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Virginia House Approves Bill Allowing Lawmakers to Defend State Laws

Jim Burroway

February 3rd, 2014

In a 65-32 vote, the GOP-controlled Virginia House of Representatives approved HB706, which “[p]rovides that a member of the General Assembly has standing to represent the interests of the Commonwealth in a proceeding in which the constitutionality, legality, or application of a law established under legislative authority is at issue and the Governor and Attorney General choose not to defend the law.” The bill was introduced into the House on January 7 in anticipation of Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring’s announcement that the state of Virginia would not defend the state’s ban on marriage equality in Federal court. According to the Washington Post:

The vote fell mostly along party lines, with Democrat Del. Johnny S. Joannou (Portsmouth) joining Republicans to support the bill and Republican Thomas Davis Rust (Fairfax) voting against. There were two abstentions: Robert Dickinson Orrock Sr. (R-Caroline) and Barry D. Knight (R-Virginia Beach).

The bill moves to the Democratic-controlled Senate, where The Post says they will likely kill it.

Federal District Judge Andrea Wright Allen will hear oral arguments challenging the state’s marriage ban tomorrow in Norfolk. Last Friday, a Federal Judge Michael F. Urbanski certified a second lawsuit challenging the state’s ban as a class action.



Paul Douglas
February 4th, 2014 | LINK

I’ll bet Jefferson Davis never figured the party of Lincoln would become the standard bearers of reaction and hatred in this country.

Fritz Keppler
February 4th, 2014 | LINK

When GOP leaders decided to invite the successors of Davis into their party in order to wrest control from Democrats in the Southern states, they probably did not dream that they would take over the party so completely. Karma.

February 4th, 2014 | LINK

Are we seeing more meaningless posturing, or do we think they really hope to defend and uphold this amendment?

February 5th, 2014 | LINK

I’d say – more posturing, since it is being defended by the likes of the ADF. The suit names several clerks down in the Va Beach area as defendants, IIRC.

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