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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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'GIVING REPUBLICANS FODDER'

‘Sinema Is Hurting All Democrats’: Former Top Democratic Aide Reveals Dems Could Lose Senate Over Her Filibuster Failure

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A well-known former top Democratic aide is warning that U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema‘s refusal to support changes to the filibuster could help hand control of the Senate to Republicans in the November election.

Adam Jentleson, who served as Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Deputy Chief of Staff and is an expert on the Senate, says the Arizona Democrat is “hurting all Democrats.”

He points to this tweet from CNN’s Manu Raju: “GOP planning to use Sinema against Mark Kelly.” Kelly is the freshman Democratic Senator, also from Arizona who serves with Sinema. His seat is a prime target for Republicans.

Raju quotes a top Republican, Sen. John Cornyn, who says: “I think there’s going to be a big contrast in Arizona where one senator said not withstanding her support for the legislation she believes it’s important … to have bipartisanship and one senator that doesn’t.”

Sinema and Cornyn in June (photo above) toured U.S. Customs and Border Protection migrant facilities in her home state of Arizona, as she held a press conference praising the filibuster.

Jentleson, who literally wrote the book on the filibuster, explains:

Up to nine Democratic groups and PACs, NARAL being the latest, have indicated they will pull support and funding from Sen. Sinema if she refuses to support necessary changes to the Jim Crow era filibuster.

 

 

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Utah’s Top GOP Lawmaker Tested Positive for COVID Twice Just Hours Before ‘Conducting Business as Normal’ – With No Mask

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Utah’s hydroxychloroquine-pushing right wing Republican Senate President opened the chamber’s 2022 session Tuesday by announcing he had just tested positive for COVID – twice. He then “joked,” saying he was actually negative.

But in fact Senator J. Stuart Adams had indeed tested positive for COVID, twice, just hours before heading off to work and “conducting business as normal,” The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Sen. Adams had been symptomatic last Wednesday and tested positive the following day.

Senate deputy chief of staff Aundrea Peterson falsely “said the senator has followed the CDC guidelines, has not had a fever since Saturday, and his symptoms had subsided.”

CDC guidelines make clear anyone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19 should isolate for five days or, if symptoms are declining, they must wear a mask around others.

“Adams was maskless when he opened the session Tuesday, including when he greeted Elder Gerrit W. Gong, one of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who offered an opening prayer,” the Tribune notes. “Adams wore a mask when he met with news media later in the day but was unmasked again when the Senate resumed business in the afternoon.”

Mother Jones reported that in April of 2020 Utah’s “legislature met in special session and set aside $6 million for the state to purchase and stockpile medications. Turns out a suburban pharmacist with connections to Senate President Stuart Adams had stockpiled hundreds of thousands of doses of hydroxychloroquine and zinc, the scientifically questionable treatment championed by President Trump.”

As it turns out, “the state had already purchased $800,000 worth of the drug from this pharmacy, Meds in Motion, at vastly inflated prices.”

Laster on Tuesday, the Senate voted to void local mask mandates.

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'FULL PANIC MODE'

‘Incredibly Dumb’: Former Federal Prosecutor Mocks Eric Trump for Telling NY AG ‘We Are Prosecuting You’

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Last week Eric Trump declared it was “unconstitutional” for the Attorney General of New York to sue Donald Trump. Overnight New York Attorney General Letitia James released a 115-page report – a legal filing – detailing “significant evidence” of possible fraud by the Trump Organization, Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump.

Wednesday morning Eric Trump lashed out at the New York AG, telling Letitia James his family is “prosecuting” her, which is legally impossible. He posted a highly-edited video showing James on the campaign trail promising to investigate Donald Trump – a legitimate campaign pledge.

“Letitia you can not escape your own words,” Eric Trump posted to Twitter, along with the doctored video. “This is all window dressing for your abuse of office and ethical misconduct (which we are prosecuting you for) and northing [sic] more than a PR move to revive a political career after your gubernatorial disaster.”

James briefly ran for governor but pulled out, presumably to complete her investigation into the Trump Organization and Trump family.

Former federal prosecutor Ron Filipkowski calls Eric Trump’s attack “incredibly dumb.”

 

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