What Sen. Ted Cruz (R–TX) refers to as Obama’s “pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat” has trickled down to the new Democrat administration in Virginia.
On Saturday, January 11th Democrat Mark Herring was sworn in as attorney general of the Commonwealth. During the ceremony Herring recited his oath of office: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge all the duties incumbent upon me as attorney general according to the best of my ability (so help me God).”
Then Herring proved he was a fast Obama study by violating that oath before he had completed his second week in office.
Instead of defending the Virginia Constitution, Herring began actively working to undermine it. He declared on the 23rd that he would not defend Virginia’s constitutional ban on homosexual marriage. “It’s time for the commonwealth to be on the right side of history and the right side of the law,” he proclaimed.
Then Herring compounded the offense by joining the case of the plaintiffs suing the state to overturn the ban. This is breathtakingly unethical. It’s like Zimmerman’s defense lawyer deciding George violated neighborhood watch guidelines and asking to join the prosecution team. An honorable man when presented with the choice of doing his job and defending the Constitution or “being on the right side of history” would have resigned his office, but we’re talking about Mark Herring.
By way of background the Virginia homosexual marriage ban is an amendment to the Constitution passed in 2006 by a favorable vote of 57 percent. Herring was in the Virginia Senate at the time and he voted in favor of the amendment. But you can’t hold that against him because he ‘evolved.’
But now Herring says he is relying on the precedent set by former AG Ken Cuccinelli. Except the situations are entirely different. Cuccinelli did not defend a newly passed law that allowed the state to take over failing schools, because it violated Virginia’s Constitution. Herring is saying the Constitution of Virginia is unconstitutional because it violates the Democrat party platform and makes Ellen DeGeneres sad.
In an interview posted on TheDailyPress.com, Herring explained, “What you have to do is look at the facts and precedents and ask yourself — If this went before the Supreme Court, how do I think they would rule?” But Virginia voters didn’t elect Herring to choose the winning side in a court case. They elected him to do a job he appears unwilling to perform.
By contrast North Carolina’s Attorney General is also a Democrat who supported homosexual marriage, but he is defending his state’s law. Cooper issued a statement that said, “North Carolina should change its laws to allow marriage equality, and I believe basic fairness eventually will prevail. However, when legal arguments exist to defend a law, it is the duty of the Office of the Attorney General under North Carolina law to make those arguments in court.”
As Sen. Cruz pointed out in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, “Rule of law doesn’t simply mean that society has laws; dictatorships are often characterized by an abundance of laws. Rather, rule of law means that we are a nation ruled by laws, not men. That no one [or group] …is above the law.”
Herring’s legal operating theory is no different from jurisprudence and law in Venezuela or Mexico, where the question is not do you know the law? But rather whom do you know? The law under Democrats like Eric Holder, Barack Obama and Mark Herring is now a respecter of persons. Once feelings and fads replace the law and procedure we enter uncharted territory.
Naturally the Washington Post editorial page supports Herring’s switch. “We broadly agree with Mr. Herring’s reading of the law. The Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection cannot be reconciled with denying, on logically flimsy grounds, equal access to civil marriage for a group that has for centuries been singled out for discrimination.”
But the same ‘logic’ applies to other formerly acknowledged taboos including polygamy and incest. “Love is love” is a justification that can overturn almost every sexual prohibition.
The WaPost also claims that Herring is not abandoning his client because the two county clerks being sued have their own attorneys. Under this remarkable doctrine there is no need to expect the fire department to show up when your house is burning if a neighbor has already stepped in with his water hose.
To demonstrate Herring’s utter moral bankruptcy we will close with a look at his message during last year’s campaign. Herring repeatedly promised to “take politics out of the office” and he assured voters that he would not be an activist AG like Ken Cuccinelli.
That promise lasted exactly 12 days. Now he’s the newest member of Obama, Holder & Herring the law firm that specializes in picking and choosing which laws to follow and which laws to enforce.