Attorney General Mark Herring joined the chorus of Democrats calling for Delegate Joe Morrissey’s resignation after his conviction of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The Attorney General declared “Delegate Morrissey’s conduct is indefensible and unacceptable.” (Morrissey announced today that he will indeed resign the seat, but will turn around and run for it in a special election in early January.) The outrage towards Delegate Morrissey is justified. By pleading guilty, Delegate Morrissey acknowledged there was sufficient evidence to convict him of having an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year old employee of his law firm. At a press conference after Delegate Morrissey pled guilty, the prosecutor noted that the minor he was accused of taking indecent liberties was pregnant and “perhaps” Delegate Morrissey was the father.
I am glad that the Attorney General believes it is “indefensible and unacceptable” for an adult to have an inappropriate relationship with a minor that “perhaps” resulted in the minor being pregnant. Unfortunately, one has to question if the Attorney General’s strong reaction is merely that of a political opportunist. After all, it was only a few short months ago that when faced with a similar question, he found such behavior to be defensible and acceptable. He overturned a longstanding Commonwealth legal and policy protection for minors from the same type of inappropriate relationship Delegate Morrissey pled guilty. Why? Because protecting abortion providers was more important than a 14-year old, pregnant girl who was undeniably the victim of a crime.
You see, Attorney General Herring knew he could act with impunity towards the 14-year old girl because the press doesn’t want to talk about what really happens in abortion centers. While in Delegate Morrissey’s case, the conviction will be in the public eye every day he serves in the General Assembly and consequently undercuts the democrats’ war on women mantra. But for the press coverage, one has to wonder whether Attorney General Herring would truly find Delegate Morrissey’s actions to be “indefensible and unacceptable?”