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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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SURE JAN SURE

Trump Swears Dems Are Calling Him Begging to Negotiate on the Stimulus — but He ‘Got Everything He Wanted’ Already

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President Donald Trump side-stepped Congress to pass his own stimulus bailout with a series of executive orders. Now, however, he’s claiming Democrats are desperate to negotiate with him on the coronavirus bill.

Speaking to the press while leaving another vacation weekend in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump said Democrats are “calling him.”

“They’re much more inclined to make a deal now than two days ago,” Trump said.

It’s unclear which Democrats he spoke to, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi didn’t indicate she spoke to the president during interviews with the Sunday morning talk shows.

Trump also said that he’s been “personally” involved in negotiating the bill. In reality, it was his chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. So, Trump had to correct himself, saying he was involved “personally, you know, through my representatives.”

Neither Trump nor the White House or the GOP has clarified why negotiation is needed with Democrats if Trump already fixed everything through his slate of executive orders. It seems to fly in the face of Saturday’s press conference and the slew of headlines that followed.

 

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‘Angry’ Trump Michigan Voters Admit They Want ‘This Nightmare to End’ in November

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President Donald Trump’s Michigan supporters are abandoning their 2016 pick for Vice President Joe Biden as the election comes closer.

In a series of interviews on MSNBC Sunday, revisited voters they’d met earlier in the election cycle in Kent County.

Katey Morse and her husband were both working full time, and their kids were in school back in March, but things quickly changed as the coronavirus spread throughout the country. Luckily, she and her husband didn’t lose their jobs, but they, like many parents, are struggling to do virtual school for their kids.

“I’m turning into more of an angry person than I’ve ever been in my life,” she said about how she feels politically, noting that it makes her sad. “I’ve just got a countdown to November now, and I’m hoping we’ll wake up from this nightmare we’re in.”

She later explained that she was attracted to Trump in 2016 because he was a businessman who she thought would make the right decisions. But she’s now watching business leaders make those right decisions and Trump making the wrong ones.

Hal Ostrow once called himself “politically homeless,” but now things have changed for him too.

“I think we’re seeing it on a daily basis — this delegitimizing of pillars of our society, of institutions of government, everything from COVID testing to choices we’ve got to make for our kids. And there is just a void of leadership at the top,” he said.

Ostrow also explained that the “law and order” message from Trump isn’t really effective because the kind of “law and order” Trump wants isn’t resonating with suburban voters.

Morse agreed, saying, “we’re not 1950s housewives anymore. We’re educated, strong women, who are trying to raise families while working full time out of the home. So, to make a statement saying, we’re going to be — to defund the police and we’re going to be overrun in our communities by all these bad people, it’s ludicrous!”

Jerry Stepanovich was a Trump voter who was parroting the language the Trump used about the “witch hunt” against him. Now things have changed.

“Some of his statements, some of the buffoonery,” he said as a reason for his diversion from solid Trump supporters. “Some of his actions and also when he said, ‘we’re going to knock this right down,’ that’s — that ain’t gonna happen.”

When asked what he would have done differently, he said Trump’s “blasé” attitude claiming “yeah, we’ll take care of this,” is what Stepanovich found questionable. “The bravado — that’s kind of irking me right now.”

See the clip below:

 

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CORRUPTION

White House Turmoil as Mnuchin and Navarro Got in ‘Knockdown, Drag-Out’ Yelling Match – as Trump Sat and Watched: Report

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According to a report from the Washington Post, a discussion in the Oval Office over social media platform TikTok collapsed into a shouting match between Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and trade advisor Peter Navarro while Donald Trump sat and watched.

One spectator described it as “knockdown, drag-out” brawl.

The Post reports Mnuchin was under the understanding that he had convinced Trump to allow a sale of TikTok to Microsoft, only to run into a roadblock put up by Navarro arguing for a total ban.

During the discussion, Navarro reportedly accused Mnuchin of being soft on China and the two were described as getting into screaming match with each other in front of the president.

The Post adds the confrontation “was preceded by months of backroom dealings among investors, lobbyists and executives. Many of these stakeholders long understood the critical nature of establishing close connections with key figures in the Trump administration,” before adding, Trump signed an executive order Thursday ordering a shut down of TikTok’s U.S. operations if a divestiture did not occur by September.

You can read more here.

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