Obama DOJ Argues in Favor of Defense of Marriage Act

Discussion in 'Politics' started by MichiganRico, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. MichiganRico

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Messages:
    2,970
    Likes Received:
    56
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    SW Michigan
    #1 MichiganRico, Jun 12, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2009
  2. HazelGod

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    7,531
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    9
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The Other Side of the Pillow
    This doesn't surprise me.

    I've had grave misgivings about his appointments to DoJ since the beginning when he installed long-time RIAA shills into the highest positions. It was clear to me then that his intent was most definitely not to reform Justice with a mission to refocus its efforts on increased individual liberty. Granted,the DoJ is intended to operate independently even though it's an arm of the Executive...but the people Obama installed to direct it are just more of the same.

    Actually, my skepticism reaches back further now that I think about it. Then-Senator Obama had a real opportunity to show his leadership characteristics when the FISA amendment to provide US telecom corporations with retroactive prosecutorial immunity for their aiding and abetting of the Bush administration's illegal warrantless spying on US citizens came to the floor for a vote. Despite being on record as saying these companies should be held accountable, he totally dropped the ball.
     
    #2 HazelGod, Jun 12, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2009
  3. nubian

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,138
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    17
    Gender:
    Male
    Verified:
    Photo
    Precisely why is it news that the Department of Justice, tasked with defending federal laws, would do just that in court? Just because the president or others may not be a fan of the law, it doesn't remove their obligation to defend such law until there's a new one.

    Much ado about nothing.
     
  4. HazelGod

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    7,531
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    9
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The Other Side of the Pillow
    You're an idiot.
     
  5. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,539
    Likes Received:
    1
    This is a statement that Matt Miller, a Department of Justice spokesman, issued:

    As it generally does with existing statutes, the Justice Department is defending the law on the books in court. The president has said he wants to see a legislative repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act because it prevents LGBT couples from being granted equal rights and benefits. However, until Congress passes legislation repealing the law, the administration will continue to defend the statute when it is challenged in the justice system.

    --------------------


    If you want an activist DOJ (as George W. Bush had, with his lawyers creating new definitions and justifications for torture, then tossing out the Geneva Conventions), then you'll hope Obama's DOJ argues against DOMA in court.

    I don't want an activist DOJ. The president is not the sole "decider".

    If you guys want to channel your anger, look toward the democratic majority in Congress. They've been in power since January 2007. Congress has the authority to repeal DOMA.

    Let's reverse this. If Congress repeals "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", who is in favor of a republican DOJ arguing for "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"? The president and his Justice Department are NOT a "unitary executive branch", no matter what BS George W. Bush and Dick Cheney forcefed us. We have to work within the framework of the existing laws (which Congress, a legislative body. can change).
     
  6. HazelGod

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    7,531
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    9
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The Other Side of the Pillow
    Nope, I'm not buying that "letter of the law" cop-out for these assaults against the people. Our laws exist in both letter and spirit, because we aren't mindless automatons (yes, I know that's somewhat speculative). That's not just a philosophical platform for argument...it's the guiding principle of our Judiciary.

    The role of the Justice Department as the defendant in a federal suit is to represent the interests of the people. How those interests are served is determined as a matter of policy from the Executive, typically by his selection of personnel he believes best embody his vision of legality for this nation. I hardly think using scurrilous and borderline racist legal contentions in attempts to discredit the validity of the plaintiff's complaint best represents the spirit of the US Justice system or the people it stands for.

    You are correct in your exhortation for people to take the matter to their Congressional representatives. Obama doesn't get a pass here, either...as I mentioned, he had the perfect opportunity as a Senator to put his money where his mouth was when FISA was being re-vamped...and he failed, utterly.

    However, I disagree with your apparent belief that Congress is the only
    appropriate avenue of recourse. Court challenges are a celebrated means of repealing unjust laws.

    Obama installed personnel into the highest ranks of the DoJ who have long, documented histories of siding against the common interest of the people...and their ingrained beliefs that they must always be right have come glaring through with practically every argument they have made in contentious cases.

    In short, Obama either royally fucked up in making these selections, which I highly doubt, given his demonstrated erudition in legal matters and strategic savoir-faire during his campaign...or these appointments were deliberate, and his positions with regard to individual civil liberties and the general rule of law were misrepresented on his road to the White House.
     
  7. Trinity

    Trinity New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,682
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Female
    :rolleyes:

    President Obama does not support the repeal of DOMA to grant the right of marriage to same sex couples. Obama believes marriage is between a man and woman and he supports civil unions. Obama believes that states have the right to decide the issue of same sex marriage and to choose not to recognize same-sex marriages from other states:
    While Obama has said he would “oppose any effort to stifle a state’s ability to decide this question on its own,” (see previous blog entry), he nevertheless has endorsed a complete repeal of DOMA.

    Obama views DOMA as unnecessary on the theory that states already have adequate discretion to refuse recognition. He has explained that DOMA is irrelevant because the Full Faith and Credit Clause does not require one state to recognize another state’s same-sex marriages. That theory has considerable scholarly support. It is explained in more detail here.

    In my view, Obama’s position comes closer to a straightforward legal analysis of the issue...

    by Stephen Clark - Clinton and Obama Support DOMA S2?, Same Sex Conflicts
     
  8. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Messages:
    11,912
    Likes Received:
    44
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    New York City, by way of Marblehead, Boston and Ge
    Hazel god uses 'my' font. Just an observation.

    Completely unrelated to the above, and directly related to this thread, there's a little part of me that wants to throw up.
     
  9. HazelGod

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    7,531
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    9
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The Other Side of the Pillow
    Observing that I have seven months seniority on you...technically speaking, you are using my font. :wink:
     
  10. Trinity

    Trinity New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,682
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Female
    Many already know that earlier this week the Supreme Court rejected a challenge to Don't Ask Don't Tell:

    Court Rejects Challenge to 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

    Court rejects challenge to ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’

    The Obama Administration requested the Supreme Court not take up the challenge in court documents.

    President Obama has stated that he would like to repeal the policy but it will have to wait:

    January 2009
    Obama aide: Ending 'don't ask, don't tell' must wait

    Obama aide: Ending 'don't ask, don't tell' must wait - CNN.com
     
  11. D_Martin van Burden

    D_Martin van Burden Account Disabled

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2002
    Messages:
    3,365
    Likes Received:
    6
    I'm trying to keep a cool head about this issue, but it's difficult for me to wrap my head around. I guess it's because I knew DOMA was a sort of cave-in negotiation Clinton was willing to make in exchange for some other laws he wanted to pass, and that since its inception, there's been this huge fuss about how letting gays marry (let alone serve through DADT) would upset too many folks. I think the advocates can't square the reality of "smaller government," "get out of our way" with "that's one bedroom whose doors SHOULD be blown open, filthy [expletive]s!" Now that there's more contentious press around the issues, I don't think they serve the wedge quality that they once reliably could. Growing segments in the population support gay marriage and oppose DADT, and states are overturning laws as they see fit.

    That said, I can understand why Obama's in a predicament. He's doing a whole lot of sweeping changes, and those changes upset people on different levels. He's accrued a lot of political capital, which I can agree can be depleted too quickly in this election term. I also don't think gays are willing to hang on another four years and put up their supportive campaign dollars and backing if this gets out of control. His DOJ has to stand up for the existing law. It's not like Obama said to let Congress pass a repeal and that he'd threaten it with veto. He's just sending the message, but he's dinged for not being more upfront about his suggestion (unlike with the current health care bill).
     
  12. Trinity

    Trinity New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,682
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Female
    Obama does not feel the full repeal of DOMA changes anything from the states having a right to choose for themeselves whether to recognize same sex marriage in their state or to reject same sex marriages from other states.

    Obama is getting dinged on not pushing the full repeal of DOMA because it was something he promised in the campaign but really didn't express that he didn't think a full repeal changed anything other than federal recognition of benefits just as Hillary supported.

    Obama is getting dinged for DADT (right now) because his administration doesn't look like it is putting for a good faith effort on his promise by refusing to stop investigations gay dismissals from the military until the policy can be changed.
     
  13. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,539
    Likes Received:
    1
    For what it's worth.

    Tony West, James Gilligan and Scott Simpson (a Mormon holdover from Bush's DOJ) are the three attorneys from Obama's DOJ that filed the DOMA brief yesterday.


    Laurence H. Tribe, a Havard professor who firmly believes DOMA is unconstitutional and would like to see it overturned, is grateful that the DOJ filed a motion to dismiss that legal challenge posed by the ninth circuit court case, Smelt v. United States.

    He says this particular challenge to DOMA was weak and very vulnerable and nowhere near as strong as the one that was brought in the federal district court in Massachusetts [a suit filed by Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders].


    Tribe writes:

    "A strategic Justice Department interested in a litigation strategy that has some realistic chance of success certainly would not have taken [the Smelt] case as the one in which the constitutional vulnerabilities of DOMA should be explored."


    He also writes:

    "There are ways for the president to get rid of DOMA. He can advocate for its repeal {by Congress}, he can eventually urge the solicitor general to join in a more surgical attack, but he certainly isn’t obliged to go along with every plaintiff who brings a lawsuit."


    So, maybe it's for the best the DOJ argued for DOMA and filed a motion to dismiss Smelt.

    Likewise, when a gay marriage case finally makes it to the Supreme Court, you want it to be the right case and not just any plaintiff with a lawsuit as the wrong lawsuit can set the cause back several years.
     
  14. MichiganRico

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Messages:
    2,970
    Likes Received:
    56
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    SW Michigan

    First things first. Thanks, willtom27, for your insightful responses to the post. Your reliance upon authority in expressing your viewpoint is much appreciated.

    After having read so many contradictory responses to the DOJ's "Motion to Dismiss" brief in the Smelt case, I decided to bite the bullet and read the entire brief. I certainly understand why Laurence Tribe opines this is not the best case upon which to challenge the constitutionality of DOMA. The plaintiff's assertions are based primarily on prospective claims for potential harm, not harm already incurred.

    On the positive side, the brief does repeatedly mention the "evolving nature of marriage" and the potential to address some issues raised by Smelt with incremental, progressive legislative action. I did, however, take exception to the political editorializing regarding "protecting the scarce resources" of the States and the Federal government in respect to social security and the 1,000 other Federal rights afforded traditional marriage and "burdening" the populations of states not recognizing same-sex marriage. (As if the more prosperous states don't already subsidize the less prosperous--many of which are the most obstreperous opponents of gay marriage.) Overall, the rhetoric was not quite as harsh as I had been led to believe.

    Frankly, I am still left with the distinct feeling of being separate and very unequal. I fully understand the Obama administration has a very full plate right now, but DOMA must be repealed by legislative action. I believe it's a very poor strategy to depend solely upon relief coming from the judiciary. The President was been assiduous in his attempt to keep campaign promises: two of which were the repeal of DOMA and DADT. He needs to fulfill those promises. A congressional repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell" would be a good start in demonstrating that he is keeping the faith with GLBTQ Americans.

    For those interested, here's a link to the DOJ brief:
    Obama's Motion to Dismiss Marriage case
     
  15. Bbucko

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    7,413
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    58
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Sunny SoFla
    Americablog has an excellent rundown of the Obama Administration's rationale for defending DOMA. Be prepared to puke a little in your mouth, it's despicable, loathsome and contrary to his campaign promises on the subject.

    The title:
    Obama defends DOMA in federal court. Says banning gay marriage is good for the federal budget. Invokes incest and marrying children.
     
  16. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Messages:
    10,516
    Likes Received:
    7
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Boston, MA / New York, NY
    Well, that's one blow against the current administration. They dropped the ball on this. And I can sense Trinity, starinvestor and the rest of the anti-Obama crew celebrating and pointing fingers at people who voted for him, especially those in the gay community. But in the end, when it came down to choosing someone during the election the only other option was McCain. And if he was in office, he would have done the same thing.

    But to get back on topic... the struggle still continues for Gay Rights in this country.
     
  17. D_Jerry_Atric

    D_Jerry_Atric Account Disabled

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Messages:
    775
    Likes Received:
    7
    I can't say that I'm surprised about this one at all. Obama and Biden are not for same gender marriage and yet claimed that they were or that they were going to be.

    Who would have expected a politician to lie? :rolleyes:

    Obama's followers the people who think he'll be the next JFK, RFK, or Messiah or whatever past icon they believe in are rather weird.

    Unlike Bill Clinton, Obama shows no signs of being able to learn from his mistakes.

    People thought Clinton was self-absorbed but Obama takes the cake. No matter what issue he's talking about, he finds a way to turn it into a speech about himself. Obama will get asked questions and then instead of directly answering them he'll side swipe them or dodge them and talk about himself or go onto another topic that does not answer the question he has been asked.

    Yes it's common rhetoric but c'mon at least answer some questions, and try to appear truthful.

    A criticism people had of Clinton was that he governed based on the polls. But is that really such a bad way to do things? We got a president who believes he is infallible.

    I am scared. Then there's the massive spending and the fact he has no idea what he's doing with that.
     
    #17 D_Jerry_Atric, Jun 15, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2009
  18. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Messages:
    10,516
    Likes Received:
    7
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Boston, MA / New York, NY
    To be fair, this stuff supporting DOMA didn't come out of Obama's actual mouth. This is coming from the DOJ, but since it's his government he gets part of the blame indirectly. If anything, this latest fisaco could force Obama to come forward to do something about DOMA sooner than later. However, would he put something like this over healthcare? Probably not.

    Here's a recent news story on the issue with Rachel Maddow & Howard Dean: YouTube - Rachel Maddow Takes On Obama Over Defense Of Marriage Act
     
Draft saved Draft deleted