Democrats in the U.S. Senate are expected to put on the floor this week legislation to protect the marriages of same-sex couples, in response to far right U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas‘ call for cases to overturn the 2015 landmark Obergefell decision that found marriage equality is a constitutional right.
“The latest version of the bill clarifies religious liberties and includes language that reaffirms the bill does not validate polygamy, which some Republican members had expressed concerns about,” Semafor reports.
Several Republicans have expressed contempt for the legislation. Sen. Marco Rubio called it a “stupid waste of time.”
These bills do not protect the right of same-sex couples to marry, they only require states that ban same-sex marriage to recognize same-sex couples’ legal marriages from other states or jurisdictions.
Specifically, should the U.S. Supreme Court strike down Obergefell v. Hodges, which made the right of same-sex couples to marry the law of the land, this legislation would not prevent states from banning marriage equality.
In July, HuffPost’s Igor Bobic reported Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota said “he doesn’t think House gay marriage bill is necessary,” and quoted him saying: “I think there’s a difference between matrimony as a sacrament and a legal marriage and so if someone wants to do that type of a partnership, I’m not opposed.”
At the time, Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) was “noncommittal,” Bobic reported.
“Given the fact that the law is settled on this,” Romney said, “I don’t think we need to lose sleep over it unless there were a development that suggested the law was going to be changed.”
When Romney was the Governor of Massachusetts that state became the first in the nation to make same-sex marriage legal. Romney was reportedly opposed to meeting with LGBTQ activists but finally did, and reportedly was surprised to learn why they wanted marriage to be legal.
“I didn’t know you had families,” Gov. Romney told the gay parents in 2004.
Also in July, CNN reported U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) “suggested he’s a no on the bill.”
“It’s a pure messaging bill. I mean, it’s obviously settled law right now,” Cassidy told CNN. “This is a pure messaging bill by a party which has failed on substantive issues, be it inflation, crime or the border, and now are looking for cultural issues in order to somehow do better in November.”
“It’s such a silly messaging bill,” he added, saying, refusing to answer if he would vote for it.
CNN also asked all 50 Republican U.S. Senators their position on same-sex marriage.
Five suggested they would likely support the bill.
“Rob Portman of Ohio, Susan Collins of Maine, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin (likely), Lisa Murkowski of Alaska (likely) and Thom Tillis of North Carolina (likely).”
Eight told CNN they would not, and oppose same-sex marriage. Fifteen said they were undecided, and 22 refused to respond.
This is a breaking news and developing story.
This article has been updated to note CNN asked 50 Republican Senators, not 50 Senators.
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‘Another Happy Jobs Day’: Economists Thrilled With ‘Amazing’ Report as Jobs Growth Beats Expectations, Wages Increase
The Biden economy added a whopping 263,000 jobs last month, crushing expectations of 200,000, and wages are growing as well, leading one economist to declare “another happy jobs day.”
The U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) adds that unemployment remains at a near-historic low of 3.7% in November, “and has been in a narrow range of 3.5 percent to 3.7 percent since March.”
University of Michigan School of Economics Professor Justin Wolfers exclaimed, “It’s yet ANOTHER happy jobs day. Payrolls rose +263k, well above expectations.”
“This expansion just keeps on rolling on,” added Wolfers, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution.
Wolfers also takes on those who have been falsely pushing “recession” talking points.
“BTW, remember all that recession talk? It was nonsense. Bollocks. Cow dung,” he tweets. “There never was a recession. And the economy sure doesn’t look like it’s in one now. Job growth at this rate is the economy singing: ‘This is a robust expansion.'”
And he also slams the doom and gloom forecasters.
The flip from “Recession!” to “Overheating!” is just about the perfect example of the bad news bias in most economic commentary.
Look folks, if the economists you talk to are always gloomy, they’re only giving you half the story.https://t.co/mcD76jthvN
— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) December 2, 2022
Economist David Rothschild sums up where the Biden economy is compared to the rest of the world.
“Economy is far from perfect,” he writes, “but conditional on the worldwide pandemic and supply chain issues generated from pandemic: US economy has done *amazing* over last 2 years.”
In news alerts The New York Times reported hiring “continued to exceed expectations,” The Wall Street Journal called it “a sign of continued strength in the labor market,” and even Fox News reported it as “stronger-than-expected.” CNN referred to the jobs report as “robust” and “defying expectations.”
“America’s jobs engine kept churning in November, the Labor Department reported Friday, a show of continued demand for workers despite the Federal Reserve’s push to curb inflation by tamping down hiring, The Times reported. “The labor market has been surprisingly resilient in the face of successive interest rate increases by the Fed over the past year. Even sectors normally sensitive to borrowing costs, like construction and manufacturing, have been slow to back off the brisk pace of growth they posted coming out of the pandemic.”
The BLS also broke down unemployment numbers by demographics.
“Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.4 percent), adult women (3.3 percent), teenagers (11.3 percent), Whites (3.2 percent), Blacks (5.7 percent), Asians (2.7 percent), and Hispanics (3.9 percent) showed little or no change over the month.”
Image: Matt Smith Photographer / Shutterstock
‘The Law Is Clear’: Appeals Court Rules Trump Handpicked Judge Should Never Have Appointed Special Master
A three-judge panel on the conservative 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against Donald Trump, and effectively against his hand-picked federal district court judge Aileen Cannon in the ex-president’s “special master” case.
The judges, all three conservatives, two of whom appointed to the bench by Trump himself, ruled that Judge Cannon should never have agreed to Trump’s request to appoint a “special master” to review all the items the Dept. of Justice removed from his Mar-a-Lago residence by executing a legal search warrant.
Cannon had ordered the special master to specifically review approximately 100 classified documents, and blocked the DOJ from accessing them while they were under review. That block halted its investigation into Trump’s likely illegal retention of the documents and other items – over 10,000 – he removed from the White House and was string at Mar-a-Lago.
CNN calls Thursday’s ruling “a major defeat for former President Donald Trump.” The appeals court’s ruling halts “a third-party review of documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate,” and “removes a major obstacle to the Justice Department’s investigation into the mishandling of government records from Trump’s time in the White House.”
“The law is clear,” the judges wrote in their ruling Thursday, posted by NBC News’ Daniel Barnes. “We cannot write a rule that allows any subject of a search warrant to block government investigations after the execution of the warrant. Nor can we write a rule that allows only former presidents to do so. Either approach would be a radical reordering of our caselaw limiting the federal courts’ involvement in criminal investigations.”
“And both would violate bedrock separation-of-powers limitations,” they continued. “Accordingly, we agree with the government that the district court improperly exercised equitable jurisdiction, and that dismissal of the entire proceeding is required.”
They also wrote: “In considering these arguments, we are faced with a choice: apply our usual test; drastically expand the availability of equitable jurisdiction for every subject of a search warrant; or carve out an unprecedented exception in our law for former presidents. We choose the first option. So the case must be dismissed.”
“The district court,” meaning Judge Cannon, “improperly exercised equitable jurisdiction in this case. For that reason, we VACATE the September 5 order on appeal and REMAND with instructions for the district court to DISMISS the underlying civil action.”
Matt Gaetz ‘Wingman’ Joel Greenberg Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison – Attorney ‘Disappointed’ Others Not Prosecuted
Joel Greenberg, a former Florida tax collector and “wingman” to U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was sentenced Thursday to over a decade in prison after the judge said he “has provided substantial cooperation to the government — more than I’ve seen in 22 years.” But Greenberg’s own attorney chastised the Dept. of Justice, saying he is “disappointed” after all the evidence his client provided, that others were not prosecuted.
Greenberg, 38, faced about three decades in jail. He “pleaded guilty last May to six of the 33 federal charges he was facing, including charges of stalking, identity theft, wire fraud, and conspiracy to bribe a public official, as well as one charge of sex trafficking,” ABC News reports.
DOJ has not brought any charges against far-right Republican Matt Gaetz.
“Mr. Greenberg has told federal authorities that he witnessed Mr. Gaetz have sex with the 17-year-old girl and that she was paid. In documents filed in connection with Mr. Greenberg’s sentencing, the Justice Department said he had ‘provided truthful and timely information’ that led to the charging of at least four other individuals and ‘provided substantial assistance on other matters’ that the government would address only in a sealed filing,” The New York Times reports.
Greenberg “had faced up to almost three decades in prison for a litany of crimes he had committed, including sex trafficking a 17-year-old girl, stalking a political rival and stealing $400,000 in taxpayer money to buy cryptocurrencies and purchase sports memorabilia. But in the hopes of receiving a lesser sentence, he had cooperated with the government in a series of investigations, including into Mr. Gaetz,” The Times adds.
Greenberg’s own attorney this week blasted the U.S. Dept. of Justice for not moving forward with prosecutions he apparently believes his client has provided sufficient information for pursuing.
“If the Government is so concerned with general deterrence, then why hasn’t it prosecuted the other individuals, including public figures, who were also involved in Greenberg’s offenses?” Fritz Schiller wrote in a memo, according to ABC News.
“Perhaps the DOJ are master strategists far beyond the capabilities of the undersigned. Or perhaps the DOJ is like Nero fiddling away as Rome burns.”
Schiller also told reporters, “I’m shocked – I am disappointed by a number of prosecutions that haven’t been brought.”
After pausing for a moment and saying he wanted to think about how he would answer a reporter’s question, Schiller said, “I think there’s a number of prosecutions that can be brought in the areas of the SBA fraud, the bribery and kickbacks, election fraud, and the sex cases.”
Reporter: “Are you shocked that [Rep. Matt Gaetz] hasn’t been arrested yet?”
Fritz Scheller, attorney for Gaetz associate Joel Greenberg: “I am disappointed by a number of prosecutions that haven’t been brought …” pic.twitter.com/5ibhjepEUK
— The Recount (@therecount) December 1, 2022
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