Debra J. Saunders

Sainz denies that charge. Yet he effectively admitted as much when he told me, "At the end of the day, I am fairly positive that law firms in the future will think twice before taking on these kinds of engagements because they know that we'll be watching."

Case closed. This is intimidation.

This is intolerance.

It is important to understand why a private law firm took the case. In February, after defending the law for two years, President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder decided that the law was unconstitutional. In a blog, they explained that homosexuals are a "politically powerless" minority. Hence, the Department of Justice no longer would defend the law against legal challenges.

Now Holder doesn't want to defend it. It doesn't matter that, like a majority of senators and House members, Vice President Joe Biden voted for the bill. Or that Holder's old boss Bill Clinton signed it. Or that Holder himself defended DOMA for two years.

Congress then had the option of defending the law. Over the objections of some Democrats, Committee on House Administration Chairman Dan Lungren, R-Calif., signed a contract with Clement and his firm.

Thus began a campaign to discredit the deal as, in the words of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill, a "legal boondoggle" that spends "half a million dollars of taxpayer money to defend discrimination." Now you know what Pelosi deems to be a waste of taxpayer money -- defending a law passed by the body she once represented as speaker.

"Even though I'm a critic of DOMA, I think someone should defend it in court," Turley offered.

Well, Pelosi doesn't.

Lungren marveled that Pelosi would cede the authority of the House to the Department of Justice. As he sees it, it is "an affront to constitutional democracy" to deny "the people" an opportunity to see a law defended in court.

Gay rights activists argue that DOMA is unconstitutional. If they're so sure, why are they trying to prevent good lawyers from defending the 1996 law?


Debra J. Saunders


 
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