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Open thread UPDATE

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This is an open thread for discussion.

This just in: Rowan County clerk Kim Davis’ request for a stay at the Supreme Court. The application will go to Justice Elena Kagan in her capacity as Circuit Justice for the Sixth Circuit. She could act on her on but it’s more likely she will refer it to the full Court.

95 Comments

  • 1. salton22  |  August 28, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Following is the answer I recently got from Courage Campaign to my email inquiry about EoT's future, but wasn't able to post it earlierr. Hope this will be of interest to some of you. CHM

    Dear Charles, 

    Thank you for your email. I deeply regret our delay in responding. Your email reached me yesterday from the backlog in our general email inbox. Your commitment to EoT over the years (and across the ocean) is humbling. I joined the Courage team in January and am regularly wowed by stories from activists and supporters who have been with us since the early days of the Prop 8 fight. 

    We can certainly cancel your monthly donation.

    Your frustration with EoT is understandable. For the last few years, it has been run almost entirely by Scottie Thomaston, our experienced and committed EOT blogger. While Courage Campaign is based in California, you may know that Scottie is based in south Alabama and works part-time as the EOT blogger and editor. We've been able to maintain the blog as a meaningful platform for legal analysis — not only by Scottie but also by commenters — on a slim budget funded largely by small donations. When all is going well, this model works remarkably well. Unfortunately, the margin of error is small. So, when Scottie had two computer malfunctions in the last six months, the result was that EOT lost its sole editor and blogger for weeks at a time. Courage Campaign has only six full-time staff for our range of advocacy and education programs, and no one else on our team is well-versed enough in legal analysis to step in for Scottie when he's offline for weeks at a time. 

    That said, we too are frustrated with the current situation. We're working on a larger plan to revive our LGBT advocacy in new directions after the SCOTUS marriage equality ruling and focused on all that is still left to be done in the fight for full LGBT rights and equality. We'll be working to develop a funding model for this expanded work, including increased funding for EoT. 

    I hope we'll be able to earn your support again. In the meantime, know that I take your frustration seriously, and very much appreciate you taking the time to reach out. 

    Please let me know if you'd like us to cancel your monthly donation. 

    All best,
    Emma

    Emma Crossen, Development Director
    Courage Campaign
    c 812.243.1574

  • 2. David Cary Hart  |  August 28, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Mat Staver said he would be at SCOTUS today to get a stay in Miller v. Davis ( http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com/search/label/Kim%… ). I checked with the Court at about 11:30 and there was no application. Perhaps the reality of asking Justice Kagan for the stay caught up with the unbalanced Mr. Staver.

    Meanwhile several Liberty Counsel lawyers should be sanctioned for misconduct. They have advised their client to ignore court orders pending appeal when those orders were not stayed.

  • 3. David Cary Hart  |  August 28, 2015 at 9:51 am

    One of the problems is that the most recent financial information that we have for the two entities is for the year ended June 30, 2013. It's pretty meaningless.

  • 4. gay_avenger  |  August 28, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Courage Campaign 2013 990s two related entities http://pdfs.citizenaudit.org/2014_12_EO/27-034329
    and here http://pdfs.citizenaudit.org/2014_06_EO/20-484133

  • 5. gay_avenger  |  August 28, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Liberty Counsel and its related think tanks have become nothing more than cash cows for a small number of individuals financial benefit.

  • 6. VIRick  |  August 28, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Today, 28 August 2015, in "Campaign for Southern Equality v. Mississippi Department of Human Services," the challenge to Mississippi's adoption ban for married same-sex couples, two of the couples have filed a motion for a preliminary injunction.

    The motion, including plaintiffs' affidavits, is here: http://bit.ly/1KSnQSG

  • 7. aiislander  |  August 28, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Regarding Kim Davis's SCOTUS filing for a stay today, I have a procedural question for those of you more familiar with the details of SCOTUS procedure than I. The request is filed with Kagan, of course, but as I understand it If Kagen alone rejects the request for stay, Davis' attorneys can go "Justice shopping". So it would seem better if Kagan refers it to the entire court, but with the court in summer recess, is it possible to get an answer from all the justices quickly, or would it be delayed until the October session? That would be a drag.

    PS: Thanks for the link to the SCOTUS filing Scottie, but the link seems to have an extraneous quotation mark at the end, and would not work for me. The address that worked for me is: http://files.eqcf.org/cases/kim-davis-scotus-stay

  • 8. sfbob  |  August 28, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Even when the court is not in session they are, in effect, always on duty. When an action like a stay is requested they can and do consult at any time of the day, at any time of the year. For example if there is a request for a last-minute stay of an execution, obviously the court would need to act expeditiously on that even if it's the middle of summer or at midnight on Christmas Eve. Or at 3 a.m. DC time. They have lots of power but there are also responsibilities; sort of comes with the job. I suppose there are circumstances under which some specific justice might not be easy to reach due to being on vacation in some remote spot but overall that doesn't seem to matter. I suspect that, since their duties require them to be available at any time and no matter where they are, they pretty much always provide a means of being contacted.

    The court doesn't actually have to convene in order to consider whether to issue or deny a stay; the justices can consult by email or phone and issue a statement through the clerk of the court.

  • 9. VIRick  |  August 28, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    DC: Motion to Dismiss Gay Common-Law Marriage Case Denied

    On 25 August 2015, a DC Superior Court judge denied a motion by the estate of the deceased partner of a gay man calling for dismissing a petition by the gay man to have his and his partner’s relationship affirmed by the court as a common-law marriage. In a two-page ruling and order, Judge Kimberley Knowles said she found that “a genuine issue exists regarding a material fact” over whether the relationship between DC resident Enrique Mendez and his partner of more than four years, Miles Eric Lease, constituted a common-law marriage.

    Mendez filed the petition last December with the court’s Domestic Relations Branch as part of an estate dispute with Lease’s family, which is being represented by his niece, Virginia resident Jennifer Lynn McKelvey. At stake is Mendez’s contention that as Lease’s legal spouse, he is entitled to his deceased partner’s assets, including the Northwest Washington house that the two shared for four years. Lease, 66, died unexpectedly of a heart attack on 27 June 2014.

    Through her attorney, McKelvey contends that Mendez’s petition fails to provide sufficient evidence that he and Lease were in a relationship equivalent to marriage under DC law. Knowles noted that each side has presented conflicting facts over whether the two men exchanged “marriage vows” and informed others of those vows, two steps that are required under DC law to establish a common-law marriage. In denying the estate’s motion for summary judgment to dismiss the case, the judge said the conflicting facts would have to be hashed out at a trial-like evidentiary hearing she scheduled for 10 November.

    See more at: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2015/08/28/motion-

  • 10. Mike_Baltimore  |  August 28, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    As of about 8:00 PM, Davis's attorneys have filed an application for a stay with SCOTUS. Attorneys have a lot of power, but in the end, they must follow the instructions of the client, and it appears that Davis believes her bibble trumps the US Constitution.
    ( http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/kentucky-cler… )

  • 11. sfbob  |  August 28, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    It's gotta be her bibble that trumps the US Constitution because the Bible has nothing to say, one way or the other, about marriage equality. On the other hand, a line from the Book of Ruth (one of the "five megillot" or "five scrolls"), which is sometimes included in marriage vows, pertains to the relationship between Ruth and Esther.

    "Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me."

    In other words a vow spoken by one woman to another. Sounds like a marriage vow to me and plenty of Christians love that one.

  • 12. sfbob  |  August 28, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    For anyone who thinks Kim Davis has tons of local support there's this little piece of fun news:

    The Rowan County government has filed an official misconduct charge against her with the state Attorney General's office.
    http://www.joemygod.com/2015/08/28/breaking-offic

  • 13. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 28, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    … the walls and ceilings are closing in. The Friday cliff hanger: will the Supreme Court of the US swoop in and save her [Davis], at least for the time being?* Stay tuned!

    * I doubt it.

  • 14. VIRick  |  August 28, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    Michoacán: Añadirán al Código Familiar del Estado la Figura de “Sociedades de Convivencia”

    Michoacán: The State Legislature has Added the Term, "Societies of Co-Existence," to the State's Family Code (Civil Unions)

    (En 27 Agosto 2015), las comisiones unidas de Justicia y Derechos Humanos del Congreso local aprobaron el dictamen del nuevo Código Familiar con la figura de sociedades de convivencia, con la que pretenden salvaguardar el derecho de las personas del mismo sexo que desean formar una familia reconocida por la ley.

    Con ello, dejaron atrás la discusión sobre la figura del matrimonio igualitario pues quedó finalmente excluida de este dictamen que será aprobado por el pleno de la 72 Legislatura en sesión extraordinaria a celebrarse la próxima semana. La propuesta para incluir un capítulo sobre sociedades de convivencia en el nuevo Código Familiar fue presentada por los legisladores del PRI y PAN.

    (On 27 August 2015,) the joint commissions of Justice and Human Rights of the state Congress approved the draft of the new Family Code with the term, "societies of coexistence," in order to safeguard the right of persons of the same sex who wish to start a family and which would be recognized by law.

    With that, they left the discussion on the term, "equal marriage," excluded because of the draft to be adopted by the plenary session of the 72nd Michoacán Legislature, meeting in extraordinary session next week. The proposal to include a chapter on "societies of co-existence" in the new Family Code was presented by the PRI and PAN legislators.

    Note: Currently, Michoacán does not recognize "societies of co-existence," or civil unions, for any couple. However, in addition to specific rulings by Mexico's Supreme Court, they are also operating under a contempt deadline from another federal court to legalize same-sex marriage for everyone. They have 100 days to comply, commencing from 15 July 2015. So, 26 October 2015 will be one day past their court-ordered deadline. http://lajornadamichoacan.com.mx/2015/08/anadiran

    In the English-language text of Wikipedia, they have translated a shorter version of my paragraphs #1 and #2 differently:

    "On 27 August 2015, the Justice and Human Rights Committee approved a new text of the Family Code that would maintain the heterosexual definition of marriage but enact a civil union law for homosexual couples. It will be voted on by the full Michoacán Congress the following week."

    If their version is correct, then the proposal will not be sufficient to meet the court order to institute marriage equality for all couples. Besides, Mexico's Supreme Court has already ruled in the case from Colima that "marriage" for hetero couples and "civil unions" for same-sex couples is not good enough.

  • 15. VIRick  |  August 28, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    Official Misconduct Charge Filed Against Clerk Davis by Rowan County KY

    Late this afternoon, on 28 August 2015, the Rowan County KY government filed an official misconduct charge against anti-gay clerk, Kim Davis. The Rowan County Attorney’s Office said that it has referred to the Kentucky Attorney-General’s Office a charge of official misconduct against Davis. A release from the county attorneys office says, “Kentucky Bar Association rules of the Supreme Court of Kentucky prohibit the Rowan County Attorney’s Office from prosecuting Davis” because they are involved in current litigation with Davis.

    The referral of charges comes after Davis refused to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple Thursday morning, 27 August 2015. By Kentucky law, official misconduct in the first degree is a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable with imprisonment not to exceed 12 months and fines of $500. Official misconduct in the second degree is a Class B misdemeanor and carries a potential punishment of up to 90 days imprisonment and fines of $250.

    It appears that the ball is now in the court of Kentucky Attorney-General Jack Conway, a Democrat who last year refused to defend the state against the marriage suits that ultimately ended up before the US Supreme Court. Following Conway’s refusal, Gov. Steve Beshear hired outside counsel to continue the appeal. Conway is the 2015 Democratic gubernatorial nominee to succeed Beshear, who will be term-limited out of office this year. http://www.joemygod.com/2015/08/28/2breaking-offi

  • 16. VIRick  |  August 28, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    Bob, what about the one where Paul has Timothy circumcised in order for Timothy to be able to partake of the inner circle?

  • 17. sfbob  |  August 28, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    I don't know about that one. I'm rather more familiar with the Old Testament than with the New; probably because I'm Jewish.

  • 18. F_Young  |  August 29, 2015 at 3:13 am

    sfbob: "May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me."

    You mean, the bibles frown on divorce? But, but, what about…

    Never mind. It doesn't matter anyway. Nobody pays attention to the bibles (I always use the plural) except to justify their pre-existing views.

  • 19. Zack12  |  August 29, 2015 at 4:09 am

    It pains me to say this but I do believe EOT will slowly but surely start to fade away despite the fact there are still battles to be fought.
    That is not on the people who run the place.
    The reality is this site was founded on the fight for marriage equality and now that it's won (save cases like the county clerks), the other issues facing us just aren't going to get the same attention on here.
    I'm hope I'm wrong but I sadly believe I won't be.
    I will say this was a great site and I enjoyed my time chatting, sharing and learning knowledge with everyone here.
    Let's hope it keeps going.

  • 20. josejoram  |  August 29, 2015 at 4:17 am

    I agree with you, Zack. To avoid this to happen I would suggest to change this site into a worlwide campaigner for LGBTI marriage equality. I mean it. Let's chat about this!
    Nothing dies, everything changes.

  • 21. DeadHead  |  August 29, 2015 at 6:15 am

    “A key issue, her application argued, is a new one: whether she has a right to avoid all licensing, avoiding any discrimination, in order to follow her faith principles.” Lyle Denniston reports at http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/08/same-sex-marria

  • 22. ianbirmingham  |  August 29, 2015 at 6:22 am

    The core concept of "Equality On Trial" is easily broad enough to include:

    1) Equality in the workplace
    2) Equality in public accommodations
    3) Next-generation marriage cases <a href="http://(http://tinyurl.com/dyadicnetworks)” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://(http://tinyurl.com/dyadicnetworks)” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://(http://tinyurl.com/dyadicnetworks)” target=”_blank”>(http://tinyurl.com/dyadicnetworks)
    4) International legal battles (e.g., Russia)
    5) Analysis of how the legal system could be improved:
    5 a) to prevent equality violations in the first place (e.g., deterministic hiring)
    5 b) to rapidly identify equality violations (e.g., data mining)
    5 c) to correct equality violations more quickly (govt regs, vs. SCOTUS)

    There's certainly no shortage of great material to be covered – not even close!

  • 23. JayJonson  |  August 29, 2015 at 6:25 am

    It has probably dawned on the Rowan County government that while Liberty Counsel says it is doing Davis's legal work for free, they will be the ones responsible for the plaintiffs' attorney fees when Davis's preposterous arguments are finally thrown out of court.

  • 24. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 29, 2015 at 6:40 am

    The Justices have a special App just for that. They press a green button for yes or red for no on their iPhone or Galaxy Phone.

  • 25. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 29, 2015 at 6:42 am

    And any fines for contempt of court.

    Though I'm sure Davis can't wait to start a religious gofund type campaign to rake in 10x whatever fine is imposed. She'll cry all the way to the bank… unfortunately. She'll then sue for being forced out of her $80K/year public service job by claiming religious descrimination. Can we say "early and well funded retirement"?

  • 26. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 29, 2015 at 6:51 am

    Another $10,000 fund raising campaign wouldn't hurt either.

  • 27. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 29, 2015 at 7:15 am

    I would love to see the plaintiff couples come to Davis' office bright and early Monday morning, escorted by Federal Marshalls, ready to handcuff and arrest any clerk or deputy clerk who is in defiance of law or in contempt of Federal Court orders. Lets see if Davis doesn't call in sick to work come Monday morning, if she hasn't heard back favorably from the Supremes.

    Per SCOTUSblog, Davis' "lawyers" went to Judge Bunning on Friday (yesterday) and asked him to extend his stay beyond this coming Monday to allow Davis to pursue her emergency appeal to SCOTUS. Judge Bunning declined this request without comment. Good for him!

    Unless SCOTUS acts in her favor within the next 48 hours, the shift is going to hit the fan come Monday morning! More drama here than on ABC's How to get away with murder.

  • 28. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 29, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Allowing religious objection to unilaterally and selectively opt out of performing public duty would effectively mean that anyone could run for public office on such a platform and effectively gut Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

    When one runs for and accepts public office, he or she is obligated to serve ALL the public in an equal and non bias manner, regardless of his or her personal beliefs, and not just serve those who voted him or her into office. Imagine a governor or mayor saying because of his biblical evangelical beliefs, he will issue an executive order that no homosexuals or women shall be employed by his administration or any agencies under his control… because you know, 1st amendment rights.

  • 29. sfbob  |  August 29, 2015 at 10:15 am

    She's already got a suit going against the governor. Not that she'll succeed of course, but it'll keep her in the spotlight for a few months longer.

  • 30. sfbob  |  August 29, 2015 at 10:20 am

    A 19th Century Supreme Court ruling I recently saw cited elsewhere suggests she may be out of luck. I can't locate it right now but it basically said that allowing people to invoke their religion in all cases and in all circumstances would result in every individual becoming a law to himself or herself. I think Bunning's ruling and some of the statements made in the 6th Circuit's denial of a stay pretty much demolished the reasoning behind Davis's claim.

  • 31. sfbob  |  August 29, 2015 at 10:21 am

    I imagine it will take until about noon on Monday for SCOTUS to act. At that point Davis will be in contempt unless they actually grant her a stay. I'd be very surprised were that to happen.

  • 32. FredDorner  |  August 29, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Judge Bunning already ruled that Davis can't claim qualified immunity under 42 USC 1983, and the county board isn't supporting her claim. Doesn't that mean she's on the hook personally for the court costs and plaintiffs' attorneys fees?

  • 33. FredDorner  |  August 29, 2015 at 11:31 am

    That's Reynolds v US from 1878, and Scalia reiterated that line in 1990 in Employment Division v Smith:
    "To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and, in effect, to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself. Government could exist only in name under such circumstances."

    Even though Reynolds concerned someone who wasn't a public employee or public official, it still seems directly applicable in terms of how our secular law relates to religious belief. The Smith case however did concern public employees.

    The other relevant case is Garcetti v. Ceballos (2006) which concerned 1st Amendment claims by a public official. Liberty Counsel actually cites this in their brief to SCOTUS, but does so erroneously since it directly undermines their claim.

    But the bottom line is that this has been settled law ever since the Establishment clause was passed and the 1st Amendment was incorporated to the states. SCOTUS won't touch the appeal because there is no unresolved issue.

  • 34. FredDorner  |  August 29, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Isn't Monday the last day in which the stay is in effect?

  • 35. jpmassar  |  August 29, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Ireland Moves Closer to First Same-Sex Marriage Ceremony


    "President Michael D. Higgins this evening signed the Thirty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution (Marriage Equality) Bill 2015 at Áras an Uachtaráin."

    As legislation for same sex marriage is already completed, it is expected to be passed through immediately when the Dail returns from the summer recess on September 22nd.

    Once this is passed, the first marriages under the new bill can take place.
    Although a series of court challenges have been launched against the result of the marriage referendum, delays are no longer expected as President Higgins has signed the bill

    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/marriag

  • 36. FredDorner  |  August 29, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    LOL….
    http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/local/2

    MOREHEAD, Ky. A transgender man and his wife stepped forward Saturday with paperwork showing that Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis apparently issued them a marriage license in February even though she has blocked forms for same-sex couples over the past two months.

    Camryn Colen, who is transgender, and his wife Alexis, who identifies as pan sexual, said Davis’ office provided the license on Feb. 26 without asking to see Camryn’s birth certificate, which still identifies him as female. The couple married that night.

    “She saw just a straight couple in love, and she should see everybody like that,” Camryn said. “She shouldn’t just see straight couples like that.”

  • 37. sfbob  |  August 29, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Yes that's the one. And I do recall Scalia citing it (favorably) in one of his decisions. Oh the irony!

    I take back what I've been saying. The stay won't be denied by a 7-2 vote after all. Instead it will be 8-1 (with Thomas the only dissenter) or perhaps even 9-0.

  • 38. sfbob  |  August 29, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    There's been discussion as to when, precisely, on Monday the stay would dissolve. Some think it would be as soon as the courts open for business, others believe it would be Monday, close of business, while others are opting for 12:01 a.m. either Monday morning or Tuesday morning. Bunning actually made no mention of the Supreme Court when he provided an end-date for his stay but I think it's safe to say that the stay will certainly dissolve whenever SCOTUS issues a denial of Davis's request. The earlier the better, IMHO. My guess is that it will happen either around 10 a.m. or else at or sometime after 5 p.m. If it's the former look for lots of activity in Davis's office by lunchtime; otherwise look for it to happen first thing Tuesday morning.

  • 39. FredDorner  |  August 29, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    I think the main issue isn't the exact hour of expiration but rather whether the 6th circuit's denial of a stay fulfilled the reason Bunning had granted the stay, and thus ended that stay. So Liberty Counsel is assuming that the stay is in force through Monday while the plaintiffs' attorneys are saying that it already ended when the 6th circuit filed its ruling on Wednesday.

  • 40. jpmassar  |  August 29, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Is it really too much to ask that these kinds of things be standardized? I mean, it's not like this isn't the 100,000th time a judge has issued a stay pending an appeal.

  • 41. almostfamous734  |  August 29, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    This. This is the best thing ever.

  • 42. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 29, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    No. The stay expires (ceases to exist) on the 31st. So as the 31st comes into being the stay ceases to exist. The 31st and the stay can not co-exist simultaneously – by judge Bunning's order as clarified by him.

    …IT IS ORDERED that the Court’s temporary stay of its August 17, 2015 Order shall expire on August 31, 2015, absent an Order to the contrary by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

    The Sixth did not issue a contravening order to Bunning's stay. The hearing panel only affirmed his judgement below. So, unless the Supremes swoop in like the giant Eagles that always save Frodo… Davis is going into the firey pit below… like gollum.. Should she choose to remain in contempt. Lets see if she isn't taking a 2 week vacation starting Monday… in Florida. She is contemptible isn't she.

  • 43. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 29, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    The best thing ever will be when Davis either signs marriage licences for gay couples or resigns… either way with her tail between her legs. Where in Rowan Kentucky is Davis, a middle aged homely woman going to find an $80,000/year job? Another govt job.. where she can put the tax payers and colleagues at risk for more law suits? I don't think so. Perhaps she can ask the baby Jesus to find her another $80k/year job. You know, because you trust and beleive in an ancient extra teresterial being that spoke via incandescent shrubbery a couple thousand years ago.

  • 44. allan120102  |  August 29, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    I see Ireland is moving forward with marriage equality so happy that same sex marriages will soon start. I am worried about Slovenia, haven t heard anything out of it. Not sure if the supreme court of them is going to act soon or wait longer to act. Hope marriage equality comes quickly to them. If someone knows something please keep me update.

  • 45. SethInMaryland  |  August 29, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    I believe remember seeing that the court is on a break right now

  • 46. ianbirmingham  |  August 29, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    The fight for marriage equality on Native American reservations
    http://news.yahoo.com/video/fight-marriage-equali

  • 47. ianbirmingham  |  August 29, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    Kody Brown cohabitation case moves to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals

    http://jonathanturley.org/2015/08/27/the-brown-fa

    https://jonathanturley.files.wordpress.com/2015/0

  • 48. Fortguy  |  August 29, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Some states require certain officials such as county clerks to pay a bond upon entering office as some measure of liability protection. Does anyone know what Kentucky law requires in this matter and how it may be applied?

  • 49. VIRick  |  August 29, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Rowan County Transgender Man & Wife Received Marriage License

    This is one of the lead stories in today's Louisville "Courier-Journal," the Ashland "Daily Independent," and the student newspaper at Morehead State University:

    Morehead KY – A transgender man and his wife stepped forward Saturday, 29 August 2015, with paperwork showing that Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis apparently issued them a marriage license back in February even though she has blocked issuance for same-sex couples over the past two months.

    Camryn Colen, who is transgender, and his wife Alexis, who identifies as pan-sexual, said Davis’ office provided the marriage license on 26 February 2015 without asking to see Camryn’s birth certificate, which still identifies him as female. The couple married that night. On 2 March 2015, Davis signed the marriage certificate for Alexis and Camryn Colen, presumably unaware that Camryn is a transgender male:

    “I, Kim Davis, Clerk of the County and State aforesaid, do hereby certify that the above and foregoing is a true and correct copy of the Marriage Certificate as recorded,” reads a copy of the State of Kentucky marriage certificate that was signed by Davis.

    “She saw just a straight couple in love, and she should see everybody like that,” Camryn said. “She shouldn’t just see straight couples like that.” Read more here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/davidmack/a-transgender-m

  • 50. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 29, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    What do they mean "apparently"? Davis' signature is on the certificate… or is apparently meant to insinuate that Davis' signature could "apparently" be a forgery? Either Davis issued them a marriage certificate or she did not, there is nothing "apparent" about it.

  • 51. VIRick  |  August 29, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Jay, both the county and the clerk, in her official capacity, have been named as defendants in the lawsuit, "Miller v. Davis." The county is attempting to ensure that it not be saddled with the legal expenses of their erstwhile clerk.

  • 52. VIRick  |  August 29, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    Tony, don't read that word incorrectly. To me, it's "apparent" that she issued them a marriage license.

    News media often use words like "apparently," "allegedly," "presumably," and the like, in order to avoid possible lawsuits for defamation, libel, or whatever, from idiots. So, since they weren't there as first-hand witnesses to the original event, it appears to be "apparent" to them that she issued the couple in question a marriage license.

  • 53. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 29, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Oh, I'm reading it correctly Rick. They're saying that the document "appears" or seems to be, but insinuating that until verified or confirmed by Davis herself, the document and the attached signature are questionable…apparently…

    I didn't see the word "apparently" when referring to the district court or circuit court orders in this case, though allegedly none of the journalists actually saw any of the judges sign them… apparently…

    And so then, when she quotes the bible as authority… Well "apparently" God hates Marriage equality, because allegedly he told that to some apostle… apparently…

  • 54. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 29, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    Apparently, you were able to come out of the closet… again.

  • 55. GregInTN  |  August 29, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    What are the chances that come Monday morning Justice Kagan asks the plaintiffs to reply to Davis' EMERGENCY and also grants a stay of a few days for the plaintiffs to respond and then for SCOTUS to rule?

  • 56. VIRick  |  August 29, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    Presumably, but no, not exactly. As events unfolded, we never had to go into the closet in the first instance! LOL

  • 57. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 29, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    I'd say about a 40% chance. In my opinion, when the sixth circuit panel said in their order denying her request for an extended stay, that Davis has little to no chance of success… Her chances at SCOTUS for a preliminary stay from Kagan were reduced… though not eliminated entirely.

    Like it or not, all the justices are catholic or jewish, and some may give at least a passing deference to millions of "citizens of faith" who "sincerely" hold religious beliefs however right or wrong they may or may not be.

  • 58. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 29, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    So apparently, then, there was no need for a run on the cookies you were allegedly to survive on. Hallelujah! Apparently The cookies survive… presumably.

  • 59. sfbob  |  August 29, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    Per Tony's cite from Bunning's clarification it appears that Liberty Counsel is actually correct. The clarifying language states that the stay expires on 8/31 absent an order to the contrary by the 6th Circuit. Nothing is specified as to what happens should the 6th decline to issue a stay of their own nor is there any mention of what might happen were Davis to file a stay request with SCOTUS. There was no contrary order as the 6th refused to issue a stay of their own, therefore Bunning's expiration date remains 8/31. Still, precisely WHEN on 8/31 the stay actually expires seems to be open to a variety of interpretations. If I were the plaintiffs' counsel I'd press for the more aggressive view. Since nothing's going to go on in the county clerk's office before the moment the office opens for business, absent further clarification, once her office opens, if Davis continues to refuse to issue marriage licenses she is in violation of Bunning's preliminary injunction.

  • 60. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 29, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    If the calendar says Monday August 31, the stay has expired, it ceases to exist. So come monday morning 9am, or whatever time the office normally opens, it will be Monday the 31st and consequently Bunning's stay is thus expired.

    Unlike in previous cases where 12:00 or 12:01 or 9:00 am or 8:30 am mattered because some clerks were chomping at the bit to issue SS marriage licences, this is not the case here. If and when someone asks the question at any hour what day is it, and someone can truthfully reply today is Monday 8/31, then the stay has expired, it ceases to exist. The stay is dead, kaput, finito, lifeless, out of force on any hour, or any day on or after 8/31.

  • 61. Sagesse  |  August 30, 2015 at 5:12 am

    In wordsmith mode here. Not being a journalist, another word that I would have used is 'evidently', as in 'there is (good) evidence' – her signature in her county and no one else's on the licence. Until someone rebuts the evidence (shows it to be a forgery, for instance) she signed the licence.

  • 62. Sagesse  |  August 30, 2015 at 5:37 am

    Telling stories. Oliver Sachs has passed away.

    Oliver Sacks Dies at 82; Neurologist and Author Explored the Brain’s Quirks
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/31/science/oliver-

  • 63. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 30, 2015 at 5:40 am

    If "they" must use a qualifier, then evidently is a MUCH better choice than apparently. Evidently doesn't ring with the same insinuation as apparently… obviously.

  • 64. Sagesse  |  August 30, 2015 at 5:48 am

    No response as to the welfare or survival of the chocolate chip cookies. No evidence, mind you, but mayhap there were some cookie casualties.

  • 65. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 30, 2015 at 6:01 am

    Keep it up. Next time it'll be $20,000.

  • 66. Sagesse  |  August 30, 2015 at 6:05 am

    Un-huh.

  • 67. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 30, 2015 at 6:07 am

    If Rick and Chocolate Chip Cookies are involved, then, evidently, you can surely expect mayhem as well.

  • 68. ianbirmingham  |  August 30, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Activist Explains Anti-SSM Crowd's Misconceptions – This clown is too clueless to see the fundamental difference between individuals (whose rights must be strongly defended) and businesses / corporations (which are not people and, as lesser entitites, are legally required to fully respect the rights of individuals)…

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/aug/27/t

    Favoring some claims of conscience over others
    Sexual freedom is afforded more protection than religious liberty
    By Travis Weber – – Thursday, August 27, 2015 — Washington Times

    We face a crisis of conscience today — a crisis forced upon us by elites in Washington who would pick and choose who is allowed to follow their deeply held beliefs and who is to be punished by the government for doing so.

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently indicated it is issuing policy guidance expanding the conscientious objector provision exempting new citizenship applicants from affirming, during their naturalization oath, that they will (if required by law) bear arms on behalf of the United States and perform noncombatant service in the U.S. armed forces . While this provision has existed for some time, the new guidance will loosen evidentiary rules and broaden the contours of conscience exemptions: A “deeply held moral or ethical code” can suffice, and the applicant is “not required to belong to a specific church or religion [or] follow a particular theology or belief.”

    While some may disagree over whether these changes are legally justified, it is nice to see the Obama administration recognizing protections for the individual’s conscience and religious convictions. After all, that is what is being done here by bolstering the conscientious objector provision.

    The United States has had a long and proud history of supporting the individual’s conscience exemption from compulsory military service and other generally applicable requirements in law. Our nation’s highest court affirmed such exemptions when it decided an Amish child could obtain a religious exemption from general school attendance laws, and that a Seventh-Day Adventist’s religious conscience preventing her from working on Saturday must be honored in the face of a state’s generally applied unemployment compensation policy. The government’s move to bolster exemptions from the generally required oath is the latest example in this tradition.

    Why then, does the federal government refuse to acknowledge such requests for exemptions in other contexts, such as regarding contraception and abortion, and same-sex marriage? The conscientious objectors are often similarly motivated by religion, and just as sincere. Why did the Obama administration refuse to accommodate the beliefs of the Little Sisters of the Poor and fight these women all the way to the Supreme Court? Why did the solicitor general contemplate revoking the tax-exempt status of conscience-based schools if they decline to approve of same-sex marriage?

    (Continued in next comment…)

  • 69. ianbirmingham  |  August 30, 2015 at 8:17 am

    (Continued from previous comment due to comment length restrictions…)

    It would appear the government wants to pick and choose which religious claims to support based on their content. Indeed, others, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), have admitted they discriminate based on the substance of religious claims, and try to defend themselves by arguing no harm comes from the claims they support. They would be better off admitting they want to preserve sexual autonomy above all else, so nothing must interfere with their use and promotion of contraception, ability to abort babies, and free participation in various sexual activities. Anything that gets in the way of these goals, such as marriage structures which have existed for thousands of years, must be eliminated.

    If this were not the case, the ACLU and federal government would be supporting people like Jack Phillips, the small-town baker whose claim of religious conscience was recently rejected by the Colorado Court of Appeals. Mr. Phillips was happy to serve gay customers in his bakery; he just didn’t want to provide a wedding cake celebrating their same-sex marriage. They had to buy their cake somewhere else. What real harm comes of this? The objector’s conscience is respected and freedom is protected. Like the conscientious objector framework, another willing participant steps forward to do the job (the new cake maker “read about what happened at Masterpiece Cakeshop” and “wanted to reach out and help”).

    Indeed, in such situations there is no harm; there is only offense. And offense in a democracy occurs everywhere, every day, and it is not the law’s job to try to stop it. As Justice Antonin Kennedy reminded us last year, in another case involving religion in the public square, “[o]ffense does not equate to coercion,” and a “violation is not made out any time a person experiences a sense of affront from the expression of contrary religious views.” But instead of supporting this small-town baker’s religious claim, whose conscience objection harmed no one, the ACLU is suing Jack Phillips.

    The ACLU and Obama administration support individuals following their deeply held beliefs — if they like the content of those beliefs. Yet religious freedom will be undermined most acutely if we begin to say that some religious beliefs are worthy and others are not. The First Amendment Defense Act currently being considered by Congress provides conscience exemptions based on beliefs about marriage while also ensuring that “benefit[s] or service[s] authorized under federal law” are not denied to those seeking them. What harm comes of this exemption? None. Yet the ACLU and the administration continue to oppose this bill.

    The federal government, ACLU and others who pick and choose between religious beliefs need to be honest: Either they must support all religious claims equally, or they must admit they want to promote a free-for-all view of individualized sexuality above all else.

    For America’s sake, we must hope for the former.

    • Travis Weber is director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council.

  • 70. tx64jm  |  August 30, 2015 at 10:14 am

    In computing a period of time, the first day is always excluded and the last day is always included. So the entirety of the 31st is included, and therefore the stay expires at 11:59pm on 31 August.

    FRCP 6(a):

    (a) Computing Time. The following rules apply in computing any time period specified in these rules, in any local rule or court order, or in any statute that does not specify a method of computing time.

    (1) Period Stated in Days or a Longer Unit. When the period is stated in days or a longer unit of time:

    (A) exclude the day of the event that triggers the period;

    (B) count every day, including intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays; and

    (C) include the last day of the period, but if the last day is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the period continues to run until the end of the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.

  • 71. NXA  |  August 30, 2015 at 10:35 am

    What about interns or volunteers from law schools?

  • 72. FredDorner  |  August 30, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    I wonder what her cult's penalty is for issuing a secular marriage license to a transgendered couple? Perhaps self-flagellation with a cat-o-nine-tails?

    And if both spouses were transgendered and of the opposite sex would she have issued the license? I'd really like to see her cult's rule list for these different cases.

  • 73. dlejrmex  |  August 30, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Tony, it appears, evidently, that you forgot to close the doggy door and now a vermin is back in the house. Figures it would be for some hair-splitting… and now I have Streisand's Memory playing in my head. 😉

  • 74. VIRick  |  August 30, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    OK, evidently, some chocolate chip cookies survived the storm, and some didn't.

    The evidence? Cookie crumbs on the counter, yet the bag still contains an assortment of them.

  • 75. VIRick  |  August 30, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Bear in mind that no one in Washington actually reads the "Washington Times." Instead, the newspaper of choice and of record is the "Washington Post."

    The "Washington Times" has had a very checkered history, including a period when it was reputedly owned by the "Moonies." Currently, it broadcasts a strident right-wing message to the hinterlands, where the word, "Washington," in its title presumes to give it some sort of cachet as an "insider" source of what is actually transpiring in Washington.

    Even the appearance and the location of its physical facilities in a fortress-like compound in a grubby, non-descript, isolated, pseudo-industrial area of NE (on New York Avenue, close to the Maryland border, and across the road from the Metro train repair/storage facility) makes it look cult-like and highly suspect.

  • 76. VIRick  |  August 30, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Kentucky Paper Slams “Un-American” Liberty Counsel

    The editorial board of the Lexington "Herald-Leader" doesn’t think much of the Liberty Counsel, who are representing anti-gay clerk Kim Davis. In today's editorial, 30 August 2015, they write:

    On Thursday, 27 August 2015, a three-judge panel of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to delay Bunning’s order that Davis resume issuing marriage licenses by Monday, 31 August. The panel said Davis has “little or no likelihood” of winning her appeal. Liberty Counsel, a donation-funded self-described Christian ministry, represents Davis. Nothing reveals the absurdity of her position more clearly than her lawyer’s response to the latest ruling against her. Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver continues to insist that elected public officials have a constitutional right to pick and choose which of their government duties they will perform based on their religious beliefs; in other words, that public officials can use religion to discriminate against certain citizens. Nothing could be more un-American. What he is advocating would destroy the rule of law, a foundation of our republic. And imagine the chaos, given the wide range of religious beliefs.

    As Bunning explained, Davis is “free to believe that marriage is a union between one man and one woman, as many Americans do. However, her religious convictions cannot excuse her from performing the duties that she took an oath to perform as Rowan County Clerk.” Liberty Counsel revved up its publicity-seeking crusade against marriage equality after the US Supreme Court on 26 June ruled that this country cannot have two classes of citizens, one with fewer legal rights than the other, and struck down bans on same-sex marriage in Kentucky and other states. Churches and clergy are still free to limit marriage according to their religions’ beliefs, but public officials must follow the law and treat all citizens equally. Why Liberty Counsel chose Kentucky to make its losing stand is not clear; we do have one of the few governor’s races this year. What is clear is that all the citizens of Rowan County are entitled to a full-service clerk’s office that follows the Constitution. Davis should provide that or step aside. http://www.joemygod.com/2015/08/30/kentucky-newsp

  • 77. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 30, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Just pay it no attention. It'll shrivel up and die from lack of attention or perhaps when it runs out of junk to copy and paste. I don't bother reading its tripe nor down voting it. It thrives on negative attention.

    Sorry about Memory. I HATE that song. Try playing I Finally Found Someone, Bab's duet with Bryan Adams in your head instead. I LOVE that song!

  • 78. Mike_Baltimore  |  August 30, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    As someone who has lived in the DC area, then living in Baltimore and working in the DC area from prior to the first edition of 'The Times' (in 1982), you give it much credit where none is due.

    There used to be 'Times' newsboxes all over the DC area, and some in the Baltimore area. Now? A few surrounding Capital Hill, and the rest of the people must go to the Internet to read anything from the 'Times'.

    From a couple of months after it's first edition, one could easily tell who the CONs were, as they treated the moonie paper as a first-rate paper, much more important than the 'Post' ever was or ever could be (one has to remember that when the 'Times' first published was less than eight years after Watergate, and CONs were in full 'blame the 'Post' for Nixon's downfall').

  • 79. Nyx  |  August 30, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    But, you have Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Antonin Scalia talking about his morning papers he receives at home…

    "We just get The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Times. We used to get the Washington Post, but it just … went too far for me. I couldn’t handle it anymore."
    http://nymag.com/news/features/antonin-scalia-201

  • 80. Mike_Baltimore  |  August 30, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    "If the calendar says Monday August 31, the stay has expired, it ceases to exist."

    And you base this on? YOUR 'logic'?

    What if the stay expires at noon, August 31? What if the stay expires at 6:00 PM, August 31? If either of those scenarios is correct, the stay expires on August 31, just not at the second before midnight before August 31 (which would be August 30).

    Please let us know HOW you know that "[i]f the calendar says Monday August 31, the stay has expired, it ceases to exist." You might be correct, but so far all you've provided is that YOU think so, and thus you are implying you think everyone must think as you do. That is the attitude of strident CONs, not of people who are actually trying to present the truth.

  • 81. TheVirginian722  |  August 30, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    The website of Kim's church, the Apostolic Christian Church, provides some interesting information about their practices:

    "Five times in the New Testament, Christians are instructed to greet one another with a holy kiss. This was a practice common to all Christians for hundreds of years. Like several other Anabaptist groups, we have retained this practice at our church services, men greeting men and women greeting women. The kiss is only shared between the members of the church."

    According to the Wikipedia article on the Church, this orgy of smooching is limited to same-sex pairs. Men and women merely shake hands with each other, saying "Greetings, Brother" and "Greetings, Sister."

  • 82. VIRick  |  August 30, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Nepal’s Sexual Minorities Parade to Demand Rights

    Kathmandu, Nepal — Hundreds of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transvestites paraded through Nepal’s capital Sunday, 30 August 2015, to demand that rights for sexual minorities be included in the country’s new constitution that is being finalized. The colorful rally in downtown Kathmandu, an annual affair, drew about 500 participants.

    “Our main demand is that the rights of the sexual minorities should be guaranteed in the new constitution,” said Pinky Gurung of the Blue Diamond Society, a gay rights group in Nepal. They are also demanding same-sex marriage be guaranteed in the new constitution, permitting gay and lesbian couples the right to adopt, buy joint property, open joint bank accounts and inherit from one another.

    Nepal this year issued passports under the category “others” for those who do not want to be identified as male or female. These people who identify themselves as “third gender” have also been issued citizenship certificates by the Nepalese government. But the community is saying only a few have been issued and it is still difficult to get them from government offices. http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2015/08/nepals-sexual-

  • 83. JayJonson  |  August 30, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Not surprised that Scalia likes the WSJ, which is owned by Murdoch, and the Washington Times, which is owned by the Moonies. Neither is an American institution considering that they are foreign-owned (though for business reasons, Murdoch did recently buy American citizenship (without a peep from the anti-imigration loonies in the Republican Party), the other major investors in his company include Saudi Arabians. For all his criticism of the justices who take cognizance of judicial decisions rendered by foreign courts and his American jigoism, Scalia is the justice I consider least in tune with the American tradition of jurisprudence.

  • 84. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 30, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    The stay could expire at anytime, as long as that is what Judge Bunning states. He may choose to be even more specific than he already was in his 8/19 clarification. As of now, as per Bunning's order the stay ceases to exist on 8/31. Since the specific time affects you none at all, have Jr help you untwist your panties. Sit back and relax and watch it unfold regardless if it happens at midnight or 5pm or 09/01. Petty argument only clouds the big picture. If you don't like Tony logic, don't read my posts. Simple Huh?

  • 85. Sagesse  |  August 30, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    So you can understand why Justice Scalia really, really scares me. These are the only news sources he reads.

  • 86. Bruno71  |  August 30, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Since Bunning didn't specify a time, essentially no one knows but him without a clarification. Looking at it realistically though, I would guess that Bunning would not find her in contempt if she turns couples away at any time tomorrow, since he made no mention of a specific time. Even if SCOTUS denies a stay and it's September 1st, it's at Bunning's discretion about what he wants to do if approached about a contempt of court. It's all up to him, in a nutshell.

  • 87. Bruno71  |  August 30, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    At least he can name them, unlike a certain bespectacled moose killer from a land near Russia.

  • 88. Mike_Baltimore  |  August 30, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Home delivery (through the mailbox and/or newspaper box at a person's home) is NOT the same as street corner newspaper boxes.

    The 'Washington Times' has the former, but (except for the immediate Capital Hill area), the 'Washington Times' has NO street corner newspaper boxes. Please do NOT confuse the 'Washington Times' with any other newspaper with 'Times' in its masthead.

    By the way, SCOTUS is to the East, and across the street (1st Street, NE), from the Capital; across the street (Constitution Ave., NE, from the Senate office buildings; and the DC neighborhood called Capital Hill (where many Congress Critters and Senators call home while in DC) extends to the East of the Capital. I believe Scalia 'works' at SCOTUS.

    (And I rode the Penn line Commuter train from Baltimore to DC. I passed the HQ of the 'Washington Times' twice a day each time I rode the Penn line. I always found it funny that the HQ for the 'Times' was formerly the 'Frank Parsons Paper Company' HQ and warehouse.)

  • 89. VIRick  |  August 30, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    For more of this same-sex smooching, see the Kentucky state seal, as enacted by the first session of the Kentucky General Assembly on 20 December 1792:

    " Two friends embracing, with the name of the state over their heads and around about the following motto: United we stand, divided we fall."

    Reputedly, it depicts Kentucky's first gay couple, Daniel Boone greeting his boyfriend. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seal_of_Kentucky

  • 90. RemC  |  August 30, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    I didn't realize that my confession about binging on chocolate chip cookies during hurricanes was going to live on…

  • 91. Tony MinasTirith  |  August 30, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Very True. Though on Friday he declined a request by her attorneys to extend the stay. He doesn't seem inclined, to me, to be willing to give her much more latitude. In deference to Kagan or SCOTUS, he may wait and give them time to weigh in on Monday. He may also ask the plaintiffs for what relief he should impose, and allow Davis' team to respond.The plaintiffs sued for relief. Bunning granted it.. now Davis has to either follow the court order, or operate in defiance. If she does, then the plaintiffs have no relief and the judges order is toothless. I don't see that happening, absent a stay by the Supreme Court. Whatever happens, I don't see it ending well for Davis in the short run.

  • 92. sfbob  |  August 30, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    There was nothing "reputed" about the Unification Church's involvement with the Washington Times. Per Wikipedia:

    "It was founded in 1982 by the founder of the Unification Church, Sun Myung Moon and was owned by News World Communications, an international media conglomerate associated with the church, until 2010 when it was purchased directly by a group led by Moon."

    So when the paper was founded, the Church's backing for it was out in the open. I lived in DC when the Times began publishing. Apart from the truly devoted conservatives around town the Times was pretty much viewed as a joke even though a significant portion of their original staff had previously worked for the Washington Star, which had at one time been the major paper in the city but had folded a year earlier. The Star was very conservative but in an old-fashioned "pillars of the community" sort of way as many long-running local papers have tended to be historically.

    There was plenty of debate early on as to how heavy-handed the Church's influence on the paper's editorial policies were. Conclusion: very. I seem to recall that there were some rather noteworthy departures by a number of relatively well-regarded staff and editors thanks in part to the Church's heavy-handed meddling with day-to-day operations.

  • 93. Fortguy  |  August 30, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    Texas voter ID update:

    Jim Malewitz, The Texas Tribune: Texas Asks Full Appeals Court to Hear Voter ID Case

    The rundown is that, after a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit ruled the state's voter ID law violates the Voting Rights Act, Texas AG Ken Paxton has decided to appeal to the 5th en banc rather than going straight to SCOTUS. The previous ruling remanded the case back to the district judge to fix their discriminatory concerns while keeping the voter ID law in place. I don't know what Paxton's strategy is here. I'm thinking he is hoping the wider appeals court will reverse the panel and keep the law in place bolstering his position until the plaintiffs appeal to SCOTUS, or, if losing, that either the full court or SCOTUS keeps the law in place until SCOTUS hears the case as a delay tactic towards the 2016 elections.

    I especially loved this statement from the article:

    But on Friday, Paxton asked the court for the full 5th Circuit to hear the case, arguing that the panel erred in several respects. He also said that changing the law before the next election would “only generate more confusion.”

    Yes, we've seen how SCOTUS' Obergefell ruling confuses Paxton. Informing investors that the investments he is recommending are in the very interests who are paying him is an ethical requirement confuses Paxton. Most recently, we've learned that Paxton tried to disinherit children of a deceased billionaire. It's funny how the state's official attorney finds the notion of proper legal conduct and ethics all so confusing. His head must be swirling trying to comprehend it all.

    Too bad for the University of Virginia which awarded Paxton his legal degree. Thomas Jefferson must be rolling in his grave. Paxton's previous diplomas were from Baylor. I guess Baylor decided that, no matter how evangelically Christian and right-wing the worldview that they represent may be, Paxton was just too academically incompetent or morally sleazy for their law school.

  • 94. JayJonson  |  August 31, 2015 at 6:04 am

    I can't imagine a university presided over by Ken Starr (who, admittedly, was not president at the time Paxton was there as an undergraduate) would find anyone too morally sleazy for its law school. Likely, Paxton migrated to Virginia because he had delusions of benefiting from exposure to a real university. But, as they say, you can lead a hack to a good law school, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you make him anything more than a hack. Lest we forget, Ted Cruz is a graduate of Harvard's Law School.

  • 95. Deeelaaach  |  August 31, 2015 at 8:22 am

    As someone who is transgender, I was quite surprised to see the use of the word "transvestite" in this article. Rick posted the original link which shows that this is an AP article.

    I looked up their style book to see why this term is still in use. As per a GLAAD page that lists both the NYT and AP style books on the subject, the 2013 NYT style book says: "Transvestite is outdated and often viewed as offensive. Use cross-dresser instead to describe someone of either sex who sometimes dresses in clothing associated with the opposite sex. Note that cross-dressing does not necessarily indicate that someone is gay or transgender."

    The 2013 AP style book has no entry for transvestite. http://www.glaad.org/reference/style. Amazon has a listing for the 2015 AP Style Book, and it appears to be available online also, but behind a paywall. http://www.ap.org/Content/Press-Release/2015/2015

    Beyond that, I found the article to be informative, once I got over the surprise and shock.

    And Rick, I'm glad that you didn't have to go back into the closet and that you're safe. As for those chocolate cookie crumbs… nah, I won't get into the apparent vs. evident debate. But I'm glad you got through it even if some of your cookies seem to have disappeared during the storm.

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