- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
GOP steps up defense of law on marriage
Lawyer hired in lieu of Justice
The Republican leadership in the House stepped up its efforts Monday to defend the federal government’s marriage law, which is already under attack or implicated in as many as 10 lawsuits.
Paul D. Clement, who was solicitor general in the George W. Bush administration, has been retained by the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group to oversee the strategy regarding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), House leadership aides said.
Moreover, since the Justice Department declared in February that it will not defend DOMA in court, the funding it would have used for DOMA defenses should now be “diverted” to the House to cover its legal expenses, House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said Monday in a letter to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat.
Mrs. Pelosi — who opposes any defense of DOMA — replied to Mr. Boehner that she still wants to know what the litigation will cost. She also asked “to know when the contract with Mr. Clement was signed, and why a copy was not provided” to Democratic leaders.
The House legal advisory group is made of the top five House officials, three from the majority party and two from the minority. In their March 4 vote on DOMA, the three top Republicans voted to defend the law, while the two top Democrats voted against it.
A spokesman for Mr. Clement declined to discuss DOMA activities.
However, lawyers representing the House were expected to meet a Monday deadline to file briefs at a federal court in New York in Windsor v. United States, one of the lawsuits challenging DOMA.
The Windsor case played a major role last week during a House hearing on reasons to defend DOMA.
“The reason we are here is that the Obama administration recently announced it would no longer defend marriage,” Rep. Trent Franks, Arizona Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution, said at the opening of the hearing called “Defending Marriage.”
On Feb. 23, Mr. Franks explained, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said President Obama had concluded that DOMA’s definition of marriage as “only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife” was unconstitutional.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, New York Democrat and ranking minority member, however, wondered why there was still support for the “abhorrent and immoral” DOMA, in light of evolving legal and social views on gay marriage.
The Justice Department “correctly found it unconstitutional,” said Mr. Nadler. After all, the laws very purpose is to exclude and stigmatize people, he said, acknowledging a gay family in the hearing room.
Witness Carlos A. Ball, a law professor at Rutgers University, said the Obama administrations decision not to defend DOMA is “both legitimate and appropriate.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Cheryl Wetzstein covers family and social issues as a national reporter for The Washington Times. She has been a reporter for three decades, working in New York City and Washington, D.C. Since joining The Washington Times in 1985, she has been a features writer, environmental and consumer affairs reporter, and assistant business editor.
Beginning in 1994, Mrs. Wetzstein worked exclusively ...
- Public accommodations provision in Md. transgender rights bill draws outcry
- German home-school family can stay in U.S. indefinitely
- U.S. Supreme Court declines German home-school case
- Medical facility 'buffer-zone' law in court
- Relationship video sparks backlash, blames the birth control pill
Latest Blog Entries
- Gay therapy ban author seeks Calif. House seat
- Transgender 'bathroom law' gets 5,000 more signatures
- Pro-life, stem-cell bill signed into law by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback
- N. Dakota lawmakers approve tough abortion bill
- Pope Benedict XVI's successor should allow priests to get a new title: Husband, poll finds
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- CPAC 2014: Rand Paul urges conservatives to fight for liberty
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- EDITORIAL: Connecticut revolts against gun controls that could criminalize 300,000
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Malaysia Airlines says plane on route to Beijing missing
- Two liberals say Sarah Palin is right: Obama lacks substance
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- High schooler suing parents for money shot down by judge
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again