Lots of big news regarding the federal government and constitutional questions this week! Tell us what you think about these hot-topic stories:
First, President Obama is making headlines because he instructed the Justice Department to stop defending the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. The article states that he believes the Act to be unconstitutional because of the Due Process and Equal Protection sections of the Fifth Amendment. Supporters of the Act cite the Full Faith and Credit language in Article IV of the Constitution. His directions raise questions about the power of the Executive Branch. What are the similarities and differences between states accepting marriages that are legal in other states, and states accepting driver’s licenses that are legal in other states?
Next, as the Affordable Care Act constitutionality question continues to be debated, as the Obama administration seeks clarification on whether the recent healthcare act ruling in Florida was meant to block its implementation. In the brief, the Justice Department asks for an additional clarification that the Judge Vinson’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act’s unconstitutionality:
“does not relieve the parties of their rights and obligations under the Affordable Care Act while the declaratory judgment is the subject of appellate review.”
Do you agree with the Justice Department’s interpretation of Vinson’s decision? For more information on both sides of the Affordable Care Act constitutionality debate, see our Healthcare Act, Federalism, and the Commerce Clause resources.
Finally, the House voted to stop the FCC from using its funds to enforce the “net neutrality” regulations. Net neutrality legislation proponents claim that legislation is needed to maintain current consumer freedom and choice and prevent internet service providers from becoming monopolistic. Opponents claim that internet providers should have the right to modify their service or product and that more freedom and competition would create different types of services instead of monopolistic power. Do you agree? Which argument is more powerful? Whose liberties are bring protected or infringed with this legislation?
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