Del. Bob Marshall Fails to Start Impeachment Process over AG Herring’s Same-sex Marriage Stance
Delegate Bob Marshall submitted a resolution to begin the impeachment inquiry process against Attorney General Mark Herring last week, but Republican leadership blocked the effort.
Marshall had hinted at impeaching Herring since the AG first announced he would not defend the state’s same-sex marriage ban in court earlier this year. The effort last week came after Marshall attended the Fourth Circuit hearing against the state’s ban. That’s when he realized Herring was going to “carry through with it.”
“[Herring] wants to change the tax-deductibility laws as well, and in addition, he decides he can identify and authorize who gets instate tuition,” Marshall said explaining the numerous instances Herring had violated the law to his understanding.
House Speaker Bill Howell (R) immediately denied Marshall’s resolution when it was first submitted and released a short statements saying he “does not believe impeachment is an appropriate or practical recourse at the moment.”
Marshall then blamed his own party’s higher-ups for not challenging the AG’s actions. “The failure of the republican leadership to address his first violation of the constitution has led to more [violations].”
Marshall had hoped the impeachment inquiry would have “the other delegates look and see if Mark Herring is following the procedures proscribed of him in the Virginia constitution.”
Though he admits he “didn’t calculate” the possibility of his resolution being turned down.
“I make a decision based on the facts and the law” he said explaining he doesn’t take into account external support when coming up with this resolutions. “Mark herring has crossed a line and he ought to be confronted, and if republican leaders are too weak to do that, shame on them.”
Marshall is one of the authors of VA’s 2006 ban on same-sex marriage, the Marshall Newman Amendment, and has since staunchly opposed any attempts to expand LGBTQ-equality related bills in the General Assembly.
He started a petition to help build support for his impeachment inquiry, however the site was taken down after opponents inundated it with what Marshall called “vile cuss words” and “suggestions that where gross and demeaning.”
“The first amendment rights of people to petition their leaders over a grievance has been abridged by people who support so-called same-sex marriage,” said Marshall.
Marshall’s plea for public support included referring to same-sex marriage as “same sex sodomy marriage” and suggesting lawyer Ted Olson, one of the lawyers for the challenge against the VA’s same-sex marriage ban, is in a race to be the first lawyer responsible for removing “all standards against same sex or sodomy “marriage” in America, to the detriment of children and the well-being of society.”
Marshall goes on to defend his opposition by saying the 14th Amendment’s equal protections clause of the Constitution is not a usable argument because sodomy was a felony in nearly every state when the amendment was ratified.
AG Herring’s office was unabashed in their criticism of Marshall’s impeachment attempted, saying “A small handful of legislators seem to remain oblivious as to how the law works.”
“The role of the Attorney General, and the publicly stated opinion of top legal scholars, including the author of Virginia’s modern Constitution, who said Attorney General Herring’s actions in the marriage equality case have been appropriate,” said AG Herring in a statement released last week.
“It’s our hope that this political gambit doesn’t distract or take away momentum from the important work before the General Assembly, including the passage of a state budget as soon as possible.”
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