Should the AG defend laws he doesn't agree with?

  1. #1

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    Should the AG defend laws he doesn't agree with?

    Simple question.
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    PurplePride92's Avatar
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    I think so. Yes.

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    LIPTON BASH's Avatar
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    I agree they should . The problem Democrats will have is we just went 8 years of this not happening.

    I thought Mike Lee had a good testimony yesterday in the Session hearing on how the inconsistency on some with federalism.

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    Bengal Maniac's Avatar
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    Yes, that is that person's job. I followed policies I didn't agree with in my jobs.

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    UKMustangFan's Avatar
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    Yes. The AG needs to uphold the laws that are in place. He can disagree with them, and even do his part to change them, but as long as the laws are in place, he must uphold them.

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    A tough question to answer with a simple yes/no.

    Yes, it is a primary responsibility of the AG to represent the Commonwealth in court........but tax dollars and other resources must also be used in an efficient manner, and there are choice to made in this regard.

    The AG does not always challenge legal rulings that overturn laws that have been on the books for years, so if a new Statute will not survive a Constitutional challenge per already established precedent must the AG proceed with challenge?

    I think I could argue either position. If I was AG rather than say "Sorry, I'm out" I may say something to the effect of "It's not a good use of our appropriated funds to defend this unconstitutional statute, but I will assist the legislature in defending this legislation when an appropriate funding source has been determined."

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    Bengal Maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LIPTON BASH View Post
    I agree they should . The problem Democrats will have is we just went 8 years of this not happening.

    I thought Mike Lee had a good testimony yesterday in the Session hearing on how the inconsistency on some with federalism.
    I agree if they didn't. What law/s did or didn't they defend That was illegal? I know you may not agree with what they did, but what recourse is there and was it taken?

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    Fear the Nation's Avatar
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    Yes, period.

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    Yes, I think the Attorney General has a duty to defend the laws of the Commonwealth even if he or she does not personally agree with them. That is the primary job of the Attorney General. If a person is not willing to do that, they should not be Attorney General.

    However, laws that stand no chance of surviving a constitutional challenge present a different issue. In that circumstance, I see little utility in the Attorney General spending time and resources in defending a law that will be struck down.

    The Attorney General is a lawyer with a single client, the Commonwealth. Like any lawyer, the Attorney General has an obligation to be honest with his or her client, and if defending a law will be useless, the Attorney General has an obligation to tell his or her client that. Also, like any lawyer, the Attorney General has an ethical obligation to not make an argument that lawyer knows lacks any merit.

  10. #10
    Getslow's Avatar
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    He's an elected official with individual agency. If you want him to work for the governor or do whatever the legislature wants, then we need to amend the Kentucky constitution to make it an appointed position.

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    UKMustangFan's Avatar
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    I thought we were talking the AG of the United States....Did I miss something?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bengal Maniac View Post
    I agree if they didn't. What law/s did or didn't they defend That was illegal? I know you may not agree with what they did, but what recourse is there and was it taken?
    Let us start with immigration laws, but that has been a weak point for awhile. Just got worse under Obamacare.

  13. #13
    Bipsic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UKMustangFan View Post
    I thought we were talking the AG of the United States....Did I miss something?
    My guess is the original post refers to the latest episode in the Bevin/Beshear peeing contest.

    Beshear came out and said he would defend the new law requiring an ultrasound be done prior to an abortion because the law isn't settled, but will not defend the law banning abortions post 20 weeks because in his words it is "clearly unconstitutional."

    Of course with the Sessions confirmation hearing, the federal AG is topical, but as Getslow alluded, there is a world of difference between being appointed by an executive and being elected by vote.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bipsic View Post
    My guess is the original post refers to the latest episode in the Bevin/Beshear peeing contest.

    Beshear came out and said he would defend the new law requiring an ultrasound be done prior to an abortion because the law isn't settled, but will not defend the law banning abortions post 20 weeks because in his words it is "clearly unconstitutional."

    Of course with the Sessions confirmation hearing, the federal AG is topical, but as Getslow alluded, there is a world of difference between being appointed by an executive and being elected by vote.
    So an elected AG can pick and choose but an appointed AG shouldn't? Is that the world of difference you refer to?

    If it's truly the difference between elected and appointed should all elected officials have discretion to decide what parts of their jobs they can decline to do based on personal beliefs?

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    Enforce the law. We should use other avenues to change laws we don't like.

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