|House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, issued the following statement in response to Attorney General Mark Herring’s opinion issued Dec. 19th:|
“Attorney General Herring’s opinion is interesting, as it directly contradicts his own statements and actions regarding the supremacy of state law over the preferences of the officials who must enforce them.
“In 2014, Herring declined to defend Virginia law in state court, despite a statutory duty to do so. He told the Richmond Times Dispatch “…If I think the laws are adopted and constitutional, (then) I will defend them…”
“His opinion today notes that “it has long been the indisputable and clear function of the courts … to pass upon the constitutionality of legislative acts.” This not only conflicts with his previous statement about his own conduct, but also the position of a number of Democratic Commonwealth’s Attorneys regarding prosecution of marijuana possession.
“I look forward to the Attorney General following up with the Commonwealth’s Attorneys and Commonwealth’s Attorneys-elect in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Portsmouth, and Norfolk about the supremacy of state law over the policy preferences of local elected officials.”