Virginia - in memory of Loving?
The new attorney general in Virginia will not defend the state's ban on same-sex marriage. In fact, he's joining the other side - and the new governor is backing him up.
Herring said his chief duty is to defend the U.S. Constitution.As Herring points out,
“The Supreme Court is clear: The United States Constitution is the law of the land, the supreme law of the land,” Herring said at a press conference. “I believe the freedom to marry is a fundamental right and I intend to ensure that Virginia is on the right side of history and the right side of the law.”
...“As attorney general, I cannot and will not defend a law that violates Virginians’ fundamental constitutional rights,” he said.
the state has been on the wrong side of landmark legal battles involving school desegregation, interracial marriage and single-sex education. He made the case that Virginia should be on the right side of the law and history in the battle over same-sex marriage.Virginia Republicans are of course outraged, claiming that Herring has the duty to defend Virginia's constitution - apparently at the expense of the US's. Democrats point out
that Cuccinelli refused to defend one of then-Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s education reforms in court, saying he believed that the legislation (for state takeovers of failing schools) was unconstitutional.At least one Republican admits that
“I don’t think he should do it, but I think he can do it, and I think it’s probably within his job description to do it” if he thinks the ban conflicts with the U.S. Constitution, said state Sen. Thomas A. Garrett Jr. (R-Goochland), a former prosecutor.Though of course there's always one guy who's so threatened by his impending loss of privilege that he loses it.
“I don’t know what the difference between a dictatorship and this is,” said state Sen. Richard H. Black (R-Loudoun).Mr Black has clearly never been within shouting distance of a dictatorship if that's true - and if he really believes that an attorney general joining an appeal to a federal court is "a dictatorship", the people of Loudoun are ill served by their state senator. Though, on the bright side, the imminent dictatorship won't be all that onerous...