Finally! Virginia Governor Tim Kaine has decided to quit playing politics and call for a special session of the Virginia Legislature. Kaine announced at a press conference this morning that the date will be August 19, 2009. I hope oft absent governor remembers to pencil in the date between DNC duties.
As reported on this blog and other sources, Virginia Republican Nominee for Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has been calling for a special session to address the recent US Supreme Court ruling in the Melendez-Diaz vs. Massachusetts case. Virginia Right! has been behind Cuccinelli on this and we have expressed regret that Governor Kaine and especially Democratic Nominee for Attorney General Steve Shannon decided to try to use this issue for political gain.
Senator Cuccinelli has done what he always does: acted in the best interest of the citizens of the Commonwealth. His opponent, Shannon, decided to try to make this a political issue and disregard the safety of Virginians. Most Virginians are quite aware that this should have never been a political issue. Shannon has displayed a reckless disregard for the safety of the public in a desperate attempt to find an issue with which to attack Cuccinelli. It was Kaine and Shannon that took an important issue and turned it into a public spectacle that pitted the two against Senator Cuccinelli and the majority of prosecutors.
It is important for the Commonwealth’s Attorneys to know that the next Attorney General is someone that places public safety and law enforcement above petty politics. Cuccinelli has proven that he is the only Attorney General candidate that can be trusted in that regard.
In the Melendez-Diaz vs. Massachusetts case, the Supreme Court decided that the defendants have the right, under the 6th amendment to confront their accuser. In this case, the lab technicians. This ruling had the effect of making the Virginia Statutes unconstitutional.
Now that the political games have finally been called off by Kaine, we can get on with the business of running the state and debating the real issues.
And special thanks to Hanover Attorney Elwood “Sandy” Sanders for immediately recognizing the severity of this ruling and the devastating impact it would have on Virginia’s public safety. At a time when some failed to realize the importance to Virginia of this ruling, Sandy’s clarity and foresight on this issue was spot on. The ink was not even dry on the Supreme Court decision when Sandy sounded the alarm with this guest blog. And several follow up posts as the situation evolved. Well done, Mr. Sanders!