Pro Logica

June 6, 2011

On Obama’s Directive on Barring the Justice Department from Defending the Federal Marriage Act

Filed under: Interpretation, U. S. Constitution — Tags: , — Ron Toczek @ 1:04 pm

For those of you who have read my previous posts, you probably know what I am going to say, but you would be only partially correct.  The Executive Branch is an independent branch of the U.S. Government and, as such, it can independently determine the constitutionality of any particular Congressional law.  The Executive Branch is charged with the responsibility of enforcing a law, however, enforcement of a law is separate from arguing that the law is constitutional.

In this particular case, the defendants have been charged with violating some provisions of the ‘Marriage Act’, a Congressional law duly passed.   The Justice Department is ready and able to: 1) Cite the provisions of the law which the defendants violated, and 2) Present evidence showing that the defendants have, in truth, violated those provisions.  Absolutely nothing more is required for the enforcement process.  Since the hullabaloo started with a request from an appellate court asking the Executive Branch if it would tender arguments for the constitutionality of the law and the Executive Branch’s decision not to tender any argument, the Justice Department has already won its case at a lower court.  Simply put, the defendants have appealed that lower court’s ruling on Constitutional grounds and the appellate court has considered that their argument has some merit.

Personally, I am disappointed in the Executive Branch’s decision but considering the POTUS’ current beliefs, I am not surprised.  It is gratifying that Congress has undertaken the defense of the constitutionality of the law.  What is dismaying, is the response from the traditional values organizations decrying the POTUS’ decision as one of non-enforcement and the media essentially not clarifying the Constitutional aspect of the decision.  These organizations beliefs have prejudiced them into confusing the job of enforcement of a law with defending the constitutionality of a law, while the media has missed an opportunity to inform and educate the public about the workings of our  Constitution.

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