We’ve already posted a lengthy take on why it’s disingenuous for the Alliance Defense Fund and supporters to treat domestic partnerships one way in California and another way in Wisconsin. Now let’s look at another issue related to that matter: The fact that that state’s Republican attorney general, J.B Van Hoolen, is refusing to represent his state law in court because he finds it unconstitutional.
What are we hearing all the time out of CA? That both state Attorney General Jerry Brown (D) and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) are out-of-line because they have chosen to take a stand against what they (and a federal district judge) perceive to be an unconstitutional slighting of gay and lesbian citizens’ civil rights. Both men have refused to defend Prop 8 in court. And this little fact has made the anti-equality side nothing short of apoplectic. Here’s ADF attorney Austin Nimocks speaking recently to “Point of View” radio:
But yet now here we have the ADF and Wisconsin Family Action filing suit against the Badger State’s domestic partnership law, and we have an A.G. who has pointedly refused to defend the legislatively-enacted D.P. registry (Gov. Doyle, the Secretary of the WI Dept. of health Services, and the State Registrar of Vital Statistic are the listed defendants). And yet there’s not *one peep* about the A.G. supposedly shirking his duties. Not one mention of Van Hollen’s political stripes or aspirations (which decidedly bend towards socially conservative), the way there have been with gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown. It’s as if Van Hollen’s controversial decision either never happened, or is totally okay since it’s the anti-LGBT side he’s benefitting.
In fact, both the ADF and Julaine Appling (the lead plaintiff in the case in the ADF’s suit) have applauded Van Hollen’s decision:
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen — who ordinarily would defend a duly-enacted law — announced Friday he will not defend the state’s domestic-partner law from a legal challenge brought by a pro-family group.
Julaine Appling, chief executive officer of Wisconsin Family Action, said Van Hollen took a strong position when he said he would not disregard the constitution or the will of the people by defending the registry.
“What J.B. Van Hollen was saying was that his oath of office is to defend the constitution,” she said, “not the Legislature and not the governor.”
Jim Campbell, legal counsel for ADF, said he hopes the Wisconsin Supreme Court takes note of Van Hollen’s position.
“We believe that it’s very clear here. The people of Wisconsin said that they do not want the government creating anything that is substantially similar to marriage, and that is exactly what they’ve done here,” he said.
Wisconsin Attorney General Will Not Defend Domestic Partnerships [Focus on the Family]
And we, Mr. Campell, hope the United States Supreme Court takes note of Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzengger’s positions! After all, their stands are actually rooted in principle, not discriminatory politics.
*Note: The WI Supreme Court ultimately did not “take note,” like Campell wanted, as that judicial body refused the case. The current suit was filed in the Dane County Circuit Court