MD Attorney General Faces Impeachment
Just 6 years after Maryland’s Attorney General Joe Curran issued his official opinion on the recognition of out of state same sex marriage, Maryland’s current Attorney General Doug Gansler has overturned it. In doing so, he not only bypassed the long standing practice of referring to standing opinions from previous Attorney Generals, he also usurped the power of the General Assembly. The immediate effect of this opinion is far-reaching. It nullifies Maryland’s current law that states “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid in this state.”
To hold the office of Attorney General one must put his or her personal agenda on hold and consider the greater good of the state. Personal prejudice has no place in consideration of law. The sworn oath the Attorney General takes is very clear. It demands him to be, “faithful and bear true allegiance to the State of Maryland, and support the constitution and Laws thereof; and that I will, to the best of my skill and judgment, diligently and faithfully, without partiality or prejudice, execute the office of Attorney General according to the Constitution and Laws of this State.” Irrefutable evidence exists proving Mr. Gansler violated his oath of office by offering partial and prejudice testimony in his official capacity. He is not constitutionally authorized to offer partial and prejudice testimony under the cloak of his elected office.
He has unabashedly supported the not only the recognition of out of state same sex marriages, but also overtly advocates for Maryland to start performing them. In his testimony in the Maryland Senate in 2008 he fully outlines what he thinks is his job as Attorney General. “The role of the Attorney General is not just to enforce the law, but to seek justice in every case.” He went on to say “It would be hard for me to have this job knowing that there is something so wrong in our society and just ignore it and be able to come down and at least testify on behalf of this bill.” This action is in direct conflict with the intent of the Oath of Office to which he swore his allegiance. It is also a grave injustice to the citizens of Maryland.
The Attorney General has argued his opinion has no effect of law and is meant to “guide judges and state agencies,” yet when asked, he has been quoted in a local newspaper as saying, “What an Attorney General’s opinion does is it becomes the law of the land unless or until a Legislature or a court overturns that decision.” One has to wonder which of his own opinions he believes.
Ironically, if he truly believes that an Attorney General’s Opinion stands until overturned by a court ruling or legislative process, why did he consider his predecessor’s opinion vulnerable and invalid? Since 2004 no court ruling or legislative action was imposed against it. Oddly enough, Mr. Gansler’s office successfully defended the 2004 opinion in Maryland’s highest court protecting the sanctity of marriage.
These actions show a clear disregard for Maryland and the legislative process by which it is enacted. For this reason, I am holding Maryland’s Attorney General accountable for his actions. I am preparing articles of impeachment based on the offenses outlined in this writing. One can only hope that this process will not be circumvented for political expediency.
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