Jindal Says ‘Far Left’ Weakening 1st Amendment, Demands Lawmakers Pass ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill
Gov. Bobby Jindal is using his last months in office to pave the road for his 2016 presidential run, regardless of the costs to his state.
It was a brazen act of sheer self interest, a testament to the danger of unchecked ego combined with political power.
Monday morning Governor Bobby Jindal opened this year’s session of the Louisiana state legislature with a 22-minute oratory that sounded in part more like a presidential campaign ad than aÂ speech helping a co-equal branch of government set a rational vision for the future.
Jindal focused on three issues: balancing the state’s budget without raising taxes, improving education in Louisiana by killing Common Core, and passing a sweeping anti-gay “religious freedom” bill already labeled as worse than Indiana’s.
It was that portion of the speech that smacked ofÂ sheer self interest and unchecked ego.
HB 707, the Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act, was introduced by Rep. Mike Johnson. But in the wake of the firestorm caused in Indiana and Arkansas by their “religious freedom” bills, lawmakers in the Pelican StateÂ have little desire to vote on or pass this anti-gay legislation.
LOOK: Louisiana Lawmaker Introduces The ‘Marriage And Conscience Act’ Legalizing Discrimination Against Gay Couples
But with an eye focused on 2016 and his White House aspirations, Jindal has latched onto this bill as a flag of religious liberty he can wave in the air, his banner of bigotry he thinks can open the door to the Oval Office.
“There is a nationwide push by the far left to weaken the First AmendmentÂ to the Constitution,” Jindal charged.
“We either believe in religious liberty or we don’t. In Louisiana, I believe we do,” he touted.Â
“Let me be crystal clear â€“ I absolutely intend to fight for the passage of this legislation,” Jindal said of HB 707, “and any other that seeks to preserve our most fundamental freedoms.”
“And here in Louisiana, as long as I’m your Governor, we will protect religious liberty and not apologize for it.”
The 43-year old Oxford graduate told the lawmakers in the chamber he wanted to “clear up some falsehoods” about the bill.
“All this bill does is provide necessary protections for individuals to prevent adverse treatment from the state based on religious beliefs regarding marriage.”
And he warned that “people, charities and family-owned businesses are at risk of being penalized by the state because they believe in the traditional definition of marriage.”
EqualityÂ Louisiana says “the bill clearly is targeting gay and transgender people by focusing on religious beliefs about marriage,” and warns that it “aims to make actions legal â€” such as denying the same sex spouse of an employee access to life-saving benefits such as health insurance.”Â
Jindal sailed on, denying the Marriage and Conscience Act has anyÂ impact on gay people at all, but rather, saying it protects Christians.
“In the United States, a state should not be able to take adverse action against an individual for holding a sincerely held religious view regarding marriage. That would be true discrimination,” Jindal concluded.
Unlike his tax and education remarks, Jindal’s preaching about the “religious liberty” bill received not a single clap, not one lawmaker applauding.
Image: Screenshot via YouTube
Transcript via WWLTV
Hat tip: Times-Picayune
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Dominion Wins ‘Blockbuster Victories’ Against Fox News – Last Legal Issue Will Be Decided by a Jury: Report
Dominion Voting Systems won what are being called “blockbuster victories” Friday afternoon when a judge ruled the company suing Fox News for $1.6 billion in a major defamation lawsuit had met its burden of proof that Rupert Murdoch‘s far-right wing cable channel had repeatedly made false statements.
The final, and likely greatest legal issue Dominion will have to prove will be actual malice. That issue will be decided in a jury trial, Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric M. Davis ruled Friday, according to Law & Crime.
Unlike previous cases, Fox News will reportedly not be able to argue the on-air statements its personalities made were opinion.
CNN legal analyst and Brookings senior fellow Norm Eisen calls Friday’s decision a “huge win for Dominion on their summary judgment motion against Fox News.”
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“Dominion won partial summary judgement that what Fox said about them was false! Now they just have to prove actual malice and damages,” Eisen says. “Meanwhile Fox’s motion was totally denied.”
Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, an MSNBC contributor adds: “Dominion’s evidence Fox made false statements with reckless disregard is as strong as any I’ve seen.”
The judge was very clear in his ruling.
“While the Court must view the record in the light most favorable to Fox, the record does not show a genuine issue of material fact as to falsity,” Judge Davis wrote. “Through its extensive proof, Dominion has met its burden of showing there is no genuine issue of material fact as to falsity. Fox therefore had the burden to show an issue of material fact existed in turn. Fox failed to meet its burden.”
READ MORE: ‘Propaganda Network’: Media Reporter Says Dominion Filing Exposes Fox News as ‘Void of the Most Basic Journalistic Ethics’
Attorney and MSNBC host and legal analyst Katie Phang points to this key passage in Judge Davis’ ruling.
Dominion has won the argument on the issue of falsity, meaning that as the Court funds below, “it is CRYSTAL clear that none of the Statements relating to Dominion about the 2020 election are true.” pic.twitter.com/7lKEspN0WI
— Katie S. Phang (@KatiePhang) March 31, 2023
Court watchers and news junkies are familiar at this point with the massive legal filings Dominion has made in which it exposed how Fox News knowingly made false statements regarding the 2020 presidential election. Those filings, each hundreds of pages, also detail internal Fox News communications and bombshell conversations between the company’s top personalities, executives, and even Chairman Rupert Murdoch.
Image of Rupert Murdoch via Shutterstock
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
Capitol Police Issue Warning Over Possible Trump Protests ‘Across the Country’
The U.S. Capitol Police and the Senate Sergeant at Arms on Friday jointly issued a statement warning they “anticipate” Trump protests across the country. The statement is not time-specific, and it states it has no information on “credible threats,” but some Democratic offices are allowing staffers to work from home Friday and Tuesday.
“The Sergeant at Arms and United States Capitol Police (USCP) anticipate demonstration activity across the country related to the indictment of former President Trump. While law enforcement is not tracking any specific, credible threats against the Capitol or state offices, there is potential for demonstration activity. USCP is working with law enforcement partners, so you may observe a greater law enforcement presence on Capitol Hill,” the statement reads.
“The SAA and USCP are monitoring the potential nationwide impacts to Senate state offices,” it adds.
The House Sergeant at Arms was conspicuously absent from the statement. Speaker Kevin McCarthy has control over that office.
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Additionally, Axios is reporting, “several House Democrats are allowing staffers to work from home as a safety precaution,” noting that “the memory of Trump supporters ransacking the Capitol on Jan. 6 is still fresh on the mind.”
U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) is allowing staff to work from home for safety reasons. She told Axios, “I don’t ever want to see a Jan. 6 again.”
“I’ve been in the Trump hate tunnel, Donald Trump has gone after me, and quite frankly I don’t have security. I don’t have entourages.”
She’s not the only Democrat to raise concerns.
“Much of the language from the former President and his devotees is similar to what inspired Jan. 6th,” U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips said. “I’m concerned about safety for my colleagues and my staff.”
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Meanwhile, House Republicans are issuing full-throated support for Trump and calling for protests.
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who was called out by name in a six-page letter Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg sent to Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan Friday morning, announced she will be in New York on Tuesday to support Trump when he is arraigned. She has posted several tweets since Trump was indicted.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy issued a statement Thursday seemingly designed to gin up rage and action in the MAGA base.
“Alvin Bragg has irreparably damaged our country in an attempt to interfere in our Presidential election. As he routinely frees violent criminals to terrorize the public, he weaponized our sacred system of justice against President Donald Trump. The American people will not tolerate this injustice, and the House of Representatives will hold Alvin Bragg and his unprecedented abuse of power to account.”
Image by Elvert Barnes via Flickr and a CC license
Trump Trial Could Go Well Into the 2024 Election – Or Possibly Even Past It: Former Prosecutor
Donald Trump, and all of America, could spend the next 18 months – or longer – engrossed in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s trial of the ex-president, and that could bring the trial close to Election Day.
That’s according to a former prosecutor in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, Charles Coleman, who is now a civil rights attorney and MSNBC legal analyst.
Asked by MSNBC’s Chris Jansing, “How long typically might a case like this take?” Coleman offered a two-tiered answer.
“A case like this is usually going to take a year or a year and a half,” Coleman said.
That could be through September of 2024.
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“Wow,” a surprised Jansing replied. “So it’s going right up into the campaign.”
“Absolutely,” agreed Coleman. “But it’s important to understand I said a case ‘like this.’ This particular case, I expect may take longer because I am anticipating a number of different legal maneuvers by Donald Trump’s defense team.”
That theoretically means into October of 2024, or longer.
“I do see motions to dismiss at a number of different terms, more likely than not to the point that the judge probably will ultimately end up admonishing them and telling them stop filing motions to dismiss. I think that that’s going to happen,” Coleman explained.
“I’ve said before, and I’ll say again, I do believe that we are going to see an attempt to try to change the venue, in this case outside of somewhere in the five boroughs. All of that is going to extend the time deeper and deeper into election season.”
READ MORE: Manhattan DA Unleashes on Jim Jordan With Stern Warning: You May Not ‘Interfere’ With Trump Prosecution
Reuters agrees, reporting Friday morning, “any potential trial is still at minimum more than a year away, legal experts said, raising the possibility that the former U.S. president could face a jury in a Manhattan courtroom during or even after the 2024 presidential campaign, as he seeks a return to the White House.”
And because “Trump’s case is far from typical,” Reuters notes, his trial could extend “past Election Day in November 2024.”
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