Connect with us

Arkansas Supreme Court Blocks Decision Allowing Same-Sex Parents Names On Birth Certificates. Why?

Published

on

In a stunning move, the Arkansas Supreme Court has blocked a lower court’s ruling, and some are saying in retribution for one judge’s words.

The Arkansas Supreme Court Thursday afternoon blocked a lower court’s ruling last week allowing same-sex couples to have their names on their adopted children’s birth certificates. Arkansas Republican Attorney General Leslie Rutledge had contested the ruling and won the stay.

The Court did allow the three couples who filed the lawsuit and won the right to have the birth certificates amended as they wished, but halted the state’s Dept. of Health’s Vital Statistics Bureau from amending or granting any others.

The state Supreme Court’s decision claims “the best course of action is to preserve the status quo with regard to the statutory provisions while we consider the circuit court’s ruling,” Reuters reports.

That’s what’s being reported nationally, but the local Arkansas media is reporting a far more involved story.

First, the Arkansas Times reported last week that while the couples who sued the state were able to obtain proper birth certificates, “a couple of other couples” were “turned away.” Among those refused are Jennifer and Tracee Gardner-Glaze (photo).

Next, the Arkansas Times’ Max Brantley suggests that there may be some animus toward the lower court judge, Tim Fox, from the state Supreme Court.

In the lower court’s ruling last week, Judge Fox admonished the Arkansas Supreme Court for having taken 14 months to rule on same-sex marriage:

Unnecessary delays in the issuance of opinions, as in the recent case … do not promote societal confidence in judicial decisions

Such delays provide a breeding ground for speculation of political intrigue or other illegitimate reasons for the delay — whether true or not. The default during appeal should be in favor of affording all United States citizens their full and complete constitutional protections and rights during the appeal, not the continued deprivation of those rights

Brantley adds, “Two sitting justices, Paul Danielson and Chief Justice Jim Hannah, said other members of the court had delayed the case for political reasons, though a regulatory agency concluded no ethical rules had been broken.”

And there’s an even more stunning portion the national media isn’t reporting.

“A full backgrounding of this requires noting that [Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Karen] Baker defeated Fox in a race for the court in 2010 that had ugly overtones,” Brantley writes. “A former clerk and campaigner for Baker made a court filing in an unrelated divorce case in Lonoke County in which the man accused Fox of having an affair with his wife. The attorney who made the filing said it should be a campaign issue.”

Brantley notes that “politics WERE at the forefront of the handling of the marriage case.”

For now, the adoption case in the hands of the Arkansas Supreme Court, but this could possibly wind up in federal court.

Stay tuned.

 

Image via Facebook

 

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

ANTI-LGBT DISCRIMINATION

Florida Republicans Advance Bill Banning Discussion of LGBTQ People in School Under Guise of ‘Parental Rights’

Published

on

Under the guise of “parental rights” and “student welfare” a Florida House committee has advanced legislation that would ban primary school discussion of LGBTQ people or topics, could require school officials to notify a parent if a student comes out as LGBTQ, bans schools from withholding that information from parents in many cases, and allows parents to sue if schools violate those policies.

Florida House Bill 1557, “Parental Rights in Education,” was advanced out of the Education and Employment Committee, The Tampa Bay Times reports. Its author, Rep. Joe Harding, the founder of a local lawn care company, was described by a local paper when he won his 2020 race as as “a supporter of anti-abortion legislation and the Second Amendment.”

The bill in part reads: “A school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”

Jon Harris Maurer, Equality Florida’s Public Policy Director, spoke out against the legislation Thursday:

The bill must pass through one additional committee before being voted on by the full House.

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL), who is running for governor, weighed in:

A call to Rep. Harding’s office was not returned.

Image by Labpluto123 via Wikimedia and a CC license

Continue Reading

THIS IS WHAT FASCISM LOOKS LIKE

Draft Memo Reveals Trump Had Plan to Order Defense Secretary to Seize Voting Machines

Published

on

A draft executive order obtained by the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack reveals President Donald Trump had a plan, which he did not enact, to order the Secretary of Defense to seize voting machines in an attempt to stay in power after the January 20, 2021 inauguration of President Joe Biden.

There was also a plan for Trump to deliver a  speech titled “Remarks on National Healing.”

“I hereby order,” reads the draft executive order, dated December 16, 2020 and published Friday by Politico. “Effective immediately, the Secretary of Defense shall seize, collect, retain and analyze all machines, equipment, electronically stored information, and material records required for retention,” citing a federal law.

Politico adds that “the draft order would have given the defense secretary 60 days to write an assessment of the 2020 election. That suggests it could have been a gambit to keep Trump in power until at least mid-February of 2021.”

The author of the executive order is unknown, with at least one expert suggesting it was likely written by someone outside the administration.

This is a breaking news and developing story. This article has been updated.

Continue Reading

RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Exposé Reveals Ginni Thomas’ Ties to ‘Many Groups Directly Involved in Controversial Cases’ Before the Supreme Court

Published

on

A bombshell exposé by an award-winning investigative journalist takes a deep look into lobbyist and far right wing activist and conspiracy theorist Ginni Thomas, and the ties she has to people, groups – and money – that have or may have business before the U.S. Supreme Court, on which her conservative husband sits.

Is Ginni Thomas a Threat to the Supreme Court?” The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer asks point-blank. “Behind closed doors, Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife is working with many groups directly involved in controversial cases before the Court.”

Mayer writes that “Ginni Thomas has declared that America is in existential danger because of the ‘deep state’ and the ‘fascist left,’ which includes ‘transsexual fascists.'”

But that’s just a small piece of her massive reporting.

“Ginni Thomas’s political activism has caused controversy for years. For the most part, it has been dismissed as the harmless action of an independent spouse. But now the Court appears likely to secure victories for her allies in a number of highly polarizing cases—on abortion, affirmative action, and gun rights,” Mayer reveals.

How bad and how close are these ties? Thomas, unbeknownst to almost anyone, was “an undisclosed paid consultant at the conservative pressure group the Center for Security Policy, when its founder, Frank Gaffney, submitted an amicus brief to the Court supporting Trump’s Muslim travel ban.”

Did Justice Clarence Thomas know? Did the couple discuss the case, or her financial and political ties? No one knows.

And that’s just one example. Mayer notes that Ginni Thomas “has held leadership positions at conservative pressure groups that have either been involved in cases before the [Supreme] Court or have had members engaged in such cases.”

“In 2019, she announced a political project called Crowdsourcers, and said that one of her four partners would be the founder of Project Veritas, James O’Keefe. Project Veritas tries to embarrass progressives by making secret videos of them, and last year petitioned the Court to enjoin Massachusetts from enforcing a state law that bans the surreptitious taping of public officials. Another partner in Crowdsourcers, Ginni Thomas said in her announcement, was Cleta Mitchell, the chairman of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a conservative election-law nonprofit. It, too, has had business before the Court, filing amicus briefs in cases centering on the democratic process. Thomas also currently serves on the advisory board of the National Association of Scholars, a group promoting conservative values in academia, which has filed an amicus brief before the Court in a potentially groundbreaking affirmative-action lawsuit against Harvard.”

Should Americans be concerned? Should Justice Thomas? Should Chief Justice John Roberts?

“If Ginni Thomas is intimately involved—financially or ideologically tied to the litigant—that strikes me as slicing the baloney a little thin,” David Luban, a professor of law and philosophy at Georgetown, who specializes in legal ethics, tells Mayer.

Surely Justice Thomas has the ability to separate his work and home life, right?

“Even before” Clarence Thomas’ controversial and contentious confirmation hearing, which included the accusations – labeled  “credible” by many – from Anita Hill, “a friend told the Washington Post, the couple was so bonded that ‘the one person [Clarence] really listens to is Virginia.'”

In 2019 then-Congressman Mark Meadows, who because White House Chief of Staff to President Donald Trump and now appears to have been intimately involved in aspects of the January 6 insurrection, told members of a “nonprofit that mobilizes conservative evangelical voters” that “Ginni was talking about how we ‘team up,’ and we actually have teamed up. And I’m going to give you something you won’t hear anywhere else—we worked through the first five days of the impeachment hearings.”

Mayer adds, “Ginni Thomas has her own links to the January 6th insurrection.”

The nearly 7000 word deep dive can be read here.

 

 

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.