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Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway

U.S. District Judge John Heyburn II gave the state of Kentucky 21 days to decide whether to appeal his ruling overturning part of the state's same-sex marriage ban—and there's some disagreement within the Kentucky government on how to proceed:
Kentucky will hire outside attorneys to appeal a federal judge's ruling requiring Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages from outside the state, Gov. Steve Beshear said Tuesday.

His announcement came minutes after a tearful Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway said his office will not appeal the ruling, calling it a "waste" of taxpayers' money.

In other states where the attorney general has declined to defend a marriage ban, governors have let that decision stand rather than hiring outside counsel; in fact, New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie dropped an appeal of a ruling allowing full marriage equality. Beshear, a Democrat, is asking the judge to stay his ruling during the appeal, forcing Kentucky couples who married legally in other states to continue to wait for their marriages to be recognized.

Update: Attorney General Jack Conway's statement on his decision not to appeal is below the fold.

Conway says:

“As Attorney General, I have vowed to the people of Kentucky to uphold my duty under the law and to do what is right, even if some disagreed with me.  In evaluating how best to proceed as the Commonwealth’s chief lawyer in light of Judge Heyburn’s recent ruling, I have kept those promises in mind.

When the Governor and I were first named as the technical defendants in this lawsuit, my duty as Attorney General was to provide the Commonwealth with a defense in the federal district court, and to frame the proper legal defenses.  Those who passed the statutes and the voters who passed the constitutional amendment deserved that, and the Office of Attorney General performed its duty.  However, it’s my duty to defend both the Kentucky Constitution and the Constitution of the United States.

The temporary stay we sought and received on Friday allowed me time to confer with my client and to consult with state leaders about my impending decision and the ramifications for the state.

I have evaluated Judge Heyburn’s legal analysis, and today am informing my client and the people of Kentucky that I am not appealing the decision and will not be seeking any further stays.

From a constitutional perspective, Judge Heyburn got it right, and in light of other recent federal decisions, these laws will not likely survive upon appeal.  We cannot waste the resources of the Office of the Attorney General pursuing a case we are unlikely to win.

There are those who believe it’s my mandatory duty, regardless of my personal opinion, to continue to defend this case through the appellate process, and I have heard from many of them.  However, I came to the inescapable conclusion that, if I did so, I would be defending discrimination.

That I will not do.  As Attorney General of Kentucky, I must draw the line when it comes to discrimination.

The United States Constitution is designed to protect everyone’s rights, both the majority and the minority groups.  Judge Heyburn’s decision does not tell a minister or a congregation what they must do, but in government ‘equal justice under law’ is a different matter.

I am also mindful of those from the business community who have reached out to me in the last few days encouraging me not to appeal the decision.  I agree with their assessment that discriminatory policies hamper a state’s ability to attract business, create jobs and develop a modern workforce.

I prayed over this decision.  I appreciate those who provided counsel, especially my remarkable wife, Elizabeth.  In the end, this issue is really larger than any single person and it’s about placing people above politics.  For those who disagree, I can only say that I am doing what I think is right.  In the final analysis, I had to make a decision that I could be proud of – for me now, and my daughters’ judgment in the future.

May we all find ways to work together to build a more perfect union, and to build the future Commonwealth in which we want to live, work and raise all of our families.”  

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:39 AM PST.

Also republished by Kossacks for Marriage Equality, My Old Kentucky Kos, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You have to wonder who he'll hire (16+ / 0-)

    I can't see Beshear going to Paul Clement, who the House leadership hired when the DOJ decided it wasn't going to oppose Windsor any more. Maybe someone on the DOJ staff who was involved in the opposition before that decision was made.

    I can't see even that working, though. Steve, you're not going to derail progress, you're just going to cost the taxpayers of Kentucky money you probably don't have to spend.

    •  Could he be playing the judicial odds? (11+ / 0-)

      If I had just seen 4-5 other states' bans invalidated by Federal courts, I might be tempted to "ride the wave"...

      When Conway was running for Senate in 2010, he was openly opposed to same-sex marriage; his decision not to appeal strikes me as remarkable.

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:06:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Remember that this was passed by a vote of KY (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dave in Northridge, Ahianne

        citizens as a ballot measure - so I think that is why Beshear will take it up another step to be turned down there, too.

        Beshear is not for it.

        "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

        by mumtaznepal on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:48:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Conway is a liberal on reproduction and healthcare (7+ / 0-)

        and, in his own words, a moderate on other issues.

        Conway's stance on LGBT rights is no different from Barack Obama's or any number of other Democrats. BUT, Conway stood tall on LGBT rights when he was running for Senate in the conservative state of Kentucky and he didn't stab LGBT folks in the back for his own self-interest.

        Conway stood up against discrimination during his run for Senate against Rand Paul in Kentucky and it was used against him. But, he held firm to his belief that no one should suffer from discrimination.

        According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Jack Conway was asked on September 24, 2010 whether gays and lesbians should be allowed to openly serve in the military. Conway answered "yes," without elaborating on the issue.

        --snip--

        ...Louisville's Courier-Journal reports that Conway also supports federal anti-discrimination laws to protect gays and lesbians, but Conway will not support gay marriage.

        Conway is NOT a hypocrite on this. He has always abhorred discrimination and does not engage in it personally. Ergo, his office won't appeal a sound constitutional ruling that rules against discrimination.

         ”I abhor discrimination in all forms and I think marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman.

        That last part is his own practicing Catholicism speaking. Obama had the same issue with gay marriage and said the same thing... as do any number of other Democrats. But, Conway doesn't force his own religious tenets upon others' shoulders... as his decision today proves.


        One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

        by bronte17 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 11:30:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  They only had ten days to file for an extension (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fcvaguy, Dave in Northridge

      His ruling came on the 14th, they had till the 24th that means they have to hire out of state attorneys and the attorneys need to file an appeal in the next three days.

      Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

      by rktect on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:19:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why out-of-state attorneys? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rktect

        Why not Kentucky attorneys, but just not within the state's employment roles?

        •  I'm not sure how binding (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ColoTim

          The opinion of the State Attorney General is in Kentucky but in most places it would be effectively like a legal precedent or a court ruling.

          an Attoney General's Opinion helps to interpret laws and guide state and local officials in applying the laws. An opinion is similiar to a legal precedent and stands until a court or later opinion overrules it or new legislation is enacted to change the statute in question. Opinions are not binding on a court, but are usually given careful consideration and respect.
          Presumably different states could have different attorney generals with different opinions and out of state attorneys could argue their states position whereby a state ourt might be able to create a situation where the question is reviewable by a higher court as a  question of law on appeal.

          Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

          by rktect on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 02:35:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  not so in PA - AG declined but Gov appealing (9+ / 0-)

    In PA, the Atty General has declined to defend the state statutory ban on same sex marriage but the Governor's office is defending the law.

    •  When Gov Tom teabagger Corbett was Pa Atty Gen (12+ / 0-)

      he defended Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky's right to not be arrested for sexually assaulting dozens of boys, a politically-motivated move perpetrated to not alienate PSU fans that later cost Penn State $60 Million in NCAA fines, $60 Million in lawsuit settlements, its reputation, $Millions in public relations campaigns to minimize the damage, $Untold Millions in lost business, $More Millions for on-going fallout, etc., etc., and the criminal trials of former university top officials Spanier, Schultz, and Curley in connection with the Sandusky scandal about to commence any month now.

      Corbett and the teabagger-dominated legislature also defended the frackers' right to directly discharge their toxic acid frack soup blowback "water" into streams and rivers where communities downstream pumped it out, chlorinated it thereby making it thousads of times more toxic, and consumed it.

  •  What does he get out of this? (6+ / 0-)

    I would think this could only hurt him politically in terms of the national Democratic party (appointment, etc.), so he must be thinking of a statewide run? I suppose he really believes in what he did, but the cynical part of me has trouble with that ...

    •  paul is up in '16. he may be looking at (5+ / 0-)

      at that. It is smart on his part, "I  did all ico but lost". Plays well in KY.

      Please don't piss all over my shoes and tell me it is raining. I know better. And you're getting my shoes wet.

      by kaminpdx on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:15:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe due diligence? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisVoter, marykk

      I'm not even remotely a lawyer, but it seems like if I were in a position, I'd make sure that whatever I did followed the letter of the law so as not to be brought up later in an attempt to declare procedural foul, or something like a mistrial, a miscarriage of justice, or failure to dot all the i's and cross all the t's and rendering the judge's original ruling somehow invalid.

      Or he could just be being douchey. Sometimes "Dems" in deep red areas are only Dems because they're not true-believing hard enough for the party purists.

      How does the Republican Congress sit down with all the butthurt over taxing the wealthy?

      by athenap on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:15:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Party purists (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fcvaguy

        Being less "pure" than your average Kos member on certain issues, I get where you're coming from. However, something about the way you phrased your comment sounds as though you're not convinced on marriage equality yourself.

        •  Well, you read very wrong. (0+ / 0-)

          One of my fondest wishes is to attend the legal weddings of some of my mentors and closest friends, and I'm keeping tabs on the initiative to overturn the shameful state constitutional amendment that embarrassed us here in Ohio back in 2004. I am trying not to be insulted by your assumption, since this is the written word and it is easy to mis-read or fail to express clearly.

          No one's marriage is something that should rely on enough people who are not a person or that person's partner feeling hunky-dory about it. It is a right as inviolable as the ones to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Or at least, it should be. It should not be up for debate. If you are two consenting adults who are not already married, then you should be able to marry, no matter who you are, and no matter where you are. Everyone is entitled to a set of Calphalon and bath towels gifted by well-meaning friends and relatives in exchange for cake and a DJ and those little Jordan almonds that come wrapped in netting.

          Maybe my comment is phrased with less clarity than I'd hoped. I don't get why a democratic governor would push against an AG willing to let a marriage equality ruling stand. Unless it is a scenario where the governor is bound by law to object, and his failure to do so could be used by the other side in an attempt to overturn that judicial ruling, or overrule the AG's decision not to appeal.

          Is the governor required to play devil's advocate in this case, in order for proper procedure to play out?

          Or is the governor the one not wholly sold on marriage equality as either a personal tenet or a position that will help his chances come re-election? Is the governor a Dem in a red area who's only aligned with the Democratic party because the local Republicans are too extreme for him?

          How does the Republican Congress sit down with all the butthurt over taxing the wealthy?

          by athenap on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:19:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think Beshear is looking for that... (6+ / 0-)

      He's term-limited and stepping down in 2015.  I can't see him running for office again at 70+...I don't see him getting into the two-year cycle for US Representative, and the state's next US Senate election isn't until 2016.

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:25:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't be cynical with Conway. He's coming from (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sethtriggs, newdem1960

      his heart on this.  He knows it torpedoes his political chances in Kentucky.

      "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

      by mumtaznepal on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:49:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

      He demonstrates that he's met his duty to execute the laws as written.  When the law is put to the test, he upholds it until there's a final decision.  He's no fool, he knows the state is unlikely to prevail.  Could be a win-win for him.  Remember, pursuing the appeal is not the same as endorsing the law, but it is holding the law to the test.

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 06:23:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm divided on my thoughts on this. (10+ / 0-)

    On one hand, I like the idea of KY not appealing this decision, clearing the way for gay couples in KY to be recognized as full citizens in all areas of their lives.

    On the other hand, tho, the sooner many cases work their way thru the courts, and the SCOTUS sees the potential for being flooded with such cases, the sooner we'll have a nationwide resolution, recognizing all gay citizens as equally protected under all laws.

    In the meantime, I celebrate each victory as it comes.

  •  'A Democrat'? WTF. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    librarisingnsf, Apost8, Glenn45, roycej

    While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:03:46 AM PST

    •  Kentucky Democrats hew rightward. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne

      Conway is also a Democrat who opposed same-sex marriage when running for Senate in 2010. Now, as AG, he refused to appeal the court's decision.

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:35:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Was wondering the affiliation of the AG. Nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mumtaznepal

        While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

        by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:40:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Conway skews leftward on many issues (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim, mumtaznepal, marykk, Ahianne

        and he supported numerous LGBT rights during his Senate run against Rand Paul in Kentucky's conservative climate. Did it cost him votes in Kentucky? Highly probable.

        The downside is... he just doesn't personally believe in marriage for same-sex couples. Just like Obama. Or Bill Clinton. Or any number of other Democrats. Religious indoctrination is a difficult thing to overcome.

        But, Conway never once argued to make it his way or the highway for marriage rights for LGBT couples. Never. Discrimination is anathema to Jack Conway.

        And he's been a fantastic AG. I'm just wondering if Crit will chose him for Lt Gov when she announces her run. Conway is a good Democrat and he brings good things to the table for us.


        One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

        by bronte17 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 11:39:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  What a spectacle we have here! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Apost8, Glenn45

    Brings to mind Gov George Wallace standing on the schoolroom steps to prevent black children from attending school.

    With these monstrously law-breaking officials denying human rights to marry or have health care there is no mistaking them for who they are.

    Hatred has no bounds.

    We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

    by occupystephanie on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:11:20 AM PST

  •  I understand this is KY (14+ / 0-)

    But all the same, the AG taking a pass should have been all the cover that Beshear needed.  

    I'll put on my glasses.... and tell you how sweet your ass is. (w/ apologies to Señor Bega)

    by mHainds on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:11:21 AM PST

  •  Beshear's angle is cynical, but understandable... (4+ / 0-)

    ...if he has any potential thoughts of taking on Rand Paul in 2016, to avoid giving Paul a cultural issue to distract the Kentucky electorate in what is otherwise likely to be a much more favorable political climate for a democrat like Beashear to win that seat than in 2010.  It's also quite possible that Beshear will pick someone of plausible competence to pursue the state's appeal, but who nevertheless lacks ideological commitment to the issue - and that Beshear will privately be delighted if the state loses the appeal.

    Yeah, cynical politics to be sure, but if this is the way events play out (appeal loses), it will be a very good thing in the big scheme of things if Beshear winds up taking the Ky Senate seat from Paul.  Marriage equality is on the fast-track to winning the war nationally, regardless of a few temporary speed-bumps in places like Kentucky.

  •  Ah, yes! (7+ / 0-)

    Beshear is a politician; Conway is a statesman.

    •  Frankly, as a KY citizen, both men care about (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim, boadicea, marykk

      Kentuckians first.  They are tied by the crazy, hate-filled, back-door politics of Kentucky.  

      Beshear is very astute.  Conway less so.  Conway is a good man, doing this for the "right" reasons.

      "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

      by mumtaznepal on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 11:00:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Appeal process (0+ / 0-)

    for our attorneys here ... since this one is a direct attack on FF&C, I can't see how it can be combined into the Utah case appeal, but must be ruled on separately? Any thoughts on how this plays out going forward?

    •  There's no way it could be wrapped into UT anyway (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      librarisingnsf, Ahianne

      The cases are in different appellate Circuits.

      However, in the 6th (which is where this case would go), is already pending Wymyslo v. Obergefell (re: death certificates bearing spouse's name), and most likely Heyburn's next case, Kentucky Equality Federation v. Beshear (which is the direct challenge to permit marriage in KY).

      The 6th could elect to consolidate any of these cases (most likely they would consolidate Bourke and KEF, and leave Obergefell alone.)

    •  We now have cases (4+ / 0-)

      in the Tenth District (Utah and Oklahoma), the Fourth District (Virginia), and the Fifth District (Texas). Kentucky is in the Sixth District. Each of the District Courts of Appeal have to decide their cases separately from the others. If we get decisions that stand as precedent in all four of these districts, that would add Wyoming, Kansas, Louisiana, West Virginia North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, and Tennessee.

      That would take us to about 30 states.

      Add suits in Florida, in the Eleventh Circuit, to bring in Georgia and Alabama; and anywhere from Missouri to North Dakota in the Eight Circuit to bring along five more "heartland" states. Only a few states would be left to mop up.

      The question is whether the Supreme Court would take up these cases when the three Circuits now in play go through, or wait for a few more, before taking one or more cases as the basis for a national ruling. It feels like forever when you are in the middle of it, but it can only be a few years more.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:08:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is a lawsuit filed in Florida. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mokurai

        However, the suit was filed in STATE court and not federal court, so the eleventh circuit is not in play (yet).

      •  We also have a case in the Ninth Circuit (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mokurai

        (Sevcik v. Sandoval out of Nevada) in which we're appealing an unfavorable (pre-Windsor) district decision. If we win (almost guaranteed because the Ninth now applies heightened scrutiny to sexual orientation following SmithKlineBeacham v. Abbott Laboratories) nobody will have standing to appeal and the only question is whether the ruling will be broad enough to bring equality to AK, ID, MT, and AZ as well as NV and OR (about the only grounds for a narrow ruling would be that civil unions are separate and unequal, which would affect OR as well).

        Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

        by ebohlman on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:55:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It isn't an Full Faith and Credit case... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne

      The plaintiffs in the Kentucky advanced that argument, but the Court did not consider it:

      While Plaintiffs have many constitutional theories, the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause provides the most appropriate analytical framework. If equal protection analysis decides this case, the Court need not address any others.
      This makes sense to me, in that a ruling based upon the Equal Protection Clause would seem to have a far more expansive reach (i.e. applicability as precedent in other cases) than would one based upon the Full Faith and Credit Clause.

      The Court ultimately ruled solely in terms of equal protection:

      In the end, the Court concludes that Kentucky’s denial of recognition for valid same-sex marriages violates the United States Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law, even under the most deferential standard of review. Accordingly, Kentucky’s statutes and constitutional amendment that mandate this denial are unconstitutional
      You can read the decision here.

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:08:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  To me (0+ / 0-)

        it's a strong argument that the "public policy exception" to FF&C wouldn't apply here.

        •  Hmmm....I don't know about that. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ahianne

          If memory serves, the Full Faith and Credit Clause was never argued in other marriage cases, such as Loving.

          Again, though, it seems that rulings based on the Equal Protection Clause are far more powerful--and more far-reaching as precedent--than would be decisions based on FF&C.

          Consider the matter at hand - a straightforward FF&C ruling would probably tell a state, "you have to recognize these marriages solemnized by other states", but that would have no future effect on that state's ban on such marriages within its borders. An Equal Protection ruling, however, can be used as direct supporting argument in challenging that local ban.

          It just seems to me that as I think about future cases, arguing:

          Equal Protection here -> Equal Protection there

          is much more relevant than would be:

          Full Faith & Credit here -> Equal Protection there.

          But, again, I'm neither a Constitutional scholar nor an attorney; I'm just a Swiss Army Nerd who reads a lot. **laugh**

          The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

          by wesmorgan1 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 12:09:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  There's some sort of weird precedent, (0+ / 0-)

            'Full faith and credit' has never been found to apply to marriages, even back in the miscegenation days.  I read up on it a bit back, and the legal arguments just made me more confused, but all the lawyers I read seemed to take it for granted that the precedent was solid (if stupid).

  •  Why, exactly, was Conway 'tearful'? (0+ / 0-)

    Maybe a stupid question but I know nothing about him.

    I'm guessing because he is teh sad at not opposing the ruling...

    As for Beshear: guess who's running against Randy (or whoever runs in his stead) in '16...

    I ride the wild horse .

    by BelgianBastard on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:19:59 AM PST

    •  My take is that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Leslie in KY, mumtaznepal

      he was okay with marriage in 2010, and his stated opposition was a device to keep from losing in a whopping landslide.

    •  Conway was tearful (he was indeed crying over this (5+ / 0-)

      because he does have political aspirations in Kentucky, and he knows this may end them.

      He is also a Christian, he stated he is refusing to do this based upon his religious beliefs (of equality and fairness), and every other "Christian" in Kentucky is now attacking him.

      I have no idea, but I'd imagine the others in his church may even outcast him.

      This is quite a thing to bring down upon his head, and his families head, in Kentucky.  I am very proud of Conway.  He is a good man.

      "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

      by mumtaznepal on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:54:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don 't know--I was a bit (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mumtaznepal, sethtriggs, bronte17, Ahianne

      tearful just reading his statement because it really did seem heartfelt. He probably struggled to come out on the right side of the issue, knowing the politics of the state. In the end, he did.

    •  Ok, thanks guys/gals (0+ / 0-)

      I said I was guessing, and I was wrong.

      The consensus seems to be that he was conflicted. Between his self-interest and his beliefs.

      So not a saint, but a good guy in the end. If that's the case, I wish him well.

      Sorry I didn't answer each of you individually, but three slightly different takes... what could I say?

      I ride the wild horse .

      by BelgianBastard on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 03:11:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh, Jack. To think we could have had ... (5+ / 0-)

    your pretty face in the Senate instead of he-who-must-not-be-acknowledged.

    (Wait, were you expecting something substantive here?)

    •  It was 2010 (0+ / 0-)

      that race was doomed well before election day.

    •  Rand Paul rode the strong streak of libertarianism (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mumtaznepal, Ahianne

      "why the fuck are you in my face and my business" that runs through Kentucky. And used his daddy's coattails and national pocketbook to be a playa and gain this seat.

      And Rand is still riding that streak on his way to the 2016 prez election. And he's got some wind beneath his wings with the NSA spy-sport. His love of corporate superiority though will undo him. Illicit corporations are the backbone of the NSA spying.

      As for Jack Conway, he lost a campaign for Senate, but Kentucky gained a fantastic Attorney General for those years. Much success can come from failure and Kentucky is fortunate that Conway still has many years left.


      One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

      by bronte17 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 11:52:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The thought also occurred to me... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NeverThere, Matilda, mspicata, Pinto Pony

    ...that with Beshear leaving in 2015 and the presumptive Republican candidate leading in the (very) early polling for his replacement, he may want to get an appeal finished now instead of leaving it as a possibility for his successor to revisit.

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:27:06 AM PST

  •  Pragmatism over principles (8+ / 0-)

    Conway and Beshear were both named defendants in the Bourke case.

    They both came to different conclusions regarding the appeal, and both are directly accountable to the voters, not each other.

    Though I cheer Conway and tut-tut at Beshear today, I recognize (since I work here) that the situation in KY is very different than in Boston (my prior home) - and we should all recognize that as well.

    Recall too that Beshear is the driving force behind KYNect, the most-successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act at the state level.

    So remember - we takes what we can gets - and if they're on our side 75% of the time, that's still better than Rand.

    •  But...but...Rand is with us on pot (!) (0+ / 0-)

      Dude! Rand is so with us on the legalizing marijuana issue, that if he succeeds in becoming President, we can all get stoned all the time on really good shit, and not care what happens with the other 75% of politics.  Not that we'd be able to effectively care about the rest of politics.  Maybe we can get Rand to get stoned with us...just get him high to that "whatever, it's ALL good, we're all one with the universe" stage, and he'll be ready to support like,...whatever.  :=)

  •  I wish this was a commonly held understanding: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mumtaznepal, ebohlman
    We cannot waste the resources of the Office of the Attorney General pursuing a case we are unlikely to win.
    And if this is a positioning for challenging Paul in '16, more power to him.
    What surprises me is that Bashear would go around him. What's that about?

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:34:34 AM PST

    •  I much prefer (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mumtaznepal, bronte17, ColoTim, Ahianne
      There are those who believe it’s my mandatory duty, regardless of my personal opinion, to continue to defend this case through the appellate process, and I have heard from many of them. However, I came to the inescapable conclusion that, if I did so, I would be defending discrimination.

      That I will not do. As Attorney General of Kentucky, I must draw the line when it comes to discrimination.

      The United States Constitution is designed to protect everyone’s rights, both the majority and the minority groups. Judge Heyburn’s decision does not tell a minister or a congregation what they must do, but in government ‘equal justice under law’ is a different matter.

      Bolding mine.  I guess I could have bolded the whole thing.

      Lobbyist, PAC, SuperPAC - a bribe by any name is still corruption

      by GreatLakeSailor on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 11:03:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here is video of Conway's tearful statement - (0+ / 0-)

        I don't know how to embed.

        http://www.youtube.com/...

        "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

        by mumtaznepal on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 11:08:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Click Share, then click Embed, then copy & paste (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mumtaznepal

          the highligted HTML here, and then (this is the tricky bit) fix YouTube's mistake by putting in the missing "http:" after src=" and before the URL. You can put <br> at the end of the previous line to provide a bit of space. Here you go.

          Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

          by Mokurai on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 02:39:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I've seen speculation that Beshear is afraid (0+ / 0-)

      that refusing to appeal would lead to a heavy Republican turnout in November that would eliminate any chance of getting rid of Mitch McConnell.

      Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

      by ebohlman on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:01:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  so will Beshear hire Orly Taitz as outside counsel (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:37:35 AM PST

  •  Has Beshear made a statement to explain (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pinto Pony

    his decision to bring in outside lawyers anywhere yet?

    •  Here's a quote from his remarks... (4+ / 0-)

      ...of this morning:

      The definition of marriage in Kentucky and other states "will be and should be ultimately decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in order to bring finality and certainty to this matter," Beshear said in a statement. "The people of this country need to know what the rules will be going forward. Kentucky should be a part of this process."
      Kentucky's in the 6th Circuit. Have any of the other recent marriage equality decisions (striking down all or part of state statutes) come from within the 6th Circuit?

      We've seen that the SCOTUS is more likely to hear matters in which opinions have come from multiple circuits...in that sense, this appeal would make Kentucky "part of this process," yes?

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:58:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  6CA has not heard a marriage equality case yet (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mumtaznepal

        But Wymyslo v. Obergefell is being prepared for briefing, no schedule set yet.

        Obergefell won the right in the Southern District of Ohio in December to be named as surviving spouse on his husband's death certificate.  AG Dewine filed the appeal.

        •  I'm no attorney, but... (0+ / 0-)

          ...I don't know that Obergfell is a good fit with the other decisions being made at the Federal level.

          I understand that they're all equal protection cases (so far - I don't think that any of the rulings were based on the Full Faith and Credit Clause), but it just seems that a survivorship case like Obergfell is closer to the Windsor decision's origins than it is to the current "recognize us while we're still alive" cases.

          If the goal is to merit SCOTUS consideration, I should think that we'd want the cases from the various Circuits to have as many common factors as possible.

          Perhaps someone with a trained legal mind can chime in...

          The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

          by wesmorgan1 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:35:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

            Agreed that Obergefell is very different than the other cases, however it is the only case that has already been appealed to 6CA that deals with equal marriage in any way.  

            Hearings are underway in DeBoer v. Snyder (MI) as well as the suit filed for birth certificates in Ohio (Henry v. Wymyslo), and Tanco v. Haslam (TN) is still in the briefing stage.

      •  Hmm, so he might be setting it up to make sure (0+ / 0-)

        it goes upwards on appeal and gets a chance to provide a more widely applicable precedent?

      •  No, but watch this space (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ahianne

        You can see the list of cases for full marriage equality and associated rights (recognition, divorce, adoption, inheritance, etc.) in all states on Marriage Equality USA's lawsuits page. You are asking about Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee, the other states in the Sixth District. Leaving aside suits about other related rights:

        Michigan, trial going on right now.

        MICHIGAN #1  •  On 23 January 2012, in April DeBoer & Jayne Rowse v. MI Governor Rick Snyder, et al., a lesbian couple went to federal court to challenge MI laws that deny adoption to certified foster parents when they are not married.  On 7 September 2012, as suggested by the judge, they amended their suit to challenge the constitutionality of the state’s 2004 ban on same-gender marriage, civil union, domestic partnership, and joint adoption…On 15 January 2014, lawyers from ACLU and G&LA&D joined the plaintiff legal team.  On 6 February 2014, the plaintiffs sought to ban the testimony of sociology professor Mark Regnerus because his flawed methods, rejection by peers, lack of qualifications, unreliability, irrelevance don’t meet the minimum requirements for federal evidence. [Yay!] Trial is scheduled for 25 February 2014.
        An update from Equality Michigan:
        On February 25, 2014 - Judge Friedman of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan began the trial for the DeBoer v Snyder and Schuette case regarding adoption and marriage equality in Michigan. The trial is expected to last up to eight business days. The judge may deliver his ruling quickly after the trial. One of the outcomes that Equality Michigan is preparing for is that same-gender marriages may be possible in Michigan in the days following the ruling.
        Ohio, no. But this is not a deep Red state, and there are even Republicans such as Ohio Senator Rob Portman in favor of Marriage Equality.

        Ed FitzGerald, Ohio Gubernatorial Candidate, Announces Support For Gay Marriage

        Now, if we could undo the Ohio gerrymander…

        Ohio Fights Grotesque Gerrymanders

        Tennessee, case planned.

        TENNESSEE #1  •  On 7 August 2013, same-gender couples began applying for marriage licenses as the first step of an upcoming court challenge to two same-gender civil marriage bans (statutory and constitutional).

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 03:12:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Before you all go ballistic (2+ / 0-)

    on Beshear, I must say I do understand where he's coming from.  How would WE feel if an anti-discrimination law or a law protecting the environment was ruled unconstitutional and a Republican AG decided not to appeal?  There was an editorial on this just a few days ago in the LA Times which wholeheartedly supports ME which discusses this: http://www.latimes.com/....  I'm forced to agree, we'd be PISSED if a GOP AG refused to defend a law we liked.

    "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

    by TLS66 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:52:44 AM PST

    •  See my analysis in (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne

      The Constitution as Catch-22

      In brief: It doesn't matter what rights are in a Constitution if the people do not or cannot elect legislatures that pass laws in support of those rights, and officials willing to support those rights actively in policy and personnel, who appoint judges willing to enforce them. Or in some places, the people elect the judges.

      If a GOP AG acts against the will of the people, as Cuccinelli did in Virginia, and has no interest in what the public wants, you have to organize and vote him out. So we did. Just barely, but it counts.

      This problem currently comes down to the filibuster, which still exists in the Senate on legislation; the blue slip veto for Federal judges in Red states, which Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Leahy unaccountably insists on maintaining; the gerrymanders; and being ready to replace Scalia on the Supreme Court. All of this will be overcome, and it is our job here to make them all happen a bit sooner.

      One of Abraham Lincoln's triumphs was replacing Roger Taney, of Dred Scott infamy, after Taney died in the waning days of the Civil War. After the 13th Amendment went through to abolish slavery.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 03:27:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think this is a purely political move (4+ / 0-)

    Mandatory caveat:  everything that follows might be wrong.   After all, Beshear is the guy who signed-off on that idiotic ark project.

    1)  Someone above mentioned this - a ruling now instead of later gets this out of the way as an issue should Beshear wish to run for another office after 2015.   It's safe to assume it's gonna wind its way to the Supreme Court eventually, anyway - might as well speed up the process and get it settled.

    2)  Beshear is clearly on the wrong side of history considering the recent/ongoing wave of victories in the nation's courtrooms - but he's term-limited after 2015, so he can afford to be "the bad guy" for now.   On the other hand, Conway, a possible gubernatorial successor to Beshear, suddenly looks like "the good guy" on "the right side of history".  

    3)  Now every candidate from both parties for 2014, 2015, and 2016 will have to go on the record regarding their views on this decision.   This puts the GOPers at a disadvantage.    Will they go on record on the losing side of this new wave?   After a year of bashing Beshear over KY's implementation of the ACA, will they suddenly side with him on this?   After all the caterwauling about spending taxpayer monies, will they support this expenditure (hiring outside lawyers)?   Should get interesting.

    4)  If they're smart (and sadly that's a big "if"), this puts Democrats at an advantage.   THEY are on the side of civil rights.  THEY are on the side of limited government intervention.  THEY are on the side of less wasteful spending.   Of course, there's the chance they fuck it up by "moving to the center", so who knows?

    5)  Kentucky has already been in the spotlight over the ACA, so expect this to "go national" in the news, too.  

    Accidentally or not, Beshear has handed his fellow Democrats a gift if they're smart enough to recognize and utilize it.

    •  A few points... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mumtaznepal, Ahianne
      After all, Beshear is the guy who signed-off on that idiotic ark project.
      Correction - the state Tourism Board signed off on the incentive package. Beshear did not override them.

      Given that the project met the stautory requirements, I would have lost respect for Beshear if he had overridden his own Tourism Board.

      Now every candidate from both parties for 2014, 2015, and 2016 will have to go on the record regarding their views on this decision.   This puts the GOPers at a disadvantage.
      Not really. Keep in mind that Kentucky voters approved the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage by a 3-1 margin. Also keep in mind that when it comes to Federal elections, Kentucky has become GOP territory. We have counties that went for Romney 90%-9%, we've reelected McConnell, we've elected Rand Paul, and our Congressional delegation has gone (in the last 20 years) from 4-2 Democratic to 5-1 GOP.

      Of course, the religious conservatives have already chimed in:

      Religious conservative groups, who pressured Conway to appeal, quickly criticized his decision Tuesday, calling it "a dereliction of duty."

      "Now that Colorado has legalized marijuana sales, how long will it be before Judge Heyburn legalizes marijuana in Kentucky, too, since it's legal in another state and we have to respect their laws? And of course, now we know that Jack Conway would not oppose it," said Paul Chitwood, executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.

      There's a LOT of religion in Kentucky - multiple seminaries (including the flagship Southern Baptist seminary), a large Catholic presence...

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:26:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Chitwood doesn't know how right he is (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mumtaznepal, ColoTim, Ahianne

        The KY General Assembly has approved bills from committee in both houses to consider either medical marijuana or hemp oil extract.
        http://www.kentucky.com/...

        •  Somewhere in the family scrapbooks... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mumtaznepal, riverlover, Ahianne

          ...we have my grandfather's Federal hemp growing license (he lived in south central Kentucky).

          Those interested in this topic might not know that Kentucky was, for a fairly long period, the biggest hemp-growing state in the US:

          Kentucky's first hemp crop was grown in 1775, and Kentucky went on to become the nation's leading hemp-producing state in the mid-19th century with peak production of 40,000 tons in 1850. U.S. hemp production declined after the Civil War, and almost all of the nation's hemp was grown in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky. Federal legislation passed in 1938 outlawed production of cannabis, including hemp, in the U.S. Hemp production in Kentucky and the U.S. ramped up during World War II as part of the war effort but fell again after the war and ended with the demise of a small hemp fiber industry in Wisconsin in 1958.
          (Source: Kentucky Department of Agriculture, History of Hemp in Kentucky)

          The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

          by wesmorgan1 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:44:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  True, but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mumtaznepal

        That amendment vote came before this latest string of civil rights victories, so who knows?

        Get those GOPers on record (the elected officals and candidates, not clowns like Chitwood) and let them show the entire country just how committed (or not) they are to discriminatory policies.

        We know Democrats will never win by going to their right, so might as well try to use it against Republicans.

  •  This explains Beshear's decision (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bronte17

    Don’t argue with idiots because they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.—Greg King

    by Pinto Pony on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:12:11 AM PST

  •  He should just equate it with (0+ / 0-)

    bi-racial marriage, and be done with it.

    Look at the hissy fit the south had when whites and blacks wanted to marry.

    They used the Bible to back up their bigotry, just like the homophobes do now.

    There have been many Christians "traditions" which are not founded on scripture, and are furthermore immoral on their own grounds.

    Why is it that religion (which is supposed to be where we get our morality) is always bringing up the rear when it comes to being moral?


    "Legalizing pot won't make more pot-smokers. It will just make fewer criminals. - Me

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:12:37 AM PST

    •  It's one of the more powerful excuses (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne

      and one that inherently allows adherents to ignore anything inconvenient like facts.

      But let us remember that it is a minority of churches that are standing in the way, and acknowledge those that are on the right side of God and history.

      After all, it was Alyosha the mystic whom Dostoevsky called the realist among the brothers.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 03:35:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Very disappointing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne

    Beshear has been a Democratic hero on implementation of the ACA. But, this is a sobering reminder that he's a conservative Southern Democrat.

    KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

    by fcvaguy on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:26:55 AM PST

    •  See my comment above (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mumtaznepal

      How would we feel if s GOP AG refused to defend an anti-discrimination law a court found unconstitutional?  Besides, maybe he wants to appeal so the USSC and rule for ME there.

      "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

      by TLS66 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:55:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So proud of Jack Conway. He has aspirations (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim, Ahianne

    to Governor, but he is now getting ripped to shreds by "Christians" and conservatives in this state.

    He knew, when he made his statement, that he is putting any future in state politics at risk.  I admire him for defending his Christianity as reason for not being discriminatory.

    It takes one man to stand up for what he believes.  As a KY citizen I am SO PROUD of him.

    I understand Beshear hiring outside council, as Beshear and Conway were the two named defendants in this action.

    "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

    by mumtaznepal on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:47:22 AM PST

  •  This is all about the US Senate Race (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    newdem1960, ebohlman

    Beshear is working hard to get Allison Lundergan Grimes into the US Senate.  She will have to make a public opinion on this.  This allows her to gradually come over to our side.  Her campaign site has an issues section and gay marriage/civil unions aren't mentioned.  Just taking this to the next step in the legal world gives her some cover.

    I say this as a gay man, who obviously wants to get married, which I can do in California where I now live.   This entire issue has evolved tremendously in the past 20 years.  I also want Grimes in the US Senate and there are so many issues I am concerned about.  The red states are coming around on this, although the Arizona kerfluffle was disheartening, but not a surprise.  

    If Kentucky appeals this and then loses, Grimes and Beshear can say, "well, we tried".  It sounds like nonsense compared to Conway's position, but, I also don't live in a red state because it is a whole different world, although changing.

  •  Profiles in Cowardice: Steve Beshear nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  Here's the Irony (0+ / 0-)

    When Steve Beshear himself was Kentucky's Attorney General, he refused to defend abortion restrictions enacted by the General Assembly, forcing the anti-abortion folks to hire their own attorneys. His refusal was based on his opinion that the acts were unconstitutional, and he didn't weep when he announced his decision.

    He paid no political price for this principled stand, and was elected Lt. Gov. the next election with more votes than anyone else on the ballot.

  •  In various discussions, the question often arises (0+ / 0-)

    as to whether one must be an atheist to embrace American constitutional secularism (few doubt that it is at least easier for an atheist). Conway has provided a pretty clear example of a Christian in government who not only understands our secular system, but practices what he preaches.

    •  Actually any non-fundamentalist religious (0+ / 0-)

      person pretty much has to embrace it, since there are so many incompatible varieties of religious belief that the chances of the one the government aligns itself with being the one that he/she holds are pretty slim.

      Conway is, IIRC, Catholic. Know why Catholic schools account for the vast majority of private religious schools in the US? Because in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, public schools were all but officially Protestant in many if not most places.

      Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

      by ebohlman on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 07:33:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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