President Obama's decision this week to ease enforcement of the federal Defense of Marriage Act was a violation of his oath of office and has sparked a constitutional crisis, Newt Gingrich said Friday.
In an interview with Newsmax.TV, the former House speaker accused Obama of acting like a "one-person Supreme Court" and called on Republicans to confront the president over his "arbitrary" suspension of the law.
The Obama administration questions Section 3 of DOMA, which defines marriage for federal purposes as only between one man and one woman. According to Attorney General Eric Holder, President Obama has determined that Section 3 "as applied to same-sex couples who are legally married under state law, violates the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment."
Gingrich asked his interviewer to "Imagine that Governor Palin had become president. Imagine that she had announced that Roe versus Wade in her view was unconstitutional and therefore the United States government would no longer protect anyone's right to have an abortion because she personally had decided it should be changed," Gingrich said. "The news media would have gone crazy. The New York Times would have demanded her impeachment."
On Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced DOMA will no longer be defended in court by Justice Department attorneys. The law, signed by Bill Clinton in 1996, banned recognition of same-sex marriage.
The White House decision to forego a legal defense of the law sets a "very dangerous precedent," Gingrich said.
"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 the office of attorney general and take other steps as necessary until the president agrees to do his job," he said.
In an effort to encourage the same level of civil dialogue among Politics Daily’s readers that we expect of our writers – a “civilogue,” to use the term coined by PD’s Jeffrey Weiss – we are requiring commenters to use their AOL or AIM screen names to submit a comment, and we are reading all comments before publishing them. Personal attacks (on writers, other readers, Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, or anyone at all) and comments that are not productive additions to the conversation will not be published, period, to make room for a discussion among those with ideas to kick around. Please read our Help and Feedback section for more info.