Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Post Constitutional Era! Part XIX

Article 4 - The States
Section 1 - Each State to Honor all Others

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.
For those who wondered why DOMA became so important:

ArticleIV, Section 1 ensures that states respect and honor the state laws and court orders of other states, even when their own laws are different. For example, if citizens of New Jersey marry, divorce, or adopt children in New Jersey, Florida must recognize these actions as valid even if the marriage or divorce would not have been possible under Florida law. Similarly, if a court in one state orders a person to pay money or to stop a certain behavior, the courts in other states must recognize and enforce that state’s order.

Article IV, Section 1 also gives Congress the power to determine how states recognize records and laws from other states and how they enforce each others’ court orders. For example, Congress may pass a federal law that specifies how states must handle child custody disputes when state laws are different or that sets out the process by which a person winning a lawsuit in one state can enforce the order in another state.”
“Clinton – along with key legislators –later advocated for DOMA's repeal. The Obama administration announced in 2011 that it had concluded Section 3 was unconstitutional and that although the administration would continue to enforce the law while it existed, it would no longer defend the law in court. In United States v. Windsor (2013), the U.S. Supreme Court declared Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.” 
Did the administration violate the Constitutional requirement to "uphold" the nation's laws? How did SCOTUS determine this was a Fifth Amendment failure? As we go along we will see serious questions in the reasoning of officials of the federal government and the judiciary. Reasoning that is clearly far different than the intent of the Founding Fathers.  If the three branches of the federal government can simply ignore Constitutional requirements, or use twisted reasonings to do end runs around the Constitution, important questions must be asked and answered.  Does the Constitution matter, and if not, what's replacing it? 

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