elephantgop.pngThis is the second in a series on the competition between Jim Gilmore and Bob Marshall for the Republican Party’s nomination to be Virginia’s next senator.  The first post (see here) compared the two candidates on education issues.  The subject of this post is the Law.

Our senators must both understand the law and be willing to live within the law. Our senators should take the lead in protecting our rights, particularly freedom of religion, the cornerstone of American Law. To protect our rights, we need more Supreme Court judges such as Anthony Scalia and Clarence Thomas, judges who have demonstrated a heartfelt commitment to the rule of Law and the Constitution of the United States.  To get such such judges confirmed, we must elect conservative senators.

Candidate Positions on Issues of Law

Jim Gilmore

What does Gilmore’s web site have to say about protecting our rights?  As I noted in the previous post, Gilmore’s position statements (see here) are short.  Gilmore:

  • Makes an unambiguous statement supporting 2nd Amendment rights.  At same time, he cites his efforts to get guns out of the hands of criminals.
  • Says he will work to protect traditional values.  That includes efforts to curb abortions, ban human cloning and protecting the sancity of marriage. provides more information on Gilmore’s position on abortion (see here for details).

  • Abortion before 8 weeks not OK, but shouldn’t be prohibited. (May 2007)
  • Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided; good day when repealed. (May 2007)
  • Right to abortion in the first 8 to 12 weeks of pregnancy. (May 2007)
  • Embryonic stem cell research experiments with people. (May 2007)
  • Informed consent and 24-hour waiting period. (Jan 2001)

One thing I noticed on is a reference that stated that Gilmore got a grade of “F” from National Review on “Gay Marriage.” This grade of “F” appears to be both absurd and inaccurate.  I checked the reference (here) which strangely was not National Review.  The reference does not link to National Review and a google search turned up no supporting evidence. 

This (here) interview with Human Events also provides Gilmore’s positions on abortion, same-sex marriage, and gun rights. 

Bob Marshall

On Issues page of his website, Marshall starts by making the point that his first job is to serve his constituents. 

Delegate Bob Marshall has worked hard for Virginia for the past 16 years as a member of the Virginia General Assembly from the 13th District. When he was first elected he was approached by a senior colleague who told him he had to “go along if he wanted to get along.” His response was that he was there to serve his constituents. For this reason he has earned the reputation as a strong leader who is not afraid to buck the status quo and speak the truth despite political pressure. For example, he was the only Republican member of the House of Delegates to speak against the Abusive Driver fees and the unelected, tax collecting NVTA. His record is clear and consistent.  (from here)

One of the most contentious first amendment issues revolves around campaign finance reform.  Marshall offers a novel solution. 

The solution is quite simple: as a cost of renewing a FCC broadcast TV-radio license, equal airtime during elections should be made available in identical formats to any candidate who has met the balloting requirements of state and-or federal law.   And no additional broadcast time should be made available for purchase outside that system.  The public airwaves would be used for public service. This should be the rule at least for federal races. (from here)

Since his election to the House of Delegates, Marshall’s efforts to stem the tide abortions have been relenting (see here).  Marshall: 

  • Opposes embryonic stem cell research and supports adult stem cell research. 
  • Opposes abortion from the moment of conceptions, and he cites his efforts and his successes at getting prolife legislation through the General Assembly. 

Marshall led the effort to secure passage of a Marriage Amendment to the Virginia Constitution (from here).

Candidate Records

Jim Gilmore (Project Vote Smart synopsis here and Conservapedia has this write-up).

Wikipedia has this to say about Gilmore’s record. 

As Governor, Gilmore signed into law legislation establishing a 24-hour waiting period and informed consent for women seeking an abortion, as well as a ban against partial birth abortion. Gilmore increased funding for adoption services. He also signed into law a bill that banned human cloning. In 1999, Gilmore went to court to try to prevent the removal of a feeding tube of coma victim Hugh Finn. Gilmore argued that removal of a feeding tube was not removal of artificial life support because it amounted to starvation of an infirm person who could not feed himself. As Attorney General of Virginia, Gilmore had defended a legal challenge to Virginia’s first parental notification law for minors seeking abortions.  (from here)

Sometimes it is interesting to see what your opponents have to say.  Here is an excerpt from Right-Wing Watch.

Indeed, when Gilmore ran for governor, he was seen as an example of Republicans seeking broader appeal by distancing themselves from anti-abortion hardliners. From the New York Times ten years ago:

“With Election Day only two weeks away, the race for Virginia governor offers the latest demonstration of a striking shift that many Democrats fear could hurt them in the mid-term elections next year. Though Republicans may not transform abortion into a winning issue, they are trying to neutralize Democrats by narrowing the discussion. Now, Republicans insist there is no danger they would outlaw all abortions — only the one procedure [so-called ‘partial birth abortion’], which they describe in gruesome detail. …

Once again, a Democrat, Lieut. Gov. Donald S. Beyer Jr., is campaigning to win the governor’s mansion. And once again, he is trying to make abortion an issue. But this time, the Republican nominee, James S. Gilmore 3d, has eagerly joined the debate.

”The truth is, the Supreme Court has spoken,” Mr. Gilmore tells Virginians in a television commercial. ”No one’s going to ban abortions and Don Beyer knows that.”

He goes on to explain his stand in limited, non-threatening terms: ”I won’t ask taxpayers to pay for abortions” and ”I won’t support late-term abortion.”

By steering clear of broader pronouncements against abortion, Republicans are trying to make their message more palatable to more voters.”  (from here

Bob Marshall (Project Vote Smart synopsis here).

Project Vote Smart lists here Marshall’s votes.  Relevant topics include:

Here is Wikipedia has to say about Marshall and the Marriage Amendment.

Marshall sponsored the Marshall-Newman Amendment to the state constitution that prohibited same-sex marriage as well as civil unions, domestic partnerships, and “other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.” It also prohibits the recognition of other states’ such legal arrangements. It was approved in a 2006 referendum by 57% to 43%.

The text of the adopted amendment is as follows:

“Only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions. This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.”  (from here)

Marshall led the group that fought giving taxation authority to the Northern Virginia Transportation (AKA Taxation) Authority (NVTA).

An opinion published this morning by the Supreme Court of Virginia rules that regional taxes and fees authorized by the General Assembly and imposed by Northern Virginia Transportation Authority are unconstitutional.

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors and Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-13) were among the parties challenging the authority of the NVTA to impose taxes and fees without votes by elected representatives, either in the General Assembly or in the affected localities.

As a result of the action, the taxes and fees that went into effect Jan. 1 are null and void. Also, road improvements and other transportation projects localities hoped to advance with proceeds from the NVTA’s planned $130 million bond issue are on hold.  (from here)

The political action arm of the Family Research Council, FRC Action has endorsed Bob Marshall.

Delegate Marshall is the conservative candidate in this race, said Connie Mackey, Senior Vice-President of FRC Action. He drafted and led the way for Virginia’s partial-birth abortion ban bill. He sponsored the successful ballot initiative preserving marriage. He protected the rights of Old Dominion taxpayers by dismantling the unelected tax authority in Virginia by winning a unanimous decision from the Virginia Supreme Court. He has proclaimed that he is a conservative, he has acted like a conservative, and he has won many battles as a conservative.  (from here)

Other Views

Spank that Donkey asks whether Marshall would sue himself (here).

The right-wing liberal notes the FRC endorsement of Marshall (here).

Shaun Kenney discusses the argument over who is winning (here).

Keep an eye towards the general election, Isophorone asks when Mark Warner plans to move to Florida (here).




  1. STD – Thank you for visiting again, and thank you for the observation about the review being even handed. That is a nice compliment. I do not make any bones about being a fan of Bob Marshall’s. Nonetheless, I think Jim Gilmore was a decent governor, and I will most certainly support Gilmore over Warner.

    I had not investigated Gilmore’s background beyond his stint as the Attorney General. His military experience is relevant, and it would certainly help him in defense matters. When I do a post on National Defense, I will add that information.

    The basic reason I support Bob Marshall is that he has demonstrated that he is unafraid to fight the establishment. The unfortunate fact is that the United States has subdivided itself between ambitious elites and the middle class. When it comes to the immigration issue this separation of interests is glaring. In their quest for cheap labor, our greedy elites have no problem overrunning our country with tens of millions of illegal aliens. This insanity ignores serious security issues and enormous costs to taxpayers.

    Because of his record, I have confidence that Marshall will put the interests of the nation first. In fact, I have more confidence in Marshall to deal with problems such as the immigration issue than I have in any other political leader I know of.

    Marshall’s concern about ANWR is hardly loony. ANWR is a considerable distance from the mainland United States. Alaska is much closer to Asia than the mainland USA. Moreover, Alaska has a small population. So it is remote and there hardly anyone there to defend it.

    Since you have studied WWII, I would imagine you recall that Japan invaded the Aleutian Islands (see here). Japanese and American troops fought each other and the environment. Given it has been invaded before, there is a higher probability Alaska might be invaded again.

    As you observed, we have had troops in Europe since WW II. Since the end of the Cold War, we have considerably reduced the size of our forces there. Nonetheless, we still have quite a few people in Europe (see here or here). Why? Is the threat Russia? The European Union is far richer and more populous. Why should Europeans be afraid of Russia? Perhaps Europeans should be encouraged to accept greater responsibility to defend themselves.


  2. You’ve got a pretty even handed review here.

    Gov. Gilmore is on the Board of Directors for the National Rifle Association, you know like right up there with Ted Nugent.

    If you are going to address National Defense issues, Gilmore is head and shoulders above Marshall and Warner, as he is a veteran, graduated US Army intelligence school, fluent in German, and chaired a Congressionally authorized commission PRE- 9-11 on terrorism preparedness.

    Furthermore, he had in place Pre 9-11 the exact policy that Virginia’s agencies followed establishing chain of command on the day of 9-11.

    On drilling in ANWR, Gov. Gilmore yes, Del. Marshall, says, he needs more information, and told us at the Waynesboro Mass Meeting he was afraid of terrorist attack on developing an oil supply so far away from the United States.

    ANWR is in Alaska! Is Marshall afraid to defend the USA?

    He also stated he wants to pull our troops out of Germany and Europe in general and put them on the Mexican border.

    Bob Marshall needs to consult his 2000 book library on WW1 and WW2, both started without US troops in Europe. Since WW2 no major conflicts…

    Bob Marshall get a clue, quite playing to the cameras! It shows a serious, serious lack of knowledge of history to suggest abandoning our bases in Europe or Asia.


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