Main | Saturday, July 10, 2010

FRC Reacts To DOMA Ruling

Calling it "the Boston Massacre of marriage," the Family Research Council has released a typically hysterics-filled response to the DOMA ruling.
Four hundred twenty-seven. That's how many members of Congress voted to pass the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. One. The number of activist judges it took to strike the law down. Yesterday, a U.S. District Court did its best to preserve Massachusetts's reputation as the most liberal state in America on marriage. In Boston, a federal judge used his gavel to shatter the one law preventing a complete capitulation to same-sex "marriage" at the federal level: DOMA. Claiming that "it is only irrational prejudice that motivates" the law (p. 38), he sided with the ultra-Left on two separate cases. Although the couples who sued are considered "married" in the eyes of their state, they complained that DOMA kept them from getting federal perks like Social Security survivor payments or joint tax filings. So what did Judge Joseph Tauro do? He ruled that the government doesn't have the right to set its own benefit policies--suggesting that he knows better than a supermajority of Congress what's best for American taxpayers.

Tauro's rationale for toppling DOMA was so absurd that even liberal Yale law professors like Jack Balkin said, "No chance they'll be held up on appeal." The two opinions are so convoluted that they even contract themselves. As Balkin said, the judge's rulings are "at war with each other." Judge Tauro also claimed that there's no precedent for a federal definition of marriage. The people of Utah might disagree--seeing as it wouldn't be a state today if the Supreme Court hadn't ruled that it must outlaw polygamy first. In 1878, the Supreme Court declared that polygamy wasn't protected by the Constitution (Reynolds v. United States). In fact, that ruling was even stronger than DOMA, because it was a blanket rejection of polygamy. Unlike DOMA, it didn't leave the question up to states.

Regardless of Tauro's skewed views, the blame for this decision lies directly at the feet of Elena Kagan and her boss, President Obama. The President has called for overturning DOMA, but as Solicitor General, Ms. Kagan is responsible for defending existing federal laws in court. But instead of trying to win the case, she intentionally sabotaged it, dropping the strongest arguments in favor of DOMA. At the time, legal experts were shocked that she didn't include procreation as the main reason for protecting man-woman marriage.

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