Insurrection and Jim Gilmore
Michael P. Schutt
michsch at REGENT.EDU
Wed Mar 5 12:16:19 PST 1997
On Jim Gilmore:
He is the presumed next Republican candidate for Governor of Virginia. He
came and spoke to the law students at Regent on Monday (he spoke about the
legal profession at the request of our ATLA chapter), and when asked about
the tobacco mandate controversy, he indicated that he was backing down
(apparently in a longer, less direct sort of way). Of course, had I known
that someone besides me wondered, I would have stayed for the remainder of
the Q&A session. Of course, his appearance at Regent disqualifies him from
ever being an independent counsel or generally good person or Dean at
Pepperdine, but we've been over that before. :) And no, his speech was not
"political" in nature.
The issue of enforcement of the federal tobacco regs has pretty much died in
the press here since the Governor made his statement, so I presume that he
is, in fact, "backing off."
Gilmore has been an active AG; he has revamped parole (by getting rid of
it), juv justice, and the administrative structure the AG's office. He's
relatively popular, from my limited viewpoint. Incidentally, you may recall
that Gilmore chose NOT to back the University of Virginia in Rosenberger,
but sided with Wide Awake, filing an amicus supporting Rosenberger. This
has given him some additional support among religious conservatives.
Both the AG and Gov are constitutional officers (Art V, secs 15 and 1,
respectively) in the Commonwealth of Virginia. "the chief executive power of
the Commonwealth shall be vested in the Governor," of course. Art V, 1.
The AG is elected at the same time, for the same term as the Gov, and "shall
perform such duties . . . as may be prescribed by law . . ." Art V, 15.
Those duties are set out in Title 2.1, Chapter 11, of the Code of Va. "The
AG shall be the chief executive officer of the Department of law." 2.1-117.
"The AG shall represent the interests of the Commonwealth . . . in matters
before or controversies with the officers and several departments of the
government of the United States." 2.1-126. It appears that, as is the case
in Texas, the Va AG is independent. I'm not sure, however, that the Va Code
and Constitution support any claim that Gilmore would have the authority to
buck the Governor here.
At 05:00 PM 3/4/97 -0500, you wrote:
>For informational purposes, I send along this posting from another list:
> The Virginia-Pilot (Norfolk-Virginia Beach) carried a front page story
>(Friday, February 28, 1997) concerning threats by state officials that they
>would not enforce the federal regulation prohibiting sale of tobacco to
>minors. Mark A. Miner, spokesperson for Attorney General James Gilmore III,
>is quoted as saying, "They're federal laws. States don't enforce federal
>laws." Governor George Allen is quoted in response, "Well, first of all, the
>attorney general does not decide whether or not we are going to enforce these
>regulations. We will enforce these regulations."
>Does anyone know anything about Att'y Gen. Gilmore III? Could his rather
>remarkable statement be vindicated by a Sandra Day O'Connor opinion striking
>down the Brady Bill on grounds that the feds are trying to kidnap state
>officials? Incidentally, does the Virginia governor have final authority as
>to which laws will be enforced. In Texas, for example, the Attorney General
>appears to be entirely independent of the Governor.
>If this is thought to be off-list, I apologize, but I assume that it's at
>least ancillary or pendant (I'm not a proceduralist, so I forget which is
>which) to the Judge Moore discussion.
>B.U. Law School
>EMail: levinson at bu.edu
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