Forum Post: Would you believe me if I told you one of the republiclan Justices pulled this "gotcha" off ?
Posted 1 year ago on March 27, 2013, 8:46 p.m. EST by bensdad
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The Supreme Court Justice caught the attorney defending the Defense of Marriage Act - DOMA - in a rare “gotcha” moment — in the eyes of many in the audience.
In discussing the origins of the law, pro-DOMA attorney Paul Clement, who represents the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, said that Congress’s key interest in passing DOMA was preserving the uniform treatment of couples in various states at a time when there where indications that some states might allow same-sex marriages.
“All of these federal statutes were passed with the traditional definition of marriage in mind,” Clement said. “What Congress said was, ‘Let’s take a time out. This is an unwelcome redefinition of an age-old tradition.’ ”
But the Justice fired back, telling Clement that Congress wasn’t preserving tradition, but departing from it when it jumped into the marriage issue:
“The only uniformity that the federal government has pursued is that it’s uniformly recognized the marriages that are recognized by the state”.
Then the Justice read aloud directly from the House Judiciary Committee report on DOMA.
“Congress decided to reflect and honor of collective moral judgment and to express moral disapproval of homosexuality”.
“Is that what happened in 1996?” followed by gasps, “oohs” and some laughter from many in the gallery who seemed to think they witnessed a rare Supreme Court “gotcha” moment.
Clement said he was not claiming moral disapproval constituted a sufficient basis for the law.
“The 1996 House report says those things,” he said.
Of course not – the Justice was Obama’s appointment – Elena Kagen