In an interview with Newsmax.TV Friday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said President Barack Obama’s decision not to fully enforce the Defense of Marriage law eventually could lead to a constitutional crisis, as he has directly violated his constitutional duties by arbitrarily suspending a law.
Gingrich even suggested that, if a “President Sarah Palin” had taken a similar action, there would have been immediate calls for her impeachment. Asked directly whether Obama could be subject to articles of impeachment, Gingrich said, “I think that’s something you get to much later. But I think clearly it is a dereliction of duty. Clearly it’s a violation of his constitutional oath. Clearly it is not something that can be allowed to stand.”
(A Gingrich spokesman stressed after the interview that we are not currently in a constitutional crisis, nor was Gingrich calling for the direct impeachment of the president. His statements were meant to illustrate the hypocrisy of the left and the mainstream media.)
Obama Attorney General Eric Holder said on Wednesday that the administration will not defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act in the courts, which has banned recognition of same-sex marriage for 15 years. President Clinton signed the act into law in 1996.
Obama’s decision to forego a legal defense of the law has caused a firestorm of anger from conservative groups.
Gingrich slammed Obama for his decision, telling Newsmax that he is not a “one-person Supreme Court” and his decision sets a “very dangerous precedent” that must not be allowed to stand.
“Imagine that Governor Palin had become president. Imagine that she had announced that Roe versus Wade in her view was unconstitutional and therefore the United States government would no longer protect anyone’s right to have an abortion because she personally had decided it should be changed. The news media would have gone crazy. The New York Times would have demanded her impeachment.
“First of all, he campaigned in favor of [the law]. He is breaking his word to the American people,” Gingrich says.
“Second, he swore an oath on the Bible to become president that he would uphold the Constitution and enforce the laws of the United States. He is not a one-person Supreme Court. The idea that we now have the rule of Obama instead of the rule of law should frighten everybody.
“The fact that the left likes the policy is allowing them to ignore the fact that this is a very unconstitutional act,” Gingrich said.
Gingrich said it is absolutely critical for Obama to comply with Congress and the constitutional process.
“I believe the House Republicans next week should pass a resolution instructing the president to enforce the law and to obey his own constitutional oath, and they should say if he fails to do so that they will zero out [defund] the office of attorney general and take other steps as necessary until the president agrees to do his job.
“His job is to enforce the rule of law and for us to start replacing the rule of law with the rule of Obama is a very dangerous precedent.”
Gingrich adds: “I don’t think these guys set out to create a constitutional crisis. I think they set out to pay off their allies in the gay community and to do something that they thought was clever. I think they didn’t understand the implication that having a president personally suspend a law is clearly unconstitutional.”