Saturday, September 5, 2009

Meet J.B. Van Hollen, Wisconsin’s Sarah Palin

09/02/09 Madison Capital Times:

Here is another editorial faulting Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen for his decision last month not to defend the state's new domestic registry in Appling v. Doyle (Wis. Supreme Court Case No. 2009AP001860). The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Sentinel Journal suggested that his expected run in the upcoming governor's race motivated Van Hollen; the Madison Capital Times claims that he faces a prominent social conservative in the Republican primary, and compares him to Sarah Palin. The analogy to Palin appears to fall short, however. The Madison Capital Times notes that when Van Hollen ran for governor in 2006, he said that the new constitutional amendment (Art. XIII, Sec. 13) would not prohibit state or local legislation extending some marrital benefits, such as health insurance, to same-sex partners. I am doubtful that Sarah Palin would have embraced that view. But the point is rather that Van Hollen has abandoned it, and electoral politics may have influenced his new understanding of his constitutional duties.

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