Monday, February 28, 2011

Obama's Latest Derelection of Presidential Responsibilities Regarding DOMA

I was horrified and angry beyond belief when I heard President Obama proclaim that his administration and justice department would no longer defend existing law in the case of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  I was seething and ready to do a post on this topic this morning, when Free0352 beat me to the punch.  His article is excellent and encapsulated exactly my thoughts on that topic.  With that being the case, following is his guest post in full: 

Washington: Today, President Sarah Palin, declaring that the 1973 Roe Vs Wade Court Decision was "constitutionally indefensible" declared she will no longer authorize the Attorney General's office to oppose court challenges to the law that protects a women's right to an abortion. The Attorney General said today - “I will instruct department attorneys to advise courts in other pending litigation in defense of abortion, of the president’s and my conclusions that the law’s determination that a women has a right to an abortion is indefensible and to not pursue those cases."Imagine folks if that were the headline in major newspapers across the United States today? The liberals of this country would demand the impeachment of the President. Were that to happen, I would agree with them.

However, when something exactly like this happened today, there was barely a peep from the left -

The Obama administration said it will no longer oppose court challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages for purposes of taxes, social security and other programs.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder wrote yesterday to House Speaker John A. Boehner, an Ohio Republican, to announce the executive branch’s new position on the 15-year-old law.


When I saw that today, I had to reread it several times. I just couldn't believe it.

President Obama, you are not a one man Supreme Court, you swore an oath to uphold the laws of this country. You are now derelict in that duty. As to my abortion analogy, you dear readers (and perhaps even you Democrats) can quickly see how this frightening precedent can be used and where it can go. There is no telling the ways an out of control Presidency can damage our country. I don't like Roe Vs Wade any more than liberals likely support DOMA... but it's the law of the land. Presidents have to support that, as we are a nation of laws. This is our President taking the law into his own hands. That cannot be tolerated. I hope our new House leadership votes to impeach this President should he continue this course, and immediately resolve to defund entirely both the office of the President of the United States and the Attorney General's office until he complies with his Oath of Office. This cannot be tolerated.

I don't say that lightly, until now I've never thought Obama should be impeached. This is different, this is totally illegal, and wrong.


You can read Free0352 daily at John Galt For President.

49 comments:

free0352 said...

I guess I did frame this arguement pretty well. All the Republicans must like this post because it's been reposted on 4 or 5 other blogs counting this one and I even got linked on IMAO. Not once did a liberal even try to argue against it, even when it went up on a liberal blog! I love to leave em' speechless.

Dave Splash said...

The problem with this post (as with most of freebie's postings) is that it fails to articulate the legal justification for the DOJ's decision,or even cite a single word from AG Holder. If one read the letter from Holder, that person would see the numerous legal citations from which the decision was made, and that only one section of the law is the problematic one. The comparison to an action of a President Palin (God forbid) is silly, off point, and only done to anger liberals.

Not that you, free, or anyone on the right will care, but the entire text of the letter to the Speaker of the House, with the citations, can be found here.

You are free to disagree, but it seems the natural inclination on the right is to shout and scream and try to impeach anyone who disagrees. When someone as mentally disturbed as free0352 is made Attorney General or put on the Supreme Court, I'll allow his rantings to factor into my decision making.

T. Paine said...

Splash, once again buddy, you are egregiously wrong. This law was passed by congress and signed into law by the president at that time.

If the Obama administration has a problem with the constitutionality of even a "section" of any given law, then it becomes incumbent upon them to address this through the judicial branch or to seek to find a majority in congress to repeal the act.

Regardless, the Executive branch in the guise of our man-boy president does NOT have the authority to dictate which laws, or sections thereof, he will arbitrarily defend. His oath and duty is to defend the Constitution and all duly appointed laws, regardless of whether he personally likes them or not.

This is pernicious and highly unconstitutional behaviour as it challenges and attempts to over-ride the authority of a co-equal branch of government (congress) and a former executive branch of government.

This "decision" by Obama and his incompetent attorney general sets a horribly dangerous precedent that cannot go unchallenged. Obama is NOT a king or a dictator and does not have this authority.

I am seriously upset that this has not had anything but passing mention in the state-controlled media, as this absolutely rises well above the level for impeachment. And I don't call for that lightly either.

As for Free, well he certainly doesn't need me to defend him; however, I find his logic and arguments on most issues to be sterling, especially when compared to the typical left-wing talking points, sir.

free0352 said...

I really can't add anything to Paine's respone. However, should this be allowed to stand I say we do the exact same thing with both the income tax and Roe vs Wade. Turn about is fair play.

free0352 said...

As for the AG's letter, in my post I simply replaced Obama with Palin and DOMA with Roe vs Wade.

It's verbatum from the AG lips otherwise.

Burr Deming said...

Actually, the administration has invited Congress to appoint their own counsel to defend DOMA, and Speaker Boehner has announced he will take up that invitation. Since the administration has provided for legal standing in the court for arguments in defense of the act, I don't see a problem with their action.

In the meantime, administration officials are enforcing the law until it is adjudicated.

You may not like gays, but on procedure, I don't really think there is any valid complaint.

John Myste said...

First of all, Mr. Deming!!! I don't see you outside the house very often. It is good to see you. I know, I have not posted on your site for the last few weeks (I have a doctor's note). I have not been posting.

Anyway, I would like to say that Mr. Obama is totally free to not support anything he does not want to support, this included. Support is not equal to enforcement. He cannot block the enforcement, but he can be against philosophically supporting it and against trying to further its cause.

As for the rights of homosexuals to marry, I can see why any rational human would oppose that. Only we white heterosexual males get to determine how marriage works. Them gays are nothing like us and they should not get to redefine how our inbred notion of a nation should work. It's not fair! This is our country, not theirs.

free0352 said...

Who say's I support DOMA? I think it infringes on State's rights. As for gay marriage, I don't support marriage licenses for anyone, gay or strait. Marriage should be a private thing or religous cerimony only, and if two people wish to form a contract together for joint ownership of property or power of attorney they can do that now with existing law. I support getting the government out of marriage all together. But what I "want" doesn't matter... the law should come first. that brings us to enforcement; that is either the solicitor general or the justice department's job... not the congress' job. This is bad governance. Obama doesn't have to like DOMA any more than a defense attorney has to like the child molester his defending for example. He's still required to require his attorneys at Justice to represent their client with due dilligence.

T. Paine said...

Free, once again I am inclined to agree with you in regards to getting the government completely out of "marriage".

As for gays marrying, that really wasn't the point of the posting. It was this excreable administration's deeming of the law as not worthy of enforcing and the dangerous precedent it sets.

Personally, I don't care if gays have civil unions and all of the same rights as other married individuals. I do have a problem with them misappropriating the term "marriage" as that is a religious sacrament, the tenets of which they are in violation.

Mr. Deming, I appreciate your comments, sir. I would point out that regardless of whether Obama has made arrangements for congress to defend DOMA or not is irrelevant.

The law is already a LAW, sir. Again, if congress has to re-defend every law it has already debated, passed, and been signed by a president, simply because the most recent president doesn't like the law, that creates all sorts of additional burdens upon congress and potentially the judicial branch.

As I said previously, if president Obama feels strongly about this, he should either bring a case against it in court or try to get the current congress to repeal it.

John Myste said...

MR. Paine,

The idea that the president can decline to defend something he deems unconstitutional has precedent. President Obama did not make it up.

The most recent use of this "authority," be it usurped or legitimate, was by President Bush who declined to defend the congressionally sanctioned "must-carry" provisions of a cable television bill.

Like you, I am a bit horrified by all this. Firstly, because I have found Obama's real stance on gay marriage a bit non existent anyway. He seems wishy washy and political to me in this area.

Defending the rights of homosexuals in this way, blackens his eye, and I find it odd that he would try to almost go around the system to support something he often fails to support outright.

If you think Bush and Obama should have been impeached, however, I completely understand.

John Myste said...

Oh, and one more thing, Obama did not say the laws should not be enforced. He said the challenges to them should not be defended by the Department of Justice. His political enemies are therefore claiming that he is "above" the law. That claim is erroneous. He can avoid supporting a law if is so chooses. If you don't believe me, ask Bush.

T. Paine said...

I understand past presidents have chosen to not support various laws on the books with which they disagree; indeed, it often times seems that our constitutional law is routinely not defended regardless of the oath of office taken by our congress-critters and various presidents.

Border enforcement is a prime example of a law that is not only NOT defended by this administration but a case can be made that in their suing of Arizona, they are actually trying to undermine such federal law that Arizona is trying to enforce through their own state law.

Again, I say, we are supposed to be a nation of laws. If Obama or any president chooses not to defend federal laws in court that are already on the books, for whatever reason, then he is in dereliction of his duties as chief executive of the united states, in my humble opinion, sir.

John Myste said...

I am not sure what the forced purview of the Department of Justice should be and that is the question.

However, your contempt for Bush's behavior is duly noted, sir.

T. Paine said...

I guess brilliant conservative/libertarian minds think alike on this topic:

http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/Boehner-Obama-DOMA-Gingrich/2011/03/03/id/388189?s=al&promo_code=BCA4-1

John Myste said...

That article is brilliant. I have no defense for Obama's actions of not bringing charges in whatever specific cases you have decided it is job to bring charges in. I have only one question:

Should Bush have been impeached?

John Myste said...

"I guess brilliant conservative/libertarian minds think alike on this topic"

The guy sitting next to me was reading the blog entries to which I have posted of late. He had this to say:

"Actually, from recent blogging activity, I would think they pretty much all think alike on every topic."

He calls himself a moderate.

I responded in partial jest: “Rush Limbaugh is a very busy man.”

I defended republicans as a group, of course, because I know from experience that when group think is not involved, some of them have better arguments than the ones used recently. Your arguments are always vastly superior to the ones you agree with and proclaim express your thoughts exactly (on other sites).

This is just a slight complaint. I have noticed you seeming to cheerlead pure fallacy. I know you draw the same conclusion as other conservatives, but I have always respected you as better representative, less given to weaker “proofs.” I have recently seen you agree a couple of times with very weak arguments that you would never have made as they were presented.

That is, of course, opinion. No real science behind it.

free0352 said...

Should Bush have been impeached?

About the cabel TV thing? I really don't know enough about this to say. I'm not familiar with it.

free0352 said...

"I guess brilliant conservative/libertarian minds think alike on this topic"

The guy sitting next to me was reading the blog entries to which I have posted of late. He had this to say:

"Actually, from recent blogging activity, I would think they pretty much all think alike on every topic."


Really, conservatives and libertarians think alike? Who knew?

John Myste said...

By the way, Free, he was not primarily reading your comments, as I was on multiple sites. However, libertarians and conservatives do think much alike, but that is a discussion for another day and is not a claim he made, though I am sure he would agree.

An arrogant libertarian I work with explained to me that we are all really libertarians and the problem is that some of us just don’t know it. I tend to lean toward believing the opposite.

John Myste said...

Oh, and Free, the Bush impeachment question was directed primarily toward T. Paine, but thanks for pleading ignorance.

T. Paine said...

Myste, first, have you really found an arrogant libertarian? That sounds like an oxymoron to me! ;)

Next, I suppose from many technical standpoints, there are factors during Bush's presidency that rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors for which he could have been impeached.

Unfortunatley the American populace has become so desensitized to what is proper and constitutional, that nothing seems to rouse their righteous anger to the level of demanding impeachment anymore.

Obama takes over private corporations and federalizes them with tax payer dollars, fires executives, tells them what products to make, awards much of the company assets to his union supporters instead of legal debt holders and noboby flinches.

He has Clinton make a quid-pro-quo deal with a candidate in the primary not to run against Arlen Specter so that he can hold on to that Democratic seat and nobody cares.

He intentionally ignores voter intimidation laws, border security laws, and now DOMA, and nobody notices.

Maybe I am too much of a hard-ass, but Obama's dictatorial rule in violation of the constitution is absolutely impeachable, in my humble opinion.

If it makes you feel better to add Bush to the mix, fine by me, sir.

John Myste said...

Mr. Paine,

First of all, the cable bill was with Bush senior, ironically, the wisest republican president we have had since Lincoln. I would not have asked if Bush Jr. should have been impeached, as that would be like asking if Cheney has a full head of hair.

My question is, should Bush Sr. have been impeached over the exact same act that so many are now saying is cause for impeaching Obama? Please do not evade this question. If you do, I assure you, I will not click the donate button.

I strongly suspect that when Bush did it, democrats were all over him and republicans leapt to his defense. In fact, it is a virtual certainty. How bad an action is always comes down to who the actor is. I am sure you don’t realize it, but this act has little to do with why republicans dislike Obama. I don’t even think it’s illegal in any way, though the ethics are obviously questionable. Correct me if I am wrong. Not bringing litigation is not equivalent to dereliction of duty. The Justice Department fails to prosecute almost all perceived crimes.

“Unfortunately, the American populace has become so desensitized to what is proper and constitutional,” They never knew. Authorities don’t even know. It is just so complex.

“Nothing seems to rouse their righteous anger to the level of demanding impeachment anymore.” Actually, they are roused to that level of anger daily. It is incredible. If most people with political opinions had their way, the president would be impeached most days, almost every time he opened his mouth. You could not turn on the television or read a blog without hearing someone call for Clinton’s impeachment, Bush’s impeachment, and now Obama’s impeachment. The general populace, many who don’t even know what “to impeach” means, call for impeachment every time a president does anything they have not personally pre-authorized. The good ole days never existed, my friend. You used to get impeached for illegal wire-taps and egregious corruption. Now, illegal wire times and corruption are legal, thanks to Bush, but now the general populace wants to impeach for not going after anyone some truck driver doesn’t like.

“Obama takes over private corporations and federalizes them with tax payer dollars, fires executives, tells them what products to make, awards much of the company assets to his union supporters instead of legal debt holders and noboby flinches.” Yes, Bush started the idea and had he remained in office, would have seen it to its conclusion and Bobbies would not have flinched then either. I mean that metaphorically, as Bobbies raised holy hell over all the bailouts, as you know.

“He has Clinton make a quid-pro-quo deal with a candidate in the primary not to run against Arlen Specter so that he can hold on to that Democratic seat and nobody cares.” Not so. Lots of democrats were grateful and you know it.

“He intentionally ignores voter intimidation laws, border security laws, and now DOMA, and nobody notices.”

As for votes, he should simply lose the votes or not count them or stop opposition voter access, like his more honorable republican opponents. Has he learned nothing?! As Bush taught us, that is the best way to win an election.

As for immigration, I am not aware of any border immigration infractions on the part of Obama. I know you will zap me on this one, but I don’t.

As for DOMA, it is evil. What he did with it is questionable. However, there is precedent. The most recent that I know of, was that of Bush Senior. I will try to research and see if I can find your call to impeach Bush Sr. online somewhere.

“Maybe I am too much of a hard-ass.” O God yes!

[To Be Continued … ]

John Myste said...

[Mr. Paine Continuation … ]

“Dictatorial rule in violation of the constitution is absolutely impeachable.” I am not aware of any constitutional violation. Did he deny someone due process or wage his own illegal war instead of defending the United States, as he was hired to do; or did it open concentration camps where he indefinitely held prisoners and tortured them? Which violations are you referring to?


I will try to find the article where you called for the impeachment of Bush Sr. for teaching Obama how the Department of Justice works.

I will try to find your article calling for the impeachment of Bush Jr. for obvious reasons. Since I know the republican motivation for making DOMA a huge issue, even though cable was not made a huge issue by republicans is not a red herring, I assume I will have no problem finding articles written by republicans calling for Bush Sr.’s impeachment.

Since I know you do not endorse the human rights violations of Bush Jr., and would certainly have called for Obama’s impeachment if he tried any of that, I am going to look up your article calling for Bush Jr.’s impeachment. If I find it, I am going to then request some good seasonings for my crow. If not, I suggest black pepper, which is underrated in America. It is not low grade seasoning just because it is common. Black pepper is simply better than cumin, which is why we see it more frequently on restaurant tables.

[THE END]

free0352 said...

So the crux of this arguement is "Obama might be wrong, but it's Bush's fault!"

Wow.

free0352 said...

As for Conservatives and Libertarians thinking alike- you might want to consider

The Libertarian stances on-

Drug legalization
Prostitution legalization
Seperation of Chruch and State
National Defense
Forign Policy
Taxation
Trade
Boarder Security
Crime/Punishment
Gay marriage

all of which we have some signifigant differences of opionion with Conservatives on. We agree the government should be smaller, sometimes in some areas and that's what we focus on when we deal with the GOP. But there are very stark differences to be sure.

John Myste said...

Free,

I doubt that you really mistook that for the crux of the argument, but if you did, then the argument is over your head and you need not respond. When I read your response, I though “wow” is right. How could anyone misinterpret something so thoroughly?

To simplify the argument for you, the point I made was not whether the action is right or wrong, specifically. The point is that republicans are calling for Obama’s impeachment for borrowing a precedent set by Bush, and yet they did not call for the impeachment of Bush, which I find hypocritical. What is the difference? The difference is that they don’t like Obama as much as they like Bush.

I personally do not yet see anything that would have justified Bush’s impeachment. In fact, I have never called for the impeachment of any president. I have disliked some of them. Bush Sr. can teach Obama how to do something he did, and that is OK, but if Obama then does it, Obama should be impeached. Make me understand your logic, sir.

The next issue is how this, of all issues, provokes republicans to call for the impeachment of a president, but torture, illegal detention, and American concentration camps are not impeachable offenses if implemented by a republican president. Make me understand, sir.

In fact, if you would be so kind, could you make a list of all the offenses that should be impeachable if committed by a democrat, but not impeachable if they are committed by a republican, so I can avoid embarrassing myself in the future?

I have to go meditate and figure out why I felt the need to respond to your statement now. Later.

T. Paine said...

Myste, first you must know that I really do admire you in many ways, but Bush Sr "is the wisest Republican President since Lincoln"?!?! I can only assume you threw that out there to get me going.

Unfortunately I couldn't let that one stand... Needless to say, I heartily disagree as even Coolidge was far wiser than Bush Senior. He and his predecessor Harding both saw the forgotten depression coming and through their wise economic policies managed to nix it and thus created the roaring 20's.

Then Hoover came along and ruined it, so like Obama following Bush Jr., FDR came along and exacerbated the problems that the fool Hoover created.

I won’t even list all of the reasons why Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan also rise above Bush Senior in their wisdom quotient.

As for the cable bill to which you are referring under Bush Sr, I admit I am ignorant of this. I was in the service at the time and he was my Commander in Chief, therefore, I wasn't able to criticize him publically as per the UCMJ, so you wouldn't find any article of mine calling for his impeachment on the internet, even if Al Gore had managed to make its availability far more prevalent at that time.

Further, maybe I am just too dumb, but the fact that some previous president set a poorly conceived or questionably legal at best precedent hardly gives our current president license to emulate that dubious behavior, in my arrogant opinion.

And while you are correct that there has always been fringes from right and left calling for impeachments, there really has not been any significant public sentiment for it, despite some presidents richly deserving it. (Does this now mean that I am a part of the fringe???)

Even Clinton, (perjury, suborning perjury, witness tampering, and hiding subpoenaed evidence notwithstanding) probably did not deserve impeachment for the Monica affair.

He certainly did for other of his actions though, which I really don't want to get into here.

And while it often pains me to defend Bush Jr., he had the review and approval of the Justice Department to detain enemy combatants at Gitmo in the fashion that he did. One wonders how else he was to have handled this situation?

From a legal standpoint, they certainly were not prisoners of war. They absolutely were not deserving of our constitutional rights, nor would it have been safe or wise to put them in a state-side federal prison. Indeed, speaking of precedents, they absolutely should have been adjudicated through a military tribunal as most of them were.

As for torture, well I guess reasonable people can disagree over water-boarding and whether it meets that definition.

Back to the main question though... Should Bush Sr. have been impeached for his "precedent setting behavior" that Obama emulated? Without knowing more about the case and being too tired and lazy to research it, my biases tell me that he probably should not have been.

While Obama has often skirted and played fast and loose with legalities and Constitutional dictates, this latest dereliction of duty is the final nail in the coffin for him when it comes to whether he should be impeached or not, again in my arrogant opinion.

As I don't even recall the ruckus of which you speak regarding Bush Sr. nor did the rest of his actions in his milque-toast presidency seem to tweak constitutional law, I would say no to his impeachment, while voting yes to Obama’s.

I am sure Dubya would chalk this up to racism, but it really comes down to a president’s demeanor and seriousness in whether he is trying to do right in fulfilling his constitutional obligations.

Obama seems willing to flaunt his disregard; Bush Sr. did not.

John Myste said...

"Further, maybe I am just too dumb, but the fact that some previous president set a poorly conceived or questionably legal at best precedent hardly gives our current president license to emulate that dubious behavior, in my arrogant opinion."

I knew someone would say this, as if they had completely missed the fact that I never suggested Bush's guilt as a defense for Obama. I am not defending Obama, but noting the irony. I am attacking the need to attack a politician for who he is as opposed to a specific action. Obama's actions have republican precedent that was ignored by the attacking republicans. Were the action the true subject of their contempt, they would have attacked Bush also. I am not defending Obama, but rather pointing out that those attacking him have no real problem with what he did, per se, as proven by their response to Bush. Therefore, since the democrats have no real issue with and the republicans have no real issue with it, there is no real issue. Of course, I mean this in jest, for as I noted before I have a slight issue with it. I, however, disagree that we should decide whether to call for impeaching a president based on the their party affiliation, which is what was done in this case. I am attacking that! I have issues with attacking someone for who they are.


"They absolutely were not deserving of our constitutional rights." I suppose this also includes the American, right? I cannot remember his name now. Jose something or other. You will remember, I am sure.

While I completely believe your partisan option in this matter has nothing to do with racism, I also think it has much to do with politics, even if you don’t realize it. I defend you as a non-racist unfair judge in this matter and you can tell Mr. Dubya that even the great liberal John Myste jumped to your defense.

T. Paine said...

Mr. Myste, it truly is not my intent to condemn Obama and excuse Bush Sr based only on party affiliation. While I understand and even vehemently agree with your point that if the only difference between two people in the commission of their impeachable offenses was that of whether their name was followed by either an "R" or "D", then they both should be brought up under charges by the House of Representatives accordingly.

My logic, as strained as you might find it, goes to a pattern of conduct with the miscreant charged. If a president repeatedly and unabashedly exceeds his constitutional authority in issuing executive orders, appoints unprecedented numbers of extra-constitutional and unelected czars and then grants them extraordinary powers, refuses to enforce laws equally and fairly, and usurps powers that constitutionally belong to that of another co-equal branch of government, then when he further states that he now intends to have his Justice Department not defend a duly passed bipartisan law that has been in effect for 15 years, then that is the final straw in his disregard for the law of the land, and thus a constitutional remedy seems to be the appropriate course of action.

While Obama is guilty of all of the above listed charges I have made, in my opinion, his predecessor Bush Senior was not. Perhaps Bush's ignoring of defending this cable bill of which you speak would similarly rise to the level of impeachment on its own merits, but his pattern of conduct overall does not warrant such, hence my decision as it is.

As for the American terrorist, yes he absolutely should be afforded all of his constitutional rights and he should be placed in a federal prison, as he now is. Despite him being a vile traitor scum, he is still an American and thus is protected with those rights under our Constitution.

Lastly, I appreciate your defense of my character when Dubya's next attack in the form of the charge of racism occurs!

Dave Dubya said...

Hey, TP, when did I ever call you a racist? I DID say racists who vote
republican are your allies, though. Now I'm afraid I must add this to the list of your false accusations. I won't hold it against you, though, for it is one of your "beliefs".

President Bush issued an order to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld designating Padilla an "enemy combatant" and directing that he be detained in military custody.

Padilla was incarcerated and tortured/abused/drugged over three years without charge or conviction, and was denied Constitutional rights and a court trial. That was clearly a violation of the Constitution by the Bush Administration.

But who cares? He's a "bad guy", right?

John Myste said...

"Lastly, I appreciate your defense of my character when Dubya's next attack in the form of the charge of racism occurs!"

You misunderstood, my friend. I said you can tell Mr. Dubya that I stand with you against this charge. I cannot tell him this, as I am afraid of him.

John Myste said...

Dave,

Padilla! Thank you! I referenced him above, but I could not remember his name.

I tried to make this powerful argument, but with my memory failing and my intelligence already critical, all I could do is say that Bush had no right to violate the constructional rights of that one guy and he was an American citizen. It was almost a very powerful argument.

Oh, and you can stop calling Mr. Paine a racist? He has a black friend, you know.

John Myste said...

Mr. Paine,

It was easier than I thought, and you are most welcome, sir.

T. Paine said...

Dubya, I acknowledge that you have never explicity called me a racist; however, your mis-characterizations of the Tea Party and conservatives in general certainly imply that we are all generally racist. Luckily I can hide behind the back of John Myste in defense of the hurtful and fallacious charge! :)

Next, despite your hyperbole of the poor Jose Padilla being drugged and tortured, I am in agreement with you. He is a piece of human debris, but he is an American and should have been afforded all of the constitutional protections thereof accordingly. This was an egregious failure on the behalf of the Bush administration and I am absolutely with you on this charge.

Robert said...

I think there is a bit of confusion from both sides on this issue. I am an old school Libertarian (Socially liberal and Fiscally Conservative), and I see the issue like this; The president is NOT required to defend any law against constitutional challenges and there is nothing in the constitution that would even remotely suggest this. He is on the other hand required to faithfully execute the laws of the United States, which he has said he will do in the case of DomA.
While I am not a lawyer, I do read the constitution and like to think myself somewhat well versed in its meaning and the original intent under which it was drafted. If my interpretation is strained or outright wrong, I would appreciate someone pointing that out to me.

T. Paine said...

Robert, I would agree that it is not the Executive branch's responsibility to defend a law against constitutional challenges to it. That is the responsibility of the Judicial branch to adjudicate such matters.

That being said, the President takes an oath to faithfully execute the office of the Presidency and and to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.

I think you would find that most constitutional experts would say that the President, as the nation's chief executive, is therefore constitutionally required to ensure that all duly passed laws are adhered to up until the point that a court adjudicates the law to be unconstitutional.

I still think it is rather unprecedented for a President to publically state that he doesn't intend to have his Justice Department defend a law in court that was bipartisanly passed and signed by a former Democrat president into law, simply for seemingly poltical reasons.

Robert said...

It is exceedingly rare, but not unprecedented. The following excerpts were taken from NY Times article published in Feb of 2011. (link posted below). I have not independently verified the accuracy of this article.

"In 1946, in United States v. Lovett, the Supreme Court considered a case about a law withholding salaries from government officials said to be radicals. The executive branch complied with the law but told the Supreme Court it was unconstitutional. A lawyer representing Congress urged the court to uphold it, and the justices struck it down.

In 1996, the same year President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law, his Justice Department announced that it would enforce but not defend in court a law that required the military to discharge personnel infected with H.I.V.

That is what seemed to have happened in 1990 in another case on a politically divisive issue, after an acting solicitor general told the Supreme Court that the Justice Department would not defend a Federal Communications Commission affirmative-action program because, in language echoing Mr. Holder’s, it “could not withstand the exacting scrutiny required by the Constitution.”

The commission filed its own brief defending the program, and the court upheld it. The acting solicitor general who refused to defend the program, John G. Roberts Jr., is now chief justice of the United States."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/27/weekinreview/27liptak.html

I am afraid I have to cut this post off sooner than I would like. I wanted to delve in to the differences between laws passed by an overwhelming majority and those that passes by as little as 1 vote.
I would definitely love to engage you in further discussion on this and a multitude of other issues.

T. Paine said...

Robert, first off, I appreciate your comments and heartily welcome you to come back and offer your thoughts and opinions whenever you are moved to do so, sir.

In US vs. Lovett, it would seem to me that the case was handled just as it should have been. I note that the executive branch continued to enforce the law in this case up until it was struck down by SCOTUS.

As for the other examples you cite, it is my contention that the Executive branch through the use of its Justice Department has an obligation to enforce all laws.

If it deems a law to be un-constituional, then it needs to bring the case to the appropriate judicial venue in order to get a favorable judgement otherwise.

If such a favorable judgement is not rendered, or an injunction is not issued to suspend the enforcement of the law in question until such a time when the questionable law can be fully adjudicated, then I contend it is the Executive Branch and therefore the President's constitutional obligation to execute, enforce, and defend all laws.

Precedent of other administrations not doing so does not negate that obligation of a current President, in my humble opinion, sir.

Further, for the record, it is my opinion that a law passed by one vote has as much legal standing as a law passed by 435 votes. I only cited the bipartisanship of the passage of DOMA to indicate that it was fairly uncontroversial across party lines at the time.

I look forward to your comments on this and other issues in the future, Robert! Cheers!

John Myste said...

Robert,

Blogger tells me access to your blog is not enabled. I don't care for that fact.

Robert said...

John,

Access to my blog is not enabled because I don't have one. I am sorry if this upsets you as it was never my intent to upset anyone.
I logged in with my google account to post my comments.

Robert said...

This one will probably end up being a very long one since I am going to start from the original Roe v. Wade argument.

Free0352's analogy is patently incorrect for one very simple and glaringly obvious reason. Roe v. Wade is a Supreme Court decision, not a law enacted by congress and as such will never face a direct constitutional challenge that any party would ever need to defend against.

With that having been said, I will move on to the following quoted passages with my rebuttals following.

-------------------------------
"President Obama, you are not a one man Supreme Court, you swore an oath to uphold the laws of this country."

Not being a lawyer I have had to search for what it means to "uphold" a law. The best I can come up with is that a person swearing to uphold a law will only enforce said law, not necessarily defend it against any court challenge. In that respect, Obama has abided by his oath.
-------------------------------

"You are now derelict in that duty."

This was covered in the previous rebuttal
-------------------------------
"As to my abortion analogy, you dear readers (and perhaps even you Democrats) can quickly see how this frightening precedent can be used and where it can go."

Again, Roe v. Wade is not a law passed by congress, it is a Supreme Court decision and as such can only be voided by a future decision reversing it or an amendment to the constitution.
-------------------------------

"There is no telling the ways an out of control Presidency can damage our country. I don't like Roe Vs Wade any more than liberals likely support DOMA... but it's the law of the land."

As a libertarian, I believe that virtually every president of the 20th and 21st century has been "out of control".
My position on abortion is mixed as it is a very thorny issue with many facets.
As for Roe being the "law of the land", that statement is incorrect, but the way the decision was framed it's easy to see how someone can make that distinction.
The Roe decision went far beyond the Supreme Courts typical role in that it outlined how a law needed to be framed to pass scrutiny.
Beyond that, there is nothing in the Roe decision that would make it a "law". There are no prescribed punishments for violations.
-------------------------------

"Presidents have to support that, as we are a nation of laws. This is our President taking the law into his own hands. That cannot be tolerated."

If the president announced that he would no longer enforce the DomA, then I would agree with you. His choosing to not defend a law doesn't make the law invalid.
I highly doubt that the Supreme Court will summarily rule against the government just because there isn't anyone there to make an argument for the government. Which won't be the case since Congress will be defending it.
With two armed conflicts, trillions in debt, states on verge of bankruptcy, I would hope that congress worry a little more about the more pressing issues that effect all Americans instead of worrying about what direction the moral compass points.
-------------------------------

"I hope our new House leadership votes to impeach this President should he continue this course, and immediately resolve to defund entirely both the office of the President of the United States and the Attorney General's office until he complies with his Oath of Office. This cannot be tolerated.

I don't say that lightly, until now I've never thought Obama should be impeached. This is different, this is totally illegal, and wrong."

Since I am not writing a book, I will not touch on this since I have covered all of it earlier.

John Myste said...

Robert,

I am sure the cause of harm was not your intention, but harmed I am, nonetheless.

Even a blank blog that has one post: "I had no blog," would be better.

I suspect the blog, even this blog, would become a high volume site.

The Libertarian said...

John,

Part of the problem with today's society is the belief that anything we dislike rises to the level of a personal harm that must have a remedy.
I came to this site looking for various viewpoints on a topic of interest. When I seen what I thought to be flaws in the initial argument, I decided to offer my insight on the subject.
Nowhere did I read that I "must", "should" or "are encouraged" to own my own blog in order to post.
If this is in fact the case, I will bid you all good luck and farewell then be on my way.
I was hoping to open a mature dialogue on this subject. What I didn't expect was a claim of phantom harm done to a third party. While I don't believe that my words have enriched your life in any meaningful way, I am certain they haven't diminished it in the slightest, so I reject your claim of harm.

T. Paine said...

Robert/Libertarian, you will have to excuse John. That is simply his sense of humor, I am certain.

Your comments are absolutely welcome whether contradictory or in agreement with the sentiments of those commenting or the author of the given post.

It absolutely is my intent to have mature discussions on any given issue, and believe it or not, John does a great job in helping to further those discussions, even though his politics are almost invariably always wrong. :)

I am sure John was dissapointed that you didn't have a blog as he tends to add more thoughtful blogs to his reading list. Judging by your comments, he was assuming your non-existent blog would have fit that requirement.

I am sure John will correct me if anything I said is inaccurate, but when it comes to my friend John, I am always right. Ha ha!

John Myste said...

Libertarian,

I am quite certain I spoke in jest. I only wanted to visit your blog becuase I found your commentary to be thought-provoking and intelligent.

A blog is not required for that, as you demonstrated, your last comment notwithstanding.

T. Paine said...

See, I was right... again! ;)

John Myste said...

Mr. Paine,

I find "again" to be a gross exaggeration of the facts.

The Libertarian said...

I sincerely apologize for reading John's comment in a negative light.
I have since gone on to create my own blog that I will dedicate to my views on Libertarianism.
My initial post is in the works, but I must admit that my writing leaves much to be desired.

T. Paine said...

Robert, I look forward to reading your blog, and if your comments here are indicative of the quality of your writing, I am certain your blog will be excellent.

John, "again" seems to be entirely appropo, my friend!