Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Last Call For Trans-Specific Railroading

Sadly, but not unexpectedly, Kentucky is about to quickly join several other red states in making trans kids illegal, and criminalizing anyone who "assists in physical or social transition" in any way with felony charges, loss of license, loss of state funding, and worse.
A sweeping new piece of anti-transgender legislation is being fast-tracked through Kentucky’s legislature, quickly being assigned to a committee and racking up 20 co-sponsors after its Tuesday filing.

Under House Bill 470, gender transition services for trans kids would be virtually barred statewide. “Gender transition” is broadly defined in the bill, applying to any service meant to “(assist) a person with a gender transition.” This would include things to help youth transition socially like using the student's correct pronouns or new name.

Physical and mental health care providers found to have helped provide transition-related services, which are backed by major medical organizations, to those under 18 would lose their licenses. If those providers work at a place receiving public money, the funding would be pulled.

Health care providers would be required to report providing any type of gender-affirming care to someone under the age of 18 within 30 days. If they don't, they could face criminal charges. They also would be liable should someone sue over services they provide, while providers who refuse to provide such services would be protected against legal, professional licensing and disciplinary pursuits.

In school, educators would be required to out trans and non-binary kids to their parents if they ask for a new name or pronouns, change their gender expression or there is an “inconsistency” between the sex or gender they were born as and how they feel.

Anyone under 18 could no longer legally change their name if the change appears tied to a “social or physical gender transition.” Documents like birth certificates also couldn’t be amended.

The bill, which is sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Decker, R-Waddy, says it would take effect in January 2024 so any minors currently using puberty blockers would have time for the appropriate medication tapering.
We're making being a trans kid in this state 100% illegal and if anyone doesn't report a soon-to-be illegal trans kid to the authorities, they'll go to jail. The bill essentially classifies medical or social transition as felony child abuse and makes failure to report it a crime as well.

Here's the most insidious part:
Decker’s bill is dubbed the “Do No Harm Act,” although several trans individuals and their allies have testified already this session that even small acts of affirming trans students’ identities, like using the correct pronouns, are shown to reduce the chances that student will consider suicide.
These bastards are going to run this bill through in a matter of days and override a Beshear veto easily even if he does veto it. I'm hoping the bill can be tied up by the Kentucky courts, but I expect it will become law by next year.
And then the state will begin hunting down trans kids. "Do No Harm" act my ass. This will get trans kids killed in KY and they damn well know it, because that's the point of the bill. Make a group illegal to exist and they either flee, die, or end up in jail.

Won't stop there, of course...

Orange Meltdown, Peach State Edition

The foreperson in Fulton County, Georgia's special grand jury investigating Trump's election fraud went to NBC and all but told the world that yes, the jury recommended indictments galore for Team Trump.

A special grand jury that investigated election interference by former President Donald J. Trump and his allies in Georgia recommended indictments for multiple people on a range of charges in its final report, most of which remains sealed, the forewoman of the jury said on Tuesday.

“It is not a short list,” the forewoman, Emily Kohrs, said in an interview.

Ms. Kohrs, 30, declined to name the people recommended for indictment, since the judge handling the case decided to keep those details secret when he made public a few sections of the report last week. But seven sections that are still under wraps deal with indictment recommendations, Ms. Kohrs said.

Special grand juries in Georgia do not have indictment powers. Fani T. Willis, the district attorney of Fulton County, Ga., has led the investigation and will decide what charges to bring before a regular grand jury.

Asked whether the jurors had recommended indicting Mr. Trump, Ms. Kohrs would not answer directly but said: “You’re not going to be shocked. It’s not rocket science.” In the slim portions of the report that were released last week, the jurors said they saw possible evidence of perjury by “one or more” witnesses who testified before them.

“It is not going to be some giant plot twist,” she added. “You probably have a fair idea of what may be in there. I’m trying very hard to say that delicately.”

The investigation in Atlanta has been seen as one of the most significant legal threats to Mr. Trump as he begins another run for the presidency. In November, the Justice Department named a special counsel, Jack Smith, to oversee two Trump-related criminal investigations. And last month, the Manhattan district attorney’s office began presenting evidence to a grand jury on whether Mr. Trump paid hush money to a porn star during his 2016 presidential campaign, laying the groundwork for potential criminal charges against the former president in the coming months.

A focal point of the Atlanta inquiry is a call that Mr. Trump made on Jan. 2, 2021, to Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, in which he pressed Mr. Raffensperger, a fellow Republican, to recalculate the results and “find” 11,780 votes, or enough to overturn his loss in the state.

Yeah, the special grand jury recommended charges for Trump, I'm convinced of that. Whether DA Willis makes those charges, well, that's up to her and a criminal grand jury, just like it would be for any other criminal case in Fulton County.

Willis wouldn't have waited too long on empaneling that criminal grand jury, if it's not already meeting, it soon will be.

And then we'll see if Willis, Georgia, and America are ready for this fight.

Another Supreme Disappointment, Con't

As true to its nature, the Roberts Court refused to hear a challenge to Mississippi's racially motivated gerrymander of US House districts, as Republicans in the state eliminated one of the state's two majority Black districts completely last year, and the Supreme Court will simply let that stand.

The U.S. Supreme Court today declined to hear Buck v. Reeves, a case alleging that the state’s congressional maps are racially gerrymandered. The decision affirms that Mississippi is no longer required to get federal preclearance for its congressional maps.

In 2002, a three-judge panel ordered Mississippi to use court-drawn congressional maps “in accordance with the procedures in Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.” However, in 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority struck down Section 5, with Chief Justice John Roberts saying at the time that “things have changed in the South.”

Mississippi is a 38% Black state with four congressional districts; one is majority Black and currently represented by a Black Democrat, U.S. House Rep. Bennie Thompson, while the other three are majority white and represented by white Republicans.

District 1 is 65.8% white and 28% Black; District 2 is 30.2% white and 65.9% Black; District 3 is 58.7% white and 35.6% Black; District 4 is 68.7% white and 23.4% Black.

Despite being the state with the largest Black population per capita, Mississippi has only sent two Black representatives to Congress since the Reconstruction era after the Civil War: Thompson and his predecessor, former U.S. House Rep. Mike Espy. The state has not elected a Black U.S. senator or any other statewide official since Reconstruction.

The lower court's decision that there was no case because of the death of VRA Section 5 means that the rest of the Voting Rights Act is essentially dead as well. States can gerrymander districts down to individual streets in order to assure they can have as many districts favoring one party as they want, even if it means deliberately diluting and disenfranchising Black votes and voters.

This court, led by Chief Justice Roberts, will never allow the VRA to be enforced because racism "no longer exists".

Vote while you still can in red states, folks. 
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