Is the President Above the Law?

This is the uncomfortable question many Americans are asking after President Obama’s lawless decision to stop defending in federal court the law of the land on the institution of marriage.

According to The Washington Post:

The Obama administration said Wednesday that it will no longer defend the federal law that bans the recognition of same-sex marriage because it considers the legislation unconstitutional, a sudden and rare reversal.

Gay rights groups hailed the administration’s move, saying it will bolster their argument that laws that apply a different standard to people based on sexual orientation are unconstitutional. At least three challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act are working their way through the federal courts.

The law in question is the Defense of Marriage Act, which breezed through Congress with a vote of 85-14 in the Senate and a vote of 342-67 in the House before being signed into law by President Clinton on September 21, 1996. It has been the law of the land now for almost 15 years, but, perhaps, not anymore. President Obama and his pliant henchman Attorney General Eric Holder thought it was more important to throw a bone to their leftist supporters than to enforce the laws of the land–again. (Sure enough, the Post story linked above details how Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s White House liaison to the homosexual lobby, was involved in this decision!) In fact, the administration has already defended this law’s constitutionality in court and is now changing its position mid-stream. You can view Holder’s dishonest letter announcing the executive override of federal law here.

Obama’s decision is highly irregular and raises serious questions as to whether President Obama and Holder are upholding their oaths and following the Constitution’s demand to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” Has the president now substituted himself for both the Congress and Supreme Court? Is this the end result of his dubious czar appointments: that he has, in effect, appointed himself “Constitution Czar?” In one move, Obama would override the Constitution and redefine marriage! In Clintonian fashion, Obama will continue to enforce a law he thinks (and is now telling federal courts throughout the land) has no constitutional basis.

The implications of President Obama’s abuse of office are still rippling and unknown. Does it mean that gay marriage will now be recognized in all the states (despite the 30 state constitutions that ban it)? What about the tax code and other federal regulations related to marital status, which under DOMA, cannot be extended to same-sex “marriages?” The homosexual lobby says that there are 1,138 of them. Has Obama’s dictate changed all that law, including the tax code? Though, supposedly, Congress (or, at least, the House) may step in to defend the law, I would worry about a federal judge or two summarily ruling that “gay marriage” is the law of the land rather quickly.

Now let’s talk about the disgrace that is Attorney General Eric Holder. From day one, Judicial Watch vigorously opposed the Holder nomination due to his corrupt record in the Clinton administration as a Deputy Attorney General under Janet Reno. I knew Holder would be a disaster as Attorney General. But even I could not have predicted just how bad the situation would get on his watch. Just take a moment to review Holder’s record so far:


  • Judicial Watch uncovered explosive evidence that top political appointees at Holder’s Justice Department were intimately involved in the decision to dismiss the voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense, a “civil rights” group that brandished weapons, blocked a polling station and hurled racial insults at voters on Election Day 2008. These documents, which include internal DOJ email correspondence, directly contradict sworn testimony by Thomas Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, who testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that no political leadership was involved in the decision.During the course of a year-long investigation of the Black Panther scandal, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights made startling accusations of racism at Holder’s Justice Department, a charge corroborated by Justice Attorney Christopher Coates. (Read more here.)
  • While failing to protect the country from the scourge of rampant illegal immigration, the Holder Justice Department made matters worse by suing the State of Arizona for implementing a new get-tough illegal immigration law, S.B. 1070. Judicial Watch represents Arizona State Senate President Russell Pearce, the author of S.B. 1070, and the entire Arizona Legislature against this shameless legal assault by Holder’s Justice Department.
  • Judicial Watch recently received documents from the Department of Justice that show Holder’s DOJ worked hand-in-hand with the radical leftist ACLU in mounting their respective legal challenges to SB 1070. (In one email exchange uncovered by Judicial Watch, a Justice Department official expressed joy at “being on the same side” with the ACLU.) The Justice Department is supposed to be an independent law enforcement agency, not a mouthpiece for the radical left.
  • Just one week after suing Arizona, Holder’s Justice Department announced it would not prosecute sanctuary cities who flout federal immigration laws.
  • To this day, Eric Holder refuses to initiate any investigation of the corrupt enterprise known as ACORN, despite the organization’s long, sordid history of election fraud. In fact, while noting that ACORN had engaged in “questionable hiring and training practices,” Holder’s Justice Department actually closed down one ACORN investigation in March 2009, claiming ACORN broke no laws. Meanwhile, the organization, now splintered into corrupt cells across the country, continues to violate the law. Holder’s unwillingness to prosecute ACORN calls into question his impartiality, considering the fact that President Obama previously worked with the organization.
  • Holder’s record on national security is abysmal. Not only is Holder leading the Obama administration’s ridiculous on-again, off-again campaign to close Guantanamo Bay, but it was Attorney General Holder who made the disastrous initial decision to grant a civilian criminal trial to 9/11 terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) and other 9/11 terrorists in New York City. That decision prompted a massive public backlash and the plan was scrapped, at least temporarily. As CNN pointed out just last week, Holder has still not told the American people of his final plan to hold 9/11 terrorists and how they will be brought to justice. I suspect, however, it will not be the justice they deserve. According to press reports, at least seven attorneys inside Holder’s Justice Department previously represented terrorist suspects in court. (They are known as the Al Qaida 7. And Holder and his law firm also advocated for terrorists before his appointment to lead Justice.)

And if all of this isn’t enough evidence of Holder’s corruption, political hackery and incompetence, Fox News has its own expanded list of Holder’s greatest hits. This week’s latest assault on the rule of law lends further support to Judicial Watch’s effort to “Dump Holder.” America needs an Attorney General who will defend the constitutional order and not be a political, personal lawyer for a president who seems to know no constitutional restraints on his power.

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