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Michigan Senate Passes Bill Saying Sodomy Is A Felony Punishable By 15 Years in Prison

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Lawmaker Says Removing Sodomy Ban Would Kill An Important Animal Protection Bill

The Michigan Senate has passed a bill that effectively reaffirms the state’s unconstitutional law making sodomy a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.Â

Michigan is one of more than a dozen states that still have sodomy bans on the books, despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas declaring them unconstitutional.

Some states’ sodomy laws specifically target gay relations, but Michigan’s is among those that make oral and anal sex crimes illegal regardless of whether they’re same-sex or different-sex. Michigan is also one of several states with a sodomy ban that’s intertwined with a prohibition on bestiality – effectively equating the two. The law makes it a felony for anyone to commit “the abominable and detestable crime against nature with mankind or with any animal.” If the person is already a sex offender, violations are punishable by life in prison.Â

For the last several years, Michigan legislators have been trying to pass an important package of bills referred to as Logan’s Law, designed to keep pets out of the hands of animal abusers, according to The Detroit Free Press. Among the bills in the Logan’s Law package — named for a Siberian husky who died tragically after acid was intentionally poured on him — is Senate Bill 219, by GOP Sen. Rick Jones. In addition to barring convicted animal abusers from owning pets for five years, SB 219 would update language in the state’s ban on bestiality and sodomy as follows:

SB 219 passed the Senate Thursday, with the above language intact, and is expected to be considered by the House as early as next week.Â

This might seem like a great opportunity to finally remove the unconstitutional sodomy ban from the books, by simply striking the words “either with mankind or” from SB 219. However, Sen. Jones told The New Civil Rights Movement that such an amendment would jeopardize the whole bill.Â

“The minute I cross that line and I start talking about the other stuff, I won’t even get another hearing. It’ll be done,” Jones (photo, above) said. “Nobody wants to touch it. I would rather not even bring up the topic, because I know what would happen. You’d get both sides screaming and you end up with a big fight that’s not needed because it’s unconstitutional.”

Jones added that he believes the only way to repeal the sodomy ban would be a bill striking all unconstitutional laws from the state’s books.Â

“But if you focus on it, people just go ballistic,” he said. “If we could put a bill in that said anything that’s unconstitutional be removed from the legal books of Michigan, that’s probably something I could vote for, but am I going to mess up this dog bill that everybody wants? No.”

Â

This article has been updated to reflect the bill’s proper timeline.

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Image by Michigan Municipal League via Flickr and a CC licenseÂ

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Ocasio-Cortez Takes Victory Lap After Amazon Goes to NYC — Even After She Helped Block $3 Billion in Subsidies

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was one of the progressive leaders in New York City credited with blocking $3 billion in public subsidies for Amazon to open an additional headquarters.

But Amazon is moving into NYC despite the lack of subsidies.

“The giant online retailer said it has signed a new lease for 335,000 square feet on the city’s west side in the new Hudson Yards neighborhood, where it will have more than 1,500 employees,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “Amazon is taking the space without any of the special tax credits and other inducements the company had been offered to build a new headquarters in the Queens neighborhood of Long Island City, the company said.”

“The new lease represents Amazon’s largest expansion in New York since it stunned the city by abandoning those earlier plans. Amazon pulled back after facing a backlash from some politicians and activists over the roughly $3 billion in financial incentives the city and state had extended to woo the company and the 25,000 new jobs it had pledged to create,” The Journal explained.

Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, took a victory lap after her argument that the subsidies were unnecessary was vindicated.

“Won’t you look at that: Amazon is coming to NYC anyway – *without* requiring the public to finance shady deals, helipad handouts for Jeff Bezos, and corporate giveaways,” she tweeted.

Here are some of her previous thoughts on the company:

 

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GOP’s Legal Expert Insisted Clinton Had to Be Impeached to Protect the ‘Existence of Government’ and Prevent ‘Anarchy’

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During Wednesday’s Judiciary Committee impeachment hearings Democrats will call three expert witnesses and Republicans will call one. George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley is the constitutional expert chosen by Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-GA) to represent the Republicans’ point of view, to oppose impeachment and to defend President Donald Trump.

Turley has released his 53-page opening statement, which some have already observed is more than twice as long as the combined statements of the Democrats’ three legal experts.

In it, he makes this statement that is getting a great deal of attention:

“I get it. You are mad. The President is mad. My Democratic friends are mad. My Republican friends are mad. My wife is mad. My kids are mad. Even my dog is mad . . . and Luna is a golden doodle and they are never mad. We are all mad and where has it taken us? Will a slipshod impeachment make us less mad or will it only give an invitation for the madness to follow in every future administration?”

Turley will argue that Trump should not be impeached, despite writing in that same statement: “The use of military aid for a quid pro quo to investigate one’s political opponent, if proven, can be an impeachable offense.”

But that same Jonathan Turley had a very different position on impeaching a sitting president when that president was a Democrat. Professor Turley, in a statement written  November 9, 1998, declared that impeaching President Bill Clinton was necessary to literally protect the “existence of the government,” and to prevent “contempt for law” and “anarchy.”

Professor Turley literally suggested that were President Clinton not impeached, anarchy would rain down on the nation.

“Allegations of criminal acts in office by a president are perhaps the greatest threat to the perceived legitimacy of a government,” Professor Turley wrote back in 1998. “When there is compelling evidence of criminal acts in the Chief Executive, an entire system of laws is undermined and demands some form corrective action.”

Turley did not stop there. He continued:

In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our Government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the Government becomes a lawbreaker; it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.

The allegations against President Clinton go to the very heart of the legitimacy of his office and the integrity of the political system. As an individual, a president may seek spiritual redemption in the company of friends and family. Constitutional redemption, however, is found only in the company of representatives of all three branches in the well of the Senate. It is there that legitimacy, once recklessly lost, can be regained by a president.

Clinton was impeached for lying under oath and obstruction of justice.

His actions are dwarfed by what is charged in both the Mueller report and in the just-released House Intelligence Committee impeachment report, which spans 300 pages.

Professor Turley is getting some appropriate criticism on social media.

 

 

 

 

 

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Trump Held Undisclosed Meeting with Turkey’s Dictator Erdogan at NATO

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Not the first time a foreign power has been the first to reveal Trump met with their top leaders

President Donald Trump held an undisclosed meeting Wednesday with Turkish President Recep Erdogan during this week’s NATO summit. While Turkey is a member nation of NATO, President Erdogan is widely seen as a dictator for whom President Trump holds a special fondness.

The meeting had not appeared on President Trump’s official schedule, nor did the White House announce it later, until the Turkish government posted a photo of the two leaders in a tweet.

After the photo was released the White House put out a statement saying Trump met with Erdogan to remind him of “the importance of Turkey fulfilling its alliance commitments.”

Trump met with Erdogan at the White House last month.

The Hill reports White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley, while confirming the meeting, “did not describe the meeting either as a full bilateral meeting or a pull-aside at the summit, nor did he confirm reports that the meeting lasted a half hour.”

“Pull-asides,” when two or more leaders casually chat on the sidelines, are not uncommon during summits like NATO. This meeting did not appear to be one.

 

Related: World Leaders Caught on Camera Mocking Trump During Buckingham Palace Reception: ‘His Team’s Jaws Drop to the Floor’

This is far from the first time a foreign power has been the first to reveal Trump met with their top leaders. For example, in May of 2017 President Trump secretly met with the then the Ambassador of Russia to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, in the Oval Office. Kislyak is seen by U.S. Intelligence as a top spy and spy recruiter.

During that now infamous meeting Trump disclosed classified information, leading to an international scandal. The White House had barred all U.S. reporters from the meeting but a photographer for Tass, the official Russian news agency, was present. Tass later published the photos.

That secret meeting came just one day after fired FBI Director James Comey.

On Monday U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) lambasted Trump for appeasing Erdogan:

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