AG won't challenge same-sex marriage licenses

Aug 21, 2013 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: WKRN

A New Mexico county clerk began issuing same-sex marriage licenses on Wednesday in a surprise move that came as several challenges make their way through the courts to determine if gay marriage is legal in the state.

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1 - 18 of 18 Comments Last updated Aug 24, 2013

“ WOOF !”

Since: Nov 12

Coolidge, AZ

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#1
Aug 21, 2013
 
WOO-HOO !:)

“ WOOF !”

Since: Nov 12

Coolidge, AZ

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#2
Aug 21, 2013
 
HOMOSEXUALIZING THE STATES ONE BY ONE !

"THE PLAN" is working !:)

(with apologies to felon Pete McGowan).

Since: Mar 07

The entire US of A

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#3
Aug 21, 2013
 

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If there is no law against it, it should be legal. Isn't legal the default setting?

“ WOOF !”

Since: Nov 12

Coolidge, AZ

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#4
Aug 21, 2013
 
Quest wrote:
If there is no law against it, it should be legal. Isn't legal the default setting?
yes

Since: Mar 09

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#5
Aug 21, 2013
 

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The AG should assign someone to do it.

Even the guilty deserve representation in Court.

“ WOOF !”

Since: Nov 12

Coolidge, AZ

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#6
Aug 21, 2013
 
snyper wrote:
The AG should assign someone to do it.
Even the guilty deserve representation in Court.
I don't remember you saying that when the Cali AG refused to defend Prop 8.

Since: Mar 09

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#7
Aug 22, 2013
 

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Fa-Foxy wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't remember you saying that when the Cali AG refused to defend Prop 8.
I talked about it repeatedly. You just didn't pay attention.

“Marriage Equality”

Since: Dec 07

Lakeland, MI

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#8
Aug 22, 2013
 
Quest wrote:
If there is no law against it, it should be legal. Isn't legal the default setting?
That's what I was always taught. It would be like claiming that it's illegal for a person to apply for a marriage license and using all lower-case letters on the form. As long as there's no law against it (and I suspect there isn't!), it's legal.

One of the really strange things about a legal system is that people often act upon "laws" that don't exist, but their belief that a certain law DOES exist, is sufficient to make people behave as if it does. My favorite example is taking knitting needles onto airplanes after 9/11. Knitting needles were *never* on the NTSB forbidden list, but since just about every newspaper and website out there declared they were, airport security routinely confiscated them as if they were. Even today, those of us that knit on airplanes carry copies of the current forbidden list with us and printouts from the NTSB website declaring that knitting needles are okay. And even then, airport security has been known to confiscate them. People are idiots.

Since: Mar 09

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#9
Aug 22, 2013
 
Quest wrote:
If there is no law against it, it should be legal. Isn't legal the default setting?
In general, yes, but the AG's job description is more restrictive. He's not John Q. Public. He's the Legal Representation of the State and all of it's Laws.

“Marriage Equality”

Since: Dec 07

Lakeland, MI

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#10
Aug 22, 2013
 
snyper wrote:
<quoted text>
In general, yes, but the AG's job description is more restrictive. He's not John Q. Public. He's the Legal Representation of the State and all of it's Laws.
But if no such law exists (banning marriage equality), how would the AG be expected to defend it. Or not, as the case may be?

“Together for 24, legal for 5”

Since: Sep 07

Littleton, NH

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#11
Aug 22, 2013
 

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The more interesting question is what will Governor Martinez do? Regardless of the strength of her personal feelings, the Republican Party will do everything they can to force her to act. I don't think the legislature will do anything: They're probably relieved that the issue is removed from their docket.
American Citizen

Gila, NM

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#12
Aug 22, 2013
 

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I think the state should recognize same-sex marriages, they already recognize domestic partnerships, have for years! I believe in marriage as an institution, not a tradition which does not merit change. Just look at the divorce rate and how many children the state is already raising/supporting. This is supposed to be a free country, why does the government (at all levels) want to legislate morality (their or a minority opinion)? Susanna is right on the money -- let the people vote and decide, hopefully they carefully consider the issues while the IDIOT Attorney General King finally shows his true colors: YELLOW all the way! What a useless waste of taxpayers' money on an Attorney General's Office which DOES NOTHING! This guy (he shames the legal profession -- especially in the public sector)-- first states it unconstitutional for same-sex marriages to occur in this state, then has the nuts to publically refuse to opppose the Dona Ana County Clerk's Office in issuing same-sex marriage licenses. What's the truth with this wet-noodle? He does not support law enforcement, he does not take charge in civil issues which need state-level attention such as major white-collar crime/fraud and violent crime occurring in our communities. I don't recall his office EVER issuing an opinion for local DA's or law enforcement, I don't recall his office EVER pursuing a corrupt public official (even under Bill "Filthy-Dirty" Richardson's Admininstrations. What good is this guy? And he plans to run for Governor? NO WAY. Send this moron packing his bags, tell him to go out into the private sector marketplace and get a real job to support himself.

Since: Mar 09

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#14
Aug 22, 2013
 
eJohn wrote:
<quoted text>
But if no such law exists (banning marriage equality), how would the AG be expected to defend it. Or not, as the case may be?
If the State is in Court, the AG or representative must be present to defend the interests of the State..

DNF

“Religious Freedom to Marry”

Since: Apr 07

Newark OH / Baltimore MD

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#15
Aug 22, 2013
 
snyper wrote:
<quoted text>
If the State is in Court, the AG or representative must be present to defend the interests of the State..
AMENDMENT IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

"The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One's right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections."

SCOTUS Majority opinion:

West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette 1943

ARTICLE VI

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

“Marriage Equality”

Since: Dec 07

Lakeland, MI

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#16
Aug 23, 2013
 

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snyper wrote:
<quoted text>
If the State is in Court, the AG or representative must be present to defend the interests of the State..
But without a law in place to discuss or defend, how is it possible for the AG to defend the interests of the State? Does he or she just get to make up laws that aren't on the books so they can be defended? What are they going to discuss? A law that some people believe *should* be in place, but isn't? That's the job of the legislature, not the judiciary.

I don't understand what people think the AG is going to do with no basis in the law to even discuss, let alone defend. Does the AG suddenly become emperor and get to decide all on his or her own what the best interests of the State are and defend whatever he or she thinks is best without anyone else's input?

What if the AG is a huge fan of The Wizard of Oz and decides to argue that painting everything green so it'll look like The Emerald City is a good idea? Can he or she go to court and argue that?? If they get to argue anything they want, without regard to any laws on the books, why couldn't they do that?

What if I decide that the (obviously non-existent) law banning zombies from owning property in the State should be enforced and I file a lawsuit against the State because they aren't enforcing the "No Zombies" law as I believe it should? Is the AG required to prepare a defense and appear in court to argue against my suit against a law that doesn't exist??

I'm no lawyer, but I've studied various aspects of the law and courts and how our system works for years now. Am I missing something? Since when does the AG get forced to go to court and argue for or against laws that don't exist? Isn't that the job of the legislature to engage in that argument? What am I missing here?

“Together for 24, legal for 5”

Since: Sep 07

Littleton, NH

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#17
Aug 23, 2013
 

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American Citizen wrote:
I think the state should recognize same-sex marriages, they already recognize domestic partnerships, have for years! I believe in marriage as an institution, not a tradition which does not merit change. Just look at the divorce rate and how many children the state is already raising/supporting. This is supposed to be a free country, why does the government (at all levels) want to legislate morality (their or a minority opinion)? Susanna is right on the money -- let the people vote and decide, hopefully they carefully consider the issues while the IDIOT Attorney General King finally shows his true colors: YELLOW all the way! What a useless waste of taxpayers' money on an Attorney General's Office which DOES NOTHING! This guy (he shames the legal profession -- especially in the public sector)-- first states it unconstitutional for same-sex marriages to occur in this state, then has the nuts to publically refuse to opppose the Dona Ana County Clerk's Office in issuing same-sex marriage licenses. What's the truth with this wet-noodle? He does not support law enforcement, he does not take charge in civil issues which need state-level attention such as major white-collar crime/fraud and violent crime occurring in our communities. I don't recall his office EVER issuing an opinion for local DA's or law enforcement, I don't recall his office EVER pursuing a corrupt public official (even under Bill "Filthy-Dirty" Richardson's Admininstrations. What good is this guy? And he plans to run for Governor? NO WAY. Send this moron packing his bags, tell him to go out into the private sector marketplace and get a real job to support himself.
I appreciate your personal support for same-sex marriage.

I am not familiar with AG's record in NM. On this particular matter, however, what you call cowardice may also be viewed as modesty. Rather than unilaterally declare that same-sex marriages are legal (when the state had for years assumed that they weren't), King asked the court to decide. Pending that decision, King really doesn't have a law on which to pin any suit against the clerks issuing licenses.

Had King simply declared that same-sex marriages are now legal, many would decry the hubris.

And those of us who would be affected by a vote on our right to marry do not support a ballot on the matter. Would Spanish-speaking New Mexicans like a vote on English-only laws? Would blacks like a vote on their rights? Would Muslims? This idea of voting on people's rights is quite dangerous.

Since: Mar 09

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#18
Aug 23, 2013
 

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VERY good, "nhjeff".

WHEN are you going to run for office, dammit?
American Citizen

Silver City, NM

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#19
Aug 24, 2013
 

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nhjeff wrote:
<quoted text>
I appreciate your personal support for same-sex marriage.
I am not familiar with AG's record in NM. On this particular matter, however, what you call cowardice may also be viewed as modesty. Rather than unilaterally declare that same-sex marriages are legal (when the state had for years assumed that they weren't), King asked the court to decide. Pending that decision, King really doesn't have a law on which to pin any suit against the clerks issuing licenses.
Had King simply declared that same-sex marriages are now legal, many would decry the hubris.
And those of us who would be affected by a vote on our right to marry do not support a ballot on the matter. Would Spanish-speaking New Mexicans like a vote on English-only laws? Would blacks like a vote on their rights? Would Muslims? This idea of voting on people's rights is quite dangerous.
True, but this guy is a wet-noodle and seems not to have any intention of doing anything other than fence-sitting. First he declares something unconstitutional under the New Mexico State Constitution, then refuses to act when his interpretation/opinion (the state's official opinion!) of that document is in breach. As a professional who also deals with interpretation/application of law on a daily basis, I still believe him to be useless. Many of his predecessors were much less so. If King's convictions about this issue were genuine, he took an Oath of Office (just like I did many years ago)-- to defend, protect and uphold the Constitution of the State of New Mexico. He would fulfill that Oath if it meant anything. I very much agree with your response, but there is much more to this guy than appears at the instant -- like our former Governor, who left this state in such a mess it will take years to recover from his hubris, corruption, criminality. I do appreciate the position many politicians are placed in, but they choose to run for and accept the Oath of Office. Sometimes these people really do need to plant their feet and adopt a stance on something. I still believe that it is wrong to legislate morality and discriminate on the basis of anything, so I'm actually happy King chose to do nothing. This issue was further supported by a District Judge in Santa Fe, who ordered the Santa Fe County Clerk to either start issuing the marriage licenses or file a brief in (legal) opposition -- the Clerk is now issuing the licenses.

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