When The Washington Post writes about Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, one wants to take the story with a grain of salt. Maybe even a shaker.
You get the idea that Cuccinelli’s brand of in-your-face activist conservatism doesn’t play very well there.
So when Peter Vieth, our legal editor, filed a Daily Alert item for a Post piece this morning that purported to examine “a number of controversial opinions” by the AG, I nearly ignored it. I’ve seen that movie.
Then I read the article. Get past the hyperbolic adjectives used by the reporter to describe Cuccinelli, and there’s a good story and some good reporting: It’s about a number of AG opinions on social issues.
And the requests that prompt them come from the same man, Del. Robert Marshall, R-Prince William.
There’s squawking over the duo’s apparent use of the legislator request system for AG opinions. With 10 requests to the AG already, Marshall has exceeded the figure for any legislator ever seeking opinions during any AG’s four-year term.
Democratic critics say the pair is circumventing the legislative process to advance a social agenda. Wait, what’s that echo? The sound of Republicans barking at President Obama for his use of executive orders to advance a social agenda?
But as U.Va. legal scholar A.E. Dick Howard points out, Marshall’s and Cuccinelli’s apparent use of the opinion device is not unconstitutional, just not “contemplated” by the Framers. Stay tuned.