PG's criticism of state attorney general is flawed

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You owe state Attorney General Kathleen Kane a big apology for your legally and logically flawed editorial "Kane's Mistake" (July 15).

Attorney General Kane has done her job with regard to the pending challenge to the constitutionality of Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act with absolute fidelity to her oath of office, controlling state law and her ethical duties as an attorney.

Given that the Pennsylvania Constitution provides that the commonwealth's laws may not deny legal rights because of an individual's sex, the attorney general determined that she could not make a good faith legal argument that a law that denies the right to marriage based upon an individual's sex does not violate the Pennsylvania Constitution. Having made this determination, she is prohibited from defending the act's constitutionality, both by the Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys and her official oath to uphold the provisions of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

What she is permitted to do under state law she did. She determined that it was in the best interest of the commonwealth for her to authorize the governor's general counsel to defend the act's constitutionality in her stead, as state law provides she may. This results in having the act defended by an attorney who (presumably) believes he can make a good faith legal argument in support of its constitutionality, an attorney appointed by the governor you endorsed.

Seems to me your notion that we would be better served by having one side of this serious constitutional issue argued by an unconvinced advocate deserves reconsideration.

DOUGLAS CAMPBELL
Fox Chapel

The writer is a lawyer.


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