House Speaker John Boehner declared that President Barack Obama’s decision not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court is “outrageous” and vows that Republicans will intervene in the next few days.
Attorney General Eric Holder said last week that the Obama administration will not fight legal challenges to the constitutionality of the DOMA, which has banned federal recognition of same-gender marriage for 15 years.
Appearing on Greta Van Susteren’s Fox News Channel show on Wednesday night, Boehner was asked whether the GOP planned to hire a special counsel to “do the job that the executive branch won’t do.”
The Ohio Republican responded: “DOMA is the law of the land. It was passed overwhelmingly in both the House and the Senate. And I think it is outrageous for the president to say, well, we’re not going to enforce it. It’s the law of the land.
“It is the job of the Justice Department to defend the work of our government. I just think it is outrageous. We are looking at our options, what’s available to us to intervene.
“The long and the short of it is we are going to intervene. The question is how do we do it.”
Van Susteren asked whether Boehner has had any conversations with the president or attorney general about the DOMA. Boehner said simply: “No.”
Van Susteren: “So everyone’s going to find out later this week?”
Boehner: “I’m hopeful we will have an answer in the next couple of days.”
Boehner echoed sentiments expressed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV on Friday. Gingrich slammed Obama for his decision regarding the DOMA, saying the president is not a “one-person Supreme Court.”
Gingrich said: “His job is to enforce the rule of law and for us to start replacing the rule of law with the rule of Obama is a very dangerous precedent.
“I believe the House Republicans next week should pass a resolution instructing the president to enforce the law and to obey his own constitutional oath, and they should say if he fails to do so that they will zero out [defund] the office of attorney general and take other steps as necessary until the president agrees to do his job.”
Gingrich criticized the media’s silence on the issue, and even drew a parallel to a hypothetical “President Sarah Palin,” saying that, if she had taken a similar action with Roe v. Wade, there would have been immediate calls for her impeachment.
Asked directly whether Obama could be subject to articles of impeachment, Gingrich said: “I think that’s something you get to much later. But I think clearly it is a dereliction of duty. Clearly it’s a violation of his constitutional oath. Clearly it is not something that can be allowed to stand.”
Gingrich issued a statement after the interview stating that he was not calling for impeachment nor did he believe it was an appropriate course of action.
In his Newsmax interview, Gingrich added: “I don’t think these guys set out to create a constitutional crisis. I think they set out to pay off their allies in the [toeivah] community and to do something that they thought was clever. I think they didn’t understand the implication that having a president personally suspend a law is clearly unconstitutional.”