In attacking gay marriage, Mike Huckabee inadvertently offered an excellent defense of it, writes Ruth Marcus. He went from criticizing President Obama’s decision not to defend the gay-marriage ban to pointing out the difficult “economic reality of out-of-wedlock children.” The fact is, “gays and lesbians are clamoring for the right to avoid the very societal ill that Huckabee decries,” writes Marcus in the Washington Post.
As for the legal debate over whether Obama should have adhered to tradition and defended the law: well, Chief Justice John Roberts actually set a precedent in the other direction. When he worked in the solicitor general’s office, he “not only declined to defend a congressionally mandated program to give minority applicants preferences in obtaining broadcast licenses”—he pushed for its removal. Obama’s move was “more restrained—and more justified,” since the law he's rejecting “has changed significantly” since it was passed.