Justices Roberts and Scalia rip Obama over DOMA

This is excellent, and I love what Scalia says about the legal system living in a brave new world under Obama. That couldn’t be more true:


THE HILL – Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder decided in 2011 that the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. They quit defending it in the courts, but directed federal agencies to continue to comply with the law.

Conservatives on the Supreme Court criticized that approach Wednesday during oral arguments over whether DOMA is constitutional.

“I don’t see why he doesn’t have the courage of his convictions,” Chief Justice John Roberts said of Obama’s decision to continue following the law, even though he believes it is unconstitutional.

Justice Antonin Scalia said the legal system appears to be “living in this brave new world” in which the Justice Department can simply opt out of its traditional responsibility to defend federal laws in the courts.

He questioned who has the power to decide the government will not defend a particular law.

“It’s only when the president thinks its unconstitutional?” Scalia asked. Or could the attorney general, or the solicitor general, impose the same determination?

Citing his own experience as a lawyer in the Office of Legal Counsel, Scalia said DOMA does not meet the criteria for laws the Justice Department can opt not to defend.


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