Tag Archives: United States Supreme Court

Mini-Scalia Neil Gorsuch indeed would be the recipient of stolen property

As I noted at the time, then-President Barack Obama had had more than 11 months left in his second term to appoint a new U.S. Supreme Court justice after fascist piece of shit Associate “Justice” Antonin Scalia keeled over a year ago this month.

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors — who now, of course, uber-hypocritically cry bloody fucking murder at any whisper of a hint of Democratic obstruction — for almost a year spectacularly denied Obama’s right to nominate a new justice, claiming that the people should decide.

“The people” whom the Repugnican Tea Party traitors claim to wuv so fucking much had fucking decided, when they voted in November 2012 to keep Barack Obama in the White House. When they voted for Obama a second time, they knew fully well that during his next four years in office a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court might come open.

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ history-breaking refusal to fill a vacant seat on the nation’s highest court when the sitting president still had almost a year left in office was yet another serious blow to our democracy, not far enough behind how the Supreme Court in 2000 voted 5-4, along party lines, to put George W. Bush into the White House, even though, jut like “President” Pussygrabber, he had lost the popular vote.

This is how much the Repugnican Tea Party traitors truly love the American people: They’ll gladly shit and piss on the U.S. Constitution and wholly ignore presidential (and other) election results if they can get away with it. True to their fascist roots, pure, raw power — no matter how they get it — is all that they fucking care about.

Of course “President” Pussygrabber’s nominee to the vacancy on the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, whose fascist mamma had to quit her job as head of the Environmental Protection Agency because she was destroying the agency for the benefit of her polluting, plutocratic, fascist buddies* — is yet another fascist piece of shit, but to me, his record is (almost) entirely irrelevant.

Anyone whom the Repugnican Tea Party traitors nominate now to the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t deserve the seat because it will have been a stolen seat.

Yes, not just that you come to power, but how you come to power, fucking matters.

Just as I never will consider Pussygrabber to be the legitimate president of the United States of America because he lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes and because he very, very apparently treasonously had a considerable amount of help from the enemy nation of Russia, I never will consider Scalia’s replacement to be a legitimate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, because the anti-democratic, power-grubbing, wholly honor- and decency-free Repugnican Tea Party traitors deprived Barack Obama — and, by extension, the majority of the American people, who had voted for Obama in November 2012 — of the rightful right to name that justice.**

*Wikipedia notes of Ann Gorsuch Buford:

Gorsuch based her administration of the EPA on the New Federalism approach of downsizing federal agencies by delegating their functions and services to the individual states. She believed that the EPA was over-regulating business and that the agency was too large and not cost-effective.

During her 22 months as agency head [which spanned from part of 1981 through part of 1983], she cut the budget of the EPA by 22 percent, reduced the number of cases filed against polluters, relaxed Clean Air Act regulations, and facilitated the spraying of restricted-use pesticides.

She cut the total number of agency employees, and hired staff from the industries they were supposed to be regulating. Environmentalists contended that her policies were designed to placate polluters, and accused her of trying to dismantle the agency.

This is pretty much everyone whom “populist” “President” Pussygrabber has appointed to his cabinet: fascist plutocrats who want to destroy — for the benefit of themselves and their fascist, plutocratic buddies — the federal agencies that they’re supposed to strengthen.

Yet millions of mouth-breathers actually voted for Pussygrabber, incredibly stupidly believing the billionaire fascist’s lies that he actually gives a shit about us commoners.

**No, I’m not an Obamabot. I voted for Obama in 2008, believing his ubiquitous promises of “hope” and “change,” but not in 2012, since he didn’t fulfill his campaign promises in his first term, and as I don’t believe in rewarding broken campaign promises with another vote.

I frequently have criticized Obama here, and that’s because he campaigned as a progressive but actually presided from the center to the center-right. (To paint his record as better than it is because he’s black is to be racist, just as to paint his record as worse than it is because he’s black is to be racist, so the self-defeating identity politicians, most of whom stupidly supported the widely despised, faux populist, Repugnican Lite Billary Clinton and whose obnoxious, hypocritical, self-serving bullshit helped to put Pussygrabber into the White House, can go fuck themselves furiously.)

All of that said, just as I had voted for Ralph Nader and not for Al Gore for president in 2000, knowing that Gore would win all of my state’s (California’s) electoral votes no matter how I fucking voted, and just as I fully recognize Gore as the rightful winner of that presidential election, although I voted for Jill Stein instead of Obama in 2012, of course I recognize Obama as the rightful winner of that election.

(And the pattern continues: I voted for Jill Stein again this past November, knowing that Billary Clinton would win all of my state’s electoral votes anyway, and I recognize only Billary as the rightful winner of that election [the fact that she and the Democratic National Committee worked closely together to fuck over the actual Democrat, Bernie Sanders, aside]).

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Ding-dong! Antonin Scalia is DEAD!

Updated below

FILE - In this June 17, 1986 file photo, President Ronald Reagan speaks at a news briefing at the White House in Washington, where he announced the nomination of Antonin Scalia, left, to the Supreme Court as a result of Chief Justice Warren E. Burger's resignation. William Rehnquist is at right. On Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, the U.S. Marshals Service confirmed that Justice Scalia has died at the age of 79. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

Associated Press file photo

Hell has a new resident. The freshly late Antonin Scalia, left, is shown with then-President Ronald Reagan and then-U.S. Supreme Court “Justice” William Rehnquist at a press conference in the White House in June 1986 at which Reagan announced his nomination of Scalia to the Supreme Court. Scalia — who, among others things, took issue with “the law profession’s anti-anti-homosexual culture” and the “homosexual agenda,” and who believed that the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee abortion rights but that it does support the death penalty (even for minors and for mentally retarded individuals), and who blatantly treasonously and anti-democratically put George W. Bush into the White House even though he had lost the 2000 presidential election to Al Gore — does not somehow magically become angelic in death, since everyone dies.

Wow.

Fascist U.S. Supreme Court “Justice” Antonin Scalia was found dead this morning, apparently of natural causes, at a luxury ranch resort near Marfa, Texas, at age 79 after he hadn’t shown up for breakfast. At the time of his death he had been the longest-serving of the current members of the court. He was nominated by one of our worst presidents, Ronald Reagan, and mind-blowingly unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 1986.

So President Barack Obama gets to nominate another U.S. Supreme Court justice, apparently.

Hopefully this means that 5-4 decisions from the nation’s highest court from here on out will mean decisions that lean to the left rather than to the right, as has been the case for far too long now.

P.S. Years ago, I saw Scalia speak at the University of Arizona in Tucson. I don’t remember most of what he said, as it was so long ago, but I do recall his defense of his strict, supposedly “originalist” interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, and his wholehearted rejection of the view of the Constitution as a living document, which must evolve with the demands of the times.

I recall a woman in the audience lambasting him for his cold-bloodedness during the Q-and-A. His “defense” of his far-right-wing position on constitutional matters was something like, “Do you really want people like me deciding what the Constitution is all about?” (Sadly and pathetically, this “argument” seemed to disarm the angry woman, who then actually apologized to him.)

Anyway, that’s what Scalia did anyway during his time on the U.S. Supreme Court: he interpreted the Constitution to fit his own, far-right-wing political ideology, which included preventing the expansion of freedom beyond those who belong to the elite and otherwise defending the socioeconomic status quo. (It’s only an “activist” judge if it’s a left-leaning judge, you see.)

Update: This was predictable: Politico reports that Repugnican Tea Party Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that Scalia’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court should not be filled until after the presidential election in November.

Bullshit.

President Barack Obama still has more than 11 full months in office. (Inauguration Day will be January 20, 2017.)

“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president,” the tortoise-like McConnell fascistically proclaimed in a statement.

The American people have had a voice. They elected Barack Obama twice. When they elected Obama for a second term in November 2012, they knew fully well (or should have known, anyway) that he would have the power to nominate, if necessary, a justice to the U.S. Supreme Court during his second term.

The Constitution says that the president nominates, and that the Senate must confirm, all new justices to the Supreme Court.

Unfortunately, I am not aware of any constitutional (or other legal) deadline for this process once there is a vacancy. However, the suggestion of the traitors who comprise the Repugnican Tea Party that President Obama should be deprived of the president’s constitutional privilege of nominating an individual to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court is yet another example of their treason and their treasonous hatred of democracy when the democratic process does not go their way (such as their full support of the blatant electoral theft of the White House in 2000).

Surely if Obama were a Repugnican Tea Party president in his last year in office (and if he were white), the Repugnican Tea Party traitors would demand that any vacancy on the nation’s highest court be filled ASAP, presidential election year or not. They would argue that our democratic process demands it.

Fucking hypocrites.

Holding up the replacement of the abominable Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court when the duly-twice-elected President Obama has more than 11 months to go would be yet another anti-democratic act of war — and treason — against the American people and should be reacted to accordingly.

More than enough is more than enough!

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Do most public-sector labor unions DESERVE ‘fair share’?

The largely right-wing U.S. Supreme Court is poised to potentially deal a potentially devastating blow to public-sector labor unions by possibly ruling that it violates the First Amendment rights of those whose jobs are covered by the public-sector unions to have to pay a “fair share” of what it costs the unions to collectively bargain and otherwise do business that benefits the workers the unions cover.

First, let me note that in general I’m pro-union. In the aftermath of the decimation of the middle class since the Reagan era, the worker has no other entity working on his or her side.

That said, so many labor unions, at least public-sector unions, have become less and less about working for the workers and more and more about benefiting those at the top of the unionsà la something right out of Animal Farm.

I have watched my public-sector union, Service Employees International Union, go downhill over the past many years.

Nationally, SEIU’s top “leaders” decide on presidential endorsements, giving us rank-and-file members — you know, those of us whose dues pay their salaries no vote whatsofuckingever. (SEIU, without a vote of its rank-and-file members, endorsed Barack Obama in 2008, which I agreed with at that time, but then, again with no vote of the membership, endorsed his re-election in 2012, which I didn’t agree with, as Obama hadn’t delivered on his promises to the labor movement, and for this year, SEIU, yet once again without a vote of its rank-and-file members, has endorsed Billary Clinton, which has outraged me and many, many other SEIU members who want Bernie Sanders, not Democrat in name only Billary.)

Locally, my state’s SEIU “leaders,” after they won re-election in a low-turnout election in May 2015, decided to try to give themselves five- and six-digit raises that they dishonestly have called “stipends.” (Because of the backlash, they have failed — thus far.) Locally, my state’s SEIU is far more about benefiting its president and her cronies than it is about the union members’ best interests.

This has been the case for some years now. When former California Gov. Arnold “Baby Daddy” Schwarzenegger, starting in 2008, shit and pissed all over SEIU members, such as by imposing first one, then two, then three furlough days (forced days off without pay) a month and illegally eliminating two state holidays, SEIU’s “leadership,” including its current president, who had taken the reins before Baby Daddy’s attacks, were fairly worthless.

Apparently SEIU sued unsuccessfully (apparently bungled its legal action), but SEIU overall was way too quiet in fighting the illegitimate Schwarzenegger administration’s onslaught against its members. When we dues-paying union members really needed our union to fight for us, the union did not fight for us in a meaningful way.

And the union hasn’t improved much, if any, since then. If SEIU here in California seems better now, it’s most likely due mostly or entirely to the fact that the state’s finances rebounded after Democrat Jerry Brown came back to the governorship in January 2011, turning the “Baby Daddy” Schwarzenegger state budget deficits into state budget surpluses in rather short order.

I acknowledge that in an economic downturn, union leaders feel that they have to be careful not to alienate the populace by refusing to sacrifice anything, but history has demonstrated amply that once something is taken away, it can be very difficult if not impossible to get it back. This is how the right wing operates, and without effective opposition, the right wing gets its way.

What infects SEIU, nationally and, in my case, locally, is what infects so many organizations whose intended creation was to help people: The organizations over time become more and more and more about their well-paid “leaders” and less and less and less about the organizations’ missions and those whom the organizations are supposed to help.

Dissenters are pushed out as the self-serving “leaders” feather their nests, intending on keeping the game — pretending to be doing their jobs when they’re only primarily benefiting themselves — going for as long as they possibly can.

If feathering their own nests means selling their membership out to the powers that be, then the “leaders” of these organizations will do it.

So: When I read that the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to perhaps rule that public-sector unions throughout the United States may not collect a “fair share” from any worker who does not want to contribute it, knowing how horribly SEIU has acted over the many past years that it has been “my” union, I can’t say that I’m all that distraught. (And I’d prefer to be distraught, because if SEIU had been doing its job over these past many years, I would be distraught.)

SEIU endorses presidential candidates without giving me a vote on the matter, even though it gladly takes my money every month, and when the local SEIU was tested by “Baby Daddy” Schwarzenegger, it failed miserably — but its “leaders” want to give themselves big raises nonetheless.

What, exactly, do I need SEIU for? Apparently I’ve only been one of its huge herd of cash cows.

If nothing else, let this Supreme Court case, if “fair share” is shot down, be a wake-up call to the many labor unions throughout the United States that have calcified and grown complacent, that have become far more about benefiting the “leadership” than benefiting the membership.

If we don’t see much backlash to a Supreme Court ruling that “fair share” violates the First Amendment — and I predict that we won’t/wouldn’t — in no tiny part it would be because the unions stopped being effective for their members years ago. They — we — have felt about as used, abused and screwed by our own unions as we have been by our corporate overlords.

For now, for years now I’ve been paying full monthly membership dues to SEIU (the dues are taken out of my paycheck automatically), but because SEIU has been making presidential endorsements on my behalf without giving me a vote — yes, that’s just like taxation without representation — I have been considering investigating if I can opt out of contributing to SEIU’s political activity. (I [probably] agree with most of SEIU’s political activity on the state level, but not giving me a vote in the union’s presidential endorsement is unfuckingacceptable.)

If the Supreme Court rules in the not-too-distant future that I don’t have to give SEIU a penny, not even my “fair share,” will I give SEIU a penny?

Right now, I lean toward not.

And that’s SEIU’s fault, not mine. I’m more than happy to pay for a benefit. How the calcified, self-serving, selling-out-its-membership SEIU is benefiting me is harder for me to see with each passing year.

P.S. “Unions fear the potential loss of tens of millions of dollars in fees could reduce their power to bargain for higher wages and benefits for teachers, firefighters, sanitation workers and other government employees,” notes The Associated Press of the Supreme Court’s possible axing of the “fair share.”

(The Supreme Court case, by the way, originated here in California, apparently by some anti-union wingnut in wingnutty Orange County who opposes the California Teachers Association.)

The AP notes that since Michigan became a so-called “right-to-work” state in 2013, “Membership in the Michigan Education Association has since dropped by 19 percent.” That doesn’t strike me as a devastating drop.

It’s hard to say how much membership in my local SEIU would drop were the “fair share” to be eliminated. I don’t imagine that very many of those now legally required to pay the “fair share” but who don’t want to give a penny to the union will continue to pay the union a penny when/if they no longer have to. (But they’re not union members, so their no longer paying their “fair share” wouldn’t represent a drop in membership.)

And the Supreme Court’s elimination of “fair share” altogether would induce me, I surmise, to give a long, hard look at whether I find enough benefit in SEIU to continue to be a full dues-paying member.

At some point, you really become beyond sick and tired of being a perpetually punk’d and chumped cash cow.

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The Supremes give me reverse November 2008 déjà vu

Updated below (last on Friday, June 28, 2013)

For this progressive Californian, this week feels like an uncanny reversal of Election Day 2008: In November 2008, we Californians saw our nation’s first non-all-white president* elected, a historical milestone — but with the narrow (52-48) passage of Proposition H8, which wrote homophobia into the California state Constitution by banning same-sex marriage, we non-heterosexual Californians were stripped of our constitutionally guaranteed right to marry, which the California Supreme Court earlier that year had ruled was ours.**

Yesterday, in a typically 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court eviscerated the Voting Rights Act, claiming that the act’s provisions were too outdated, despite the fact that Congress had renewed it overwhelmingly in 2006, which wasn’t all that fucking long ago.

In her dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg nailed it on the head when she remarked, “Throwing out [U.S. Justice Department] pre-clearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes [to voting laws] is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”

While I surmise that Congress will restore the Voting Rights Act in the future, that won’t happen, of course, with the current wingnut-dominated U.S. House of Representatives. Indeed, media reports are that the fascists of the red states, in light of this new U.S. Supreme Court decision, are working fast and furiously to reinstate their voter suppression laws (previously shot down by the Justice Department) just in time for the 2014 midterm elections.

I have to wonder, of course, if that was the goal of the wingnuts on the high court: To help the struggling Repugnican Tea Party in the next national elections. Hey, they’ve certainly involved themselves in election-fixing before, which even former U.S. Supreme Court “Justice” Sandra Day O’Connor, who was appointed by Ronald Reagan and who, with four other like-minded “justices,” put George W. Bush in office, has expressed a potential problem with.

Yesterday was a giant leap backwards for the equal human and civil rights of non-whites, and was yet another stain on our nation caused by yet another 5-4 vote by the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court, right up there with the court’s 5-4 coronation of George W. Bush as president in late 2000 even though he’d lost the election by more than a half-million popular votes and even though the pivotal state of Florida clearly had been stolen as a “victory” for Bush and with the court’s 5-4 Citizens United decision, which reinforced the bogus concept that corporations are just like individual people, and that just like individual people, corporations have First Amendment rights.

It’s mind-blowing to ponder the fact that the voting rights for which so many Americans fought and even died were eliminated at the stroke of the poisoned pen of just one right-wing U.S. Supreme Court justice. (Yet at the same time I suppose that it’s a little encouraging to know that it was only a 5-4 vote, that only one “justice” made the difference.)

I hope that the backlash against the right wing’s ongoing attempt to suppress voters is considerable. Generally speaking, the right-wing traitors among us win little battles here and there, but over time, they continue to lose the war. They stymie and delay progress as much as they can, but progress still marches on, and the haters go down in history as the haters that they are or were.

But today, unlike in November 2008, there was good news for us non-heterosexuals when the US. Supreme Court ruled, 5-4 (of course), that the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which Congress passed in 1996, is unconstitutional, as it violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws (duh).

This ruling means that no same-sex couple that has been married in a state with legalized same-sex marriage may be denied any of the federal benefits of marriage that are enjoyed by opposite-sex married couples.

However, this also means that same-sex couples in most states will not have the same rights as do same-sex couples in other states (those states that have adopted legalized same-sex marriage), which, of course, is a patently unfair and thus an untenable situation.

Yes, the nation’s high court, while it struck down DOMA, by yet another 5-4 vote refused to touch Prop H8, ruling that, as Reuters puts it, “supporters of [Prop H8] did not have standing to appeal a federal district court ruling that struck the law down.” Thus, the court apparently very intentionally avoided directly ruling on whether or not any state may constitutionally outlaw same-sex marriage, leaving same-sex marriage, for now, as an untenable issue of “states’ rights.”

Because the U.S. Supreme Court wouldn’t touch Prop H8, the lower federal courts’ rulings that Prop H8 is unconstitutional (because it violates the Fourteenth Amendment) stand, and my understanding is that this means that California will have same-sex marriage again, as it did briefly in 2008 (between the effective date of the California Supreme Court’s ruling for same-sex marriage and the effective date of the same-sex-marriage-nixing Prop H8) — but, I understand, there’s more legal wrangling ahead as to what, exactly, the Supremes’ refusal to touch Prop H8 means for California.

It was cowardly, irresponsible and short-sighted of the court to rule that DOMA is unconstitutional on the grounds of the Fourteenth Amendment but to then refuse to rule that accordingly, no state may outlaw same-sex marriage on the grounds of the Fourteenth Amendment, but apparently today’s rulings were, pathetically, the best that we could get from this right-wing court.

Of course it would have been nice if either or both of today’s high-court rulings on DOMA and Prop H8 (the court’s cowardly refusal to issue a ruling on Prop H8 was the court’s “ruling” on Prop H8) had been 6-3 or even 7-2 (or hell, even 8-1 or 9-0), but the right-wing homo-haters have no credibility in (predictably) calling the 5-4 decisions the “tyranny” of the U.S. Supreme Court against the American majority when a series of recent nationwide polls clearly show that a clear majority of Americans favor same-sex marriage.

And those fascistic haters who claim that to overturn Prop H8 is to overturn the will of California’s voters conveniently ignore the two facts that (1) any ballot measure passed by a majority of any state’s voters can be overturned by a federal court if that court deems it to be unconstitutional (Civics 101 — duh) and that (2) while Prop H8 passed in November 2008 with 52 percent of the vote, polls show now that around 60 percent of Californians support same-sex marriage; were Californians to vote again on the issue again today, same-sex marriage would pass by a decisive margin. Prop H8 no longer is the will of the majority of California’s voters.

So: Today we can celebrate a significant although incomplete victory for same-sex couples who desire legalized marriage and the rights (and, yes, the responsibilities) that come with legalized marriage.

But we need to fight like hell to regain the ground that we just lost where voting rights are concerned, and we need to fight like hell to gain full marriage equality for same-sex couples in all 50 states.

The U.S. Constitution’s demands for fairness and equality demand that we do so.

*True, Barack Obama (whom I don’t really consider “black” but consider to be of mixed race) turned out to be a huge disappointment, a George W. Bush Lite, but I did cast my vote for him in November 2008 before I knew how his presidency was going to unfold. I voted for him in 2008 at least in part because I thought that it was great to be able to vote for the first non-all-white president in U.S. history. (In 2012 I could not, in good conscience, vote for Obama again; I voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.)

**And this was no radically left-wing California Supreme Court; when it ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in 2008, most of its justices at that time had been appointed by Repugnican, not by Democratic, governors.

Update (Wednesday, June 26, 2013): Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown has instructed the California Department of Public Health, which comes under his authority, to direct all of California’s 58 counties to begin to issue same-sex marriage licenses as soon as is legally possible, which might take a month or so.

Update (Friday, June 28, 2013): The homo-hating wingnuts here in California (and elsewhere) are going apoplectic over this (from The Associated Press today):

The four plaintiffs in the U.S. Supreme Court case that overturned California’s same-sex marriage ban tied the knot [today], just hours after a federal appeals court freed gay couples to obtain marriage licenses in the state for the first time in 4 1/2 years.

State Attorney General Kamala Harris presided at the San Francisco City Hall wedding of Kris Perry and Sandy Stier as hundreds of supporters looked on and cheered. The couple sued to overturn the state’s voter-approved gay marriage ban along with Jeff Katami and Paul Zarrillo, who married at Los Angeles City Hall 90 minutes later with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa presiding. …

Although the couples fought for the right to wed for years, their weddings came together in a flurry when a three-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a brief order [this] afternoon dissolving, “effective immediately,” a stay it had imposed on gay marriages while the lawsuit challenging the ban advanced through the courts.

Sponsors of California’s same-sex marriage ban, known as Proposition 8, called the appeals court’s swift action “outrageous.” Under Supreme Court rules, the losing side in a legal dispute has 25 days to ask the high court to rehear the case, and Proposition 8’s backers had not yet announced whether they would do so. …

Call the homo-haters a waaaaaambulance! Anyway, the AP story continues:

The [U.S.] Supreme Court said earlier this week that it would not finalize its ruling in the Proposition 8 case until after the 25-day period, which ends July 21. But San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who joined the two couples in the lawsuit, said [today] that the Ninth Circuit panel had the power to lift the stay it imposed.

“The fact of the matter is the only thing holding up the weddings was the stay that the Ninth Circuit had in place,” Herrera said. “The fact that there is a separate 25-day period allowing the petition to go for a rehearing is separate and apart from that stay.”

[California Gov. Jerry] Brown directed California counties to start performing same-sex marriages immediately after the appeals court’s order. A memo from the Department of Public Health said “same-sex marriage is again legal in California” and ordered county clerks to resume issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. …

Anyway: Wow. After the U.S. Supreme Court’s handed-down decision on Wednesday not to touch the Prop H8 case, we Californians had figured that there would be a wait of at least around a month for same-sex marriages to resume in California; we didn’t expect them to resume this quickly.

I misspoke above, by the way: The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday did not uphold both federal district court Judge Vaughn Walker’s 2010 decision that Prop H8 violated the U.S. Constitution and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in February 2012 to uphold Walker’s original ruling.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday vacated the circuit court’s ruling, which then reverted the matter of Prop H8 to Walker’s original 2010 ruling.

Frankly, Vaughn Walker, who is now retired, is a hero to me. Yes, he is a gay man, and yes, the homo-haters tried (but failed) to have his 2010 pro-same-sex-marriage ruling invalidated because he’s gay (apparently only [presumedly] straight white men can be fair and impartial judges, you see), but Walker is no left-wing radical: He was nominated as a federal judge first by Ronald Reagan and then by George H. W. Bush, and apparently his political leanings are conservative-libertarian.

I consider Walker’s ruling to be a landmark document in U.S. gay, lesbian and bisexual history. You can read it, if you want, here.

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Katherine, Kenneth and Ken: Three Ks make KKK

Gov. Jan Brewer, left, pauses to answer a question, as she is joined by Secretary of State Ken Bennett, right, and Attorney General Tom Horne after signing the canvass on the recall election results on the defeat of state Sen. Russell Pearce during a brief ceremony in Bennett's office at the Arizona Capitol, Monday, Nov. 21, 2011, in Phoenix. It was the first recall election of an Arizona legislator, setting the stage for successful challenger  Jerry Lewis to take office. Lewis defeated Pearce in the Nov. 8 recall election in a Mesa legislative district.

Associated Press photo

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett is a Mormon and a co-chair of fellow Mormon multi-millionaire Mittens Romney’s presidential campaign in Arizona. The Repugnican Tea Party traitor Bennett (photographed above in November with Repugnican Tea Party Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who initially appointed him to his post) says that there is a possibility that he will remove Barack Obama from Arizona’s November ballot because of lingering “questions” over Obama’s U.S. citizenship. Do the “tea party” traitors really want a rematch of the Civil War?

In late 2000, it was good enough for the Repugnican Tea Party traitors to block a recount of Florida’s presidential votes and to have the right-wing “justices” on the U.S. Supreme Court crown George W. Bush as president, even though Al Gore had won not only the popular vote, but the state of Florida as well.

(In order for Gee Dubya to “win” the pivotal state of Florida, it was awfully helpful for him to have his brother Jeb as Florida’s governor and also to have the state’s secretary of state, Katherine Harris, in his pocket as well. Harris served not only as her state’s chief elections official, but she served as co-chair of her state’s committee to elect Gee Dubya as well. No conflict of interest there!)

In 2004, Repugnican Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, among other things, made damn sure that Repugnican-heavy precincts had plenty of voting booths but that Democratic-heavy precincts had too few, making Democratic voters (or would-be Democratic voters, anyway) wait in line for hours.

Just like his mentor Katherine Harris, Kenneth Blackwell also was co-chair of his state’s committee to “re”-elect Gee Dubya, even though he was the state’s chief elections officer. Unshockingly, with the help of Blackwell, Gee Dubya “won” the pivotal state of Ohio in 2004, giving us four more years of his unelected rule.

Now comes the Repugnican Tea Party secretary of state of Arizona, Ken Bennett, who initially was not elected, but who initially was appointed to his post by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer after former Arizona Secretary of State Brewer ascended to the governorship when Democratic former Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano stupidly left the state to become Barack Obama’s secretary of “homeland security” and to leave Borg queen Jan Brewer in charge. (Arizona’s constitution provides that the state’s secretary of state becomes governor in the event of a vacancy in the governorship. Arizona has no lieutenant governor.) 

Reuters reports that Ken Bennett, a Mormon, “is Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign co-chairman in Arizona.”

No shock there, right? This is a pattern that we’ve seen.

But Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennnett is talking about the possibility of his removing incumbent president Barack Obama from Arizona’s November ballot altogether.

Why bother to stop the vote (re-)counting?

Why bother to suppress the Democratic or Democratic-leaning voters, such as by falsely labeling them as felons (as Katherine Harris did) or by making them wait in line for hours to be able to vote (as Kenneth Blackwell did) or by making them show state-issued ID cards in order to be able to vote (as the legislatures of the red states are doing or are trying to do)?

Just remove the Democratic candidate from the ballot altogether!

Clearly, Ken Bennett is a fucking political genius.

Bennett says that he has received some e-mails from constituents, you see. Constituents who are “concerned” that Muslim socialist Barack Hussein Obama is not a U.S. citizen.

Not e-mails from anti-democratic, white-supremacist fascists. No. E-mails — and we all know that all e-mails, by definition, are credible and respectable — from concerned citizens. Concerned. Citizens.

So let’s see. Let’s run the logic of this:

Billary Clinton wanted to be president of the United States of America very badly. Repugnican Tea Party fossil John McCainosaurus also in 2008 wanted to be the next prez. Maybe not as badly as Billary did, but: Do you really fucking think for one nanosecond that if there had been any actual problems with Obama’s qualifications to be U.S. president, neither Billary nor the McCain-Palin camp, with millions of dollars at their disposal, would have discovered this fact through their opposition research? And prevented Obama from continuing in his quest for the Oval Office?

The birther dipshits have failed in the court system, too. Notes Wikipedia:

Although Obama was confirmed as president-elect by Congress on January 8, 2009, and sworn in as president on January 20, 2009, litigation continued into his presidency. Numerous individuals and groups have filed state or federal lawsuits seeking to have Obama disqualified from standing or being confirmed for the presidency, or to compel him to release additional documentation relating to his citizenship.

By mid-December 2008, at least 17 lawsuits had been filed challenging Obama’s eligibility in states including North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Connecticut, New Jersey, Texas and Washington. No such suit had resulted in the grant of any relief to the plaintiffs by any court. All of the cases have been rejected in lower courts. Three post-election suits were dismissed by the Supreme Court of the United States. [Emphasis mine.]

The U.S. Supreme Court coronated George W. Bush as president but won’t touch the birther bullshit.

This fact also speaks volumes.

But here comes Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett — who, as well as helping out Mitt Romney in Arizona even though Bennett is the state’s chief elections official, according to the Los Angeles Times also has his eye on Arizona’s governorship in 2014 — saying, according to the Times, that he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of removing Obama from Arizona’s ballot if the state of Hawaii does not meet his demands regarding Obama’s birth certificate. Reports the Times:

Asked if he would keep Obama’s name off the state’s 2012 ballot if Hawaii fails to fulfill his request, Bennett said: “That’s possible. Or the other option would be I would ask all the other candidates, including the president, maybe to submit a certified copy of their birth certificate. But I don’t want to do that.”

So, to recap: Neither Billary nor McCainosaurus disputed Obama’s American citizenship during the 2008 campaign. The right-wing, president-selecting U.S. Supreme Court has refused to touch the matter of Obama’s citizenship. And Arizona’s Ken Bennett remains the only chief elections official of any of the 50 states to try to make Obama’s citizenship an “issue” at this time. And he certainly is the only state’s chief elections official who has raised the specter of removing the incumbent president from the November ballot altogether.

In light of all of this, three things need to happen:

  • The state of Arizona, the South Africa of the Southwest, needs to be (continued to be) boycotted for its backasswards, white supremacist/racist bullshit, such as its blatantly unconstitutional “breathing while brown” legislation, its blatantly white supremacist infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio*, and for its secretary of state, who, along with Katherine Harris and with Kenneth Blackwell, we now can induct into the Chief State Elections Officials’ Hall of Shame.
  • Federal legislation needs to be passed that prohibits any state’s chief elections official from participating in any political candidate’s campaign, even just on paper. This is a no-fucking-brainer. You cannot have a fair election when the top elections official has a horse in the race. Subordinate state elections officials also should be prohibited from being active in any political campaign that their elections office oversees. Otherwise, it’s a blatant and anti-democratic conflict of interest. 
  • The actual democracy- and freedom-loving residents of Arizona need to recall Ken Bennett. In November they successfully recalled the architect of the state’s “breathing while brown” legislation (a.k.a. SB1070, which the state’s legislature passed in April 2010), former Arizona state Senate President Russell Pearce (who is yet another fucking Mormon). They can recall Bennett, too.

And, of course, should Bennett actually remove Barack Obama from Arizona’s ballot – which is, I think, unlikely, and the threat of which I believe most likely is just his political ploy to get the white-supremacist/racist vote – the federal government would need to intervene forcefully in such a blatantly anti-democratic violation of a state’s citizens’ voting rights.

And we real Americans would need to consider the need to pay Arizona a visit with our torches and pitchforks, because this bullshit will not stand, and this bullshit is the stuff of which civil wars are made.

P.S. Fun Ken Bennett trivia! Wikipedia notes that in 2006 Bennett’s son, Clifton, pled guilty to sexual battery, specifically, to having rectally violated at least one fellow minor:

A 2006 plea bargain involving [Bennett’s] son, Clifton, became controversial after several parents of victims accused [Bennett] of exerting undue influence to affect the case. In what a county attorney described as a summer camp “hazing ritual” gone wrong, Clifton [Bennett] and another man inserted a broomstick into the rectums of at least 18 boys in over 40 separate incidents.

Ultimately Clifton [Bennett], only 17 years old and a minor, pled guilty to one count of aggravated assault. Clifton was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years’ probation. [Democratic] Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard said he “had questions about the handling of the case,” but that his office had no authority to intervene. Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk defended the plea bargain and accused the news media of misrepresenting the issue.

A nut usually doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it?

And why is such sadism apparently so prevalent within the Mormon cult, such as how the 18-year-old Mittens Romney led a band of thugs to commit assault and battery on a young gay man? Romney called his forcible cutting of the young gay man’s hair a “prank,” but that isn’t a “prank” — that is assault and battery, a crime — and today, it would be classified as a hate crime.

Mormons are evil.

*Reuters notes that “In March, Maricopa County Sheriff [Joe] Arpaio declared Obama’s birth certificate a forgery following an [“investigation”] by a volunteer posse, acting at the request of conservative [“tea party”] activists in the Phoenix valley.” Of course, such a federal matter is not within any county sheriff’s jurisdiction, but white supremacists like Joe Arpaio, who is in deep shit with the feds for his office’s blatantly racist mistreatment of Latinos in Arizona, come to believe that they are omnipotent.

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The wingnuts’ very bad day

Updated below (Wednesday, February 8, 2012)

Wow.

So the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled that Proposition 8 — the anti-same-sex-marriage measure that passed by a small majority in California in November 2008 after a hateful, lie-filled campaign by the right (financed largely by the Mormon cult and the Catholick church) — violates the freedoms guaranteed to Californians by the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment, a.k.a. the Equal Protection Clause.*

Sure, the case will go to the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court, but even if the current right-leaning U.S. Supreme Court rules that banning same-sex marriage is not unconstitutional, the composition of the court will change over time, and one day same-sex marriage will be legal in all 50 states.

These things take time — it wasn’t until 1967 that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in Loving vs. Virginia, that no state may outlaw mixed-race marriage.

And it was in 2003 that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence vs. Texas that, per Wikipedia, “private sexual conduct is protected by the liberty rights implicit in the due process clause of the United States Constitution.” Yet it was just in 1986 that the same court had upheld “sodomy” laws in Bowers vs. Hardwick. The court reverses itself all the time.

Also today, anti-choice wingnut Karen Handel resigned from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation after the foundation took well-deserved truckloads of shit for having decided to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood — a decision that Handel denies that as the Komen foundation’s vice president for public policy she influenced, but that insiders say of course she did.

Before she went to the Komen foundation, the Repugnican Tea Party’s Handel had run for governor of Georgia in 2010 on an anti-choice platform (never mind that the issue of a woman’s right to an abortion was settled waaay back in 1973 with Roe vs. Wade) and had received the endorsement of fellow wingnut and misogynist Sarah Palin.

Today is a great victory for women and for non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals.

The treasonous, ignorant and hate-filled wingnuts among us hate the ideas of equality, of liberty, justice and freedom for all, but the ideals of equality, of liberty, justice and freedom for all — and not just for the oppressive wingnuts — march on nonetheless.

*The Fourteenth Amendment reads, in part: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Updated (Wednesday, February 8, 2012):

Wow. Yesterday also was a bad day for the wingnuts because the utterly unelectable Prick Santorum came in at first place in all three Repugnican Tea Party presidential primary contests yesterday in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri. Gilded Boy Mitt Romney came in at second place in Colorado and Missouri and third place in Minnesota.

A protracted Repugnican Tea Party presidential primary fight can only help Barack Obama. Indeed, the media have been reporting that Obama’s favorability ratings are up, and that the latest polls have him beating all of the Repugnican Tea Party presidential contenders in hypothetical matchups.

Again, yesterday was a pretty bad day to be a wingnut.

P.S. Prick Santorum’s attacks against Obama are pretty fucking hilarious, such as this one: “He [Obama] believes he’s the smartest guy in the country and he should tell people what to believe and how to live their lives.”

Yet it’s the Catholick Prick Santorum and his “Christo”fascistic cohorts who want to ban abortion — and perhaps even contraception — and decide who may and may not get married, and otherwise cram their backasswards, patriarchal, misognyist, homophobic, xenophobic, anti-science worldview down our throats.

But nooooo, it’s Barack Obama who wants to “tell people what to believe and how to live their lives.”

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Will Kagan come out NOW?

Elena Kagan, John Roberts, Jeffrey Minear

Associated Press photo

Elena Kagan is sworn in today as the third woman on the nine-member U.S. Supreme Court. She is only the fourth woman ever to have sat on the nation’s highest court.

Comedian Wanda Sykes joked that after having been given so much shit by stupid hypocritical white men for her biography,* Sonia Sotomayor, on her first day as a U.S. Supreme Court justice, should have walked into the court’s chambers with a Puerto Rican flag draped around her, shouting, “Mira!” (“Look at me!”)

So: Will Elena Kagan walk into the court’s chambers on her first day draped in a rainbow flag? Maybe she can shout: “We’re here! We’re queer! Get used to it!”

Really, though, it’s a lifetime appointment, so isn’t it safe for “bachelorette” Kagan to come out now?

Anyway, Kagan earlier in the week was confirmed by the U.S. Senate by a vote of 63 to 37, showing the political weakness of the stupid white men in the U.S. Senate, who decried her as a raging liberal when she appears to be yet another Clintonesque centrist who was appointed by a Clintonesque, centrist president.

Kagan is allowed to function as a U.S. Supreme Court justice now that she has been sworn in, but won’t formally be sworn in until Oct. 1, the first day of the court’s next term.

*The white men’s backgrounds as priviledged white men couldn’t possibly have biased them, but Sotomayor’s background as a Puerto Rican woman surely has biased her, you see. The stupid white men are never to required to prove anyfuckingthing, but anyone who isn’t a white, conservative, heterosexual, “Christian” male is required to prove his or her fitness and worthiness.

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