WASHINGTON, September 18, 2013 — What do liberal activists do when the people stand up and block their left wing agenda?
They figure out a way to ignore the will of the people.
President Obama is a master of this technique, and the next incarnation of that strategy may be coming in Virginia.
Virginia has a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages. The voters of the Commonwealth overwhelmingly approved the ban several years ago. That has not stopped liberal activists who want a court to strike it down.
2013 is election year in Virginia. The governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general are all on the ballot. The Democrats all want to strike down to ban on same sex marriages.
The Obama Precedent is the tool they will use to try and destroy the constitutional amendment that was approved by Virginia voters.
In 2011, the Obama Administration announced it would not defend against a lawsuit aimed at overturning the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). That law prevented the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. Obama could not prevail in Congress with a full repeal of the law, despite a Democratic super majority in Congress from 2009 to 2011. Ultimately, the House of Representatives hired a law firm to defend the law.
California’s voters passed Proposition 8 in November, 2008. That was a constitutional amendment that defined marriage in California as being between one man and one woman. The law was challenged and affirmed in California courts, but it was finally overturned in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by a gay federal judge. Governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris, both Democrats, announced afterterward that they would not defend Proposition 8 any further. They had gotten the ruling they wanted and were happy to let the law die.
A group of plaintiffs intervened and tried to defend Prop. 8. On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that the intervening plaintiffs did not have standing to intervene. Therefore the dismissed the appeal and directed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to vacate its ruling in support of the District Court. This returned the case to the District Court, which had already declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional.
In short, by refusing to defend a lawsuit, the Democrats got what they wanted and thwarted the will of the people.
The same strategy is now about to play out in Virginia.
At least two lawsuits have been filed to overturn Virginia’s constitutional ban on same sex marriage. Republican candidate for attorney general Mark Obenshain has vowed to defend the law. Mark Herring, the Democratic candidate, hasn’t said what he would do, but he has hinted that he would follow the Obama Precedent.
This is the new left wing strategy and it is dangerous to a constitutional republic. We have seen this in a limited scale on the so-called “sue and settle” law suits that environmentalists have filed and then settled by the EPA on consent orders with generous terms. Those consent orders bind future administrations.
Now, the left does not need a majority of the people or even a majority of the legislature. All they need is control of the governor’s mansion or the White House and if it is a state, possibly the Attorney General’s office. Then any law the left does not like is subject to immediate revocation, simply with the filing of a lawsuit and the refusal of the government to defend it.
There is a good word for this and it is not liberty.
The word is tyranny.
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