Letter to the Editor...

Dear Editor,

Money for nothing. To me that means taking a job but not doing the work.

The other day, I went to the justice of the peace office to set a date for my upcoming marriage. To my dismay, the judge had a jury trial going on so no date could be set. I casually inquired as to other justices of the peace and heard that this judge or that judge stopped doing marriages. I heard the phrase “and you know why!’’ To wit I replied “of course I do, but if they're going to take the money, then they should perform the duty.”

I was wrong. Marriage is not a duty for a justice of the peace, but rather a power granted by the Texas Constitution and to which he or she are not obligated to perform.

I read the Attorney General Ken Paxton June 28 2015 Opinion No. 0025 and he made that quite clear. As I read it, officeholders can delegate the duty to issue the marriage licenses to people whose closely held religious beliefs do not prevent the issuing of the license. He was not very clear on what happens if no one wants to perform the duty at all. But I will give him a break because he may have been thinking about his impending indictment for felonious behavior.

Now I saw signs go up for the election of a JP here in Burnet. I am not going to mention names because that might be considered electioneering; however, as a voter in this county, I think each person who is running for an office should declare his or her intentions as to the issuing or exercising of their constitutional duties and powers. It is not fair to the voter not to know where the candidate stands.

Yours,

Darrel E. Mahon

 

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