Governor Christie has publicly joked about his initial meeting with Paula Dow upon arriving at the US Attorney’s office in 2002. I’ll refrain from trying to characterize the encounter, because the Governor’s story is actually kinda genius and you really need to hear him tell it and not me.
Suffice to say, it was reminder that while there was a lot of common ground, they came from different worlds. Fast forward to 2010, Christie is the Governor and Dow is his A-G.
Last month Dow joined Attorneys General from three other states in a friend-of-court brief which which is raising eyebrows among opponents of gay marriage – something Christie has also said he is against.
First a little background – The University of California – Hastings College of Law denied official recognition to a chapter of a group known as the Christian Legal Society. Officers and voting members of CLS are required to adhere to Christian values which includes no sex outside of marriage. See where this is headed? A gay or lesbian relationship would not meet that standard in states where gay marriage is illegal.
Anyway, CLS challenged the constitutionality of its denial since it allows anyone to join the society but limits those aforementioned sex restrictions to its leadership. Last December ( at the height of the gay marriage debate in New Jersey ) the US Supreme Court agreed to hear the petition. Friend-of-the-court briefs were filed supporting CLS, but Dow did the opposite.
New Jersey filed a brief opposing CLS’s arguments and endorsing the University position along with A-G’s from Massacusetts, Vermont and Maryland.
According to Dow’s office, Governor Christie’s office was informed of the brief after it had been filed. But Christian conservatives feel that should not be New Jersey’s position. They argue that whatever Dow’s personal views may be, they should probably reflect those of the Governor who appointed her. And if they don’t, New Jersey could have simply stayed out of it.
The Supreme Court hears arguments this week.