Yes, These Actions Must Be Publicly Condemned
Earlier this week supporters of Roy Moore awaited the end of a hearing that ultimately will decide if theÂ Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice will retain his titleÂ â€“ and his jobÂ â€“ or if he will, for the second time, be stripped of it. Moore ordered Alabama probate judges in January to refuse marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and is now essentiallyÂ on trial for it.
After the hearing on Monday, Moore and his Liberty Counsel attorney, Mat Staver, came out and delivered speeches, talked to the press, and insisted to supporters the Chief Justice had done nothing wrong. Afterwards, the Human Rights Campaign also held a press conference, and among the speakers was Dr. Paul Hard.
Dr. Hard was married in Massachusetts and very shortly afterwards, lost his husband, David Fancher, in a tragic auto accident. He has spent years fighting his mother in law in court for a portion of the estate she believesÂ she is entitled to because she does not recognize her son’s marriage to Dr. Hard.Â
As Hard was speaking about his late husband, several of the supporters of Chief Justice Moore came over and stood near the podium. One decided to openly mock Dr. Hard as he shared his grief with those who had actually come to hear and support him and other speakers.
In the short video clip below, Dr. Hard can be heard saying, “following the death of my husband, two months after our marriage.”
In the background clearly can be seen a man in a blue sport coat first with what appears to be an angry look on his face, which then morphs into incredulity, then a mocking smirk and laughter. As he brushes his hair and pulls his ear he says,Â â€œYou canâ€™t have a husband.â€
“You can’t have a husband.”
Dr. Hard, in fact, sadly, no longer has his husband.Â
On Wednesday, Alabama opinion writer John Archibald weighed in on the man who mocked Dr. Hard.
“How can one stand under the banner and glory of God and laugh at another man’s death?,” Archibald asked. “How?”
“I don’t care what you think of gay people or gay marriage or suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and his efforts to derail the ‘agenda of the homosexual movement.’ Believe what you want,” he challenged. “I care about the cruelty I saw this week, on the steps of the Alabama Supreme Court. I can’t move beyond it,” Archibald writes.
He notes that the speakers at HRC’s press conference, including Dr. Hard, “were interrupted time and again by Moore supporters, bullied and criticized and demeaned. On the steps of the highest court in Alabama.”
Archibald says he “was struck…by the malice and brutality” of the man who was mocking Dr. Hard.
How can any man, no matter his position on Roy Moore or any issue, stand before another and mock his pain?
How can one stand under the banner of God and laugh at another man’s death?
How â€” in the name of God â€” can one derideÂ genuine grief?
In the name of God.
I don’t know how Roy Moore’s ethics case will turn out. In truth I don’t from a legal standpoint know how it should turn out.
But the type of religion spewed on those courthouse steps â€” a type long on the Shalt Nots and woefully short on the Blessed Bes â€” looks nothing like Jesus.
There’s also another important element here.
Roy Moore founded a Christian-based legal organization, theÂ Foundation for Moral Law, which represents Dr. Hard’s mother in law. And so that makes this all the more offensive.
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‘Act of War’: Trump Blasted for ‘Chilling’ Statement Calling Election an ‘Insurrection’
Donald Trump, the twice-impeached former president, on Thursday issued what is being called a “chilling” statement on the election and the insurrection he incited.
“The insurrection took place on November 3, Election Day. January 6 was the Protest!” Trump said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.
Former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh simply and clearly calls it an “act of war.”
This statement is an act of war against America. ANY Republican who does not publicly rebuke this statement must be defeated. ANY Republican. pic.twitter.com/mVAsPXkqGK
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) October 21, 2021
U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) during debate on the House floor has “repeatedly” been “calling on Republicans to denounce the Trump statement,” according to reporter Jamie Dupree.
“All my colleagues were elected on November 3,” McGovern said. “If you believe that Election Day was an insurrection, then your election results are illegitimate.”
McGovern is not the only one to blast the Trump statement:
In debate on the January 6 investigation today on the House floor, Democrats are repeatedly bringing up this new statement from Donald Trump. Rep. Jim Clyburn D-SC says the “Big Lie” is just like the “Lost Cause” after the Civil War. pic.twitter.com/NDNHdjKrYq
— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) October 21, 2021
Some journalists are also slamming the former president’s latest remarks.
S.V. Dáte, the White House correspondent at HuffPost weighed in, saying, “Donald Trump tried to overthrow American democracy after he lost his election by 7 million votes, but nearly a year later, he’s still lying. About all of it.”
Washington Post national political reporter Felicia Sonmez called it a “chilling statement … that makes clear his stance on peaceful democracy vs. violent insurrection.”
Washington Post White House bureau chief Ashley Parker pointed to the statement and said: “In which Trump’s shamelessness continues to be his political super power.”
ProPublica Senior Reporter Peter Elkind says: “This is the position of the widely embraced leader of the GOP. Republicans all behind that?”
A former president of the United States who took an oath to uphold the US Constitution: “The insurrection took place on November 3, Election Day. January 6 was the Protest!” #DonaldTrump #ThisIsGoingWell NB: almost no evidence of voter fraud has been uncovered or confirmed.
— Priscilla Huff (@phuffdaddy) October 21, 2021
Watch: Garland Destroys GOP Congressman’s False Suggestion His School Board Memo Calls Parents Terrorists
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland Thursday morning was forced to respond to repeated Republican false claims about his memo directing the DOJ to hold “discussions” with local leaders about threats of violence made against school board members, and several times had to push back hard against false accusations made by GOP Congressmen.
Franklin Graham, Stephen Miller, and countless others on the right for weeks have been falsely claiming that Garland has ordered DOJ to investigate parents merely for opposing school board decisions, mostly on mask mandates and what they claim is “critical race theory.”
U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) on Wednesday during a Judiciary Committee hearing falsely suggested Garland was calling parents’ challenging school boards domestic terrorists.
“One example of a so-called terrorist incident was a parent, merely questioning whether school board members had earned their high school diplomas. Now that might have been rude, but does that seem like an act of domestic terrorism that you or your Justice Department ought to be investigating?” Chabot asked.
“Absolutely not,” Garland replied. “And I want to be clear the Justice Department supports and defends the First Amendment right of parents to complain as vociferously as they wish, about the education of their children, about the curriculum taught in the schools. That is not what the memorandum is about at all, nor does it use the words ‘domestic terrorism’ or ‘Patriot Act.’ Like you, I can’t imagine any circumstance in which the Patriot Act would be used in the circumstances of parents complaining about their children, nor can I imagine a circumstance where they would be labeled as domestic terrorism.”
As NCRM has previously reported, school board members and educators in at least nine states this year have been targeted with threats, death threats, and often racist death threats, including in Virginia, Arizona, Connecticut, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Vermont, according to local news reports.
Ironically, it was Congressman Chabot who, a decade ago, was legitimately accused of violating the First Amendment when his staffers directed local police to confiscate video cameras at the Congressman’s town hall event, held in a public school.
Chabot, ruffled and rebuffed by Garland’s response, decided to end the inquiry there.
“Thank you I’m nearly out of time.”
Garland: That is not what the memorandum is about at all nor does it use the word domestic terrorism or patriot act pic.twitter.com/6vJqDDPcBf
— Acyn (@Acyn) October 21, 2021
Gov. Greg Abbott’s Pick for Top Texas Election Post Worked With Trump to Fight 2020 Results
“Gov. Greg Abbott’s pick for top Texas election post worked with Trump to fight 2020 results” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
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Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday appointed John Scott — a Fort Worth attorney who briefly represented former President Donald Trump in a lawsuit challenging the 2020 election results in Pennsylvania — as Texas’ new secretary of state.
As secretary of state, Scott would oversee election administration in Texas — a task complicated in recent years by baseless claims of election fraud from Republicans in the highest levels of government fueled by Trump. The former president has filed a flurry of lawsuits nationwide and called for audits in Texas and elsewhere to review the results of the 2020 presidential elections. Trump’s own attorney general, Bill Barr, said there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud nationwide, and in Texas, an official with the secretary of state’s office said the 2020 election was “smooth and secure.”
On Nov. 13, Scott signed on as counsel to a lawsuit filed by Trump attempting to block the certification of Pennsylvania’s election. A few days later, Scott filed a motion to withdraw as an attorney for the plaintiffs. Scott’s motion also asked to withdraw Bryan Hughes, a Texas state senator from Mineola who works for Scott’s law firm, as an attorney for the case.
Scott will eventually have to be confirmed by the Legislature which is not scheduled to meet until 2023. Until then, he’ll serve in as interim secretary of state.
Abbott’s announcement of Scott’s appointment did not mention his work for Trump — even has he has endured mounting pressure from Trump supporters to call for audit elections.
“John Scott is a proven leader with a passion for public service, and his decades of experience in election law and litigation make him the ideal choice for the Texas Secretary of State,” Abbott said in a statement. “John understands the importance of protecting the integrity of our elections and building the Texas brand on an international stage. I am confident that John’s experience and expertise will enhance his oversight and leadership over the biggest and most thorough election audit in the country. I am proud to appoint John as the Texas Secretary of State and look forward to working alongside him to ensure Texas remains the best state in the nation.”
Scott will also be the state’s liaison to Mexico, the state’s biggest trading partner, and will advise Abbott on border and trade affairs.
Abbott’s last two appointments for the top elections position, Ruth R. Hughs and David Whitley, were not confirmed by the Senate. Hughs resigned in May.
Scott has 33 years of legal experience, arguing more than 100 legal cases in state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Working at the attorney general’s office under Abbott, Scott was deputy attorney general for civil litigation, overseeing more than 22,000 lawsuits for the state. He later was appointed chief operating officer of the state’s Health and Human Services Commission where he was in charge of 56,000 employees and a biennial budget of $50 billion.
Scott also has served as board chairman for the Department of Information Resources. He has law offices in Fort Worth and Austin.
Disclosure: Texas Secretary of State has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2021/10/21/john-scott-texas-secretary-state-elections-trump/.
The Texas Tribune is a member-supported, nonpartisan newsroom informing and engaging Texans on state politics and policy. Learn more at texastribune.org.
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