Do state officials have the right to decline to defend their state's laws? As we noted before, it is not an easy question. But University of Denver law professor (and rabbi) Kris McDaniel-Miccio, who is a plaintiff in one of the lawsuits challenging her state's gay marriage ban, disagrees: She penned an open letter to Colorado Attorney General John Suthers arguing that it is his duty to not defend the law.
Why? When he was sworn into office, Suthers pledged to uphold the laws and the constitutions of the United States and Colorado. With more than two dozen courts unanimously siding with marriage equality, including the Tenth (twice) and Fourth circuits, McDaniel-Miccio argues that the federal question is settled and that Suthers is not fulfilling the duties of his job by pressing forward.
Previously, Suthers stated that he was only reluctantly defending Colorado's Amendment 43, again, as a matter of duty, and despite his disagreement with the law.