Pa. lawmaker introduces resolution to impeach AG

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Dec 2, 2013

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Legal Newsline) -- A Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced a House resolution calling for the impeachment of state Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Legal Newsline) -- A Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced a House resolution calling for the impeachment of state Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

In October, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, a Republican, circulated a co-sponsor memo to members of the state House of Representatives, asking for their support of an impeachment resolution for Kane.

Metcalfe argues that the attorney general, who is a Democrat, has violated state law by refusing to defend Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act.

Metcalfe introduced his resolution Tuesday.

"All public officials in Pennsylvania swear an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution and laws of this Commonwealth," he said in a statement. "Attorney General Kane's repeated violation of her constitutional, statutory and ethical duties cannot be tolerated if our system of government is to work properly."

According to Metcalfe's House Resolution 572, Kane's decision and declaration was based solely on her personal opinion that the law is "wholly unconstitutional."

He argues that the Commonwealth Attorneys Act imposes a mandatory duty on the attorney general to defend the constitutionality of all lawfully enacted statutes, regardless of personal opinion.

No court, Metcalfe noted, has ruled that the state's legal definition of marriage between one man and one woman is unconstitutional.

The most recent U.S. Supreme Court case, United States v. Windsor, declared the federal law to be unconstitutional because it intruded upon the states' "historic and essential authority to define the marital relationship."

"This type of misbehavior in office cannot be allowed," Metcalfe said. "If an attorney general can pick and choose which laws are constitutional and which laws she will defend or enforce, then the will of 'We the People' through our elected lawmakers is thwarted by tyranny."

He contends it is the House's duty to stop Kane from engaging in "further misbehavior."

Kane fired back at Metcalfe in October.

"Rep. Metcalfe's call for impeachment should instead be an opportunity for his own introspection. More than three million voters elected me to office last year because they are fed up with partisan politics, which is what Rep. Metcalfe represents," Kane said at the time.

"Rep. Metcalfe's goals of media attention and political gamesmanship are accomplished through loud, arrogant and misguided claims. Instead, his priorities should be reforming education, job creation, fixing our transportation system or making the streets safer for kids and families, and should also include cleaning up the good ol' boys' system of public corruption.

"Instead, he chooses to focus on wasting time and battling me because I had the gall to run for office, win and serve Pennsylvania as an independent watchdog over the government they desperately want to rule."

Kane continued, "It is unfortunate that Rep. Metcalfe has such little respect for the people of Pennsylvania. It is also unfortunate and embarrassing that Rep. Metcalfe has such limited knowledge of the laws or perhaps poor understanding of time-tested, clearly enumerated legal principles.

"While he purports to know what actions I have taken, he is wrong. When he pretends to know the rules governing ethical conduct for attorneys, he again is terribly wrong. And, while Rep. Metcalfe pretends to understand the legal implications of my actions and others around the state, he could not be more misguided. I do not believe he cares about facts or the law."

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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