Thursday, January 23, 2014
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has concluded that the ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and will not defend it.
As Herring previously said during his campaign, ““As I look at it right now I’m skeptical the law can withstand constitutional challenge.” Herring said he would bring together the legal experts within the attorney general’s office and review very carefully the legal reasoning and make a determination on whether the law was constitutional or not – “but ultimately it would be for the courts to decide,” he said.
RPV Chairman Pat Mullins issued the following statement:
“It took Mark Herring less than a month to decide he doesn’t want to be Attorney General. The first job of Virginia’s Attorney General is to be the Commonwealth’s law firm, and to defend the duly passed laws of Commonwealth.”
“The subject matter is irrelevant. Virginia’s constitutional amendment and its challenges were well known when Mark Herring spent millions of dollars fighting to become Virginia’s attorney. Attorneys don’t get to choose whether or not they will defend their clients. Indeed, lawyers have a duty to select their clients carefully, because they are ethically bound to represent the claims of their clients, good or bad.”
“By running for the office, Mark Herring asked for the challenge of defending Virginia’s Constitution and all it contains.”
“For a court to make a determination on an issue with this much gravity, both sides need to be ably represented. Only through a robust and fair adversarial system — where both sides have the resources they need to make the best possible case — can the courts reach a fair decision on this issue. Mark Herring’s decision today not only abandons his first duty, it hobbles this vital legal process. It turns what could have been landmark jurisprudence into a political farce. “
“If Mark Herring doesn’t want to defend this case, he should resign, and let the General Assembly appoint someone who will. Mark Herring owes the people of Virginia no less.”
Posted By Valerie Garner
Categories: Politics, State Politics
Tags: attorney_general, Herring, republican