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Bending Toward Justice



The Obama administration has announced that it will not defend laws that prevent married same-sex couples from obtaining military benefits. In a letter to Congress today, Attorney General Eric Holder argued, “[t]he legislative record of these provisions contains no rationale for providing veterans’ benefits to opposite-sex couples of veterans but not to legally married same-sex spouses of veterans … Neither the Department of Defense nor the Department of Veterans Affairs identified any justifications for that distinction that would warrant treating these provisions differently from Section 3 of DOMA.”

Glad that the administration is acting consistently with the values of the Constitution.  Or, as Jeff Goldstein would call it since it’s not Reagan doing it, “tyranny.”

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  • Jay C

    “…providing veterans’ benefits to opposite-sex couples of veterans but not to legally married same-sex spouses of veterans”

    While this is certainly “excellent” news, IMHO – despite the near-certainty of some left-wing blogger somewhere posting some shrill whinging screed along the lines of “why did he wait so long, the sellout!” – one really has to wonder how many couples this decision will affect? Given that SSM (for military OR civilians) is only legal in a few states.

    Hopefully this is just a thin-edge-of-the-wedge against the DOMA…..

    • R Johnston

      Meh. It’s perfectly reasonable to argue that Obama dragged his feat on getting rid of DADT and that he should have taken whatever action he could have in his capacities as CiC and leader of the Democratic party well before he did and should have pushed for less of a delay in implementing the policy change once it happened. He’s already taken whatever grief he’s going to get for that. Given how DADT repeal was handled, the timeliness of this is just fine.

      Democrats, unlike Republicans, can largely praise and criticize at the same time. Obama, unlike Republicans, is a big boy and can take it. If those things aren’t true then there’s no hope and we may as well just give up.

  • thebewilderness

    Every step, even a baby step, toward ending discrimination is worthy of celebration. Particularly at a time when a significant segment of the population is arguing to reinstate the most heinous abuses of the citizenry.

  • Jesse Levine

    “Bendng” is a good formulation, but this is picking low hanging fruit. It will be time to applaud the administration when it goes beyond gender equality and liberty to comply with constitutional principles. You know, the stuff that concerns us “civil liberties extremists” like assassinations, indefinite detention, secret laws, etc. Selective compliance with the Constitution by a president who pledged to restore the rule of law doesn’t get it done.

  • Honorable Bob

    Legislators are supposed to make the laws and the executive branch is supposed to enforce those laws.

    Unless you’re a King.

    All Hail the King.

    • David Kaib

      Are you under the impression that “making the laws” is the same as making decisions about what the Executive branch argues in court? Perhaps you need a view of the Constitution that is slightly more nuanced than that figure from the movie Election.

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