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Updated: Arkansas Same-Sex Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional By Federal Judge

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A federal judge has struck down another same-sex marriage ban, this time in Arkansas.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker has ruled that Arkansas’ voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Judge Baker, as many before her have, stayed her ruling. The State is expected to appeal to the 8th Circuit.

The case, Jernigan v. Crane, was won by two same-sex couples and was heard just four days ago. 

The AP reports that “Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s office had argued in federal court that same-sex marriage was not a fundamental right guaranteed by the constitution. McDaniel, a Democrat who is leaving office in January due to term limits, has said he personally supports allowing gay couples to marry but will continue defending the ban — approved by voters by a 3-1 margin — in court.”

Freedom to Marry identifies that plaintiffs as “Becca and Tara Austin and Rita and Pam Jernigan, who argue in the case that they want to marry in their home state of Arkansas. Randy and Garry Eddy-McCain married in New York, but they are treated as unmarried by Arkansas.”

UPDATE I –
 

UPDATE II –

Via Freedom to Marry:

In total, 55 decisions have been issued in favor of the freedom to marry in state and federal court since June 2013, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the core of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act in Windsor v. United States. Thirty-five rulings have been issued in federal court, fifteen have been issued in state court, and five have been issued by a federal appellate court. Just four courts – most notably, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit – have upheld marriage discrimination. Plaintiffs from the 6th Circuit cases, out of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, are now seeking review from that out-of-step ruling from the United States Supreme Court, as are plaintiffs in a federal case from Louisiana, where a judge also upheld discrimination. 

 

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NOT HOW THIS WORKS

Busted: White House Counsel Worked to Keep Whistleblower Report From Congress – WaPo

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President Donald Trump’s White House counsel has reportedly been personally involved in keeping Congress from reviewing a whistleblowing report involving Ukraine.

“The revelation that Trump pushed Zelensky to pursue the Biden probe, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, represents the most detailed account so far of the president’s conduct that prompted a U.S. intelligence official to file a whistleblower action against the president,” The Washington Post reported Friday. “The disclosure comes amid new details about the White House’s role in preventing Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire from complying with Congressional demands for the material in the complaint.”

In addition to confirming the WSJ report, The Post also furthered the story with new reporting on the role of the White House in the scandal.

“White House Counsel Pat Cipollone has been engaged in the matter since shortly after the whistleblower action surfaced, officials said, helping to identify legal obstacles to the sharing of information that could be politically damaging to Trump,” The Post reported. “Cipollone’s involvement reveals a more direct White House role in the dispute than has previously been reported.”

Read the full report.

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IMPEACHABLE OFFENSES

Trump Urged Ukraine President ‘About Eight Times’ to Work With Giuliani to Get Dirt on Biden’s Son: WSJ

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that President Donald Trump “repeatedly pressured” the president of Ukraine to work with his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to get dirt on the son of his top political opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.

In a July phone call Trump urged President Volodymyr Zelensky “about eight times to work with Rudy Giuliani,” the Wall Street Journal says.

But the Journal’s reporting in the second paragraph offers details that appear to minimize what experts have been suggesting actually happened. The Journal’s report also does not name sources or even suggest if they are White House or intelligence community officials.

“Mr. Trump didn’t mention a provision of foreign aid to Ukraine on the call, said this person, who didn’t believe Mr. Trump offered the Ukrainian president any quid-pro-quo for his cooperation on an investigation,” the Journal says.

That would lessen the magnitude of the allegations against President Trump, although they would still be impeachable offenses.

Related: Trump to Meet With Ukrainian President Amid Bombshell Whistleblower Allegations

The Trump team has become expert at controlling the national conversation and forging a narrative that bends most elements of truth, then getting the conservative base to believe them.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

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IMPEACH

Some Among Democratic Base Grow Increasingly Frustrated as Pelosi Issues Statement Chastising Trump Over Whistleblower

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Statement  Does Not  Say ‘Impeachment’

Some among the Democratic base appear frustrated with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi who has not been supportive of the majority of House Democrats who want to impeach President Donald Trump. Friday afternoon the Speaker quietly issued a lengthy statement responding to the bombshell news that a whistleblower has filed a “credible” and “urgent” complaint with the intelligence community.

Pelosi’s statement, which was not posted to her social media accounts as of this writing, made its way through Twitter via a handful of reporters.

“If the President has done what has been alleged, then he is stepping into a dangerous minefield with serious repercussions for his Administration and our democracy,” Pelosi said, as a Politico congressional reporter pointed out:

Nearly two-thirds of House Democrats support impeaching Trump, or beginning a formal impeachment inquiry at the very least, according to Politico. But the majority of the nation does not, nor do a majority of Democratic voters, according to recent polls.

“Only 37 percent support beginning impeachment proceedings, while half oppose it,” Politco reports, citing its own polls.

Speaker Pelosi’s statement concludes with this:

“We will continue to follow the facts and explore every possible option to ensure the American people get the truth. We would hope that Republicans would join us in supporting the Constitution.”

Some online are calling her statement “weak,” while others are disappointed with the lack of specific threats of action, and others are expressing exasperation with the Speaker not supporting impeachment:

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