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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Van Hollen Legislating From His Mind?

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued a statement on Friday for refusing to represent the state against a petition challenging the constitutionality of the creation of the legal status of domestic partnerships in Wisconsin.
Van Hollen Excerpt:
In November 2006, Wisconsin voters amended our State Constitution to declare that marriage was between one man and one woman. The amendment prohibits our government from recognizing any other legal status substantially similar to marriage. But the general domestic partnership provisions contained in Act 28 do just that – recognize a legal status that is substantially similar to the legal status of marriage.
Wisconsin Constitution Excerpt:
Article VI, §3 - ANNOT.
The attorney general does not have authority to challenge the constitutionality of statutes. State v. City of Oak Creek, 223 Wis. 2d 219, 588 N.W.2d 380 (Ct. App. 1998), 97-2188. a valid reason to refuse a state defense in the court of law?

Look, I understand Van Hollen is not the one challenging domestic partners (Chapter 770), but by refusing to defend against a challenge based on his interpretation of the law's constitutionality, he has pre-determined that the domestic partnership registry under the amendment is unconstitutional.

How can an attorney general establish the unconstitutionality of any state law or statute before the courts have had a chance to hear the challenge and decide? What do we need courts for? Why do we need an attorney general?

1 comment:

Democurmudgeon said...

Good piece. Knowing the Constitutional quote, what excuse did all the other AG's have for making the same kind of call as J.B.? Maybe someone should look into that. I also saw a few additional things:

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