The head of the House Judiciary Committee is planning grill the U.S. Attorney General over the Obama administration’s decision to stop defending DOMA as constitutional in court. In a recently released report, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the committee, charges that the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has repeatedly disregarded the Constitution and the rule of law. In a separate April 30 press release, he announced he is calling Holder to appear at a hearing to question him about decisions regarding the Defense of Marriage Act and other matters.
The report, issued April 30, identifies six areas where the Department of Justice has failed to meet its obligations, one of which is “refusing to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.”
“Rather than fulfilling the Attorney General’s oath to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States’ and the President’s Constitutional responsibility to ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed,’ the Justice Department in the Obama Administration, under the leadership of Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., has repeatedly put its partisan agenda ahead of its Constitutional duties,” states the report. “The pattern of pushing partisan ideology rather than neutrally enforcing the law began nearly as soon as the Administration took office and has continued unabated since.”
Among the examples the report complains about is that DOJ has “blocked” Congressional inquiries into what role Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan played in preparing to defend the Affordable Care Act, when she was solicitor general. It says the administration was challenging voter ID laws, thus interfering with state sovereignty.
On DOMA, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the committee, says DOJ “has refused to defend a valid federal law,” by refusing to argue for DOMA’s constitutionality.
In releasing the report, Smith said he has called Attorney General Holder to testify before his committee on June 7, “to answer for the Administration’s actions.”