In a scathing decision against the state, a federal judge appointed by George H.W. Bush and recommended by Mitch McConnell has struck down Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage.
FederalÂ United States District Court JudgeÂ John G. Heyburn II has just ruled that Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. He has stayed his ruling, so couples may not marry yet.Â
“In America, even sincere and long-hold religious beliefs do not trump the constitutional rights of those who happen to have been out-voted,” Judge Heyburn wrote in his ruling. He added scathing and chastising remarks directed to the State of Kentucky’s Governor, whose lawyers argued that the ban was necessary for stability in birth rates and long-term economic health, according to The Courier-Journal.Â “These arguments are not those of serious people,” Judge Heyburn scolded.
“Assuring equal protection for same-sex couples does not diminish the freedom of others to any degree,” Heyburn added. “Thus, same-sex couplesâ€™ right to marry seems to be a uniquely ‘free’Â constitutional right. Hopefully, even those opposed to or uncertain about same-sex marriage will see it that way in the future.”
Judge Heyburn earlier this year ruled that Kentucky must recognize out-of-state legal marriages, which the state is fighting.
Heyburn was recommended to the bench by Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and nominated by President George H.W. Bush (Bush 41). Neither has commented but the former President has made clear he supports same-sex marriage.
In March, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway (image, right) announced he would not appeal the court’s ruling requiring the state to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages, leading Governor Steve Beshear (image, left) to hire outside counsel. Both are Democrats.
Freedom to Marry notes this is the 23rd pro-marriage ruling in a year.
Image via Facebook
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‘This Is a National Security Issue’: Former FBI Agents Note Key Details About ‘Raid’ on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago
Two former FBI agents are weighing in on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s execution of a search warrant Monday at the Florida residence of Donald Trump, the former President, which he called a “raid.”
“This is a nat sec/CI issue,” tweeted Asha Rangappa Tuesday morning, meaning national security and counterintelligence. Rangappa is an attorney, former FBI special agent, senior lecturer at Yale, and CNN commentator.
She was pointing to a tweet by another former FBI special agent, James Harris.
Harris has an extensive bio, highlights of which include his role at FBI HQ Cyber Division as a Program Manager and then Unit Chief (Acting), FBI Senior Liaison Officer to DHS Cybersecurity and Communications, and FBI Assistant Section Chief of the Counterterrorism Internet Operations Section. Earlier in his FBI career he says he “built up the largest Federal Cybercrime Task Force in the US.”
Harris points to this section of a CNN article published Tuesday morning, written by seven CNN reporters:
“In early June, a handful of investigators made a rare visit to the property seeking more information about potentially classified material from Trump’s time in the White House that had been taken to Florida. The four investigators, including Jay Bratt, the chief of the counterintelligence and export control section at the Justice Department, sat down with two of Trump’s attorneys, Bobb and Evan Corcoran, according to a source present for the meeting.”
Harris on Twitter highlights this sentence: “The four investigators, including Jay Bratt, the chief of the counterintelligence and export control section at the Justice Department…”
He tweets: “All you ‘outraged’ GOPers better cool your jets. You might be walking your rhetoric back really fast when you figure out what this seems to be. The devil is in the details.”
In January the National Archives was forced to transport from Mar-a-Lago 15 cartons of documents and other items that, according to the Presidential Records Act and the National Archives, should have been turned over to the Archives.
The FBI’s execution of the search warrant and reports that they left with a large quantity of documents suggests Trump might not have turned over everything taken from the White House.
Rangappa earlier Tuesday tweeted: “Ask yourself: What kind of info makes its way to the WH, and specifically to the president? —> HIGH LEVEL SECRETS. PDB stuff. Defense info. These aren’t low-level diplomatic cables or overclassified State Dept. correspondence. Just saying.”
‘I’d Be Advising My Client to Tell Their Family I’m Looking at Jail Time’: Mueller Prosecutor on the FBI’s Trump Raid
Former Justice Department prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, who worked on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, explained on MSNBC that if he was advising a client facing what former President Donald Trump is, there would be a strong warning.
“If I were Donald Trump’s lawyer right now, thank God I’m not, I would be advising my client to be telling [their] family, ‘I am looking at jail time, and we should make plans accordingly.'”
After House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) threatened Attorney General Merrick Garland, Weissmann said that he should just keep his head down and keep doing his job.
“That is such a palpably false statement, the comment from Mr. McCarthy that he has seen enough,” said Weissmann. “One of the things that none of us has seen is the warrant, an application to the court. It’s very important to remember this was not a break-in, this was not a raid, this was not the attorney general of the United States deciding willy-nilly on his own that he was going to do the search. A court had to approve the search here based on, as you point out Lawrence, evidence. The evidence had to show that there was probable cause of a crime. That is the way our judicial system works, and that is what happened here.”
While McCarthy may want to hold a public hearing of Garland and demand documents, what the Republicans might ultimately end up doing is drawing additional attention to what Trump stole or attempted to destroy.
“I think the thing that I found the most remarkable and I think it’s really worth people really taking a step back, is this does mean the attorney general of the United States did not trust the former president to simply produce the documents voluntarily pursuant to a subpoena,” said Weissmann. “And it was necessary to go via search warrant. Normally, you think that if you order a subpoena to any reputable person they will produce documents. When you issue and obtain a search warrant, it is because you do not trust that the person will actually produce the documents. That means if they had to have evidence of that that led Merrick Garland to take this step. It was bold but certainly approved by the courts.”
He went on to joke that the irony is that, all of a sudden, Kevin McCarthy cares about document preservation.
“The Trump administration pioneered all these different ways of doing it from flushing it down the toilet, to burning it in the White House fireplace,” recalled Weissmann. “Points for creativity, but, all in all, I don’t think I expect a statement from the Justice Department about [McCarthy’s threats].”
See the comments below:
READ: Trump Likens FBI Executing Search Warrant at Mar-a-Lago to ‘Watergate’ in New Statement
The FBI on Monday executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump‘s Florida home. While there are no details yet on what federal agents are investigating, Trump quickly put out a statement in which he decries the “assault.”
“These are dark times for our Nation,” writes Trump, who since becoming president has likened himself to the entire country, at times declaring an attack on him to be an attack on the United States.
He continues, saying, “my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.”
“Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before,” which is true, but no president, possibly except Richard Nixon, has been under criminal investigation before.
“After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,” he claims. Clearly it had ti be approved by the highest levels at not just the FBI – whose director Trump installed – but the Dept. of Justice, likely by Attorney General Merrick Garland or Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco.
“It is prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for President in 2024, especially based on recent polls, and who will likewise do anything to stop Republicans and Conservatives in the upcoming Midterm Elections.”
“Such an assault could only take place in broken, Third-World Countries,” he claims, using a term that many consider derogatory to developing countries. “Sadly, America has now become one of those Countries, corrupt at a level not seen before. They even broke into my safe! What is the difference between this and Watergate, where operatives broke into the Democrat National Committee? Here, in reverse, Democrats broke into the home of the 45th President of the United States,” Trump falsely claims.
Mother Jones’ David Corn responds to Trump’s “Watergate” comparison.
“Let’s make this simple: the Watergate break-in was a crime conducted by criminals. This raid was conducted by law enforcement officers who are supposed to catch criminals.”
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READ: Trump Likens FBI Executing Search Warrant at Mar-a-Lago to ‘Watergate’ in New Statement