- George F. Will
- Opinion Writer
This Forum has frequently condemned Washington Post columnist George Will for his columns, mainly because they have been usually just totally wrong. But Mr. Will is sometimes (ok rarely) a man of principle and his commentary on the Supreme Court hearing on the Constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act does display those principles. Mr. Will, rightly in our opinion, claims that the 10th amendment means that the Federal government has no role to play in the definition of marriage.
The question now is whether DOMA is “necessary and proper” for the exercise of a constitutionally enumerated congressional power. There is no such power pertaining to marriage. This subject is a state responsibility, a tradition established and validated by what can be called constitutional silence: The 10th Amendment says, “The powers not delegated to the
by the Constitution,
nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or
to the people.” United States
This is correct, and it is particularly illustrative of the problems many of us have with Conservatives, namely that as soon as a result is derived from the application of their principles they abandon those principles. Mr. Will notes this, but very half heartedly,
Conservatives who supported DOMA should, after 17years’ reflection, want the act overturned because its purpose is constitutionally improper. Liberals who want the act struck down should be discomfited by the reason the court should give when doing this.
and he sticks in a slam at liberals when in fact liberals like everyone else believes the 10th amendment is valid and should be observed in many situations. So the fact that Mr. Will cannot bring himself to make his usual vicious attacks on people he thinks are wrong when those people are his Conservative friends is why he does not get the full salute.
But that should not detract anyone from recognizing this rare event, a Conservative maintaining principle. Pay close attention, it is not likely to happen again very soon.