Obama Says Stop Defending Defense Of Marriage

Submitted by: MOTBO 6 years ago in
http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2011/02/president-obama-instructs-justice-department-to-stop-defending-defense-of-marriage-act-calls-clinton.html

President Obama: Making easy choices again.
There are 116 comments:
Male 1,299
"Can you please name one good dictator in history?"

Cincinnatus
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Male 10,338
"DOMA is inherently unconstitutional"

If it is, then why is it still a law?
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Male 12,365
[quote]@Angilion: Actually, you`re wrong. It has to do with the government taking away any liberty or property, not just crimes. It is the same clause of the constitution that formed the basis of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was the first time it became illegal for companies to discriminate on the basis of physical handicap. It isn`t hard at all to extend the logic to this situation. Wikipedia "due process clause" at the very least before making assertions as to the interpretation of the constitution, guy.[/quote]

I`d rather read the actual text, guy.

Which is what I did.

You can claim any text means anything. I don`t have to agree with you.
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Male 12,365
[quote]Can you please name one good dictator in history?

Julius Caesar is the closest one I can think of that was any good for his people, and he isn`t sugar plums and gum drops.[/quote]

Sulla was arguably good for the Roman republic, but his first action on seizing power was slaughtering his enemies, stealing their possessions and sticking their heads on spears in the Forum. Proscription lists and death squads followed. But he did preserve the republic and he did voluntarily restore democracy and stand down when the republic was stablised.

There were a number of genuinely good dictators in the Roman republic before those two (both of whom took power illegally, unlike the earlier dictators), but they were each elected dictator by the Senate for the duration of a crisis and relinquished the dictatorship within months of being given it.

Not the same thing as the modern meaning of `dictator`, really.
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Male 1,299
He also stated that it is simply a request to ignore the law and they are not legally obligated to observe this request, as it is still a law.

Additionally he stated that this measure only effects executive offices on a federal level. State level enforcement agencies and courts are apparently unaffected by this request unless the law is repealed. The reason for this is, again, because it IS still a law.

He wasn`t sure if this sets a precedent or if this was an action that had been previously taken by another President.


I`ve been sitting out of this conversation because I think like AJ I am kind of on the fence about it- I can see both sides as having valid grounds... Personally I think this is a bit of a stretch of power but I also fail to see how it`s illegal.

I just thought I would interject with what information i`ve found. Please continue! This has probably been the most interesting dialogue on IAB i`ve witnessed yet.
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Male 1,299
I asked my former Law professor if this is in fact an action the president can legally take. His words essentially verify most, if not all, that Sirrix has said. This probably isn`t enough for CJ- or really anyone else that believe it is not the case.

In any case he elaborated a little bit on what the effects of this are:

Apparently the president can decide to not enforce a law on any legal grounds- he doesn`t need to cite the constitution. In citing the constitution however, Obama has largely made this a judicial issue as opposed to a legislative issue.

Had Obama not cited the constitution, Congress could either hire a lawyer and sue, impeach the president or pass new legislature to resolve the issue.

As it stands Obama has questioned the Constitutionality of the law and is therefore essentially requiring that the supreme court make a judgment on the specific issue- this will either resolve the issue or revert it to a matter of congress.
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Male 10,338
I can`t wear my boots if I keep shakin` in them so hard. Please stop. Please.
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Male 10,338
@madest:

Once again, why do you always resort to hate and name calling?

Why can you not have a fair and civilized debate?

Also, there is no precedent for this. Last time a president tried to ignore LAW (not policy) was when Lincoln tried to censor newspapers during the Civil War.

It failed BTW.
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Male 17,511
madest: There is a huge difference between policy and law. A policy is typically described as a principle or rule to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes. In this case, it was about the FCC trying to force to broadcasters into minority ownership.

I don`t know about you, But if I owned a business and the government told me that they were going to force me to sell part of it to a minority group, or face not having a license to do business, I`d think that was unconstitutional and fight it.

Again, Not enforcing a policy and not enforcing a law are two different things. President`s make policy decisions all the time, they do not however get to choose what laws not to enforce.
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Male 17,511
Also, Reading the article states that it was only about FCC `policy` not law, and John Roberts (then deputy solicitor general) made the decision not to push that policy on radio and television broadcasters, not Bush 41.

The article also notes "The Supreme Court did not agree, ruling 5 to 4 against him; five years later, however, the high court reversed course in another case that invalidated many minority contracting programs."
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Male 10,338
"Bush was urged by his then solicitor general John Roberts to not enforce minority owner requirements in broadcasting."

But did he do it?
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Male 17,511
madest: I never said George H.W. Bush was perfect, smart guy. And I`ve never said, [quote]he`s a muslim sleeper cell terrorist born outside the country and bent on it`s destruction.[/quote] about Obama.

Really, Where did you get that crap from ?

It`s a breach of presidential powers no matter who does it. You act like tossing something Bush 41 did in my face is some kind of kyrptonite, well it isn`t.
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Male 10,338
@sprinxz:

Thus far, we have actually had a good debate without all the hate and vitriol.

Please make an effort to keep it that way. You might learn a thing or two.
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Male 17,511
madest: That`s where Obama became best buds with radicals Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorn, You aren`t really helping the case of him being a `constitutional scholar` by mentioning that.

Scholars do research write papers and books, resolve questions, and pen opinions.

You still haven`t shown me anything of him being a `constitutional scholar`, all you shown is that he was a lecturer for a college for 12 years. There is a big difference between the two.
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Male 210
@Volsunga: Please read the discussion below. What he`s doing is very much within his powers as enumerated in the const.
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Male 2,309
Vol,

Are you seriously considering that same sex marriage is gonna mess something up? lol
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Male 2,309
Suicism, you realize that you sound stupid as hell, right? :\
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Male 10,855
[quote] Must have been teaching the `revised` version[/quote]

Hasty generalization.
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Male 210
@Angilion: Actually, you`re wrong. It has to do with the government taking away any liberty or property, not just crimes. It is the same clause of the constitution that formed the basis of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was the first time it became illegal for companies to discriminate on the basis of physical handicap. It isn`t hard at all to extend the logic to this situation. Wikipedia "due process clause" at the very least before making assertions as to the interpretation of the constitution, guy.
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Male 3,631
Wow - could have fooled me. Must have been teaching the `revised` version. Thanks though.
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Male 3,631
I`m a little confused too madest - where do you get "constitutional scholar" from?
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Male 1,010
People of the same sex must be able to be legally married. All financial and other rights and duties must be the same as others. The law and the church in any country should be completely separate. A country who does not follow these rules is not a free democracy in it`s fullest form, because of discrimination towards gay people. "Religious freedom" is not the freedom to mess with the law. If that was the case, we would still be burning witches and the priest would collect the taxes.

If the church, by it`s own rules doesn`t want to marry them it is up to the church itself. But the internal rules of the church - wether it`s positive towards forced marriage, or negative towards gay marrige, cannot cut off the freedom of not being discriminated b.c. of race, gender or sexual orientation.
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Male 1,547
While I agree with Obama`s policy this time, I have a serious problem with the executive trying to control the judicial branch. The only power he should have is in the appointment of judges. Anything else is a fairly blatant violation of the US constitution. I hate to sound like a conspiracy jackoff, but this is how dictatorships happen; the violation of democracy to do something good, which sets legal precedent to violate it further in more sinister ways.
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Male 10,338
JDplaysFF:

Can you please name one good dictator in history?

Julius Caesar is the closest one I can think of that was any good for his people, and he isn`t sugar plums and gum drops.
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Male 625
Meh, dictators get a bad rap. A good dictator could really clean our system up. Unfortunately, we don`t have a dictator, we have an overreaction.
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Male 359
No Spider_sol the point is "dont ignore a law just because you dont like it. Change the law and make it right. If our CiC can pick-and-choose what laws are to be enforced, then we have a dictator regardless if I agree with him on this issue or not."

THAT is THE point.
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Male 1,451
Schr0dinger, the point is that marriage is NOT a religious act. The reasons for gay marriage most boil down to: being able to comfort your spouse in the hospital when during "family only" time and having a "concrete" proclamation of your love for each other.

Oh, and taxes, don`t forget about taxes 0.o
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Male 359
Most gays and lesbians I know have chosen to be atheist anyway. So what difference does marriage make? Without some great and mighty religion telling you that your union is valid in the eyes of their version of God, marriage is just a business contract.

As for me, I say let people marry whomever they please. But dont ignore a law just because you dont like it. Change the law and make it right. If our CiC can pick-and-choose what laws are to be enforced, then we have a dictator regardless if I agree with him on this issue or not.
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Male 10,338
@rammo:

Yeah we were feeling awfully civilized today.
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Male 12,365
[quote]@Auburn,

Obama cites the Due Process clause, which states that an individual cannot be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process. He believes that the law deprives same sex couples of life and liberty by taking away their rights.[/quote]

That`s a wild interpretation of that amendment, given that it`s about people accused of crimes. It`s about people accused of crimes not being executed or imprisoned without due process of law (or anyone having their possessions taken by the state without fair payment). It clearly states that is the context and it`s clearly taken from the Magna Carta, so it`s had that specific meaning for 796 years.
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Male 17,511
madest: Oh yeah ? If he is such a `constitutional scholar` show me one paper he wrote at Columbia or Occidental.

Oh that`s right you can`t, He`s hidden all that from away from public view.
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Male 1,116
Did I just just see 4 pages of civilized debate? This is not the IAB I know and love.
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Male 787
Score 1 for obama.
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Male 1,299
"Do we have the right to get married, or is it a privilege?

I mean, we have to get a license for it to be legal, and licenses can be revoked/not granted."

We have the right. "Marriage" is a union between two people, typically officially recognized by a religious entity.

To receive Federal marriage BENEFITS, you must license. "Operating a Motor Vehicle Without A License" is a crime; "Being Married, or recognized by any institution as being in a civil union, Without A License," is not a crime.

Laws such as these really only deny marital benefits to gay couples. There are thousands of churches across the nation that will Wed same sex couples- but those couples will not be legally recognized in all states, nor by the federal government, which denies them marital benefits.
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Male 70
@auburnjunky: you`re right.
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Male 70
@Starteck: You wish.
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Male 210
@Cajun247: Yeah that sounds like a good clause when you read it, but what that actually means is just that States need to give credit to other States` laws and judgments. It has surprisingly little weight with regard to laws and it does not apply to make the Federal government give credit to State laws/judgments. So you couldn`t use this clause to say that a Federal law violates a law of Massachusetts, for instance. Good creative thinking, though!
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Male 40,772
[quote]He implies it every time there`s a posting about equality[/quote]
Noooo @Madest YOU INFER that he says that.
I-N-F-E-R! Not imply! Learn to speak proper English, dude! lookitup!
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Male 25,416
meh..
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Male 97
Keep on fishing for votes Obama.

Anyways, I thought his job was to ENFORCE the law, not UN-enforce it?
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Male 235
DomTheDaring and auburnjunky must be gay.
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Male 10,855
@sirrix

Whoops! Got the numbers reversed Art 4, Sec 1.

"Full faith and credit clause"
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Male 210
@amb1: Toats McGoatse. Random thought: if Elmo were bleeding, would anyone notice?
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Female 1,101
All I have to say is... WOOOOO!!! I hope they take this one on and win!!! They should have done it when they had the majority!!!
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Male 4,290
[quote]It is the supreme court`s job to interpret the law, but it`s not their job to make NEW law. Perhaps you confused one of my comments with this.[/quote]
Ah OK, it must have been someone else then. I`m sure I remember someone on here telling me they didn`t accept that the Supreme Court had the authority to interpret the Constitution for some reason.


sirrix, I hate to break it to you, but you are just far too civilised for IAB debate. Please reply with at least one ad hominem to show you`re IAB material.
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Male 10,338
@Dom:

Agreed, so let`s get it put in the Constitution so it can`t be mistaken. Amirite?
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Male 70
@Zombunny: High-five! (Creamsicles rule.)

We don`t deny people the right to wed based on race (something inherent), nor do we deny marriage based on one`s political affiliation (something chosen). Therefore, regardless of whether one`s belief as to whether homosexuality is inherent or a choice (even though we all know damn well that it`s inherent), there can be no ethical or constitutional validation of denying homosexual americans the same rights as heterosexual americans, including marriage. Any attempt to do so can only be based on personal/religous ideals, which are full of poo. Booya!
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Male 210
@zombunny: Word, sistah.
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Female 119
Anti-miscegenation laws (preventing blacks and whites from marriage or sexual acts) were held to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1967. I argue this with my husband every-time he brings up his views about gay marriage. When you strip gay marriage down to the basics of humban rights.. it is Unconstitutional to deny anyone the right to marry simply based on race, or religion so why not sexual orientation?
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Female 2,525
It`s been a pleasure discussing this with you, gentlemen. It`s always refreshing to take part in a healthy debate where no one resorts to namecalling or personal insults. Thank you.
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Male 210
@Cajun247: Sorry I`m not following your post... Art. I Sec. IV talks about elections.
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Male 10,855
A more intelligent assertion would be it goes against Art 1. Sec IV USC. Amendment 14 is not too much of a stretch.

[quote]does not cover people based on sexual orientation. [/quote]

Does it really mean we`re not obligated? Furthermore 14th amendment says >>>all people<<< doesn`t even matter if they`re mentally ill.
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Male 10,338
Well madest you imply you eat babies but I don`t call you out on it every time you post.

J/K man.
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Male 10,338
@madest:

"You`re still not better than gay people."

Why do you always have to be so combative? He never said he was.
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Female 2,525
Yay, I love creamsicles!
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Male 210
@zombunny: I owe you a creamsicle. Even Boston winters aren`t too cold for creamsicles :)
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Male 210
@CJ: "The checks on Congress are the supreme court, the presidents veto pen, and the American people."

AND the power to arrest whomever he wants and sue whomever he wants - I don`t know what else to say but you`re wrong. It`s just how it works, man!
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Male 17,511
madest: I`m saying it`s unconstitutional no matter what the context of the law is. You however only care about context. I`m sure you were part of the `Impeach Bush` crowd just a few short years ago.
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Male 210
@CJ: "I do believe you, madest, and a millions of others would be in the streets with signs calling for his resignation or impeachment."

Then go to the streets! That`s your right, my friend. And it`s the President`s right to enforce or not enforce whatever he chooses. I have my doubts that you`ll get too many supporters, though, what with the General and Master Chief of the Marine Corps standing behind the repeal of DADT now...
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Male 17,511
sirrix: The checks on Congress are the supreme court, the presidents veto pen, and the American people.

He can`t decide to not enforce a law that he doesn`t like, that is simply unconstitutional, a breach of the executive branch of government.
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Female 2,525
@CrakrJak,

If the president decided to outlaw orange creamsicles because the tooth fairy told him to, I`d be in the streets calling for his resignation too.

:)
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Female 2,525
Hmm, good point, Auburn. One could argue, though, that the basis for denying gays the ability to marry (or retain their married rights in other states) is based on religion, and therefore would be unconstitutional on that fact alone.
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Male 210
@AJ: Yeah but the clause doesn`t have to mention anything about homosexuals. The cool thing about our laws is that the Const. is like 5 pages long. The set of laws in the US is 5 billion pages long. This means that TONS of laws interpreting who get what rights are made after the Constitution and then are subject to interpretation by Courts. Sometimes they`re deemed unconstitutional, sometimes not. Here, the law treating homosexuals differently, Obama is arguing, was made in violation of the 5th Amendment because the reason for the government doing so doesn`t satisfy the "due process" that everyone in the US is entitled to. It may seem like a weird argument, but this is the same clause that has made it illegal to discriminate against disabled people. The Americans with Disabilities Act was not made all that long ago...
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Male 17,511
zombunny: If the president said he wasn`t going to enforce the law on `hate crimes`, saying it was unequal and not constitutional because of the 5th and 14th amendments.

I do believe you, madest, and a millions of others would be in the streets with signs calling for his resignation or impeachment.
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Male 10,338
@zombunny: But american rights cannot be infringed upon based on creed, color, or religion. Says nothing about sexual orientation.

So yeah. It says, "Yeah, and the blacks too." and it also says "Yeah, and all the Muslims too." It does not say "Yeah, and all the LGBTs too."
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Male 10,338
@zombunny:

Do we have the right to get married, or is it a privilege?

I mean, we have to get a license for it to be legal, and licenses can be revoked/not granted.
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Male 210
@CJ: I really can`t explain it a hundred times - do some internet research. He can do this and this is the basis of checks and balances. If the President were obligated in some way to enforce every law that Congress passes, then what is the check on Congress? Why wouldn`t Congress be in charge of the FBI? This is just how it works, my friend - the President is the Chief Executive and makes all orders with regard to the enforcement of all laws. I agree that a better move would have been for him to sue in Court to get the Court to rule on this but he is absolutely allowed to consider the Constitutionality of laws (which is why he also has complete veto power over all laws).

I`m glad you guys are interested in this stuff though - I suggest maybe getting involved in the practice of law it`s a fun field. Best of luck.
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Male 17,511
madest: If it were an issue you disagreed with, You would be screaming your head off and calling for his impeachment.
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Female 2,525
"What he is doing wrong, it interpreting the Constitution. The 5th amendment (equal protection) does not cover people based on sexual orientation.

He should first move to get the constitution amended to include same sex couples from discrimination, then and ONLY THEN can they be recognized by the Equal Protection."

I`m pretty sure just being an American citizen grants you these rights. I don`t think it has to specifically say "oh yeah, and the gays too."
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Male 10,338
@sirrix: My point is, the equal protection clause of the 5th amendment doesn`t say anything about sexual orientation, but yet he cites it as a reason that DOMA is unconstitutional. If he had it changed to include sexual orientation then there wouldn`t be a problem IMO.

This is a good debate! Thanks!
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Female 2,525
@Auburn,

Obama cites the Due Process clause, which states that an individual cannot be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process. He believes that the law deprives same sex couples of life and liberty by taking away their rights.
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Male 210
@auburnjunky: Well it`s actually both. The tricky thing about the 5th amendment is that it "technically" only applies to the Federal Government and not the states. The 14th Amendment is the vehicle by which the due process clause also applies to the States. So this is so a particular state can`t make it okay for their cops to go beyond the confines of the laws Congress makes.
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Male 210
@auburnjunky: [pulls out trusty pocket-sized Constitution that all lawyers have in their briefcases]: Ah, yes, the 5th Amendment. So the big thing w/ this Amendment is the "due process" clause. This essentially means that the government isn`t allowed to take away any of your freedoms or money or property unless it`s fair. So the letter from the A.G. mentioned the "standard" for scrutiny and all that. That legal jargon means how important a reason the government needs to have in order to take away your freedom/stuff. In other words, how important is it to the state that they take away this freedom of yours. So Holder`s saying that historically, the DOMA was subject to a "medium important" standard where the government can just say "well it`s important because we think it is," but he thinks it should be a "very f-ing important" standard, like freedom of speech and stuff, which is almost never justified to impinge upon.
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Male 17,511
sirrix: He can`t do that, That is simply beyond his constitutional powers. He can`t just choose which laws to enforce and which to ignore, If he could what would be the sense in even having a congress or a supreme court ? The President is not a king, He simply can`t do this.
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Male 10,338
@crakr:

He isn`t forcing the Supreme Court to do anything. He is forcing the executive branch.

What he is doing wrong, it interpreting the Constitution. The 5th amendment (equal protection) does not cover people based on sexual orientation.

He should first move to get the constitution amended to include same sex couples from discrimination, then and ONLY THEN can they be recognized by the Equal Protection.
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Male 17,511
AJ: the 5th amendment is about due process of law, I have no idea how that could be contrary to DOMA.

Since DOMA is law, and it has not been found unconstitutional. Then the president himself is actually breaking part of the 5th amendment by not applying `due process` to these cases.

That`s the only link I can think of AJ.
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Male 210
@CrakrJak: Right he can`t "force" the Court to declare anything unconstitutional, but here`s how this process works: (1) President disagrees w/ law. (2) Stop enforcing law. (3A) Congress gets the message, repeals law, or... (3B) Congress gets pissed, someone brings a lawsuit against the DOJ to get the DOJ to enforce the law. At the 3B stage, the President basically has now forced the Courts to at least look at the constitutionality of the law. It`s convoluted, but that`s how the checks/balances work sometimes.
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Male 17,511
sirrix: The president cannot force the supreme court to do anything, That`s the frikken problem here !
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Male 10,338
@sirrix: He cited the 5th amendment. How exactly does DOMA violate the 5th amendment? Just looking for answers. Not trying to ruffle feathers.
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Male 17,511
sirrix: Protecting the constitution includes preserving the powers allowed by each branch of the government and not overstepping those bounds himself.

If it where the presidents job to interpret the constitution we would not need a supreme court now would we ?
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Male 210
@CrakrJak: You`re missing the point here. There is a step between enforcement and legal recourse, they`re two different things. If the President told the IRS "do not give tax benefits to gay married couples" and the IRS actually did that, then anyone who didn`t get the benefits could sue the IRS and the Courts would award them the money.

Sure, there`s the issue of what if the IRS just outright refuses to pay down the line, but now we`re getting into strange hypotheticals that would never happen. What if a crazy President just loaded up some tanks and blew the Supreme Court apart? The president here is trying to get the Courts to make a ruling on the constitutionality of this law. If the Courts say it`s valid, then I have to imagine that Obama will return to enforcing it, though he will campaign for the law to be repealed by Congress. (If that doesn`t happen soon anyway).
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Male 17,511
madest: Ok then, What if a republican president decided to not enforce the legal obligations of civil unions via the IRS or DOJ ? That would in essence make them null and void.

That would definitely get them screaming their heads off, Now wouldn`t it ?
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Male 210
sorry: ... it`s why the military doesn`t answer to Congress directly as well. Enforcement falls to the Executive.

And it is, btw, his job to interpret the Constitution. The oath of office says "will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." If choosing to not enforce a particular law is preserving the Constitution, then not only can he do so, it seems to me that he`s obligated by this oath to do just that.
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Male 210
@auburnjunky: Nice because I`m at sirrix at gmail.com was going to offer to email you some credentials.

No they don`t HAVE to listen to him, but they would likely get fired if they didn`t. The members of the Executive Branch do not have life terms like the Judiciary does - they serve at the pleasure of the President. There was a news story not too long ago about some mass firing of U.S. Attorneys by the President that caused quite a stir but... It`s his call.

It may seem weird at first glance, but it`s actually a very good thing. Think of it this way: say Congress passes a law that says that all second babies have to be aborted, a.k.a. China`s policy. The FBI or DOJ or whomever would be enforcing that policy would be allowed to say "no thanks, Congress, we disagree with that law, take it up with the Courts," at which point (hopefully) the Courts would say "that is a retarded f-cktard of a law" and strike it down. It`s why the military doesn
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Male 10,338
No he isn`t. He`s interpreting it.

That`s for the Supreme Court to do.

He can`t just say "I think this means this so this is how we will act."
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Female 2,525
He`s not questioning the constitution. He`s trying to uphold it to the best of his ability.
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Female 2,525
Thank you, sirrix.
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Male 10,338
"So it`s a lot harder for anyone to force the Executive Branch to do something they don`t want to do."

Basically it`s a lot harder to force the Executive Branch to uphold the law he swore to uphold in the inauguration?

BTW you swayed me. I agree with your assessment. It may be allowed but it doesn`t mean the DOJ et al. MUST abide by it does it?

I still stand by my thought that it isn`t his place to question the constitution by the way.

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Male 210
@zombunny: Pretty *and* smart!
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Male 210
@auburnjunky: The big difference in your situation is that if the President started censoring people, whatever action he took would be in Court, most likely, or people would sue very quickly. The Courts would quickly throw out those cases since there would be no basis in the law to censor people willy-nilly. The difference here, and what makes this more interesting, is that the Executive`s stance is to "do nothing." So it`s a lot harder for anyone to force the Executive Branch to do something they don`t want to do. It`s a clever way for the President to send a message to Congress about the status of this law.
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Female 2,525
Neither, Auburn. His statement just aligns with what I already thought when I read the article.
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Male 210
@auburnjunky: Yes. It`s a touchy issue but that`s the power of the executive. There are things that can be done, such as (1) a person could sue the U.S., seeking enforcement of a law, (2) Congress could impeach the President (or threaten to do so), or (3) Congress could otherwise pressure the President by refusing to pass legislation he wants (i.e., military funding, etc.).

That is the checks and balances - there`s nothing that prevents the President from ordering members of the Executive Branch (i.e., Attorney General Holder, who wrote the press release) from doing whatever he wishes.
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Male 10,338
Is he right because he is (allegedly) qualified to make the statement, or is he right because you want him to be right?
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Female 2,525
Pretty sure sirrix is right here, guys.
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Male 10,338
Waaaaaaaaaait siirix:

So basically, any President can come in and say, "I don`t feel like free speech is constitutional. We will start censoring everyone."?

I don`t think he has that power.
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Male 210
While you guys are right that it isn`t the Executive`s job to determine the constitutionality of laws, the key here is that only the executive branch (the FBI, DOJ, police, Attorney General, etc.) can actually arrest or sue on behalf of the state. So if the President orders the DOJ to not enforce section 3 of the DOMA, there will be no one to challenge it in Court, unless some idiot tries to sue the government for *not* enforcing it, which I have a feeling they would not have standing to do since they would be unable to show how they were harmed by the government`s not enforcing the DOMA... But you never know...
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Female 33
"We are just saying that the President has no business ordering the Supreme Court publicly."

Maybe when that actually happens you will have something to complain about. That`s not what happened here.
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Male 210
Holy poo people. I am a lawyer - allow me to clear this up: Legislative branch: make laws. Judiciary: apply laws, including the constitution. Executive: enforce the laws. The Dept. of Justice is an Executive Branch agency under the purview of the President. He appoints all Attorneys General and U.S. Attorneys and may fire them at any time for any reason.

It is absolutely the job of the President to enforce whatever laws he chooses - the judiciary and legislature can do nothing if the executive decides to ignore going after people for certain crimes, aside from impeaching or voting him out. That`s what democracy is all about, people. Welcome to the U.S.A.
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Male 10,338
PS. Nobody is saying DOMA is right or wrong. We are just saying that the President has no business ordering the Supreme Court publicly.


He really doesn`t. That`s why we have separation of powers.
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Male 10,338
Here`s the breakdown for you all.

The President suggests a bill to Congress.

Congress passes the bill, and gives it to the President.

He then, and only then, signs it into law.

The Supreme Court then defends said law.

It is not the job of a sitting president to tell the Supreme Court which laws to observe, and which to ignore. They MUST observe ALL LAWS to the best of their ability.
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Male 17,511
Bob: No, I`ve never said it was the job of the president to interpret or decide what laws he would enforce.

It is the supreme court`s job to interpret the law, but it`s not their job to make NEW law. Perhaps you confused one of my comments with this.
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Male 2,422
Determining the constitutionality of legislation is not in the Executive`s purview. Or am I wrong about that?
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Male 591
Good. This is another small step toward sanity regarding gay marriage in the United States. In another twenty years we`ll be looking back and wondering what the fuss was all about.
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Male 4,290
[quote]Obama does not have the authority to decide on his own what laws are and aren`t constitutional, that is the supreme court`s job not his. [/quote]
Don`t I remember you telling me a while back that you believed it WASN`T the Supreme Court`s job to interpret the Constitution? Or was that possibly someone else?

Either way, this does seem out of line. Fair enough that you disagree with a law, but if you want to change it you need to do so within the parameters of the law.
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2,845
isnt it unconstitutional for the president to determine if something is constitutional? isnt that why we courts? isnt that why we separation of power?
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Female 2,525
He is asking the DOJ not to defend the constitutionality of the law in Pedersen v. OPM and Windsor v. United States.

Maybe I`m splitting hairs but I don`t think that`s the same as doing away with the law.
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Male 17,511
ROWKEM: If there were a republican president in office and he decided to not enforce the repeal of DADT, You`d be screaming your head off that he over stepped his authority.
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Male 240
So now he`s a constitutional lawyer?
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Male 17,511
zombunny: AJ is correct, Obama does not have the authority to decide on his own what laws are and aren`t constitutional, that is the supreme court`s job not his.

This action is way out of bounds, If you don`t understand that fact you need to go back and take civics class again.
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Male 10,338
It isn`t Obama`s job to interpret law.

What is he doing?
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Female 2,525
@CrakrJak, the president`s first loyalty should be to the Constitution. He believes the law is unconstitutional.
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Male 1,299
One small step for Gay Rights.
One giant leap for humanity.
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Male 9
About damn time. This is great for every reason they`ve stated. I`m glad Obama is taking a clear stand on LGB rights and I hope this is another step in full equality for all Americans; whether it be in marriage, government, the workplace, or just life in general.

It`s too bad those biggoted right wind nut-jobs will probably oust him next year, `in the name of God`...disgusting. One can only hope the Dem`s get their ass in gear so we can see another 4 years.
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Female 2,525
Someone explain to me how this is an example of Obama making easy choices?
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Male 17,511
So he`s deciding on his own what laws he will and won`t enforce now ? Why do we have a congress again ?
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Male 153
Link: Obama Says Stop Defending Defense Of Marriage [Rate Link] - President Obama: Making easy choices again.
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