“I felt good about serving our adversarial system of constitutional adjudication.” -Seth Waxman
Kevin Drum, over at Mother Jones, discusses the importance of Obama keeping military officials on his side in this debate. He makes a solid point; it is in Obama’s best interest to keep the Pentagon leadership on his side. Obama made it clear at the beginning of the DADT repeal discussion that he was going to let the military handle the transition and if the administration doesn’t defend DADT, it takes that opportunity away.
More importantly, Obama must defend DADT, even if he doesn’t believe in it or pretty much our entire system of laws falls apart.
Mark Sherman, over at HuffPo, does a good job outlining why this is important and examples of when it has happened in the past. The Clinton Administration defended the Communications Decency Act. The Reagan Administration defended the ERA. You can’t simply chose to defend stuff you agree with and ignore the stuff you don’t or every law on the books is constantly up for grabs.
I think there is an even more important reason for the Obama Administration to defend DADT. Daniel Choi stumbles across it, but manages to miss it. He asks “When Congress enacts a law that’s unconstitutional, whose job is it to strike it down?” He answers “The Courts” but he’s not specific enough. He should say “The Supreme Court.” And this case doesn’t get to SCOTUS unless the Obama Administration defends it. And the case isn’t fairly decided unless they defend it vigorously.