Writing at Catholic Advocate, Matt Smith comments on the decision by Federal District Judge Joseph L. Tauro that the Defense of Marriage Act violates the Constitutional Right of married, same-sex couples to equal protection before the law.
The decision was a classic case of a judge legislating from the bench:
This court has determined that it is clearly within the authority of the Commonwealth to recognize same-sex marriages among its residents, and to afford those individuals in same-sex marriages any benefits, rights, and privileges to which they are entitled by virtue of their marital status,” Tauro wrote. “The federal government, by enacting and enforcing DOMA, plainly encroaches upon the firmly entrenched province of the state.
As Smith insinuates, don’t look for the Obama White House to “defend” DOMA with any vigor.
President Obama is still committed to his campaign promise to repeal DOMA calling it “discriminatory.” The case in Massachusetts was brought by state Attorney General Martha Coakley (D), the Kennedy-clan hand-picked candidate who lost to now Senator Scott Brown. Since the suit was filed against the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) regarding a federal law, it was defended in court by the U.S. Justice Department, specifically the Office of the Solicitor General led by now Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.
This case will no doubt now move to a higher court where once again the Obama Justice Department will need to “defend” DOMA.
One wonders (and hopes) whether the Massachusetts decision will have any direct effect on the Kagan nomination to the Supreme Court now being considered by the Senate.
Kagan will still make it to the Supreme Court because the Democrats have the votes and the Republicans lack the will to use their filibuster power to make any waves.
Given the horrific impact Kagan’s presence will have on the Court for, presumably, the next twenty five years you would think a filibuster would be in order, if only for its symbolic value.
The GOP, at least, should indicate to the American people it realizes the disaster Kagan represents, a disaster ominously foreshadowed by Tauro’s DOMA decision.