Obama: "DOMA Unconstitutional; DOJ Will Stop Defending it"

  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Feb 23, 2011 6:08 PM GMT
    icon_eek.gif O-M-G!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/23/obama-doma-unconstitutional_n_827134.html

    President Obama has determined that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, and that the Department of Justice should no longer defend the measure, which severely limits the potential of states to honor or carry out same-sex marriages, the administration announced Wednesday.

    "The President believes that DOMA is unconstitutional. They are no longer going to be defending the cases in the 1st and 2nd circuits," a person briefed on the decision said, according to the National Journal.

    More to come...
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Feb 23, 2011 6:11 PM GMT
    Statement of the Attorney General on Litigation Involving the Defense of Marriage Act

    http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/February/11-ag-222.html

    ...After careful consideration, including a review of my recommendation, 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. 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...
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    Feb 23, 2011 6:11 PM GMT
    Just saw the announcement in the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/24/us/24marriage.html?_r=1&hp.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Feb 23, 2011 6:19 PM GMT
    Slick move. This is how you destroy the Tea Party. This will pit the social conservatives against the libertarians. Mark my words.

    (CPAC has consequences...lol!)
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    Feb 23, 2011 6:24 PM GMT
    Here's the full article from the NY Times:

    Obama Orders End to Defense of Federal Gay Marriage Law
    By CHARLIE SAVAGE
    Published: February 23, 2011

    WASHINGTON — President Obama, in a major legal policy shift, has directed the Justice Department to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act — the 1996 law that bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages — against lawsuits challenging it as unconstitutional.

    Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday saying that the Justice Department will now take the position in court that the Defense of Marriage Act should be struck down as a violation of gay couples’ rights to equal protection under the law.

    “The President and I have concluded that classifications based on sexual orientation warrant heightened scrutiny and that, as applied to same-sex couples legally married under state law,” a crucial provision of the act is unconstitutional, Mr. Holder wrote.

    The move is sure to be welcomed by gay-rights advocates, who had often criticized Mr. Obama for moving too slowly in his first two years in office to address issues that concern them. Coming after the administration successfully pushed late last year for repeal of the military’s ban on gay men and women serving openly, the change of policy on the marriage law could intensify the long-running political and ideological clash over gay marriage as the 2012 presidential campaign approaches.

    While Mr. Obama has long argued that the Defense of Marriage Act is bad policy and has urged Congress to repeal it, his administration has also sent Justice Department lawyers into court to defend the statute’s constitutionality.

    The new position will require the administration to file new briefs in such litigation, including a major case now pending before the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, in Boston.

    Congress may decide to appoint its own lawyers to defend the law, or outside groups may attempt to intervene in the cases in order to mount legal arguments in the law’s defense. Mr. Holder said that the administration will continue to enforce the act unless and until Congress repeals it, or a court delivers a “definitive verdict against the law’s constitutionality.”

    “Our attorneys will also notify the courts of our interest in providing Congress a full and fair opportunity to participate in the litigation in those cases,” he wrote. “We will remain parties to the case and continue to represent the interests of the United States throughout the litigation.”

    The decision to change position grew out of an internal administration policy argument, first reported by The New York Times in January, over how to respond to two lawsuits filed late last year in New York.

    Citing an executive-branch duty to defend acts of Congress when plausible arguments exist that they are constitutional, the Obama administration had previously argued that legal challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act should be dismissed.

    But those lawsuits were filed in circuits that had precedents saying that when gay people say a law infringes on their rights, judges should use a test called “rational basis” to evaluate that claim. Under that standard, the law is presumed to be constitutional, and challengers must prove that there is no conceivable rational government basis for enacting it, a hard standard for challengers to meet.

    But the new lawsuits were filed in districts covered by the appeals court in New York. That court has no precedent establishing which legal test judges should use when evaluating claims that a federal law violates gay people’s rights.

    That vacuum meant that the administration’s legal team had to perform its own analysis of whether gay people were entitled to the protection of a test known as “heightened scrutiny.” Under that test, it is much easier to challenge laws that unequally affect a group, because the test presumes that such laws are unconstitutional, and they may be upheld only if the lawmakers’ purpose in enacting them served a compelling governmental interest.

    In his letter, Mr. Holder said the administration legal team had decided that gay people merited the protection of the “heightened scrutiny” test, and that under that standard, the Defense of Marriage Act was impossible to keep defending as constitutional.
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    Feb 23, 2011 7:51 PM GMT
    Here's the link to the Yahoo News Article

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110223/ap_on_re_us/us_gay_marriage
  • rioriz

    Posts: 1056

    Feb 23, 2011 7:56 PM GMT
    coolarmydude saidSlick move. This is how you destroy the Tea Party. This will pit the social conservatives against the libertarians. Mark my words.

    (CPAC has consequences...lol!)


    My thoughts exactly which downplay it somewhat, nevertheless it is a step closer to equal marriage rights. I see this as a rebuke in a time when Repubs are charging head on with the spending cuts and union mess to assure people continue to see the administration in a good light.

    Fox quoted the Pres as saying his views on same sex marriage are "evolving" even though he is still only quoted as saying he supports civil unions.
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    Feb 23, 2011 8:25 PM GMT
    rioriz said
    coolarmydude saidSlick move. This is how you destroy the Tea Party. This will pit the social conservatives against the libertarians. Mark my words.

    (CPAC has consequences...lol!)


    My thoughts exactly which downplay it somewhat, nevertheless it is a step closer to equal marriage rights. I see this as a rebuke in a time when Repubs are charging head on with the spending cuts and union mess to assure people continue to see the administration in a good light.

    Fox quoted the Pres as saying his views on same sex marriage are "evolving" even though he is still only quoted as saying he supports civil unions.




    President Obama said his views on gay marriage are "constantly evolving" last December, not today.
    What's happened today is part of that evolution.
    I think there's an extremely good chance that President Obama's views will evolve into full support for gay marriage by election 2012.
    Which will put the Republican party under tremendous pressure to alter their official party platform to no longer specifically support denying equal rights for gay Americans.
    When the Repubs redraft their offical party platform at the 2012 Republican convention, all eyes will be on what the Repubs do on gay rights issues.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Feb 23, 2011 8:29 PM GMT
    'bout time he "grew a pair".
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Feb 24, 2011 12:44 AM GMT
    coolarmydude saidSlick move. This is how you destroy the Tea Party. This will pit the social conservatives against the libertarians. Mark my words.

    (CPAC has consequences...lol!)


    Yup ..........

    This is definitely a political move
    but ....... I'm still LUVIN' it
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    Feb 24, 2011 12:44 AM GMT
    Why are the usual nay-sayers so quiet here? I'm waiting for someone to say how terrible this is for the gay community.
  • Little_Spoon

    Posts: 1562

    Feb 24, 2011 12:46 AM GMT
    ...ERROL!!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 24, 2011 12:55 AM GMT
    There are a couple problems to this:
    1. Can the president determine what's constitutional or not? What's going to happen when a Republican president decides not to uphold a law passed by a Democratic Congress and president, citing Obama's precedent with DOMA?
    2. Even if the DOJ doesn't defend DOMA lawsuits, I'm sure other interested parties will pitch in the money and effort to defend DOMA in court. Depending on the judge, it may not be so difficult to declare a non-profit (backed by anonymous donations, no doubt) to have standing in a lawsuit.
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    Feb 24, 2011 1:01 AM GMT
    The first thing the right says: "See, I told you so. Obama is a left-wing radical." Which they couldn't have said when he defended DADT.

    http://www.salon.com/news/gay_marriage/index.html?story=/politics/war_room/2011/02/23/corner_doma_response
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    Feb 24, 2011 1:02 AM GMT
    YES YES YES!!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 24, 2011 1:03 AM GMT
    Well I'm really glad to hear it. Which gives the Republicans in congress a wonderful opportunity to show what bastards they are.

    Or maybe they might do the decent thing?
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    Feb 24, 2011 1:13 AM GMT
    The hypocrisy of it all:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/50049.htmlHouse Speaker John Boehner issued a statement questioning why Obama chose to stir up debate over the controversial social issue now, when administration officials have claimed an intense focus on the economy.

    “While Americans want Washington to focus on creating jobs and cutting spending, the President will have to explain why he thinks now is the appropriate time to stir up a controversial issue that sharply divides the nation,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said.


    OK, so he can't touch social issues? What's been going on in the House since January? Only sharply dividing issues like abortion and immigration. icon_evil.gif
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    Feb 24, 2011 1:15 AM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidThe hypocrisy of it all:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/50049.htmlHouse Speaker John Boehner issued a statement questioning why Obama chose to stir up debate over the controversial social issue now, when administration officials have claimed an intense focus on the economy.

    “While Americans want Washington to focus on creating jobs and cutting spending, the President will have to explain why he thinks now is the appropriate time to stir up a controversial issue that sharply divides the nation,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said.


    OK, so he can't touch social issues? What's been going on in the House since January?icon_evil.gif


    Boner has really serious issues with logic! There is an APPROACHING DEADLINE and how the absence of action can remove focus from other activities is beyond me.

    Rubbish!
  • turtleneckjoc...

    Posts: 4685

    Feb 24, 2011 1:30 AM GMT
    TigerTim saidWell I'm really glad to hear it. Which gives the Republicans in congress a wonderful opportunity to show what bastards they are.

    Or maybe they might do the decent thing?


    Just by showing up for work, Republicans embrace the opportunity to show what bastards they are each and every day.

    Initially, my thought is they will fight this tooth and nail, quote their good friends, Michelle, Glenn, Billo The Clown, Sean, Sarah, Jesus H. Christ and southbeach and say how "immoral" this will be and the words "family values" will be spoken again....also watch for the hardcore radical christian right to weigh in on this....

    With the devistating slap against our union brothers and sisters in Wisconsin, Ohio and in my home state of Indiana, coupled with the destruction of our government by the Weeper of the House and his "point man," my Republican congressidiot, Daniel Webster, I CANNOT wait until 2012 when we, as intelligent citizens, can take back our government from these conservative, mindless, creatures......



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    Feb 24, 2011 4:09 AM GMT
    southbeach1500 said





    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110223/ap_on_re_us/us_gay_marriage_obama


    Ahhhh...the right wing hens are pulling out old, outdated footage. Desperation.
  • turtleneckjoc...

    Posts: 4685

    Feb 24, 2011 4:30 AM GMT
    1969er said
    southbeach1500 said





    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110223/ap_on_re_us/us_gay_marriage_obama


    Ahhhh...the right wing hens are pulling out old, outdated footage. Desperation.


    Isn't it funny when southbeach and his conservative butt buddies know they are wrong, and outnumbered on an issue, they use every smokescreen imaginable.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 24, 2011 4:36 AM GMT
    ...

    The White House says President Barack Obama is "grappling" with his personal views on gay marriage even as he's ordered the Justice Department to stop defending the constitutionality of a law that bans it.

    The Justice Department announced Wednesday that, at Obama's direction, it would not defend the Defense of Marriage Act in a court case where it's being challenged.

    Spokesman Jay Carney said Obama has always opposed the Defense of Marriage Act as "unnecessary and unfair." But Carney said there's no change to how Obama views gay marriage itself.

    Obama said in January that he is still wrestling with whether gay couples should have the right to marry. He said his feelings on the issue continue to evolve but he still believes in allowing strong civil unions.


    Shorter Obama and DOJ:

    I'm totally trying to monkey-wrench things by sliding sharply over to my core ultra-liberal values since my own chances of getting re-elected are ever increasingly closer to swirling down the drain...

    Disclaimer: Marriage equality is something to rejoice over... but remember that Obama is not doing this because he cares so deeply about us 3%-ers.

    It is totally a calculated, slick move (which may backfire sharply, if the GOP can play its cards right).

    And worst case scenario: We have a precedent for a GOP POTUS to defy a Democratic Congress.

    So much for rolling back those Imperial Presidential powers Bush arrogated to his Office, eh?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 24, 2011 4:47 AM GMT
    alphatrigger said
    ...

    The White House says President Barack Obama is "grappling" with his personal views on gay marriage even as he's ordered the Justice Department to stop defending the constitutionality of a law that bans it.

    The Justice Department announced Wednesday that, at Obama's direction, it would not defend the Defense of Marriage Act in a court case where it's being challenged.

    Spokesman Jay Carney said Obama has always opposed the Defense of Marriage Act as "unnecessary and unfair." But Carney said there's no change to how Obama views gay marriage itself.

    Obama said in January that he is still wrestling with whether gay couples should have the right to marry. He said his feelings on the issue continue to evolve but he still believes in allowing strong civil unions.


    Shorter Obama and DOJ:

    I'm totally trying to monkey-wrench things by sliding sharply over to my core ultra-liberal values since my own chances of getting re-elected are ever increasingly closer to swirling down the drain...

    Disclaimer: Marriage equality is something to rejoice over... but remember that Obama is not doing this because he cares so deeply about us 3%-ers.

    It is totally a calculated, slick move (which may backfire sharply, if the GOP can play its cards right).

    And worst case scenario: We have a precedent for a GOP POTUS to defy a Democratic Congress.

    So much for rolling back those Imperial Presidential powers Bush arrogated to his Office, eh?




    Your post is a messy clump of failed talking points.
    Nice try, though.

    It's sad that for selfish partisan political reasons, you would describe this leap forward for gay rights as nothing but a "calculated, slick move" - and state your hope that the Repubs will succeed in using it for political gain.
    The actual fact is that YOU are the one trying to pull a "calculated, slick move" with this pile of right-wing BS you posted.

    For those of us who care about the fact that the right thing is being done - this leap forward is about more than just politics.

    For right-wingers like you who put the interests of the Republican party ahead of the interests of the American people and doing the right thing - I guess you just have a lot of sour grapes.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 24, 2011 4:47 AM GMT
    Alphatrigger, that's rather unfair. The prez wanted Congress to do it (just like DADT--which they did), and when it was clear it's not doable due to the November elections, not defending it is probably the second best thing he could do for now.
    http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/promise/294/support-repeal-of-the-defense-of-marriage-act/
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 24, 2011 4:50 AM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidAlphatrigger, that's rather unfair. The prez wanted Congress to do it (just like DADT--which they did), and when it was clear it's not doable due to the November elections, not defending it is probably the second best thing he could do for now.
    http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/promise/294/support-repeal-of-the-defense-of-marriage-act/



    Alpha doesn't care about being fair.
    He's intent on spinning out whatever right-wing talking points he can dredge up to shit on what is an important step forward toward full marriage equality.