Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Marty Jackley Doubles Down on Lack of Constitutional Knowledge

The ACLU tries to explain to our State Attorney General that his claim that state employees can choose not to provide marriage license if it violates the clerks "religious" beliefs.  The logic behind the statement is so flawed, it confuses me how a person could pass a bar examine and still make asinine comments like this.  (I had pointed out earlier that this line of thinking hark ens back to 1954 mentality when Brown v. Board of Education became the law of the land.)  Marty Jackley does not take the news too well.

Marty states in his response:
“It is disappointing to learn that the ACLU, who in their own words, works to “defend and preserve the Constitution’s promise of liberty for everyone in our country”, is now choosing to place certain Constitutional Rights ahead of others....
As Attorney General, it is not my intent to ignore established law and sue a county or arrest a county employee for exercising the well-established Constitution Right to the Freedom of Religion given that same-sex couples have been and are receiving marriage licenses in South Dakota. Rather than accepting the ACLU’s position, I support commonsense solutions protecting everyone’s Constitutional Rights in South Dakota which ensure same-sex couples continue receiving marriage licenses as now required by law,” said Attorney General Jackley. 
Let's breakdown the line of thinking.  If Jackley believes that people can pick and choose not to issue a marriage license despite the fact that is a part of their job because of religious beliefs, he then must apply it across the board.  That same person can then deny the issuing of a license to an inter-racial couple based on religious reasons.  That same person could choose to deny the issuing of a marriage license to a couple that is divorced and re-marrying.  That same person could choose to deny the issuing of a marriage license to a couple if one would be an atheist and one would be a believer.
The Argus Leader lets Jackley voice a really, really false analogy when he tries to compare people in his office executing someone to processing the paperwork so two people can be legally joined:
Jackley compared the issue to death penalty prosecutions. Assistant attorneys general in his office with religious objections to the death penalty are not obliged to handle appeals cases from death row inmates, he said, though doing so is part of the office's caseload.
The person not being assigned by your office to handle the appeal process is not same as looking at the person/couple across a window and saying, "What your doing is an abomination of God and I refuse to be part of it.  You will need to go to another county if you want to get married.  You are unworthy compared to the couple behind you."  

It is not acceptable to allow a clerk to pick and choose what work they do based on the individual's belief system.  If that person can't handle the job, they should reconsider where they want to work.  If a clerk thinks that someone is performing a legal but unfair business transaction (paying someone $1000 for a car when the car is probably worth $1700) they can't declare religious convictions and allow someone else to do the work.  This is not denying them their beliefs, this is them denying 

South Dakota continues to prove exactly how stuck the thinking of the government can be when it decides to apply fair and equal treatment to all.

1 comment:

  1. Well said, MJL! I am stunned at the AG's willingness to go to war and not uphold the Constitution and the Supreme Court on this issue.

    (p.s.: check ending of penultimate paragraph! It appears to be missing a direct object!)