Good news! Judge Cebull, who sent a racist-ass email comparing interracial sex with bestiality is about to get served. (Lawyer jokes!)
The Judicial Council of the 9th Circuit will conduct a formal misconduct hearing into Chief Judge Richard Cebull’s decision to email a racist joke about President Obama’s mother having sex with a dog. According to the Ninth Circuit, Cebull initiated the inquiry. Additionally, Cebull told Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) that he will formally apologize to the president.
I’ll never stop laughing at the “I’m not racist, I didn’t expect the email to go public” excuse. What a crock.
[via Think Progress]
RELATED POST: Federal Judge’s ‘Apology’ for Sending Racist Email About Obama is Ridiculous
Again with the arc of justice.
This afternoon, Bush appointee Judge Jeffrey White (Northern District of California) struck down DOMA as unconstitutional under the equal protection clause. (You can read the opinion here. Read it. It’s not every day that a court order cites a case from 1896!)
Noting that neither the Ninth Circuit nor the Supreme Court has determined what level of scrutiny should apply, the court determined that heightened scrutiny1 should apply to classifications based on sexual orientation, citing the following four factors: Continue reading
The Senate will vote on Sen. Roy Blunt’s (R-MO) amendment to repeal the Health and Human Services “birth control mandate.”
The argument against the mandate, as Angry Black Readers by now are no doubt aware, is based on the idea that the mandate violates Constitutionally-guaranteed “religious liberty.” I can’t think of a better way to represent this argument than the way it was recently framed by Sarah Palin:
Truly, it is a war on our religious liberties and that violation of conscience that he would mandate that is un-American because it violates our First Amendment in our Constitution.
Breathtaking. Somewhat unrelated, but if someone with a background in semiotics could parse that quote for me, I’d be very appreciative.
Anyway, I’ve been browsing Supreme Court decisions* on religious liberty and the rule of law, and I thought some of these might be of interest. Interestingly, I found most of these in the citations Justice Antonin Scalia made while writing the majority opinion in Employment Division v. Smith:
Before the groundbreaking Supreme Court decision, they were a couple who just wanted to be married.
The Lovings in 1965. (C) The estate of Grey Villet
HBO premieres a new documentary tomorrow, appropriately enough on St. Valentine’s Day and in the middle of Black History Month, about Richard and Mildred Loving, the couple whose marriage led to the Supreme Court’s 1967 Loving v. Virginia decision that struck down bans on interracial marriage that were still in effect in 16 states.
I’m setting the DVR to record this program, and encourage everyone else to watch it as well. Meanwhile, in advance of the airing of this new documentary, here is a compendium of recent news articles and blog posts about this amazing couple and the strength they displayed in the face of rank discrimination. Continue reading
Thinking to myself this weekend about President Obama’s brilliant move on birth control coverage , it’s occurred to me that the Supreme Court absolutely must have dealt with the question of religious liberties versus federal law before now, otherwise we would have heard this argument sooner.
On Twitter, Matt Yglesias was one step ahead of me and noted this 1990 Supreme Court decision on just how far a person’s First Amendment religious liberties go when it comes to resisting laws they don’t agree with morally. The case was Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith, where two Oregon men were fired and denied unemployment benefits for using peyote.
The two men claimed that the law against peyote use violated their religious liberties because they consumed it as part of a Native American religious ceremony. The lower court in Oregon agreed and reversed the decision that denied them unemployment benefits. The State of Oregon appealed the case up to the Supreme Court. The 6-3 decision by the Supreme Court held the following (emphasis mine):
The Middle Class is Too Big to Fail!
Anyone who wants to tell you that there’s no difference between the parties, that it doesn’t matter who is elected, I present the definitive refutation of that empty cliche: California Attorney General Kamala Harris.
When she walked out on the mortgage settlement negotiations last September, saying that nothing the banks had put on the table was adequate to match the damage they have caused, Californians cheered and bankers soiled themselves, because so much of the losses and the wrongdoing were concentrated in our state. Losing California from the deal made any settlement woefully incomplete.
And when the settlement was announced this week, she had won $18 Billion for Californians and increased the settlement for other states by a total of $6 Billion.
Watch her address to the California Democratic Party convention today in San Diego. This is why we fight, and this is How We Win in 2012. Continue reading
Troy Davis & his family in a picture taken before the prison cut off "contact visits."
Readers of this blog will remember that I spent a few weeks this fall laser-focused on the case of Troy Davis, an innocent man on Georgia’s Death Row who, despite all evidence against him crumbling over the course of his incarceration, was executed on September 21. You can read the pieces I placed in The Atlantic online here: “Explaining the death penalty to my children” and here: “Troy Davis and the reality of doubt.” You’ll find the post I wrote the day after Troy was murdered here.
I spent several weeks laser-focused on the Troy Davis case, but some people have spent several years, such as my friend Jen Marlowe. Working with Amnesty International, she did everything from producing a powerful series of videos telling his story, to counting signatures calling for the state of Georgia to spare his life. She came to know and love the Davis family, and her work on their behalf continues — in no small part because their tragedies didn’t end with Troy’s execution.
Indeed, the tragedies didn’t even start there.
The 9th Circuit weighs in on the way to Washington.
As ABL pointed out earlier today, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit struck down California’s Prop 8 ban on gay marriage today, in a ruling that’s expected to almost immediately be appealed to the US Supreme Court. Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog has a pretty good summary of the ruling. For the most part, everything the lower courts decided were upheld by this decision:
Kansas lawmakers have six days to decide if it’s okay for doctors to lie to women who may consider abortion if they knew the truth.
Yeah, roll that around and digest it for a minute, I know I had to. The proposed changes would prevent women from suing doctors for malpractice if they withhold information that they feel might make the woman consider abortion as a viable procedure. A woman would have no rights to claim malpractice if her doctor didn’t mention birth defects that the doctor feels may cause her to consider abortion. A woman would have no say in court if she suffered damage to her body from a condition her doctor neglected to mention because in their opinion it might cause her to consider abortion.
The bill includes several other cheap shots and punitive measures aimed at women considering abortion, including hearing the heartbeat and removing tax deductions for “abortion related” health insurance coverage. Those are another topic for another post, a rant about how laws can punish people for taking advantage of a protected medical procedure. My main concern here is the idea that it could ever be right to hold back the truth between doctor and patient.
In a constant erosion of women’s rights, the GOP is now trying to intrude on the relationship between a patient and her doctor. They’ve resorted to telling outright lies, as well.
Posted in Body/Health Shenanigans, Bon the Geek, Lady Bits, Legal Shenanigans, War on Women, What the Crap!?
Tagged abortion, abortion rights, government lies, medical rights, political uterus, uterati, women's health