Connect with us

BREAKING NEWS

LGBTQ Students in Civil Rights Case Against Religious University Chalk Up Win at Supreme Court – for Now

Published

on

In a 5-4 decision Wednesday evening the U.S. Supreme Court opted to not block a state court’s ruling ordering a faith-based private university to recognize an LGBTQ students’ organization, but the order is quite likely temporary.

Yeshiva University, which has four campuses in New York City, was ordered by a state court to recognize Y.U. Pride Alliance, citing New York State anti-discrimination law.

Over the weekend Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who oversees the 2nd Circuit including courts in New York, Connecticut, and Vermont, blocked the state court’s ruling in what some call an administrative order. She did not refer the case to the full Court.

Wednesday evening, Justice Sotomayor, along with Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Elena Kagan, Brett Kavanaugh, and Ketanji Brown Jackson voted to allow the lower court’s ruling to go into effect. That ruling requires Yeshiva University to recognize the LGBTQ students’ organization.

READ MORE: ‘Powder Keg’: Lindsey Graham’s Abortion Ban Takes Hold With Some Republicans – Others Say It Doesn’t Go Far Enough

Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett dissented, with Justice Alito speaking the loudest.

“I doubt that Yeshiva’s return to state court will be fruitful, and I see no reason why we should not grant a stay at this time,” Alito wrote, according to the L.A. Times. “It is our duty to stand up for the Constitution even when doing so is controversial.”

But legal experts disagreed with Alito, as did the court’s more liberal justices, if not only on the merits, at least on the procedural aspects.

Some were aghast at Yeshiva’s aggressive process, making a beeline for the Supreme Court before having exhausted all remedies in the lower courts – something that was expected practice until what some say this activist court has not only allowed but invited.

READ MORE: Watch: Pelosi Cracks Joke About Republicans After Lindsey Graham’s Abortion Ban Plan Flails

“Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kavanaugh join the three more liberal Justices in 5-4 ruling rejecting Yeshiva’s application to block a state trial court order — noting that Yeshiva still has the ability to pursue similar relief in the New York state courts,” Law professor Steve Vladeck noted.

Vladeck is also the author of the upcoming book, “The Shadow Docket: How the Supreme Court Uses Stealth Rulings to Amass Power and Undermine the Republic.”

Y.U. Pride Alliance attorney Katie Rosenfeld called the decision a “victory for Yeshiva University students who are simply seeking basic rights that are uncontested at peer universities,” Reuters reports. “At the end of the day, Yeshiva University students will have a club for peer support this year, and the sky is not going to fall down.”

But before LGBTQ and civil rights supporters start celebrating, Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, agreeing with conservative writer David French, says, “Roberts and Kavanaugh will ultimately side with Yeshiva, but they refused to reward the school’s abuse of the shadow docket to hop over state courts.”

The far-right legal group Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is representing Yeshiva.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

BREAKING NEWS

DOJ ‘Unlikely’ to Charge Matt Gaetz After Alleged Sex-Trafficking of a Minor Investigation: Report

Published

on

The U.S. Dept. of Justice is “unlikely” to charge Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) with crimes in its investigation of his alleged possible sex trafficking of a minor, a 17-year old, reportedly over questions of witness credibility.

Federal career prosecutors are believed to be suggesting no charges for the 40-year old far-right wing extremist, The Washington Post reports, because they do not think they can obtain a conviction.

Those prosecutors are “telling Justice Department superiors that a conviction is unlikely in part because of credibility questions with the two central witnesses, according to people familiar with the matter.”

READ MORE: Watch: Matt Gaetz Warns of the Dangers of Letting Sexual Predators Escape Consequences on House Floor

The decision follows a long-running investigation and countless news reports including Gaetz’s infamous Venmo and Cash App receipts.

Gaetz is a staunch die-hard supporter of Donald Trump. The investigation into Gaetz’s actions was approved by then Attorney General Bill Barr in late 2020.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.

Continue Reading

BREAKING NEWS

In Scathing Rebuke DOJ Wins Stay of Trump Judge’s Ruling in National Security Appeal Over Classified Documents

Published

on

In a top national security case the U.S. Dept of Justice Wednesday evening was granted its request for a partial stay of a ruling handed down by a federal district judge who refused to allow DOJ to access or use of the 100 classified documents it seized from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and residence.

In its scathing 29-page rebuke of Trump and U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, published by Politico, the three judges on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals – two appointed by Trump, one by President Barack Obama – in their unanimous decision blasted the arguments Trump’s legal team had made.

“For our part, we cannot discern why Plaintiff [Trump] would have an individual interest in or need for any of the one-hundred documents with classification markings,” the judges wrote in their opinion. “Classified documents are marked to show they are classified, for instance, with their classification level.”

“They are ‘owned by, produced by or for, or . . . under the control of the United States Government.'”

READ MORE: ‘Premeditated, Fraudulent, and Illegal’: Asylum Seekers Sue DeSantis After Being Sent to Martha’s Vineyard

“And they include information the ‘unauthorized disclosure [of which] could reasonably be expected to cause identifiable or describable damage to the national security,'” the panel added. “For this reason, a person may have access to classified information only if, among other requirements, he ‘has a need-to-know the information.'”

“This requirement pertains equally to former Presidents, unless the current administration, in its discretion, chooses to waive that requirement.”

Donald Trump “has not even attempted to show that he has a need to know the information contained in the classified documents,” the judges continue. “Nor has he established that the current administration has waived that requirement for these documents. And even if he had, that, in and of itself, would not explain why Plaintiff has an individual interest in the classified documents.”

READ MORE: My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell Under DOJ Investigation for Identity Theft – We Know Because He Posted the Search Warrant: Report

The rebuke comes just hours after New York Attorney General Letitia James announced a massive civil fraud case against the former president, three of his adult children, his former CFO, and several of his companies.

Read the entire ruling here.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

Continue Reading

BREAKING NEWS

NY AG Referring Criminal Charges Against Trump to the Feds, Alleges He ‘Grossly Inflated’ Net Worth by ‘Billions’

Published

on

Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump are all being sued by New York Attorney General Letitia James in a massive civil lawsuit alleging they and others associated with his businesses “grossly inflated” his assets by “billions” of dollars. In a Wednesday news conference James says she is also referring criminal charges to federal authorities, including the Justice Department and the IRS, and her goal is to prohibit some of Trump’s businesses from operating in New York.

Trump falsely inflated the value of his assets to obtain favorable loan rates and other benefits, and deflated the value of his assets to pay lower taxes, James said Wednesday, after a years-long investigation. She alleges he inflated his net worth “by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself and to cheat the system, thereby cheating all of us.”

James repeatedly stressed Trump and others many times “pleaded the fifth,” which in civil cases can be seen as a possible sign of guilt, or, in legal terms, “adverse inference.”

James explained how Trump false inflated the value of his own New York home.

READ MORE: ‘Premeditated, Fraudulent, and Illegal’: Asylum Seekers Sue DeSantis After Being Sent to Martha’s Vineyard

“Mr Trump represented that his apartment spanned more than 30,000 sq ft, which was the basis for valuing the apartment,” at Trump Tower on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, she said, as The Guardian reports. “In reality, the apartment had an area of less than 11,000 sq ft, something that Mr Trump was well aware of. And based on that inflated square footage the value of the apartment in 2015 and 2016 was $327m.”

“To this date, no apartment in New York City has ever sold for close to that amount,” James notes. “Tripling the size of the apartment for purposes of the valuation was intentional and deliberate fraud. Not an honest mistake.”

READ MORE: Trump Handpicked Special Master’s First Hearing ‘Not Going Well’ for Trump Attorneys: ‘That’s the End of It’

At one point James said, “we are attempting aspart of our relief to dissolve these corporations,”  but later corrected herself saying, “that was incorrect. We are not trying to dissolve them – he still has a financial interest in these businesses and corporations,” she noted.

“While James is not seeking to dissolve the organization altogether,” The New York Times’ Benjamin Protess writes, “she is seeking to permanently prohibit some of Trump’s companies from doing business in New York. It’s unclear how much of an impact this would ultimately have on Trump’s operations, but it could be a major blow.”

James called Trump’s actions “The Art of the Steal.”

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.