Comments

  1. says

    You’ve got to love NOM’s persistence. I love the cockeyed logic that Herring’s refusal to uphold discriminatory laws is “lawless.” Maybe NOM could reinstate slavery, too?

  2. HadenoughBS says

    Virginia AG Herring did NOT swear to uphold anything “unconstitutional”, turd brain. You and NOM are f**cking losers on LGBT challenges to marriage equality. So, STFU and move on. You have lost!!!

  3. Ready says

    Did NOM call for Cukoocinelli’s impeachment last year when as VA Attorney general he refused to defend a law regarding schools he found unconstitutional? I’m willing to bet they didn’t.

  4. WOLF says

    Here’s a question: even if Herring was supposed to defend the Commonwealth’s laws no matter what, what exactly could he actually say convincingly in defense of the law if he doesn’t believe in what he’s defending?

  5. Jack M says

    It’s preposterous how the threat of impeachment is used so loosely. If you don’t agree with someone else’s political views, the “I” word is pulled out. It’s very childish. Impeachment is only a process used to address grevious behavior and actions.

  6. WOLF says

    Here’s another thing, if you read the Supreme Court case “Ex parte Young,” you will notice how the established precedent is that when a state official acts on, enforces, or defends an unconstitutional law, they do so no longer in their official capacity as a state officer, but as an individual. Very interesting, I think. If the law is found to be unconstitutional by a federal court, I feel that absolves Herring of his office’s responsibility, if there even was any.

  7. Drew says

    NOM is becoming increasingly irrelevant in the United States, if it hasn’t already become a non-factor. The only folks that seem to cover NOM or Brian Brown now are gay media outlets like Towleroad.

    At the moment, Brown and NOM can really only do damage overseas, which he has been doing in places like Russia.

  8. Jere says

    NOM seems to have a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of Attorney General, something we also saw in Pennsylvania when the AG there came to the same conclusion. The AG’s job is to defend the state constitution and if he or she determines that a law passed by the legislature or the people violates either the state or US Constitution, it is his or her job to defend the Constitution by taking a position against that law.

  9. Impeaches and Herb says

    2013 Washington Post poll found 56% of Virginia residents support Marriage Equality, up from 46% in 2011. So, Brian Brownshirt, things appear to’ve changed drastically since 2006, and that so-called ‘overwhelming’ support that the amendment received in 2006 is looking more and more moot. It sounds like the Virginia AG IS representing the will of the people. Go impeach yourself.

  10. Gregory In Seattle says

    He also swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America. Since the US Constitution supersedes the Virginia Constitution, and because the federal courts are converging on a ruling that it is unconstitutional to single out same-sex couples, AG Herring would be engaging in malfeasance if he defended the ban.

  11. Jon says

    We ALL ought to be troubled by what the Virginia AG is doing here. It doesn’t matter what the issue is. It is the job of an AG to defend the state’s constitution, whether he as an individual personally believes in it or not. Laws and constitutions are larger than any one man, and it is his duty to defend that state constitution in a court of law.

    If the Supreme Court eventually rules against Virginia’s constitutional provision regarding marriage, THEN it will be “unconstitutional”…but not until then. Until then, the AG of a state has a duty to defend that state’s constitution, regardless of what we would like the final outcome to be.

    This ought to concern us as Americans because if an AG can do this in regards to this issue, an AG can do this in regards to any issue of his/her choosing, depending on the whims of whichever AG is in office. So then we’re left to the whims of an individual, rather than that AG doing his/her duty and carrying out the responsibilities of his/her office.

    And that ought to frighten each and every one of us. Deeply. For then we no longer are a nation of laws, but a nation ruled by autocrats and the whims of a government official.

  12. says

    @Jon: He IS defending the state’s constitution, because it’s his office’s assessment that the ban is a clear violation of it.

    Those who disagree with his position can step in to defend it, but there is no reason why an AG should defend something he believes is blatantly unconstitutional. His won’t be the last word, just as the Nevada AG’s decision to defend the ban in that state won’t be the last word on marriage there.

  13. elwoodl says

    The Constitution of Virginia of 1872

    ARTICLE 1.

    BILL OF RIGHTS.

    1. That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have, certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity,namely: the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

  14. anon says

    The problem with AG’s that don’t defend state statutes is that it can lead to a nullification of referendums and laws the AG doesn’t like. Don’t like that the people of the state passed term limits?? Just get someone to sue in court and don’t defend it! Since no one else has standing the AG can essentially veto any law he doesn’t like. So, now any AG can have a post facto veto over any law and can collude w/ other state politicians in this regard. What we need is to increase standing opportunities in court.

  15. JJ says

    @Jon and @Anon, the law, and therefore the role of an AG, are not as simple as you seem to suppose. The couples harmed by the marriage ban are also the AG’s constituents. His duty is to defend the public interests of the state but those interests are divided, and the laws protecting those interests are in conflict. In this case, the marriage ban was duly enacted, but then so was Virginia’s liberty clause, and so was the 14th Amendment. Hence, the AG must weigh the interests that are in conflict and decide what takes precedence. He’s not required to mindlessly defend whatever law is under attack, all others be damned.

    This case is pretty easy to weigh: enforcement of the marriage ban harms many Virginians. Non-enforcement of the ban harms no one. As for the right of Virginia voters to enact laws, the right to vote is not the right to vote for voting’s sake, and it’s not the right to impose one’s will on others. It’s the right to have a say in one’s _own_ liberty and safety. No one has a right to defense of a vote that was not cast in the defense of one’s own liberty or safety. The AG’s failure to defend the bare will of the people does not in and of itself infringe anyone’s rights. Thus, the proper role of the AG in this case–the role that best defends the interests of the whole public–is to defend those harmed by the marriage ban.

  16. Charlie says

    I find that picture of Brian Brown interesting. NOM never held a rally in DC (or anywhere else for that matter) with that many people in attendance. The people appear to have their backs turned to him. That appears to be the Mall in DC but I don’t recognize the building behind him. It isn’t wide enough to be the Lincoln Memorial and if it is the Capitol it is missing its dome.

  17. TomR says

    So what ever happened to Maggie Gallagher who used to be the official NOM slap jaw? Is she staying at home now to be a “real” wife in her own traditional marriage? Does anyone know? We miss her [LOL]!

  18. Quasi says

    Marriage is simply a standardized secular business contract between two consenting adults.

    Marriage has absolutely nothing to do with religion or spiritual faiths. One does not need to worship any deity anywhere to be married, and religion is not required within marriage.

    Marriage has absolutely nothing to do with sex or sexual orientation. One does not need to be married to have sex, and sex is not required within marriage.

  19. Bill says

    NOM and Brian Brown have a right to demand that Virginia’s attorney general be impeached, mainly because the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution can be paraphrased as, “Congress shall pass no law forbidding an American from making a fool of himself in public.”

  20. JJ says

    @Quasi: “Marriage is simply a standardized secular business contract between two consenting adults.”

    Not really. If marriage were an ordinary contract, a couple wouldn’t have to sue the government to recognize their marriage, because the Contract Clause of the Constitution already obligates the government to recognize contracts. Marriage confers rights that people can’t simply give themselves through a contract and it imposes obligations on parties who aren’t signatories to the marriage. No ordinary contract can compel third parties to agree to its terms.

  21. TKinSC says

    I fully agree with Jon. It’s not Mark Herring’s job to decide which laws are or aren’t constitutional. It’s his job to defend the interests of his client, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and what interest could be stronger than the state constitution? Unless and until a final judgment is handed down *by a court of competent jurisdiction over Virginia* explicitly stating that its same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional, it is the Attorney General’s job to provide as vigorous a defense for it as he can (and unless that court is the SCOTUS, to consider in good faith whether it’s worth appealing).

    Now, if he truly feels all hope is lost (and the fact that other state AGs (including the one he just replaced) are willing to stop up to the plate strongly suggests otherwise) then it is within his purview to decline to defend it on the grounds that it would be a waste of state resources. But he clearly has *no* authority to put state resources to use *against the state* as well as against the adversarial system that is crucial to a fair hearing of the issue. That he has chosen to put his own thumb on the scale reveals his true treacherous nature. He should indeed be removed from office and disbarred if not punished.

  22. JJ says

    @TKINSC, as AG, which parts of the Constitution do you think he’s obliged to defend and which is he obliged to ignore? Voter initiatives/referenda? Due process? Liberty? Equal Protection? Association? State Sovereignty? If a law passed by voters denies Equal Protection, is the AG *required* to argue that denying Equal Protection is in the best interest of Virginians, in your opinion? Why not argue that denying the will of the voters is in the best interests of Virginians if doing so preserves Equal Protection and infringes on no one’s right to pursue his own interests? If provisions of the law come into conflict, why would the AG be forbidden to choose which one best serves the interests of the state? It seems like this is exactly what the AG is elected to do–indeed why it’s an elected office. If the AG weighs these issues–as the voters elected him to do–and he comes to a conclusion that the voters disagree with, it doesn’t mean he’s corrupt. It means the voters did a poor job of electing someone who represents their views. I suspect that since the marriage ban was passed many elections ago, and the AG was just elected, that the AG better represents the views of the current electorate than the marriage ban.

  23. warner says

    The right wing throws around the word ‘impeachment’ alot; clearly, it doesn’t mean what they think it does. you cannot legally impeach and elected offical because you do not like the legal stance they are taking. Also, you can’t take serious Brian Brown’s anti-gay stances when he is a walking gay stereotype… well, really, he is all walking gay stereotypes.

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