Saturday, August 24th, 2019

What was Van Hollen thinking? And Schimel?

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Really? State Attorney General JB Van Hollen said county clerks could be prosecuted for issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. I sympathize with Van Hollen’s frustration, and technically he is correct, but does he really think county district attorneys are going to start arresting the clerks? Did he really think his designated successor, Waukesha DA Brad Schimel, was going to go after Waukesha County Clerk Kathleen Novack? Unless Van Hollen was planning on doing the charging himself, it’s a matter for the voters and the county boards to handle.

On the other hand, Schimel is at the other end of the silliness by giving Novack a complete pass.

“The clerk found herself in what she believed to be an untenable situation,” Schimel said. “…It’s not possible for me to ethically bring charges against her. You cannot put a person under the law in the position that whichever way they turn, they risk violating the law.”

Last time I checked Schimel had one of them law degree thingys hanging on his office wall. He should have repeated what Van Hollen said about the state constitution’s ban on gay marriage still being in effect absent an order from federal Judge Barbara Crabb. Schimel might have even suggested that Novack is violating the law and that she should stop issuing the licenses. But that would take more than a spine of jello.

Republicans, start practicing this phrase now, “I miss JB Van Hollen.”

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