Herring Wants 6 More Years of AG Recusals & Refusals

Much-maligned Attorney General Mark Herring announced today he intends to seek re-election, rather than face off with current-Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, who has already announced he’s seeking the Governor’s office.

As has been covered extensively here at Bearing Drift, Mark Herring is asking that Virginia taxpayers continue to pay him $150,000 a year to recuse himself from cases, or outright refuse to defend Virginia law, which is, like, his job. Most recently, his refusal to defend the Virginia Photo ID law, something upheld around the country, and supported by 75% of Virginians. His galling recusal was so inexcusable, the Richmond-Times Dispatch even suggested resignation, just over one year into his term. Herring’s job performance has been so poor, no one has even bothered polling his job approval ratings. The last measure we could find dates to one year ago from Hampton University, August 2014, where just 21% of Virginians viewed him favorably.

We reminded you last year that the Supreme Court gay marriage ruling was a political disaster for Mark Herring, who’s judicial activism made any legislative agenda or ambitions a non-starter in the General Assembly, something that has been proven conclusively true. Compare his year and a half in office to his predecessors, Bob McDonnell and Ken Cuccinelli, respectively, who both based a number of legislative proposals strengthening Virginia law.

A reminder, from our latest, appropriately titled ‘Mark Herring Is a Joke‘:

Last year, just 13 days into his term, Herring announced he would refuse to defend Virginia law, sending shock waves through Richmond, bringing up impeachment, Virginia Bar misconduct and other sanctions. While none of these things came to pass, Herring was put on notice that his judicial activism and cherry-picking of laws to defend/not defend would not be tolerated. Herring heeded that message:

“If it may appear to some — because it happened so early in my term — that maybe this was going to happen frequently, (but) these situations, where an attorney general comes across a case that after an independent review he concludes that a state law is unconstitutional, come along very rarely,” he said.

In his first three months in office, Herring says he has not identified other laws that he might consider constitutionally problematic.

“I’ll look at them on a case-by-case basis,” he said. “There will be a lot of cases over the term that I may disagree with as a matter of policy, but if I think the laws are adopted and constitutional, (then) I will defend them, even though I may disagree with the law.”

Or so he claimed at the time. Friday, he went ahead and did it again.

Attorney General Mark Herring will outsource the legal defense of the state’s voter ID laws and other election practices, Herring’s office announced Friday afternoon.

The Attorney General’s Office, which has about 200 lawyers on staff, brought in outside counsel in those cases as well, citing expertise and manpower needs. Herring said in a statement Friday that outside counsel for the voter ID case was needed to avoid “any concern that my previous advocacy would result in anything less than a vigorous defense.”

“Nothing is more fundamental than the right to vote and my position on these issues is clear,” Herring said in the statement. “I have consistently opposed these measures and worked hard in the legislature to combat them.”

In a deep profile piece on Democratic longshot for Attorney General, State Senator Mark Herring revealed his mistrust, distaste and flat out vitriol for Virginia voters today.

You may remember, Mark Herring has come out repeatedly against a number of positions that have been passed into Virginia law, including but not limited to:

– Virginia’s marriage constitutional amendment, passed by 57% of voters [refused to defend 02/2014]
The recently passed Photo ID bill, supported by more than 75% of Virginians [refused to defend 06/2015]
– Right to work, supported by more than 60% of Virginians
– Solidifying property rights, passed by more than 75% of voters

Herring has repeatedly put himself on the position of outside looking in when it comes to Virginia voters.

If we elect an Attorney General who arbitrarily decides whether or not a law is constitutional, despite being overwhelming passed in the General Assembly (property rights, 35-5) or in Virginia statewide (property rights, 76%), what’s the point in passing laws? What’s the point in passing constitutional amendments by voters?

Mark Herring is declaring he knows better than you, than me, than the General Assembly, than all of Virginia.

As noted before, BD has extensively covered Mark Herring’s past failures as a candidate and as an Attorney General, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

So no thanks, Mark Herring, you’ve wasted enough taxpayer money. Turn the lights out when you leave in January 2018.

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