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Supreme Court Hands Down Ruling – For One Anti-Gay Wedding Cake Baker

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The U.S. Supreme Court has just ruled that one cake baker can refuse to sell wedding cakes to gay people and same-sex couples. The 7-2 ruling is on a Colorado Christian baker who said his religion prohibits him from “celebrating” or “participating” in a same-sex wedding, which he believes includes baking a wedding cake.

The ruling is being characterized as narrow, and applicable to only one baker, and not to be applied broadly.

“This is a victory for the baker,” NBC News’ Pete Williams reports, “but what the Supreme Court says here is because of the peculiarities of his specific case, he wins but the court doesn’t answer the larger questions here.”

Here’s Williams’ initial reporting:

The Court did not rule on the larger issue, but opened the door for more cases. It did state that “tolerance” for people of faith must be balanced with the rights of gay people in the marketplace.

Masterpiece Cake Shop owner Jack Phillips was represented by an anti-gay hate group, the Alliance Defending Freedom, which several years ago focused on attracting a number of high-profile anti-gay bakers, florists, and other wedding industry owners.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion. Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor dissented.

UPDATE: 10:46 AM EDT –
Perhaps the most important takeaway from the decision so far: This is a ruling against the commission that effectively prosecuted Phillips. The Supreme Court suggests it acted with animus, and with “hostility,” and went too far. It does not say that he was right to reject the same-sex couple.

The Commission’s hostility was inconsistent with the First Amendment’s guarantee that our laws be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion. Phillips was entitled to a neutral decisionmaker who would give full and fair consideration to his religious objection as he sought to assert it in all of the circumstances in which this case was presented, considered, and decided. In this case the adjudication concerned a context that may well be different going forward in the respects noted above. However later cases raising these or similar concerns are resolved in the future, for these reasons the rulings of the Commission and of the state court that enforced the Commission’s order must be invalidated.

The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts, all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be re-solved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.”

Developing…

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

 

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Has Completed More Cancer Treatment

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent outpatient pancreatic cancer radiation therapy and has been declared cancer-free, according MSNBC’s Pete Williams and a statement from the Supreme Court.

“The tumor was treated definitively and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body,” the SCOTUS statement says. “No further treatment is needed at this time.”

The three-week treatment was completed at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Ginsburg, who is 86 and keeps an active schedule, has maintained she will continue to serve as long as she feel capable.

Here’s MSNBC’s report:

 

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Internet Responds to Death of Billionaire Conservative Activist David Koch by Reminding Everyone What He Stood For

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Billionaire conservative political activist David Koch has just died. He was 79. With his brother he founded and ran the massive Koch Industries. He was worth an estimated $48 billion.

Koch will be lauded by some as a philanthropist – his name appears on buildings like New York City’s Lincoln Center, and he donated to hospitals, museums, and universities. But many Americans will remember him as one of the major players behind the Tea Party, and using his vast wealth to help massively reconstruct American politics into, some say, the vitriolic insanity we see today.

Jane Mayer, who literally wrote the book on “Dark Money” in politics, including the impact of the Koch brothers, last year penned another deep dive into their history.

She wrote at The New Yorker that in 1980 “Charles convinced his younger brother David to run for Vice-President on the Libertarian Party ticket. The brothers regarded Ronald Reagan, who was running for President that year, as too liberal. The Libertarian platform called for abolishing all federal income taxes and virtually every federal agency, including the I.R.S., the F.B.I., the C.I.A., the F.E.C., the E.P.A., the F.D.A., and the S.E.C. The party also opposed Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, public education, and minimum-wage and child-labor laws. Charles and David, former members of the John Birch Society, which their father, Fred, helped found, regarded centralized government as a scourge akin to Communism. At the time, however, such views were considered kooky even by most conservatives. The conservative stalwart William F. Buckley, Jr., called the Kochs’ views “Anarcho-Totalitarianism.” The voters’ verdict was equally harsh. David spent two million dollars of his own money on his candidacy in 1980, but he was trounced. The Libertarian Party earned only one per cent of the vote.”

On social media some are sharing their remembrances of David Koch, and what he stood for.

Here’s CNN’s Keith Boykin:

Salon’s Amanda Marcotte:

Others:

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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Trump’s Claims About His Performance on Jobs Just Got Destroyed by One of His Own Federal Agencies

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Job Growth Was Much Weaker Than First Reported – and Much Weaker Than Trump Brags About

President Donald Trump’s approval rating is consistently dismal, but the one area that always pulls his low numbers up is how voters think he’s handling the economy and unemployment. Trump talks all the time about how great the economy is – like taking credit when the DOW jumps up or when unemployment drops down, but never taking blame when the reverse occurs.

For example, here’s President Trump talking about the economy and low unemployment numbers – to children and their families – at a White House Easter egg roll:

Trump’s claims about jobs just got slammed, and the wrecking ball comes from one of his own federal agencies: the Dept. of Labor.

Every year the DOL goes back and reviews the numbers it puts out, dives deeper by comparing them to state unemployment insurance reports, and issues a report measuring what unemployment and job growth really was.

And for 2018, the numbers are much different than what the initial reports showed.

“Employers added a half-million fewer jobs in 2018 and early 2019 than previously reported,” according to the Labor Department, The New York Times reports, calling the revision downward “the largest in recent years.”

In other words, the DOL initially reported an additional 500,000 jobs that were never created.

Here’s what that looks like:

A contributing editor at Digital Trends says it’s a 21% drop in job growth numbers from what the Trump administration often claims:

And this senior economist offers up what the revision to the jobs numbers might look like if spread out over just a few months.

“2018, which had ranked among the strongest years of job growth in the decade-long recovery, was weaker than previously believed,” the Times also reports.

 

 

 

 

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