The April 1 Point of View “Cooper shirks duty to defend state law” by John L. Rustin seemed to imply that it is OK for one class of state employee (magistrates) to refuse to comply with state law because of “deeply held religious beliefs,” but that attorney general Roy Cooper does not have the same right to refuse to defend a state law.
Do we need to know the AG’s religious beliefs about HB2? Does a “deeply held secular belief” that a state law, which increases discrimination and may violate the provisions of the Constitution, not give the AG an equal right to refuse to defend it, or does duty refusal only apply for religious beliefs?
My father was a career Army officer. He told me that he was obligated to refuse an illegal order and used killing or torturing POWs as an example (violates the Geneva Conventions). Was he obligated to uphold the orders of his superiors, which he swore to do, even if such orders were a clear violation of international law?
Complex issues rely on personal perspective, subjectivity and morality, and deeply held beliefs can be a “slippery slope.” That “shoe” named hypocrisy fits different feet – both left and right!
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