- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Traditional-marriage supporters vow to fight on for DOMA, California Prop 8
Question of the Day
Conservative and Republican lawmakers expressed outrage Wednesday at the failure of the Obama administration and California state officials to defend duly passed laws on gay marriage, which contributed to their defeat earlier in the day at the Supreme Court.
Social conservatives vowed that the fight over marriage will continue — one announced a long-shot effort at a U.S. constitutional amendment — despite Wednesday’s two decisions, one of which struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act but stopped short of declaring traditional-marriage definitions unconstitutional.
House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, noted that his chamber had to hire attorneys to defend DOMA after the Obama administration took the unusual step of refusing to defend the law, which was signed in 1996 by President Clinton.
“The House intervened in this case because the constitutionality of a law should be judged by the Court, not by the president unilaterally,” Mr. Boehner said in a statement. “While I am obviously disappointed in the ruling, it is always critical that we protect our system of checks and balances. A robust national debate over marriage will continue in the public square, and it is my hope that states will define marriage as the union between one man and one woman.”
The same refusal by the executive branch to defend traditional-marriage law was at the heart of the court’s second ruling. In that decision, the high court said the citizens’ group behind California’s Proposition 8 had no standing to defend the law against a legal challenge after the governor and attorney general declined to do so.
Proposition 8 was approved by 52 percent of California voters in 2008. Ryan T. Anderson, senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, called it “scandalous that the governor and attorney general refused to perform their duty.”
“That abdication of their constitutional responsibility should not have prevented these laws from having a vigorous defense in court. This sets a disturbing precedent and distorts the balance of powers between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government,” said Mr. Anderson. “It would allow the executive branch to effectively veto any duly enacted law simply by refusing to defend it against a constitutional challenge.”
Proponents of constitutional government worry that the decision sets a precedent that could effectively nullify the power of the citizen initiative as well as hobble the legislative branch.
“The Court’s decision allows the executive branch to effectively veto any duly enacted law, simply by refusing to defend it against a constitutional challenge,” said Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council. “Ironically, by refusing to defend the law, California’s executive branch has also denied the nation any definitive ruling on the constitutionality of defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”
Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, said the decision leaves a “stench” by allowing “corrupt politicians and judges to betray the voters.”
He referred to now-retired District Court Judge Vaughn Walker of Northern California, who was involved in an undisclosed same-sex relationship at the time of his ruling invalidating Proposition 8.
“The Supreme Court’s holding that proponents of an initiative had no legal right to appeal ignores California law and rewards corrupt politicians for abandoning their duty to defend traditional marriage laws,” Mr. Brown said in a statement. “It’s imperative that Congress continue to preserve the right of states to protect true marriage and refuse to recognize faux marriages performed in other states or countries.”
Referring to the first decision on the federal DOMA, Mr. Anderson said it was “absurd for the court to suggest that Congress does not have the power to define the meaning of words in statutes that Congress itself has enacted.”
“DOMA imposes no uniform definition of marriage upon the individual states, and the states should not be able to impose varying definitions of marriage upon the federal government,” said Mr. Anderson. “This is a serious loss for federalism and democratic self-government. We must work to reverse it and to defend the rights of all Americans to make marriage policy.”
Rep. Tim Huelskamp, Kansas Republican, also vowed a continuing fight over the issue, saying he would reintroduce a federal constitutional amendment, even though such measures never passed Capitol Hill even when vast popular majorities and most mainstream Democratic politicians opposed gay marriage.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Valerie Richardson covers politics and the West from Denver. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Plagiarism scandal threatens Senate campaign of Montana Democrat John Walsh
- Conservative groups decry Democrats' 'war on women' tactic
- Act would create tax-free savings accounts for the disabled
- Rep. Jared Polis' anti-fracking crusade riles Colorado
- Carson wins straw poll as conservatives focus on winning battle of ideas
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
President wants everyone but himself to pay more
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Afghan who killed three U.S. Marines in 2012 to serve over 7-year prison sentence
- EDITORIAL: Obama's 'economic patriotism' means higher taxes
- HUSAIN: Fleeing Iraqi Christians find safe haven at the Shrine of Imam Ali
- Brian Kelly, Notre Dame ready for different route to title
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq