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6th Circuit Judge Erupts: ‘What Is The Point’ Of Same-Sex Marriage Ban?

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A 6th Circuit Court of Appeals judge exploded on the lawyer defending Tennessee’s same-sex marriage ban yesterday. “What is the point?” of the law she demanded, when heterosexual couples would marry and procreate with or without it.

On Wednesday, a three-judge panel from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals held a marathon hearing of six same-sex marriage cases from four states. Toward the end of oral arguments in the Tanco v. Haslam hearing, one judge seemed to erupt in frustration.

LISTEN: Audio Of All Six Marriage Cases In 6th Circuit Court

As the attorney for the state of Tennessee was rebutting arguments made by the attorney for the three same-sex couples, one of the judges interrupted.

Tennessee’s state attorney told the court that “including opposite-sex couples,” in marriage laws, “furthers the state’s interest, because it’s opposite-sex couples who are having the children, that we’re concerned about.”

LOOK: 6th Circuit Judge: ‘Sky Hasn’t Fallen’ In A Decade Of Same-Sex Marriage

The judge was not going to have it.

“And they’re going to go on having those children, they’re going to go on getting married, they’re going to go on having children. It’s happening in 21 states where same-sex marriages are allowed. I’m sorry, I’m struggling too. I just don’t quite get the picture. There’s nothing about this that has stopped any heterosexual couple from getting married,” the judge stormed, apparently pounding papers on the bench as she spoke. “Discouraged them from getting married. Kept them from procreating — deliberately or accidentally. What are we dealing with here?”

“If you didn’t have in Tennessee,” the judge continued, “a law or a constitutional amendment outlawing, forbidding same-sex marriages, people would still get married, they would still procreate — deliberately or accidentally. Life would go on just the way it has gone on. What is the point?”

Listen — forward to about the 25:30 mark:

https://soundcloud.com/freedom-to-marry/6thcircuittennessee#t=25:30

 

Image and audio via Freedom To Marry

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News

Wealthy Florida Community Got COVID Vaccine Before Anyone Else — Then the Governor Got a $250,000 Contribution

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may have scored big in the CPAC Straw Poll last weekend, but his citizens aren’t likely to appreciate wealthy communities being able to jump the line for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Miami Herald reported Wednesday that Florida’s elderly are still struggling to sign up to get their first dose of the vaccine, but in a wealthy gated enclave in the Florida Keys, everyone was vaccinated in January.

A Jan. 22 newsletter sent to the Herald revealed that the Ocean Reef Club in north Key Largo despite the rest of the state struggling to get the vaccine, “Over the course of the last two weeks, the Medical Center has vaccinated over 1,200 homeowners who qualify under the State of Florida’s Governor’s current Order for those individuals who are 65 years of age or older.”

“We are fortunate to have received enough vaccines to ensure both the first and second for those vaccinated,” the newsletter message continued. “At this time, however, the majority of the State has not received an allocation of first doses of vaccines for this week and beyond, and the timing of any subsequent deliveries remains unclear.”

The Herald questioned whether the Republican donors who live in the area are behind the decision to give quick and easy access.

“In fact, the only people from Key Largo who gave to DeSantis’ political committee live in Ocean Reef,” said the report. “All 17 of them had given the governor contributions of $5,000 each through December 2020, according to the Florida Division of Elections.

One donor, in particular, gave Gov. DeSantis an extra $250,000 after the area got their vaccines in mid-January.

Read the full report at the Miami Herald.

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CORRUPTION

Trump DOJ Refused to Open Criminal Investigation Into Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao IG Says Was ‘Warranted’

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The Trump Dept. of Justice refused an Inspector General’s request to open a criminal investigation into Transportation Secretary Elaine’s Chao’s possible misuse of her office. Chao resigned one day after the January 6 insurrection.

“A formal investigation into potential misuses of position was warranted,” Mitch Behm, the department’s deputy inspector general, said on Tuesday, The New York Times reports. The Times cites “a letter to House lawmakers, accompanying a 44-page report detailing the investigation and the findings of wrongdoing.”

The Inspector General’s report reveals the IG’s office had “referred its findings to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia on December 16, 2020, and the U.S. Department of Justice Public Integrity Section on December 17, 2020, both of which declined prosecution.”

Mother Jones‘ David Corn weighed in, saying the report “shows Elaine Chao apparently violated federal ethics rules in multiple ways, including directing official staffers to do personal tasks.”

In one instance, Chao had her staff pressure a store to do a repair job for her father. “Tell them I’m the secretary of transportation,” she said.

“The report said the Justice Department declined to investigate her promotion of her family’s shipbuilding business while serving as transportation secretary in the Trump administration,” the Times notes, suggestion there is no question Chao engaged in “promotion of her family’s shipbuilding business while serving as transportation secretary.”

The Times adds: “The inspector general’s investigation detailed a series of instances where Ms. Chao directed her staff to spend federal government time and resources to help with matters related to the shipbuilding company and her father.”

A search of the IG’s 44-page report reveals the word “father” appears 82 times.

Read the Times’ full report here.

 

 

 

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News

Jim Jordan’s Campaign’s Funds Reporting Is Off by Millions and May Trigger an Investigation: Report

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The campaign committee for U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) is under scrutiny after apparent mismanagement of funds leading to an under-reporting of nearly $3 million over a two-year period. The problems are so severe “experts say that the dollar amount — errors totaling some $2.87 million — may trigger an FEC investigation,” according to The Daily Beast.

Over the past three days the Federal Election Commission has sent Jordan’s campaign committee ten notices “in reply to more than a dozen amended reports correcting errors that the campaign caught in a sweeping review of filings, going as far back as 2018. One of the filings discloses errors in spending and raising totalling $1,470,286.48.”

Jordan’s campaign has about a month to respond. Failure to “adequately respond” could result in enforcement action.

Campaign spokesperson Kevin Eichinger told The Daily Beast: “There was never any money missing from the account…In fact, the campaign’s cash balance is actually higher than previously listed on the campaign finance reports,” which is also not a good sign.

“The error occurred when the former campaign treasurer inadvertently double-reported certain fundraising expenses,” Eichinger adds. “When the error was discovered, the campaign hired an outside expert to conduct a comprehensive audit and file the appropriate amendments.”

Read the full report here.

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