Can Maggie Gallagher, NOM, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, New York State Senator and Reverend RubÃ©n DÃaz,Â or, really, anyone, actually get marriage equality in New York state repealed now that Governor Cuomo has signed the right to same-sex marriage in to law? Maggie Gallagher, and her anti-gay National Organization for Marriage (NOM), have pledged “$2 million to reverse same-sex marriage in New York.â€ At 11:49 PM Friday, six minutes before Governor Cuomo signed into law his same-sex marriage equality bill, Gallagher — known for her hostility when on the losing side of a battle (remember Carrie Prejean, anyone?) — threatened in her National Review column that, “The GOP Will Pay a Grave Price,” and flung the tepid threat, “Consequences to be continued.” But are these the empty promises of an embattled bigot on the losing side of history? Or can an unholy trinity of Maggie Gallagher and NOM, Archbishop Dolan, and New York State Senator and Reverend RubÃ©n DÃazÂ — or, anyone else — actually stage an effective campaign that repeals marriage equality from New York’s same-sex couples, after they have been given equal rights, just like Prop 8 did to California?
In the weeks, days, and hours leading up to Friday’s historic vote that delivered marriage equality to same-gender New York couples — by a vote in the NY State Senate of 33-29 — talk of religious “carve-outs,” religious exemptions, or, simply, state-sanctioned religious discrimination — depending on your political position on the bill — flooded the news wires. On Monday of last week, New York Senate Majority Leader Dean SkelosÂ told reporters the issue is not just religious carve-outs, but â€œseverability.â€
In other words, New York’s Republican lawmakers, in an unholy partnership with New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan and the Catholic Conference, were working on language to make the bill judicial hammer-â€‹proof. Republicans and religious leaders didn’t want lawyers and “activist-judges” going back after the bill became law and removing the religious exemptions.
Could severability, also known as “no contest,” really be the key to killing marriage equality in New York? The bill indeed is judicial hammer-proof — but not in a good way. In contract law, and in law-making, severability is important. Generally, it’s beneficial to ensure that if one part of a bill or contract can be deemed invalid by a judge, the rest of the law or contract can still be in effect. Not so with the New York marriage equality bill. If a judge finds any part of the law unconstitutional or legally invalid, could same-sex marriage equality be tossed out?
“Our best deterrent to backlash is to take our well organized coalition, just coming off a victory here in the Empire State, and focus attention on national efforts to repeal federal DOMA. The more we keep our opponents on defense the better chance we have of moving forward.”
We spoke with noted New York City civil rights attorney Yetta Kurland — who currently is defending Lt. Dan Choi in his federal trial for chaining himself to the White House fence to protest Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) — about Maggie Gallagher and NOM’s prospects of being able to “reverse” Cuomo’s marriage equality law. Here’s what she told The New Civil Rights Movement, via email, literally three hours after Cuomo signed the bill.
“While of course there is always a threat of backlash from people like Maggie Gallagher and others who seek to push back efforts towards equality, it would certainly be an uphill battle for them to repeal or overturn this statute,” Kurland, founder of Kurland, Bonica, and Associates, P.C.,Â says. “That is not to say that there won’t be efforts, unfortunately, including, potentially, efforts to exploit the ‘no contest’ clause in the statute which says if any part of the statute is found to be invalid then the entire statute is invalid.”
“But this provision was meant to deter suits against religious entities for exercising the religious exemptions of the law, and there is some question about whether or not such a clause could be enforced,” Kurland definitively states, and adds, that “unlike in California where the right to marry was created through judicial action, this was an affirmative right created through legislative action. That means the Maggie Gallagher’s of the world have the onus on them to prove that the law is somehow invalid, unconstitutional, etc.”
“We are now the 6th state in a country of 50 states to have marriage equality. There is much work to be done,” Kurland reminds, and much like Senator Kirsten Gillibrand stated Saturday, Kurland had the foresight to say, “our best deterrent to backlash is to take our well-organized coalition, just coming off a victory here in the Empire State, and focus attention on national efforts to repeal federal DOMA. The more we keep our opponents on defense the better chance we have of moving forward.”
Gallagher’s empty threat, at eleven minutes to the stroke of midnight Friday, was beneath the veteran professional hater of homosexuals. No doubt Gallagher and her partner in equality-fighting, NOM president Brian Brown, are licking their financial chops at the thought of all the cash that will pour in to their coffers. But the nascent, four-year old anti-gay group will need to come up with more than fake polls, lies, faded football players, and robocalls to turn the tide of public opinion in New York. No doubt, laughing or crying, they’ll be pulling out all the stops, and New Yorkers can expect even more ugliness from the anti-equality bigots from NOM, Archbishop Dolan’s Catholic Conference, and separation of church and state violators like New York State Senator and Reverend RubÃ©n DÃaz.
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82-Year-Old Black Woman Arrested and Handcuffed by Alabama Police Over $77 Unpaid Trash Bill
Martha Menefield, an 82-year-old Black woman in Valley, Alabama, had police officers show up to her home on Sunday and arrest her for failing to pay a $77 trash bill, CBS42 reports.
Menefield told CBS42 that she thought the bill had already been paid, “but they said it hadn’t.”
“And the cuffs,” she said, her eyes swelling with tears. “They’re so heavy.”
When the officer told her not to cry, Menefield asked him, “How would you feel if they came and arrested your grandmama?”
“I’m just happy my grandkids weren’t here to see that,” Menefield said, her voice shaking. “That would have upset them. I was so ashamed. And it’s been bothering me.”
In a post on the city’s social media account, Valley’s police chief defended the arrest.
“City of Valley Code Enforcement Officers issued Ms. Menefield a citation in August of 2022 for non-payment for trash services for the months of June, July, and August,” Chief Mike Reynolds’ statement said. “Prior to issuing the citation, Code Enforcement tried to call Ms. Menefield several times and attempted to contact her in person at her residence. When contact could not be made, a door hanger was left at her residence. The hanger contained information on the reason for the visit and a name and contact phone number for her to call. The citation advised Ms. Menefield that she was to appear in court on September 7, 2022, in reference to this case. A warrant for Failure to Pay-Trash was issued when she did not appear in court.”
Since the arrest, Menefield has been thinking about the role of God in her life.
“I’ve been questioning God a little bit,” she said. “I guess cause I’ve been so upset. I had a daycare here for eight years, and I’ve been asking the Lord. I say ‘Why did this happen to me as much as I’ve done for people, Lord? I’ve paid my tithes every Sunday. I ushered at church. I was just questioning. Something’s just not right.”
Read the full report over at CBS42.
‘Another Happy Jobs Day’: Economists Thrilled With ‘Amazing’ Report as Jobs Growth Beats Expectations, Wages Increase
The Biden economy added a whopping 263,000 jobs last month, crushing expectations of 200,000, and wages are growing as well, leading one economist to declare “another happy jobs day.”
The U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) adds that unemployment remains at a near-historic low of 3.7% in November, “and has been in a narrow range of 3.5 percent to 3.7 percent since March.”
University of Michigan School of Economics Professor Justin Wolfers exclaimed, “It’s yet ANOTHER happy jobs day. Payrolls rose +263k, well above expectations.”
“This expansion just keeps on rolling on,” added Wolfers, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution.
Wolfers also takes on those who have been falsely pushing “recession” talking points.
“BTW, remember all that recession talk? It was nonsense. Bollocks. Cow dung,” he tweets. “There never was a recession. And the economy sure doesn’t look like it’s in one now. Job growth at this rate is the economy singing: ‘This is a robust expansion.'”
And he also slams the doom and gloom forecasters.
The flip from “Recession!” to “Overheating!” is just about the perfect example of the bad news bias in most economic commentary.
Look folks, if the economists you talk to are always gloomy, they’re only giving you half the story.https://t.co/mcD76jthvN
— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) December 2, 2022
Economist David Rothschild sums up where the Biden economy is compared to the rest of the world.
“Economy is far from perfect,” he writes, “but conditional on the worldwide pandemic and supply chain issues generated from pandemic: US economy has done *amazing* over last 2 years.”
In news alerts The New York Times reported hiring “continued to exceed expectations,” The Wall Street Journal called it “a sign of continued strength in the labor market,” and even Fox News reported it as “stronger-than-expected.” CNN referred to the jobs report as “robust” and “defying expectations.”
“America’s jobs engine kept churning in November, the Labor Department reported Friday, a show of continued demand for workers despite the Federal Reserve’s push to curb inflation by tamping down hiring, The Times reported. “The labor market has been surprisingly resilient in the face of successive interest rate increases by the Fed over the past year. Even sectors normally sensitive to borrowing costs, like construction and manufacturing, have been slow to back off the brisk pace of growth they posted coming out of the pandemic.”
The BLS also broke down unemployment numbers by demographics.
“Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.4 percent), adult women (3.3 percent), teenagers (11.3 percent), Whites (3.2 percent), Blacks (5.7 percent), Asians (2.7 percent), and Hispanics (3.9 percent) showed little or no change over the month.”
Image: Matt Smith Photographer / Shutterstock
‘The Law Is Clear’: Appeals Court Rules Trump Handpicked Judge Should Never Have Appointed Special Master
A three-judge panel on the conservative 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against Donald Trump, and effectively against his hand-picked federal district court judge Aileen Cannon in the ex-president’s “special master” case.
The judges, all three conservatives, two of whom appointed to the bench by Trump himself, ruled that Judge Cannon should never have agreed to Trump’s request to appoint a “special master” to review all the items the Dept. of Justice removed from his Mar-a-Lago residence by executing a legal search warrant.
Cannon had ordered the special master to specifically review approximately 100 classified documents, and blocked the DOJ from accessing them while they were under review. That block halted its investigation into Trump’s likely illegal retention of the documents and other items – over 10,000 – he removed from the White House and was string at Mar-a-Lago.
CNN calls Thursday’s ruling “a major defeat for former President Donald Trump.” The appeals court’s ruling halts “a third-party review of documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate,” and “removes a major obstacle to the Justice Department’s investigation into the mishandling of government records from Trump’s time in the White House.”
“The law is clear,” the judges wrote in their ruling Thursday, posted by NBC News’ Daniel Barnes. “We cannot write a rule that allows any subject of a search warrant to block government investigations after the execution of the warrant. Nor can we write a rule that allows only former presidents to do so. Either approach would be a radical reordering of our caselaw limiting the federal courts’ involvement in criminal investigations.”
“And both would violate bedrock separation-of-powers limitations,” they continued. “Accordingly, we agree with the government that the district court improperly exercised equitable jurisdiction, and that dismissal of the entire proceeding is required.”
They also wrote: “In considering these arguments, we are faced with a choice: apply our usual test; drastically expand the availability of equitable jurisdiction for every subject of a search warrant; or carve out an unprecedented exception in our law for former presidents. We choose the first option. So the case must be dismissed.”
“The district court,” meaning Judge Cannon, “improperly exercised equitable jurisdiction in this case. For that reason, we VACATE the September 5 order on appeal and REMAND with instructions for the district court to DISMISS the underlying civil action.”
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