011 11:47 PM GMT
    ksig121 said
    Caslon17000 saidJust as the Supreme Court gets to pick and choose which cases it will hear, so the President and DOJ can decide which cases it will appeal. The O and DOJ have declined to appeal other cases.


    Which ones?

    The Obama administration will not ask the Supreme Court to review a high-profile takings case with potential implications for water rights and the Endangered Species Act, despite a bevy of requests from environmental groups and the state of California.

    In the case, Casitas Municipal Water District v. United States, a lower court required the federal government to pay a California water district for diverting some water to protect endangered steelhead trout. Since Solicitor General Elena Kagan declined to petition for review, the case will be remanded to the trial court.
    ...................................................

    The Obama Administration’s top courtroom lawyer directed the Federal Reserve to drop its plan to ask the Supreme Court to block the release of bank bailout records, according to a legal brief filed by a group of the biggest commercial banks.

    ...................................................................

    The Justice Department has reportedly come out in opposition to the request for appeal in the lawsuit Wilson v. Libby, et al. The case was brought by Valerie Plame Wilson and former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV against four Bush administration officials for the public disclosure of Plame's role as a CIA operative.

    ...............................................................

    Lawyers from the Obama administration Justice Department filed a short notice with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, dropping the government’s appeal of a November 2009 ruling by federal District Judge Robert C. Chambers.

    .............................................................

    The U.S. Department of Justice decided not to appeal a federal court ruling awarding transgender veteran Diane Schroer the maximum compensation for the discrimination she suffered after being refused a job with the Library of Congress. The deadline for seeking an appeal was June 30. The American Civil Liberties Union has represented Schroer in her case.

    .................................................................


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    Jan 15, 2011 11:58 PM GMT
    Does the Obama Administration Have to Appeal the DADT Ruling?
    [ 58 ] October 21, 2010 | Scott Lemieux

    Absolutely not.

    There’s nothing particularly complex here. The DOJ has no legal obligation to do appeal the DADT ruling, and there’s ample precedent for allowing a ruling of unconstitutionality to stand. And the case for making an exception here couldn’t be more compelling: the law unjustly burdens minority rights and lacks both popular support and the support of legislative majorities. (This case, therefore, can be easily distinguished from refusing to defend the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act.) Whether or not one agrees with me on this, however, when the administration claims it doesn’t have discretion here they’re not telling the truth.

    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2010/10/does-the-obama-administration-have-to-appeal-the-dadt-ruling
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    Jan 16, 2011 12:19 AM GMT
    Caslon17000 saidDoes the Obama Administration Have to Appeal the DADT Ruling?
    [ 58 ] October 21, 2010 | Scott Lemieux

    Absolutely not.

    There’s nothing particularly complex here. The DOJ has no legal obligation to do appeal the DADT ruling, and there’s ample precedent for allowing a ruling of unconstitutionality to stand. And the case for making an exception here couldn’t be more compelling: the law unjustly burdens minority rights and lacks both popular support and the support of legislative majorities. (This case, therefore, can be easily distinguished from refusing to defend the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act.) Whether or not one agrees with me on this, however, when the administration claims it doesn’t have discretion here they’re not telling the truth.

    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2010/10/does-the-obama-administration-have-to-appeal-the-dadt-ruling


    All of the cases that you mentioned were either civil cases or cases brought against rules or decisions made by government agencies. None of them are direct challenges to laws. I appreciate that you have done your research, but to my knowledge, all challenges to actual LAWS (not rules or civil litigation) passed by congress have been defended. If I am wrong, please let me know. I will be happy to admit it.
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    Jan 16, 2011 12:27 AM GMT
    ksig121 said
    Caslon17000 saidDoes the Obama Administration Have to Appeal the DADT Ruling?
    [ 58 ] October 21, 2010 | Scott Lemieux

    Absolutely not.

    There’s nothing particularly complex here. The DOJ has no legal obligation to do appeal the DADT ruling, and there’s ample precedent for allowing a ruling of unconstitutionality to stand. And the case for making an exception here couldn’t be more compelling: the law unjustly burdens minority rights and lacks both popular support and the support of legislative majorities. (This case, therefore, can be easily distinguished from refusing to defend the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act.) Whether or not one agrees with me on this, however, when the administration claims it doesn’t have discretion here they’re not telling the truth.

    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2010/10/does-the-obama-administration-have-to-appeal-the-dadt-ruling


    All of the cases that you mentioned were either civil cases or cases brought against rules or decisions made by government agencies. None of them are direct challenges to laws. I appreciate that you have done your research, but to my knowledge, all challenges to actual LAWS (not rules or civil litigation) passed by congress have been defended. If I am wrong, please let me know. I will be happy to admit it.

    Doesnt the posting that you just responded to answer the question?
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    Jan 16, 2011 12:45 AM GMT
    Caslon17000 said
    ksig121 said
    Caslon17000 saidDoes the Obama Administration Have to Appeal the DADT Ruling?
    [ 58 ] October 21, 2010 | Scott Lemieux

    Absolutely not.

    There’s nothing particularly complex here. The DOJ has no legal obligation to do appeal the DADT ruling, and there’s ample precedent for allowing a ruling of unconstitutionality to stand. And the case for making an exception here couldn’t be more compelling: the law unjustly burdens minority rights and lacks both popular support and the support of legislative majorities. (This case, therefore, can be easily distinguished from refusing to defend the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act.) Whether or not one agrees with me on this, however, when the administration claims it doesn’t have discretion here they’re not telling the truth.

    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2010/10/does-the-obama-administration-have-to-appeal-the-dadt-ruling


    All of the cases that you mentioned were either civil cases or cases brought against rules or decisions made by government agencies. None of them are direct challenges to laws. I appreciate that you have done your research, but to my knowledge, all challenges to actual LAWS (not rules or civil litigation) passed by congress have been defended. If I am wrong, please let me know. I will be happy to admit it.

    Doesnt the posting that you just responded to answer the question?


    No it doesn't. There's nothing in there that mentions specific cases where a law hasn't been defended by the DoJ. You posted a link on this forum to another blog.

    We all know that everything that you read on the internet is the truth, though...icon_rolleyes.gif
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Jan 16, 2011 8:01 PM GMT
    ksig121 said
    coolarmydude said
    ksig121 said
    While I think that DOMA is completely useless and unconstitutional, our elected government at the time passed the law and it was signed by the President. It is not the job of the executive branch to interpret the constitutionality of a law. It is their job to EXECUTE it. Let the Supreme Court rule on it once and for all. That's THEIR job.



    That is technically incorrect. It is the Judicial Branch's responsibility to execute the law and the Justice Department falls under the Judicial Branch.


    Dude, what civics classes did you take? The Justice Department is part of the EXECUT(E)ive branch. The Attorney General is appointed by the President. Even though the Justice Department is a part of the executive branch, it operates as an independent agency.

    The departments of the executive branch take laws that Congress has passed and ensures that they are carried out (or if you will executed. That is why it is called the executive branch... ).

    The Judicial Branch interprets the laws passed by Congress as to their constitutionality. They are not responsible for executing those laws.

    Seriously, this is taught in 6th grade civics.



    My bad. I was thinking of the Supreme Court. I knew that the AG was appointed by the President, btw.
  • metta

    Posts: 39099

    Jan 17, 2011 6:29 AM GMT

    What DOJ Thinks of the Defense of Marriage Act Doesn't Matter Much

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/01/what-doj-thinks-of-the-defense-of-marriage-act-doesnt-matter-much/69626/
  • metta

    Posts: 39099

    Jan 17, 2011 6:32 AM GMT

    A Kinder, Gentler DOMA?
    News Analysis: DOJ's continued defense of DOMA may have taken on a softer tone, but it can't erase the sharp underpinnings of the discriminatory 1996 law

    http://www.metroweekly.com/news/?ak=5932
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    Jan 19, 2011 1:44 AM GMT
    coolarmydude said
    ksig121 said
    coolarmydude said
    ksig121 said
    While I think that DOMA is completely useless and unconstitutional, our elected government at the time passed the law and it was signed by the President. It is not the job of the executive branch to interpret the constitutionality of a law. It is their job to EXECUTE it. Let the Supreme Court rule on it once and for all. That's THEIR job.



    That is technically incorrect. It is the Judicial Branch's responsibility to execute the law and the Justice Department falls under the Judicial Branch.


    Dude, what civics classes did you take? The Justice Department is part of the EXECUT(E)ive branch. The Attorney General is appointed by the President. Even though the Justice Department is a part of the executive branch, it operates as an independent agency.

    The departments of the executive branch take laws that Congress has passed and ensures that they are carried out (or if you will executed. That is why it is called the executive branch... ).

    The Judicial Branch interprets the laws passed by Congress as to their constitutionality. They are not responsible for executing those laws.

    Seriously, this is taught in 6th grade civics.



    My bad. I was thinking of the Supreme Court. I knew that the AG was appointed by the President, btw.


    Sorry if I came across as a smug jerk. Sometimes you get on a roll in these things and forget your manners...
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    Jan 19, 2011 2:02 AM GMT
    Caslon17000 said
    ksig121 said
    Caslon17000 saidJust as the Supreme Court gets to pick and choose which cases it will hear, so the President and DOJ can decide which cases it will appeal. The O and DOJ have declined to appeal other cases.


    Which ones?

    The Obama administration will not ask the Supreme Court to review a high-profile takings case with potential implications for water rights and the Endangered Species Act, despite a bevy of requests from environmental groups and the state of California.

    In the case, Casitas Municipal Water District v. United States, a lower court required the federal government to pay a California water district for diverting some water to protect endangered steelhead trout. Since Solicitor General Elena Kagan declined to petition for review, the case will be remanded to the trial court.
    ...................................................etc.


    Thanks for that list, Caslon--I was looking for one everywhere.