Friday, February 25, 2011

Obama's Refusal to Continue Defending DOMA

While I applaud the sentiment behind Obama's order that the Department of Justice stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act, I have a pretty serious problem with that particular approach. DOMA is the law, whether the President likes it or not. He doesn't get to decide whether it's constitutional; that's the Supreme Court's job.

The most troublesome thing about this decision is that President Bush used an analogous tactic with his signing statements. Bush declared, for instance, that the prohibition on torture passed by Congress (and signed by Bush himself) unconstitutionally limited his powers as Commander in Chief.

I said then and I say now that this is executive overreaching. I'm disappointed to see Obama follow this approach, even if I agree in principle with the results.


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