Earlier this week, Democratic candidate for Attorney General, Don Quick, said that the attorney general shouldn’t enforce certain laws – he specifically cited a law that Colorado voters passed that banned gay marriage. Here’s a “quick” tutorial on the difference between running for the legislature and running to be Colorado’s AG: the former makes the laws, while the latter enforces them. To pick and choose which laws you enforce is to violate any number of fundamental principles our society is founded on, chief among them, the separation of powers. According to Ivan Moreno with the AP:
…the former Adams County district attorney and former deputy state attorney general, emphasized that those positions have a responsibility to defend state laws regardless of whether the officeholder agrees with them.
…He said that if a law is unconstitutional, “the attorney general has an obligation to say so,” and he urged current Republican Attorney General John Suthers to stop defending Colorado’s constitutional ban on gay marriage, which voters passed in 2006.
The U.S. Supreme Court has yet to rule whether state bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional. [the Peak emphasis]
So, not only does Quick want a “litigation veto” that allows him to pick and choose laws, but he also believes himself wise enough to figure out what laws are constitutional and which ones aren’t; which is pretty amazing as the U.S. Supreme Court itself had a chance to rule on these issues last summer but declined to do so at that time. Talk about having an ego.
This issue is whether we want an Imperial Attorney General (see Obama: “I can do anything I want”), who through his great wisdom and all-knowing power, can discern what is best for the people of Colorado despite whatever they might say or what the legislature has to say. If Quick feels so passionately about deciding and creating laws—instead of enforcing them—he should run for the legislature. As is, he’s just an embarrassment to the rule of law.