• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Cuccinelli: Not ‘Appropriate’ for Virginia Attorney General to Challenge Marriage Law

    Ken Cuccinelli

    In an exclusive comment e-mailed to The Foundry, Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican whom Democrat Mark Herring succeeded as Virginia attorney general, said Herring acted inappropriately in going to federal court to oppose the state marriage amendment.

    “The only time it is appropriate for an attorney general not to defend a Virginia law,” Cuccinelli said, “is when he concludes that there is literally no legitimate argument to be made in defense of that law or constitutional provision.”

    Here is the full text of Cuccinelli’s comment:

    I have always understood that it was the attorney general’s job to defend state laws and the constitution, not to spend taxpayer money attacking them.  It is rare enough for an attorney general to encounter a situation where he believes he should not defend some provision of Virginia law, but the proper step at that point is to simply stand aside and arrange for a lawyer outside the AG’s office who will defend the law.

    Every attorney general has a sworn duty to defend Virginia laws and our constitution, whether he agrees with the law or not.  The only time it is appropriate for an attorney general not to defend a Virginia law is when he concludes that there is literally no legitimate argument to be made in defense of that law or constitutional provision.  In my four years as attorney general, we only encountered that situation once, and when we did, we did not attack the law; rather, we stood aside for others in state government who thought the law defensible to appoint counsel who would make the case for the law in question.

    >>> Read More: Days After Vowing to Uphold Virginia Constitution, Attorney General Challenges Marriage Amendment

    Posted in Culture, Front Page, Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    Comments are closed.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×