Some GOP legislators were exploring ways to defend the ban without Herring’s help. Herring’s most ardent opponents sought to take legal action against the attorney general for what they described as his misuse of the office. The National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex unions, called for Herring’s impeachment on grounds of alleged “malfeasance” and “neglect of duty,” though legislators did not go that far.The anti-equality situation isn't as dire as all that; the clerks of Norfolk and Prince William County have lawyers defending the ban on same-sex marriages. That fact is just one possible response to state Sen. Richard Black's insistence that "I don’t know what the difference between a dictatorship and this is." Then again, in a dictatorship, this probably wouldn't be being tried in an independent court at all. Or with the involvement of an attorney general recently elected by popular vote. You know, small differences like that.
In a way, this is convenient for Republicans:
Herring’s move could make it harder for Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) to get anything done with the Republican-dominated House of Delegates. Just two weeks after he took office alongside McAuliffe, Herring’s action further charged the atmosphere in Richmond, where McAuliffe’s early calls for bipartisanship were already being replaced by Republican grumbling about what they called the new governor’s liberal agenda.See? Republicans get to do what they were going to do anyway—refuse to work with McAuliffe—but now they get to blame it on Herring and marriage equality and reporters will write that up like it's not just an excuse for the pre-existing plan.