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Pennsylvania AG refuses to defend gay marriage ban

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posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 01:05 AM
Not familiar with the specifics of the oath taken by the PA AG upon swearing in, but it is common with regard to the oaths taken by elected state officials to preserve and protect the state's constitution.

This may or may not be the case with the oath taken by the attorney general for PA.

If, however, the PA AG was required to defend the State's constitution as part of her oath of office, does that not supersede her obligation to represent the State in favor of laws which may very well violate said constitution?

Granted, it may not be in the AG's purview to decide which laws are, or are not constitutional (that determination resides with the courts); but it would be within the AG's duties, based on his/her oath to defend the State's constitution, to decide which laws would be defended, and which would not be defended, by the state before the Courts, should the constitutionality of a particular law be challenged.

In California, Proposition 8 was ruled Un-constitutional not because so-called "Gay marriage" was determined to be a "right" under the State's constitution; No one, "straight or "Gay" has a "Right" to be married under the State (or Federal constitution).

Proposition 8 was ruled to be unconstitutional because it violated the rights of All citizens to Equal Protection Under the Law as guaranteed by the State's constitution.

This simply proved that regardless of the majority supporting a particular law, that law cannot be considered to be valid if it stands in opposition to the rights and freedoms constitutionally guaranteed to all citizens.

And THAT determination is made by the courts as final arbiter.

Consider the outcome if, in some nightmare future, Christians are, by popular vote, declared enemies of Society to be hunted down and executed.

Would we be having this same discussion, despite the fact that a majority of the legitimate voting public had cast their ballots in favor of such a Program?

Would anyone argue that a AG should defend the law condemning thousands of otherwise innocent people to death?

Would the courts be guilty of "legislating from the Bench" if they were to determine that such a law, despite the popular vote that passed it, was in fact, unconstitutional because it deprived the targeted Christians of their Equal Protection Under the Law?

posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 04:34 AM

Originally posted by charles1952

"It is my duty under the Commonwealth Attorneys Act whenever I determine it is in the best interest of the Commonwealth to authorize the Office of General Counsel to defend the state in litigation."
First, it is her duty to defend the Commonwealth in any action, see my earlier post with the clip from the Attorney General's own website on her duties found in the Mission Statement. (One vote for corrupt) Second, the legislators and the governor have already made the determination of what is best for the Commonwealth. She thinks she knows better than all of them? (One vote for nuts) Finally, if she, personally, doesn't want to represent the Commonwealth, what's she doing preventing every lawyer in her office from doing so? They may see it differently. Step aside if you have to, but as I frequently hear "Don't force your morality on everybody else." (One vote for nuts and corrupt)

As was stated previously in the thread, she has the right, even the obligation, to pass on any case she sees fit.

The Commonwealth Attorneys Act has a specific, plainly written provision that enables me to refer cases at my sole discretion. The OAG refers cases to the OGC hundreds of times each year, for many different reasons.

Here is the relevant language from the Commonwealth Attorneys Act:
The Attorney General may, upon determining that it is more efficient or otherwise is in the best interest of the Commonwealth, authorize the General Counsel or the counsel for an independent agency to initiate, conduct or defend any particular litigation or category of litigation in his stead.

Are you denying this to be true? The language doesn't give any exceptions as to when the AG can or cannot refer a case. It is up to the AG. (one vote for smart)

"Additionally, it is a lawyer's ethical obligation under Pennsylvania's Rules of Professional Conduct to withdraw from a case in which the lawyer has a fundamental disagreement with the client," said Kane

First, lawyers defend cases they have fundamental disagreements with all the time. Ask any defense attorney. More often than not, they know there client is guilty, but they put on the best case they can anyway. (One vote for corrupt) Second, If she's not going to perform under the agreed terms when she began work, (back to the mission statement duties again) she's unethical to keep the job. She has an obligation to resign her position if she's not going to accept the client's terms. (One vote for nuts.)

I would say that any attorney who gets their guilty client off, knowing full well that they are guilty - is a very unethical human being. Yeah, I realize that most lawyers are like that - there's a reason why they say what do you call 10,000 dead lawyers at the bottom of the ocean -- a good start.
(I give her a vote for ethical here)

Like she said - AGs refer cases all the time. It's not illegal, and not grounds for dismissal or forced resignation. She could have quietly referred all cases related to gay marriage, and no one would have been the wiser. She decided to make a public statement, stating her position. (I give her another vote for ethical).
edit on 13-7-2013 by kaylaluv because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 01:20 PM
This whole argument about gay marriage is stupid. I'm sorry, but if you're against their equal rights, you're also stupid. I mean no offense to anyone when I say that, but it's clearly obvious. When two people, despite which gender they might be, get married.. does it affect you at all in the slightest way? I guarantee it doesn't, not one bit. So why do you care? When two "regular" people get married, are you happy and congratulate them no matter what? No, because you don't know them. You don't care if they get married. It affects you 0%, period. So why the hostility towards gay marriage? They're two people, in love, wanting to celebrate a lifetime together, just like heterosexual people do. Does it make you angry what they do behind closed doors? Then why do you think about what they do behind closed doors. Are you a "closet" homosexual faking your outrage towards them because you yourself can't be "out"? One of the good things about gay marriage, is they won't be forced to be married because the other is pregnant
. Stop denying them the right to be happy.

posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 08:31 PM

edit on 13-7-2013 by LadyofGlass because:

posted on Jul, 13 2013 @ 08:31 PM
I really don't like government, I think it's ludicrous that the government steals half of people's income through taxes and then doles out negligible amounts in the form of tax breaks and laws but that's the current system we live in.

Make note, gays and lesbians have been getting married for years in every state. The issue at hand is the contract from the state and the monetary and legal incentives that are being denied couples who happen to be in same sex households.

Begin Rant:
I have a girlfriend and have no intention of marrying her, unless I get desperate enough job wise to join the military. In that case we have been together years so I see no reason why some heterosexual couple that's been married 6 months should get housing benefits to live with their significant other while I am forced to live on base and potentially sent away from her for months or years at a time...simply because we are "teh gays" and the majority sees our relationship as not meaningful enough to exist. If you don't want gays to get married then stop stealing their money the same as people in opposite sex households. If I am not allowed to have the benefits of a marriage contract I shouldn't be robbed the same as everyone else who does.
End Rant.

In all honesty I personally believe marriage shouldn't have benefits other than a streamlined power of attorney and living will. I think the current system is wrong and single people are treated unfairly. I think all citizens should be able to have the streamlined contract with whomever they choose including family and friends and the sexual and tax breaks should end immediately. It is my honest opinion that sexual relationships shouldn't be subsidized or law. The reality exists that there ARE tax benefits and legal benefits so for the time being those need to be extended to gay couples as well.

posted on Jul, 14 2013 @ 06:33 AM

Originally posted by Chrisfishenstein

Originally posted by damwel
reply to post by Chrisfishenstein

It's none of your business who other people marry.

It sure is.....When the law states otherwise......

Not to mention the "gay movement" is destroying this country with their votes! They are voting in ONLY people who support gay marriage.....That candidate could state they are raising taxes 1000% BUT they support gay marriage so it's okay to them....

Why can't it stay behind closed doors like it always has been? Why the drastic changes needed?

anyone who votes for a liberty candidate is supporting equal rights for all, and a vote for 'patriot', ndaa supporting mainstream duopolists is voting for tyranny. hate america? vote democrat, as they say while sometimes omitting the corollary, OR REPUBLICAN!

posted on Jul, 17 2013 @ 04:57 PM
I live in PA, if there was a law that stated any other group didn't have the right to marry (blacks, whites, jews, etc) would that be Constitutional? Would the AG be required to defend a law that is the polar opposite to liberty?

The "will of the people" doesn't really carry much weight in a Constitutional Republic. The few are protected from and afforded the same rights as the many. There are no second class citizens, well in theory there aren't.

See we're not in a Democracy, mob rules is NEVER a good thing.


posted on Jul, 17 2013 @ 05:12 PM
It worries me that people on ATS can be so susceptible for political narratives.

The 'opposition' in a two party system always has to oppose whatever it is that the other side are doing, and in this case it seems that people have somehow managed to dot-to-dot this to Obama's behaviours etc .... into some really complex storyline.

No offense to those posters, but from an external person looking in on America this just seems like typical political spinning on both sides and a pile of hot air. There really isn't a story here as far as I can tell. The person has deferred the work to other people in the best interests of the state (as I believe it says she can / should do?) and I don't think this is anywhere near the worst AG scandal out of the US. I doubt it's even in the top ten for this decade. Actually am pretty sure it's not even a scandal.

Just it wouldn't be politically wise to put off a large percentage of the electorate on a sensitive issue, so its being attacked as politicising a position that has been political in America since the last three decades at least? Or perhaps I miss something?

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