The front page of the Feb. 19 Mace and Crown held the story of the recent ruling on same sex marriage in the Commonwealth. I am not going to comment on the ruling or the issue, as it is not my place, and frankly it is not the matter at hand. However, what one must look into is the process in which the law was overturned.
The coverage from the Mace and Crown tells us that, Federal District Court Judge Arendra Allen Wright issued the ruling in the case of “Bostic v. Rainey,” saying that same sex couples have the right to marry in the Commonwealth of Virginia under the Fourteenth Amendment.
While this may hold true, it was never debated. Attorney General Mark Herring made no efforts to defend Virginia law or the Constitution of the Commonwealth. Some may claim that he made the right choice in doing this, but I say he made the unethical and illegal choice.
As Attorney General, his sworn oath and sole duty is defending the laws and constitution of Virginia. From day one in office, Herring said he would not defend the law same-sex ban and furthermore, he has said he will not defend laws that he finds “illegal.” This is alarming, as it seems Herring is willing to ignore his duties his own interests and interests of his party.
Furthermore, when Herring refused to defend the Commonwealth, the legislature in Richmond attempted to appoint special counsel, who would defend the law with vigor and passion. This request was blocked by Herring and Governor McAuliffe. This just goes to show the continued bias by the top three in Richmond.
Herring has said, “As Attorney General, I’m proud that the Commonwealth is on the right side of the law in this case.” However, I contend that the process in which the Commonwealth stepped on to “the right side of the law” is illegal and a breach of the oath Herring took.
Less than two months into their terms, we have seen abuses by those elected to uphold the highest interests of the Commonwealth. In this recent case, Herring and McAuliffe have shown that they are willing to circumnavigate the laws and procedures set in place by the state and push the notion of checks and balances to the side when it benefits them, their party and their interests.
The ruling may have been correct, but the way it was obtained is outrageous. Herring and McAuliffe pushed aside legal and proper procedure in favor of a rather tyrannical tactic to get their way. A dangerous and tyrannical tempo has been set, and only two months into their terms, the drums of impeachment may already be beating. Those in Richmond have abandoned the will of the people and broken their oaths in favor of their will. Sic Semper Tyrannis.
By Michael Sobey