It should be considered axiom that a respect for the rule of law should be a primary job requirement for the top law enforcement officer of any locality, whether we’re talking about the town constable for a village of 50 or for a powerful nation of 350 million. In Virginia, the Attorney General takes an oath to faithfully discharge his duties to support the laws, constitutional or statutory, of the Commonwealth as passed by the General Assembly. He does not have the authority to overrule those laws of his of accord. Attorney General Mark Herring – a man I knew full well did not have the integrity to keep his oath, a fact I warned my neighbors of – has decided, after telling Virginians that he would support and defend those laws, even if he, himself, didn’t agree with them, that he will deliberately break his vow. Herring has announced that he will simply neglect his duties and will not defend the Virginia Constitution as he is required to do, allowing a lawsuit seeking to overturn the Virginia Marriage Amendment.
As I said he would.
Herring is banking on Supreme Court precedent that ruled the residents of a given state have no standing to rise in defense of their own laws in the face of dereliction of duty by their elected Attorney General. Without debate, without legislative action, and with no recourse whatsoever, Herr Herring is simply revoking a law he doesn’t particularly like and doesn’t see political gain in enforcing.
Yeah, that was a Godwin’s Law reference. Act like a despotic dictator, you get referenced as a despotic dictator. Don’t like it? Take it up with Herring. If you’re unwilling to do that, then deal with it. I’m done not calling it like it is.
Herring’s actions, regrettably, aren’t an outlier for his Party, these days. President Obama has, yet again, simply decided to ignore the specifics of his own law, refusing to enforce the parts that will cause he and his fellow Democrats pain at the polls, a power completely and wholly outside of his authority. I remain astounded that his supporters continue to remain silent – or worse, cheer him on as Democrats in Congress did at the most recent State of the Union address – giving their silent or even explicit support to the notion of a man in the White House ruling as an emperor or king. They seem to be willfully blind or ignorant of the ramifications of the precedent they are encouraging. Unable to ram through more of their agenda in representative government, they advocate simply stepping around those pesky democracy rules to achieve their goals.
You who sit silently by while this happens or cheerfully yuk it up as Obama and Herring just do as they damn please – laws are for little people, after all! – do you honestly think this precedent won’t be used, now, by the next Republican president? I saw on Twitter a comment that supposed a future action, saying, “President Walker, saying the economy needed stimulative action, ordered his administration to cease collecting any taxes on corporate earnings on overseas business.” I have a couple to propose. How about this one: “President Jindal signed an executive order today suspending the licensing and approval process on new energy exploration, granting major oil companies a 12 month window to begin drilling or mining operation without requiring EPA approval.” Or this: “President La Pierre today sent instructions to the Attorney General’s office ordering the Justice Department to immediately cease any participation in investigations or prosecutions that deal with non-violent firearms cases. In addition to dropping any ongoing federal cases dealing with firearm sales or licensing, he also ordered BATFE officials to suspend enforcement of the National Firearms Act of 1934, saying the law was antiquated and had been offensive to law-abiding American gun owners for long enough.”
Is this really what you want? To have a government of elected officials that simply pick and choose which laws they want to enforce and which they won’t, ignoring what we – what you – want to have happen if you don’t happen to be agree with them on the matter? Have you no desire to have these officials required to follow the laws? Your silence is giving consent! Herring and McAuliffe and Obama are Democrats. They absolutely do not listen to me or my fellow Republicans and conservatives, in spite of their rhetoric to be officials for all of the people of the Commonwealth or the United States. When they hear me rage about their illegal actions, they laugh it off and dismiss it. If they heard from all of us, perhaps they wouldn’t. And if the persist, will you not join with me to remove them from office so we can all have people in their seats that will at least obey the laws? How long do you think non-elected bureaucrats have to watch this kind of example before they conclude that they don’t really have to execute the law, either?
Say something, and be as loud about it as your support was. You deserve their integrity and if they can’t see fit to do the job they promised to do, you deserve to put someone in there who will.