Here’s a story that will leave you enraged. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is refusing to defend a state law that allows the domestic partners of gay people have visitation rights, among other protections, and he’s asking a court to allow the state to withdraw from the case.
Gov. Scott Walker believes a new law that gives gay couples hospital visitation rights violates the state constitution and has asked a judge to allow the state to stop defending it.
Democrats who controlled the Legislature in 2009 changed the law so that same-sex couples could sign up for domestic partnership registries with county clerks to secure some – but not all – of the rights afforded married couples.
Wisconsin Family Action sued last year in Dane County circuit court, arguing that the registries violated a 2006 amendment to the state constitution that bans gay marriage and any arrangement that is substantially similar.
Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen refused to defend the lawsuit, saying he agreed the new law violated the state constitution. Then-Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat, hired Madison attorney Lester Pines to defend the state.
Walker, a Republican, replaced Doyle in January and fired Pines in March. On Friday, Walker filed a motion to stop defending the case.
“Governor Walker, in deference to the legal opinion of the attorney general that the domestic partner registry…is unconstitutional, does not believe the public interest requires a continued defense of this law,” says the brief, filed by Walker’s chief counsel, Brian Hagedorn.
Two thoughts come to mind. First, this is just fucking cruel and unnecessary. Second, I’m sure we’re going to hear conservatives raging against Walker for refusing to defend a state law in court like they did at Obama for doing the same thing with DOMA, right? In fact, I’m sure they’re going to lie and claim that he’s refusing to enforce the law (which is different from not defending it, but that didn’t stop them from lying), which destroys the rule of law and human civilization and leads to dogs and cats living together. Right? They’ll do that, won’t they? Of course they won’t. Because as usual, their arguments are really just pretexts for political partisanship.