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 RepublicanÂ 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’sÂ Vital Statistics Bureau from amending or granting any others.
The state Supreme Court’s decision claims â€œthe best course of action is to preserve the status quo with regard to the statutory provisions while we consider the circuit court’s ruling,â€ 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 areÂ 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 â€” 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,”Â Brantley writes.Â “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.
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‘Coup Memo’ Think Tank Encouraging ‘Secession-by-Sheriff’ With Latest Project: Report
A right-wing Claremont Institute is undermining law and order and encouraging secession one county at a time.
The think tank, where coup memo author John Eastman remains a member in good standing, is weaponizing “patriotic law enforcement officers” with its new “Sheriff’s Fellowship” that ties together conservative anger over Black Lives Matter protests, COVID-19 lockdowns and Donald Trump’s election loss to bring so-called “Constitutional Sheriffs” into the mainstream, reported The Bulwark’s Charlie Sykes.
“Our nation’s conservative movement needs a countervailing network of uncorrupted law enforcement officials,” the think tank announced. [We need sheriffs] “not beholden to bureaucratic masters, and whose geographic boundaries, jurisdictional latitude, and — most important — direct connection and responsibility to citizens, places them on the frontlines of the defense of civilization.”
The plan sounds a lot like the Constitutional Sheriffs movement, which has infiltrated law enforcement agencies around the country with specious claims borrowed from the sovereign citizen movement that places the county sheriff as the “highest legitimate law enforcement” in the U.S. and claims they have authority to determine which laws are constitutional.
“Think of it as militias with badges, guns, and formal law enforcement powers,” Sykes wrote. “Or, if you like, secession-by-sheriff.”
Trump and his administration encouraged the sheriffs’ movement and openly backed leading figures such as Arizona’s Joe Arpaio and Wisconsin’s David Clarke, and former attorney general Jeff Sessions praised the “Anglo-Saxon heritage” of the office — which the Claremont Institute also did in a recent fundraising letter.
“The current revolution against the American regime, involving as it does both crime and political malfeasance, requires a coordinated response from patriotic law enforcement officers,” the letter reads. “Sheriffs are appropriate for this response. Since their beginnings as ‘shire-reeves’ (‘county watchmen’) centuries ago in England, sheriffs have been intimately connected with, and answerable to, the people of their “shires” and therefore the first layer of protection, and last line of defense, for the people’s rights.”
Another Arizona sheriff, Pinal County’s Mark Lamb, has emerged as a leading figure among militia-minded right-wing sheriffs who are loyal to Trump and supportive of the Jan. 6 insurrection.
“If Claremont gets its way, there will be sheriffs like Joe Arpaio, David Clarke, and Mark Lamb all across the country,” Sykes wrote. “You are not worried nearly enough about what that might mean.”
Josh Duggar Dealt Another Blow as Judge Refuses to Suppress Video Evidence in His Child Porn Case
Josh Duggar was dealt yet another blow on Monday, after a judge refused his attorneys’ request to suppress video evidence in his bombshell child pornography case.
Duggar, once a darling of the religious right, an executive for an anti-LGBTQ hate group, and a “19 Kids and Counting” reality TV star, was arrested by U.S. Marshals and charged with two counts of receiving and possessing child pornography. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security was involved in the investigation.
“In Mr. Duggar’s case, he has not shown that federal agents acted with reckless disregard for proper procedure,” U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks said Monday in denying attorneys’ requests, as the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports. “And he certainly has not shown that the agents acted in bad faith. Moreover, Mr. Duggar cannot show he was prejudiced by any delay; the devices remained in law enforcement’s safe keeping throughout this time period, and the probable cause warranting the initial seizure of the devices remained viable through the date of indictment.”
In 2015 news broke that Duggar had molested four of his sisters and a babysitter when he was a teenager, according to his parents.
Just three weeks ago the judge refused nearly all of Duggar’s attorneys’ requests, including dismissal of all charges.
His attorneys have tried to get photographs that include the 33-year old Arkansas native’s hands and feet suppressed, and even tried to have the case dismissed because the head of the Department of Homeland Security at the time of the investigation under then-President Donald Trump was, according to a federal judge, “unlawfully” appointed.
Trial is scheduled to begin November 30.
Glenn Youngkin Brags About Support From Opponents of LGBTQ Equality Just Weeks Ahead of Virginia Election
Republican Glenn Youngkin is continuing to rally anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ extremists in his bid to become Virginia’s next governor. Most Virginians support legal equality, including marriage equality, and most Virginians believe abortion should be legal in all or most circumstances, but Youngkin continues to seek and tout endorsements from groups that oppose LGBTQ equality and want to make abortion illegal. Youngkin has told activists that he will go “on offense” against reproductive choice once elected, and he has refused to say whether he supports marriage equality.
In a press release dated Oct. 8, Youngkin boasted about endorsements from the Family Research Council’s political arm, the Virginia Society for Human Life PAC, and longtime anti-abortion and anti-equality activist Penny Nance, head of Concerned Women for America.
FRC supports “total abortion bans” that criminalize abortion at all stages. The organization has been designated an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and has long promoted anti-Muslim bigotry. None of that kept Youngkin from agreeing to speak at FRC’s annual conference for religious-right activists earlier this month, where speakers delivered Christian nationalist and bigoted messages. Delivering his own speech, Youngkin urged the activists, “Lock arms with me!”
A Youngkin campaign press release touting the latest endorsements included a long quote from FRC’s Tony Perkins smearing the Democratic nominee as a threat to religious freedom and claiming that Youngkin “understands the values that are important to Virginians.”
Nance has devoted much of her professional life to making abortion illegal and worked tirelessly to help former President Donald Trump pack the Supreme Court and other federal courts with like-minded judges. She spearheaded a $500,000 campaign backing the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Nance is also a strident opponent of LGBTQ equality, even opposingreauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act because CWA claimed it would create “new protections for homosexuals.” When the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg officiated at a gay couple’s wedding, Nance sent an email with the subject line, “Ruth Traitor Ginsburg.”
Even though Virginians soundly rejected Trump, Nance claimed that the Trump-endorsed Youngkin will “uphold the values of Virginians.”
The Virginia Society for Human Life is an affiliate of National Right to Life, which supports abortion bans, including the recent extreme Texas law that bans abortion as early as six weeks and is now being challenged in federal courts. In September, Youngkin’s campaign touted National Right to Life’s endorsement, along with that of the anti-choice Susan B. Anthony List.
This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.
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