Andrew McCullough's Blog

Friday, May 30, 2008

Gay marriage and more

May 30, 2008

Today's Deseret News reports that our current Attorney General filed a brief with the Calfornia Supreme Court yesterday, in conjunction with several other state attorneys general, asking the Court to delay implementation of its ruling until after the November election, so that voters will have a chance to overturn the ruling. The California Attorney General, who recently argued against the legalization, has asked the Court NOT to delay its ruling. What business does the Utah Attorney General have in getting involved in this? In 2006, the Equality Utah political action committee gave Mr. Shurtleff an award for his efforts to fight discrimination -- apparently because he is at least a bit more enlightened than most of his Republican colleagues. If they really thought he believed in equal rights, he has now made it clear that they were wrong.

Also today, Mr. Shurtleff announced that the court ruling in Texas has made him "even more determined" to fight abuse in the polygamous community in Utah. See yesterday's blog for my thoughts on the ruling. For today, let me just say that we are ALL against child abuse wherever it occurs. Some of us, however, are also against the abuse of State power to advance a political agenda.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

FLDS ruling

May 29, 2008

Today the Texas Supreme Court affirmed the Third District Court of Appeals that the wholesale removal of over 4oo children from their homes over fear of a strange brand of polygamy in their community was unlawful. That ruling was absolutely correct, no matter what you think of the FLDS Church and their leader, who is now in jail for assisting in a rape (See my previous blog entries for my feelings on that). It is great to see that misuse of State power can be reined in through determined use of the judicial system.

I am particularly proud of the fact that the ACLU national office and the ACLU of Texas filed a substantial Amicus Curiae ("friend of the court") brief in support of the rights of the parents. And, because of the very short time to file it, they worked all night. Our Utah ACLU has links to the ACLU brief and the court decision on its website at Hopefully, that will answer those of you who have asked me lately where the ACLU is in that case. They were present, and they answered the call. As an attorney who practices sometimes (I try not do do it much anymore) in Juvenile Court, I know as well as anyone that the State (whether it is Utah, Texas or whatever) will OFTEN abuse its power in intefering with a family, based on rumors and unproved allegations. We must continue to fight for individual rights against this power. And, at least sometimes, we will win in the end. Thanks to the ACLU of Texas and all those who fought and won this time.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Bob Barr for President

May 25, 2008

I just returned from the Libertarian National convention at which we nominated former Republican Conressman Bob Barr for President. I voted for him because I think that he will bring a lot of new people to the party, and that our votes for President will grow substantially. In order to support me for Attorney General, you certainly do not need to become a party member or vote for Bob Barr; but the party is going to exert more influence this year than ever before; and it will have an effect on the presidential race. Good luck to Congressman Barr. For more information on him and his candidacy, see and

I look forward to a great election year. Let's all do what we can to get the government out of our private lives. More soon.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Libertarian NationalConvention

May 23, 2008

I am sitting at the Libertarian National Convention, listening to the debate on bylaws. I will file a couple more blolgs overt the naest few days, so stay tuned in. I did want to briefly comment on the decision of the Texas Court of Appeals overruling the courts who took control over the hundreds of children of the FLDS Church. Today the Texas child welfare authorities will appeal to the Texas Supreme Court. This really needs to stop. It would seem to be obvious that the State of Texas went way overboard in its reaction to a hoax call about abuse. While our present attorney general says that would not happen in Utah, he seems to support the general idea of the raid on the ranch. And his Democratic opponent says his own efforts to fight polygamy in Utah are not enough.

The simple fact is that, in Utah as well as Texas, the state interferes with parental rights too often, to fast and too hard. While everyone wants to protect helpless children from harm, State interference with families has grown exponentially in my lifetime. It really is time that we step back and find ways to help families who need help without the use of force on the part of the State in so mahny situations. More on this in the context of Texas, and in the context of our own State actions, soon.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

More on campaign contributions

May 10, 2008

Today are the State conventions for both the Republican and Democratic parties. This week, their candidates had to file their financial reports for the first part of this year. The difference between the reports from the current Attorney General and his Democratic challenger are startling. HIs contributions are mostly from businesses, and many are quite large. Hers are mostly from individuals, and are mostly quite small. I am a lot closer to her than she is to him. I just had this wonderful thought: I could beat this Democrat, both in contributions and votes, if I really put my efforts into it. Why not help me do just that? What a coup! We all know that I would make a good Attorney General; but many people think the fight is hopeless, so why bother? Take a look at the contribution reports on the Lt. Governor's website, and tell me what is and is not possible. Then, see my official website at and make a contribution. Help me really rock the boat! What fun we will have!

Monday, May 05, 2008

In Memorium -- Mildred Loving, and more

May 5, 2008

It is a name known mostly by those who have studied constitutional law. Mildred Loving, a black woman from Virginia, passed away earlier today at the age of 68. She married her longtime white boyfriend in Washington, DC in 1957. At the time, she didn't really realize that such a marriage was illegal in Virginia. But, when she went back home, she found out, as she was arrested shortly thereafter. She and her husband agreed to leave Virginia and live in Washington for a period of time. Then she contacted the ACLU and told them she wanted to go home without fear of arrest. She later said she didn't want to be a hero, just a bride, and said "We are not marrying the state. The law should allow a person to marry anyone he wants." To some degree, the landmark Supreme Court case of Loving v. Virginia held just that. but we all know the battle is far from over. The fight to keep the State out of our bedrooms goes on; but because of Mrs. Loving, one step has been taken. For all those of us who believe there is a part of our lives beyond the control of the State, we say "thanks".

On another subject, this morning's Deseret News reports that a majority of Utahns side with our present attorney general, who says that the public's right to be safe is more important than giving a person who is listed on the State's sex offender registry a chance to be delisted. Mr. Shurtleff, why do you fear Due Process of Law? Why not allow a person to go to court eventually to show that he is not a threat to society, and have himself removed from this hideous list? If the Court deems him still a threat, he stays. but if he is not, why should he be there?

The problem is that the listing requriements keep getting more severe. A person who entered a guilty plea years ago thinking he would not be listed, or thinking he would be delisted in ten years, now finds that the legislature has increased his listing requirement to lifetime. Where is the fairness in that? What is the harm in allowing him to challenge it, and show that it is not proper in his particular case? The current attorney general claims he is just protecting children. But, from what? Why have we allowed ourselves as a nation and a society to be governed by fear? Mr. Bush has transformed our nation into one afraid of everything and everybody. Do you really want to live in fear all your life? Do you truly feel safer this way? I don't; and I only ask that common sense prevail. Those who are dangerous can be labeled so. Those who are not deserve the chance to prove it. That, really, is the American way.
Politics blogs blog search directory Politics Top Blogs