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Some Alabama Judges Obey Chief Justice’s Order Banning Same-Sex Marriage, Some Hysterically Defy It

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The responses from Alabama judges to Chief Justice Roy Moore’s order effectively banning same-sex marriage are quite varied. (Photo: Outside the Madison Co. Courthouse now, protestors from Free2Be chant, “Love already won!”)

Wednesday morning Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore issued an order claiming the Supreme Court’s ruling last June that found a constitutional right to marriage by same-sex couples applies only to the four states that were a party to the Obergefell lawsuit. It’s a legal tactic the federal courts will at some point soon be forced into, but for now, according to Justice Moore, probate judges are not to be issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Of course, if a probate judge actually follow’s Moore’s order, they may find themselves the defendant in a federal lawsuit.

For now, Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis, who was the subject of a related lawsuit over marriage licenses for same-sex couples, is once again refusing to issue licenses to any couples, as Buzzfeed reports. 

“Well, we have closed,” Russell Davidson, a supervisor of the court’s division that handles marriage licenses, told BuzzFeed News. “At this time, we are not issuing any licenses until further notice.”

In fact, a notice on the Mobile County website reads:

IN ORDER TO COMPLY WITH THE ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER OF ALABAMA CHIEF JUSTICE ROY S. MOORE DATED JANUARY 6, 2016 AND RULINGS OF THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA, THE COURT IS NOT ISSUING MARRIAGE LICENSES TO ANY APPLICANTS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. THIS ACTION IS NECESSARY TO ENSURE FULL COMPLIANCE WITH ALL COURT RULINGS THAT APPLY TO THE COURT AND TO MOBILE COUNTY JUDGE OF PROBATE DON DAVIS.

WE REGRET ANY INCONVENIENCE ENCOUNTERED.

In other words, sorry if you thought you were getting married today.

But Montgomery County is taking a different course of action. One employee told Buzzfeed they “are issuing licenses until further notice. Our marriage department is open.”

And Montgomery County Probate Judge Steven Reed posted this tweet in response to Justice Moore’s decree:

WAFF reports Lawrence County has stopped issuing licenses to all couples, regardless of gender, DeKalb, Limestone, Marshall, Lauderdale, Morgan, and Franklin Counties are all issuing licenses to all couples. Madison County is accepting applications but not issuing licenses until further notice. 

Meanwhile, the ACLU has some advice for Justice Moore and the probate judges of Alabama: this has already been decided in federal court:

And State Rep. Patricia Todd, who is Alabama’s first openly-gay lawmaker, notes the same, that “Probate Judges are under a federal court order to adhere to the SCOTUS decision. If they follow Moore’s lead they can and will be held in contempt in federal court.” She told the Montgomery Advertiser if Judge Moore “wants to waste the taxpayers’ money, go ahead, but we’re not going backwards.”

 

Image: Screenshot via WAFF

 

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Trump Could Face 20 Years Behind Bars for ‘Serious Felonies’ at Mar-a-Lago: Legal Analyst

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A legal analyst for ABC News pointed out that former President Donald Trump is potentially facing 20 years in prison for “serious felonies” after the search of his Mar-a-Lago home.

Dan Abrams told ABC host Jonathan Karl that the Department of Justice could indict Trump for multiple crimes after finding classified documents during the search.

“They’re very serious,” Abrams said of the charges. “And the one that’s being talked about most is this espionage act because it has the word espionage in it. But the truth is that when it comes to potential criminal sentences, the obstruction of justice statute is the one with the most potential prison time.”

“There you’re talking about up to 20 years behind bars,” he added. “So these are not sort of minor crimes we’re talking about here. We’re talking about the potential for serious felonies with regard to all three of the crimes being investigated.”

But Abrams threw cold water on the idea that a Trump prosecution would be easy.

“The fundamental question is going to be intentionality,” he opined. “How much do they believe that they did this on purpose? Were they intentionally ignoring subpoenas? Were they literally destroying documents?”

Watch the video below from ABC.

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

New Analysis Breaks Down GOP’s Flawed Response to the Mar-a-Lago Search

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Republican lawmakers are reportedly at an impasse on whether or not they should be defending former President Donald Trump amid his latest flurry of legal woes. The party is also facing challenges with navigating some lawmakers’ critical assessments of law enforcement over the Trump investigation.

A new analysis is breaking down Republicans’ seemingly flawed response and how it underscores the cracks in the political party’s foundation.

According to Axios, the analysis comes shortly after documents released on Friday, August 12, offered details about the search which reportedly involved “highly classified materials believed stored in violation of the law at the ex-president’s private residence.”

Prior to the release of those documents, Republicans serving on the House Intelligence Committee participated in a press conference where they continued to criticize the investigation, describing it as being politically motivated.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) scrutinized the investigation deeming it a “complete abuse” of authority as she suggested it was being conducted because the former president is considered to be “Joe Biden’s most likeliest political opponent in 2024.”

However, some Republicans on the committee have offered a more leveled approach to the situation. Per The New York Times, “Trump allies have told top Republicans to tone down their criticism of the Justice Department ‘because it is possible that more damaging information related to the search will become public.'”

“It’s incumbent upon everybody to act in a way that’s becoming of the office they hold,” said Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), a former FBI agent, “And that’s not casting judgment on anything until you know all the facts.”

Others have attempted to defend the former president. Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) said, “You can say nuclear weapons, but there are things that are highly, highly classified, there are things that are not extremely classified.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is now selling merchandise on her website in support of a call to “defund the FBI” while Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) tweeted, “I will support a complete dismantling and elimination of the democrat brown shirts known as the FBI.”

 

Image: Elise Stefanik with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago via Facebook

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Trump Makes False Claims About Classified Documents – And Obama

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Donald Trump is responding to news reports he is under FBI investigation for actions covered by the Espionage Act by making apparently false claims about his mishandling of classified documents and about former President Barack Obama.

“Number one, it was all declassified,” Trump says in a post on his Truth Social site, a claim legal experts say is incorrect. For any president to declassify documents, experts say, there is a process that involves actions being taken on each individual document. They also say the president does not have legal authority to declassify documents related to nuclear weapons.

“Number two,” Trump continues, “they didn’t need to ‘seize’ anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request.”

READ MORE: FBI Agents Searched Mar-a-Lago for ‘Classified Documents Relating to Nuclear Weapons’: Report

Again, according to reports, that too is false. DOJ issued a subpoena after the National Archives tried to get all the documents back and Trump still did not comply.

“They could have had it anytime they wanted—and that includes LONG ago,” he continues in a separate post on Truth Social. “ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS ASK.”

Again, multiple reports say they did, numerous times.

READ MORE: DOJ Served Trump With Grand Jury Subpoena for Classified Documents Months Before FBI Raid: Report

None of his responses explain why he had at Mar-a-Lago what we now know were at least 35 cartons – 20 retrieved on Monday and 15 earlier this year – of items including confidential, classified, and top secret documents that were required by law to have been handed over to the National Archives.

“The bigger problem is,” Trump says, “what are they going to do with the 33 million pages of documents, many of which are classified, that President Obama took to Chicago?”

That is also false.

The National Archives on Friday issued a statement after Trump repeatedly spread the false claim that former President Barack Obama had 33 million documents in his possession.

“President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified. How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots!” was one of Trump’s false attacks on his Truth Social site.

“The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) assumed exclusive legal and physical custody of Obama Presidential records when President Barack Obama left office in 2017, in accordance with the Presidential Records Act (PRA),” the Archives said in a statement posted to its website Friday.

“NARA moved approximately 30 million pages of unclassified records to a NARA facility in the Chicago area where they are maintained exclusively by NARA,” the Archives added. “Additionally, NARA maintains the classified Obama Presidential records in a NARA facility in the Washington, DC, area. As required by the PRA, former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his Administration.”

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