Archive for unconstitutional

Judge: Florida redistricting a "mockery," illegally favors GOP

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

redistricting

Florida (aka Flori-duh) Republicans just got a major smackdown from a circuit judge who ruled that their congressional redistricting map was illegal. North Carolina, are you paying attention?

The map is now invalid because it "violates constitutional provisions that require fair districts," per the Los Angeles Times. Or to put it another way, the GOP hoped to pull a fast one on Democratic voters and failed miserably. The plan is "invalid."

In Florida, the GOP controls the Legislature, and the judge said that they did that with "improper partisan intent" in 2012.

gerrymander definition

gerrymandering via Doonesbury

Oh, but it gets worse. Judge Lewis also said that those (ir)responsible tried to keep the whole thing a big secret. And you know what they say about cover-ups...

cover up 2 cover-up...where...

cover up worse than crime

In a scathing opinion, Leon County Circuit Judge Terry P. Lewis ruled in Tallahassee that the Legislature's Republican political consultants had "made a mockery" of the redistricting process, tainting it with "partisan intent."

Lewis said that the districts, drawn by the Republican-controlled Legislature after the 2010 census, flouted voter-passed constitutional amendments intended to eliminate gerrymandering - that is, often-bizarre and irregular lines that make a district safe for one party or the other. [...]

Lewis noted that legislative leaders and political operatives had deleted emails and other documents outlining their redistricting efforts.

As the League of Women Voters of Florida president said, the ruling "exposed the conspiracy to influence and manipulate the Legislature into violating its constitutional duties."

Of course, Republicans will blame those pesky activist judges. Like the ones on the Supreme Court, GOP?

nice try no cigar

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

NE mayor: "Take me to fucking court because I don't care. Minorities are not going to run my city."

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Nebraska Mayor take me to fucking court Kindig

Nebraska Mayor "Take Me to Fucking Court" must be taking his cues from Ben Sasse. I recently posted about how Ben Sasse (R) will "promote almost anarchistic vision" as Senator: Religion trumps law. I wrote the following:

So, according to Mr. Freedom, if someone's religion promotes discrimination against another person's religion or sexual orientation or race or gender or belief, that's cool by him. Really? What about the discriminatee's rights?

Sasse is Nebraska's GOP nominee for the United States Senate.

Today I ran across this piece from the Daily Beast reporting on yet another Nebraskan who said something equally disturbing:

For Robert Fuller, a La Vista citizen and board member of Omaha Atheists, the blurred line between a very specific religion and the local government was frequent enough to merit a face-to-face with Mayor Kindig. According to a press release from Omaha Atheists, Fuller approached Kindig after the “Faith and Freedom Day” Memorial Day service with the intent of leaving his business card with the mayor in hopes of discussing his concerns about church-state separation issues. It was his taxpayer dollars, after all, that had gone to funding these explicitly religious events. That’s when Kindig dropped the other F-bomb: “Take me to fucking court because I don’t care,” according to Fuller. “Minorities are not going to run my city.”

How outreachy of him.

The Daily Beast has  more.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Ben Sasse (R) will "promote almost anarchistic vision" as Senator: Religion trumps law

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

ben sasse Nebraska senate nominee

Ben Sasse is now Nebraska's GOP nominee for the United States Senate. As Think Progress notes, Nebraska is a solid red state that backed Romney over Obama by "a massive 21 point margin in 2012." In other words, he's a shoo-in to win in November.

And as a U.S. Senator, conservative candidate Ben Sasse is promising to fight for the proposition that “[g]overnment cannot force citizens to violate their religious beliefs under any circumstances.”

Here’s a screenshot from Ben Sasse’s own website stating as much:

Sasse screenshot

And you thought the Supreme Court's decisions were a threat to democracy as we once knew it? Most of us (hopefully) still believe that so-called "religious liberty" nomatterwhatanyonesayssotherepfft! does not trump law.

His proposed rule — that government cannot require someone to act counter to their religious beliefs “under any circumstances” — would mean that literally any law could be ignored by someone who held a religious belief counter to that law.

This guy won the primary. Think about that. This. Guy. Won. The. Primary. That should make America's skin crawl.

So, according to Mr. Freedom, if someone's religion promotes discrimination against another person's religion or sexual orientation or race or gender or belief, that's cool by him. Really? What about the discriminatee's rights?

By his standards, if a person of the I Hate People Different Than Me religious affiliation didn't like gay individuals, because they were, you know, icky and gay, they could refuse service, kick them out of their establishment, or even kill them. And they would be justified. In the name of religion.

If an I Hate People Different Than Me-ist didn't approve of inter-racial marriage, they could try to imprison or execute couples and be immune from prosecution. In the name of religion.

Under Sasse’s formulation of religious liberty, a person who killed his own sister because he believed he was under a religious obligation to do so would be immune from prosecution for murder.

Legalized bigotry and racism, Ben Sasse? This is how you'd "act in accordance with your conscience"? What conscience?

Is this part of that new and improved outreach the GOP has been touting?

Someone's faith, their beliefs (keyword: beliefs) should not supersede our legal system, or common sense, or mutual respect, or equal rights, or our ethical standards. Period.

ThinkProgress contacted the Sasse campaign to offer them an opportunity to clarify whether the candidate truly believes that any practice, including “stoning adulterers or putting to death those who work on the Sabbath” should be allowed if it is justified by a religious belief. As of this writing, we have not received a response.

separation of church and state Jefferson

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Texas Justice Strikes Down Texas Injustice

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Good news

Today reason returned to the Lone Star State. Despite despicable, underhanded chicanery, the Republicans in Texas, led by Rick Perry on a personal mission of anti-woman's rights, were dealt a major setback. The war surely hasn't been won yet, but the battle of Wendy Davisburg has been claimed and the winner is the women of the entire state of Texas.

Texas has had many champions over the years, but none sit taller in the saddle today than District Judge Lee Yeakel. With the stringent new regulations scheduled to go into effect tomorrow, the federal judge wrote Monday that "...these regulations violated the rights of abortion doctors to do what they think is best for their patients and would unreasonably restrict a woman's access to abortion clinics."

WAPO:

Judge Lee Yeakel

Judge Lee Yeakel represents a legal victory for abortion rights providers, who had challenged new requirements that abortion doctors must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic and that all abortions must take place in surgical centers, rather than allowing women to take abortion drugs at home

Now, and for the time being, women will continue to have the protections they had under the law, and that Wendy Davis fought so hard to protect. Medication taken at home as prescribed by a licensed doctor will continue to provide choice to women. Clinics will remain open and patients will be granted access, without having to drive hundreds of miles or more to get the medical care and express the choice that the Supreme Court granted under Roe v. Wade.

So take that, Governor Perry, and stick that under your ten-gallon hat. You and your cronies are going to be the great state of Texas's downfall. Healthcare and women's rights are coming. You can't stop progress. But we can stop you. Go ahead and run for President again. You'll meet the same fate as before. A resounding defeat at the polls. Next time you try to think of the three government departments you want to shut down, the third one is your political future.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Cartoons of the Day- Stop and Frisk?

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

stopandfrisk

Chan Lowe

STATUE OF LIBERTY????

Deb Milbrath

Stop and frisk… what so wrong?

Bruce Plante

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Stop-and-Frisk Practice Violated Rights, Judge Rules

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

stopandfrisk

I never understood how anyone could pretzel the laws to even possibly think this sh*t was legal.

In a repudiation of a major element in the Bloomberg administration’s crime-fighting legacy, a federal judge has found that the stop-and-frisk tactics of the New York Police Department violated the constitutional rights of tens of thousands of New Yorkers, and called for a federal monitor to oversee broad reforms.

In a decision issued on Monday, the judge, Shira A. Scheindlin, ruled that police officers have for years been systematically stopping innocent people in the street without any objective reason to suspect them of wrongdoing. Officers often frisked these people, usually young minority men, for weapons or searched their pockets for contraband, like drugs, before letting them go, according to the 195-page decision.

These stop-and-frisk episodes, which soared in number over the last decade as crime continued to decline, demonstrated a widespread disregard for the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government, according to the ruling. It also found violations with the 14th Amendment.

To fix the constitutional violations, Judge Scheindlin of Federal District Court in Manhattan said she intended to designate an outside lawyer, Peter L. Zimroth, to monitor the Police Department’s compliance with the Constitution.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

VIDEO: "You can't ban abortion. Roe v. Wade, right?" Tell Arkansas, where they just passed an unconstitutional law.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

abortion ban arkansas

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Rachel Maddow:

There is something slightly inexplicable going on in the great state of Arkansas right now. The Republican-controlled legislature in Arkansas has just passed back-to-back unconstitutional bans on abortion.

You can't ban abortion. Roe v. Wade, right?

Arkansas' Democratic governor Mike Beebe vetoed both of the bans. No so much because he's pro-choice, he actually has a mixed record on the subject. No, he has vetoed the bills because, dude, they are blatantly unconstitutional.

Quote: "The adoption of blatantly unconstitutional laws can be very costly to the taxpayers of our state." 

Well, today after already overriding the governor's veto of the first ban, the Arkansas senate voted to override his veto of the second even stricter abortion ban. If the house also votes to override the veto, the ACLU naturally has already promised that costly lawsuit that the governor was talking about in his veto messages... ...It is all but a forgone conclusion that the state will lose that lawsuit.

Guess what, Rachel, the New York Times has an update:

The law was passed by the newly Republican-controlled legislature over the veto of Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, who called it “blatantly unconstitutional.” On Tuesday the state Senate voted to override his veto by a vote of 20 to 14; on Wednesday the House enacted the bill into law by a vote of 55 to 33, with several Democrats joining the Republican majority. [...]

Adoption of the law, called the “Human Heartbeat Protection Act,” is the first statewide victory for a restless emerging faction within the anti-abortion movement that has lost patience with the incremental whittling away at abortion rights — the strategy of established groups like National Right to Life and the Catholic Church while they wait for a more sympathetic Supreme Court. [...]

Last weekend, a number of Democrats “got worked over” by constituents who support stringent anti-abortion measures, said Representative Greg Leding, 27, a Democrat and House minority leader.

Rita Sklar, director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas, said “ It shows an utter disregard for women and their ability to make important personal decisions about their own reproductive health.”

Rachel:

...Also, the legislature can go on record as having tried to illegally ban abortion, even though they all know that is not a thing they are allowed to do. Apparently nothing is a waste of money when it comes to making the same point ever more emphatically in anti-abortion Republican politics.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare