Utah's government will appeal a previous ruling that struck down the state's same-sex marriage ban to the Supreme Court, potentially putting the case in front of the highest court in the nation as early as 2015.
The appeal means Utah will skip a potential step in the appeals process known as en banc review, which would require the 10th Circuit Court to review its previous decision with more of the court's judges on the case.
The appeal will instead head to the Supreme Court. The court could consider whether to take the appeal in late 2014. If the court accepts, it will likely hear and decide the case by June 2015. ...Vox
Let's see. So far Utah has given us stuff like Romney, boring missionaries, and a bunch of dead pioneers who were just trying to get to California and needed a little fresh water.
The media are paid to make politics considerably more contentious than they are. That's in spite of the fact that, whatever you may think of individual leaders, they tend to behave in public like grownups. Here (pictured today in Al Jazeera) are President Obama and Texas governor Rick Perry, shaking hands. They look like grownups. (Surprise!) They look like a couple of decent humans with genuine smiles. (Incredible!)
Then President Obama had to go and spoil things again for people like Ted Cruz and John McCain (and the bloodlusting media) by refusing to rush to the border for a photo op. Of course, you could excuse the President for believing that his presence at the chaos along the border would be a costly distraction, not a welcome visit.
Manassas City police and Prince William County prosecutors are taking a unique approach to collecting evidence in a “sexting” case involving a 17-year-old male: Authorities want to take a photo of the teen’s erect genitalia to compare with a cellphone video allegedly sent to his girlfriend, his attorneys said.
The case has sparked anger from the boy’s family, local lawyers and legal observers, who say that the amount of time and resources spent by law enforcement on private messages between teens is excessive.
The teen’s attorneys are particularly incensed that investigators want to take him to a hospital for an injection that would force him to become erect.
The teen is facing two felony charges in juvenile court, manufacturing and distributing child pornography, which could lead not only to incarceration until he’s 21 but also to inclusion on the state sex offender registry, at a judge’s discretion, for up to the rest of his life.
“The prosecutor’s job is to seek justice,” said the teen’s defense attorney, Jessica Harbeson Foster. “What is just about this? How does this advance the interest of the commonwealth? . . . Taking him down to the hospital so he can get an erection in front of all those cops, that’s traumatizing.”
Manassas City police released a statement Wednesday night saying that the case was opened because the teen allegedly sent “pornographic videos . . . after repeatedly being told to stop.” The police said it was not their policy, nor the prosecutors’, “to authorize invasive search procedures of suspects in cases of this nature, and no such procedures have been conducted in this case.”
Foster noted the warrant was discussed by prosecutors twice in open court, both before and after it was obtained, although it had not been made public because it has not been served — a Prince William judge allowed the 17-year-old to leave the area before the warrant was served and the photos could be taken. The Washington Post is not naming the teenage defendant. ...WaPo
Just going by serial reports about police behaviors, I suspect our police are several lightyears less emotionally mature than this kid and his girlfriend.
Too big to deal with. But there it is: the background of our crime rates and high homeless count in America. Republicans have not only found a way to make these things happen, but to turn them into a source of profits for private corporations.
The front page of the New York Times this morning is dominated by a photograph of the coldest, bleakest town you could imagine. In the background are bleak grey mountains partially covered with snow. This is a Norwegian town with arctic climate, a ban on homelessness and a no less important ban on joblessness. Both homelessness and unemployment breed crime. They are simply outlawed.
Homelessness, like unemployment, is banned. All residents must have a fixed address, a rule that ensures that nobody freezes to death in a place that is closer to the North Pole than to the Norwegian capital, Oslo, and where snowfall continues deep into summer.
The government does fund a school and a hospital, as well as the governor’s administration, and also subsidizes Svalbard’s biggest employer, a loss-making state-owned coal company. But it shuns the leftist, leveling consensus that according to conservative critics has made working almost a lifestyle choice in the rest of Norway. Taxes are much lower than elsewhere in the country. ...NYT
We're dealing with both conditions here in America. They are closely related to Republican policy that encourages (and profits from) corporate greed.
Endless no-win wars? Homeless, jobless vets.
Financial crash? Hundreds of thousands out of work in an instant, losing homes along with their incomes.
Political response? Jail 'em. Allow private corporations an "in" to the "prison industry," building huge profits from others' misfortune and becoming a source of campaign funds for Republican candidates.
We don't need Randian leaders like the mayor of the frozen Norwegian arctic town where homelessness and unemployment are simply outlawed. What we do need is a realistic understanding of where homelessness and joblessness originate, and whose belligerence and greed create those conditions.
The possibility is certainly out there. The common wisdom has been that the immigration issue is one that could help Rebublicans. But battered children pouring over the border is changing the game. What can Obama do? If he wants to circumvent a do-nothing Congress, he faces a potential trap.
While aggressive action will provide fodder for Republicans to drive their base into a frenzy with #ObummerTyranny talk, it could also bait Republicans into overreach that alienates swing voters and motivates the Dem base in a year when the midterm dropoff problem is putting control of the Senate in peril.
And that is one reason why, in the end, Obama must make this decision based on what he truly believes the legal constraints on unilateral action are, rather than letting it be dictated by a sense of the political constraints here. Some advocates believe the White House will allow an overly cautious sense of the political constraints to hamstring him beyond what the lawyers actually think is within his authority. Yet others believe that ultimately the decision will be driven by a genuine evaluation of what is legally possible. We’ll find out soon enough, but let’s hope it’s the latter. ...WaPo
How is the left doing in your area? Here in Texas, Dems are motivated. They have two popular candidates running for governor and lieutenant governor. Texas knows more about the children -- not just because they're here but because so many Texans know about the situation in the countries they're coming from. The dangers the children face if they stay home is something with which many Texan voters are familiar. Republicans don't want Americans know that sending the children home is sending them back into a brutal -- even lethal -- social and political situation.
If Republicans want to look even worse, McCain and Graham are standing by, just waiting to muddy things up.
Here’s something to keep an eye on. Some Republicans are calling for doing away with the 2008 trafficking law that mandates legal protections for arriving minors, which is a cause of the crisis. John McCain is calling for repeal, arguing: “The message has to be, ‘If you cross our border illegally, you will be returned immediately.’”
Senator Lindsey Graham is also calling for a similar step. The Obama administration, too, has expressed support for changing the law so children from Guatemala and Honduras can be removed as quickly as Mexicans. So it will be interesting to see if Congress is actually up to the task of legislating constructively. ...WaPo
"Minors are swarming our borders because American exceptionalism is at risk thanks to Obama's failure to help the Ukrainians which means our enemies no longer fear us and the dollar is being debased. Or was it because he failed to arm the Syrian rebels? I forget. Something to do with Putin, though. And the Fed. Plus, um, recess appointments and one-year extensions to TyrannyCare mandates. And Benghazi."...KevinDrum, channeling Sarah Palin