It’s Time To Fight – Alliance Defense Fund speaks out on USDOJ refusal to protect law
- By Alan Sears
- Posted Feb 25, 2011
- 7 Comments »
Update on federal DOMA Litigation
We wanted to update you on the litigation involving the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA – which essentially is the law that defines marriage to include one man and one woman for federal government purposes, and allows each state to define marriage without imposing any re-definition on another), and especially the impact of Eric Holder’s unprecedented announcement yesterday that the Department of Justice will no longer defend the law (and in fact actively oppose it).
As you know, the Attorney General’s announcement only confirms what has been a reality since the Administration began “defending” DOMA in the seven jurisdictions in which it is currently being challenged. It’s no exaggeration to say that the President’s team has been throwing the cases. The Administration has expressly waived advancing winning legal arguments and intentionally failed to cite binding legal precedent in each case. In fact, the Administration has “expressly disavowed” the winning legal arguments that the Bush Administration had made in previous cases. In short, it is clear that the President and his lawyers have been actively sabotaging DOMA in court.
That is why we have put so many resources into DOMA’s defense. There are two cases in California, two cases in Massachusetts, and cases in Oklahoma, Connecticut, and New York. The cases from Massachusetts are currently at the First Circuit Court of Appeals. ADF and its allies filed amicus briefs in those cases, which resulted in 15 briefs being filed in the case that covered every single legal argument that the United States Department of Justice had abandoned. The Alliance Defense Fund filed a brief on behalf of Representative Lamar Smith, who is the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, presenting the court with the winning arguments that have been recognized by every other case upholding the definition of marriage. We also represent the state defendant in the Oklahoma case to defend both Oklahoma’s constitutional amendment defining marriage and DOMA. The other DOMA cases are in their beginning stages where we are preparing the same defense of DOMA that we mounted in the First Circuit Court of Appeals.
We are also advising members of Congress on their right to intervene in light of Department of Justice’s complete abdication of its duty to defend the law enacted overwhelmingly by both Houses of Congress. The good news is that the Attorney General’s announcement paves the way for the House of Representatives intervention so that the federal law can be vigorously defended by an official party. We are encouraging Congress to step forward to fill the void left by the Administration and we are offering to help any way we can.
It’s an outrage that the President and his Attorney General would not only fail to defend the law, but actively side with those who seek to redefine marriage and label the majority of Americans as the equivalent of bigots motivated by “animus” for believing marriage is the union of one man and one woman. (After all, not only have 30 state marriage amendments been passed by usually overwhelming margins across the country, DOMA was passed in the House of Representatives by a bi-partisan vote of 342-67, and in the Senate 85-14 and signed into law by then President Bill Clinton). But this Administration has made no secret about what it thinks when religious liberty collides with those who seek to redefine marriage. As the President’s pick as head of the EEOC said, “…we should similarly not tolerate private beliefs about sexual orientation and gender identity that adversely affect LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] people,” “it’s a zero-sum game.”
The Alliance Defense Fund Marriage Team has kept the threat to marriage and religious freedom at the forefront of our minds as we have been working around the clock to litigate these cases. We ask for much prayer, for Congress to act, and the Courts to follow the law and Constitution. It is time to fight…
Thank you VERY much. John 15:5
Yours for religious freedom in America, with sincere appreciation and best regards,
Alan E. Sears
President, CEO and General Counsel
Alliance Defense Fund
Author: Alan Sears