Happy Constitution Day!
Gay Marriage Is Not A Statesâ€™ Rights Issue
Unless you’re currently in school, where our “Socialist” government forces (gasp!) all federally-funded educational institutions to devote time and resources â€” yes, your burdensome tax dollars! â€” to educate (read: “indoctrinate”) students about the Constitution, you probably aren’t aware that today is Constitution Day.
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. (One assumes Barack Obama, although he’s a Socialist and a Communist, will not be celebrating, of course, as he is not a citizen!)
OK. Enough with the sarcasm. Down to business.
The U.S. Constitution is an elegant, elastic creation that has guided and inspired us since it was signed into being 222 years ago, in 1787. And no, I don’t agree with it all, but, like Donald Rumsfeld 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, the U.S. Supreme Court stated,
“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 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?”
The much-heralded, upcoming Supreme Court case, brought by Ted Olson and David Boies, will challenge California’s Prop 8 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.
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 Constitutional issue.
Nevertheless, that’s what we’re stuck with. For now. Because at some point, and probably not in January, when the Boies-Olson case will be brought before the Supreme Court, but at some point enough states will offer full marriage equality to make Article Four â€” U.S. Constitution’s full faith and credit clause â€” the elephant in the room.
Repeal of DOMA will make this more likely, as DOMA allows (unconstitutionally, in my opinion) 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,â€ introduced into Congress on Tuesday, is passed and signed into law.
The Constitution is an elastic instrument. 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.
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‘Utter Cowardice’: Jim Jordan Blasted for Telling Reporter He Can’t Read Trump’s Violence-Threatening Post Without Glasses
Countless GOP lawmakers over the years have professed ignorance over Donald Trump’s tweets as reporters ask them to respond, often claiming they hadn’t read them, but House Republican Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan took that performance to a whole new level Friday afternoon.
NBC News senior national political reporter Sahil Kapur asked the Ohio Republican congressman to weigh in on Trump’s social media post threatening “potential death & destruction” if he gets indicted.
“Jordan said he hasn’t seen Trump’s post,” Kapur said via Twitter. “When I showed [it] to him on my phone, he said he can’t read well without his glasses.”
“He added he’s reviewing DA Bragg’s letter,” Kapur added.
READ MORE: ‘Big Shoe Drops’: Bad Day for Trump on Multiple Fronts in Special Counsel’s Grand Jury Probes
Jordan, who didn’t need glasses to appear on Fox Business just two days ago (photo) is getting blowback.
VICE News Deputy DC Bureau Chief Todd Zwillich explained the progression.
“The stages of ignoring incitement,” he tweeted. “2016: I don’t respond to tweets —> 2018: I havent seen the tweet —-> 2023: I literally can’t see the tweet.”
“Utter cowardice,” declared former GOP Congressman Joe Walsh. “Not at all the @Jim_Jordan I knew & served with in Congress 10 yrs ago. Or…maybe it is.”
“The sheer dishonesty and cowardice of these people,” lamented MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan, echoing Walsh’s remarks.
Government watchdog group Citizens for Ethics said the “extent to which Trump’s backers in Congress are going to not condemn [his] calls for violence are ludicrous.”
RELATED: Ninth Wrestler Comes Forward to Say Jordan ‘Snickered’ When He Complained of Sexual Abuse: Report
Some tied Jordan’s inability to see the post to his apparent inability to see or remember all the Ohio State wrestlers who say they complained to Jordan when he was their assistant coach, about being sexually harassed or assaulted by the team doctor. To this day despite numerous reports and people publicly coming forward, Jordan denied it ever happened.
“Apparently, Jim Jordan is unable to see wrestlers being sexually abused or Donald Trump social media posts,” attorney and Republican turned Democrat Ron Filipkowski tweeted.
“Well, @Jim_Jordan has shown before that he has trouble seeing threats right in front of his nose, so this checks out,” tweeted historian Kevin M. Kruse.
But Jordan’s Democratic colleagues on the Judiciary Committee may have served up the best response: “Why do you need your glasses to condemn violence @Jim_Jordan?”
READ MORE: ‘Pits Parents Against Parents’: House Republicans Pass Anti-LGBTQ Florida-Style K-12 ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’
‘Big Shoe Drops’: Bad Day for Trump on Multiple Fronts in Special Counsel’s Grand Jury Probes
Judge Nixes Trump’s ‘Executive Privilege’ Claim, Orders Mark Meadows, Stephen Miller, Other Top Aides to Testify as Corcoran Completes Grand Jury Appearance
It’s a bad day behind the scenes for Donald Trump.
First, his own attorney, Evan Corcoran, just past noon on Friday walked out of a federal court building after completing more than three hours of testimony before Special Counsel Jack Smith’s grand jury investigating the ex-president’s unlawful retention and refusal to return hundreds of sensitive, classified, and top secret documents.
NOW: Trump attorney Evan Corcoran departs DC federal court house after testifying before a special cousnel grand jury for what appears to have been more than 3 hours. pic.twitter.com/LQN91gKDGo
— Rob Legare (@RobLegare) March 24, 2023
His testimony, compelled by a subpoena, is seen by a former top DOJ official as “the most critical evidence in the case,” and should “allow DOJ to make a charging decision without significant delay.”
READ MORE: ‘Pits Parents Against Parents’: House Republicans Pass Anti-LGBTQ Florida-Style K-12 ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’
Prosecutors, citing the crime-fraud exception, were able to convince a federal judge that Trump likely committed a crime via his attorneys, enabling them to bypass attorney-client privilege.
Trump had strived to block Corcoran from testifying, but a federal judge and an appeals court, in an extraordinarily quick turnaround – some legal experts saying for reasons likely related to national security – ordered him to testify.
Also Friday, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell rejected Trump’s claims of executive privilege and ordered testimony before Special Counsel Jack Smith’s grand jury investigating Trump’s actions related to the January 6 insurrection from eight former top Trump White House aides.
Among them, Trump’s White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former Senior Advisor to the President Stephen Miller, and former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe. Also, former national security adviser Robert O’Brien and former deputy chief of staff and social media director Dan Scavino, ABC News reports.
READ MORE: ‘Chilling’: Law Enforcement ‘Seriously’ Investigating Threats Ahead of Possible Trump Indictment Says Top WaPo Reporter
Meadows is a former GOP congressman seen by many as integral to the events of January 6.
“Former Trump aides Nick Luna and John McEntee, along with former top DHS official Ken Cuccinelli, were also included in the order, the sources said,” according to ABC News.
Former U.S. Attorney and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Harry Litman weighed in, saying: “Another really big shoe drops: [Judge] Howell rejects Trump’s executive privilege claim and orders Mark Meadows and others to testify before Jan 6 [grand jury]. Meadows has really been able to stay on the sidelines. No more–even if he takes the 5th, which [would] then force [question] of immunity.”
Image of Donald Trump via Shutterstock
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
‘Pits Parents Against Parents’: House Republicans Pass Anti-LGBTQ Florida-Style K-12 ‘Parents’ Bill of Rights’
The Republican-majority U.S. House of Representatives Friday morning passed HR 5, the “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” legislation similar to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ laws that have led to book bans and targeting of LGBTQ children.
The bill passed 213-208, with 14 Members not voting. All yes votes were from Republicans only. Five Republicans joined Democrats to vote no.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu of California warned the legislation “pits parents against parents.”
“The extreme MAGA H.R. 5 bill will let other parents dictate what books your child gets to read. It’ll make it easier for other parents to know if your child has an eating disorder, or is experiencing a mental health crisis,” Lieu warned.
READ MORE: Watch: GOP Lawmaker Orders Grieving Parkland Parents Removed From ‘ATF Overreach’ Hearing
The extreme MAGA H.R. 5 bill will let other parents dictate what books your child gets to read. It’ll make it easier for other parents to know if your child has an eating disorder, or is experiencing a mental health crisis.
This bill pits parents against parents. WATCH: pic.twitter.com/T02sluBAzB
— Rep. Ted Lieu (@RepTedLieu) March 24, 2023
U.S> Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) warned, “H.R. 5 would codify Republican book bans all over the country. Stories of Holocaust survivors, enslaved Americans, and over 1,600 other stories have already been pulled from shelves.”
U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-FL) said HR5 is “a vehicle for hate and political nonsense.”
.@RepMaxwellFrost on H.R. 5: “This bill is just a vehicle for hate and political nonsense…It's not about policy, it's about politics. It's not about freedom and liberty, it's about the fear of a problem that doesn't exist.”
The civil rights community opposes this legislation. pic.twitter.com/5eNd5MCNDa
— The Leadership Conference (@civilrightsorg) March 23, 2023
Congressman Greg Murphy, Republican of North Carolina, in a recorded statement falsely claimed the bill was needed because “Children are being taught to hate our country,” and “parents are labeled as domestic terrorists.”
In his speech before the bill passed, Speaker Kevin McCarthy declared, “We believe parents should know what your children is [sic] learning.”
CNN reports the bill would also “require elementary and middle schools that receive federal funding to obtain parental consent before ‘changing a minor child’s gender markers, pronouns, or preferred name on any school form; or allowing a child to change the child’s sex-based accommodations, including locker rooms or bathrooms.'”
Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the legislation “Orwellian to the core,” and promised it “will not see the light of day.”
Watch the videos above or at this link.
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