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Should Every Same-Sex Couple Who Wants To Marry Sue For Their Rights?



Now that it seems like the Supreme Court is paving a way for same-sex marriage, should every same-sex couple who wants to marry sue for their rights? One Drexel University Associate Professor of Law says yes. One veteran LGBT journalist suggests maybe — or maybe not.

In “Windsor Same-Sex Marriage Aftermath: Everyone Just Sue the Bastards,” David S. Cohen compares the climate today versus 2004, when Massachusetts first began to allow same-sex marriage. Professor Cohen points to a 2004 ACLU memo titled “Don’t Just Sue the Bastards.” Calling it a “a great snapshot in time in the movement for marriage equality,” Cohen notes “memo raises three reasons: 1) the risk of losing cases; 2) the risk of setbacks longterm; and 3) the less-than-certain odds at the Supreme Court.”

Today, clearly, the environment for same-sex couples is vastly different. 13 states, Washington, D.C., and several Native American tribes have all made same-sex marriage legal, and there are active efforts in another ten states to allow marriage equality.

Cohen says “after Windsor, I think every gay or lesbian couple who wants to get married should file federal lawsuit in every state that doesn’t allow gay marriage.”

“Let a thousand (or tens of thousand) lawsuits bloom!” he proclaims.

Cohen offers these as the “upsides” of ‘a thousand lawsuits.”

Justice Kennedy’s language can be used as a template. Since “the legal arguments are already very well developed and briefed,” the work on these cases will be “easy.”  “More cases bubbling up to the Supreme Court will keep the issue alive and in the news.” And he notes “there will also just as certainly, as we saw with many of the amicus briefing in the Supreme Court, be the absurd, offensive, and downright ludicrous” anti-equality defenses offered in courts — which can only help us.

Cohen says we should make it “[e]xpensive for discriminating states” to keep defending their anti-equality measures, such as bans on marriage equality.

“More litigation will also force states that continue their discriminatory practices to spend money to defend them.  They want to continue to have a policy of inequality?  Make it expensive.  Make them defend hundreds of lawsuits in different district courts across the state.  Even if the cases are consolidated, they’ll be expensive for the state to defend against all the parties throughout every stage of litigation.”

Not everyone is convinced this is the right approach.

Veteran journalist and LGBT activist Karen Ocamb wonders if “there any coordination on this spate of marriage efforts?” And she has many valid questions:

Questions such as: who is taking the lead on the five-year plan—AFER? HRC? A shotgun marriage with Freedom to Marry? It’s ironic that no one has yet mentioned Freedom to Marry’s Roadmap to Victory that founder Evan Wolfson has been talking about for the 20 years I’ve known him. And ironically, there is a Washington Post story by Ruth Marcus out yesterday that starts:

“Evan Wolfson received a B on the law school paper that helped change the world.

It was 1983, and Wolfson, submitting the paper required of all third-year students at Harvard Law School, had chosen a topic—constitutional protection for same-sex marriage—seemingly so far-fetched that some of the distinguished scholars he had asked to serve as faculty advisers declined.”

It’s my understanding that those LGBT legal groups have never stopped talking and coordinating. That’s good. But, that’s not known, and it might be useful for someone to pop up and note that there is some strategy, some coordination between and among LGBT national and legal groups, because to a layperson’s eye like mine, this looks like the legal Gold Rush in the old Wild West.

And as we see with the Scopes trial and evolution, and the now-successful efforts to scuttle Roe v. Wade, no matter how frustrated Rachel Maddow gets reporting on how the anti-abortion battles are impacting millions of women’s lives, and no matter how many Wendy Davises stand and filibuster, the cultural war is still on, and we will eventually lose or have to face more costly battles to secure and defend our constitutional rights if we don’t come together, engage and coordinate with our own people and a progressive coalition and strategize now. After all, the Supreme Court may have conferred marriage rights on same-sex couples in marriage states, but they effectively castrated the Voting Rights Act that most of us thought was sacred and immune from the bigotry of old. Let’s not be so arrogant as to think that would never happen to our happy gay couples.

Is there a “right” approach?

Edie Windsor often reminds us that no LGBT organization would take her case when she wanted to file it, and she won it without their support — at least their initial support. Aside from advertising the case, filing amicus briefs, and fundraising off it, how much did our LGBT orgs do to help Windsor win, and for how long?

LGBT orgs also thought that the Prop 8 case should never have gone to the Supreme Court. Were they right?

Is the time now?


Image by Chris Mancilla via Instagram

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Trump Organization Given ‘Corporate Death Penalty’ and Ordered Dissolved by Judge After ‘Persistent Fraud’: Legal Experts



A New York judge has ordered Donald Trump’s business entities in the state of New York, including The Trump Organization, dissolved, and his business certificates canceled, according to legal experts, after ruling that the ex-president for years committed fraud and deceived banks and insurers by inflating the value of his assets.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron “has ordered cancellation of all [NYS] business [certificates] of ‘any entity controlled or beneficially owned by Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Jr, Eric Trump, Alan Weisselberg, & Jeffrey McConney. An independent receiver will manage the dissolutions,” writes former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega.

The Messenger reports Judge Engoron’s “blockbuster ruling found that the former president and his business leaders failed to correct course after warned of a ‘propensity to engage in persistent fraud,'” and ordered “a quick timeline to dissolve the Trump Organization and other corporate entities.”

READ MORE: House GOP Shutdown Demands Include Gutting Billions From Dept. of Education, Costing Over 200,000 Teachers Their Jobs

MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin explains that the “New York trial court judge has found that Trump, his adult sons, and Allen Weisselberg engaged in a persistent, years-long fraud through ‘fantasy world’ valuations of core Trump assets, including his own residence and various golf courses and office buildings.”

“His decision not only eliminates the need for trial on that claim, but also orders fairly dramatic relief: the cancellation of New York business certificates for all of the entities named as defendants, ‘as well as any other entity controlled or beneficially owned by the individual defendants found liable,'” she adds.

“In addition to finding that Trump committed fraud, the judge canceled the certificates of various Trump businesses, appointed a former judge as an independent monitor of the Trump Organization, and will appoint receivers to manage the canceled LLCs,” writes former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti.

“This is a pretty big deal,” he adds.

Professor of law Ryan Goodman, the former Dept. of Defense Special Counsel says Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron ordered the “corporate death penalty” for the Trump organization. Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance also used the term “corporate death penalty.”

READ MORE: ‘Careening’ Toward ‘Risk of Political Violence’: Experts Sound Alarm After Trump Floats Executing His Former General

“The leading Republican candidate has been found liable for sexual assault and fraud, his companies found guilty of fraud, and he’s charged with 91 OTHER felony counts. That he is not dismissed politically out of hand says much more about us, than about him,” observes MSNBC’s Andrew Weissmann, the well-known former lead prosecutor in Robert S. Mueller’s Special Counsel’s Office and former FBI General Counsel.

Attorney, retired U.S. Air Force colonel, and former administrative law judge Moe Davis responding to the news, writes: “Trump is the eponymous fraudster. The name Trump is to fraud what Campell’s is to soup, Kleenex is to tissue, and ping is to pong.”


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Trump Committed Fraud and Deceived Banks While Growing His Real Estate Empire, Judge Says: Report



Donald Trump committed fraud, deceived banks, and inflated the value of his real estate holdings a judge said Tuesday, granting New York Attorney General Letitia James partial summary judgment in her civil case against the ex-president.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron “has ruled that Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to fame and the White House,” The Associated Press reports. Judge Engoron “found that the former president and his company deceived banks, insurers and others by massively overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth on paperwork used in making deals and securing financing.”

“The decision, days before the start of a non-jury trial in Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit, is the strongest repudiation yet of Trump’s carefully coiffed image as a wealthy and shrewd real estate mogul turned political powerhouse,” The AP adds.

Attorney General James “is seeking $250 million in penalties and a ban on Trump doing business in New York, his home state. The trial could last into December, Engoron has said.”

READ MORE: McCarthy Now Blaming Likely Shutdown on Fentanyl, President Biden, and His Own House Republicans
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McCarthy Now Blaming Likely Shutdown on Fentanyl, President Biden, and His Own House Republicans



Speaker Kevin McCarthy during a raucous gaggle with reporters Tuesday afternoon blamed the increasingly likely shutdown of the federal government on fentanyl, President Joe Biden, and his own House Republicans.

Political experts have said the Republican Speaker could avoid a government shutdown, which will happen at midnight on Friday if legislation is not passed, by making a deal with Democrats and a small number of House Republicans. Doing so would likely cost him his job.

Asked on Tuesday by CNN’s Manu Raju, “Are you ruling out a clean CR without any border security?” McCarthy immediately launched in to a diatribe.

“You know what’s so concerning here? What do you tell to the families that tomorrow morning are gonna wake up and their child’s dead? Because fentanyl came across?” he asked the CNN reporter (video below). “What do you tell to that border agent that you saw the other day? Now his network doesn’t believe it but he’s all in blood. Or the cartels, the billions of dollars that they’re making. Or to the young girls that get raped?”

READ MORE: House GOP Shutdown Demands Include Gutting Billions From Dept. of Education, Costing Over 200,000 Teachers Their Jobs

Another reporter, seemingly frustrated, interjected and asked, “But what do you tell the workers who are concerned they’re gonna get furloughed next week because there is no agreement in your chamber, sir?”

“Well, I know. It’s easy,” McCarthy claimed. “All the President has to do is say, ‘You know what, as one of my fundamental jobs as the President of the United States is to secure our border.'”

Another reporter, ignoring the Speaker’s apparent obfuscation, loudly asked, “Speaker McCarthy if we see the rule votes fail later today, is it possible to even move on to a CR [continuing resolution] for you?”

“Oh, yeah, I never give up,” McCarthy said smiling.

“I know that,” she replied, “but do you think you have the votes?”

Again, not delivering a straight answer, McCarthy smiled and replied, “Oh, I’ve got a lot of things I can try.”

READ MORE: ‘Height of Irresponsibility’: Top LGBTQ Civil Rights Group Slams House Republicans Over Shutdown and ‘Politics of Hate’

CNN’s Raju reported that McCarthy, when asked about the “math,” meaning if he has the votes to keep the government open, said: “What’s concerning to me is that there are people in the Republican Party who will take the position of President Biden against what the rest of Americans want.”

That could suggest some Republicans have indicated they would vote with Democrats on a bill to keep the government from shutting down.

Raju also reported he asked “Speaker McCarthy if he believes he could survive a vote to oust him from the speakership, as [Rep. Matt] Gaetz has threatened, and he said: ‘I don’t count that vote.'”

NPR’s Joel Rose has reported, “Close to 90% of … fentanyl is seized at ports of entry. Immigration authorities say it is smuggled mostly by U.S. citizens, as well as other travelers who are legally authorized to cross. Virtually none is seized from migrants who are seeking asylum.”

On Monday The Washington Post Editorial Board wrote: “The U.S. government will almost certainly shut down on Oct. 1, the work of ultraconservative holdouts who want to ‘burn the whole place down,’ as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) put it. Yet, for now, Mr. McCarthy does not appear willing to take away the matches. He could sideline the objectors by calling House Democrats and agreeing to pass bipartisan legislation to fund the government.”

Watch McCarthy below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Careening’ Toward ‘Risk of Political Violence’: Experts Sound Alarm After Trump Floats Executing His Former General

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