While I understand that the Department of Justice is tasked with defending the law (that whole “we’re a nation of laws” thing matters) until the White House and Congress change the law, this DOJ legal brief on DOMA is a pooch-screwer. Two mistakes here — mistakes that have lead to many people feeling rightfully shocked and hurt:
1) How is this wingnut Bush appointee, W. Scott Simpson, still around, and allowed to write briefs on sensitive social / civil rights issues like this?
2) Why didn’t anyone vet the brief?
In other words, the disparity between the president’s words on DOMA and the awfulness contained inside the brief are so vastly different that it leads me to believe that the content was just a colossal, unintentional error. I do believe, however, that the DOJ planned to defend the law insofar as that’s what it’s tasked with doing (until the law changes). But the language in the brief was so insulting and poorly constructed, I can’t help but to think that this was a matter of shoddy oversight rather than design.
There are many people who are owed an apology for this one.