EDITORIAL

The President’s duty to defend the law

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Bishop Tobin described it as “a clear dereliction of duty and an obvious attempt to promote a politically- correct agenda in our nation.”

Princeton Political Science professor and constitutional scholar, Dr. Robert P. George suggested perhaps it was “throwing the case.” The Chief Legal Counsel of the USCCB, Anthony R. Picarello, Jr., shared, it “represents an abdication of the responsibility of the Executive Branch to carry out its constitutional obligation to ensure that the laws of the United States are faithfully executed.” U.S. Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) bluntly suggested it was a decision “clearly based more on politics than the law” while U.S. Representative Lamar Smith (R-Texas) called it “a transparent attempt to shirk the department’s duty to defend the laws passed by Congress.”

These leaders were all reacting to last week’s decision by President Obama to instruct Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. and the Justice Department to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act. DOMA is a federal law passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by former President Bill Clinton that ensured the definition of marriage would remain as between one man and one woman. Meanwhile the Obama decision to officially withdraw from its duty to legally defend DOMA was hailed by same-sex marriage advocates and gay activists.

Such is the result when simple politics trumps sound public policy. President Obama who vaguely suggests his opinion on homosexual marriage is “evolving” chose to placate political-correctness rather than do his duty in defending the law of the land. It is a clear attempt to engender the backing of gay activists and radical left-wing progressives who make up his base of political support. Ignored by the President was his duty to defend federal law. Cast aside by the administration were the Justice Department’s charge to provide legal protection of DOMA. This “dereliction of duty” by the President must be seen for what it truly is, a political stunt. We hope and pray that justice is truly served in the courts in protecting DOMA just as we sadly contemplate President Obama’s abandonment of his duty to serve the common good of our nation.