The Commonwealth of Virginia's Ultimate Blog

Monday, February 27, 2006

Thank God for Bob McDonnell

I'm sure many of you have seen this, but I loved hearing about this...thank goodness for those few hundred voters who made McDonnell the Attorney General instead of choosing someone who would have rubber stamped the Kaine administrations attempts at overruling the majority opinion of the state of Virginia on this issue:

Victoria Cobb, Executive Director, Family Foundation
Friday, February 24, 2006

Victory Alert: AG McDonnell Overrules Governor's Executive Order

Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell today issued a legal opinion stating that Executive Order No. 1, which included sexual orientation as a protected class in the Commonwealth's nondiscrimination policy, is unconstitutional. The executive order was one of Governor Warner's parting actions and Governor Kaine's first act as governor, signed immediately after taking the oath of office on January 14.

General McDonnell issued the opinion in response to a query by Delegate Bob Marshall (R-13, Manassas) on the constitutionality of the executive order. The opinion states that the executive order aims to change public policy, which constitutionally, can only be changed through the legislative process.

McDonnell wrote in his opinion that the executive order was "permissible to the extent the Governor is ensuring that the laws are faithfully executed," but that the addition of protected class status to a particular group "was intended to, and in fact did, alter the public policy of the Commonwealth. It is further my opinion that changing the public policy of the Commonwealth is within the purview of the General Assembly; therefore, that portion of Executive Order No. 1 is beyond the scope of executive authority and, therefore, unconstitutional."

It was the third stinging rebuke to the homosexual lobby and their allies in state government in less than a month. Previously, the General Assembly defeated a bill to add sexual orientation and expression to the protected class in nondiscrimination policy not only for the state, but for local governments as well. The General Assembly also stripped similar sexual nondiscrimination language out of the state budget submitted in January by former Governor Mark Warner before his term expired. The insertion of such language into the budget by Warner was unprecedented, as he tried to get policy passed into law through the budgetary process where he could not through normal legislative means.

Reversing the Governor's a ctions and working to prevent similar legislastion has been a high priority for The Family Foundation this session.

McDonnell's office also played a role in the recent debate on the propose constitutional amendment defining marriage by defending the amendment's language amid attempts to water down its meaning and to delay the process of getting the amendment
cipating such an issue was impossible during his campaign, McDonnell's action today was consistent with his campaign plon the ballot.


Blogger Virginia Centrist said...

Do you really think a majority of Virginians support McDonnell's actions? All polling I've seen seems to suggest the opposite...

12:51 PM

Blogger J.Sarge said...

Victoria Cobb must be getting her legal advice from the same "scholar" who wrote the legal opinion. An AG opinion does not "overrule" an executive order.

I also believe that VC is right: a majority of Virginians disfavor employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.

1:16 PM

Blogger James Atticus Bowden said...

Try these two poll questions across the Commonwealth:

1. Should homosexuals and lesbians be discriminated against in job hiring?

2. Should homosexuals and lesbians be a 'protected class of persons' under the law?

The answer to both will be a majority 'No'. Which is why the Marriage Amendment will pass in November.

3:27 PM

Anonymous Waldo Jaquith said...

James, all that would demonstrate is that people don't understand the meaning of the legal term "protected class of person." I can't imagine why they would be familiar with it, or why we would expect them to be.

"Harry," I'm afraid that you're simply wrong on this -- the majority of Virginians (and Americans) quite clearly believe that it's wrong to refuse to hire somebody because they're effeminate (or butch, as the case may be).

10:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

While there is very little evidence how Virginians feel about adding sexual-orientation to the "protected" list, I think there is ample evidence that Virginians oppose same-sex marriage.

For instance:

Although this Virginia Pilot Poll is so worded as to discourage voters from endorsing the more conservative option, a majority of respondents still chose to vote against same-sex marriage (you have to add up the first two categories to see that, though. Very shoddy polling).

Virginia is a socially conservative state. Far more conservative than most in the media, or even the blogosphere, represent it as. This is why Kaine had to claim to be pro-life in the election cycle and why he backed away from taking an openly liberal stand on most social issues.

I think James has it right. Most Virginians don't believe in giving special status to homosexual couples. Adding them to the "protected class of persons" will turn off voters -- if the media gives this the coverage it deserves.

5:47 AM

Blogger James Atticus Bowden said...

Waldo: The People get it. They don't want identity politics with classes of protected persons. Period. The majority of Virginians don't buy Group Rights and Identity Rights.

The LiberalMSM will shill for their team on the Marriage Amendment. But, we (Conservatives) can get the truth past their filters to The People. Just like we did on the Tax Scam of 02.

8:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did Cobb really send that press release out? If so, she should consult her own counsel from time to time: an AG's opinion does not overrule an executive order.

9:11 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

guys, relax. its a title for crying outloud. hyperbole in politics...simply shocking!

11:34 AM

Anonymous Waldo Jaquith said...

A Newsweek survey conducted in 2000 shows that 83% of people believe that laws should prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. As the Post noted, 60% of the GA have pledged not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, and eight of the state's top ten private employers have made such pledges.

There really can't be any question that the citizens, the legislature, and the business community strongly oppose discrimination on the basis of perceived sexual orientation.

2:19 PM

Anonymous NoVA Scout said...

I think it's wonderful that Ms. Cobb can take such cheer from something so insignificant. If more people had her upbeat outlook, every seemingly meaningless incident or object would bring joy and our society would be much happier and more pleasant.

I also think the AG was very thoughtful to offer her this piece of paper, knowing that it would bring such joy.

The Governor does not seem to appreciate its impact, having clearly communicated his intention to ignore it, a totally Grinch-like response that seems meanly intended to dampen Ms. Cobb's euphoria.

Some folks just don't know how to enjoy life.

5:31 PM

Blogger Waldo Jaquith said...

NoVA Scout wins. :)

9:55 PM


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