House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the Defense of Marriage Act is “definitely unconstitutional” and she is “confident” the Supreme Court will agree.
“DOMA is definitely unconstitutional. But don’t take my word for it,” said Pelosi at the Capitol on Thursday.
“Around 2005 the Republicans, who were in the majority, passed legislation specifically related to DOMA, which had, as you know, passed some years before, in the ’90s. But they came up with a specific bill relating to DOMA that stripped the courts of the right of judicial review. They said Marbury v. Madison was wrongly decided, that the courts do not have right of judicial review, and therefore they were stripping the courts of judicial review.”
“Why would they do that if they thought they had a constitutional bill — specifically related to DOMA?” she asked. “So I feel pretty confident about what will happen there, but you never know.”
House Speaker John Boehner was asked why the GOP-led House “continues to finance the defense” of DOMA.
“Let’s not confuse the issue of DOMA and the administration’s decision that it was unconstitutional. It’s not their role to decide what’s constitutional,” Boehner responded.
“DOMA was a law passed by the House, the Senate and signed into law by President Clinton. And in our system of government, the administration doesn’t get to decide what’s constitutional. The Supreme Court does. And our financing the lawsuit was to make sure that the proper forum was used to make sure that we know what’s constitutional and what isn’t.”
Giving his personal view, Boehner said marriage is between “one man and one woman.”
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on DOMA next week.
Former President Bill Clinton said the Supreme Court should overturn the law.
“On March 27, DOMA will come before the Supreme Court, and the justices must decide whether it is consistent with the principles of a nation that honors freedom, equality and justice above all, and is therefore constitutional. As the president who signed the act into law, I have come to believe that DOMA is contrary to those principles and, in fact, incompatible with our Constitution,” Clinton said.
Videography by Sarah Hofmann