Today [1/13/11], the Department of Justice filed its defense of the Defense of Marriage Act in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in a single filing for both Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Massachusetts v. United States. This past July, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Tauro ruled that Section Three of DOMA — which sets a federal definition for “marriage” and spouse” — is unconstitutional.
The government announced in October 2010 that it planned to appeal the rulings.
In its defense of the 1996 law, the government today stated:
DOMA is supported by rationales that constitute a sufficient rational basis for the law. For example, as explained below, it is supported by an interest in maintaining the status quo and uniformity on the federal level, and preserving room for the development of policy in the states.
Is it my imagination or aren’t “maintaining the status quo” and “preserving room for the development of policy in the states” paradoxical objectives?
Also, if you really, really, REALLY believe in federalism and leaving whatever isn’t stipulated by the Constitution to be regulated by the states, then doesn’t that mean you do NOT pass a federal law to thwart state laws you disagree with?