Missouri Votes Kids Shouldn’t Have To Study Evolution, Climate Change, Or Anything Gay
Missouri voters on Tuesday decided kids shouldn’t have toÂ study evolution, climate change, or anything gay — in fact, anything the kids want to claim violates their religious beliefs. Oh, religious liberty!
Yes, passing a ballot initiative with 83% of voters opting that students can opt out of, well, just about anything (personally, I would have chosen gym,) that “violate his or her religious beliefs.”
The amendment to Missouri’s constitution, known asÂ Amendment 2, is, of course, in legalese, but here’s the relevant section:
“that students may express their beliefs about religion in written and oral assignments free from discrimination based on the religious content of their work; that no student shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic assignments or educational presentations that violate his or her religious beliefs;”
Of course, the amendment — now law — doesn’t state how the state will determine if the subjects in question (algebra? Spanish? biology? gym?) really “violate his or her religious beliefs.” But I’m sure the honor system will work just fine.
Democrats called the constitutional amendment a “jobs bill for lawyers,” according to Fox News:
The amendment was on a statewide ballot and had widespread support, though critics said the right to pray is already protected under the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.
State GOP Rep. Mike McGhee and other supporters agreed, but they said Amendment 2 is really an effort to make the state constitution match the U.S. Constitution and protect Christianity, which they said is under attack.
McGhee, whose legislation led to the amendment proposal, told FoxNews.com about an incident in which a teacher told a kindergartner singing â€œJesus Loves Meâ€ while swinging on the playground to instead sing â€œmommy loves me.â€
McGhee thinks the teacher simply didnâ€™t know the law and said the proposed amendment attempts to make clear such rights.
But critics said the amendment will open the door to more lawsuits.
Democratic State Rep. Chris Kelly told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the proposed amendment was â€œa jobs bill for lawyers.”
Critics dismissed the argument about rising hostility toward Christianity. They argued an amendment that reaffirms â€œthe right to pray in a private or public setting” might lead to the exclusion of prayer from Muslim or Jewish religions, for example, which could triggers some of the likely suits.
Regardless, observers say the outcome of the vote likely will be challenged in federal court.
Another part of the amendment sparking controversy is a section that reads “no student shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic assignments or educational presentations that violate his or her religious beliefs.”
Critics say schools will be forced to make perhaps an endless number of decisions on which assignments violate beliefs.
Fox adds, of course, that McGehee “didn’t foresee the amendment resulting in cases of ‘Itâ€™s against my religion to do algebra’.â€
Tara Culp-Ressler at Think Progress notes:
The ACLUÂ warnsÂ that giving students the power to reject any part of their academic assignments represents a â€œtruly profound change in educational lawâ€ that will â€œadversely affect the quality of education in Missouri.â€ However, it isÂ filing suitÂ over yet another problematic aspect of the far-reaching law: while the amendment strengthens religious protections for students in state-funded schools and legislators on government property, it actually lessens the religious freedom of the stateâ€™s inmates, stripping prisoners of their state constitutional protections for religious expression.
States like Tennessee, Indiana, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, and Missouri have also moved toward allowing students to pursue religiously-based education in public schools, such as creationism or intelligent design in science classes. Louisianaâ€™s Department of Education is currentlyÂ under fireÂ for funneling state funds into religious schools with Bible-based curricula.
Bottom line: America is being taken over by right wing radical religious wing nuts who are putting their belief in their God over the rights of every other citizen. When belief legally trumps facts, science, and learning, and to the detriment ofÂ facts, science, and learning, well, that’s a theocracy.
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Trump Lawyer’s ‘Critical Evidence’ Will Help DOJ Make Decision to Charge ‘Without Significant Delay’: Former Prosecutor
Donald Trump‘s attorney Evan Corcoran, who allegedly directed another Trump attorney to draft the false statement claiming all classified and sensitive documents had been returned, has been ordered to testify before a grand jury and hand over documents and records to Special Counsel Jack Smith in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents criminal investigation.
Trump appealed U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell’s decision ordering Corcoran to testify and hand over documents, including handwritten notes. The Appeals Court in light speed mode, rejected Trump’s appeal.
Corcoran will be testifying before the grand jury on Friday, CNN reports.
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One former top DOJ official, Brandon Van Grack, says the “Special Counsel is about to get access to the most critical evidence in the case. Should allow DOJ to make a charging decision without significant delay.”
He did not define what “without significant delay” means in terms of days, weeks, or months.
Van Grack served at Main Justice for eleven years, including as a lead prosecutor in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, and later, as the Chief of the DOJ’s Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) Unit.
“The announcement from a panel of three judges in the appeals court – less than a day after Trump sought to put Corcoran’s testimony on hold – adds momentum to the special counsel investigation as it seeks to secure evidence that could make or break a federal criminal case against Trump,” CNN explains. “The Justice Department has successfully argued in court that prosecutors have enough evidence that Trump’s interactions with the lawyer were part of a possible crime that they can pierce the confidentiality of the conversations between the two.”
‘National Security Implications’: Former DOJ Official Speculates on Ruling Ordering Trump Attorney to Hand Over Docs
A former top Dept. of Justice official says a federal judge’s expedited ruling ordering an attorney for Donald Trump to testify against his client before a grand jury and hand over documents very well may be related to “national security.”
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruled that DOJ Special Counsel Jack Smith had successfully made the case Donald Trump may have committed a crime, via his attorneys, in his classified documents case. That finding allowed her to invoke the crime-fraud exception, and order Trump attorney Evan Corcoran to testify before the grand jury investigating the ex-president’s unlawful retention and refusal to return hundreds of classified documents.
Former FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissmann, who also worked for Special Counsel Robert Mueller and headed the DOJ’s Criminal Fraud Section, Wednesday afternoon on MSNBC said it’s possible Judge Howell’s expedited decisions were related to national security.
Tuesday night Judge Howell ordered DOJ to provide information by 6:00 AM Wednesday.
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Trump appealed Howell’s ruling, and Wednesday afternoon the Appeals Court denied his appeal related to the documents, Politico reports.
“I’ve never seen anything that quick. It’s very hard to know why. I have to say, to me, when I think about what can be a plausible reason– and this is pure speculation – is that there must be something in the papers that gave the judges concern about national security implications, because it’s such a short timeframe.”
“The reason this is a bombshell is you could end up with Evan Corcoran as a key, fundamental witness against Donald Trump in an obstruction of justice case and a false statements case,” Weissmann adds.
According to Politico, Wednesday’s appeals court ruling “effectively permits the Justice Department to circumvent Trump’s attorney-client privilege after a lower-court judge found that the documents likely contain evidence of a crime.”
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This article was updated to correctly spell Andrew Weissmann’s last name.
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
Trump Appeals After Judge Agrees With Special Counsel on Crime-Fraud Exception and Requires His Attorney to Testify
Donald Trump’s attorneys have appealed a ruling that requires one of his lawyers to testify before a grand jury investigating his unlawful removal, retention, and refusal to return classified documents from the White House.
Attorneys for the Special Counsel “said there is evidence of a deliberate effort not to turn over all the material covered by the subpoena,” The Washington Post reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell had reportedly agreed with Special Counsel Smith that there is sufficient evidence proving Donald Trump may have committed a crime via his attorneys, and ruled his attorney must testify before a grand jury. The ruling, which was not made public, was handed down Friday night, NBC News reported Wednesday afternoon.
Judge Howell “ruled in favor of applying the ‘crime fraud’ exception to Trump’s attorney-client privilege and ordered Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran to testify before the federal grand jury.”
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Trump’s attorneys have already appealed the ruling.
“People familiar with the matter said an appeals panel has already begun reviewing the decision, after Trump’s lawyers appealed,” The Washington Post adds. “The extraordinarily quick timeline suggests that the judges — all nominated by Democratic presidents — intend to rule swiftly.”
Trump could take his case all the way to the Supreme Court, but The Post says it’s “not clear he would have a much better chance of success there.”
According to an NBC News report from October, Corcoran directed another Trump attorney, Christina Bobb, to sign the letter claiming a thorough search of Mar-a-Lago had been made and all classified or “sensitive” documents had been returned. That was proven untrue after federal agents, executing a search warrant, recovered hundreds of documents with classified markings.
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