Pennsylvania Attorney-General Kathleen Kane is in the news again. Before informing you about the latest issue, let’s backtrack to 2013 when she first featured in MercatorNet.
Ms Kane was flavour of the month three years ago when she declined to defend her own state’s Defense of Marriage Act. This declared that “It is hereby declared to be the strong and longstanding public policy of this Commonwealth that marriage shall be between one man and one woman.”
It took a very self-confident Attorney General to nullify such emphatic language with a wave of her hand. But she did. In a saccharine speech she depicted herself as a rainbow-coloured Joan of Arc:
“Today the attorney-general chooses to represent all those without high-priced lawyers, all those who suffer discrimination, and inequality, those thousands of families who have been denied the dignity and respect that the constitution protects and guarantees in marriage equality. Today we represent everyone who does not have representation.”
MercatorNet commented at the time that “The popular Democratic Attorney General, who received more votes than Barack Obama in the 2012 election, probably hopes to be elected Governor or Senator in the not-too-distant future. She is treating marriage as a political stepping-stone rather than a serious moral issue.”
And we went on to predict that “The smug sophistry shown by Kathleen Kane is another sign of how capitulation over same-sex marriage is gradually corrupting not just marriage, but the law itself.”
Unhappily, our prediction has come true.
The latest news about Attorney-General Kathleen Kane is that she has just been convicted of nine criminal charges, including perjury and criminal conspiracy. She had been accused of leaking secret grand jury evidence as part of a campaign to discredit a political rival and then of lying about it. She has already been disbarred by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court – but she has refused to resign from the state’s top legal job.*
The link between the two events is cynical manipulation of the electorate’s trust in the integrity of politicians sworn to uphold the law. In both cases Ms Kane put personal ambition first and trampled the law underfoot.
There is a legal and moral argument to be made for same-sex marriage. I don’t agree with it, but it exists.
But the politicians (including Hillary Clinton and her running mate Tim Kaine) who embraced it in the lead-up to Obergefell v Hodges, the US Supreme Court case which legalized it last year, weren’t interested in legal and moral arguments. Like Ms Kane they cynically dumped traditional marriage to advance their careers. It remains to be seen whether they will ever fall as far as she has done.
* Ms Kane resigned on Tuesday, August 16.
Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet.