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Open Letter To Judge Allowing Challenge To NY Gay Marriage To Go To Trial

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Scott Rose explores the anti-gay biased  decision by NY Judge Robert B. Wiggins which allows a challenge against New York State’s gay marriage law to go to trial.

 

Hon. Robert B. Wiggins

Multi-Bench Judge for the

County, Family, Surrogate’s and Supreme Courts of the Livingston County Court

2 Court Street

Geneseo, NY 14454

 
 

December 6, 2011

 

In Re: Your Decision and Order, Index No. 807-2011, Challenge to Marriage Equality Act

 
 

Judge Wiggins:

This is to express utmost alarm and dismay over the non-judicial bias and political propaganda that you wrote into your Decision on the challenge to the Marriage Equality Act.

Though a Governor’s certified facts in support of a message of necessity are, as you surely realize, by law not subject to judicial review, you used your Decision document to attack Governor Cuomo for having given – (as his certified facts necessitating an immediate vote on the Marriage Equality Act) — the discrimination suffered by gay couples as a result of marriage discrimination.

You compounded your offense in turning your Decision into a political op-ed by fraudulently accusing governor Cuomo of “arm-twisting” towards the passage of the Marriage Equality Act. It is a fine thing indeed that, although at the end of your Decision, you admitted that you did not have enough facts to determine the separate question of whether there had been a violation of the Open Meetings Law, you found Governor Cuomo guilty of “arm-twisting” in your remarks about his message of necessity, in regard to which the Plaintiffs’ attorney had brought bogus allegations. You did dismiss those bogus allegations, n’est-ce pas?

In your Decision, you exhibited a very definition of bias in a judge, siding with plaintiffs who had brought a legally-invalid allegation and lambasting the Defendants though they had broken no laws. We all know that the U.S. legal system considers people innocent until proven guilty, so why in your Decision did you find our Governor guilty of “arm-twisting,” — if per your own admission you did not have enough facts legally to decide matters? Further on this, you appear to be willfully ignorant of how those Legislators that decided to vote for the Marriage Equality Act — after being undecided — came to support the proposed legislation.

I suggest very strongly that you go to YouTube to view Senator Grisanti’s explanation of how his Catholic upbringing had made him believe same sex marriage was prohibited, but that after meeting over a course of months with people on both sides of the proposed equality law, and reading, and reading legal documents, he concluded that there is no basis in civil law for not giving gay couples their inalienable right to marry. Governor Cuomo did not twist Senator Grisanti’s arm, nor did he twist the arms of the other Senators that decided to vote yes on equality. When you fraudulently declare in a court document that he twisted arms, you are insulting Governor Cuomo, Senator Grisanti and the other Senators that decided to vote yes, and also making clear that you can not be trusted to carry out your judicial duties without political or some other bias. 

An additional irony is that whereas you fraudulently accused Governor Cuomo of arm-twisting to get the Marriage Equality Act passed, two of the Plaintiffs in this case, the theocratic, anti-gay bullying lobbyists Reverends Jason J. McGuire and Duane R. Motley of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, on June 14 sent a violently-worded letter to Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, warning him that if the Marriage Equality Act passed, “the pound of flesh will come from the Republican majority.” How is that for arm-twisting?

Additional aspects of the way you wrote your Decision make it impossible for anybody familiar with the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct to trust you to be professional in exercising your judicial duties. And, because your op-ed in opposition to Governor Cuomo’s certified facts in support of the message of necessity reflects indifference and perhaps even sadistic malice towards gay people that suffer from institutionalized discrimination against them, you can not be trusted – ever — to safeguard the rights of LGBT New Yorkers; and this is true in a heightened sense when, in your rotations as a Multi-Bench Judge, you hear cases in Family Court.

If you want to be able to write political op-ed pieces, then you should excuse yourself from the bench and go find editors that want your op-ed pieces. If I saw that you had included such non-judicial, unprofessional writing in a court document on any case whatsoever, I would be equally convinced that you can not be trusted to carry out your duties in accordance with the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct.

The theocratic, heterosupremacist opponents of marriage equality, thrilled with your Decision, are parroting your fraudulent allegation that Governor Cuomo engaged in “arm-twisting,” but a judge is supposed to exercise his duties impartially, not with an eye to the next judicial nominating process in his county. Shame on you.

Sincerely,

 

Scott Rose

 

cc:

Governor Andrew Cuomo

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos

Senator Thomas Duane

Thomas A. Klonick, Chair, NY Commission on Judicial Conduct

Frank Bruni, The New York Times

Frank Rich, New York Magazine

Evan Wolfson, President, Freedom to Marry

Other community members

 

 

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News

Democrats Discredit GOP Claims on IVF as Republicans Try to Regain Ground After Fallout

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One week after the Alabama State Supreme Court ruled frozen human embryos are “children,” causing several medical institutions to pause their in-vitro fertilization (IVF) programs, Alabama and the GOP have seen tremendous nationwide anger, upset, and confusion from the left and the right over the decision, the Christian nationalist chief judge, and the Republican Party that set this in motion.

Now, GOP lawmakers and political groups are trying to regain ground after some Republicans quickly embraced the decision that, as White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre predicted Tuesday, would cause “exactly the type of chaos that we expected when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and paved the way for politicians to dictate some of the most personal decisions families can make.”

“As a reminder,” Jean-Pierre added, “this is the same state whose attorney general threatened to prosecute people who help women travel out of state to seek the care they need.”

President Joe Biden condemned the Alabama ruling: “The disregard for women’s ability to make these decisions for themselves and their families is outrageous and unacceptable.”

But U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) cheered his state’s Supreme Court, while appearing to not fully grasp what IVF is.

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“I was all for it,” he said of the Alabama Supreme Court ruling, calling young people “our number one commodity.”

But when pressed, Tuberville declared, “I’d have to look at the entire bill, how it’s written, I have not seen it,” referring not to legislation but the ruling.

And when told that women will now not be able to have IVF treatments, Tuberville repeatedly replied it was “unfortunate.”

On Thursday night, speaking to a group of religious broadcasters, Donald Trump denounced the Alabama ruling and vowed to protect IVF. On Friday, the beleaguered Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) issued a memo directing Republicans to defend IVF. Also Friday, the Attorney General for the state of Alabama, mentioned earlier by the White House Press Secretary, effectively suggested he would ignore the state supreme court’s ruling, promising to not prosecute IVF families, as ABC News reported.

But Democrats are making clear that despite whatever claims or promises Republicans make, the IVF ruling is the direction conservatives are taking the Republican Party.

READ MORE: Smirnov Scandal: Experts Call for Investigations, Warn GOP of Possible Conspiracy Charges

“First Republicans banned abortions so women couldn’t terminate a pregnancy. Now they are coming for IVF so women can’t begin a pregnancy. The GOP agenda is about one thing: government control of women,” observed U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) (photo).

CNN congressional correspondent Lauren Fox reports a new NRSC memo “instructs [GOP] candidates to reject clearly and concisely government attempts to restrict access to IVF.”

Just hours later, Sen. Murphy responded, saying, “umm the chairman of the NRSC sponsored the bill to ban IVF.”

He added, “newsflash: no matter what they tell their candidates to pretend, when they get power they use it to control women.”

The NRSC’s goal is to help get Republicans elected to the U.S. Senate. It is chaired by Sen. Steve Daines of Montana, a MAGA Republican and member of the Senate’s Pro-Life Caucus.

As Bloomberg’s Matthew Yglesias notes, Senator Daines is an original co-sponsor of the Life at Conception Act.

The Center for American Progress’ Colin Seeberger adds, Daines “quite literally has been a longtime co-sponsor of the Lifetime at Conception Act, which would establish legal protections for the unborn just as the Alabama Supreme Court ordered and has led to the suspension of fertility care across AL.”

Meanwhile, Media Matters’ Matthew Gertz notes that the “text of GOP‘s most recent platform claims that ‘the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed’ and calls for a constitutional amendment that would ban all abortions — and jeopardize IVF — by granting 14th Amendment rights to fetuses.”

READ MORE: Why Was GOP’s Star Witness Re-Arrested? He May Have Been Trying to Flee the Country: Report

Indeed, as The New York Times reported, far-right Christian conservative Tony Perkins, head of the Southern Poverty Law Center-designated anti-LGBTQ extremist group Family Research Council, called the Alabama Supreme Court ruling a “beautiful defense of life and the Alabama Constitution.”

Friday afternoon Donald Trump followed up his vow to protect IVF with a social media post that claims in part, “Under my leadership, the Republican Party will always support the creation of strong, thriving, healthy American families. We want to make it easier for mothers and fathers to have babies, not harder! That includes supporting the availability of fertility treatments like IVF in every State in America. Like the OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of Americans, including the VAST MAJORITY of Republicans, Conservatives, Christians, and Pro-Life Americans, I strongly support the availability of IVF for couples who are trying to have a precious baby.”

Former Obama senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer responded, asking: “Why would anyone believe this? In 2016, Trump pledged no cuts to Medicaid and then spent four years trying to gut the program.”

And as Axios reports, “House Democrats’ main super PAC is promising to pour money into attacking Republicans on fertility treatments in the wake of a controversial, first-of-its-kind Alabama Supreme Court ruling, Axios has learned.”

“Trump’s call came a day after President Biden’s re-election campaign blamed him for the ruling, noting his appointment of conservative justices to the Supreme Court, which overturned Roe v. Wade,” Axios adds. House Majority PAC, in a memo set to be released Friday, listed nearly a dozen current and former House Republicans in competitive districts who have co-sponsored at least one version of the Life at Conception Act between 2021 and 2023.”

See the social media posts and video above or at this link.

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Why Was GOP’s Star Witness Re-Arrested? He May Have Been Trying to Flee the Country: Report

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The re-arrest of Alexander Smirnov, the former FBI informant who allegedly may have provided House Republicans with Kremlin propaganda that was the basis for their efforts to impeach President Joe Biden and attack his son Hunter, raised some eyebrows on Thursday.

Smirnov, once considered House Republicans’ Jim Comer and Jim Jordan’s star witness, was re-arrested even after a magistrate judge ordered him released, and at his attorneys’ offices, raising eyebrows from even national security experts, insisting there had better be a good reason for it.

Now, according to a noted legal expert, it appears there was.

“A California judge seems to be suggesting [Smirnov’s] lawyers are complicit in his efforts to flee, in a remarkable line ordering detention for the FBI source whose lies propelled Biden impeachment efforts,” writes professor of law and MSNBC legal contributor Joyce Vance, a former U.S. Attorney.

READ MORE: ‘Insultingly Stupid’: Trump’s Move to Toss Out Classified Docs Case Torn Apart by Experts

U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II in his order wrote on Thursday: “It has come to this Court’s attention that counsel for defendant has sought an emergency hearing in the District of Nevada to arrange the release of Defendant Smirnov, likely to facilitate his absconding from the United States.”

After detailing Smirnov’s arrest and release, Judge Wright ordered his re-arrest, adding: “The U.S. Marshal Service is advised there is to be no deviation from this Order.”

Just Security’s Adam Klasfeld calls Judge Wright’s order “wild,” and adds that Smirnoff’s lawyers released “a terse statement about the extraordinary order.”

“They did not respond to questions about the language in the judge’s order suggesting a ‘likely’ aim to ‘facilitate’ their client ‘absconding from the United States.'”

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Vaccine-Laced Lettuce and Tomatoes? Tennessee GOP Lawmaker Worried

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A Tennessee Republican state lawmaker says he’s worried Tennesseans might overdose on vaccines if they eat too many tomatoes.

State Rep. Scott Cepicky claims vaccines can already be added to foods like lettuce and tomatoes, and to tobacco products, so he has filed legislation to require grocery store items containing vaccines to be labeled.

“University of California Riverside has already perfected the ability to put human vaccines into our lettuce right now,” Rep. Cepicky told his fellow lawmakers Wednesday while discussing his legislation. “Also, tomatoes, has the ability to do that also per UC Berkeley. And then big tobacco, RJ Reynolds and stuff has perfected the ability to put a human vaccine in tobacco products.”

NCRM could find no evidence supporting his claims, although researchers starting in 2021 were studying if it is possible to do so.

Cepicky, who has been endorsed by U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), warned, “there is no law, deeming those that when you go into a grocery store, you should know as a consumer, this head of lettuce is a head of lettuce. The head of lettuce right next week could contain a vaccine in it. All we’re saying is if it does have the vaccine in it, make sure it’s listed as a pharmaceutical so people can get the proper dosage.”

READ MORE: ‘Insultingly Stupid’: Trump’s Move to Toss Out Classified Docs Case Torn Apart by Experts

Facing some pushback from Democratic Rep. John Ray Clemmons, Cepicky went on to say, “This is more of a consumer protection bill right here, is to make sure that if you’re going in to buy tomatoes, and there’s a polio vaccine in there, that you are aware of what you’re buying has a polio vaccine. The problem you have is if it’s not treated as a pharmaceutical, being the size and difference between you and me, how many tomatoes do I have to eat to get the proper dosage versus how many tomatoes that you have to eat? And if you eat too many do you get a overdose?”

Asked if his legislation was necessity, Cepicky added, “Well, if you’d have a child that is allergic to a certain vaccine, and it’s not disclosed, when you go to buy that, that vegetable, whatever it is, and your child dies from that, I would think that having place is going to make sure that that is treated as a pharmaceutical so that the consumers know exactly what they’re buying.”

Anti-vaxers gained a foothold during the COVID pandemic, spreading false claims about vaccines. Last year the fact-checking website Snopes deemed it “false” that “mRNA from COVID-19 vaccines has entered the food supply via genetically modified plants bred to contain it or through the consumption of vaccinated livestock.”

“Claims regarding COVID-19 vaccines ‘in your salad‘ have persisted on the internet and recirculated due to misreadings or misinterpretations of several press releases or scientific research,” Snopes added, “Mike Flynn, during a September 2021 podcast appearance, referenced this research, describing it as ‘putting the vaccine in salad dressing.'”

READ MORE: Kremlin Infiltration of Congress Alleged by Ex-Trump Prosecutor: Republicans ‘Duped or in on It’

Flynn, the former Trump U.S. national security advisor, is a far-right Christian nationalist and Trump MAGA activist.

Tennessee lawmakers voted to move Rep. Capicky’s forward.

Watch Rep. Capicky’s remarks below or at this link.

 

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