The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Cal Thomas, President Obama, and DOMA

Yesterday, in the Washington Examiner, I saw a column by Cal Thomas entitled "Obama's duty is to enforce the law." (This column appears to have been syndicated to a lot of other publications; a Google search found multiple copies online.) Anyway, Thomas' position is that President Obama has no right to decide which laws he will enforce. And I suppose (although he does not mention it) Thomas' position is rooted in Article II, Section 3, Clause 4 of the Constitution: "he [the President] shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed," which would in fact be a valid argument, except for one thing.

The President has taken an oath of office, which binds him to "preserve, protect, and defend" the Constitution. The Constitution is superior to all ordinary laws (see Article VI), and if DOMA is unconstitutional, the President has no obligation to defend it. And this is the point at issue.

Until the Supreme Court has ruled on the constitutionality of DOMA, Pres. Obama is bound by his oath of office to consider its constitutionality as open to determination. And if he truly believes the act to be unconstitutional, he is under no obligation to defend it. I'm sorry, Mr. Thomas, but here you are wrong, and the President is acting constututionally correctly.

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