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.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Yes, criticize Pres. Obama when he deserves it. But this isn't such a case!

There is a family of newspapers all called "The Examiner," published in various places around the nation, under a common ownership. One of those places is Washington, D. C., and since I live in the Washington suburbs, I get to see that edition of the Examiner regularly, without going online, though the columns appearing there do appear online, so I can link to them. The paper is pretty uniformly conservative, which means I usually agree with them on economic issues and disagree with them on social issues. And today, I saw a column on one of those social issues, and I feel I need to comment on it.

One of their regular columnists is Hugh Hewitt, and his column appeared today, under the title: "Time for government attorneys to stand up to Obama". And although some of the points that Hewitt made have some merit, Hewitt, annoyingly, said:

This president told his DOJ to refuse to defend a federal statute that has never been questioned by any federal appellate court, much less by the Supreme Court, the Defense of Marriage Act.

Now, the way I understand our Constitutional system, when no court has even ruled on a law, and perhaps even up until the Supreme Court rules on it, anyone, certainly including the President, has a right to decide whether he believes that law is constitutional. And Hewitt specifically states that DOMA "has never been questioned by any federal appellate court, much less by the Supreme Court." The way I read the Constitution, this means its constitutionality is open to each American's interpretation. And, since President Obama has sworn to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States," if he deems some act of Congress to be unconstitutional, it is acting within the spirit and letter of that oath to refuse to defend it.

I am sure Mr. Hewitt does not read this blog. I wish he did, so I could ask him pointblank: Suppose you were President of the United States, and Congress passed a bill you thought unconstitutional. Would you feel bound to defend it in court?

Are there any readers of this blog whe can make a case for Hewitt having any case there? Does anyone feel there is any compulsion under the Constitution for a President to try to defend an act that he believes to be unconstitutional? I'd really love to see any reason that Hewitt might consider to justify his condemnation of President Obama on these grounds.

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