Arkansas About To Face Same National Outrage As Indiana If Governor Signs New Anti-Gay Bill
No gays allowed?Â
Lawmakers in Arkansas Friday afternoon ignored political reality and passed an anti-gay “religious freedom” bill similar to one signed into law in Indiana. Are they aware of what’s to come?
Conservative Republican lawmakers across the country recently have been raiding the anti-gay tool chest, borrowing animus-inspired legislation designed to attack the LGBT community under the cloak of “religious freedom.” From state laws nullifying city and town non-discrimination ordinances to religious freedom restoration acts, these bills all accomplish the same goal: telling the LGBT community, other minorities, and their families and allies that they are all unwelcome and unworthy.
Lawmakers are loving these bills because they accomplish the goal of legalizing anti-gay discrimination without actually stating it. It’s a kinder, gentler hate, all wrapped up in cries of “religious freedom!” and “liberty!”
Need proof? Just yesterday lawmakers in Georgia voted down a bill extremely similar to the one Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed into law earlier that day. Not, mind you, because it was clearly discriminatory, but because a few smart lawmakers, lead by a Republican no less, were able to attach an amendment stating the legislation was not to be used to support discrimination. Who led the charge to kill the bill? The same lawmaker who authored it.
Meanwhile, it seems the nation is abuzz today about the anti-LGBT hijinks in TheÂ HoosierÂ State, thanks to Gov. Pence signing the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law Thursday morning.
As of now, Apple CEO Tim Cook,Â the White House, Broadway’s Audra McDonald, $4 billion software firmÂ Salesforce,Â $50 million annual gaming convention Gen Con, Fortune 500 member Cummins,Â Eskenazi Health, Eli Lilly and Co.,Â Yelp,Â Hillary Clinton,Â George Takei, Pat McAfee, Jason Collins, Ashton Kutcher, Miley Cyrus,Â James Van Der Beek, Sophia Bush, Dustin Lance Black,Â Mara Wilson,Â Jack Antonoff,Â the mayor of Indianapolis, and the State of Indiana’s own tourism board, among many others have all offered strong criticism of Indiana’s new anti-gay “religious freedom” law.
The nation is so outraged thatÂ #BoycottIndianaÂ has been trending on Twitter most of the day.
Arkansas lawmakers apparently are unaware of any of this.
Earlier this afternoon, the Arkansas Senate passed HB 1228, a religious freedom restoration act very similar to the one causing such an uproar in Indiana.Â
Since the Arkansas House already passed a version of HB 1228, all that remains is for the two bodies to reconcile the legislation, and send it to conservative Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson to sign.Â
You might remember last month Gov. Hutchinson was presented with a bill nullifying all city and town non-discrimination laws. While he was opposed to it, he refused to sign or veto it, allowing it to automatically pass into law.Â
Will Governor Hutchison find the courage to do what’s right and veto HB 1228, or will Arkansas keep its well-earned reputation as one of the most intolerant and anti-gay states in the nationÂ â€“ and suffer the tremendous emotional and economic impact Indiana is now faced with?
I’m asking @Walmart to call on @AsaHutchinson to VETO #HB1228. #LGBT Do the same! Click here: http://t.co/3jcrFg5YIx pic.twitter.com/Dc7Is9cmrG
â€” Memeographs (@memeographs) March 27, 2015
Image Â©2015 byÂ The New Civil Rights Movement
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Trump Lawyer’s ‘Critical Evidence’ Will Help DOJ Make Decision to Charge ‘Without Significant Delay’: Former Prosecutor
Donald Trump‘s attorney Evan Corcoran, who allegedly directed another Trump attorney to draft the false statement claiming all classified and sensitive documents had been returned, has been ordered to testify before a grand jury and hand over documents and records to Special Counsel Jack Smith in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents criminal investigation.
Trump appealed U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell’s decision ordering Corcoran to testify and hand over documents, including handwritten notes. The Appeals Court in light speed mode, rejected Trump’s appeal.
Corcoran will be testifying before the grand jury on Friday, CNN reports.
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One former top DOJ official, Brandon Van Grack, says the “Special Counsel is about to get access to the most critical evidence in the case. Should allow DOJ to make a charging decision without significant delay.”
He did not define what “without significant delay” means in terms of days, weeks, or months.
Van Grack served at Main Justice for eleven years, including as a lead prosecutor in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, and later, as the Chief of the DOJ’s Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) Unit.
“The announcement from a panel of three judges in the appeals court – less than a day after Trump sought to put Corcoran’s testimony on hold – adds momentum to the special counsel investigation as it seeks to secure evidence that could make or break a federal criminal case against Trump,” CNN explains. “The Justice Department has successfully argued in court that prosecutors have enough evidence that Trump’s interactions with the lawyer were part of a possible crime that they can pierce the confidentiality of the conversations between the two.”
‘National Security Implications’: Former DOJ Official Speculates on Ruling Ordering Trump Attorney to Hand Over Docs
A former top Dept. of Justice official says a federal judge’s expedited ruling ordering an attorney for Donald Trump to testify against his client before a grand jury and hand over documents very well may be related to “national security.”
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruled that DOJ Special Counsel Jack Smith had successfully made the case Donald Trump may have committed a crime, via his attorneys, in his classified documents case. That finding allowed her to invoke the crime-fraud exception, and order Trump attorney Evan Corcoran to testify before the grand jury investigating the ex-president’s unlawful retention and refusal to return hundreds of classified documents.
Former FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissmann, who also worked for Special Counsel Robert Mueller and headed the DOJ’s Criminal Fraud Section, Wednesday afternoon on MSNBC said it’s possible Judge Howell’s expedited decisions were related to national security.
Tuesday night Judge Howell ordered DOJ to provide information by 6:00 AM Wednesday.
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Trump appealed Howell’s ruling, and Wednesday afternoon the Appeals Court denied his appeal related to the documents, Politico reports.
“I’ve never seen anything that quick. It’s very hard to know why. I have to say, to me, when I think about what can be a plausible reason– and this is pure speculation – is that there must be something in the papers that gave the judges concern about national security implications, because it’s such a short timeframe.”
“The reason this is a bombshell is you could end up with Evan Corcoran as a key, fundamental witness against Donald Trump in an obstruction of justice case and a false statements case,” Weissmann adds.
According to Politico, Wednesday’s appeals court ruling “effectively permits the Justice Department to circumvent Trump’s attorney-client privilege after a lower-court judge found that the documents likely contain evidence of a crime.”
NEW: Trump Lawyer’s ‘Critical Evidence’ Will Help DOJ Make Decision to Charge ‘Without Significant Delay’: Former Prosecutor
This article was updated to correctly spell Andrew Weissmann’s last name.
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
Trump Appeals After Judge Agrees With Special Counsel on Crime-Fraud Exception and Requires His Attorney to Testify
Donald Trump’s attorneys have appealed a ruling that requires one of his lawyers to testify before a grand jury investigating his unlawful removal, retention, and refusal to return classified documents from the White House.
Attorneys for the Special Counsel “said there is evidence of a deliberate effort not to turn over all the material covered by the subpoena,” The Washington Post reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell had reportedly agreed with Special Counsel Smith that there is sufficient evidence proving Donald Trump may have committed a crime via his attorneys, and ruled his attorney must testify before a grand jury. The ruling, which was not made public, was handed down Friday night, NBC News reported Wednesday afternoon.
Judge Howell “ruled in favor of applying the ‘crime fraud’ exception to Trump’s attorney-client privilege and ordered Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran to testify before the federal grand jury.”
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Trump’s attorneys have already appealed the ruling.
“People familiar with the matter said an appeals panel has already begun reviewing the decision, after Trump’s lawyers appealed,” The Washington Post adds. “The extraordinarily quick timeline suggests that the judges — all nominated by Democratic presidents — intend to rule swiftly.”
Trump could take his case all the way to the Supreme Court, but The Post says it’s “not clear he would have a much better chance of success there.”
According to an NBC News report from October, Corcoran directed another Trump attorney, Christina Bobb, to sign the letter claiming a thorough search of Mar-a-Lago had been made and all classified or “sensitive” documents had been returned. That was proven untrue after federal agents, executing a search warrant, recovered hundreds of documents with classified markings.
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