House Speaker John Boehner said Friday he is launching a legal defense by the House of the federal law against gay marriage, which President Barack Obama's administration has concluded is unconstitutional.
"The constitutionality of this law should be determined by the courts -- not by the president unilaterally," the Ohio Republican said in a statement. "This action by the House will ensure the matter is addressed in a manner consistent with our Constitution."....
Boehner said he would convene a group of bipartisan congressional leaders that has the authority to instruct the House counsel to represent the chamber in court. The panel would include Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.; Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.; Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi D-Calif., and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md.
Boehner said he was convening the panel "for the purpose of initiating action by the House to defend this law." But there was no immediate indication of specifically what action it would direct or when the group would meet.
Democrats on the panel were unlikely to support any defense of the law. Pelosi has lauded Obama's decision to stop defending it as a "victory for civil rights, fairness and equality."
On Friday, she criticized the move as a costly burden on House staff.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
House Speak Boehner launches DOMA defense