Obama Admin Declines to Defend Entire "Defense of Marriage Act"
Good news: Attorney General Eric Holder announced last week that the Justice Department will no longer defend Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, the part that defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Holder said that the executive would continue to enforce the law until it is repealed by legislators, or overturned by the courts. Two federal court challenges to DOMA are already underway.
“After careful consideration, including a review of my recommendation, the president has concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny,” Holder said in a statement. [Politico]
The Justice Department is not flouting the rule of law, as some critics have suggested. It is merely declining to dig itself a deeper hole in defense of an unconstitutional and discriminatory law.
Even Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) isn't sure whether he wants to defend DOMA. Boehner said Sunday that he hasn't decided whether the House will appoint a special counsel to defend the law. He said he'll probably decide by the end of the week. Boehner probably will move to defend the law, but he didn't exactly jump at the chance.
[Photo credit: marymactavish, Creative Commons.]
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The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."
- A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
- In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
- The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.
Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.
Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.
- Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
- Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
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