martha-coakleyThey are if they oppose the federal Defense of Marriage Act on constitutional grounds. Which, as it turns out, is exactly what supporters of same sex marriage are doing in Massachusetts.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Last week, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley moved for summary judgment in a lawsuit, filed last July, brought by the Bay State against the federal government challenging the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

In its lawsuit, Massachusetts has argued that DOMA’s definition of marriage violates the 10th Amendment as well as the Constitution’s Spending Clause by forcing “the Commonwealth to engage in invidious discrimination against its own citizens in order to receive and retain federal funds in connection with two joint federal-state programs.”

Wow, Martha’s complaint sounds an awful lot like it could have been lodged against ObamaCare!

One can only hope that cases like this will help bring more people on both sides to the inevitable conclusion that if federalism can work to release the pressure of one divisive cultural issue in 50 different directions, it can do the same for all such issues.

Here’s a novel idea: Rather than citing the Constitution when we like it, and ignoring it when we don’t, let’s stop asking or allowing the feds to exercise any power that isn’t specifically enumerated, from subsidizing health care to defining marriage to prosecuting the war on drugs.

The 10th Amendment

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”



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The 10th Amendment

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10th Amendment



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