On Wednesday, March 9, 2011, Congressman Rob Woodall (R-GA) signed on as a co-sponsor to H.Con. Res. 25, which is a bill calling on President Obama and his administration to respect and defend the law known as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Full text of the legislation is available here.
In late February, the Obama Administration announced through the Department of Justice that it would no longer defend DOMA in future cases that arise in federal courts. According to Attorney General Eric Holder, the President concluded that DOMA "fails to meet [a heightened standard of scrutiny] and is therefore unconstitutional. Given that conclusion, the President has instructed the [Justice] Department not to defend the statute in such cases."
Congressman Woodall said, "President Obama took an oath to uphold the laws of the land. For him to refuse to enforce this law is unacceptable and an abuse of the presidency," Woodall said. "I am proud to stand on behalf of Georgia's Seventh District in support of Congresswoman Hartzler's resolution."
H.Con. Res. 25 was introduced on March 3, 2011, by Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-MO). The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee and currently has thirty-seven co-sponsors. Other Georgia co-sponsors include Congressman Phil Gingery (R-GA) and Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA).
House leadership also takes issue with the President's decision. The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, a five-member panel consisting of the Speaker of the House, Majority Leader, Minority Leader and Minority Whip, made a party-line decision to instruct the non-partisan office of the House General Counsel to take legal action on behalf of the House of Representatives.
"Today, after consultation with the Bipartisan Leadership Advisory Group, the House General Counsel has been directed to initiate a legal defense of this law. This action by the House will ensure that this law's constitutionality is decided by the courts, rather than by the President unilaterally," Speaker Boehner said in a press release.
Woodall said, "I support the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group's decision to pursue legal action. The law--not the passions of the President--should drive the decisions of our courts."