If you didn’t catch Kathleen Kane’s absurdly political response to calls for her impeachment, we’ll summarize it for you:
- I got three million votes last year, so I can do what I want, regardless of the law.
- “Rep. Metcalfe’s goals of media attention” — aka, he is stealing MY spotlight!
- I am going to be an independent attorney general…only after I get all of my family on the payroll and pick and choose which laws to defend.
- Since I can’t really defend my actions constitutionally, I am just going to call Daryl Metcalfe names.
Whether it’s picking and choosing which laws to enforce, giving jobs to family members, ignoring media requests or just plain playing politics, it’s clear that Kathleen Kane isn’t doing the job voters elected her to do. Her embarrassing response to Rep. Metcalfe is more proof that she is not fit to do the job Pennsylvanians expect.
Pa. House Speaker Won’t Rule Out Kathleen Kane Impeachment
“I really don’t know how far that goes at this juncture,” Smith said. “But, you know, on a strict constitutional reading, you know, it’s not like he’s way out there.” The constitutional issue, Smith’s spokesman says, is about whether an attorney general can pick and choose which laws to defend in court, and he says house GOP members are concerned about that. Smith says he doesn’t know if they’ll get behind impeachment but when asked if he might, the speaker responded, “I’m giving it consideration.” (Romeo, Tony. Pa. House Speaker Won’t Rule Out Kathleen Kane Impeachment. CBS. 10/23/2013.)
Lebanon Daily News: Not improper to mull Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s impeachment
Kathleen Kane, Pennsylvania’s attorney general, has been in trouble for some time now because she said she would not defend Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act in court. She believes it to be unconstitutional.
Her difficulties are mounting. The word “impeachment” has been attached to her name, and Pennsylvania House Speaker Sam Smith isn’t discounting the notion.
Kane may well deserve to be removed from her high-level state position, though certainly not for the opinion she holds. We, too, believe the law is unconstitutional. We will advocate for its overturn in court. However, we would expect Kane to be steadfast and fully professional in seeing that it doesn’t happen.
Because that is her job.
As a high-level official in the executive arm of state government, Kane’s must defend the laws of the commonwealth as passed by the legislative branch. Her own views on DOMA — or on any law she is tasked with defending — cannot play a role in the professional duties she was elected to discharge. Should they do so, she should not continue in the position to which she was elected.
It is not the function of an attorney general to make a public pronouncement on her personal views of a given law. If that given law is in force in her state, as DOMA is, then she, as the top attorney for the state, must defend it. Them’s the breaks, kid.
Sen. Mike Folmer, in his last visit to the Daily News, explained that he does not take the pension benefit afforded to sitting legislators because, he believes, it is not constitutional. He does not, however, extend his opinion to others, because, he said, the law regarding the matter is open to interpretation.
Should he wish to do something about his fellow legislators and their pensions, Folmer said, he would have to champion a change in the law through legislative efforts, because that is his job.
Kane can do nothing about the laws passed in the commonwealth. Those laws are functions of the legislative and executive branches of government. The adjudication of the appropriateness and constitutionality of those laws falls to the judicial branch and individuals like Kane. A judge or panel of judges will, one day, hear arguments about DOMA. Defending it should be the attorney general of Pennsylvania, among others.
We’d like to see her or some future AG lose that case and have the law vacated.
But we can’t have her acting as judge and jury for an existing state law, however wrong it might be. That goes well beyond the function of her job and the judicial system itself.
Given that, a discussion of her impeachment is not “misguided,” as Kane argued in a statement this week.
If she is unable to carry out her essential job functions, or if she refuses to carry out those functions, it appears that consideration of her impeachment is at least proper, if far from certain.
We like Kane’s stance; we don’t like that she took it while serving as Pennsylvania’s top attorney. Can the two facts be reconciled? (Not improper to mull Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s impeachment. Lebanon Daily News. 10/24/2013.)
VIDEO: Kane reprimands Murphy 2012: AG can’t pick and choose
While sparring with Patrick Murphy in last year’s Democratic primary for Attorney General, Kathleen Kane told Murphy that he can’t “pick and choose” which laws to enforce. Now, Kane is doing just that by ducking her responsibilities to defend Pennsylvania laws. Kane’s shameless publicity stunt is now revealed as stunning hypocrisy. As Stu Bykofsky of the Daily News reported late last week, “If doing her job creates an ethical conflict for her, she should resign.”
VIDEO: Kane reprimands Murphy: AG can’t pick and choose
Post Gazette: “In choosing partiality to her own ideas over fidelity, the Democrat refuses to do her job”
By law, one of the fundamental duties of her office is to represent the commonwealth against lawsuits. Any attorney general swears to support, obey and defend both the U.S. and state constitutions and, most pertinently, discharge the duties of the office with fidelity. In choosing partiality to her own ideas over fidelity, the Democrat refuses to do her job….America has become a nation of people who, as a matter of principle, know better than anyone else. But there is principle, too, in process, that old bulwark against anarchy. Ms. Kane thinks she struck a blow for liberty when in fact she failed to do the job she promised to do. (Kane’s mistake: She fails to do her job and defend state law . Post Gazette. July 15, 2013.)
Lancaster Intelligencer Journal/New Era: “Kane is passing the buck, that’s for sure.”
On the surface, Kane’s position is curious. Doesn’t the attorney general have a duty and responsibility to defend state law, as opposed to interpreting it?… But under Pennsylvania law, the attorney general also may allow lawyers from the governor’s office or executive-branch agencies to defend a lawsuit if it is more efficient or in the state’s best interest. This has given the attorney general a convenient out, and she didn’t hesitate to take it. But by doing so, Kane is showing that there are no interests more important to her than her own. Her view of gay marriage is not shared by — dare we say — a majority of Pennsylvanians…Kane is passing the buck, that’s for sure.” (Kane passes buck on gay marriage. Lancaster Intelligencer Journal/New Era. July 12, 2013.)
Carlisle Sentinel: This issue is “about an attorney general’s lack of commitment to doing the job she was elected to do”
As attorney general, Kane took an oath to uphold the state’s constitution and laws…Essentially, taking that route says it’s OK for the attorney general to take a pass on any case that doesn’t mesh with his or her personal beliefs…But this isn’t about gay marriage. And it’s not about polls. It’s about an attorney general’s lack of commitment to doing the job she was elected to do. In this case, Kane failed to put aside her personal beliefs and deliver a defense of the state’s gay-marriage ban. It’s what voters put her in office to do. (Our View: Kane must support gay-marriage ban. Carlisle Sentinel. July 11, 2013)
Daily News: Resign, Ms. Kane
The state Attorney General is substituting her own preferences to Pennsylvania law, which she is sworn to uphold. Ms. Kane doesn’t get to decide constitutionality, the courts do that.
(Bykofksy, Stu. Resign, Ms. Kane. Daily News. July 12, 2013.)