Friday, July 31, 2009

Congressional Ethics and DOMA

Many of the Congressmen and Senators who voted to pass the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) are licensed attorneys. Those individuals were required to take an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the State where they were licensed.

In addition, the ethics rules in many states require attorneys to avoid doing anything that would undercut the rule of law.

DOMA explicitly amends the "full faith and credit" clause of the constitution. Unfortunately, the U.S. Constitution may not be amended by Congressional fiat. Shouldn't the lawyers in Congress know that?

Since DOMA is clearly unconstitutional, should those attorneys who voted for it be subject to an ethics investigation and possible sanctions under attorney discipline rules?

1 comment:

Steve Zorn said...

I practice in New York, one of the very few jusrisdictions, other than those that permit same-sex marriage, to actually give full faith and credit to valid marriages from other jurisdictions. But, when handling same-sex divorces in NY, we still have to tiptoe around the impediments of DOMA. It'll be a good day when DOMA's gone.