Various Direct Links

24 October 2011

FollowUp 1: Speaker Boehner's Defense of DOMA

At the end of my first post on this topic, I included a link to an article in US News and World Report that was published on 20 October 2011.  My purpose at that time was to highlight the cost of Mr. Boehner's legal team which had grown to at least one and a half million dollars.  The article was about Representative Mike Honda (D) of California, who is concerned about this waste of taxpayer dollars.

Honda is calling for a hearing to address what he said is an "irresponsible, backdoor use of taxpayer money" on the part of House Republicans, who have agreed to increase the pay cap for an outside firm defending the law, as first reported by LGBTQ Nation.

"The speaker of the House has been on the job for 288 days and has not created a single job for the American people," Honda said in a statement Thursday. "Instead, the House Republican leadership wastes precious resources by putting the American taxpayers on the hook for a $1.5 million legal tab in defense of discrimination."

If it was not so apparent that DOMA is in violation of the U.S. Constitution, this might be worth discussing.  There are two particular violations of the Constitution that I would highlight.

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

Since DOMA says that a same sex marriage that is entered into in one state need not be recognized by another state, it is in violation of Article 4, Section 1 of the United States Constitution.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Since DOMA does abridge the privileges of citizens of the United States, particularly the fundamental right to marry, it is in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1 of the United States Constitution.

As usual, the hate groups are upset.  This afternoon the National Organization for Marriage wrote on their blog

"John Boehner and the House are stepping in to do the job that President Obama refused to do." —Brian Brown, President of NOM
Washington, D.C. — In response to Democratic Rep. Mike Honda of California's calls for hearings on the cost of the House's defense of DOMA, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) released this statement:

"John Boehner and the House are stepping in to do the job that President Obama refused to do: defend a law passed by bipartisan majorities. The cost of hiring lawyers to defend DOMA should be deducted from the budget of the Justice Department," said Brian Brown, President of NOM. "The $1.5 million cost of defending DOMA represent less than one-one hundredth of one percent of the Justice Department's huge $28 billion budget. President Obama's defection of duty is responsible for incurring this cost; he should trim some fat and find the money to pay for it."

The problem with Speaker Boehner defending DOMA is less about the specific amount of money than it is about the defense of DOMA being a waste of taxpayer money.  Defending a law that is blatantly unconstitutional is wrong.  Defending a law that is unconstitutional and deprives a minority group of equal rights is despicable.

Thanks to Holy Bullies and Headless Gods for the heads up.  The linked article there is worth reading for more background on some of the lies behind the defense of DOMA.

20 October 2011, Original Pedantic Political Ponderings post

No comments:

Post a Comment

No longer open for freely commenting.