John Yoo: Obama Pushes the Limits of Executive Power in DOMA Decision

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Bob Dylan Roof
Infamous "Hamiltonian" or "Machiavellian" and former DOJ lawyer John Yoo argues that Obama's claim to a right to interpret the Constitution against the Supreme Court regarding gay marriage is different from similar claims made by Bush Jr. According to Yoo, the executive has the prerogative to interpret the Constitution against the other branches when separation-of-power questions are at issue, as Bush did, but should acquiesce in matters concerning individual rights. Yoo does not, however, believe that Obama is exceeding his authority as Executive.

Obama Pushes the Limits of Executive Power in DOMA Decision [link]
John Yoo · 17 hours ago

President Obama’s decision to no longer enforce the Defense of Marriage Act is a mistake for the over-arching reason, explained by Richard Epstein, that it uses the legal system to short-circuit the normal political process. As someone who favors gay marriage as a matter of policy, I trust that the American people over time will repeal the bans on gay marriage state-by-state. Seeking to encourage the courts to enact a nationwide ban will lead to an unstable settlement that will only lead to further politicization of family issues best left to the states. For proof, one only need look to abortion and the effects of Roe v. Wade.

Obama’s decision is also an expansive use of presidential power, one that is of a very different dimension from that invoked by President Bush (and by me, when I once worked in the Justice Department). President Obama claims the right here to interpret the laws and the Constitution, and to refuse to defend laws that he believes conflict with his own interpretation of the Constitution. This is substantially the same claim made by President Bush – though I suspect that the Left will not be out in force again to accuse the current president of raising himself above the laws – and flows from his ultimate duty to observe the Constitution as the highest form of law.

Continued at link.