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Decision Virginia Archive 8/08- 7/12

Response to the McDonnell executive directive

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Many different groups are weighing in tonight on Governor Bob McDonnell’s surprise decision to issue an executive directive regarding discrimination in state hiring practices. The response is all over the map and perhaps, more than anything, demonstrates how unprepared the political chattering class was for this move.

Republicans appear to be walking a fine line of support for McDonnell, without providing overwhelming ethusasium at the move. Democrats, are happy the pendulum seems to be swinging their way, but are quick to point out that it is not nearly enough. Meanwhile, independent analysts are wondering how this could impact the Governor’s future.

Here is what some are saying:

From Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli:
“I applaud Governor McDonnell for the tone he is setting for the Commonwealth of Virginia. I will remain in contact with the Governor and continue to work with him on issues important to Virginians. I expect Virginia’s state employees to follow all state and federal anti-discrimination laws and will enforce Virginia’s laws to the fullest extent.”

From Lowell Feld, liberal blogger at Blue Virginia:
“I certainly didn’t expect this, but at first glance it looks strong. I’m particularly impressed (and amazed) that McDonnell’s order specifies “one’s sexual orientation” as a “class of persons” that can not be discriminated against in state.” full post

From David Mills– Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Virginia:
“While we applaud the administrative gesture made by Governor McDonnell today, his non-binding statement of policy does little to protect Virginians from discrimination. The Governor is instituting half-measures necessitated by political crisis, and the time for these games is over. We call on Governor McDonnell to definitively and permanently eliminate the threat that discrimination poses to the lives, jobs, and welfare of all Virginians.”

From Lt. Governor Bill Bolling:
“I agree wholeheartedly with that statement…. As the Governor has said many times, we do not support and we will not tolerate employment related discrimination in any form.”

From Pat Mullins, Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia:
“I applaud Governor McDonnell for putting down on paper what anyone who has done business with the Commonwealth of Virginia has found — that Virginia doesn’t tolerate discrimination,”

From Marc Armbinder, Political Editor of the Atlantic:
“(The directive) may illustrate the degree to which Republicans, who want McDonnell to be a presidential contender at some point, are anxious about his image as a culture warrior…. There are lots of proxy battles here, but McDonnell didn’t have to issue the directive — and he did. It remains to be seen whether independent voters, who don’t want to admit voting for a governor who seems anti-gay, will give him credit for it.”full post

From Victoria Cobb, President of the Family Foundation:
“The Family Foundation continues to maintain that adding additional classes of persons to the Commonwealth’s non-discrimination policy is unnecessary. Again, no evidence of discrimination has been presented. We do agree with the Governor that state employment should be based on ‘qualifications, merit and performance.'”


Written by Ryan Nobles

March 10, 2010 at 10:43 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Homosexuality is a choice not a class of people, shall we offer extra protections to pediphiles,rapist and other sexual deviants. Amazing how hell bent these people are on indocrinating our children with perverse idiology and attempting force the rest of the world to accept their behavior as normal.


    March 11, 2010 at 4:02 pm

  2. […] Cuccinelli, did not respond to requests for interviews on the topic, but did issue a carefully worded statement, applauding the Governor’s […]

  3. In recent days,The Governor and Attorney General have taken actions based on poor legal judgement. I can see that, and I’m not a lawyer.

    Former Gov Baliles was correct to note that Cuccinelli misunderstood his earlier opinion on sexual orientation, which applied to lawmaking entities,then misapplied it to our state Colleges and Universities.

    The Governor commendably corrected this error, but apparently did so under the mistaken idea that “Executive Directive 1” somehow carries less force of law than other executive orders.

    The term “executive directive” is not to be found in the Code of Virginia.

    However, some ten years ago the US Attorney General’s Office settled that matter in an opinion to the President which concluded:

    “…it is our opinion that there is no substantive difference in the legal effectiveness of an executive order and a presidential directive [executive directive] that is not styled as an executive order…we are aware of no basis for drawing a distinction as to the legal effectiveness of a presidential[gubernatorial] action based on the form or caption of the written document through which that action is conveyed.”

    [ read the opinion at http://www.justice.gov/olc/predirective.htm ]

    Though the opinion concerns the President, all the legal arguments apply to our State Executive. An executive order is still an executive order even though it’s called an executive directive.

    The Governor may have actually done more for Civil Rights than he realized at the time. Even accomplished lawyers are capable of poor judgement when they allow their personal agendas to influence legal decisions.

    David Johnson

    March 16, 2010 at 11:17 am

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