July 8, 2010
Federal court finds DOMA unconstitutional on Tenth Amendment, equal protection grounds
A federal district judge in Massachusetts has ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which established the federal government’s definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, is unconstitutional.
July 5, 2010
Kagan, law school recruiting, and civilian control of the military
Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center at UC-Santa Barbara, writes in the Huffington Post on the Kagan hearings and what they tell us about the state of civilian control of the military:
[T]he questioning of Elena Kagan reveals a failure on the part of our political institutions to exercise civilian control of the military. Whether or not one agrees with law schools who tried to enforce their own non-discrimination policies, the Pentagon played fast and loose with the facts and disguised a concern for disrespect and obedience with an argument about military recruiting, to say nothing of bullying university administrators and using personnel policy to express bigotry.
Rather than standing up to such affronts, Congress and the courts have been enablers, as we saw this week in the [Sen. Jeff] Sessions line of questioning. Congress's original passage of the Solomon amendment, conservatives' insincere claim that protest undermined recruiting, and the Supreme Court's willingness to allow the military to make unsubstantiated claims all suggest that some of our most powerful civilian leaders have failed to exercise civilian control of the armed forces.