An administrative hearings judge has ruled thatÂ Sweet Cakes by Melissa did discriminate against a lesbian couple two years ago, moving the case another step forward to resolution.
To hear the religious right talk about their patron saint Melissa Klein, you might think the owner of the Colorado bakery had been forced out of business and is bankrupt after having to pay fines of hundreds of thousands of dollars after the entire LGBT community rose up and attacked her.
Not the case.
In fact, the case against Sweet Cakes By MelissaÂ isn’t even over yet, which means that no fine, if there even is to be one, has been imposed. And, should you be so inclined, you can still purchase a wedding cake, or other likely delicious confection via the Klein’s online store. They’re still in business and no one is trying to put them out of business.
But late last week an administrative hearings officerÂ â€“ essentially, a judgeÂ â€“ ruled that Sweet Cakes By Melissa did in fact discriminate against a same-sex couple more than two years ago. Yes, that’s how long this case has been going on.Â
And it rejected the Kleins’ attorney’s request to side in their favor and award the bakers $200,000 in court costs, damages, and attorney fees.
Nice try there.
An administrative law judgeÂ “said in an interim order that Aaron and Melissa Klein unlawfully discriminated against the same-sex couple by denying them full and equal access toÂ a place of public accommodation,” Oregon Live reports today. JudgeÂ Alan McCullough “found that the undisputed facts in the case supported charges of unlawful discrimination under the Oregon Equality Act.”
The case is not yet over. Next month, a hearing will convene to award damages to the same-sex couple, who at the time wereÂ Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman, and are now the Bowman-Cryers.
Assuming that hearing goes as expected and the same-sex coupe is awarded damages, we can expect the Kleins toÂ appeal that ruling to the Oregon Court of Appeals. Their attorneys have already attempted to have Oregon’s labor commissioner – the man who ultimately will sign off on the case â€“Â removed, claiming he is supportive of same-sex marriage.
Justice moves slowly.
Image: Screenshot via YouTube
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Republicans Release Resolution for Expected Vote on Formal Biden Impeachment Inquiry
Republicans have released the text of a resolution ahead of an expected full House vote next week to open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, despite having provided to the American people no actual proof of illegal activities or impeachable offenses.
The right-leaning news outlet The Hill, reporting on the resolution Thursday, notes Republicans’ current impeachment inquiry “has struggled to connect President Biden to the activities of his son, and they’ve failed to prove their most salacious allegation — and the one that would be most key for impeachment: that the president accepted a bribe.”
One of the main pillars of Republicans’ allegations against President Biden, the “narrative that President Biden pushed Ukraine to fire its prosecutor to help his son, who served on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burimsa, has largely been refuted.”
The resolution for the formal impeachment inquiry all but admits Republicans have not produced proof to impeach President Biden, by drafting it with no actual allegations. It is a boilerplate document focused on how the inquiry should be conducted, laying out rules and regulations related to handling evidence and testimony of witnesses.
Like his predecessor, now-former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Speaker Mike Johnson has repeatedly pushed for the House to move forward on an impeachment trajectory, despite even some “mainstream” House Republicans voicing concerns over a lack of actual evidence.
“The speaker said he would move forward with a vote that Republicans have long avoided for fear that some in their ranks would refuse to endorse an investigation without incriminating evidence,” The New York Times reported Tuesday. “Republicans have engaged in wide-ranging inquiry into Mr. Biden for months, hunting for evidence to back up their allegations that he corruptly profited from his family members’ overseas business dealings and accepted bribes. To date, they have failed to deliver compelling evidence to back up their boldest claims.”
Last month, Vanity Fair reported “Republicans in Washington have all but owned up to the blatantly political rationale behind their impeachment inquiry against the president,” noting that in “a closed-door meeting, the House Speaker apparently suggested that Republicans can de-prioritize ousting Biden, given his waning popularity in the polls.”
‘Making It Up’: Trump Lawyer’s Claim It’s Not An Insurrection If It’s Only 3 Hours Doesn’t Fly in Court
Donald Trump’s attorney Wednesday tried to argue the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol didn’t constitute an insurrection because it was only three hours long, then quickly admitted his definition was made up, new courtroom footage shows.
Scott Gessler presented arguments to the Colorado Supreme Court considering the appeal of 14th Amendment challenge seeking to block Trump from the 2024 presidential ballot based on its “insurrectionist ban,” CNN reports.
An awkward exchange captured by PBS News Hour shows Gessler struggling to convince the panel that last month’s ruling from a lower court, which found Trump had engaged in insurrection (but that the 14th Amendment does not apply to presidents), was wrong.
“It has to be for a substantial duration,” Gessler said. “Not three hours.”
The Justices retorted that Gessler’s limits did not appear in the definition of insurrection — Encyclopedia Britannica’s entry on the subject includes the Jan. 6 attack — and demanded to know his source.
“Where is all that coming from?” a Supreme Court justice asked. “You’ve added a whole lot of conditions there.”
To this, Gessler replied, “We’re all sort of making it up at the end of the day.”
This comment, shared on social media, spurred both outrage and laughter from followers of the contentious legal battle.
“So basically, ‘Yeah I got nothing, but he definitely didn’t do it,'” summarized Bill DeMayo.
Quipped X user Amy: “Trump’s Law Firm: Dewey Cheatem & Howe.”
Gessler’s further argument that the Jan. 6 rioters were not armed at the level “necessary to overcome” police drew rebuke from Justice William Hood, CNN reports.
“There were a lot of makeshift weapons that did a lot of damage,” Hood reportedly said, noting more than 100 officers were hurt.
One Justice did admit the definition of insurrection was up for debate and would play an important role in their ruling as the 14th Amendment doesn’t define it.
Gessler compared the definition of insurrection to a common quip about pornography: “I don’t know a definition of it, but I know it when I see it.”
Watch the video below or click the link.
This was an actual comment made by Trump’s lawyer today in the 14th Amendment case in Colorado as Trump’s lawyers sought to challenge the definition of an insurrection:
Trump lawyer: Now you’re gonna tell me, “Mr. Gessler, you’re making it up.” And I’m going to say, “Well so did… pic.twitter.com/A9iTpJhOA2
— MeidasTouch (@MeidasTouch) December 6, 2023
Mike Johnson Likens Himself to Moses, Tells Christian Nationalists God Charted His Path to Speaker
Mike Johnson, delivering the keynote address to a far-right Christian nationalist group Tuesday, likened himself to Moses and declared God had charted his path to become the Republican Speaker of the House, after telling him in his prayers to prepare.
Speaker Johnson, a Christian nationalist who falsely claims the Constitution’s separation of church and state is a “misnomer” and has declared the United States is not democracy but a “biblical” republic, is an attorney who once worked for a far-right organization that has since been designated an anti-LGBTQ extremist group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Johnson was the lead sponsor last year of a federal “Don’t Say Gay” bill and has bragged that he and his teenaged son are accountability partners in a no-porn pledge that includes installation of monitoring software on all their devices.
“I’ll tell you a secret since the media is not here,” Speaker Johnson said at the National Association of Christian Lawmakers (NACL) Gala (video below), where he was honored with their American Patriot Award for Christian Honor and Courage, as Right Wing Watch reported.
“Thank you for not allowing the media in, I’ll tell you a secret because they wanted to come because they wanted to, you know, take my comments out of context as they’ve been doing with with great joy for the last few weeks,” Johnson charged, not specifying which of his remarks he believes have been taken out of context.
“The Lord impressed upon my heart a few weeks before this happened, that something was going to occur,” Johnson continued. “And the Lord very specifically told me in my prayers to prepare, but to wait. ‘Prepare for what?’ I said to the Lord. You know, I had this sense that we were going to come to a Red Sea moment in our Republican conference and the country at large.”
“And look, I’m a Southern Baptist, I don’t want to get too spooky on you. Okay, but you know, you know okay,” he continued. “All right. But you know, the Lord speaks to your heart. And He had been speaking to me about this and the Lord told me very clearly to prepare and be ready. Be ready for what? Okay, I don’t know. We’re coming to a Red Sea moment. ‘What does that mean, Lord?’ And then when the Speaker’s race happened.”
He said, “the Lord began to wake me up through this three-week process we’re in in the middle of night and to speak to me and to write things down plans and procedures and ideas on how we could pull the conference together.”
“Now at the time I assumed the Lord is going to choose a new Moses. And oh, thank you the Lord. Lord, you’re gonna allow me to be Aaron to Moses,” Johnson told the attendees.
Johnson reminded his audience of the Speaker’s debacle, going down the line of friends who he tried to help become Speaker, acknowledging that all of them failed.
He continued, explaining that “at the end, when it came to the end, the Lord said, ‘Now step forward.’ ‘Me? I’m supposed to be Aaron.’ Now the Lord said, ‘Step forward.’ Psalm 77 speaks of the Exodus in the 14th chapter of Exodus and it says, ‘Only God saw the path through the roiling sea, we could not see it, men could not see it.’ And I believe deep in my heart, is my core conviction, that God wants us to seek Him for the path through the roiling sea.”
As Right Wing Watch reports, after Johnson’s speech, “NACL founder Jason Rapert presented Johnson with the Honor and Courage award, along with a piece of a destroyed Ten Commandments monument that Rapert had placed in front of the Arkansas state capitol in 2017.”
“’It’s very obvious to see, you’re one of us,’ Rapert told Johnson.”
Rolling Stone adds that Johnson’s speech Tuesday is “just the latest evidence that the politician who is now second in line for the presidency views himself as on a divine mission.”
Watch the video of Speaker Johnson below or at this link.
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