Anti-Gay State Supreme Court Chief Justice Could Once Again Be Kicked Off High Court
TheÂ Alabama Court of the Judiciary has just ended its hearing in a case against Chief Justice Roy Moore, which could end the state Supreme Court Chief Justice’s tenure overseeing the high court for good. Moore is accused of directing all state probate judges to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the wake of both a federal judge’s ruling in favor of marriage equality, and the Supreme Court’s historic 2015 ruling in Obergefell.
The court spent about one hour hearing from an attorney for Moore â€“Â Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver,Â best known for representing Kentucky Clerk Kim DavisÂ â€“ and from an attorney for theÂ state’s Judicial Inquiry Commission,Â John Carroll.
Despite a highly-publicized order issued by Moore in January of this year falsely claiming to the state’s probate judges that the Obergefell ruling did not apply to Alabama, but only to states in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, and instructing them that Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage was still in effect, Moore’s attorney today claimed there is no evidence he obstructed the marriages of same-sex couples, and called for the case to be dismissed.
Carroll, a former federalÂ magistrate, told the court that Staver’s line of defenseÂ “defies common sense.”
TheÂ Judicial Inquiry Commission is calling for Moore’s removal.Â
“Until further decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court that Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in full force and effect,” Moore had stated in his January order.
As a result of Moore’s order, some state probate judges closed their offices while attempting to determine what course of action to take, some announced they would not issue marriage licenses to any coules regardless of gender, and a few very publicly and openly defied Moore.
“Moore has said he was simply trying to clarify that a previous state ban on issuing marriage licenses to gay couples remained in effect because his fellow justices had not moved to rescind it,” the AP reports.
Moore was suspended with pay in May. Last week he lost his bid to have a federal court rule his civil rights were being violated by suspending him while the state court worked on his case, despite having infringed on the rights of same-sex couples.
The court concluded its hearing Monday around 3:45 PM EDT. Indications appear that the court will allow the case to go to trial next month, according to AL.com’sÂ John Archibald:
Seems to indicate the trial will be held in September.But not official yet.
â€” John Archibald (@JohnArchibald) August 8, 2016
The court will rule on requests for summary judgment soon:
Court of judiciary will issue order within days on issues of summary judgement.
â€” John Archibald (@JohnArchibald) August 8, 2016
Scenes from outside the court after the hearing concluded:
â€” Lauren Walsh (@LaurenWalshTV) August 8, 2016
Chief Justice Roy Moore has come out to talk to the press pic.twitter.com/r19Q3a2rdl
â€” Jim Little (@JimWLittle) August 8, 2016
â€” Brian Lyman (@lyman_brian) August 8, 2016
â€” Michael Oder (@TVsMichaelOder) August 8, 2016
Image by Michael Oder via Twitter
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‘Getting Our Clocks Cleaned’: Former Adviser Admits Trump’s Candidates All Got ‘Slaughtered’
The morning after another one of Donald Trump’s high-profile hand-picked candidates lost — this time in a Georgia run-off for a U.S. Senate seat — a former adviser to the ex-president admitted the Republican Party can’t handle any more losses by following Trump’s lead because they are getting “slaughtered.”
Sitting in on a “CNN This Morning” panel, GOP campaign adviser David Urban also said Trump and the Republican party’s aversion to mail-in voting is a primary reason “we’re getting our clocks cleaned.”
Speaking with hosts Poppy Harlow and Don Lemon, Urban explained, “It was the president of the United States saying don’t vote by mail, you can’t trust it. Now Republicans are getting their clocks cleaned in early voting, right? We are getting destroyed by mail-in and early voting.”
“Listen, as you guys know, when you vote by mail you can see the votes come in, if you vote incorrectly you can cure it, you can see who didn’t turn out,” he elaborated. “Democrats have built an incredible machine that can do this, who’s come out, didn’t come out. Republicans wait until election day to vote, so the former president got that completely wrong and we need to really focus on this.”
Continuing in that vein he added, “John Avlon, the hour before this said as long as trump wraps up about 35% of the party, you can’t look across that board and say we did well. Trump can’t wake up this morning and say I did okay — he lost everywhere; my home state in Pennsylvania, we got drubbed. So candidates matter, and candidate quality matters.”
“America sorry you’re waking up to this, but Donald Trump is still the dominant force in the Republican Party, this morning, tomorrow morning, and he’s most likely the nominee and stands as a fact to be the next president again,” he added. “Donald Trump stands a very good chance of being president of the United States despite the Walker loss, the senate candidates going down because they’re the ride-or-die Trumpers with him until the end.”
Image via Shutterstock
Raphael Warnock Beats Trump-Backed Herschel Walker – Democrats Increase Senate Majority
Millions of Americans in Georgia voted to re-elect Democratic U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock and send him back to Washington D.C., NBC News projects. It is a clear mandate for the policies enacted by the Biden administration and a strong rebuke for the flailing former president, Donald Trump.
Senator Warnock faced a challenge from a Texas Republican who claimed to live in the Peach State, Trump-backed former NFL star Herschel Walker.
The New York Times, confirming Warnock is the projected winner, reports a huge number of Georgians, more than 3.3 million, voted in the runoff election.
An admitted Texas resident, Walker’s long list of hypocritical claims and actions, falsehoods, lies, and troubling business and tax dealings were only outweighed by the women who accused him of violent behavior, pressuring them and paying for them to get abortions, and revelations he had not one child but four, including a son he almost never sees.
Warnock, who is also the Senior Pastor at the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s church, Ebenezer Baptist, out-raised and out-campaigned Walker, especially in the last week.
Herschel Walker appeared at only two events this weekend, Politico reported, “a tailgate in Atlanta before a University of Georgia football game on Saturday, where he did not speak, and a Sunday rally in Loganville, where his stump speech touched on everything from complaints about pronouns and critical race theory to funding law enforcement.”
With 51 votes in the Senate, Democrats will not be forced into a power-sharing agreement with Republicans as they were two years ago. President Biden will be able to nominate and have confirmed even more judges, an area he has excelled. And Democrats will have full committee majorities, giving them power to issue subpoenas in investigations.
The Washington Post on Tuesday noted that Democrats having 51 votes is “an insurance policy against the unthinkable — the possibility that vacancies or party switches could flip the majority. That has happened before, most recently in 2001. The reason that it hasn’t happened more often is mostly because the Senate isn’t usually this closely divided. But vacancies and seat flips do happen — a lot. In fact, since World War II, about 70 percent of Congresses have featured some kind of shift in partisan balance of the Senate between elections.”
The unthinkable includes the possibility that a Democratic Senator in a state headed by a Republican governor could resign or die, allowing a Republican to be installed in their place. As The Post notes, there are 11 cases currently where that could happen.
Warnock unseated a GOP Senator in a 2020 special election, making this his first full elected six-year term.
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain notes President Biden “becomes the first President since FDR 1934 to see every Senator in his party re-elected (who was seeking re-election.)”
Guilty on All Counts: Trump Organization Loses Big in Criminal Fraud Case
A jury has found thew crown jewel of Donald Trump’s real estate empire, The Trump Organization, guilty on all counts in a state criminal tax fraud case.
Calling it “a remarkable rebuke of the former president’s company and what prosecutors described as its ‘culture of fraud and deception,'” The New York Times reports the details include “conviction on all 17 counts.”
Charges include tax fraud, a scheme to defraud, and conspiracy and falsifying business records, but The Times says it is “hardly a death sentence for the Trump Organization.”
The Times adds the conviction comes “after more than a day of jury deliberations in State Supreme Court in Manhattan,” which “resulted from a long-running scheme in which the Trump Organization doled out off-the-books luxury perks to some executives: They received fancy apartments, leased Mercedes-Benzes, even private school tuition for relatives, none of which they paid taxes on.”
Donald Trump was not a defendant in the case, but the case will be front and center during his presidential run.
According to a press release from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, The Trump Organization and the Trump Payroll Corp. were convicted of the following charges:
- Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, one count
- Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
- Criminal Tax Fraud in Third Degree, a class D felony, two counts
- Criminal Tax Fraud in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count
- Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony, three counts
The Trump Corporation was also convicted of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony.
MSNBC reported the verdict on-air:
BREAKING: Trump Org. found guilty on all counts in a 15-year tax fraud scheme that prosecutors said was orchestrated by top executives at the company. https://t.co/MPjgQRmzjX pic.twitter.com/356LrhuK6u
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) December 6, 2022
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.
Image via Shutterstock
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