March 09, 2011

Washington Times opinion piece highlights comments from Ben Civiletti during his tenure as U.S. Attorney General

1 min

A March 8 Washington Times opinion piece by Ed Feulner discussing the status of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) highlighted comments from Venable partner Ben Civiletti's 1980 letter to the Senate regarding his duty to enforce the law, written during his tenure as U.S. Attorney General.

Civiletti wrote, "If executive officers were to adopt a policy of ignoring or attacking acts of Congress whenever they believed them to be in conflict with the provisions of the Constitution, their conduct in office could jeopardize the equilibrium established within our constitutional system."

On the challenge of an attorney general having to defend a law he disagrees with, Civiletti noted, "It is almost always the case that [the attorney general] can best discharge the responsibilities of his office by defending and enforcing the Act of Congress."