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As Marshall pushes impeachment of Herring, passage unlikely

Prince William Del. Bob Marshall (R-13th) is drawing fire from within his own party after issuing two resolutions calling for an investigation into state Attorney General Mark Herring (D).

Marshall is targeting Herring for refusing to defend in court the commonwealth's constitutional ban on legal recognition for same-sex couples. He wants the House of Delegates to launch an inquiry into whether the attorney general should be impeached.

The Republican is also charging Herring with usurping the General Assembly by declaring that in-state tuition for illegal immigrants is legal.

State House Speaker Bill Howell (R) is among those refusing to join Marshall's cry for the legislature to oust Herring.

The major issue is that Herring sided with the plaintiffs in the case of Bostic vs. Schaefer, arguing that the state could not legally ban same-sex marriage. Marshall had been the author of the state's constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and all legal recognition for same-sex couples.

Howell initially criticized Herring for not defending the amendment in court earlier this year.

However, a separate statement from Howell's office contradicted Marshall point of view.

"The Speaker has expressed his concerns regarding the Attorney General's actions, but does not believe impeachment is an appropriate or practical recourse at the moment," stated the single-sentence release from Howell's office.

Prospects for Marshall's impeachment resolutions even making it to the state Senate are low, according to state Sen. George Barker (D-39th), who represents several precincts of Prince William County along the Occoquan River.

"I don't think it gets out of the House," said Barker, who served with Herring in the state Senate from 2008 until the Democrat's inauguration as attorney general this past January.

Barker's prognostication is more likely to come true than not given that Howell has not thrown his support behind the effort.

Marshall ripped Howell repeatedly during a phone interview, saying that his inaction would allow Herring and Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) to push their agendas while bypassing the GOP-controlled House.

McAuliffe is currently in a standoff with the House of Delegates over funding for a program similar to Medicaid designed to provide health insurance to more than 300,000 Virginia residents.

"When legislators don't stand up to executive excesses, they get more executive excesses," said Marshall, later adding that Democrats "see weakness in Republican leadership and they're taking advantage of it."

Marshall previously said it would be "pansy day" in the legislature if the Republicans did not pursue the impeachment inquiry.

On Thursday, Marshall explained his definition of "pansy" meant "a weak man."

"He is responding to his fears, I guess liberals in the media," said Marshall about Howell.

When asked to respond to Marshall's quotes about the speaker, Howell spokesperson Matt Moran replied, "We're going to decline to comment on that."

Moran also mentioned that "no decision on committee referrals has been made" for the resolutions.

Even if the resolutions pass the House, they would still require a two-thirds vote of the Democratic-led Senate in order to convict Herring.

Given that there are 20 Democrats and 20 Republicans in the upper chamber, along with Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D), who presides over the Senate, and that a majority of elected Democrats support same-sex marriage, the chances of Marshall winning impeachment are negligible.

That's a non-issue to Marshall.

He cited a 1962 speech at West Point by former Gen. Douglas MacArthur regarding the need to put "duty," "honor" and "country" ahead of "victory."

"He said duty first. Victory may come later or it may never come, but duty first. Otherwise, the catchwords would be victory, applause and party. You need to do your duty first, then you can figure out if you could win," said Marshall.

Herring previously said he believed Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage runs contrary to the equal protection clause within the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution.

It's the same stance Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane (D) took in 2013 when that state's ban was challenged in court.

"That's collateral damage. That's not precedent," said Marshall about Kane's refusal.

Last week, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) declined to appeal a court ruling invaliding Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage, essentially legalizing it in that commonwealth.

To Marshall, censuring Herring for his actions would not be a severe enough punishment.

In a press release, the 22-year delegate stated Herring "usurped legislative authority to confer tuition benefits upon classes of persons he favors without approval of the General Assembly, and further, he has erroneously directed the State Council of Higher Education to comply with his advice rather than the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia."

Even though Marshall's impeachment resolutions will likely die in the General Assembly, he said simply censuring Herring would be inadequate.

"Would you censure a bank robber or would you say you have to give the money back and you'll have to serve jail time or some penalty," asked Marshall. "Right now, there's no penalty for Mark Herring doing this and now there's none for McAuliffe."


Have you ever read the Constitution or Bill of Rights?  Sure doesn’t appear so. It doesn’t regulate marriage; it regulates equal and fair treatment of individuals.  If one person gets a benefit, then that benefit can’t be denied to another.  Married couples receive special tax breaks, pension rights, right to property, rights to make decisions for their spouse, visitation rights in hospitals, just to name a few.  As long as those same benefits/rights are denied to others there is a problem.  You don’t have to like or approve of the gay lifestyle, but the state can’t vote or deny them the same benefits.  That’s why even though the people of VA voted against same sex marriage, it will be turned over in court as the denial of those benefits is un-Constitutional and the State cannot make laws that contradict the Constitution.  Get used to it.

I’ll say no more - if you chose, you can have the last word.

WL, yes, I can’t find it where it states that gay marriage isn’t allowed, but it also doesn’t state that Polygamy is illegal nor bestiality and so forth. So whats your point? The founders wanted states to define laws as well and the state of VA ruled in its Constitution that marriage is between a man and a woman. A FEDERAL judge ruled against law. That same judge should also overturn the bestiality laws and the polygamy laws as well based on your argument that you are presenting.

I’m sure they were more interested in treating all people the same - no discrimination at all.  In fact, they just wrote that all people to be treated equally which has nothing to do with marriage.  I’m sorry you’re such a homopobe.  You see in nature, not only dogs do it, but:
Birds do it
Bees do it
Even educated fleas do it
Let’s do it, let’s fall in love.

You’ve yet to show all of us where in the Constitution that it states that marriage is between a man & a woman - cuz you can’t.

WL, granted, I did bring up the laws of nature but YOU compared the behavior of dogs to homosexual behavior. What does that say? That since it is ok for dogs it’s ok for humans as well? And I’m sure that when the Founders wrote the Constitution that they never did envision that Gay marriage would ever be an issue. I’m sure that if they did see it being an issue that they would of wrote in the Constitution that marriage is strictly between one man and one woman being that the gay lifestyle was frowned upon then.

Where does it say in the Constitution that marriage is only between man & woman?

Workhardtogetahead, you’d better work a little hard.  You understand the Constitution as well as you understand what you write.  If you’ll just maybe read a little slower you might find that you are the one that brought up the law of nature, not me.  This shows that I was right in that you have trouble with comprehension.

WL, you brought up the law of nature. I just was adding to what you said. Plus you brought comparing Human homosexual behavior to dogs.
F’edupdude, where does it say Polygamy is illegal in the Constitution and where does it say that being gay is legal? Please enlighten me.

What does procreation have to do with any of this??  This is all about equal treatment under the law - Taxes, Life decisions, property rights, healthcare, etc.

WL,I do understand the laws of nature. I understand that a man and a woman can procreate and that is natural and a law of nature. I also understand that a man and a man can’t procreate and the same goes for a woman and a woman, that wouldn’t be natural or against the law of nature. But define it how you want, as you stated, if it’s ok for the dogs it’s ok for humans.

You obviously don’t understand the Laws of Nature.

oranges869 |  Has the Supreme Court ruled yet?


In several ways yes. DOMA struck down by 14A. They refused prop 8 because the ruling was fine, 14A. State after state is losing in federal court, 14A.

Just saying.

Polygamy is illegal being gay is not. Comparing the two is ignorant.

you’re comparing the behavior of human beings to dogs? Wow, so I guess that makes everything all right.

Defies the Laws of Nature??  You mean you’ve never seen a male dog mount another male dog?  I see no nature defiance there.

Hey Stephens Miller, who are you to judge who I can marry and not marry? If a man decides he wants to marry another man and if the US Constitution states he can do this due to equal protection then a man should be allowed to marry 2 consenting women. See these illogical rulings on gay marriage have opened a can of worms that didn’t need to be opened. I agree that Polygamy defies logic but so does gay marriage. A man marrying another man? A women marry another women? I don’t care, it defies the law of nature and all other logic.

Some like Marshall cherry-pick Constitution & Bible 2 confirm biases - why study actual laws?

“...polygamy should be permitted too.”

One more time: no one presently has the right to marry more than one other person. That means no one can say they are being denied equal rights with anyone else. Every straight person has the right to marry one other person of their choice. That means that, if the state is going to deny every gay person the right to marry one other person of their choice, then the state must show a rational basis for treating straights and gays unequally. That’s how our courts apply the Equal Protection clause.

Every single court so far has ruled that the state has not shown a rational basis for unequal rights to marry between straights and gays. I am not aware of any court being asked to apply the same test to polygamy. If a court were asked to consider the question, however, I believe it would not even get to the rational-basis test, since no one has the right to marry more than one other person, therefore no plaintiff could even show they were being treated unequally with anyone else.

That’s how a constitutional challenged under the Equal Protection clause works. People who think that a court “must” rule one way or another on the strength of their own, personal systems of logic (or lack thereof) don’t know what the courts are for. The courts are enforcing the constitution. If you want some other system, you’ll have to find a way to avoid the constitution in order to get it.

Yes, we should recognize polygamy too. The children of unconventional family structures should have the protection of marriage laws too.

I note that it was social conservatives that loaded up the marriage basket with all sorts of government largess to entice people to marry officially instead of creating informal “shacking up” families. After promoting marriage as being good for society and children they now about-face and are arguing universal marriage is bad for society. #shameful

“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” If this permits gay marriage then polygamy should be permitted too.

watch out orange, you may be labeled and extremist for believing marriage should only be between a man and a woman. We all have to walk a fine line now. It’s unbelievable what these libs are doing now and are actually getting away with it. Some one needs to start calling them out.

Oranges869 - You should actually read the Constitution & Bill of Rights sometime and so should anyone against same sex marriage.  Neither mention marriage be it hetero or same.  It does say that “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

My marriage to my wife is pretty gay I see nothing gay about same sex marriage, if you choose to pervert a word use another but gay belongs to us happy heterosexuals! Is there a mention in the constitution about same sex marriage or rights? Has the Supreme Court ruled yet? No! Then it must be a crime by Herring to not uphold the law on same sex marriage as he voted for when it was convenient for his efforts in 2006, talk about a flip flop, yikes!

Marshall is nuts for more than just his stance on gay marriage. However his stance on the issue goes beyond “I disprove” to calling the federal rulings based in the 14A over turning bans in states an attack on religious liberty, that is crazy. Gays getting married is not in any form limiting anyone else’s rights, its giving gays equal rights. Its also clearly constitutional where bans are being found unconstitutional.

Wrong headed and on the wrong side of history.

But lets go back to my point about his own party rejecting him, he just lost big time in a race for Wolf’s seat. Clearly he is out of touch with the people of the 10th district.

Fedupdude thinks people are Wacko’s for believing marriage is between a man and a woman. Oh I can say is that we have come very far as a society. It’s almost comical to think that if an individual doesn’t believe in marriage between 2 members of the same sex that they are extreme in their beliefs. Really? Think about that. Individuals are extremist if they believe marriage should only be between a man and a woman. If it wasn’t so sad it would be comical.

“...the commonwealth’s constitutional ban ” ???

Nothing in the Constitution is banning homosexual marriage. The Constitution says a valid marriage is between a man and a woman. Anybody choosing to not meet that definition of a marriage aren’t considered married in Virginia.


Marshall is the big winner of GOP lead gerrymandering. He needs to learn no one, not even his own party, takes him seriously. What a wacko.

Methinks Marshall should be impeached for misuse of his position and his total waste of resources for his little witch hunt.  I’m not even going to mention how idiotic he is for even Grandstanding his stupid position.

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