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UPDATE III: Supreme Court Blocks Virginia Same-Sex Marriage – Order By Full Court

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With just hours to spare, the full U.S Supreme Court has just halted all Virginia same-sex marriages that were slated to begin tomorrow.

The Chief Justice was originally petitioned, but this afternoon’s ruling is unsigned, indicating it is from the full court.

“Although Chief Justice John Roberts is responsible for stay requests in the Fourth Circuit, the order indicates he referred the matter to the entire court,” Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade reports. “The vote by the Supreme Court on the decision isn’t included in the order.”

The request came from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), representing Michèle McQuigg, who filed suit against Timothy Bostic, the lead plaintiff in Bostic v. Schaeffer.

The original case was filed last year as Bostic v. McDonnell, then, as Bostic v. Rainey, and now, as Bostic v. Schaefer. The request for a stay was McQuigg v. Bostic.

 

This is a developing news story — stay tuned for more details.

UPDATE I 3:27 PM EDT:

“This Supreme Court’s stay of yet another freedom to marry ruling underscores the urgency of the Court’s granting a full review and bringing the country to national resolution by next year,” Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, said in a statement immediately following the ruling. 

“Americans across the country are being deprived of the freedom to marry and respect for their lawful marriages, as well as the tangible protections and precious dignity and happiness that marriage brings. It is time for the Supreme Court to affirm what more than thirty courts have held in the past year: marriage discrimination violates the Constitution, harms families, and is unworthy of America.”

Opponents have begun the process of seeking Supreme Court review of each of the three appellate rulings in favor of the freedom to marry so far, including the Virginia case in the Fourth Circuit and Utah and Oklahoma cases in the Tenth Circuit. Since the Supreme Court struck down the heart of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act in June 2013, 37 state and federal courts have upheld the freedom to marry, with only 1 ruling the other way. Every appellate ruling has been in favor of the freedom to marry.

UPDATE II 3:58 PM EDT:

Alliance Defending Freedom, the anti-gay religious legal firm that requested the stay, issued this statement:

“Virginians deserve an orderly and fair resolution to the question of whether they will remain free to preserve marriage as the union of a man and a woman in their laws. By granting our request to place a hold on the 4th Circuit’s decision, the Supreme Court is making clear, as it already did in the Utah marriage case, that it believes a dignified process is better than disorder. The Supreme Court acted wisely in restraining the lower court from implementing a ruling of this magnitude before the high court has a chance to decide the issue.”

UPDATE III 4:11 PM EDT:

Via AFER, the legal group representing the plaintiffs fighting for marriage equality:

“Never before have federal courts across this country so swiftly, convincingly, and unanimously come to the same conclusion on an imperative constitutional question as they have when presented with the issue of marriage equality,” said Plaintiffs’ lead co-counsel David Boies of Boies, Schiller & Flexner, LLP. “The federal court system agrees, the majority of Americans agree, and the President of the United States agrees that it is time this country treats its same-sex couples and their children just the same as all other loving families. We are confident that when the Supreme Court reviews the Bostic case, it too will agree and end the flagrant injustice of segregating Americans based on sexual orientation.”

Should the Supreme Court agree to hear the case, the stay issued today will remain in place until the case has been fully briefed, argued, and decided by the high court.

“Tony and I look forward to the day that we can finally be married in our home state,” said Tim Bostic, Plaintiff. “While we are disappointed that marriages will have to wait, this was not unexpected. We feel that this case deserves to be heard by the Supreme Court and be finally decided for all Americans. There are thousands of couples just like us in 30 other states waiting to get married. It is time for all Americans to be able to enjoy the freedom to marry, no matter what state they live in.”

 

 

Image via AFER

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OPINION

Former Trump Official Claims Biden Choosing First Black Woman Justice Bars ‘Hispanics, Asians and Gays’

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A highly-controversial former Trump official is claiming President Joe Biden’s promise to seat the first Black woman on the U.S. Supreme Court is discriminatory.

Richard Grenell, who served as Trump’s Acting Director of National Intelligence, and as Trump’s  Ambassador to Germany, was seen by at least one lawmaker in Berlin as a “biased propaganda machine.” On Thursday Grenell attacked President Biden by attacking another Democrat, former White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart.

Lockhart served as President Bill Clinton’s White House Press Secretary. On Thursday he tweeted, “Ahead of the midterms, I look forward to watching every Republican Senator oppose the first black woman to the Supreme Court.”

Earlier in the day Grenell posted a similar tweet:

Conservatives, including on the far right which Grenell has been accused of having ties to, have been falsely claiming it’s “racist” to choose a Supreme Court Justice who is Black and a woman.

Those same conservatives are apparently ignorant of the fact that smart presidents, like smart managers, create a Supreme Court team. There’s no such things as “the most qualified,” nor is there any way, any right way, to measure. Presidents, smart presidents, want justices who are young so they can have a decades-long impact on the nation and its future. They want great minds who are able to work behind the scenes to win over their colleagues. And, unlike Republicans, they want justices who have the lived experiences of more and more Americans –because the law is not stagnant, despite what the originalists and textualists falsely claim.

Here’s Grenell, attacking President Biden through Lockhart:

Some responses to Grenell’s tweet:

 

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Christian Nationalist Home-Schooling Podcaster Running for Congress to Bring ‘The Name of God’ Back Into Politics

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Early in 2021, Christian nationalist home-schooling advocate, author, and podcaster Heidi St. John launched a bid for U.S. Congress in Washington state’s 3rd Congressional District. Outraged by incumbent Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler’s vote to impeach former President Donald Trump in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, St. John decided to try and unseat her in the GOP primary by appealing to MAGA voters, denouncing public libraries as “evil organizations,” and pledging to “be a mom for America.”

Earlier this month, St. John appeared on the “Stand Up For The Truth” podcast, where she sounded Seven Mountains and Christian nationalist themes that have been central to her campaign, describing politics as “a spiritual battle” and vowing to “bring back the name of God into the political sphere.”

“[Politics is] in my blood,” St. John said. “And I think it should be in the blood of every Christ follower. Politics determined policy, and it is policy that has murdered 63 million of our unborn in this country. It is policy that has gotten us into the mess that we are in as a nation, and we need wise people and godly people to ascend to positions of authority in the nation.”

“What we’ve observed over years and years and years is a church deciding to pull itself out of arguably one of the most important aspects of the culture, which is determining our laws and determining the policy that governs the people here,” she continued. “Christians belong in every sphere of influence. We have a command to be strong and courageous. [God] did not say, ‘Be strong and courageous except for in the political sphere, stay out of that one.’ No, we belong in every sphere of influence. We belong in medicine. We belong in entertainment. We belong in education. And we belong in politics.”

“[Christians] should be canvassing, they should be helping clean up the voter rolls, they should be running for positions of authority in every sphere of influence,” St. John added. “We bring back the name of Jesus, we bring back the name of God into the political sphere and we say out loud, ‘What is the biggest problem in our country? We have turned away from God.’”

“This is a spiritual battle,” St. John declared. “We know that we serve the Lord of Heaven’s armies. We serve the creator of the universe, the one who spoke the world into being. He can do anything. And I think he’s calling his people back out of hiding and out of the shadows and into the battle and onto the battlefield.”

This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

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'ENGAGED IN A GREAT CIVIL WAR'

Justice Breyer’s Decision to Quote Gettysburg Address and ‘Civil War’ in Retirement Remarks ‘Not by Accident’: Experts

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During his unscripted remarks with President Joe Biden at a White House event Thursday to announce his retirement, Justice Stephen Breyer made very specific mention of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, quoting from the iconic president’s famous Civil War-era speech (video below.)

Bloomberg White House reporter Jennnifer Epstein observed the Justice, who will have served for 28 years on the nation’s highest court, held up a copy of the Constitution at one point as he was speaking.

“Please listen carefully,” NBC News Presidential Historian Michael Beschloss urged. “Not by accident did Justice Breyer, in appearance with President Biden, quote Lincoln saying that the nation was ‘engaged in a great Civil War’ and remind us that the American system is always an experiment whose survival must never be taken for granted.”

Former U.S. Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal calls Breyer’s remarks “brilliant,” and also notes his civil war remarks were not by accident.

Leah Litman, an assistant professor of constitutional law at the University of Michigan observed, “Justice Breyer seems to be … pointedly talking about threats facing the country. and about how future generations will determine and see whether this experiment succeeds.”

The LA Times’ White House reporter Eli Stokols says Justice Breyer was “suggesting America’s still engaged in ‘a civil war’ but expressing optimism that the democratic experiment will endure.”

Watch:

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