Hugh Hewitt

When President Obama refused to endorse same sex marriage in the 2008 presidential campaign, was he as bigoted as a defender of Jim Crow in 1948, six years before "separate but equal" was struck down by a unanimous Supreme Court?

That's what Attorney General Eric Holder would have you believe based on his remarks about same sex marriage on Monday.

From The New York Times' account of an interview with the Attorney General:

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Monday injected the Obama administration into the emotional and politicized debate over the future of state same-sex marriage bans, declaring in an interview that state attorneys general are not obligated to defend laws that they believe are discriminatory….

Mr. Holder said when laws touch on core constitutional issues like equal protection, an attorney general should apply the highest level of scrutiny before reaching a decision on whether to defend it. He said the decision should never be political or based on policy objections.

“Engaging in that process and making that determination is something that’s appropriate for an attorney general to do,” Mr. Holder said.

As an example, Mr. Holder cited the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case, which forced public school integration in 1954.

“If I were attorney general in Kansas in 1953, I would not have defended a Kansas statute that put in place separate-but-equal facilities,” Mr. Holder said.

The nation’s first black attorney general, Mr. Holder has said he views today’s gay-rights campaigns as a continuation of the civil rights movement that won rights for black Americans in the 1950s and ’60s. He has called gay rights one of “the defining civil rights challenges of our time.”

This is astonishing and troubling, and of a piece with the president and the Administration's growing lawlessness. There is no precedent for the idea that states' attorneys generals ought to pick and choose among the laws they defend, just as there is no precedent for the president's decision to serially alter his signature legislative "achievement" as he has done with Obamacare, or to empower his agencies to regulate far in advance of authority granted them by the Congress.


Hugh Hewitt

Hugh Hewitt is host of a nationally syndicated radio talk show. Hugh Hewitt's new book is The War On The West.