Monday, August 22, 2016

Last Call For Here Comes The Judge

The old saying "As goes Texas, goes America" doesn't actually apply to America mostly and doesn't even really exist, except it turns out in the mind of one fellow by the name of Reed O'Connor. Normally that cute little delusion wouldn't be an issue except for the fact he's a federal judge, and that Sunday night he issued a nationwide injunction against the Obama administration's guidance on treating trans students like actual human beings.

A federal judge in Texas Sunday blocked the Obama administration from enforcing guideline released by the Department of Education instructing public schools not to discriminate against transgender students. 
The judge, George W. Bush appointee Reed O'Connor, ruled in favor of the 13 states led by Texas suing the Obama administration over the guideline, in which the administration urged school districts across the country to permit transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms matching their identity.

The judge said his order was not yet weighing the "difficult issue of balancing the protection of students’ rights and that of personal privacy when using school bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, and other intimate facilities, while ensuring that no student is unnecessarily marginalized while attending school." 
Rather, Judge O'Connor said, he was placing an injunction on the directive because the states were likely to prevail on their argument that the administration did not go through proper rules and comment process for regulations, and that the Department of Education's interpretation of civil rights law was not in line with how the text was understood when it was passed. 
The Obama administration has argued that it has the authority to issue the directives protecting trans students because Title IX’s language barring discrimination on the basis of sex could be interpreted to include gender identity. The court Sunday said that the states would likely succeed in their arguments that the language was not ambiguous and thus does not lend itself to that interpretation. 
The order placed a nationwide injunction on the policy, and said that the administration cannot force the states challenging the directive to implement the policy
"Further, while this injunction remains in place, Defendants are enjoined from initiating, continuing, or concluding any investigation based on Defendants’ interpretation that the definition of sex includes gender identity in Title IX’s prohibition against discrimination on the basis of sex," the order said. "Additionally, Defendants are enjoined from using the Guidelines or asserting the Guidelines carry weight in any litigation initiated following the date of this Order."

I'm assuming that the Obama Administration will appeal and probably get a stay on the order until an appellate court can make a ruling, but at some point this is going to end up in front of the Supreme Court and unless Democrats win control of the Senate back, there's no reason to believe that there will be nine justices actually deciding the case in a Hillary Clinton administration.

The larger issue is at some point America has to decide that laws protecting the right to discriminate are no longer acceptable in our society, and that's not going to happen until a number of Roberts court decisions get updated and/or reversed outright by a new liberal majority, starting with Merrick Garland replacing Antonin Scalia.

Here's hoping that's soon.

Trump Cards, Con't

Politico's Eli Stokols asks the obvious question: when Trump loses in November (hopefully) what happens when his months of "rigged election" rhetoric causes him, and his tens of millions of followers, not to concede or to recognize Clinton's win?

The implications—short- and long-term—are serious. Interviews with more than a dozen senior GOP operatives suggest growing panic that Trump’s descent down this alt-right rabbit hole and, beyond that, his efforts to de-legitimize the very institutions that undergird American democracy—the media and the electoral process itself—threaten not just their congressional majorities or the party’s survival but, potentially, the stability of the country’s political system.

“We’ve never had a presidential candidate who has questioned the legitimacy of an electoral outcome nationally,” said Dan Senor, who was a foreign policy adviser to Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign. “This does take us to a whole new world if the actual presidential candidate is questioning the legitimacy of this process, and the damage to our democracy could be substantial.”

In 2008, even as some on the far right questioned Barack Obama’s legitimacy as president based on false suggestions he was not born in America, McCain conceded quickly. Most notably, after the Supreme Court’s 2001 Bush v. Gore decision, countless Democrats complained that the result was unjust—but Al Gore and Joe Lieberman did not.

Among the values most necessary for a functioning democracy is the peaceful transition of power that’s gone on uninterrupted since 1797. What enables that is the acceptance of the election’s outcome by the losers,” said Steve Schmidt, the GOP operative who was John McCain’s campaign strategist in 2008.

“Here you have a candidate after a terrible three weeks, which has all been self-inflicted, saying the only way we lose is if it’s ‘rigged’ or stolen—in a media culture where people increasingly don’t buy into generally accepted facts and turn to places to have their opinions validated where there’s no wall between extreme and mainstream positions. That’s an assault on some of the pillars that undergird our system. People need to understand just how radical a departure this is from the mean of American politics.”

Should Trump opt not to concede after a loss or deliberately roil his supporters and spark uprisings by refusing to accept the legitimacy of the election results, he would still have little recourse to alter a significant electoral victory for Clinton. Only if the election were close, hinging on one or two states where there were alleged voting irregularities, could Trump seriously contest the result in court.

But beyond who wins the White House in November, many Republicans fear that Trump’s efforts to diminish people’s confidence in mainstream media, fair elections and in politics itself will have a lasting impact.

When even Steve Schmidt, the man behind McCain's decision to choose Sarah Palin as his running mate, thinks Trump is way out of line, something is seriously wrong.  Not that Schmidt doesn't deserve a lot of blame for continuing the GOP down the path of delegitimizing elections and elevating the current bonkers Alt-Right to its place running the GOP or anything.

But if even Schmidt realizes Trump is well over the line, perhaps Republicans should ask themsleves how they plan to fix the cancer on American politics that their party has become, and that starts with getting rid of people like Trump, and the people who enabled him.

That of course won't happen.  Maybe it will after Trump's followers decide to take a few Second Amendment remedies to resolve their impending wipeout in November.  For now they can take comfort that in some swing states, there are Republicans registering to vote, or something.

For the rest of us, the watch continues. Greg Sargent figures this is all a play for Trump's white nationalist TV news network anyway, and he's probably right.

TrumpTV, the white network for the white time.

Black Lives Still Matter

Black lives still matter folks, even though we've actively got white supremacists like David Duke and Don Advo joyfully bragging about how they now control the Republican party:

Don Advo: So, something astonishing has happened. We appear to have taken over the Republican Party.

David Duke: Well, rank and file, but a lot of those boll weevils are still in those cotton balls, and, uh, the Republican Party may be a European-American populated party, but like a ball of cotton, you can have boll weevils in there that are going to rot it out from the inside.
And I see we're back to the defense of white supremacy through the ridiculous argument that the NAACP is inherently racist again

The Confederate flag waved in front of the NAACP office Sunday. The red flag with its blue X holding white stars hung over the shoulder of a White Lives Matter member who was joined by others in his group in a protest against the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

"We came out here to protest against the NAACP and their failure in speaking out against the atrocities that organizations like Black Lives Matter and other pro-black organizations have caused the attack and killing of white police officers, the burning down of cities and things of that nature," White Lives Matter member Ken Reed said. "If they're going to be a civil rights organization and defend their people, they also need to hold their people accountable."
The protest drew much attention as people took photos of the group which held assault rifles and "White Lives Matter" signs on the Third Ward block.

"We're not out here to instigate or start any problems," Reed said. "Obviously we're exercising our Second Amendment rights but that's because we have to defend ourselves. Their organizations and their people are shooting people based on the color of their skin. We're not. We definitely will defend ourselves, but we're not out here to start any problems."

So we're back to the days where white supremacists are demonstrating in front of the national office of the NAACP in Houston with rifles, Confederate flags and a big ol' "#WhiteLivesMatter" sign.
But they're not here "to start any problems."

They're just here to provide Second Amendment remedies for the problems they think they need to stop.



Related Posts with Thumbnails