Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Governor Kaine Takes Cuccinelli's Advice
Ken Cuccinelli is not yet Attorney General but the Governor is already taking his legal advice. Today Virginia GOP Chairman Pat Mullins praised Governor Tim Kaine's decision to agree with Ken Cuccinelli to call the Virginia General Assembly into a special session to fix a prosecutorial morass following the U.S. Supreme Court decision Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts. The ruling has caused chaos among Virginia Commonwealth's Attorneys regarding the difficulty in having forensic scientists who test material evidence personally testify at trial. As a result, many criminal cases are having to be dismissed or are lost at trial.
"Steve Shannon, the Democratic nominee for attorney general, initially called Ken Cuccinelli's request for a special session a ‘stunt,'" said Mullins. "Well, I guess the governor from his own party disagrees with him. I don't think that's the kind of thing you want to pull if you're arguing to be the state's top lawyer."
In response to Ken Cuccinelli's first call for a legislative fix, Shannon said it was a "stunt," a position he continues to trumpet by posting a supportive editorial on his website.
Perhaps even more embarrassingly, Shannon criticized Cuccinelli for supposedly opposing a bill that never reached the Senate, in which Cuccinelli serves. Inasmuch as Cuccinelli was never able to vote on the legislation, it further reveals that not only is Shannon ignorant of Supreme Court precedent vis-à-vis Virginia law, but he also does not understand the legislative process.
Shannon's House Bill 3086 died in committee in the House of Delegates and was never communicated to the Senate, where Cuccinelli might have had a chance to weigh in on it.
"This is astounding," Chairman Mullins said. "This guy seriously wants to be the attorney general of the Commonwealth, but doesn't get the severity of a Supreme Court ruling and doesn't know that his own bill died in committee. That's almost too funny to make up."