Republicans here in Pennsylvania have started an impeachment drive against our Attorney General Kathleen Kane.
She is refusing to defend Pennsylvania’s anti-gay marriage law in court.
I don’t need to mention that she’s a Democrat, do I?
You see, Republicans are claiming that she is obligated under the law to defend lawsuits against the state. This ignores the fact that Attorneys General have discretion, like all prosecutors, as to which cases to litigate.
Kane points out that there is no defense. The law is clearly unconstitutional. Every single state with a similar law that has been challenged in federal court has watched the law fall, domino-like, one after another. To waste taxpayer money defending something that has no defense is ridiculous. It’s unethical for her to make an argument before the court she knows is invalid. “If there is a law that I feel that does not conform with the Pennsylvania state constitution and the U.S. Constitution, then I ethically cannot do that as a lawyer,” she said.
The Republican legislators claim that she is mandated to do what the legislators want because they represent the “will of the people.” At the same time, the majority of people in Pennsylvania support gay marriage (57%). Further, if not for gerrymandering, a majority of our legislature would be Democratic. (Seriously: more people voted for Democrats in Pennsylvania in the last election but more Republicans won because of the way the districts were drawn.) Kane rightly points out that she is following the will of the people of Pennsylvania, not the legislature.
Pennsylvania Democrats walked out of the committee meeting where the Republicans tried to set up an impeachment proceeding, and rightly so.
Just like our anti-gay marriage law, the impeachment also has no legal merit.