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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 25, 2011 / 21 Adar I, 5771

Obama Not Just Above the Law; He Is the Law

By David Limbaugh




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | President Obama's brazenly calculated move to unilaterally abandon the federal Defense of Marriage Act showcases his attitude that he is above the law.

DOMA defines marriage as "only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife" for purposes of all federal laws, rules and regulations (Section 3). It specifies that no state shall be required to honor laws of other states that treat same-sex relationships as legal marriages — effectively carving out an exception to the Constitution's full faith and credit clause (Section 2).

Congress passed this law by enormous majorities (Senate 85-14, House 342-67) in response to political pressure in some states to redefine marriage, especially a Hawaiian court's decision suggesting the Hawaii Constitution conferred the right to same-sex marriage. Congress was worried that, among other things, same-sex couples living in other states might go to Hawaii to marry and demand that their home states recognize their marriages.

It seems that in enacting this law, the federal government was quite scrupulous in deferring to the sovereignty of the states by pronouncing a federal standard for marriage applicable to federal laws but not presuming to encroach on states' authority to set their own standards. It affirmed the states' prerogative by providing that their marriage laws would not be abrogated or diminished by conflicting laws of other states but did not preclude them from honoring, if they so choose, laws of other states validating same-sex marriages.

During his presidential campaign, Obama stated that he did not support same-sex marriage but that he did believe that DOMA should be repealed. He gave no hint that he would take it upon himself to issue a presidential edict, without a congressional bill placed before him, forbidding the executive branch from enforcing the law. But that is precisely what he did this week.

Attorney General Eric Holder announced that President Obama had concluded that the administration would no longer defend Section 3 of DOMA. Holder acknowledged that the Justice Department had previously defended DOMA in court under a "rational basis standard." (It's interesting they chose Section 3, because many legal scholars believe Section 2 is more vulnerable to a constitutional challenge.) But he said Obama now believes that "a more heightened standard of scrutiny" should be required for laws involving same-sex marriage — the same standard that applies to "laws targeting minority groups with a history of discrimination."

To understand the magnitude of Obama's action, we must again consider the above-cited fact that both chambers of Congress passed DOMA by overwhelming majorities reflecting the will of the people that marriage be defined, for legal and policy purposes, as it always had been. Also, no federal appellate court has ruled the statute unconstitutional.

As he has in so many other areas (EPA, the offshore drilling ban, IMF), Obama has usurped the authority of the other two coequal branches of government to make himself, in effect, not just chief executive but super-legislator and a supreme judicial authority.

Holder admitted in his statement that the Justice Department "has a longstanding practice of defending the constitutionality of duly-enacted statutes if reasonable arguments can be made in their defense," but not otherwise.

But it is preposterous to suggest there are no reasonable arguments to defend the statute when 5,000 years of human history and the express act of Congress fly in the face of that statement. According to professor John Yoo, "in the few cases that the Supreme Court has heard gay rights cases, it has never adopted (the standard Obama is applying)."

In announcing a new standard, Obama claims that the legal landscape has changed in the 15 years since DOMA was passed. You know the drill: Society has "evolved." That's highly dubious in view of the fact that even people in some liberal states have expressed their preference for preserving the traditional definition of marriage. Further, it is not Obama's place to make this determination, especially when the people have already done so in such emphatic terms through their duly elected congressmen. If the people want the law changed, they can lobby their congressmen to change it or marshal their lawyers to argue their position in actual cases before the courts.

In response to leftists arguing that President George W. Bush also declined to enforce a federal statute, Yoo says that Obama's action is distinguishable. Bush did so in cases in which he was resisting congressional intrusions into the executive's constitutional authorities in the area of national security. Here there are no alleged encroachments on executive authority; it's just that Obama has a different opinion than the American people and has decided to implement it unilaterally.

So now we have an imperial president who is refusing to enforce a law passed by powerful congressional majorities while persisting in enforcing a law (Obamacare) that two federal courts have already invalidated. The only common denominator is that Obama believes he is the law.

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David Limbaugh, a columnist and attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Comment by clicking here.

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