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Impeachable Offense? Fox News: Obama DOMA Defense Refusal “Dictatorship”

by David Badash on February 23, 2011

in Bigotry Watch,Civil Rights,Discrimination,Gay Agenda,Legal Issues,Marriage,Media,News,Politics

Post image for Impeachable Offense? Fox News: Obama DOMA Defense Refusal “Dictatorship”

Monica Crowley today on Fox News likened the Obama administration’s announcement today that it will no longer defend DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, in court, to a “dictatorship,” called the President, “Mubarak Obama,” and falsely claimed that it is “his responsibility, under the constitution, to enforce that law.”

It is not.

The Defense of Marriage Act effectively bans federal recognition of same-sex marriages, and gives states the right, while not forcing them, to not recognize same-sex marriages. By effectively banning these marriages, discrimination has been written into the law. DOMA makes ineligible same sex couples from accessing over 1138 federal and state benefits, and makes these unions in the eyes of society unequal to the same unions of opposite-sex couples.

The Power, author of the video above, writes, “When President Bush was in office, there were no federal laws protecting gay people from discrimination.  More to the point, President Bush stopped enforcing some major civil and human rights laws that protected all people, gay and straight, including the Geneva Convention and the Fourth Amendment.  And there were calls for his impeachment.  But Bush didn’t decide those laws were unconstitutional.  He decided he was more powerful than the Constitution.  There’s a difference.”

Indeed. As we wrote here earlier today, in, “”NOM’s Maggie Gallagher Calls Obama’s DOMA Position An “End Run”,”thanks to John Aravosis at AmericaBlog:

“George W. Bush (ACLU et al., v. Norman Y. Mineta – “The U.S. Department of Justice has notified Congress that it will not defend a law prohibiting the display of marijuana policy reform ads in public transit systems.”), Bill Clinton (Dickerson v. United States – “Because the Miranda decision is of constitutional dimension, Congress may not legislate a contrary rule unless this Court were to overrule Miranda…. Section 3501 cannot constitutionally authorize the admission of a statement that would be excluded under this Court’s Miranda cases.”), George HW Bush (Metro Broadcasting v. Federal Communications Commission), and Ronald Reagan (INS v./ Chadha – “Chadha then filed a petition for review of the deportation order in the Court of Appeals, and the INS joined him in arguing that § 244(c)(2) is unconstitutional.”) all joined in lawsuits opposing federal laws that they didn’t like, laws that they felt were unconstitutional.”

Bottom line, the President has the authority to not defend in court a law he deems unconstitutional, especially one he is working to get repealed. It seems Fox News has really lost all credibility.

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Daniel Teifer February 23, 2011 at 4:55 pm


Carl February 23, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Bottom line, the President has the authority to not defend in court a law he deems unconstitutional, especially one he is working to get repealed. -quoted from above

Isn't he sworn to defend all laws? If he doesn't want to defend one, get it repealed. Don't ignore it. Maybe we will choose to do the same, and not pay our taxes because we find them morally reprehensible.

David Badash February 23, 2011 at 5:34 pm

No. The president is required to enforce all laws, not to defend them in court. There's a big difference.

Detail^∞ February 23, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Actually, to be more accurate and precise, the President of the United States is (literally) sworn to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" [U.S. Constitution, Art. II Sect. 1]. Now, while it is further true that Article VI of the same dictates that "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof … shall be the supreme Law of the Land," which has the effect that congressional acts passed and authorized by the president have constitutional force, still, no legislative act (except amendment) can supersede organic constitutional law. So if the president deems an act of Congress to be contrary to the Constitution, it is in fact his sworn duty *not* to enforce that act—by definition.

Whether or not you agree with his political position on this issue, you should at the very least give this sitting president high praise for discharging the preeminent duty of his office with so much courage and conviction. I for one wish to see far, far *more* love and devotion to that sublime document on the part of our politicians (to say nothing of the polemics who yammer mindlessly on about politics and issues of our time).

@donotcurseatme February 23, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Fox News is so pathetic. Really. I laughed out loud when I heard what that ridiculous woman said. I can't even believe they allow those kinds of people on air. It's always entertaining to see what absurd thing they'll come up with next.

John Fields February 24, 2011 at 1:58 am

people who encourage DOMA to stay in effect are ridiculous, he might be sworn to protect laws, but at the same time, he has the right to sit there and decide if something is unconstitutional. Not long ago women didn't have the right to vote, that was in the constitution. Alcohol was once illegal in the untied states, that was in the constitution, so how is it now, that something else in the constitution that is going up for repeal, that it turns into something bad? I just don't get it. Progress of the United States? There is hardly any progress here, because because and haters are abound in this country. When I have to leave my house every day to go to work and have to fear whether or not I am going to get beat up or worse because of my life choices, at least we have a president who is working towards right for me, as well as other men and women who share my lifestyle. Those of you who don't like his opinion, or anything he does, can just go away, no-one is making you stay in the USA, you can chose when, and where to go. And of course, how fast to get there. IMO he is doing something great. And that is what matters..

Karger 2012 February 24, 2011 at 3:42 pm

If this is a dictatorship than Sieg Heil!

TheCitizen February 24, 2011 at 11:44 pm

No, you people really are fundamentally ignorant. I support gay marriage, but it's very clear that the executive branch has usurped the powers granted exclusively to the judiciary by the Constitution. I appreciate the attempt you've made at showing that previous executives have taken similar positions, but your examples are far from analogous to the current scenario. In all of the "precedent" you submit a federal judge had already ruled, following arguments by the DOJ and the plaintiffs, that the law was unconstitutional. This is the fundamental element at issue. NEVER before in American history has a president declared a law unconstitutional absent a federal judge's ruling on the matter. In all cases cited the DOJ simply AGREED with a federal judge's opinion. In this case Obama has preempted the judiciary, effectively destroying their role in our delicately balanced system of governmental powers.

It's a very simple concept to understand. If the executive branch will not defend dually passed federal law, who will? Congress is Constitutionally restricted from administrative powers. And if laws passed by our democratically elected representatives are enforced selectively then what is their purpose?

By stating this position on DOMA Barack Obama has effectively vested all true power in the executive branch. He has made the legislative branch impotent and preempted the authority of the judicial branch. The authors of this blog are either too partisanly blind to see this or too stupid to make an intelligent analysis of their own arguments. This policy, coupled with the administration's meddling in the domestic affairs of the Sovereign state of Wisconsin (yes, it is a sovereign state, despite what you might ignorantly believe) which they are prohibited from doing by the authority of the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution, has evinced a plain design to destroy the American Republic.

David Badash February 25, 2011 at 5:54 am

Quite simply, you're wrong. DOMA was declared unconstitutional in 2009 by a federal court judge. This is not at all unprescented. Do your homework.

Provasek February 25, 2011 at 4:32 am

The Defense of Marriage act has been found Unconstitutional in TWO CASES. Gill v. Office of Personnel Management violates the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and Massachusetts v. U.S. Dep't of Health and Human Services violates the Tenth Amendment and the Spending Clause of the Constitution.

So both "Obamacare" and DOMA have been found Unconstitutional.

So you can't argue that Obamacare SHOULD NOT be enforced, and the president impeached for attempting to enforce it….and at the same argue that DOMA SHOULD BE enforced, and the president impeached for NOT enforcing it.

David Badash February 25, 2011 at 6:04 am

Quite simply you too are wrong. This is not about enforcement. This is about defending a law in court. DOMA will still be enforced. The DOJ simply will not fight court challenges against it. Big difference.

Josiah February 27, 2011 at 12:30 pm

I don't think what Fox News is saying is inaccurate, I just think they misunderstood what is happening. Yes, the President is required to ENFORCE a law. He has said multiple times that the law is still being enforced. He is simply requesting it's repeal, and he will not make a case for it's validity in court. He is not ignoring the law or picking and choosing which laws he wants. That is what Fox News believes he is doing, but it is not.

David Badash February 27, 2011 at 10:12 pm

"I don't think what Fox News is saying is inaccurate, I just think they misunderstood what is happening."

Fox News has an obligation, just as every news org and journalist does, to investigate, know, and report facts. You giving them a pass is as unacceptable as it is for them to CONTINUALLY and CONSISTENTLY mislead and misreport FACTS.

FOX had a REALLY bad week last week starting off with this, "Fox News Switches Gallup Collective Bargaining Rights Poll Numbers,"

which we reported on Wednesday, to the news Friday which found FOX News chief Roger Ailes may have instructed Judith Regan to lie. Ailes could find himself in jail.

Don't gives a pass to those who commit journalistic malpractice.

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