Ron Paul Not So Much States' Rights When It Comes to Gays

Ron Paul Not So Much States' Rights When It Comes to Gays

Written by beckychr007<> on Feb-25-11 1:48am2011-02-25T01:48:02


[]<>Ron Paul is a man much to be admired for the courage of his convictions-except when he is not. Like the time the "Defender of the Constitution" voted for<> a bill which asserted, by virtue of the Commerce Clause, that Congress has jurisdiction to regulate abortion procedures performed in a free clinic in Cheyenne.<>

I commend Ron Paul for his condemnation of abortion. I condemn his betrayal of the Constitution. The Constitution is the one thing he promises we can always count on him to be faithful to.

Like his good friend Bob Barr, Ron Paul has a constitutional blind spot when it comes to gays. He is actually very nice personally to gay people ( and openly gay and lesbian folks have served at the highest levels of his office and campaign staffs)--but it was a struggle to get him to see<> Barry Goldwater's point <> on "Don't Ask Don't Tell" --and that is pretty much the outer limits of where he is willing to go, even if the Constitution rears up and gets right in his face.

Yesterday, Representative Paul was trying to make a little political hay in Iowa-sight of the first presidential caucus. He was condemning <> Obama's decision not to defend the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). If he wanted to attack the president for his hypocrisy and crass political opportunism, that would be one thing- he would be on solid ground, and I would enthusiastically agree. But it is another thing to maintain that a president should be forced to pursue and enforce government behavior which he believes to be unconstitutional.

In the past, Paul has correctly pointed out that the Supreme Court is not named in the Constitution as the sole and final arbiter of constitutionality-every branch has a duty to determine whether its actions are constitutional and behave accordingly. Just as congress should consider whether it has the power to enact a bill, so should a president consider whether an act he is enforcing is constitutional.

The president takes an oath to "preserve, protect, and defend" the Constitution. That oath supersedes the dictates<> of any statutory effort of congress to force him to be complicit in their regular assaults on the Constitution.
Ron Paul's argument sounds like an endorsement of the hollow morality of Nuremberg-- "I was just following orders."

Paul's performance was one of the most unusual defenses of DOMA that I have ever heard , and he wrapped it all up in the Constitution. He says <> that the Defense of Marriage Act is designed to prevent the Federal government from forcing the states to adopt Washington's heathenish tolerance of gay marriage.

Its an unusual argument because Paul has it ass backwards. DOMA prevents the federal government from recognizing a same sex marriage even if a State has chosen to. Until DOMA the federal government had always taken the position that marriage, family and probate law were matters reserved exclusively to the States by the Tenth Amendment, and the federal government was bound by the laws of the states in regard to these matters. With DOMA the federal government no longer defers to the states, and Ron Paul calls that a pro-state rights stance ( one federal judge already disagrees with Paul, and has ruled DOMA unconstitutional on Tenth Amendment grounds<> ).

Because his opinion on that portion of DOMA is so obviously inconsistent with his usual consistently commendable views of the Constitution, he does not wish to discuss it. So when talking detail yesterday Paul confined his remarks<> to the "Full, Faith and Credit" portion of DOMA.

To a person, not a geeky lawyer well-versed in the intricacies of constitutional law, it might initially sound like Ron Paul is taking a states' right's approach on the "Full, Faith and Credit" aspect of the law . He defends DOMA because it<> "ensures that no state would be forced to recognize a same sex marriage license issued in another state."

But actually he is not in the states' rights/ limited government camp on this one either.

The Full, Faith and Credit clause<> (Article IV, Section 1) of the Constitution provides:

" Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof." (emphasis added)

The strict constitutionalist and states' rights view is that Congress does not have the constitutional power to do what they attempted to do in DOMA. By its clear language, under the "Full Faith and Credit Clause" , Congress has only the power to dictate WHAT the "effect" of acts like marriage might be - not WHETHER such acts have any effect at all.

The clause exists because the Republic could not function if states did not recognize each others' laws, and the judgments enforcing them. It is about state comity and cooperation, and mutual respect-not authoritarian federal dictation from Washington. The "Full, Faith and Credit" clause was not part of the federalist agenda imposed in the coup d'├ętatat at the Philadelphia convention, it was an original feature of the Articles of Confederation<> .

Thus, to interpret the clause to allow Congress to entirely undermine that state comity and power by targeting certain states' acts, and rendering them ineffective out-of-state, would be a perversely intrusive exercise of federal power.
All this is shameful enough-but it gets worse.

He was quite proud<> of one of the most despicable bills ever introduced in Congress. He is a co-sponsor of the Marriage Protection Act<> which would not even let anyone challenge the Defense of Marriage Act in federal court. He justifies this as an effort to protect congress from the tyranny of "activist judges."

That bill is so utterly despicable, no further elaboration is necessary. I wonder if Representative Paul is aware that a similar act of congress may end up protecting the congressional enactment of Obamacare from similar judicial tyranny. See "Castration of the Supreme Court-Progressive and Conservative Efforts May Save Obamacare"<>

I wish the man talking in Iowa, had been Ron Paul's evil twin.


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