A federal appeals court has just dismissed a challenge to Mississippi’s horrific anti-LGBT “religious freedom” bill, ruling that the plaintiffs haven’t been personally harmed by the law, and therefore don’t have standing to sue. The court did not rule on the merits of the law itself.
HB 1523 was signed into law by Republican Governor Phil Bryant last year in April. It has been calledÂ the most extreme anti-LGBT billÂ introduced anywhere in the nation.Â
Mississippi’s Clarion Ledger reports “HB 1523 now Mississippi’s law of land.”
The lawÂ bars the state from taking action against anyone who discriminates based on their belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman, that sexual relations should be reserved to such a union, or that “male” and “female” refer to someone’s “immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.”
It alsoÂ allows individuals, businesses, government employees, nonprofits and other entities, based on their sincerely held religious beliefs,Â to discriminate against not only LGBT people and same-sex couples,Â but also against anyone who’s had extramarital sex.Â
â€œUnder this current record, the plaintiffs have not shown an injury-in-fact caused by HB 1523 that would empower the district court or this court to rule on its constitutionality,” Fifth Circuit Court of AppealsÂ Judge Jerry E. Smith wrote in his majority opinion.
“We do not foreclose the possibility that a future plaintiff may be able to show clearÂ injury-in-fact â€¦Â but the federal courts must withhold judgment unless and until that plaintiff comes forward,” he noted, as Mississippi Today reports.
“HB 1523â€™s absence does not impair the freeÂ exercise of religion,” Judge Carlton Reeves wrote.
“In addition,” Reeves noted at the time,Â “issuing a marriage license to a gay couple is not like being forced into armed combat or to assist with an abortion. Matters of life and death are sui generis. If movants truly believe that providing services to LGBT citizens forces them to â€˜tinker with the machinery of death,â€™ their animus exceeds anything seen inÂ Romer,Â Windsor, or the marriage equality cases.”
One week after Gov. Bryant signed HB 1523 into law, then-President Barack Obama publicly urged it to be overturned.Â
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Image by Blake Feldman viaÂ Twitter
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‘Basically Game Over’: Legal Experts Say SCOTUS Likely to Gut Abortion – and There’s a ‘Lot More on the Chopping Block’
Legal experts are weighing in after listening to Wednesday morning’s Supreme Court oral arguments on abortion, and they’re almost entirely certain the 6-3 conservative majority will gut Roe v. Wade – the only question is how much.
Bloomberg News Supreme Court reporter says there’s no question that the Supreme Court “seem poised to slash abortion rights” and maybe worse.
SCOTUS abortion arguments over. All six conservatives seem poised to slash abortion rights and uphold Mississippi’s 15-week ban. Kavanaugh, Barrett both suggest openness to going further and overturning Roe.
— Greg Stohr (@GregStohr) December 1, 2021
Slate’s legal expert Mark Joseph Stern predicts that, in his opinion, basically by the end of next year – six months after the Supreme Court hands down its decision in today’s case – half the states across the country will have abortion bans in place.
To those who say women can just travel to a state that doesn’t ban abortion, University of California, Irvine School of Law law and political science professor and election law expert Rick Hasen offers this question:
After Roe is overturned, which state will be first to attempt to criminalize crossing state lines for purposes of getting an abortion?
— Rick Hasen (@rickhasen) December 1, 2021
And Hasen made clear it won’t stop there.
He says, “it won’t end with overturning Roe and allowing guns outside the home. There’s a lot more on the chopping block coming in terms of voting rights, LGBTQ rights, environmental protection, immigration, and more. Decades of work by the conservative legal movement is paying off.”
NYU law professor Melissa Murray agrees it’s not just about abortion.
Justice Thomas saying the quiet part out loud… substantive due process rights originate in the discredited Lochner doctrine…
this won’t stop at abortion. All of the rights linked to SDP are at risk with this Court.
— Melissa Murray (@ProfMMurray) December 1, 2021
Stern observes this one “question from Amy Coney Barrett is basically game over for Roe.” The far right wing faith-based justice says now that women can simply give up a child for adoption after giving birth means there’s no reason to not ban abortion.
This question from Amy Coney Barrett is basically game over for Roe. She says: Now that all 50 states have “safe haven” laws that let women relinquish parental rights after birth, the burdens of parenthood discussed in Roe and Casey are irrelevant, and the decisions are obsolete. pic.twitter.com/omyhGISVmN
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) December 1, 2021
AOC Slams McCarthy and His GOP ‘Ku Klux Klan Caucus’ for Allowing ‘Violent Targeting’ of Women of Color in Congress
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is criticizing House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for refusing to deal with the members of his “Ku Klux Klan” caucus who are ignoring and allowing the “violent targeting” of women of color members of Congress.
The Democratic Congresswoman from New York, herself the frequent target of violent threats, pointed to this video of U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar playing a death threat received after she was targeted by GOP Congresswoman Lauren Boebert:
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) plays a horrific death threat she received following Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-CO) recent Islamophobic attacks on her.
Warning: It’s incredibly graphic. pic.twitter.com/5PGODcaJOu
— The Recount (@therecount) November 30, 2021
“People truly don’t understand the scale, intensity, & volume of threats targeting” Congresswoman Omar, Ocasio-Cortez says.
“Kevin McCarthy is so desperate to be speaker that he is working with his Ku Klux Klan caucus to look aside & allow violent targeting of woc members of Congress. This cannot be ignored,” she warns.
Congresswoman Boebert over the past week was exposed – on video – suggesting Rep. Omar is a terrorist three times, including in one video she herself posted to social media.
McCarthy has refused to take any action against Boebert.
‘Massive, Dangerous, Likely Intentional’: Immunologist Blasts Trump for Ignoring Positive COVID Test Before Biden Debate
A Harvard epidemiologist, immunologist and physician is blasting Donald Trump‘s decision to continue his activities as normal in September 2020, not go public with the results of his positive COVID test result, and continue business as usual – including participating in a debate against Joe Biden – revelations made in a new book by Trump’s White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Wednesday.
Dr. Michael Mina says if Trump had been given a rapid COVID test the day of the first presidential debate against Joe Biden, President Trump “would have been blazing positive,” and calls the decision to not test “massive, dangerous and likely intentional.”
“The decision to continue to not test on [the] day of the Rose Garden superspreader event and on [the] day of the debate with now @POTUS Biden was a massive, dangerous and likely intentional decision,” says Michael Mina, an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and an Assistant Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
“Was Trump the superspreader? For a year, I’ve suggested Trump was the likely superspreader at White House Rose Garden on 9/28/20,” Mina posits. “All were supposedly tested, so how would a superspreader enter? Now we know Trump tested COVID positive 2 days earlier.”
Citing Meadows’ new book, The Guardian reported Wednesday morning that Trump tested positive on Sept. 26, and shortly thereafter, before the Sept. 29 presidential debate, tested negative – but three days after the debate, on Oct. 2, again tested positive, and was rushed to Walter Reed hospital hours later.
Because Trump “was testing so frequently, he was [likely] detected using a molecular test at the earliest time, before becoming infectious,” says Mina.
“So when he immediately tested again with a rapid Ag test, it did not yet register positive because he was not YET infectious,” Mina explains. “Had he used a rapid test later that day or next day though, once he was becoming slightly infectious, he almost certainly would have been positive.”
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