Tag: attorney general

Unleash the AG’s

So this happened last week:

Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday that state attorneys general are not required to defend state laws they believe to be discriminatory. Specifically, he said those who think state bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional are not obligated to defend them. Comparing today’s gay rights fight to the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 60s, Holder said he would have challenged discriminatory laws on the books during the time of racial segregation. “If I were attorney general in Kansas in 1953, I would not have defended a Kansas statute that put in place separate-but-equal facilities,” Holder said.

He encouraged state attorneys general to intensely scrutinize state laws like those that address equal protection, but not to oppose them based upon political or policy leanings. Holder’s comments are not customary for a federal attorney general, as they do not frequently instruct their state counterparts on how to do their jobs.

Holder is taking a lot of fire for this this and it’s understandable. An AG’s job, after all, is to represent the state and to defend its laws in the courts. But … after thinking about it for a while, I actually agree with Holder for probably the first time in his entire tenure.

The second part of Holder’s statement is probably the more important: an attorney general should not refuse to defend a state law simply because he disagrees with it. All lawyers are required to argue cases where they don’t like the side they are arguing. Do you think criminal defense attorneys like defending rapists or murderers? They do it because everyone deserves a defense. They do it because it’s their job. An attorney general should defend his states laws even when he doesn’t like them because that’s his job: to represent the state.

However …

There is one exception, and that is when the attorney believes that the law involved is unconstitutional. In that case, I would posit that not only should an AG not defend a law he believes is unconstitutional. In some cases, he should argue against it.

I know that sounds like a recipe for chaos and I think this power should rarely be invoked. DOMA, for example, was of questionable constitutionality and I think, in that case, the Obama Administration should have stood by it. But when an Administration believes that a law is a blatant violation, should they not defend our liberty in court?

I’ll admit that this is an outgrowth of my view of how our government is supposed to work. Far too often, the judgement of whether a law is constitutional is left the Courts. But it is the sworn obligation of all branches to defend our liberty. The Courts should bounce bad laws, yes. But they don’t always, as the Kelo abomination demonstrated. In those cases, we need the other branches to defend our liberty. We need them to stick up for us when the Courts won’t.

Congress and State Legislatures should not pass laws that they believe are unconstitutional. The President and the Governors should veto unconstitutional laws and refuse to use powers they believe are unconstitutional, even if the courts approve them (warrantless wiretapping, for example). And even if the AG does enforce bad laws, for the sake of order, I have no problem with him arguing that the law is unconstitutional (there will never be a dearth of attorneys willing to argue in favor of the government).

I hate to play the game of If I Were President, but I think it’s relevant here. Just last week, I wrote about the vile unconscionable thing that is asset forfeiture. Should not a President order his Justice Department to end asset forfeiture? It is a choice, not a requirement, after all. And should he not have an AG go into Court and argue that this violates the people’s rights? Why must the engine of government justice always be turned against the citizen and against his liberty?

It’s a little shakier when you get down to the state level, where you could argue that the state AG’s should defend a law even as the federal lawyers argue against it. Or you could argue they could resign on principle. There is a danger of opening a can of worms and politicizing the court process even further. I see that.

But I don’t think this issue is as clear-cut as a lot of people want to make it. I’m not sure gay marriage laws pass the threshold, but I don’t think it’s ridiculous to argue that a state can realize it is in the wrong and refuse to defend an unconstitutional law.

Liberal flip-flop on terrorists and constitutional rights.

In a clean reversal of what the left told us all during the hate filled 8 years of Boosh-Hitler’s reign of terror about how the US constitution should apply to everyone, including terrorists at Club Gitmo that needed to be tried in civilian court, where Holder also guaranteed guilty verdicts I remind you reader, we now find out that Holder thinks terrorists are no longer eligible for constitutional protection now that his boss wants the right to just shoot them dead. Let me first point out how happy I am that Holder and Obama have seen the light and finally discovered that extending constitutional protection to enemy combatants at war with you that specifically hide behind the guise of being a civilian until they can strike at you is suicidal and stupid. I knew that once they had to deal with the mess and the consequences they would see the light. Reality still wins out sometimes.

Now for the fun part, and that is bashing the hypocrisy and pointing out how dangerous the left really is. By now it should be obvious that the only reason they wanted to extend constitutional protection to terrorist when Bush was president was because they felt it would undermine his administration and yield them potential political gains either way. By “they” I mean the cynical leftist power mongers like Obama and Holder that pretended to be morally superior and advocating that constitutional protection be given to terrorists when it brought them political advantage only to reverse themselves now that they stand to reap the fruits of their earlier stance. These people are beyond scumbags. They pretended to be for this insane concept that produced all kinds of problems for the people fighting the Islamist radicals and put American lives in danger, telling everyone that it was out of some higher moral reasoning and lofty idealism, but now that their asses are in the cross hairs and this stance is inconvenient, we find out that it all was for show and pure personal gain. However they didn’t stop at that:

Holder said in a speech at the Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago that the government is within its rights to kill citizens who are senior leaders in al-Qaeda or affiliate groups who pose an “imminent threat” of attack against the USA and whose capture is “not feasible.”

“Given the nature of how terrorists act and where they tend to hide, it may not always be feasible to capture a U.S. citizen terrorist who presents an imminent threat of violent attack,” Holder said, according to a text of his speech. “In that case, our government has the clear authority to defend the United States with lethal force.”

Get that? Not only do terrorists not get that constitutional protection these leftist twits once, when it hurt the other side – and I should point out so harshly criticized the previous administration for doing – were for, yet now are against, because it hurts them, but they take it one step further and make the case that citizens that they deem to be terrorists are out of luck too. Look, I believe no terrorist should be granted any kind of constitutional or Geneva Convention protection, especially when they are financed and harbored by foreign entities that are hostile to our way of life, and indubitably they all seem to fall in that category. I also believe we need to start killing traitors, and someone that joins the terrorists and declares war on the US is a traitor, like the constitution told us we should. But I also understand the legitimate concern some have with this practice/power that it can and will be abused, but my bet is that the abuse, as we see now, will come from the power centers on left, which as I pointed out already complained really hard about it then, but now are mostly silent when it gets expanded to include citizens too. And that is fucking hypocritical.

Anyway, their reversal seems to come from this:

The attorney general’s remarks come as civil rights advocates have condemned such killings, including the fatal military drone strike in September against Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born leader of al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen. U.S. government officials have asserted that al-Awlaki helped direct the failed Christmas Day bombing of a commercial airliner over Detroit in 2009 and the failed effort to blow up U.S. cargo planes with explosives planted in printer cartridges in 2010.

Awalaki needed killing. I applaud Obama for ordering that hit. There is no doubt this guy was an enemy of this country, worked hard for the other side, and had blood on his hands. Awalaki even told us so himself. Maybe the people that are angry he was shot by a drone have a point that he every attempt to capture him instead was not exhausted, but considering the ridiculous stance the left took on terrorist and their treatment as prisoners of war, I can see why Obama and Holder, staring at having to deal with that problem themselves, decided that killing this guy was probably less of a headache for them. We need to remain vigilant though. I would not put it past leftists like Obama and Holder to take this a step further and declare Rush Limbaugh a terrorist, then have on of those drones they have now flying on US soil hit him with a hellfire missile. After all, they mean well unlike that cowboy Bush, whom I do have to point out never did anything like this, despite the lefts beliefs that he would be capable of far worse, while Obama did. And no, that wasn’t because the left was vigilant and prevented Bush from doing bad things, despite how hard they pretend that was the case. Most of them are however now unconcerned when one of their own did what they would have found intolerable from the other side and portends to go much further. Liberalism is a mental disorder.