House Speaker John Boehner said the House may go to court to defend the federal law banning gay marriage, in response to the Obama administration’s recent announcement that it would no longer defend the constitutionality of the law. Boehner plans to convene a meeting of the five-person Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, which has the authority to instruct the House General Counsel to take legal action on behalf of the House if it determines there are institutional or separation-of-powers violations. (Both Boehner and Pelosi are members of the Advisory Group.) “The constitutionality of this law should be determined by the courts, not by the president unilaterally,” the Ohio Republican said in a statement.
Nancy Pelosi, who praised Obama’s decision to stop defending the law as a “victory for civil rights, fairness and equality,” called Boehner’s planned actions “nothing more than a distraction from our most pressing challenges,” like creating jobs and reducing the federal deficit. In a statement, Pelosi said Boehner’s move placed Republicans “squarely on the wrong side of history.”