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UPDATE V: Alabama Supreme Court Halts All Same-Sex Marriages, Maybe

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The Alabama Supreme Court has just ordered probate judges to cease issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, despite the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Same-sex couples cannot marry in Alabama today.

Despite Friday’s historic landmark Supreme Court ruling that found states cannot ban marriage from same-sex couples, the Alabama Supreme Court has done just that, and ordered probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples immediately. Chief Justice Roy Moore, who has become a farcical name in the battle against marriage equality, recused himself from today’s order, but stated his Court’s order halts all same-sex marriages.

Today’s order claims that parts of the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges are subject to appeal, according to AL.com, which legally is highly-unlikely.

“I am not real clear what it’s saying .. it’s very unclear,” Jefferson County Probate Judge Sherri Friday told AL.com. 

The order is effective for the next 25 days.

UPDATE I: 2:00 PM EDT –

HRC president Chad Griffin quotes Buzzfeed’s Chris Geidner’s interpretation of the order, which contradicts Justice Moore’s claim, above:

UPDATE II: 2:19 PM EDT –

AL.com adds this confusing sentence to its story:

“Basically it states that in the court’s judgment  it (the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Friday) is tabled effective until after the hearing (before the Alabama Supreme Court),” Moore said. “It’s not in effect until after this hearing in this 25 day period.”

This is far from the first time Alabama and Justice Moore have made statements leading to mass confusion in that state on marriage. 

UPDATE III: 2:53 PM EDT –

AL.com adds more:

One attorney, however, disagreed with the interpretation of the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling.

“The Alabama Supreme Court did not direct probate judges to delay compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision,” said Birmingham area attorney Heather Fann. “This order has no practical effect. U.S. District Court Judge (Ginny) Granade already ordered Alabama’s probate judges to stop enforcing the marriage ban as soon as the Supreme Court rule, and that is binding immediately.”

Also, HRC weighs in:

HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow issued the following statement:

“There is no justification for delaying or obstructing the clear message of the Supreme Court of the  United States—marriage equality must begin in Alabama, and probate judges who stand in the way of that legal imperative risk exposing themselves to legal consequences. There is zero chance of marriage equality being reheard by the Supreme Court—particularly given that all four states that were parties in this case have accepted the outcome—and as a result the Court’s holding in Obergefell v. Hodeges should be implemented across the country immediately.”

So, bottom line, Chief Justice Roy Moore and his Alabama Supreme Court have again sowed confusion and likely, fear, into Alabama probate court judges, forcing them to decide if they should follow Moore or the U.S. Supreme Court.

Last time this happened, some probate judges announced they would not issue any marriage licenses to any couples, regardless of gender.

Obviously, this is developing. Stay tuned for more.

UPDATE IV: 4:33 PM EDT –

And, as promised, more Moore:
Watch: Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore Claims Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Not In Effect

Bottom line, one more time: Moore is, we believe, merely sticking to the technical claim that states Supreme Court rulings are not official until they are finalized, 25 days later. Of course, he did his best to confuse and be obtuse, likely creating heartache, upset, and frustration for many, not the least of which are the probate judges, who are forced to choose sides. Moore should be providing clarity, but he chose not to.

UPDATE V: 6:57 PM EDT –

Roy Moore Now Says He Misspoke On Claim Same-Sex Marriage Still Banned

(But his mission was accomplished.)

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‘I Will Not Stand by Silently’: Sotomayor Blasts SCOTUS Conservatives Over Their Latest Attack on Abortion Rights

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“The Court may look the other way, but I cannot.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor expressed outrage at her conservative Supreme Court colleagues Thursday afternoon, after the six right wing jurists went one step further in attacking the constitutional guarantee of abortion.

Voting 6-3 against a women’s health care provider the Court denied a request by Texas Women’s Health, which provides abortion services, to change jurisdictions, which according to Justice Sotomayor the Court should have done.

“The lawsuit is now stalled with the Texas Supreme Court,” Rewire News reports.

Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, a Supreme Court expert calls Sotomayor’s dissent “stunning.”

“This case is a disaster for the rule of law and a grave disservice to women in Texas, who have a right to control their own bodies,” Sotomayor writes. “I will not stand by silently as a State continues to nullify this constitutional guarantee. I dissent.”

She begins her dissent by explaining the case:

“It has been over four months since Texas Senate Bill 8 (S. B. 8) took effect. The law immediately devastated access to abortion care in Texas through a complicated private-bounty-hunter scheme that violates nearly 50 years of this Court’s precedents.”

“Today, for the fourth time, this Court declines to protect pregnant Texans from egregious violations of their constitutional rights. One month after directing that the petitioners’ suit could proceed in part, the Court countenances yet another violation of its own commands. Instead of stopping a Fifth Circuit panel from indulging Texas’ newest delay tactics, the Court allows the State yet again to extend the deprivation of the federal constitutional rights of its citizens through procedural manipulation. The Court may look the other way, but I cannot.”

In response the Guttmacher Institute, an organization focused on sexual and reproductive health and rights, accused the Supreme Court of “once again putting ideology over the rule of law.”

 

Image via Shutterstock

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News

Ivanka Trump Responds to Committee’s Invite by Saying She Called for End to Violence – Leaves Out ‘Patriots’ Part

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Ivanka Trump is responding to her invitation from the January 6 Committee by issuing a statement that is being seen suggesting she has no intention of accepting. Earlier Thursday the Committee sent the former First Daughter and White House senior advisor a lengthy 11-page letter asking for her voluntary cooperation.

A statement from her spokesperson given to CNN White House Correspondent Kate Bennett references a tweet posted by Ivanka Trump the day of the attack on the Capitol – a tweet she was forced to delete after massive outrage.

“As the Committee already knows, Ivanka did not speak at the January 6 rally,” the statement reads. “As she publicly stated at 3:15pm, ‘any security breach or disrespect to our law enforcement is unacceptable. The violence must stop immediately.”

But in the actual Ivanka Trump called the insurrectionists “American Patriots,” as CNN reported that day:

 

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BREAKING NEWS

Georgia Prosecutor Asks to Convene Special Grand Jury to Investigate Donald Trump’s Alleged Election Interference

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A Georgia county district attorney has requested to convene a special grand jury to assist in her investigation of Donald Trump‘s alleged election interference.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in a letter to the county’s Superior Court chief judge writes that her office “has received information indicating a reasonable probability that the State of Georgia’s administration of elections in 2020, including the State’s election of the President of the United States, was subject to possible criminal disruptions,” according to the Associated Press.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (photo) was forced to release audio of then-President Trump appearing to intimidate him into fixing the election in his favor.

Trump, in the audio, can be heard berating and threatening the Republican Secretary of State, demanding he “recalculate” the losing election results and “find 11,780 votes” for him, which would have enabled Trump to falsely be declared the winner. Raffensberger refused.

“So look. All I want to do is this,” Trump told Raffensberger. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”

“There’s no way I lost Georgia,” he added, falsely. “There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes.”

Willis told the AP the scope of her investigation “includes — but is not limited to — a Jan. 2, 2021, phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a November 2020 phone call between U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and Raffensperger, the abrupt resignation of the U.S. attorney in Atlanta on Jan. 4, 2021, and comments made during December 2020 Georgia legislative committee hearings on the election.”

 

 

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