The Trump administration’s Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) is facing two separate lawsuits just filed by the ACLU and by Planned Parenthood. The filings seek to strike down a new policy that would give people of faith special religious rights to discriminate, especially against LGBT people and women.
The new policy, slated to go into effect July 22, would provide “conscience protections” to health care workers and professionals. Those protections would allow, say, a doctor to not perform an abortion, even to save the life of a mother. They would allow, for example, a physician or nurse practitioner to reject a gay man on the grounds his very being violates their religious beliefs.
Courthouse News’ Adam Klasfeld posted a portion of the lawsuit which says the Refusal of Care Rule would “allow almost any health care provider – including hospitals or individual workers in the health care setting … to refuse to provide, assist with, or refer for virtually any health service, based solely on a personal objection.”
The rule would also make it legal to withhold information from patients, and without telling them.
New: @PPFA and the @ACLU filed separate lawsuits in SDNY suing @HHSGov for issuing a rule that “would allow almost any health care provider” to deny “virtually any health service” — or withhold info on health care options — based on personal objections alone. @CourthouseNews pic.twitter.com/xVrTAjy1oy
— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) June 11, 2019
The new HHS rule is merely the extension of a Trump administration plan to decimate the rights of women and minorities, under the guise of religious freedom. It is being enacted by Roger Severino (photo), a far right wing religious extremist who now heads HHS’s Office for Civil Rights.
News about the new rule first leaked in April.
“Patients want doctors who match their values,” Severino said, defending the proposed rule weeks later.
Severino once served as the CEO and counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a far right wing religious legal organization. He also worked for The Heritage Foundation, and for the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society. The Human Rights Campaign has called him a “radical anti-LGBTQ activist.”
In early 2018 Severino created the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in HHS’s Office of Civil Rights, in order to prioritize supposed cases of anti-religious discrimination among medical professionals.
“Severino is a defender of the discredited practice of conversion therapy, argued transgender service members ‘dishonors’ the military, and insisted that anti-LGBTQ discrimination is ‘based not on any sort of hatred but, in fact, out of love,'” GLAAD said in a statement at the time.
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Draft Memo Reveals Trump Had Plan to Order Defense Secretary to Seize Voting Machines
A draft executive order obtained by the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack reveals President Donald Trump had a plan, which he did not enact, to order the Secretary of Defense to seize voting machines in an attempt to stay in power after the January 20, 2021 inauguration of President Joe Biden.
There was also a plan for Trump to deliver a speech titled “Remarks on National Healing.”
“I hereby order,” reads the draft executive order, dated December 16, 2020 and published Friday by Politico. “Effective immediately, the Secretary of Defense shall seize, collect, retain and analyze all machines, equipment, electronically stored information, and material records required for retention,” citing a federal law.
Politico adds that “the draft order would have given the defense secretary 60 days to write an assessment of the 2020 election. That suggests it could have been a gambit to keep Trump in power until at least mid-February of 2021.”
The author of the executive order is unknown, with at least one expert suggesting it was likely written by someone outside the administration.
This is a breaking news and developing story. This article has been updated.
Trump Supporters Have New ‘Ambitious Plan’ to Have Loyalists Oversee Elections Across America: Report
Donald Trump and his supporters are enacting an “ambitious plan” to place loyalists in key positions overseeing elections after his unsuccessful efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, which was won by Joe Biden.
“In Michigan, local GOP leaders have sought to reshape election canvassing boards by appointing members who expressed sympathy for former president Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 vote was rigged. In two Pennsylvania communities, candidates who embraced election fraud allegations won races this month to become local voting judges and inspectors,” The Washington Post reported Monday. “And in Colorado, 2020 doubters are urging their followers on conservative social media platforms to apply for jobs in election offices.”
The report comes as Trump continues to push his “Big Lie” of election fraud, releasing a Sunday statement falsely claiming the “2020 Election was rigged and stolen.”
“Citing the need to make elections more secure, Trump allies are also seeking to replace officials across the nation, including volunteer poll watchers, paid precinct judges, elected county clerks and state attorneys general, according to state and local officials, as well as rally speeches, social media posts and campaign appearances by those seeking the positions,” the newspaper reported. “If they succeed, Trump and his allies could pull down some of the guardrails that prevented him from overturning Biden’s win by creating openings to challenge the results next time, election officials and watchdog groups say.”
There are QAnon-linked candidates running for secretary of state to oversee elections, including Rachel Hamm in California, Jim Marchant in Nevada, Kristina Karamo in Michigan, Mark Finchem in Arizona, and Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) in Georgia.
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold (D) warned how the focus has shifted from overturning the last election to overturning future elections.
“The attacks right now are no longer about 2020,” Griswold explained. “They’re about 2022 and 2024. It’s about chipping away at confidence and chipping away at the reality of safe and secure elections. And the next time there’s a close election, it will be easier to achieve their goals. That’s what this is all about.”
Read the full report.
Watch: Right Wing Voters Pledge Allegiance to Flag From Jan. 6 at Bannon-Hosted GOP Rally
She backed a different Republican candidate for governor of Virginia earlier this year but pro-Trump “folk hero” and GOP activist Martha Boneta was on stage Wednesday night to emcee a rally for far right Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin, and other GOP candidates.
The highlight of the evening was supposed to be when Donald Trump called in to motivate supporters at the Steve Bannon-led event, but it appears the crowd was quite taken with a flag Boneta said “was carried at the peaceful rally with Donald Trump on January 6,” and they pledged allegiance to it.
It’s unclear if that “peaceful rally” was the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol that has already resulted in about 650 arrests, or the insurrection incitement rally where Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Rep. Mo Brooks, Rep. Madison Cawthorn, Katrina Pierson, Amy Kremer, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Donald Trump Jr., Lara Trump, Eric Trump, Kimberly Guilfoyle, all “riled up the crowd at the now-infamous ‘Stop the Steal’ rally,” that led to the insurrection.
Wednesday night Trump told the crowd, “We won in 2016. We won in 2020 — the most corrupt election in the history of our country, probably one of the most corrupt anywhere. But we’re gonna win it again.”
Here’s how the conservative crowd responded when the flag, now a “talisman” as some are commenting, was trotted out as a revered symbol of insurrection:
At the rally last night for GOP VA Gov candidate Glenn Youngkin, they said the ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ to a flag that was carried during the insurrection on Jan 6, as if it was sacred or something. pic.twitter.com/NGEaFFAvdF
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) October 14, 2021
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe did not hold back in condemning the “pledge”:
Glenn Youngkin was endorsed again tonight by Donald Trump at a rally where attendees pledged allegiance to a flag flown at the deadly January 6th insurrection. Beyond disturbing, this is sick. And Glenn is honored to have Trump’s endorsement.
— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) October 14, 2021
On social media some commented on the disturbing symbolism, including the parallels to Nazi Germany:
Not too go all Nazi, but that’s what Hitler did with what became known as the Bloody Flag. It had been carried during the Beer Hall Putsch in Munich and was later used in Nazi rallies and ceremonies where people would line up to be touched by it. pic.twitter.com/UiiG2AXoEh
— Hey, Dave! (@davegreenidge57) October 14, 2021
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) October 14, 2021
Flags are, of course, a fetish, like Crucifixes and Golden Calves, and like religion, patriotism is a tool which demagogues use to manipulate the masses.
And the more sacred such talismans are proclaimed the more venerated they will be.
— Michael D Kerrigan 🇮🇪 (@MichelDKerrigan) October 14, 2021
How quickly “How dare Colin Kaepernick disgrace Old Glory!” became “Let’s celebrate the mass assault on and multiple deaths of cops!” https://t.co/st1NB46hoy
— LOLGOP (@LOLGOP) October 14, 2021
What would you say if you saw it in another country? https://t.co/xgMzjVKyhP
— Brendan Nyhan (@BrendanNyhan) October 14, 2021
Oh good, now we’ve reached the “Blutfahne” part of the program. (We’ve already covered the “Horst Wessel” part with Ashli Babbitt).
What the fuck is it going to take to make people realize this is ALL a repeat of late 20s/early 30s Germany?!
— Medium Historian At Large (@one0nine) October 14, 2021
The Blutfahne or Blood Flag, is a Nazi Party swastika flag that was carried during the attempted coup d’etat Beer Hall Putsch in Munich, Germany on 9 November 1923, during which it became soaked in the blood of one of the SA men who died.https://t.co/53Zdhq7KSI
— Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) October 14, 2021
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