Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's On Like Donkey Kong

According to my Facebook notices, Delegate Don Dwyer has introduced articles of impeachment against Attorney General Doug Gansler. (Live feed here).  This is in response to AG Gansler's opinion paper that addressing gay marriages from other states.

I finally found the Opinion Paper, which appears to almost wholly relate to whether the Governor may execute an Executive Order recognizing gay marriage.  AG Gansler answered in the affirmative.

This is a legal opinion of no, repeat no, precedential value or weight.  It cannot be cited to make the government act, and it cannot be cited to prevent the government from acting.  It is advisory.

Delegate Dwyer's articles of impeachment appear to be partisan hogwash, but I would welcome the alternative purpose.

UPDATE: It's Off.


  1. This is the type of political stuff (stronger language was running through my head) that helped make my decision so much easier. Trying to impeach an elected government official because they were doing their job correctly is just wrong. It does not shed Delegate Dwyer is a good light, and I am glad that as of now this has gone nowhere.

  2. Nice try, John. Democrats aren't exactly known for their bedside manner in this state. Last time I checked, they were throwing a fit over Bob Ehrlich's radio show and whether or not he used his office printer for campaign purposes.

    I'm quite certain there was another, more prominent, reason that you switched sides, and it had very little to do with Delegate Dwyer.

  3. There is no doubt that both parties are guilty of this type of whining, but to me it just seems like what Delegate Dwyer is doing is a little over the top. You are right, this was not the reason at all that I switched, but I agree with Ganslers opinion and I agree that gay marriage performed in other states should be recognized in Maryland. In fact I support civil unions and believe that if two people who love each other want to promise to spend the rest of their lives together then they should be allowed to do so and they should have the same rights as anyone else. I don't think it’s the governments place to try and regulate this behavior. When I got married the last thing I was thinking about was whether the government would approve, shouldn’t everyone have that same right?

  4. You and I are on the same page there.

  5. To me this is one thing that always confused me about the Republican Party. They claim to be the party of smaller government, but they want the government to restrict behaviors that they disagree with. On the other hand when it comes to restricting fire arms which other groups disagree with, they are opposed to the idea. Of course I am sure as I get to know more and more about the Democratic Party I am sure I will come to dislike some of their double talk as well. If only the country had taken George Washington's advice and stayed clear of parties.

  6. Hey guys, while I enjoy spirited debate, I think we have glossed over a couple facts.
    1. 2004 Del. Vallarrio requested an opinion regarding Maryland's recognition of ss marriage. The very same question Sen. Madaleno asked. The AG Joe Curran replied under no uncertain terms that Maryland's stand law strictly prohibited such recognition.
    2. When Attorney Generals are asked to opine, they go to standing law and opinions. Gansler did neither, rather he forwarded his own agenda.
    3. AG's are under oath to protect and defend the constitution as well as act without a partial or prejudice. I think Gansler's testimony in 2008 regarding his personal prejudice against the status quo is clear. He testified in his official capacity and declared that not recognizing ss marriage was an injustice he felt he needed to do what he could to correct.
    4. Feb. 24, 2010 Gansler released his opinion contradicting standing opinion rather than using it he should have, I guess he did not like it. Unfortunately, we do not care what he likes, he is there to interpret not rewrite.
    5. Weight of law; He labeled his 40+ page document as a "prediction not a prescription" but explain to me why did Gov. O'Malley immediately order all state agencies to begin to pay benefits to ss partners as if married????
    6. Feb. 26th Gansler was quoted as saying the following; What an attorney generals word does is it becomes the law of the land until or unless there is either a court order or legislative action.
    7. Early march, he declared himself unimpeachable in a letter from an underling Dan Friedman who by the way sited his own book as a reference. A close look at the actual text of his book reveals that in 2006 when he published it, he felt the General Assembly had jurisdiction as stated in Article 3 Section 26. I think it natural for his memory to fail when a gun is held to his head. I don't blame him, i think he was forced to write something to cover the tracks.

    If Nixon and Clinton were impeachable and Gansler not...what does that say? You might also want to look at article 4 of the state constitution because if the AG is not impeachable, we can't touch the clerk of the circuit court or the states atty either. Their removal clause is the same with one exception which benefits the States Atty a bit.

    It is a lot to digest, but if you want civility, there must be some standards and we call them in this case the state constitution. I did not like rules when I was a kid and sometimes I still don't, particularly when they do not favor me, but that is civilization by definition.

    I am not here to judge you or anybody else. If you think this kind of stuff is a good way to run the state, fine. I do not agree with you. I have given you facts, but you may only see what you want. One last thought; Your state delegates and senator just lost some of their power and the AG gained. He now has the power without accountability. When your representatives lose, we the people lose. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

  7. Anonymous,
    I really appreciate the well thought out and well researched comment. I never said Gansler wasn't impeachable, rather that I didn't think this was a proper ground for impeachment.

    I won't answer point by point, but there are some issues that I thought we incorrect. First, we have laws and regulations that refer to marriage but do not limit it to heterosexual marriages. In an age where other states are granting marriage to same-sex unions, Gansler was asked to research the legal issues of commity under the "Full Faith and Credit" clause of the US Constitution. The determinate issue of whether Maryland could reconize out-of-state gay marriages was whether it was "repugnant" or "run counter" to legitimate public policy. Gansler's final conclusion was that there were no legal prohibitions under either Federal or State law to recognition, not that the State must, should, or will eventually have to recognize gay marriage. It is an advisory opinion. O'Malley took that opinion and effectuated it through the executive branch.

    Rather than impeach, the Delegates would have been better off passing a law prohibiting the recognition of gay marriages. If you can point me to that law, then I submit.

    Second, as far as it being "what Gansler likes," I'm not sure you read the opinion. It is dense with citation.

    Nonetheless, thank you Annapolis. I appreciate your traffic.

  8. HoCoRising, I really don't want to engage with you on this any further, but you get the facts wrong and I, have to correct you.
    I will go item by item because I know my facts. I understand why you simply lumped your reply together.
    1. Take a look at Maryland Family Law (I believe sect 2-21) declares a marriage in Maryland is defined as being between a man and a woman. This has been law since 1973. I am not sure how you missed that one.
    2. Full Faith and Credit: I can only assume you want the prostitution laws from Nevada, tax laws from Deleware and Gun laws from Texas! BTW, I would like the DE tax laws and TX gun laws myself but I am not about to believe MD will give full faith and credit to allow it. Not sure how you think this will work out.
    3.OMalley taking the opinion and effectuating it sounds a lot like weight of least to the extent that standard practice was amended. When the state is forced to spend millions on ss partner benefits, that is a big deal. It is also the type of thing the House should has to do with our budget. Not sure how you missed that.
    4. Passing a law prohibiting the recognition of ss marriage; Del. Emmit Burns of Balto sponsored a bill this year to do just that. It was not voted out of committee. Not sure how you missed that either.

    No doubt you are a smart person, that is why I felt the need to reply...others believe you are smart and believe what you write. Get your facts straight. You opinion can be far off the mark, and I will defend your right to have them; but don't screw with facts my friend.

  9. The reason I didn't go point by point was because your comment was long.
    1. Yes, marriage in this state is between a man and a woman. The provision to which you refers to applies to marriages that occur in Maryland, for which Maryland issues licenses. It is followed by a section that notes what marriages may not be permitted. It does not prescribe what "marriage," in the universe of Maryland code, means. Didn't miss it, but thanks for the encouragement.
    2. You misunderstand the Full Faith & Credit clause. It requires that each state will recognize "public acts, records, and judicial proceedings" of other states. Maybe you can explain how your argument with respect to Nevada prostitution laws would fit within that prescription.
    3. O'Malley gave the weight of law to the opinion, not Gansler. Impeach O'Malley (please).
    4. A lot of bills that people like never make it out of committee. The direct shipping bill for instance. But majority rules in this state, and that's why the request made it to Gansler.

    If you want to discuss things, fine, but don't insult me.