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Sun., Dec. 29, 2013, midnight

Vestal principles flexible

In his Dec. 21 article, Shawn Vestal gets it right – I think. He states “(N)ot writing laws. Not ignoring laws. Not independently deciding the constitutionality of laws …” He is speaking of the commendable actions of a local sheriff. How about going a little higher in the national hierarchy.

How about a president who rewrites an act passed by Congress: The Affordable Care Act. How about a Justice Department that ignores the federal ban on a scheduled drug, and allows a state to craft its own law, notwithstanding federal pre-emption: Initiative 502.

And then, how about a Justice Department, with the blessing of the president, that fails to defend a law previously passed by Congress, excusing such pre-emptive conduct by alleging that they felt the law – the Defense of Marriage Act – was unconstitutional. (In fact, DOMA was later ruled unconstitutional, but that’s not the point).

And finally, how about an administration that tells the U.S. District Court that even if it ruled against the government’s position, the administration would not follow the court’s ruling: National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) litigation. How about it Shawn? Do your same principles apply?

Jim McDevitt

Spokane



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