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Constitution Day: Marriage Equality Is A Right The Constitution Demands

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On National Constitution Day, let’s remember that the Supreme Court affirmed, in 1967, that marriage is, indeed, a civil right.

Today is National Constitution Day, marking the day in 1787 delegates to the U.S. Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia  — including our Founding Fathers — signed the Constitution. It would not be ratified for another two years.

Constitution Day, formally known as “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day,” was created to recognize the ratification of our Constitution, and to acknowledge all those who have become citizens of our country.

The U.S. Constitution is an elegant, elastic creation (yes, Tea Party, elastic,) that has guided and inspired us since it was signed into being 224 years ago. And no, I don’t agree with it all — like our current interpretation of the Second Amendment — but, like some might say, you don’t run a country with the Constitution you want, you run a country with the Constitution you have.

And yes, a lot has changed since it was written. But the principles in our Declaration of Independence — upon which our country were founded: life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness — haven’t.

So, let’s talk about gay marriage.

Gay marriage, same-​sex marriage, marriage equality, whatever we want to call it, bottom line, it’s marriage. Someday, we’ll be able to say “marriage” unequivocally and without qualification.

The Supreme Court affirmed, in 1967, that marriage is, indeed, a civil right. In the unanimously-​decided Loving v. Virginia, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren delivered the court’s opinion:

“Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ fundamental to our very existence and survival.… To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.”

Make the obvious switch from racial terms to identity and orientation terms — all of which describe immutable characteristics — and the result is, well, obvious.

The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution includes this passage:

“…nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Surely marriage is both a “basic civil right” and a “protection of the law?”

Ted Olson and David Boies’ much-​heralded Prop 8 someday may make its way to the Supreme Court on two important Constitutional cases:

Romer v. Evans, the Supreme Court case that ruled against a Colorado constitutional amendment that had prohibited state protections for homosexual citizens. And Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down sodomy laws in Texas, and, therefore, in the United States.

So, where is all this taking us?

The battle for marriage equality has been fought at the state level, for several reasons. Many have said marriage is a states’ rights issue. Others have been disinclined to bring a case to the U.S. Supreme Court, concerned that a judgment against marriage equality by the conservative court would establish precedent that would be even more difficult to overturn.

Make no mistake — marriage is not a states’ rights issue. Marriage, as determined in Loving, is a civil right. Civil rights are not states’ rights, but federal. It is the FBI, for example, that investigates civil rights abuses. Civil rights are, simply, federal.

And we’ve been wrong to fight this battle at the state level. It is, in fact, a federal issue, a Constitutional issue.

Nevertheless, that’s what we’re stuck with. For now. Because at some point enough states will offer full marriage equality to make Article Four — U.S. Constitution’s full faith and credit clause — the elephant in the room.

Repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA, will make this more likely, as DOMA allows (unconstitutionally, in the opinion of a federal court judge, 20 U.S. bankruptcy court judges, the DOJ, Attorney General Eric Holder, and the President,) states and the federal government to ignore the legal and judicial proceedings of other states.

Which is all the more reason why it is critical we support, and work very hard to ensure that the “Respect for Marriage Act,” is passed and signed into law.

The Constitution is an elastic instrument subject to interpretation. It is not a black and white document without room for interpretation.

We will win marriage equality. It may be via language already in the Constitution. It may be via Congressional legislation. It may be, sadly, one state at a time. The one thing I do know: it will not be via inaction.

(Image: Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, by Howard Chandler Christy.)

Editor’s note: This article is based upon one The New Civil Rights Movement ran in 2009.


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Nikki Haley Continues Her IVF Evolution With Yet Another Policy Position 

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Nikki Haley is now on her fourth in-vitro fertilization (IVF) policy position. In a period of less than two weeks the trailing Republican presidential candidate has gone from saying embryos are “babies,” to distancing herself from the Alabama Supreme Court ruling that claims embryos are “children,” to saying she supports IVF but it’s an issue for the states, to calling for federal protections for IVF.

After the extreme Alabama Supreme Court ruling that declared human embryos to be “children,” the former Trump UN Ambassador quickly announced she agreed that embryos are “babies.”

“When you talk about an embryo, you are talking about, to me, that’s a life. And so I do see where that’s coming from when they talk about that,” Haley had said.

But public sentiment runs strongly against the Alabama Court’s February 16 ruling and Haley’s concurrence February 21.

Haley, who is trailing Trump in the polls by strong double digits, pulled back from aligning herself with the toxic Alabama decision.

RELATED: Republicans Kill Bill to Protect IVF After Claiming They Fully Support It

“Well first off all, this is, again, I didn’t say that I agreed with the Alabama ruling. The question that I was asked is, ‘Do I believe an embryo is a baby?’” Haley told CNN, as The New Republic reported. “I do think that if you look in the definition, an embryo is considered an unborn baby. And so yes, I believe, from my stance, that that is.”

That appears to not have been sufficient, because she quickly switched her stance yet again.

“We don’t want fertility treatment to shut down, we don’t want them to stop doing IVF treatment, we don’t want them to stop doing artificial insemination,” said Haley, again to CNN, on February 22. “But I think this needs to be decided by the people in every state. Don’t take away the rights of these physicians and these parents to have these conversations.”

And now, another switch.

“We don’t need government getting involved in an issue where we don’t have a problem,” she told CNN’s Dana Bash on Friday. “We don’t have a problem with IVF facilities. If you have a certain case, let that case play out the way it’s supposed to but don’t create issues and that’s what I feel like it’s happened with this.”

READ MORE: ‘Trump’s Lawyers Got It Dead Wrong’: Espionage Act Trial Will Not Be Stalled by DOJ Rule

But there is a problem, and it was caused by Republicans. Specifically, by the Dobbs case and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The Alabama Supreme Court majority opinion mentioned Dobbs over a dozen times.

“I think we want IVF to be as accessible as possible to parents who are wanting those blessings of having a baby,” she also said Friday, adding a religious element to her remarks. “I don’t know the details of any of the bills, so I can’t weigh to that. But what I can tell you is, we don’t want to take that away from parents who desperately want to have a child.”

“Michael and I got our children from fertility processes. We need to make sure that those are available, that they’re protected, that it’s personal, and that the whole situation is dealt with respect,” she added, echoing pro-choice concepts while applying them to IVF.

Asked, “should there be a federal protection” for IVF, “or do you think it should be left to the states?” Haley replied: “Well, I think there should be federal protection that we allow for IVF places to be able to function.”

She added, “I think that the people need to decide if they want to get into the details of it or not. It’s the same thing of, do they want to decide, you know, exactly how many embryos or anything like that. I hope they don’t get into that. I want to see that decision between the parents and the doctors. But I think the only thing that the federal government should do is make sure that IVF places are protected and available.”

Professor of law Joyce Vance said recently, “It’s pretty simple. If life begins at conception, IVF is off the table. If you make an exception for IVF then we’re just having a conversation about who you’re willing to make exceptions for.”

Watch the video above or at this link.

READ MORE: Tuberville: Secure the Border Because Immigrants ‘Know Nothing About God’

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‘Trump’s Lawyers Got It Dead Wrong’: Espionage Act Trial Will Not Be Stalled by DOJ Rule

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Special Counsel Jack Smith’s prosecution of Donald Trump in the Espionage Act case, which will be tried in Florida, will not be stalled by the U.S. Dept. of Justice’s policy on not taking certain actions 60 days before an election. The case, often referred to as the classified documents case, includes 31 charges under the Espionage Act.

MSNBC legal analyst and contributor Katie Phang Friday afternoon reports on the “BIG news out of Ft. Pierce.”

“The DOJ advises Judge Cannon that the ’60-day rule’ does NOT apply in Trump’s case as he has already been indicted & the case is already being litigated,” Phang writes. “So, no reason to delay taking him to trial, even with elections in November.”

Phang notes professor of law and her fellow MSNBC contributor Joyce Vance has been making that point.

“Read the policy for yourself,” Vance added Friday. “it doesn’t apply after a case is indicted, when the judge, not DOJ, is in charge of the schedule. Trump’s lawyers got it dead wrong.”

Vance points to her own Substack newsletter’s commentary, where she explains: “At the start of his filing, Trump tries to invoke DOJ policy as a justification for not having a trial this year. But he gets the analysis dead wrong. Trump tries to claim the protection of a DOJ policy against interfering in elections—a huge irony in light of Trump’s efforts to corrupt DOJ after the 2020 election and get the Justice Department to legitimize his false election fraud claims.”

READ MORE: Trump Swore Under Oath He Had $400 Million in Cash – Now He’s Telling a Court a Different Story

“Trump argues that ‘Given President Trump’s status as the presumptive Republican nominee and President Biden’s chief political rival, a trial this year would also violate Justice Manual § 9-85.500, which applies to the Special Counsel’s Office, and prohibits ‘Actions that May Have an Impact on an Election.’ ‘”

“The provision Trump references reads as follows: ‘Federal prosecutors and agents may never select the timing of any action, including investigative steps, criminal charges, or statements, for the purpose of affecting any election, or for the purpose of giving an advantage or disadvantage to any candidate or political party,'” Vance notes.

She adds that the timing of a trial is controlled by a judge, not the DOJ.

READ MORE: ‘Injustice’: Experts Condemn Supreme Court’s ‘Fundamentally Corrupt’ Trump Decision

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Tuberville: Secure the Border Because Immigrants ‘Know Nothing About God’

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U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville says America must put God back into the country and the government, and right now the government isn’t honoring our “Judo” Christian values. The Alabama freshman Republican, a Christian nationalist, also says God cannot be put back into this nation currently because immigrants, who “know nothing about God,” are crossing the southern border illegally.

Sen. Tuberville is also calling for massive cuts to the federal government, saying only the “mentally unhealthy,” “elderly,” “veterans,” and “farmers” should be eligible for financial support from the government.

Tuberville told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo that “the federal government is not here to take care of every person in this country. We have to take care of the mentally healthy, mentally – mentally unhealthy. We have to take care of our elderly, our veterans. Everybody else needs to go get a job. They need to get off that couch. We’re paying so many people. Maria, we have turned into so much of a socialist country headed to communism.”

He insisted there is no “free speech” in America. “They’re taking all of our rights away.”

READ MORE: Bartiromo Blasts Biden Administration for Encouraging Americans to Register to Vote

“We need to ask God for help, our country needs help,” Tuberville said in a separate interview. “We’re in a tough situation right now. I’m right here in the middle of it. I get to see it every day.”

“We live in a constitutional republic that’s trying to do things without our Judo-Christian [sic] values. And that’s how this country was built. And we got to get back to that. If we don’t, we won’t make it,” Tuberville claimed.

“The biggest thing right now I will tell you is what’s going on at our southern border. When you’ve got a country without borders, you don’t have a country. And it goes back to one thing: God is not in this building. We’ve got to get God back in this building and we’re gonna get God back in our country. We’ve got to get the God back in the nuclear family. We have to get moral values back into our country. And you can’t do that when you have a million people every couple of months come into this country that know nothing about God, that know nothing about our laws and constitution.”

Back in October, Tuberville said European countries have been “lost” to “immigration” as he praised Christian nationalist authoritarian Viktor Orbán of Hungary. Tuberville has a history of promoting white nationalism and has said he sees a white nationalist as a “Trump Republican.” The Senator also declared immigrants “don’t assimilate,” and are “globalists” who “don’t go by the laws.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Jaw Dropping’: Democratic Senator Slams Tuberville’s ‘Open’ Talk About ‘White Supremacy’

Image via Shutterstock

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