The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) rejected Attorney General Eric Holder’s claim that state attorneys general do not need to defend their states’ laws defining marriage as between a man and a woman, issuing a strongly worded statement on the issue.
“A state attorney general has a solemn duty to the state and its people to defend state laws and constitutional provisions against challenge under federal law,” Luther Strange, the Alabama attorney general, said in the statement. “To refuse to do so because of personal policy preferences or political pressure erodes the rule of law on which all of our freedoms are founded.”
In an interview with the New York Times yesterday, Holder said that state attorneys general could refuse to defend bans on same-sex marriage, but that they should do so only after applying “the highest level of scrutiny.”
RAGA chairman and South Carolina attorney general Alan Wilson disagreed with the idea that attorneys general can selectively enforce the law, saying in the statement, “Our freedom depends on upholding the rule of law and obtaining the consent of the governed. Republican Attorneys General will continue to fight every single day to protect our Constitution and defend states’ rights.”