Saturday, July 09, 2016

Federal Judge Shuts Down That Shit (Republican Whining)

The title above refers to Step 9 in what follows:

Step 1

May 28, 2015: Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly pass the "magistrate opt-out" law, S 2, "Magistrates Recusal of Civil Ceremonies,"which allows religiously motivated public servants to refuse to deal in any way with gay marriages.

Step 2

May 28, 2015: Gov. Pat McCrory announces he will veto S 2, saying he's offended by public servants who don't/won't do their jobs.

Step 3

June 11, 2015: Republicans override the governor's veto. S 2, now the law.

Step 4

June 12, 2015: NC Attorney General Roy Cooper criticizes S 2, saying "it is likely to be challenged constitutionally." Ricky Diaz, NCGOP spokesperson, immediately sandbags Cooper with the following statement: "Unfortunately for North Carolina, our attorney general has a bad habit of picking and choosing which laws he wants to defend and abdicating his responsibilities as our chief law enforcement officer."

Step 5

December 9, 2015: Three couples file a federal lawsuit, challenging the constitutionality of S 2. Roy Cooper's department automatically engaged as the state's counsel in defense of S 2.

Step 6

February 5, 2016: Cooper's office files motion for summary dismissal of the lawsuit.

Step 7

February 5, 2016: Same day, Republican leaders in House & Senate (Tim Moore & Phil Berger) announce that they plan to hire their own outside counsel to "assist" Cooper's office in the defense of S 2.

Step 8

March 2016: Private attorneys for Moore & Berger file to "intervene" in the S 2 federal lawsuit. (Without being granted intervenor status, Moore & Berger can't stick their partisan noses into the litigation.)

Step 9

July 8, 2016: U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis Howell denies Moore & Berger's request to intervene, writing that Attorney General Cooper has "zealously" and "aggressively" fought for S 2 by seeking dismissal of plaintiffs' claims. The judge adds that he sees "no benefit" from letting others in government positions intervene in the case using outside counsel.

1 comment:

Jerry Wilson said...

Judge Howell and I have been friends for many years. When he was in private practice he and I disagreed in the courtroom many times. However, I would never question the accuracy, fairness or neutrality of a decision he made as a judge in a court of law.