But, the Supreme Court's Friday gay marriage ruling is of a new level indeed.
Paxton blathers about religious liberty of county clerks to not issue marriage licenses, and then says, in essence:
"If you get sued, don't call me. Look under 'Lawyers' in the Yellow Pages."
You see, he, I presume quite carefully, phrased his input on the issue as a nonbinding legal opinion. In other words, it's the personal legalese thought of a man masquerading as Texas' attorney general.
Here's the key grafs:
In a nonbinding legal opinion, Paxton said religious freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment “may allow accommodation of their religious objections to issuing same-sex marriage licenses.”
The clerks who balk at licensing gay marriage “may well face litigation and/or a fine,” Paxton warned.
“Importantly, the strength of any particular religious accommodation claim depends on the particular facts of each case,” he concluded.
“But,” he added in a press release, “numerous lawyers stand ready to assist clerks defending their religious beliefs, in many cases on a pro-bono basis, and I will do everything I can from this office to be a public voice for those standing in defense of their rights.”
At the same time:
1. Luke has now said she'll follow the law; and maybe she was just an ultra-worried clerk, not a "true believer.
2. Paxton has said that it would conceivably be an undue burden if everybody in a county clerk's office refused to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple but still did so to opposite-sex couples.
Or, call him a "weasel" instead of "Chicken Little."
Just a few counties in the state are official "no" counties; and half of them are small enough that it would be a budget-buster if/when they get sued, if they try to fight it. And, speaking of, Paxton's rightfully getting flamed by equality advocates, non-bigots, and people who actually understand the Constitution of the United States and/or how the Supreme Court grinds judicial sausage.