West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has made a name for himself fighting the excesses of federal agencies trying to circumvent Congress. He seems to have forgotten that in his quest to enforce a 173-year-old abortion law, rather than waiting for the state legislature to act.
Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Tera L. Salango issued a preliminary injunction against the law, which makes performing an abortion a felony, saying the laws passed by our Legislature “are in desperate conflict with the criminal prohibition of abortion”.
Morrisey, however, remains impatient.
“It’s a dark day for West Virginia,” he said.
Morrisey’s ideology and emotions lead him to forget the importance of getting the job done right – just as he accused Federal Environmental Protection Agency officials of doing it in the way they handled coal-fired power plants.
After the United States Supreme Court ruled in his favor on this point, Morrisey hailed it as “a very important victory for the separation of powers, for the rule of law”, and said he hoped it would ensure that “overambitious government knows it has limits. ”
Legislative leaders were right to bristle at Morrisey’s rush to weigh in on the abortion issue.
“We will put in the time and work necessary to make sure we get to the right place. We must have a legally sound and fully defensible law. We are already working on legislation which reflects the pro-life position of this House and which is in line with the Dobbs opinion. If action on our part is needed, we will take it, and we will take it when and how we choose, not others,” said House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay.
Good. Morrisey might want a return to the legal standards of the mid-1800s, but he better serve West Virginia by stepping aside and letting lawmakers do their job — passing a law fit for the 21st century.