Over 80 Republicans have signed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to find a constitutional right to marriage for same-sex couples. Who are these extraordinarily supportive Republicans? They’re largely those who have served in top-level Republican National Committee (RNC) posts, the George W. Bush administration, Congress, or are GOP strategists. They also largely have little to lose, as they’re not running for re-election, with the exception of CongresswomanÂ Ileana Ros-Lehtinen andÂ Richard Hanna (image: bottom left and right).
But many had previously supported only so-called “traditional marriage,” and many also supported a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, so the message to the Supreme Court is huge.
“Backers have been working for about three months on the list, which includes Republicans who have been wrestling for year on what position to take on the issue,” Politico reports:
AFER said the signers include â€œsocial and political conservatives, moderates, and libertarians from diverse religious, racial, regional, and philosophical backgrounds.â€
Ken Mehlman, a board member of AFER who managed former President George W. Bushâ€™s reelection campaign and personally secured many of the signatures, said in an email to POLITICO: â€œRonald Reagan, our great conservative President, used to say, real change occurs around the kitchen table. This brief is reflective of real change occurring all across our country as families sit around kitchen tables, think about the value of family to their own lives and recognize these benefits should be available to all Americans.â€
While the Supreme Court has received dozens if not over 100 amicus briefs on same-sex marriage for next month’s hearings, they will have little effect. This one, however, is different.
“Experts say that amicus briefs generally do not change Supreme Court justicesâ€™ minds,” the New York Times reports:
But on Monday some said that the Republican brief, written by Seth P. Waxman, a former solicitor general in the administration of President Bill Clinton, and Reginald Brown, who served in the Bush White House Counselâ€™s Office, might be an exception.
Tom Goldstein, publisher of Scotusblog, a Web site that analyzes Supreme Court cases, said the amicus filing â€œhas the potential to break through and make a real difference.â€
He added: â€œThe person who is going to decide this case, if itâ€™s going to be close, is going to be a conservative justice who respects traditional marriage but nonetheless is sympathetic to the claims that this is just another form of hatred. If youâ€™re trying to persuade someone like that, you canâ€™t persuade them from the perspective of gay rights advocacy.â€
So, who are the 80+ Republicans on the list?
AFER offers the most-current list:
- Ken Mehlman,Â Chairman, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007
- Tim Adams,Â Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, 2005-2007
- David D. Aufhauser,Â General Counsel, Department of Treasury, 2001-2003
- Cliff S. Asness,Â Businessman, Philanthropist, and Author
- John B. Bellinger III,Â Legal Adviser to the Department of State, 2005-2009
- Katie Biber,Â General Counsel, Romney for President, 2007-2008 and 2011-2012
- Mary Bono Mack, Member of Congress, 1998-2013
- William A. Burck, Deputy Staff Secretary, Special Counsel and Deputy Counsel to the President, 2005-2009
- Alex Castellanos, Republican Media Advisor
- Paul Cellucci,Â Governor of Massachusetts, 1997-2001, and Ambassador to Canada, 2001-2005
- Mary Cheney, Director of Vice Presidential Operations, Bush-Cheney 2004
- Jim Cicconi, Assistant to the President & Deputy to the Chief of Staff, 1989-1990
- James B. Comey, United States Deputy Attorney General, 2003-2005
- R. Clarke Cooper,Â U.S. Alternative Representative, United Nations Security Council, 2007-2009
- Julie Cram,Â Deputy Assistant to the President and Director White House Office of Public Liaison, 2007-2009
- Michele Davis,Â Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and Director of Policy Planning, Department of the Treasury, 2006-2009
- Kenneth M. Duberstein,Â White House Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President, 1981-1984 and 1987-1989
- Lew Eisenberg,Â Finance Chairman, Republican National Committee, 2002-2004
- Elizabeth Noyer Feld,Â Public Affairs Specialist, White House Office of Management and Budget, 1984-1987
- David Frum,Â Special Assistant to the President, 2001-2002
- Richard Galen,Â Communications Director, Speakerâ€™s Political Office, 1996-1997
- Mark Gerson,Â Chairman, Gerson Lehrman Group and Author ofÂ The Neoconservative Vision: From the Cold War to the Culture WarsÂ andÂ In the Classroom: Dispatches from an Inner-City School that Works
- Benjamin Ginsberg,Â General Counsel, Bush-Cheney 2000 & 2004
- Adrian Gray,Â Director of Strategy, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007
- Richard Grenell,Â Spokesman, U.S. Ambassadors to the United Nations, 2001-2008
- Patrick Guerriero,Â Mayor, Melrose Massachusetts and member of Massachusetts House of Representatives, 1993-2001
- Carlos Gutierrez,Â Secretary of Commerce, 2005-2009
- Stephen Hadley,Â Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor, 2005-2009
- Richard Hanna,Â Member of Congress, 2011-Present
- Israel Hernandez,Â Assistant Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, 2005-2009
- Margaret Hoover,Â Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, 2005-2006
- Michael Huffington,Â Member of Congress, 1993-1995
- Jon Huntsman,Â Governor of Utah, 2005-2009
- David A. Javdan,Â General Counsel, United States Small Business Administration, 2002-2006
- Reuben Jeffery,Â Undersecretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Agricultural Affairs, 2007-2009
- Greg Jenkins,Â Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Advance, 2003-2004
- Coddy Johnson,Â National Field Director, Bush-Cheney 2004
- Gary Johnson,Â Governor of New Mexico, 1995-2003
- Robert Kabel,Â Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, 1982-1985
- Theodore W. Kassinger,Â Deputy Secretary of Commerce, 2004-2005
- Jonathan Kislak,Â Deputy Undersecretary of Agriculture for Small Community and Rural Development, 1989-1991
- David Kochel,Â Senior Advisor to Mitt Romneyâ€™s Iowa Campaign, 2007-2008 and 2011-2012
- James Kolbe,Â Member of Congress, 1985-2007
- Jeffrey Kupfer,Â Acting Deputy Secretary of Energy, 2008-2009
- Kathryn Lehman,Â Chief of Staff, House Republican Conference, 2003-2005
- Daniel Loeb,Â Businessman and Philanthropist
- Alex Lundry,Â Director of Data Science, Romney for President, 2012
- Greg Mankiw,Â Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers, 2003-2005
- Catherine Martin,Â Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Communications Director for Policy & Planning, 2005-2007
- Kevin Martin,Â Chairman, Federal Communications Commission, 2005-2009
- David McCormick,Â Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, 2007-2009
- Mark McKinnon,Â Republican Media Advisor
- Bruce P. Mehlman,Â Assistant Secretary of Commerce, 2001-2003
- Connie Morella,Â Member of Congress, 1987-2003 and U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2003-2007
- Michael E. Murphy,Â Republican Political Consultant
- Michael Napolitano,Â White House Office of Political Affairs, 2001-2003
- Ana Navarro,Â National Hispanic Co-Chair for Senator John McCainâ€™s Presidential Campaign, 2008
- Noam Neusner,Â Special Assistant to the President for Economic Speechwriting, 2002-2005
- Nancy Pfotenhauer,Â Economist, Presidential Transition Team, 1988 and President’s Council on Competitiveness, 1990
- J. Stanley Pottinger,Â Assistant U.S. Attorney General (Civil Rights Division), 1973-1977
- Michael Powell,Â Chairman, Federal Communications Commission, 2001-2005
- Deborah Pryce,Â Member of Congress, 1993-2009
- John Reagan,Â New Hampshire State Senator, 2012-Present
- Kelley Robertson,Â Chief of Staff, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007
- Ileana Ros-Lehtinen,Â Member of Congress, 1989-Present
- Harvey S. Rosen,Â Member and Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers, 2003-2005
- Lee Rudofsky,Â Deputy General Counsel, Romney for President, 2012
- Patrick Ruffini,Â eCampaign Director, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007
- Steve Schmidt,Â Deputy Assistant to the President and Counselor to the Vice President, 2004-2006
- Ken Spain,Â Communications Director, National Republican Congressional Committee, 2009-2010
- Robert Steel,Â Undersecretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance, 2006-2008
- David Stockman,Â Director, Office of Management and Budget, 1981-1985
- Jane Swift,Â Governor of Massachusetts, 2001-2003
- Michael E. Toner, Chairman and Commissioner, Federal Election Commission, 2002-2007
- Michael Turk,Â eCampaign Director for Bush-Cheney 2004
- Mark Wallace,Â U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Representative for UN Management and Reform, 2006-2008
- Nicolle Wallace,Â Assistant to the President and White House Communications Director, 2005-2008
- William F. Weld,Â Governor of Massachusetts, 1991-1997, and Assistant U.S. Attorney General (Criminal Division), 1986-1988
- Christine Todd Whitman,Â Governor of New Jersey, 1994-2001, and Administrator of the EPA, 2001-2003
- Meg Whitman,Â Republican Nominee for Governor of California, 2010
- Robert Wickers,Â Republican Political Consultant
- Dan Zwonitzer,Â Wyoming State Representative, 2005-present
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Pete Buttigieg Nails Trump for His Ugly Comments About Wounded Vets
During his Sunday morning appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called out Donald Trump over reports he told military leaders he didn’t want wounded vets to be seen by the public while he was president.
In a recent Atlantic profile of General Mark Milley, the retiring military office recounted the former president telling him “no one wants to see” wounded soldiers, with Milley adding he found Trump’s attitude to those serving their country “superficial, callous, and, at the deepest human level, repugnant.”
Buttigieg, who served in Afghanistan during his 8 years while in the Naval Reserve, was asked by CNN host Dana Bash about the former president’s apparent distaste for service members.
“I want to ask you about a new Atlantic profile that says that then President Trump complained to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley after an Army veteran who lost a leg in combat sang at an event at the Pentagon,” Bash prompted her guest. “Trump reportedly told Milley, ‘Why do you bring people like that here, no one wants to see that, the wounded.'”
“After that article came out, Trump attacked Milley on social media, kind of a rambling post, but suggested that milley deserved the death penalty. You’re a veteran– what’s your response?” she asked.
“It’s just the latest in a pattern of outrageous attacks on the people who keep the country safe,” the Biden administration official replied.
After pointing to fellow vets who suffered horrific injuries, he added, “These are the kind of people that deserve respect and a hell of a lot more than that from every American, and definitely from every American president.”
“And the idea that an American president, the person to whom service members look at as a commander in chief, and the person who sets the tone for this entire country could think that way or act that way or talk that way about anyone in uniform, and certainly about those who put their bodies on the line and sacrificed in ways that most Americans will never understand, and I guess wounded veterans make president Trump feel uncomfortable.”
Watch below or at the link.
‘Scared to Death’: Trump’s Prison Panic Admission Means He Knows He’s Doomed Says Legal Expert
Reacting to a report that Donald Trump has been quizzing his attorneys about what type of prison he likely will be sent to, former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner stated that is not only an indication that he knows he’s going to be convicted but also an admission of guilt.
Speaking with MSNBC host Jonathan Capehart, the attorney was asked about a recent Rolling Stone report about Trump’s prison panic.
As Rolling Stone reported, Trump asked if he’s “be sent to a ‘club fed’ style prison — a place that’s relatively comfortable, as far these things go — or a ‘bad’ prison? Would he serve out a sentence in a plush home confinement? Would government officials try to strip him of his lifetime Secret Service protections? What would they make him wear, if his enemies actually did ever get him in a cell — an unprecedented set of consequences for a former leader of the free world.”
According to the attorney, Trump is revealing himself by asking for so many details.
“What does this tell you about Trump’s mindset?” host Capehart asked.
“It tells me he is scared to death” Kirschner quickly answered. “It tells me he has overwhelming consciousness of guilt because he knows what he did wrong and he knows he is about to be held accountable for his crimes. So it is not surprising that he is obsessing.”
“If he was confident that he would be completely exonerated, would he have to obsess about what his future time in prison might look like?” he suggested. “I think the last refuge for Donald Trump can be seen in a recent post where he urged the Republicans to defund essentially the prosecutions against him. which, to this prosecutor, Jonathan, smells a lot like an attempt to obstruct justice.”
Watch below or at the link.
Image via Shutterstock
‘Vulgar and Lewd’: Trump Judge Cites Extremist Group to Allow Drag Show Ban
A federal judge in Texas known for a ruling that attempted to ban a widely-used abortion drug is citing an extremist anti-LGBTQ group in his ruling allowing a ban on drag shows to stay in place.
U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a former attorney for an anti-LGBTQ conservative Christian legal organization, and a member of the Federalist Society, in his 26-page ruling dated Thursday cited the “About” page of Gays Against Groomers to claim, “it’s unclear how drag shows unmistakably communicate advocacy for LGBT rights.”
Judge Kacsmaryk, appointed by Donald Trump twice before finally assuming office in 2019, suggests the First Amendment does not provide for freedom of expression for drag shows, calls drag “sexualized conduct,” and says it is “more regulable” because “children are in the audience.”
Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern adds, “Kacsmaryk’s conclusion that drag is probably NOT protected by the First Amendment conflicts with decisions from Texas, Florida, Tennessee, and Montana which held that drag is constitutionally protected expression. It also bristles with undisguised hostility toward LGBTQ people.”
Calling the judge “a proud Christian nationalist who flatly refuses to apply binding Supreme Court precedent when it conflicts with his extremist far-right beliefs,” Stern at Slate writes that Kacsmaryk ruled drag “may be outlawed to protect ‘the sexual exploitation and abuse of children.’ In short, he concluded that drag fails to convey a message, while explaining all the reasons why he’s offended by the message it conveys.”
Stern does not let Kacsmaryk off the hook there.
“From almost any other judge, the ruling in Spectrum WT v. Wendler would be a shocking rejection of basic free speech principles; from Kacsmaryk, it’s par for the course. This is, after all, the judge who sought to ban medication abortion nationwide, restricted minors’ access to birth control, seize control over border policy to exclude asylum-seekers, and flouted recent precedent protecting LGBTQ+ equality,” Stern says.
“He is also poised to bankrupt Planned Parenthood by compelling them to pay a $1.8 billion penalty on truly ludicrous grounds. And he is not the only Trump-appointed judge substituting his reactionary beliefs for legal analysis. We have reached a point where these lawless decisions are not only predictable but inevitable, and they show no sign of stopping: Their authors are still just settling into a decadeslong service in the federal judiciary.”
West Texas A&M University President Walter V. Wendler penned the letter that sparked the lawsuit.
Titled, “A Harmless Drag Show? No Such Thing,” Wendler wrote: “I believe every human being is created in the image of God and, therefore, a person of dignity. Being created in God’s image is the basis of Natural Law. James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, prisoners of the culture of their time as are we, declared the Creator’s origin as the foundational fiber in the fabric of our nation as they breathed life into it. Does a drag show preserve a single thread of human dignity? I think not.”
Journalist Chris Geidner concludes, “It’s an extremely biased ruling by a judge who has established that he does not care about being overturned — even by the most conservative appeals court in the nation.”
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