Thursday, September 1, 2011

Brody's Notes... Judicial Watch Sues Department Of Justice On Behalf Of Family Research Council Over DOMA

By Brody Levesque | WASHINGTON DC -- The ultra-conservative legal watchdog group, Judicial Watch, announced Wednesday that it had filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit on August 29th against the U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on behalf of the Family Research Council (FRC) for records related to the DOJ’s decision not to defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in any pending or future litigation.
According to Judicial Watch, FRC seeks documents from the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division to determine the purported basis for the decision and the possible influence of homosexual activists on the decision. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said via press release:
“Once again the Obama administration is playing politics with the Freedom of Information Act to avoid telling the American people the truth about one of its indefensible positions. The evidence suggests the nation’s highest law enforcement is refusing to enforce the law to appease another special interest group.”
In a February letter, U. S. Attorney General Eric Holder told congressional leadership that the president in consultation with Holder found Section 3 of DOMA as applied to same-sex married couples to be unconstitutional and the president directed the Department to cease enforcing those provisions.
House Speaker John Boehner after experiencing tremendous political pressure from anti-gay conservative groups including the FRC, along with conservative GOP lawmakers to defend the law, hired an independent law firm to represent the Congress and defend the statue in on going federal cases in U. S. District courts in New York, Massachusetts, and California.
In response to FRC FOIA requests, the DOJ informed FRC in a June 2nd letter that DOJ personnel had searched and identified 357 pages of email chains responsive to the FOIA request, 27 pages of which were claimed to be exempted and were withheld. The FRC then filed an administrative appeal of the withheld materials but the DOJ has yet to respond, prompting the lawsuit filed on Monday.
Family Research Council head Tony Perkins stated:
“When Barack Obama became president, he took an oath to uphold our laws – and not just the ones with which he personally agrees. If he’ll undermine this law, which one is next? This isn’t just a threat to marriage. It’s a threat to the entire democratic process. If the Obama administration has nothing to hide, then why stonewall?”
We have serious concerns that the Justice Department wants to hide evidence that it was doing the bidding of campaign donors and homosexual activists from whom Obama will need assistance for his reelection.”