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Ken Paxton May Face Contempt Charges For Refusing To Include Man’s Husband On Death Certificate

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton got more bad legal news today: he might be charged with contempt of court over a gay man’s death certificate.

Last year, James Stone-Hoskins and John Allen Stone-Hoskins were legally married in New Mexico. In January, James, terminally ill, died. His husband John has been fighting the State of Texas to have him listed on James’ death certificate as his legal spouse, rather than “significant other,” which it says now. James’ death certificate also lists him as “single.”

The Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling should have made this very easy for the State of Texas, but thanks to its Attorney General, John Allen Stone-Hoskins has been embroiled in a lengthy legal battle. Officials say they have been reviewing the Supreme Court ruling and just haven’t decided if it mandates action on their part.

To make matter worse and more pressing, John is terminally ill.

“I have a terminal liver disease, melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, breast disease, a heart defect, in addition to a defective aorta, which was not discovered until recently,” John says in court documents today. “My doctors expect me to live another 45 to 60 days.”

John, a former police officer, says in the filing he is trying to get his estate in order.

“I also wish to have the dignity of being listed on my deceased husband’s death certificate,” he asks.

This morning, after John Allen Stone-Hoskins filed a lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ordered Texas to make the appropriate change to his late husband’s death certificate.

But Judge Garcia also demanded that Attorney General Ken Paxton and the State’s interim commissioner of the Department of State Health Services, Ken Cole, appear before him next week to face possible contempt of court charges after he specifically ruled last month that Texas could not enforce its same-sex marriage ban. Paxton is accused of advising Cole on the handling of the death certificate.

Of course, this is the least of Paxton’s legal woes. Last week the 52-year old Republican AG, a former Texas state lawmaker, was indicted on felony securities law violations. He was arrested, had his mugshot taken, and fingerprinted earlier this week.

 

This article has been updated. 

Image: Ken Paxton speaking at the virulently anti-gay Texas Eagle Forum last year, via Facebook
Hat tip: Washington Blade

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ANTI-SCIENCE EXTREMISM

Protestors in Idaho Bring Their Kids to Mask-Burnings Promoted by Far Right Extremist Lawmakers

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Two far right Republican state lawmakers in Idaho recorded a video promoting coronavirus mask burnings, which subsequently took place across the state Saturday, including on the steps of the state capitol in Boise.

Despite what the two lawmakers say, Republican Governor Brad Little has instituted no statewide mask mandate, businesses are mostly open, and there are no stay-at-home orders, according to The New York Times.

The two GOP lawmakers are Rep. Dorothy Moon, whose husband belongs to the antigovernment extremist group the John Birch Society, and Rep. Heather Scott who reportedly supports white nationalism and according to a report is a leader in a group known as COWS, or the Coalition of Western States. Its founder was removed from the GOP caucus after a report stated he had engaged in domestic terrorism.

In April of 2020 Scott “compared Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) to Adolf Hitler because she said that stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic are akin to Nazi extermination camps.”

In the video the two lawmakers, Moon and Scott, say they “fully support” the mask burnings.

“People are gonna be lining up [at] burn barrels to throw masks in, mandates, or emergency orders or replications there have, because I think everyone’s ready for this emergency order to be lifted,” Moon says. “And now we’re almost one year into this COVID lockdown and mandates and orders that it’s time to end the numbers aren’t there.”

Given that Idaho ranks 43rd in per capita coronavirus testing, it’s impossible to say accurately “the numbers aren’t there.”

Scott chimes in to say the mask-burnings will be “pretty fun,” and Moon adds that there will be “50 burn barrels set up around the state.”

And indeed, people did come out to burn masks, and brought their children with them. One speaker referred to Idaho residents as “political refugees,” apparently for living under mask requirements in Boise.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reporter Sergio Olmos posted these photos and videos of the mask-burning at the Idaho capitol. Law enforcement officers asked the anti-science extremists, who are promoting the mask-burnings and including their children in them, to put out the fire.

 

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ANALYSIS

Expert Explains How Dems Just Brilliantly Forced Trump to Respond Under Oath for the Capitol Riot

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On MSNBC Saturday, former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance outlined the legal problems that the new civil suits against former President Donald Trump will create for him.

“These civil cases are a very interesting aspect of the search for accountability,” said Vance. “We’ve seen the flawed impeachment procedure, which failed to hold him accountable despite evidence. We’re looking at the criminal process and criminal investigations ongoing, too early to conclude whether that would ultimately reach former President Trump and his inner circle. These civil cases are a direct and potentially more quick route for the American people to gain the truth.”

“Representative [Eric] Swalwell’s complaint is particularly interesting because it raises claims under the Ku Klux Klan Act, which talks about interference with Congress’ performance of official duties, and files suit in his individual capacity, arguing interference and interference with his well-being and the well-being of others,” said Vance. “Only one of the claims in this complaint have to survive a motion to dismiss, an early preliminary motion that the defendants will file in order to begin the discovery process, and that’s part of the legal proceedings in the civil case where a litigant like Representative Swalwell has the ability to take depositions to ask for documents where there’s actually an obligation that the defendants respond under oath.”

“This could get interesting relatively quickly,” concluded Vance, although she added, “It’s too early, I think, to assess whether the suit has a chance of success on the merits.”

“At the end of the day you serve at the pleasure of the president,” saidformer EEOC general council David Lopez. “I think the norm that was violated was that she decided to stay. I’ve never heard of that happening before.”

Watch below:

Image via Shutterstock

 

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NOPE NOPE NOPE

Sinema Slammed After Spokesperson Says It’s Sexist to Discuss Her ‘Thumbs Down’ Vote Against $15 Minimum Wage

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Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) on Friday offered up a dramatic “thumbs down” vote on increasing the minimum wage to $15, which NCRM and other news outlets reported. While she was one of eight Democrats to vote against the legislation, she was the only one to mimic the late Republican Senator John McCain, also of Arizona, who famously stopped Republicans from killing ObamaCare.

Sinema was also the only one to bring cake to the Senate floor, giving her critics ample ammunition to compare her to Marie Antoinette.

But now Senator Sinema is fighting back.

According to HuffPost, Sinema’s spokesperson says it’s sexist to discuss her thumbs down act.

“Sinema’s office responded to a question about the gesture by making the absurd claim that the inquiry is sexist,” the news outlet’s Sara Boboltz reports. “‘Commentary about a female senator’s body language, clothing, or physical demeanor does not belong in a serious media outlet,’ Hannah Hurley, a spokesperson for Sinema, told HuffPost.”

Related: ‘Marie Antoinette’ Trends After Video of Sen. Sinema Giving Thumbs Down to $15 Minimum Wage Vote Goes Viral

On social media news of the “sexist” claim spread quickly, and did not go over well. Some responses:

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