Last week, the Supreme Court chose not to take up a case brought to them by former Rowan County (Kentucky) Clerk Kim Davis, the anti-gay government official who wouldn’t issue same-sex marriage licenses even though that was her job. But that wasn’t the big news.
The headlines focused on how two justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, issued a statement saying that, while they agreed it was the right move not to hear this particular case, they believed the Obergefell ruling that legalized marriage equality nationwide needed to be overturned.
That was especially disturbing because Chief Justice John Roberts dissented in Obergefell, two new justices have been appointed to the court by Donald Trump, and another vehemently anti-LGBTQ judge will likely join them within weeks. There’s a very strong chance that, like abortion rights, marriage equality will soon be overturned.
Because this is obviously a matter centered around religion and “religious freedom” (i.e. faith-based bigotry), the leaders of the Congressional Freethought Caucus have issued a statement denouncing that possibility.
Representatives Jared Huffman and Jamie Raskin sent this along in an email:
Suggesting reversal of this landmark ruling is a dramatic attack on the LGBTQ+ community that turns religious liberty into a weapon against other people’s fundamental rights. Religious freedom isn’t the right to compel the government to deny the equal rights of other citizens. But, as members of the Congressional Freethought Caucus, we see right-wing forces on the Court and in Congress trying to twist religious free exercise into a bizarre new right to make the state discriminate against disfavored groups.
Any government that can turn the clock back to discriminate against same-sex couples can also turn it back to discriminate against interracial and interfaith couples. Nothing could be more deeply at odds with our principles of constitutional freedom and equality for all Americans.
That right there is alarming. The congressmen are saying that if marriage equality can be overturned, there’s really nothing that could prevent Christians from making the same argument in other ways.
What happens if a county clerk refuses to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple using the same justification as Kim Davis? What happens if a baker refuses to sell a wedding cake to an interfaith couple? If religion becomes a legal excuse to avoid following the law, it would be a disaster.
This is not a slippery slope fallacy. While fewer Christians have a problem with interracial/interfaith couples, those bigots exist. It’s up to our courts — and our legislators — to make sure bigotry has no place in the public square. With a conservative supermajority on the Supreme Court, that protection could be out the window.
What the hell is wrong with our country, really any adult who thinks this is normal or OK is in need of mental health treatments themselves. Hugs
Michigan Live reports:
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said her office is reviewing how open carry laws intersect with the right to vote without fear of harassment as President Donald Trump urges supporters to watch the polls on Nov. 3.
Nessel joined the Democratic attorneys general of Wisconsin and Nevada on a press call Tuesday focused on threats to the upcoming election. Attorneys general expressed concern that the president’s call for his supporters to guard against “a rigged election” could cause voters to be intimidated at polling places on Election Day.
A series of armed protests at the Michigan Capitol this summer raised questions about whether gun-toting poll watchers could create a dangerous situation on Election Day. Nessel said she will be providing guidance to local law enforcement officers before the election.
Read the full article.
Republican Senate candidate Lauren Witzke is continuing her outreach to white nationalists by promoting her campaign in a video interview with the white nationalist site VDare. The Delaware Republican Party has continued backing Witzke despite her appeals to far-right extremists.
Witzke is running for the U.S. Senate in Delaware against incumbent Democratic Sen. Chris Coons. As Media Matters and others have documented, Witzke has frequently interacted with white nationalists and anti-Semites during her campaign. She has also praised the violent neo-fascist Proud Boys for helping her campaign.
Additionally, Witzke is a supporter of QAnon, the violence-linked conspiracy theory that started on message boards and has been labeled a potential domestic terror threat by the FBI.
The Delaware Republican Party and Chair Jane Brady have been supporting her campaign. Brady told Delaware Public Media last month that Witzke has “shown great energy, she’s very bright, and she’s worked very hard. And she’s earned the support of the party.”
One of Witzke’s main policy plans is “a full 10-year moratorium on all immigration,” a proposal that is also supported by VDare, an anti-immigrant white nationalist site. The Southern Poverty Law Center states that VDare “regularly publishes articles by prominent white nationalists, race scientists and anti-Semites.”
During the nearly 26-minute interview, Witzke and Brimelow primarily talked about immigration. She also pushed false white nationalist tropes, including stating:
- “We are bringing in people from Third World countries. We are bringing in cartel members and we’re doing it 100% legally.”
- “People are so worried about being called, you know, labeled a ‘white supremacist’ when, you know, we are giving our country away to foreigners. They are dismantling our culture, they’re taking down our historical monuments. They’re voting against our interests.”
- “We see that in [Rep.] Ilhan Omar’s [D-MN] district, you know, a district of refugees, they elected, you know, a Third World dictator, is what they did. And now it looks like the Third World.”
Media Matters contacted the Delaware GOP and Brady for comment but did not receive a reply from them as of posting.
Shortly after contacting the state party and Brady, Media Matters received an email from Witzke stating: “America is tired of Communist media outlets like CNN and the rest absurdly smearing Americans who want to limit immigration — including African Americans, Cubans, and Jews — as white nationalists or somehow fringe. Protecting the rule of law and our southern border is as American as apple pie.”
The culture in the US is and always has been a culture of accepting immigrants and blending other cultures into the existing one. The melting pot. The problem now is the white supremacists are not worried about culture, they appropriate other cultures as the rest of us do, but they are worried about demographics shifts and their loss of majority. Hugs
QAnon/GOP Senate Nominee Lauren Witzke Does Video Interview With White Nationalist Group VDare
Read the full article. As previously reported, Witzke has an arrest record for meth and heroin possession and has claimed that she used to smuggle drugs for Mexican cartels. VDare takes their name from Virginia Dare, who is believed to have been the first white child born in what would become the United States.
Replying to Wallace, Trump gave no hint of either accepting the outcome of the election, or telling his supporters to remain calm. “I’m urging my supporters to go in to the polls and watch very carefully,” said Trump. “Because that’s what has to happen. I am urging them to do it. As you know, today there was a big problem. In Philadelphia, they went in to watch. They’re called poll watchers, a very safe, very nice thing. They were thrown out. They weren’t allowed to watch. You know why? Because bad things happen in Philadelphia. Bad things.”
The reason Trump’s people were thrown out of polling places in Philadelphia is because they were not poll watchers. As The Philadelphia Inquirer reports, Trump supporters tried to squeeze into a number of small offices that aren’t regular polling stations, but just locations where people can request or submit mail-in ballots. As the Republican city commissioner in charge of local elections said after Trump’s group had to be extracted from the tiny offices: “We don’t give someone a poll watcher certificate to … watch somebody fill out their ballot at their kitchen table.” The even bigger reason that extra people weren’t allowed to clog the entrance of these small offices was that they were repeatedly violating social distancing rules that were already limiting the number of people who could enter the locations. They weren’t poll watchers, they were poll blockers.
The process of appointing and locating poll watchers is just that—a process. Campaigns make requests, elections official provide credentials, inform the poll watchers of where they are allowed to go, and tell them what they are allowed to do within the polling space. What Trump’s campaign has been pushing is nothing like that—he’s encouraging intimidation and a breakdown in normal order.
But Trump didn’t end with just encouraging his supporters to descend on polling places. He made it clear he was ready to lead them in opposing any outcome that did not lead to his victory. As Wallace tried to get Trump to simply agree that he would follow the will of American voters, he utterly refused.
But Trump had already stated: “It’s a rigged election.” He’s not waiting to see how badly he loses on Nov. 3. He knows that’s no longer in doubt. Trump is no longer even concerned about winning. He is focused on holding on to power, which is something completely different. Trump repeatedly claimed that it could be “months” before there was an outcome, and agreed readily to the idea that he was trying to seat Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court because he expects that court to protect his power. “Yeah,” said Trump. “I think I’m counting on them to look at the ballots, definitely.”
Trump has already declared the election “fraudulent” and “rigged.” He’s already instructed his followers not to accept the outcome of the vote. And, of course, he’s told white supremacist militias to “stand by.”
There is more at the link above. I think it is clear what the game plan for tyrant tRump to remain in power. He and his cult do not believe in democracy, using weapons and intimidation about voting and election results is not supporting democracy. tRump and his cult worship power, and he doesn’t intend to give it up. Hugs