Sen. Lee agreed. "This is a law that has been on the books for 15 years. There was overwhelming bipartisan support for this law. It is extraordinary and unusual for the Justice Department simply to say 'We are not going to defend this law.'... To take the step that this administration took today, which is to say that there is no reasonable basis upon which one could contend that it is constitutional is as unusual and extraordinary as it is indefensible."
Lynn D. Wardle, the Bruce C. Hafen Professor of Law at BYU said the administration is bound to defend the law, even laws they don't agree with. "This is almost unprecedented," Wardle said. "Tell me a time where George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Richard Nixon for that matter, Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan would have done something like this."
One of America's leading conservative thinkers, on the other hand, thinks the Obama reversal announced Wednesday could be a good thing for proponents of traditional marriage.
"I think this decision is good news for the defenders of DOMA," said Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and director of the James Madison Program at Princeton University. "The Obama administration, so far, in its defending of DOMA in the lower courts has not so much been defending it as they have been sabotaging it. Their so-called defenses of the act have been so incompetent as to at least suggest that they were deliberately throwing the case. By withdrawing from the case altogether, this will give the House of Representatives the opportunity to secure counsel of its own to defend the legislation and who will defend it robustly and, I think, ultimately successfully in the Supreme Court of the United States."
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