How Much Is Defending DOMA Going To Cost?
Former Speaker of the House, and now House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi’s home district is San Francisco, California. So you know homegirl has love for the gays. John Boehner’s announcement that he will hire private lawyers for a costly defense of the Defense of Marriage Act now that President Obama has opted to no longer defend the law in court, citing it as unconstitutional, rightly has Pelosi, Democrats, LGBT’s, and just straight up people who aren’t idiots very concerned.
The Republican-led U.S. House of Republicans have voted to defund Planned Parenthood, PBS, NPR, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, and countless other critical public services in recent months. There’s no money to for HIV prevention services, but our government has one hundred million dollars to defend a law that our own president has said to be unconstitutional? What on earth are House Republicans smoking? Because we want some.
Republicans ran on a job-creation campaign platform in the midterm elections. Instead, they’ve stripped the Environmental Protection Agency of power, and attempted to take away your newfound healthcare. I mean, there’s politicians being politicians, and then there’s just straight up lying to our faces and then going all supervillain on us.
Pelosi’s letter, FYI, reads:
March 11, 2011
The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker of the House
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Mr. Speaker:
The House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) voted this week by a 3-2 margin to direct the House General Counsel to initiate a legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). As you know, the Democratic members of the BLAG voted against directing the House Counsel to initiate the costly defense of a statute which many believe to be unconstitutional under the Equal Protection clause.
While respecting the role of the BLAG to make such decisions, I disagree in this circumstance because of the number of cases, at least 10. There are numerous parties who will continue to litigate these ongoing cases regardless of the involvement of the House. No institutional purpose is served by having the House of Representatives intervene in this litigation which will consume 18 months or longer. As we noted, the constitutionality of this statute will be determined by the Courts, regardless of whether the House chooses to intervene.
The resolution passed by the BLAG also directs the House General Counsel to hire private lawyers rather than utilize his own office to represent the House. The General Counsel indicated that he lacked the personnel and the budget to absorb those substantial litigation duties. It is important that the House receive an estimate of the cost to taxpayers for engaging private lawyers to intervene in the pending DOMA cases. It is also important that the House know whether the BLAG, the General Counsel, or a Committee of the House have the responsibility to monitor the actions of the outside lawyers and their fees.
The American people want Congress to be working on the creation of jobs and ensuring the continued progress of our economic recovery rather than involving itself unnecessarily in such costly and divisive litigation.
Thank you for your responses to these questions concerning the cost and oversight of the litigation as it proceeds through the courts.
Amen. We’re with you, girl. It must be unbelievably frustrating to sit by powerless as the governmental body you were elected to turns into equal parts circus and shit show. Thank you, Ms. Pelosi, for having the LGBT community’s backs.
Are you angry that Speaker Boehner is using your tax dollars to pay for lawyers who will seek to discriminate against you?