Manassas City Deputy Attorney Martin Crim demonstrates his utter lack of competence in a letter to the editor published in the Manassas News & Messenger today, making many folks wonder whether the City of Manassas deliberately hires fools, or only does so inadvertently. In a rant attacking the legal prowess of Delegate Bob Marshall and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli that any reasonably well informed High School student could tear apart, Crim demonstrates an urgent need for the City of Manassas to review their personnel roster in order to ensure delivery of quality services to the residents of Manassas.
Let’s start out with Crim’s stark raving lunacy:
Your story, “With legislation, Marshall continues health care fight,” shows us a road that Virginia has been down before. With “massive resistance” to the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision, Virginia hoped to “interpose” itself between the federal government and the people to prevent racial integration of the public schools.
Del. Bob Marshall hopes to do the same thing with his futile, theatric bills to ban mandated health care. His efforts will fail for the same reason that massive resistance did—once the federal government requires something, the states are helpless to stop it. He and Attorney General Cuccinelli know this, or should know it, but they are engaged in inflammatory and deceptive tactics for their own political gain.
The implementation of the Civil Rights Act of 1965 and the Brown decision Crim cites here followed the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment specifically authorized Congress to enact laws to that effect. “Massive resistance” had no basis in law since the Tenth Amendment allows the federal government to exercise authority in the enumerated powers of the Constitution and its Amendments. Quite simply, if the power is enumerated in the Constitution, the federal government can do it. If the Constitution does not enumerate that power, the federal government cannot. “Massive resistance” was contrary to a specific enumerated power established in the 14th Amendment. For a member of the Virginia Bar to demonstrate such fundamental misunderstandings about Constitutional Law absolutely brings into question their fitness as an attorney.
In the case of HB 10, the situation is entirely and quite obviously different. Congress simply cannot demand citizens enter into contracts with private companies. There’s no enumerated power in the constitution that authorizes such action, and the notion of forcing people to enter into contracts under duress is an anathema to hundreds of years of Common Law practice. That doesn’t matter whether the government is demanding you buy a car, identity theft protection, or health insurance. Any contract to purchase a good or service that you’re forced into executing under threat of jail time or fines is an invalid contract and the federal government does not have the power to redefine hundreds of years worth of legal precedent like this. You’d think an attorney would understand such a simple issue.
According to Crim, if Congress passes a law, any law, “states are helpless to stop it.” If Congress requires you obtain a license to publicly express political thought as a means to prevent civil disorder, states are “helpless.” If Congress says that trial by jury is too expensive and ceases appropriating money to establish federal juries as a cost-savings measure, states are “helpless.” The federal government, now absolved of any requirement to adhere to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, can do whatever it wants and states cannot take any action to protect the interests of their citizens. The Bill of Rights is now a cute historical artifact devoid of any meaning or power, the rule of law has been supplanted by mob rule, and we are now The United State rather than The United States. That’s got to really warm the cockles of the collectivists that unfortunately embed themselves within government in such alarming numbers.
Mind you, this utterly ridiculous drivel is not only coming from a member of the Virginia Bar, but one who is on the payroll of the City of Manassas.
So Crim, legal giant as he has proven himself to be thus far, decides publicly throw rocks at two Goliaths of Constitutional Law in Virginia, Delegate Bob Marshall and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. At least when David tried this with only one Goliath, he had the ultimate hole card at his disposal. Crim instead is armed with a legal argument that even the ACLU would probably throw in the garbage, and now a City Attorney in one of Virginia’s localities is getting into a fight regarding the legality of a piece of legislation while it is being debated in the Virginia legislature. Just try to think back to when you had an attorney working for a Virginia locality doing something like this on their own.
To put this behavior in perspective, just imagine that you’re in some sort of civil litigation and your attorney decides to start publicly attacking the judge who will hear your case on an unrelated matter. That’s not terribly unlike what is happening here. Martin Crim has a professional obligation to represent the interests of the City of Manassas, and publicly attacking the Attorney General’s legal competence and a member of the General Assembly can potentially harm the interests of the City. Attorneys aren’t supposed to pull this kind of stunt and potentially damage the interests of their clients. Had the City Council directed Crim to do this, that would be a different matter but the City Council isn’t prone to acting like utter idiots like this. For Crim to do this, something not a few members of the City Council are infuriated by, is a breach of professional conduct that not only undermines his fallacious argument, but demands official rebuke by the City.
I’m not one to often say that a municipal employee cannot express political opinions in public. Quite the opposite, most of the time. In this case, in his professional capacity as an attorney Martin Crim has called into serious question his competence and qualifications for the job he holds. Crim is ridiculously incompetent and suffers from shockingly poor judgment. Perhaps the City can find a reasonably well informed High School graduate to replace him who won’t publicly demonstrate their legal incompetence with utterly dumbass and counterproductive rantings.
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