Bob Marshall. Yes. Again.

On the heels of his statement that adopted children are not members of real families, Bob Marshall has this to say about the American Civil War:

If the Supreme Court twists the Fourteenth Amendment, enacted after the shedding of blood of over a half a million Americans for equal rights for black Americans, into a mandate for same-sex “marriage,” the decision must be challenged immediately and effectively.

About 620,000 people died as a result of the Civil War, roughly 160,000 from the North, about 460,000 from the South. One can only wonder, particularly given recent events, how those who lay claim to Southern heritage feel about the suggestion that a near half-million Southerners died, “for equal rights for black Americans.” Indeed, one can only marvel at Bob Marshall’s blindness to the fact that black Americans today might also have some feelings about that claim.

Bob Marshall is the biggest embarrassment in Virginia Republican politics today.

Bob Marshall and Adoption

Remember “the adoption option,” that anti-choicers seem to think is the easy alternative to abortion? Well, Bob Marshall doesn’t. In his latest encyclical newsletter (part of a series he is sending in anticipation of the Supreme Court undoing his greatest personal achievement by restoring freedom to the Virginia state constitution), he actually says this:

BobMarshall

Since families come from parents, you cannot look past parents and still have a family — because there would be no family there. Homosexual acts cannot generate families; therefore, their ‘families’ cannot be the same. If there are children present, we may be sure that both parents of the children are not present in that family. That is a lot to look past.

Same-sex couples sometimes adopt children, just as mixed-sex couples do. Bob’s colossal inability to treat people equally has him oblivious to the fact that, by his “logic” above, he has declared that couples who adopt do not become parents. Bob says, “there would be no family there.”

The people who keep re-electing this man appear willing to look past this kind of cruel, heartless comment and see something they can vote for. I can’t help but wonder, though, if some of those people are, or are in families with, adopted members. Bob Marshall thinks they are in “families,” not families, and that they don’t have both their parents there. To someone in a family with an adopted member, that is a major rejection of what it means to be who that person is. That is a declaration that adoptees are parentless children. That is a claim of the most vicious sort.

That is a lot to look past.

A Few Questions from Bob Marshall

Here they are, from today’s request for money:

  • Do you think refusing to expand Medicaid is immoral when it will require massive future tax hikes on hard working families?
  • Do you think civil and religious leaders were wrong for millenia about the definition of marriage, which remained unchanged until the Netherlands became the first country in history to legalize so called same sex marriage in 2001?
  • Do you think President Ronald Reagan was a radical because he believed children before birth were entitled to civil rights protections?

BobMarshallWell, let’s take ’em in order, shall we?

  1. Ignoring the tired lie that Medicaid expansion will lead to “massive” tax hikes (what’s the mass of a tax hike, anyway?), Bob is asking me which I would rather sacrifice: my neighbor’s money or my neighbor’s life? I don’t presume to speak for others, but I think I know what my neighbor’s preference would be. Bob, of course, thinks that when the question is, “your money or your life,” that’s the same as “your money or someone else’s life.” Recalling that one definition of a Republican is, “someone who will do everything for a person before it is born, and nothing for it after that,” I guess putting money ahead of life might make some sense to him. To me, it’s just cruel, but I’m soft that way.
  2. Hey, 1,000,000 Irish Roman Catholics think so.
  3. No, I think he was a fine actor, playing a part.

What do I win?

Bob Marshall Lies Again

Delegate Bob Marshall (R-13) has one of the worst cases of lawyer-envy in Virginia history. He can’t stop himself from citing legal precedent in failed attempts to support his opposition to equality. This time, he’s upset that school boards all over the state are realizing that Title IX requires them to accommodate transgender students, and some of them are doing so. In an effort to stop it, he has sent out a long e-mail that, among other things, mistates Dillon’s Rule, which limits the powers of local governments. According to Marshall:

The Dillon rule says that no locality has any authority not granted to them by the General Assembly.

This is simply not true. As the United States Supreme Court actually puts it, Dillon’s Rule sets forth three different sources of authority for local government:

  1. Those granted in express words;
  2. Those necessarily or fairly implied in or incident to the powers expressly granted; and
  3. Those essential to the declared objects and purposes of the local government, not simply convenient, but indispensable.

That last one is key, here. Every state government in the United States declares its objects and purposes in its constitution (pause for a moment, and think about what the word “constitution” means, and you’ll understand where I’m going with this). For that matter, every state government in the United States is also bound to objects and purposes declared in the constitution of the United States. Among other things, that’s why government officers at every level, including county boards of supervisors, school boards, and state delegates (this means you, Mr. Marshall) all swear in their oaths of office to uphold and defend the constitution of the United States and the constitution of Virginia. Doing so is not “simply convenient.” It is indispensable. Local government could no more ignore its duty to, say, provide for the due process of law, than it could ignore its duty to provide for public education. Those things are required of local government by the constitutions of the United States and of Virginia.

Likewise, the constitution of the United States imposes this duty on every state:

No State shall…deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Marshall wants to violate that duty by denying equal protection to transgender Virginians. To make that seem legal, he tells this lie:

[T]he Virginia Supreme Court in 2000 [Supreme Court of Virginia ARLINGTON COUNTY, et al. vs. Andrew WHITE, at al. Record NQ. 991374, April 21, 2000. 707, 528 S.E.2d 706 (2000)] affirmed the 1997 formal opinion I received from Attorney General Richard Cullen that Arlington could not add “domestic partners” to the classes of recipients eligible for health insurance coverage provided by Arlington County.

While the Virginia supremes did issue that ruling, the lie is that this means equal protection is not mandated for transgender Virginians. Marshall’s citation goes to “domestic partners,” which is not a protected class of citizens. As we are seeing more recently, being transgender is fast becoming a recognized class entitled to constitutional protection. (More recently, the Virginia supremes showed that they are aware that legal analysis under the Equal Protection clause and under Dillon’s Rule are two thoroughly different things. See ADVANCED TOWING COMPANY, LLC, et al. v. FAIRFAX COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, 694 S.E.2d 621 2010.) In other words, Marshall’s citation is irrelevant.

Marshall also goes on at some length about how some Attorneys General opined that local governments in Virginia did not have the authority to do what they are (and have been) doing, claiming this proves that current AG Mark Herring’s recent opinion that they do have that authority is invalid. But he’s picking and choosing his facts. While Marshall complains that Gloucester and Stafford counties tried to deliver equality, and that Fairfax county plans to follow suit, he ignores the fact that, five years ago, Loudoun county did the same thing (albeit in the county workplace, not the schools). I remember that pretty well, because I wrote the new policy that we adopted, on a 6-2-1 vote. Here’s the important bit: Marshall went nuts and expressed the same opinion he’s expressing now, that what we did by abiding our oaths of office and upholding the constitution was illegal. Like now, he claimed that the opinions of Virginia Attroneys General, such as Ken Cuccinelli, were on his side. Well, Mr. Marshall can have Ken Cuccinelli. We went with the constitution.

But, here’s a little-known fact from that era: when I heard that AG Cuccinelli opposed what we did, I wrote to him. I said that, if he objected and felt that the rights of the Commonwealth had been offended by what my board had done, I saw it as appropriate that he, as the Commonwealth’s lawyer, should take my board to court and sue to undo our vote. I told him that I would be pleased to defend my board myself in such a case. AG Cuccinelli declined to take me up on it. In fact, he never answered me at all.

Bob Marshall thinks what Mr. Cuccinelli said in the past speaks more forcefully than what Mr. Herring is saying today. To my mind though, it will always be what Mr. Cuccinelli didn’t say in the past (that he thought he could win this issue against me in court) that speaks most forcefully of all.

 

ken_cuccinelli_370x278
Ken Cuccinelli is not the Attorney General.

Bob Marshall Wants Howell As Next Eric Cantor

Will House of Delegates Speaker Bill Howell be the next Virginia Republican to follow Eric Cantor out the door reserved for senior party members ousted by the Tea Party? Could be. Cantor couldn’t stop an unknown Tea Party challenger from ejecting him from congress, notwithstanding that Cantor was the House Majority Leader at the time. Replacing him in Congress next year will be Dave Brat, a man so popular with local Republican leaders that they hand-picked Peter Farrell to keep Brat from becoming a member of the House of Delegates in 2011. Cantor should have seen this coming, because it had already happened to Joe May, in 2013, when Dave LaRock replaced him. Cantor outspent Brat by 40-to-1. May only outspent LaRock by a little under 6-to-1. Both were crushed by double-digit losses in their primaries to Tea Party challengers who went on to win their general elections.

Why is any of this a reason for Bill Howell to worry? Because May’s loss to LaRock was clearly the result of May’s support for Howell’s (and Bob McDonnell’s, but forget him, because everyone else already has) transportation bill. That bill, which is now the law that will finally do something at least partly sensible for the economy-killing traffic problems here in NoVa, did the politically unthinkable: it raised taxes. In Virginia. With the approval of Republicans. As a result, the Tea Party targeted Joe May for political termination, and succeeded. Before they did so, however, Howell tried to stop them. He formed a PAC, tellingly named, “Commonwealth Transportation PAC,” which doled out a few large donations to at-risk incumbents who had supported Howell’s bill. The biggest taker was Joe May, who got $25,000 from Howell (curiously, the bulk of that was donated a few days after May’s primary loss; suggestions taken as to why). Clearly, Howell knew that supporting his bill had put some of his friends’ seats in jeopardy. (Others included Tag Greason, and Tom Rust, the latter being further gifted with May’s old seat as chair of the house Transportation Committee.)

So Howell got his bill, but lost his senior supporter to a Tea Party challenger who went on to win the general election. This means Dave LaRock is there at every session, reminding all Republicans that they too are vulnerable to the Tea Party’s wrath. A fluke? Maybe Howell thought so at first. But that was before the same thing happened to Eric Cantor, the very next year. Hard to see that as anything but what it is: proof that sitting Republicans, no matter how senior, cannot ignore the Tea Party. For Bill Howell, it may be too late to stop ignoring them, as he already committed the sin of raising taxes. Worse for him, those new taxes haven’t appeared yet. They are scheduled to come out of your wallet in two months.

Enter, at this point, Bob Marshall. Never a favorite of his own party, he is beloved by no-tax advocates in the state. And Marshall knows it. He has no sins to atone for with the Tea Party, unlike Bill Howell. Now, Marshall seems to be calling for Howell’s atonement, more likely, his punishment. In his latest newsletter, Marshall accuses Howell (and all other Republicans except Del. Mark Berg) of breaking a promise to “kill” the gas-tax increase that will pay for part of Howell’s transportation bill. As a result, says Marshall, gas prices are about to go up:

We now pay a 3.5% gas tax. In January that will increase to 5.1% . Based on gas prices of $3.17 per gallon, the gas tax will be 16.17 cents per gallon, just under the 17.5 cents prior to enactment of HB 2313. However, HB 2313 also increased the sales and several other taxes in 2013 to generate more revenue. Bottom line: we will be paying more come January!

Who is responsible for this tax increase, exactly? Bob Marshall knows:

Speaker Howell’s HB 2313 tax increase, which passed in 2013, increased the sales tax and several other taxes in Northern Virginia and Tidewater.

And who stopped Marshall and Berg from killing the increase? Bob Marshall again:

Please ask your delegate why he or she voted to sustain a clearly erroneous non-germane ruling from the Speaker to prevent a vote on my amendment to cut the gas tax increase. Also ask why he or she did not demand a record vote to reinstate the “kill switch” to prevent the diversion of future transportation money to other uses.

Bill Howell stopped them, along with every other sitting house Republican (at least those present for the vote of 88-to-2).

Seems Marshall (and Berg) are declaring Howell to be the next target of the forces that ousted Joe May and Eric Cantor. Howell may really be in jeopardy. All the money in the world didn’t save Cantor, and Howell’s money wasn’t enough to save May. “Speaker Howell’s” transportation bill may do a bit to help our region but, with the tax increase actually coming to pay for it in his next election year, for Howell, the real bill may still be yet to come.

NoVa Legislators Ask TMac to Declare Martial Law

In yet another delivery of political gamesmanship when the order clearly asked for “good governance,” three northern Virginia members of the GA have, in effect, asked the governor to declare martial law and seize control of Virginia’s airports and seaports. Specifically, Sen. Dick Black, Del. Bob Marshall (why is it always Bob Marshall?) and Del. Mark Berg, have sent a joint letter to Gov. Terry McAuliffe, telling him that Ebola in America is Obama’s fault (because, you know, everything is Obama’s fault), and that he must use “the police powers of Virginia” to close our airports and seaports to any vehicle arriving from “Ebola affected areas” (presumably including the state of Texas). They state that fever-screening is not reliable and that the governor should take note that, “government travel restrictions were used to limit Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).” These lawmakers urge the governor to take state control over airlines (and shipping lines), even if that means being taken to court by those airlines (and shipping lines) and/or the federal government (because, you know, what they are asking him to do would be illegal). Continue reading “NoVa Legislators Ask TMac to Declare Martial Law”

Bob Marshall Says Bigamy Now Legal

Crazy Bob Marshall says he has issued an actual request for a legal opinion from Attorney General Mark Herring on the constitutionality of prohibitions on bigamy, following the denial by the Supreme Court to take up the Fourth Circuit’s affirmation of Bostic. Here’s the full text of the letter he sent to consituents:

Dear Friends,
Today I requested an official opinion from Attorney General Mark Herring on the Constitutitionality of Virginia’s Bigamy laws in light of the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court not to hear Virginia’s Marriage Amendment case.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals said in their decison that, “Accordingly, we decline the Proponents’ invitation to characterize the right at issue in this case as the right to same-sex marriage rather than simply the right to marry.”

If the Virginia Marriage Amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman has been overturned on the basis of the “right to marry” that that right surely extends to “throuples”, those who identify as polyamourous, polygamists and any individual who whishes to marry who or what he/she “loves.”

If it is the “right” of all people to marry who they love then I would like to know if it is the Attorney General’s legal opinion that Virginia’s bigamy and perhaps other laws realted to marriage are also Unconstitutional.

Attorney General Herring said in a speech yesterday, October 6, 2014, at the Arlington Court House that, “Today we celebrate a moment when we move closer to fulfilling the promise of equality…” I would like to know what further steps he believes are legally necessary to fulfill this promise.

Unless Mark Herring answers that, no, Virginia’s bigamy laws are not unconstitutional, I trust his answer will make good reading. (Members of the General Assembly actually are empowered to ask the Attorney General’s office for formal opinons. Such opinions are not rulings of law, but the can be cited as persuasive authority and will often be followed as law by state agencies needing guidance. Marshall’s request will, in fact, waste some taxpayers’ dollars while somone, if not Herring himself, drafts an answer. Keep it up, Bob.)


20120116-213445-pic-944078152_c0-61-2000-1226_s326x190 (1)

Bob Marshall Reacts to Gay Marriage (by lying)

Predictably, Delegate Bob Marshall has issued an apoplectic e-mail about today’s implicit affirmation of the unconstitutionality of gay-marriage bans. You have to read his spluttering with some care to realize he is calling for, in effect, the abolition of the Supreme Court (not surprising, since his party voted to, in effect, abolish the governor; if he and Speaker Howell get their way, the Republican house majority will be the only branch of government left).

Here’s an excerpt:

the Supreme Court has placed the Government of the Commonwealth in the hands of two federal judges whose very names are unknown to “We the people.”

Well, that’s a lie. The two Fourth Circuit court judges who ruled in favor of gay marriage were Henry F. Floyd (who was first nominated to the federal bench by George W. Bush) and Roger Gregory (thanks guys!).

Next:

The Supreme Court’s decision disregards the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God[.]”

Well, that’s only an implicit lie, as it implies the Supreme Court rules on divine law. It doesn’t. The Supreme Court rules on constitutional law, which was written by men, not by God (no matter what First Love and Rick Santorum think).

Finally, in an apparent call for Congress to ignore the separation of powers and just take over the whole country (like Marshall and Howell are trying to take over Virginia), he tells this whopper:

The Founders gave Congress vast authority over the cases federal courts are permitted to rule on:
Congress has “unlimited control over the Court’s appellate jurisdiction, as well as total jurisdiction of the lower federal courts. … Congress is in position to restrict the actual exercise of judicial review at times, or even to frustrate it altogether.”
(Edward S. Corwin, Understanding the Constitution)

That’s a doozy because Marshall made that quotation up. Corwin (and co-author Jack W. Peltason)’s book doesn’t include those words anywhere. You can check for yourself because the book is online. Now, the book was originally written in 1949 when, you know, segregation was still allowed, eighteen-year-olds couldn’t vote, and the constitution was a half-dozen or so amendments shorter than it is today. The online version is the Seventeenth Edition. Marshall (who is not a lawyer), may be using an out of date text (just as he is using an out of date brain). But, even if the pre-Brown v. Board of Education edition included his quote, the current version says this about judicial review:

The constitutionality of ‘‘court curbing’’—that is, removing the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court with the goal of preventing it from making decisions to which Congress is opposed—is uncertain, as the Court has never directly addressed the issue.
(Corwin and Peltason’s Understanding the Constitution, 17th ed.; Davis, Sue; Thomson Higher Education, 2008.)

Finally, Marshall points this out:

Failure of Members of Congress or candidates for Congress of either political party to rein in such abuses of power by federal judges by abolishing their ability to hear such cases as is expressly provided for in the Constitution should be disqualified from holding office.

How a candidate can abolish the power of a federal judge is beyond me, but I would love to hear both Barbara Comstock and John Foust respond to Marshall’s view (since, among other things, that would mean seeing Comstock answer a reporter’s question instead of turning her back on the camera). Something tells me that Foust would do a better job with this one.

Marshall concludes with a link to his donation site, which is probably the whole point of his e-mail. But, imagine, if you help him, maybe he will find a way to get rid of that pesky Supreme Court and all its equal rights, integrated schools, and the rest of that lefty jive. We don’t need courts to tell us Nature’s Law and the law of Nature’s God. We can just ask Bob Marshall what it is.

I’m sure he can make something up.

Bob Marshall

Virginia Republican Support for Assad Grows

Apparently, Syrian president and mass-murderer Bashar al-Assad isn’t such a bad guy, according to a growing number of Virginia Republican legislators. Earlier this year, Sen. Dick Black (in)famously wrote to Assad, telling him what a fine fellow he was. More recently, Del. Bob Marshall (are you surprised?) had this to say:

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who may be criticized on other grounds, has not beheaded Americans or Israelis.

What a decent guy, eh?

Those “other grounds” Marshall casually ignores include the deaths of over 100,000 people (over 30,000 of them civilians), leading to Assad’s condemnation by the United Nations, and (just this year) his renewed use of chlorine gas against non-combatants including children.

But, to date, there is no video of him beheading anyone (well, at least not any American or Israelis), so what’s the big deal?

The big deal, of course, is that President Obama supports some of Assad’s opponents and, therefore, as Obama is against him, Black and Marshall are for him.

At the same time, in a rare display of its own love of war overwhelming its hate for the president, the Republican majority in Congress produced enough votes to approve Obama’s plan to provide Pentagon assistance to “appropriately vetted” members of the Syrian opposition. (Now, this is war and, as the experts tell us, war is “a mess,” so it is inevitable that some of those “vetted” members will make mistakes, change sides, or turn out to be spies, at which point this will all become Hillary Clinton’s fault, but let’s deal with that in two more years, okay?)

Bashar al-Assad is a vicious killer. Obama wants to take him down and even Congress thinks that’s a good idea.

So what does their support for al-Assad tell you about Dick Black and Bob Marshall?

AssadAndFriends(Once again, if you can stand it, here’s Bob Marshall’s entire screed.)

Bob Marshall Asked Me to Pass This Along

Increasingly frothing delegate Bob Marshall wants us to push our state delegates to, in turn, push Speaker Howell to (apparently) lead an insurrection wherein he will take over the executive branch and appoint his own Attorney General. As Howell (and everyone else) knows, Marshall is one of the last opponents of gay marriage, and fighting at his side would be a political error of stellar magnitude. Accordingly, I would like to ask everyone to do as Bob requests, and push as hard as you can to get Howell to do it.

Here’s Bob’s letter to me, passed along to you, just as you will see in its text that he asked me to:

 

Dear Friends,

Virginia’s one-man, one-woman 2006 voter-approved Constitutional Marriage Amendment has been under attack in federal courts since January without a defense from the Commonwealth of Virginia, courtesy of Attorney General Mark Herring and Governor McAuliffe.

Please ask your state delegate to direct the Speaker of the House to go to state court and have Attorney General Mark Herring removed from the Bostic v. Rainey case challenging our Marriage Amendment, and also to direct the Speaker to appoint legal counsel to defend Virginia’s one-man, one-woman Marriage Amendment in federal court.

Delegate Mark Cole has introduced H.Res. 541 to work on this issue and it is the probable vehicle to take action but at present it DOES NOT MANDATE the House or the Speaker to take action. Please ask your delegate to amend H.Res. 541 to mandate the Speaker to take the action suggested below.

The House of Delegates must engage its own special counsel in the Bostic case because Attorney General Mark R. Herring, without legal authority and without precedent, has refused to defend Virginia’s Marriage Amendment. In fact, he has joined the plaintiffs attacking natural Marriage in the Fourth Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, urging the Court to strike down Virginia’s Marriage Amendment against the wishes of 1.3 million Virginia voters who ratified this amendment to our Constitution in 2006.

Hiring special counsel in the Bostic case is also necessary because the Governor of Virginia violated his constitutional obligation under Article V, §7 of the Constitution of Virginia to ensure that the laws of the Commonwealth are faithfully executed and refused to exercise his authority under § 2.2-510 of the Code of Virginia to employ special counsel.

The Supreme Court in the case of INS v. Chada, 462 U.S. 919 (1983), stated that Congress is the proper party to defend the validity of a statute when an agency of government is a defendant charged with enforcing the statute but agrees with plaintiffs that the statute is inapplicable or unconstitutional. [NOTE: This doesn’t apply to the Bostic case, because the defendant, Norfolk Clerk of the Circuit Court, George E. Schaefer III, most certainly does not agree with the plaintiffs that the ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. -Left]

Since both Governor McAuliffe, and Attorney General Herring, have refused to defend our Marriage Amendment, the House of Delegates must direct the Speaker to defend our Marriage Amendment. Failure of the House to act promotes disregard for the law and substitutes executive privilege not just in place of the legislature, but in place of the sovereign people of Virginia who voted for the Marriage Amendment.

To find your delegate, please go to http://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/, enter your address in the dialogue box. Contact your delegate by Wednesday (9/17) evening at the latest.

PLEASE PASS THIS EMAIL TO AT LEAST ONE OTHER PERSON AND ENCOURAGE THEM TO TAKE ACTION TOO!

Please ask Speaker Howell to lead in the defense of real Marriage! Rejecting the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God,” and thousands of years of human history by re-defining marriage laws in our country will have profound consequences for our personal liberty, social stability, economy and our national security.

Court-inflicted fines against businesses refusing to serve same-sex weddings and being fired from a job for voicing opinions against homosexual marriage already taking place are just the tip of the iceberg. Based on previous Supreme Court decisions addressing tax status, churches which refuse to allow same-sex weddings will lose their tax exempt status, public schools will be forced to promote homosexuality as an equal lifestyle, and adoption agencies will be forced to place children with homosexual couples or close.

We have every right to demand and expect that our Republican leaders protect our children and families, especially since our National Platform upholds traditional marriage!

Contact Speaker Howell at (804) 698-1028 or delwhowell@house.virginia.gov.

Thank you for your help!

Sincerely,

Delegate Bob Marshall