American’s all love to hate Richard Nixon, the President who famously thought himself to be above the law. In the 1977 interview with David Frost he apparently said, when asked about the legality of his actions, “Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.”
Now, following a personal directive from President Obama, US Attorney General Eric Holder has announced that the Obama administration will no longer defend the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act in cases pending in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The details are everywhere on the web, but Fr Zuhlsdorf kindly gives the links (together with commentary by William Oddie and the CNS report of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ response).
One wonders if this deliberate intention not to defend the law which has been constitutionally passed by US Congress is not akin to Tricky Dickie’s own belief that “when the president does it…it isn’t illegal.” Does the US President indeed have the power and the right to fail to apply the law of his land? If so, then this would seem indeed to be tyranny acting at the very heart of democracy.