A federal judge has ruled that Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage violated the U.S. Constitution.Â
This eveningÂ United States District JudgeÂ CallieÂ V.Â S.Â Granade ruled that the State of Alabama’s ban on same-sex couples marrying violates the 14th Amendment and therefore is unconstitutional. Judge Granade did not immediately place a stay on her ruling. The case isÂ Searcy v. Strange, and was filed in May of 2014.
“Alabamaâ€™s prohibition of same-sex marriage detracts from its goalÂ of promoting optimalÂ environments for children.Â Those childrenÂ currently beingÂ raised by same-sex parents in Alabama are just as worthy of protection andÂ recognition by the State as are the children being raised by opposite-sex parents,” Judge Granade’s ruling reads.Â “Yet Alabamaâ€™s Sanctity laws harms the children of same-sex couples for the sameÂ reasons that the Supreme Court found that the Defense of Marriage Act harmed theÂ children of same-sex couples.”
The ban “denies the families of these children a panoply of benefits that the State and theÂ federal government offer to familiesÂ who are legallyÂ wed,” Granade added.
“There has beenÂ no evidence presented thatÂ these marriageÂ laws have any effect on the choices of couples to have or raise children, whether theyÂ are same-sex couples or opposite-sex couples.Â In sum, the lawsÂ in question are anÂ irrational way of promotingÂ biological relationships inÂ Alabama.”
â€” freedomtomarry (@freedomtomarry) January 23, 2015
And Judge Granade, appointed by President George W. Bush, took a direct swing at Attorney General Strange’s defense.
“The Attorney General doesÂ not explain howÂ allowing orÂ recognizing same-sex marriage between two consenting adults will preventÂ heterosexual parents or other biological kin from caring for their biological children.Â He proffers no justification for why it is that the provisions in question single outÂ same-sex couples and prohibit them, and them alone, from marrying in order to meetÂ that goal.Â Alabama does notÂ exclude from marriage anyÂ other couples whoÂ are eitherÂ unwilling or unableÂ to biologically procreate.Â There is noÂ law prohibiting infertileÂ couples, elderly couples, or couplesÂ who do not wishÂ to procreate from marrying.Â NorÂ does the state prohibit recognition of marriages between such couples from otherÂ states.Â The Attorney General failsÂ to demonstrate any rational,Â much lessÂ compelling, link between its prohibition and non-recognition of same-sex marriageÂ and its goal of having more children raised in the biological family structure theÂ state wishes toÂ promote.”
â€” Equality Case Files (@EQCF) January 23, 2015
Image via Flickr
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House GOP Shutdown Demands Include Gutting Billions From Dept. of Education, Costing Over 200,000 Teachers Their Jobs
As House Republicans move closer to shutting down the federal government at midnight on Friday the details of their spending cut demands are becoming clearer, including their largest single target: the U.S. Department of Education, and specifically, a program that funds schools for low-income children.
As Semafor’s Jordan Weissmann explains, “Republican hardliners are pushing the government toward a shutdown so that they can force frontline members of their party to take a symbolic vote in favor of cutting federal funding for low-income public schools by 80%.”
Calling Tuesday “a big test for House Republicans,” The Washington Post reports the House “will vote on a procedural motion — a rule — to advance four of the 11 remaining individual spending bills the House hasn’t passed. If the vote fails, the chamber’s Republicans will seem even more unable to govern.”
“The vote is a last-minute play to appease a small group of hard-line Republicans and demonstrate that the party is working to enact deep, year-long spending cuts — but it will do nothing to prevent a government shutdown on Sunday,” The Post warns. “The only viable way to prevent a shutdown — which now seems likely — is to pass a continuing resolution, or CR.”
House Republicans want to cut spending “by $58 billion more than the amount to which President Biden and McCarthy agreed in May when they struck a deal to raise the debt limit, according to an analysis by Bobby Kogan and Jean Ross of the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank.”
About one-quarter of that $58 billion, if Republicans get their way, would come from the Dept. of Education, which has long been a target of the GOP. Many Republicans in recent years have called to get rid of the agency entirely.
“Removing the agency that protects students’ civil rights and distributes federal education funds has received an increasing amount of Republican support in recent years, including from Donald Trump,” The American Independent reported in March, when 161 House Republicans voted in support of eliminating the Department of Education.
Now, House Republicans want to cut “a single program that provides funding for low-income schools, known as Title I education grants,” The Post adds, gutting it “by nearly 80 percent, saving $14.7 billion.”
“Democrats have warned that Republicans’ proposed cuts could cost up to 224,000 teachers their jobs, and teachers unions have mobilized to lobby against them,” The Post notes.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona posted a map detailing how many teachers could lose their jobs under House Republicans’ proposal.
Extreme House Republicans are threatening to shut down the government unless they can cut education programs that support 26 million students by 80%.
Here’s what this means for your state ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/zhfmYPPYqa
— Secretary Miguel Cardona (@SecCardona) September 22, 2023
See the Secretary’s post above or at this link.
Menendez Quickly Losing Support as Flood of Democratic Senators Call on Him to Resign ‘For the Good of Our Country’
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include Senator Booker, the latest Democrat to call on Sen. Melendez to resign, and to update the tally.
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is losing support as more of his Senate Democratic colleagues formally call on him to resign after he was indicted again, this time on federal bribery charges that included allegations of receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and gold bars.
As of Tuesday morning, at least ten Democratic U.S. Senators have now called on the twice-indicted senior Democratic Senator from New Jersey to resign, as they cite the gravity of the charges against him.
U.S. Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) was the first to call on Menendez to resign, on Monday. U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Peter Welch (D-VT) followed later that day.
On Tuesday morning, U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), John Tester (D-MT), and Bob Casey (D-PA) all called on Sen. Menendez to resign. by 11 AM, U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) also called for him to resign.
Minutes later, U.S. Senator Cory Booker, Senator Menendez’s Democratic New Jersey colleague, also called for him to resign. The New York Times reported Sen. Booker’s decision “to condemn Senator Robert Menendez underscores the deepening crisis Mr. Menendez faces after his indictment.”
According to the Dept. of Justice, Sen. Menendez, along with his wife Nadine Menendez, not only are alleged to have received bribes, he is charged with doing so in a scheme “to use his official position to protect and enrich” those he allegedly accepted funds from, and “to benefit the Government of Egypt.”
“Among other things,” the DOJ alleged, Senator Menendez “agreed and sought to pressure a senior official at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in an effort to protect a business monopoly granted to” a New Jersey businessman “by Egypt, disrupt a criminal case undertaken by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office related to associates of” another New Jersey businessman, “and disrupt a federal criminal prosecution brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey against” a third New Jersey businessman.
Former Dept. of Defense Special Counsel Ryan Goodman on Sunday called Sen. Menendez “a walking national security threat.”
“Imagine US official charged with selling US secrets, embassy security, US defense policy – and showing up for work the next day,” he added.
“From a purely legal perspective, Menendez appears to be a dead man walking,” Goodman continued. “The kind of forensic and documentary evidence in the Indictment is exceptionally strong for these types of cases. It looks inevitable that he will be going to prison.”
Trump Appears to Think Jeb Bush Was President: ‘He Got Us Into the Middle East’
During a rally in South Carolina on Monday, Donald Trump appeared to confuse former Florida GOP Governor Jeb Bush with his brother, former President George W. Bush, while bragging to supporters how he beat him.
Jeb Bush, who was largely considered to be the default Republican Party nominee for the 2016 presidential election when he launched his campaign, dropped out in February of 2016 after the South Carolina primary.
“When I come here, everyone thought Bush was going to win,” Trump said, before claiming he was “up by about 50 points” over Bush. “They thought Bush because Bush was supposedly a military person.”
“You know what he was…He got us into the Middle East,” Trump claimed, wrongly. “How did that work out?”
“But they also thought that Bush might win. Jeb. Remember Jeb? He used the word ‘Jeb,’ he didn’t use the word ‘Bush,’ I said, ‘You mean he’s ashamed of the last name?’ and then they immediately started using the name Bush,” Trump claimed.
The ex-president went on to continue denigrating Jeb Bush, accusing him of bringing his mother to campaign with him.
“Remember,” Trump said, “he brought his mother, his wonderful mother who’s 94 years old and it was pouring and they’re wheeling her around and it’s raining and horrible. I said, ‘Who would do that your mother, 94 years old. How desperate are you to win?”
Media Matters’ Craig Harrington, commenting on Trump’s latest gaffe, observed: “In the past two weeks, Donald Trump has:
– Warned that Joe Biden might start ‘World War 2’
– Confused his 2016 election opponent (Hillary Clinton) with former President Barack Obama
– Confused his 2016 primary opponent (Jeb Bush) with former President George W. Bush.”
Watch the video below or at this link.
Trump: When I come here, everyone thought Bush was going to win… They thought Bush because he was supposedly a military person. He got us into the Middle East pic.twitter.com/lT8OVvg76H
— Acyn (@Acyn) September 25, 2023
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