AG rep responds to Eichelberger

A spokesman for state Attorney General Kathleen Kane castigated state Sen. John H. Eichelberger Jr., R-Blair, on Friday after Eichelberger publicly endorsed impeaching Kane.

In a news release, Kane representative Joe Peters explained the attorney general’s decision not to defend a Pennsylvania law that forbids gay marriage. Many Republicans, including Eichelberger, have criticized Kane’s stance as political; Kane has said she can’t defend a law she considers unconstitutional.

Addressing Bedford County business figures at a Thursday luncheon, Eichelberger said legislators should “teach [Kane] a lesson with her pocketbook” by cutting funds to her office next year.”

Peters replied Friday, “The senator’s comment … that he would like to ‘teach her a lesson’ is particularly disappointing and intemperate.” He added, “With all due respect, perhaps it is Senator Eichelberger who needs a lesson, in constitutional law.”

Peters said cutting funds to the attorney general’s office would jeopardize public safety.

The legal dispute was spurred by an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit on behalf of 23 people, filed against state officials in hopes of overturning Pennsylvania’s 1996 defense of marriage law.

Kane announced last month that she would not defend the law in court, leaving attorneys for Gov. Tom Corbett to defend it in her place.

“[Eichelberger] also does not seem to understand that the Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys require Attorney General Kane to delegate this matter to OGC,” Peters said, referring to the state Office of General Counsel. “Attorney General Kane will continue to enforce the laws of Pennsylvania and has never indicated otherwise.”

Mirror Staff Writer Ryan Brown is at 946-7457.