Queerty is better as a member

Log in | Register
legal arguments

Why the Federal Government Wants to Keep DOMA: Paperwork Is Hard

Forget for a moment that the Justice Department is, by its very purpose, required to defend the laws on the books in court. At yesterday’s Gill et al. v. Office of Personnel Management arguments, GLAD argued, in front of Judge Joseph Tauro on behalf of its 17 plaintiffs argued, that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. But while DoJ attorney W. Scott Simpson conceded that even the Obama administration “disagrees with DOMA as a matter of policy and would like to see it repealed,” he maintained such a position “does not affect its constitutionality.” Moreover, keeping the law on the books, Simpson argued, would allow the federal government and its agencies to not have to keep track of which states had legalized gay marriage, and which had not. Here, allow us to help, in case you’re incompetent:

(Pictured, top: GLAD attorney Mary L. Bonauto)

[photo via; image via]

By:           editor editor
On:           May 7, 2010
Tagged: , , , , , ,
  • 10 Comments
    • Tangelo
      Tangelo

      Uhhh, Maryland’s AG only said he sees no reason why the State shouldn’t. It was an Opinion Piece not an act of Government. Maryland Gays are still screwed.

      May 7, 2010 at 4:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      No. 1 ยท Tangelo
      Uhhh, Maryland’s AG only said he sees no reason why the State shouldn’t. It was an Opinion Piece not an act of Government. Maryland Gays are still screwed.
      _____________________

      The Governor came out and said that he expects Maryland State agencies to put the Attorney Generals opinion in place. They have a few months or so to do this supposedly.

      As for the rest of this. Gee, so the govt. can keep track of health care for the country, two wars, mining, oil drilling, Wall Street, but it’s confusing for them as to how to keep track of which states have legalized gay marriage. Whoever came up with that argument should be fired.

      May 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jack
      Jack

      Maybe it’s easier on the Obama administration to let the courts take the backlash for repealing DOMA. Maybe this ridiculous argument is *meant* to be ridiculous so that the court will rule in our favor. Maybe we owe them a THANK YOU instead of a You should be fired.

      May 7, 2010 at 5:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ryan Kiefer
      Ryan Kiefer

      I can understand the difficulty with paperwork. It looks like it took you months to assemble that map.

      May 7, 2010 at 6:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brutus
      Brutus

      Courts wouldn’t be repealing DOMA. They would be striking it down as unconstitutional. That’s the same as saying the government didn’t have the power to enact it in the first place. Obviously that’s our preferred position, but it’s not necessarily correct.

      The administration doesn’t want its hands tied. It would prefer that the court characterize DOMA as yet another “uncommonly silly law” that the legislature should never have enacted and probably should repeal, but which it nevertheless has the power to enact if it’s stupid enough to do so.

      Happens all the time, and while it may be frustrating to actually engage in the political process, I’d rather be governed by a legislature than a court.

      May 7, 2010 at 7:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      Jack may be right.

      A major purpose of the courts is to protect individuals from the administration and the congress. If all laws were just, there would be no need for a constitution. And, if all administrators were fair, there would be no need for trials. Unjust laws and unfair administrators are supposed to be reversed by the courts. That is the role of the courts in our system of government.

      If we wait for the congress to repeal DOMA, I and my partner will be dead first. The only way we are going to get justice is if a court repeals that unjust law. Of course, the congress might repeal it a little earlier if the president were to insist, but it would still be years away.

      If the administration refused to defend the law, the court would likely have to let some other group step in (intervene) to do so. Defending the law, but doing so ineffectively or badly, could actually be the quickest way to get it repealed.

      May 7, 2010 at 8:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cassandra
      Cassandra

      “Moreover, keeping the law on the books, Simpson argued, would allow the federal government and its agencies to not have to keep track of which states had legalized gay marriage, and which had not.”

      There’s a simple solution. A federal law establishing legal recognition for same-sex marriage.

      No more would the federal government have to keep track of two separate classes of adult relationships on the Census, in taxation issues, in adminstering Social Security and other benefits programs.

      No more money and time tracking challenges to DOMA, and the DoJ can reallocate resources to prosecuting conspiracy charges against the Roman Catholic Church, violations of tax exemption status by the LDS, and other meaningful and law enforcing tasks.

      May 7, 2010 at 8:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David in Houston
      David in Houston

      Yeah, it must be tough for the DOJ to count all the way up to 6. Assholes.

      So his argument is basically, “Please let us keep discriminating against tax paying gay citizens because we don’t want to have to do paperwork.” This is suppose to be a legal argument?

      May 8, 2010 at 8:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      That’s why the rational basis test is a bullshit standard. It doesn’t matter what the government says. They could say its because they think gays will write TOLDJA so on their forms, and, it could still pass constitutional muster under rational basis.

      May 8, 2010 at 4:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brutus
      Brutus

      @Steve

      “Defending the law but doing so ineffectively or badly” is also the quickest way to litigate yourself out of a job by losing all your clients and possibly getting disbarred.

      @Cassandra

      “A federal law establishing legal recognition for same-sex marriage” is not necessarily constitutional. It’s likely that DOMA and such a law go hand-in-hand; that is, if DOMA is unconstitutional, a federal law saying that same-sex marriages will be recognized nationwide is probably also unconstitutional. On the other hand, if DOMA is upheld as stupid but constitutional, Congress would probably have the power to repeal DOMA and enact a “reverse-DOMA.”

      May 8, 2010 at 5:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

    Add your Comment

    Please log in to add your comment

    Need an account? Register It's free and easy.



  • QUEERTY DAILY

     


    POPULAR ON QUEERTY


    FROM AROUND THE WEB

    Copyright 2014 Queerty, Inc.
    Follow Queerty at Queerty.com, twitter.com/queerty and facebook.com/queerty.