Boehner criticizes Obama on DOMA

House Speaker John Boehner indicated that House Republicans are preparing to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, set to air Monday.

“You’ll see the House of Representatives defend our actions in passing a bill that frankly passed overwhelmingly,” Boehner told “The 700 Club” host David Brody, in reference to the DOMA bill that was originally passed by the House in a 342-67 vote and subsequently signed into law by former Pres. Bill Clinton in 1996.

Last week, Pres. Obama ordered the Department of Justice to stop defending the law in federal courts.

DOMA prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.

Last week, former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum called on House Republicans to appoint a counsel to defend the law, and Boehner said that Santorum’s recommendation “is an option being considered.”

Boehner characterized Obama’s order to not enforce DOMA as, “something that’s just as raw politics as anything I’ve seen,” and, citing public support for the law, accused the president of “pandering to the other side.”

However, Boehner is still undecided on how to approach the Obama administration’s new stance on DOMA, saying that he will “have a decision by the end of the week.”

Although Obama had previously stated his personal opposition to DOMA, he had maintained that he had no other choice but to uphold the law as president.

Obama’s reversal on DOMA has earned the scorn of social conservatives and even some liberals for refusing to uphold a law passed by Congress, as required by the Constitution.


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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Clyburn/1634185919 Steve Clyburn

    Ever since Thomas Jefferson refused to allow prosecutions to continue under the Sedition Act, various presidents have declined to support laws that they felt were unconstitutional. That includes George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush (the latter did it at least twice). Jefferson and Bush II had this in common: the Sedition Act and one of the laws that Bush II refused to defend had to do with freedom of speech.

    Last year, a federal judge declared that DOMA was unconstitutional. Obama decided to follow that judge’s lead and say that he would not defend a law that he felt was unconstitutional. So from the basis of precedent and procedure, Obama seems to be following in the footsteps of Jefferson and the Bushes. You may differ with him on the subject — gay marriage — but not the process he is using to avoid defending DOMA.

    • riseabove

      Steve – According to Wikipedia, the Sedition Act was allowed to expire in 1801 after the election of Thomas Jefferson to the presidency. Also noteworthy is that:

      Although the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the convictions of 11 CPUSA leaders in 1951 in Dennis v. United States , that same Court reversed itself in 1957 in the case of Yates v. United States, by ruling that teaching an ideal, no matter how harmful it may seem, does not equal advocating or planning its implementation. Although unused since at least 1961, the “Smith Act” remains a Federal law.

      See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedition

      The problems surrounding the enforcement of the Sedition Act is very different from enforcement of the Defense of Marriage Act, and since I don’t really see the connection it makes it difficult to comment further.