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House Republican Leaders Appeal DOMA Ruling

Jim Burroway

February 24th, 2012

As expected, Congressional Republican leaders have appealed Wednesday’s ruling striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), under the direction of House Speaker John Boehner, stepped in to defend DOMA when the Obama administration’s Justice Department found that DOMA was unconstitutional. Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey S. White, a George W. Bush appointee, agreed, saying that there is no rational basis for the provision which bars the federal government from granting employment benefits to legally married spouses of gay employees.

Chris Geidner at Metro Weekly notices that the appeal filing includes this statement: “The Democratic Leader and the Democratic Whip decline to support the filing of this notice of appeal.”

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Michael S
February 24th, 2012 | LINK

This is not unexpected, but still disappointing. This would have allowed my husband to receive benefits, rather than my agency having to reimburse me under the Back Pay Act.

On a lighter note, I find the definition of BLAG a bit ironic. In British slang it means: To obtain something in underhand way.

Jim Hlavac
February 24th, 2012 | LINK

So Boehnier and the Republicans want our help to cut taxes, (even for us, presumably,) and yet they go and use our tax dollars to inhibit our loving couples. They are “for” marriage, by prohibiting it. Yet, they claim to want our votes. And they are simply fighting a losing battle, all because they are apparently fearful that everyone will turn gay immediately, I guess, if one nice word is said about us and our couples are recognized. And these are the people who claim to be “Leaders” for liberty and sound government? Egad, no wonder why they are a declining party.

Lucrece
February 24th, 2012 | LINK

Meanwhile, Log Cabin Republicans like Cooper and Mehlman are participating in a fundraiser for Boehner. The same organization that had no qualms endorsing McCain/Palin.

Certainly not the LCR of the past that had the balls to deny GWB an endorsement based on the merits of his actions.

Party first. Gay people after.

jerry
February 29th, 2012 | LINK

If I am not mistaken, Boehner et.al are illegally using tax dollars to pay the lawyers to handle this case. There was no Congressional funding for this and Bonehead has already been told that the Justice Department isn’t giving him any of their funds.

Timothy Kincaid
February 29th, 2012 | LINK

Jerry,

you are mistaken. The House has funds for defending the laws it passes. And Boehner has discretion in reallocating other funds.

While it is definitely a partisan issue, to see this as “a Republican group” as some newspapers are putting it, is inaccurate. This is the House of Representatives and the House speaks with one voice. In this case the voice is that of a Republican majority and is advancing something that is not supported by the Democratic minority.

But the most partisan Democrat on the Hill will tell you that when the House passes a law it is every bit as legal and binding whether it is a Republican majority, a Democratic majority, or – as with DOMA – a huge majority of both parties.

We don’t dispute the House’s right to defend what they pass or even Boehner’s right to make the decision to defend in accordance with the will of the majority members.

It is the law that is wrong, not the process.

I think it is clear that DOMA is unconstitutional and Boehner knows it. In speeches he’s careful to make the issue about the administration’s obligations rather than the law itself so I think he knows it has no chance. And on one hand I wish he’d save us all the problem and have the House also refuse to defend.

But, on the other hand, it is probably a good thing that this law has defense in court. I think it allows people to accept it’s reversal better if they know that someone did argue in its favor.

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