Tuesday, July 03, 2007

To sue or not to sue? Is that even the question?

I just noticed another article, in addition to several in the Lexington Herald-Leader and the Louisville Courier-Journal that quotes me as saying that The Family Foundation is considering suing the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville over their unconstitutional domestic partner benefit plans, this one at Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

And by the way, it does appear as if the word "diverse" is becoming as unusable in its traditional sense as the word "gay", another literary victim of the politicization of language. Where is George Orwell when you need him?

It might be good to explain however, how this line got started--the one that says that The Family Foundation has its finger on the legal trigger. It is the result primarily of reporters insistent questions about whether The Family Foundation was, in fact, considering such action. The answer I gave was that the Foundation, as has been the case since the beginning of the whole debate, was not excluding that possibility, and that it was, to use the philosopher William James's phrase, a "live option," which is just another way of expressing the principle: never say never.

This somehow got translated into the announcement that the Foundation was ready to file suit. The Attorney General then came out, after we had filed a request with him to review UK's new version of domestic partner benefits to see if it met the requirements of his earlier ruling, and said that he couldn't do that because the Foundation was considering legal action.

Two points:
  • Assuming the Foundation was actively considering filing suit, since when did it become so easy to stop the Attorney General from doing his job? Is that all that you have to do to neutralize him? Threaten to take legal action? So all it takes to prevent the Attorney General from acting to uphold the constitution is to point your lawyer in somebody's general direction? That has interesting implications.

  • Then there is the fact that the Foundation was no closer to taking legal action at the end of June than it was when the AG came down with his original ruling. That being the case, why would the AG be any less able to take action at the end of June than it was when it made its initial ruling?
Of course, all this could be considered moot with the Governor's announcement of a special session starting on Thursday that includes the domestic partner benefits issue in the call. It could, however, become very relevant if the Democrats decide to adjourn without action later this week.

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