House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

Focus on the Family Wants House Republicans to Investigate the Justice Department over DOMA Cases

Tom Minnery, Vice President of Government and Public Policy at CitizenLink (formerly Focus on the Family Action), is insisting that House Republicans investigate the Justice Department over their handling of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, in order to fulfill the desires of the GOP’s Religious Right supporters.

Earlier this year, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders brought two separate cases to a federal judge in Boston contesting DOMA’s constitutionality. The Justice Department defended DOMA and argued that the law is constitutional, but the Judge ruled otherwise and found that the law was unconstitutional under the equal protection clause and the Tenth Amendment.

Infuriated by the judge’s ruling, Religious Right activists were so assured of DOMA’s constitutionality that they maintained that the Justice Department must have intentionally mishandled the cases and purposefully lost. Tom McClusky of the Family Research Council said that “in part, this decision results from the deliberately weak legal defense of DOMA that was mounted on behalf of the government by the Obama administration,” and Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel and David Barton of WallBuilders recently discussed why they believe the Justice Department “threw the case.”

Today, Focus on the Family’s Tom Minnery called for social conservatives to be more demanding of congressional Republicans than they were when Republicans previously had control of Congress:

On Nov. 2, 2010, the Republicans again won control of the House, by an even larger margin than they did in 1994. It was once again a severe rebuke of the policies of the Democratic Party. We hope it won’t again cause a severe misreading of results by conservative Christians. What we learned in 1994 was that simply having power isn’t enough. What matters is what is done with that power.

Minnery goes on to say that the Religious Right should push the House Committee On Oversight and Government Reform, to be led by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), to investigate the Justice Department’s management of the DOMA case to show that the GOP is serious about opposing marriage equality:

Will there be comprehensive hearings by House oversight committees on the unwillingness of the Justice Department to thoroughly defend, as the Constitution requires, legal challenges to federal laws? I have in mind the Defense of Marriage Act. The Justice Department has failed to provide an adequate defense against lawsuits seeking to tear away this law.

He also resuscitated the false claim that the government is using taxpayer funds to subsidize abortion, asking, “Will they try hard to undo health care reform, aiming specifically at its vast expansion of government-paid abortions?”

While Issa has already said that his committee may launch inquiries into everything from climate change science to consumer protection efforts to the Justice Department’s handling of the “New Black Panther Party” case, Minnery and other Religious Right activists will work to pressure Issa to include the DOMA cases among his growing lists of investigations.

 

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