The Legal Double Standard

Yesterday The Wall Street Journal posted an article about Kim Davis, the county clerk for Kentucky’s Rowan Country.Ms. Davis is now in jail because she refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples because it was against her religious beliefs. There are some people who believe that because she is an elected official, her religious beliefs are not allowed to influence the way she does her job, but there is a bit of inconsistency here.

The article reports:

We don’t recall President Obama insisting on “the rule of law” when his then Attorney General, Eric Holder, announced in 2011 that he wouldn’t defend challenges to what was then the law—the Defense of Marriage Act signed by President Bill Clinton—in the courts. Nor did we hear about upholding the law when mayors such as Gavin Newsom in San Francisco issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of state laws.

Officials such as Messrs. Holder and Newsom were as guilty as Ms. Davis of elevating personal preferences over the law. Yet they were lionized by those now holding up an obscure Kentucky clerk as a national villain. Meanwhile, five of Rowan County’s six deputy clerks say they will start processing licenses for same-sex couples Friday, but Miss Davis says she will not authorize them.

I don’t have the answer to this dilemma. I do believe religious beliefs should be protected, but I am not sure how that would play out in this situation. I suspect our Founding Fathers would come down on the side of Ms. Davis. However, the past behavior of the Obama Administration seems to indicate that if you disagree with a law, you don’t have to enforce (or follow) it. Obviously you can’t have it both ways.

Don’t Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out

I am glad to see Eric Holder leave the Obama Administration. Although he is not the first Attorney General to have politicized the office, he certainly took that politicization to a new level. Unfortunately, his replacement will probably be more of the same.

The Daily Signal posted an article listing the various controversies surrounding Eric Holder during his time in office. They are listed in no particular order. This is my summary of the list:

1. Attempting to bring the 9/11 plotters to a civilian trial in New York City. Eventually he was forced to bow to public pressure and the trials were moved to Guantanamo.

2. Operation Fast and Furious.

3. Refusing to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) despite being charged as Attorney General to uphold the law of the land.

4. Eric Holder is the first Attorney General to be held in contempt of Congress for withholding documents relating to Fast and Furious.

5. Targeting journalists. The Department of Justice under Eric Holder seized a broad array of phone records of Associated Press journalists.

6. Operation Choke Point, originally established to stop consumer fraud is being used to target gun shops and pawn shops that sell guns.

7. Stonewalling in the investigation of the Internal Revenue Service‘s targeting of conservative groups.

8. Intervention in the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson.

9. Blocking Inspectors General from accessing documents related to Congressional investigations.

The article concludes:

Often cited among Holder’s controversies are his targeting of journalists and federal whistleblowers. Last year, it was revealed that the Justice Department had labeled Fox News reporters James Rosen a “co-conspirator” in one leak investigation and had seized phone records of Associated Press reporters in another.

More than two dozen news organizations signed a letter of objection, prompting Holder to modify Justice Department policies. Additionally, Holder has refused to answer questions first posed by a U.S. senator in July 2013 regarding the unauthorized, remote intrusions of my computers.

Holder also leaves the Justice Department in the middle of its investigation into the IRS’ targeting of conservative and tea party groups. The Justice Department has faced conflict-of-interest allegations because at the same time it is supposed to be independently investigating the IRS, it is also defending the IRS in civil litigation. Holder has said that his agency is impartially investigating the IRS and that no politics are at play.

It became obvious that Eric Holder was not going to dispense justice in an even-handed manner when he dropped the voter intimidation charges against the New Black Panthers in Philadelphia. The video that went viral on Facebook clearly showed the Panthers intimidating voters, but the Holder Justice Department dismissed the charges. Eric Holder has also used the Justice Department to attack laws that would ensure less fraud in American elections. I am not sad to see him leave. My only regret is that he will be replaced by someone equally politically corrupt.

The Defense Of Marriage Act Is Headed For The Supreme Court

According to USA Today, on April 2, President Obama said the following:

Ultimately, I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.

The President was referring to the Supreme Court taking up the Obamacare case. The article reminds us:

…the health care law wasn’t passed by a “strong” majority, either. In the House, the final vote was 219 to 212, with all Republicans and even 34 Democrats voting in opposition.

The health care law passed in the Senate on a party-line vote of 60–39.

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is now headed for the Supreme Court. DOMA was passed in 1996 by a vote of 85–14 in the Senate and a vote of 342–67 in the House. President Obama has previously stated that his Department of Justice would not support DOMA in the courts.

I wonder if the President will take the same position on the Supreme Court’s ruling on DOMA as he has with Obamacare.

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Is This News ? Not Really. Is It Important ? Maybe.

Wednesday morning President Obama stated in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America‘s” Robin Roberts, “I’ve just concluded that for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”

He cited an evolution involving his Christian faith for the reason for changing the position he held in 2008. Needless to say, various spiritual leaders across the country are making statements saying that the position he is supporting is not the Biblical position.

Today’s Weekly Standard points out:

But what this might actually mean in terms of policy is a little murkier. Perhaps most pressing is the issue of a so-called “nondiscrimination executive order” that gay-rights groups have been pushing. The president has refused—and continues to refuse—to sign it.

“The order, which has been drafted for months awaiting the president’s signature, would prohibit discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity,” the Washington Post reported. “It has become a major focus for gay-rights groups, but in recent weeks activists began to worry that the White House might opt against approval.”

Why do I not consider this news? The President worked to repeal “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” The President stated that his Justice Department would not defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Why is his statement a surprise to anyone?

There is one thing about this discussion that concerns me. If gay marriage becomes legal, will there be a conscience clause that allows people who hold the Biblical view of marriage to opt out of performing or supporting gay marriages in any way?

The U. S. Constitution has always supported the right of Americans to practice their religion freely without government interference, will the President’s statement on gay marriage change this?

Gay marriage changes thousands of years of cultural tradition. I need to mention that I am not opposed to Civil Unions–I want gay couples to have healthcare rights, visitation rights in hospitals, legacy rights, etc. I just think that if gay marriage is legalized, the rights of Bible-believing Christians will be compromised.


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Actions Speak Louder Than Words

The American (the online magazine of the American Enterprise Institute) posted an article yesterday by Marc Theissen about some recent actions by President Obama regarding the Supreme Court.

The article reported some events this week in a Boston, Massachusetts, court:

On Wednesday, oral arguments took place over another law passed by a “strong majority of a democratically elected Congress” — the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Indeed, both cases feature the same lawyer — former solicitor general Paul Clement — who delivered the argument against Obamacare before the Supreme Court last week and in defense of DOMA before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit this week.

Why is Clement, and not the Justice Department, defending this law in federal court? Because the Obama administration announced last year that it had decided that it would no longer defend DOMA in court. Quite the opposite, the Justice Department is actively urging district courts around the country to … you guessed it … overturn this law.

The irony here is that DOMA was passed by a “strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.” In the House the vote was 342-67, and in the Senate the vote was 85-14. That actually is a strong majority.

Last year in a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner, Attorney General Eric Holder stated:

After careful consideration, including a review of my recommendation, the President has concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny. The President has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional. Given that conclusion, the President has instructed the Department not to defend the statute in such cases. I fully concur with the President’s determination.

So the President and the Attorney General have decided only to uphold those laws that they happen to agree with.

Has anyone in this administration read the U. S. Constitution?


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