Thursday, August 08, 2013

Slate: Ken Cuccinelli’s Sodomy Obsession

Ken Cuccinelli's obsession with sodomy continues to make Virginia a laughing stock around the country and also shows the way Kookinelli would govern if Virginians are stupid enough to allow him to be elected to the Governor's mansion by the right wing extremists that nominated him for governor in the first place.  Time and time again, Cuccinelli has demonstrated that laws and mean what he wants them to say, not what their plain language states, and that he thinks he is above the rulings of the highest courts in the land.   In his frivolous appeal the the United States Supreme Court, Cuccinelli asks the Court to utterly ignore the plain, unequivocal wording of Virginia's "crimes against nature" law which as written applies to EVERYONE, gay or straight, adult or minor, married or unmarried.  Who is guilty and who can be prosecuted is left purely to the whims of prosecutors. Policing every bedroom across Virginia is not what I'd call an example of smaller government.  But then again, a smaller government less intrusive government is not what Cuccinelli wants.  He wants a theocracy.  An article in Slate looks at Cuccinelli's insane and very dangerous arguments for making all sex outside of the so-called "missionary position" illegal.   Here are excerpts:

Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia’s attorney general, has garnered more than his share of national attention over the years, with high-profile legal crusades against global warming researchers, Obamacare, and abortion clinics. But it’s his recent war on consensual sodomy in the commonwealth that has raised the most eyebrows as the gubernatorial candidate has made the issue a centerpiece of the final months of his campaign.

His critics, including the ladies of The View and Jay Leno, have responded to Cuccinelli’s quest to reinstate Virginia’s anti-sodomy or, “Crimes Against Nature” law, with snickers and winks. The law is plainly unconstitutional—according to both a 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision and a federal appeals court—and giggling about the attorney general’s creepy preoccupation with Virginians’ consensual oral sex makes for an easy comic target. But that focus obscures the real—even original—sin undergirding Cucinelli’s latest legal push: It’s a call for judges to read statutes to mean what they don’t say; a call for outright judicial activism, for freewheeling judicial interpretation—qualities legal thinkers on the right usually deplore.

It has long been the mantra of Republican politicians that judges—especially elitist federal judges—should never, ever legislate from the bench. Now consider Attorney General Cuccinelli’s approach to Virginia’s sodomy law. The anti-sodomy statute, 18.2-361, applies to “any person” that “carnally knows any male or female person by the anus or by or with the mouth.” Yes. It bans all oral and anal sex. And for those who partake, the legal consequence is a felony conviction, possible imprisonment, and lifelong status as a sex offender.

In March, the federal court of appeals struck down the Virginia sodomy law and threw out MacDonald’s conviction for reasons clear to anyone who’s ever watched Ally McBeal. Lawrence v. Texas, the 2003 Supreme Court decision about Texas’ anti-sodomy statute, held that states can’t regulate private consensual sexual activity amongst adults. The court of appeals’ position, that state anti-sodomy laws simply do not survive post-Lawrence, is the same position taken by attorneys general in other states, including the prior Virginia attorney general. That should end it, right?
But even with the tide of legal authority against him, Cuccinelli decided to appeal the case to the Supreme Court, arguing that Virginia’s anti-sodomy statute has no constitutional problem, if—as he concedes, and only if—the high court would just interpret the terrifyingly broad sodomy law to apply only to sex involving 16- and 17-year-olds.
The legal position Cuccinelli pushes creates truly bizarre results, which is normally a sign for reviewing courts that something smells funky. Asking a federal court to turn a state anti-sodomy law into an anti-statutory rape law means that if MacDonald had engaged in ordinary intercourse with a 17-year-old girl every day for a month, he would not face a felony conviction or be a sex offender. He’d just be that guy. But his decision to solicit oral sex, even his decision to just phone her and ask for it, under the imaginarily rewritten law, requires both.

Cuccinelli’s proposed revision to Virginia’s sodomy law would also mean that those older than 15 can legally consent to sex, yet, have no right of sexual privacy in actually having sex. Or, to put it differently, Virginia could charge any 16- and 17-year-old with felony sodomy simply because they happened to choose oral or anal sex over vaginal sex. That’s a scary prospect for all parents in Virginia, but especially for those parents raising gay teens. Leaving a statute of that sort on the books doesn’t protect children over the age of consent. It criminalizes their choice of conduct and leaves the state to decide when it’s benign.
For what possible reason should we give Cuccinelli, or the federal courts, open-ended discretion to go after some acts of consensual sodomy, but not others—when he’s made plain that he thinks one particular class of sodomy is “intrinsically wrong?” And in light of that fact that exactly such back-from-the-dead “crimes against nature” statutes are being used right now in states like Louisiana by overzealous and vindictive police officers to openly harass gay couples, what possible reason could there be to reinstate them?

It’s hard to tell whether Cuccinelli is now begging federal courts to legislate from the bench because he needs a campaign boost, or because he really does want them to police—on an ongoing, “trust me”—basis, the private sex lives of all Virginians and the sexual conduct of all its teenagers. The first scenario is an example of the sad state of Virginia politics. The second is just plain scary. Either way, begging out-of-touch, elitist, liberal federal courts to make ad hoc decisions about which private sex acts are “unnatural” could not be a less conservative goal.

When all is said and done, Kookinelli's ultimate target is gay Virginians.   He is a zealot who cannot be trusted and, in my view, is down right insane.  We do not need someone like him in the governor's mansion.  We don't need him in any elected office whatsoever.  The Constitutional Daily, after asking whether or not Kookinelli has ever committed sodomy with his wife gets to the real issue plaguing Kookinelli:
But we will speculate about Ken Cuccinelli. There's a good chance he's had a little bit of sodomy at some time. And maybe it was a bad experience for him. In fact, it's quite likely it was a bad experience for him, because anyone who's ever followed the story of an ardent anti-gay advocate knows how the story always ends. Ken Cuccinelli is probably gay.

His anti-gay campaigning is probably a manifestation of his own internal struggle. Most people don't feel that strongly about gays, even your typical redneck who will agree with the most homophobic stuff you can think of at the end of the day really doesn't care. The people who do care are the ones fighting their nature because for them homosexuality is an issue that dominates their own lives, and so they think the rest of the world is as concerned as they are.

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