Stein, Marley and Ferguson, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
Update III: Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen walks back his foolish warning to Wisconsin county clerks in the face of widespread ridicule, expanding his denial today: "I did not suggest or recommend criminal charging of County Clerks. I never indicated an intention by this office to investigate or charge any county officer. During a half-hour interview in which the Journal Sentinel asked if clerks could be charged I acknowledged they could, citing §765.30(2)(b), and further stated it would be very fact specific and up to individual District Attorneys. The opposite answer would have been untruthful. I would certainly not encourage any prosecutor to do so and even suggested at the conclusion of the interview that the reporter should not print on that subject as it would be fear mongering," said Van Hollen in a statement.
Van Hollen's retreat is disingenuous. Here's what Van Hollen said: "You do have many people in Wisconsin basically taking the law into their own hands and there can be legal repercussions for that. So, depending on who believes they're married under the law and who doesn't believe they're married under the law may cause them to get themselves in some legal problems that I think are going to take years for them and the courts to work out." (Marley and Ferguson, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
Sounds like fear mongering to me. So why did Van Hollen say it? Even Van Hollen admits he was a clown.
Update II: Judge Crabb's written opinion on stay and injunction expected Friday afternoon. (Stein, Marley and Ferguson, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
Update: Madison attorney Lester Pines to J.B. Van Hollen: Drop threat against county clerks issuing same-sex marriage licenses (Schneider, The Capital Times)
- If J.B. Van Hollen is serious, he should direct the Wisconsin Dept. of Justice to prosecute every county judge, every clergy, and every county official who have married couples in almost every Wisconsin county, in violation of Wisconsin statute, he won't because Van Hollen is a clown -
As Wisconsin marriage equality advocates await U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb's decision after a 1:00 p.m. hearing today on staying her declaration that Wisconsin same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional, we note that Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has turned the Wisconsin Department of Justice into another Republican clown car.
Van Hollen still claims Judge Crabb's decision did not strike down Wisconsin's various bans on same-sex marriage.
And Van Hollen claims "county clerks should be prosecuted for doing their jobs after a federal judge threw out the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage," as noted in today's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial.
Van Hollen points to Wisconsin statutes for marriage contracts (765.3 Penalties) and the various penalties for violating the state marriage statute.
All of the four district attorneys who are candidates for Wisconsin attorney general dismiss Van Hollen's position as ridiculous.
But let's pretend Van Hollen is more than a clown (and a corrupt hack).
The Wisconsin state statute that Van Hollen cites also provides that every judge, member of the clergy and county official who "....not being duly authorized by the laws of this state, who intentionally undertakes to solemnize a marriage in this state; or any person who intentionally participates in or in any way aids or abets any false or fictitious marriage" is in violation of the law and faces criminal sanctions, if found guilty.
It is within Van Hollen's discretion to direct the Wisconsin Dept. of Justice to prosecute every county judge, every clergy, and every county official who have married couples in almost every Wisconsin county.
And every Wisconsin same-sex couple who has been married in Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois, for example, is also in violation of Wisconsin statute.
Van Hollen, if he is not just clowning around, should direct the Wisconsin Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute all of those in criminal violation of Wisconsin marriage state statutes.
But Van Hollen is not serious. He's a clown.