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Va. House approves bill giving lawmakers standing

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates want to give lawmakers standing in lawsuits where the attorney general and governor have chosen not to participate.

The House approved a bill Monday at the Capitol giving them that power.

The bill is a response to Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring's decision to fight Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage. Herring announced last month that he will join gay couples in two federal lawsuits challenging the ban. Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has supported Herring's move.

Republicans in the GOP-controlled House said McAuliffe and Herring had abandoned their duty to uphold the state's laws, regardless of their personal views.

House Democrats said Republicans were overstepping their bounds, and called on the Democratically controlled Senate to reject the proposal.


This thread looks more exciting than the one from a few weeks back when he first announced this. I’m not a lawyer, good, bad, or otherwise, but I did read AG Herring’s brief and I call ‘BS’. It’s nothing more than thinly veiling political activism, a waste of tax payer money, and more importantly as I mentioned in the other thread, it’s a direct attack on the will of the people of the commonwealth who spoke clearly in a fair election. The brief attempts to dilute the significance of the unprecedented action Herring is taking. For one thing, he calls it unprecedented - so that must make it true! Then he cites cases of former Republican AGs refusing to defend statutes. A critically important difference is omitted: the people of Virginia didn’t go to the polls and vote by a landslide to amend the state constitution to put those statutes in place. Many people including Herring are trying to argue that detail doesn’t matter. I say it does. When the government actively works against the will of its people, bad things happen. In fact, isn’t that how we got the US Constitution in the first place? He goes on to misrepresent Article 1, Section 7 of the VA Constitution suggesting (I think?) that it further empowers his decision. On the contrary, it pretty explicitly says that what he’s doing is wrong. He argues that other attorneys are going to defend the VA law [at their expense, while he uses VA money to fight against what the people voted for]. He goes on to cite decisions made by and for other states because, frankly, that supports his activist position on this topic. For instance, he raises the example of interracial marriage which others have cited in this thread. That’s an illegitimate comparison. ‘The marriage act’ exercised in an interracial marriage does not violate natural law. There is a comment below about polygamy. With gay marriage allowed, the fact is polygamy cannot be disallowed. Neither can marriage between close relatives who consent to it. Bottom line, elections have consequences, some more than others evidently. In this case, a guy who won by less that 1,000 votes from over 2 million cast is going to actively oppose the will of 57% of the voters who amended our constitution. God save Virginia and anyone who refuses to see that what Herring is doing is bigger than gay marriage or any other particular issue - it’s a threat to our democracy.

“Don’t give me the equal protection garbage…”

Sorry you don’t like the Equal Protection clause, but it’s what overturned Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage in 1967 (people were probably arguing that polygamy was just around the corner then, too, but, well… not).

I’m not a bad lawyer, but the Attorney General is a better one. If you want to know the legal reasoning that justifies his position, you should read his brief. I’m pretty sure you haven’t and I’m just as sure you won’t. But you should. So here’s the URL: http://www.oag.state.va.us/Media and News Releases/News_Releases/Herring/Notice_of_Change_in_Position_by_Rainey_and_Memorandum_in_Support_(Bostic_v_Rainey_1-23-2014).pdf

So Eric Holder won’t do the IRS, Benghazi… Now in Virginia we have financial irregularities by the new governor yet I don’t think Mark Herring will look very closely at the money from the inauguration being spent elsewhere?

Stevens Miller, where does it say in the US Constitution that permits gay marriage? Don’t give me the equal protection garbage clause too becasue if that was the case Polygamy would be legal too?

“...his SOLE job is to defend and uphold whatever is IN the state Constitution.”

That is incorrect. The oath he took began with these words:

“I do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia…”

So supporting the state constitution is not his sole (nor his SOLE) job. He is sworn to defend the constitution of the United States as well. When the two don’t agree, the Supremacy Clause says his duty is to support the United States constitution over the Virginia constitution.

You may not like it, but that’s what the oath really says.

Yes Troy, Move On. The Amendment has been passed and it’s time to obey the Law and the will of the people who passed it. So take Mr. Miller with you and relocate to Maryland where your utopia exists.

How much more of taxpayer resources will the GOP waste on the same sex marriage NON issue while letting real issues go unattended?

LOL @ the GOP for pandering to supposed heterosexuals who can’t stop fantasizing about what gay people do in private. What’s Larry Craig up to lately?

Petty & petulant personified.

These knuckle draggers lose the mansion, the AG, and the Senate and they keep clinging to nonsense like fighting gay marriage.  Wake up GOP.  The mainstream could not care less about homosexuals getting married.  It is a loser issue for winning elections.  Move on.  Your own party said it was a loser issue after the Romney loss.

So much for the separation of powers between the legislative and the executive branch. Some people just want to be in charge of everything.

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