Posts from the ‘Human Rights’ Category

Romney: I Will Do My Best to Overturn Roe v. Wade


Romney: I Will Do My Best to Overturn Roe v. Wade.

Mitt Romney, on Meet the Press this morning, voiced his full support for the War on Women, stating that it is his preference that the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade.

I am pro-life and will intend, if I’m president of the United States, to encourage pro-life policies.”

How would he encourage pro-life policies?

I hope to appoint justices for the Supreme Court that will follow the law and the constitution. And it would be my preference that they reverse Roe V. Wade and therefore they return to the people and their elected representatives the decisions with regards to this important issue.

Isn’t that curious? Why just a few days ago, we had Karl Rove reassuring us that “no one is seriously considering ending abortion,”

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Florida voters facing a long, long ballot in November – Tampa Bay Times


Florida voters facing a long, long ballot in November – Tampa Bay Times.

TALLAHASSEE — Brace yourselves, Florida voters: The election ballot you’ll see this fall is longer than ever.

It’s so long that voters will have to fill out multiple sheets with races on both sides, then feed those multiple pages through ballot scanners, one page at a time.

It’s a pocketbook issue, too: Some people who vote by mail will have to dig deeper and pay at least 65 cents postage and up to $1.50 to return their multipage ballots in heavier envelopes.

More than ever, county election supervisors say, people should vote early or request an absentee ballot to avoid predicted bottlenecks at the polls on Election Day.

“This is the longest ballot I can remember,” said Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark. “The voter who sees this ballot the first time may need smelling salts.”

The ballot will be chock full of choices, for president, U.S. Senate, Congress, the state Legislature, county offices and merit retention for judges, all the way down to city and county referendums.

But what may prompt some voters to rub their eyes in disbelief is the Legislature’s decision to place 11 proposed changes to the Constitution on the ballot, some of which appear in their entirety.

“They have really created a monster,” said Monroe County Supervisor of Elections Harry Sawyer Jr. in Key West.

Four amendments run on for hundreds of words, and are full of legalese such as this, on Amendment No. 5, dealing with the court system: “If the Legislature determines that a rule has been readopted and repeals the readopted rule, this proposed revision prohibits the court from further readopting the repealed rule without the Legislature’s prior approval.”

The Legislature has long criticized the Florida Supreme Court for rejecting some of its proposed amendments as misleading, which some Republican lawmakers view as an overreach by the judiciary.

In 2000, the court retroactively struck down a 1998 constitutional amendment on the death penalty, calling the ballot summary incomplete and misleading.

The court said legislators misled voters by replacing the term “cruel or unusual punishment” with “cruel and unusual punishment,” which it said was a “radical change” not explained to voters, 73 percent of whom approved the amendment.

As a result, the Legislature exempted itself from the 75-word limit that applies to citizen-sponsored ballot initiatives.

“It’s an effort by the Legislature, the body closest to the people, to ensure that voters have the right to vote on these amendments,” said Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Trinity.

Corcoran said most voters will do their homework and know the amendments before they vote. But some election supervisors aren’t so sure.

“To understand these full-text amendments, you almost have to be a Harvard lawyer,” said Sharon Harrington, the Lee County elections supervisor in Fort Myers.

With all that verbiage, election supervisors predict a higher than usual rate of “drop-off,” as voters overlook state ballot questions altogether. If they do, they also may skip city or county ballot questions listed below the state questions.

“There is such a thing as voter fatigue,” Clark said. “You have that with any long ballot.”

Another factor making the ballot longer is a federal requirement that 13 counties must print ballots in English and Spanish because of their voting populations. The state’s two largest counties, Miami-Dade and Broward, must print ballots in English, Spanish and Creole.

Miami-Dade, which also has local elections in 14 cities, may publish a 10-page ballot — five pages, front and back — and an ad campaign will remind voters they can vote early or by mail. Voters can print a sample ballot online and check wait times at early voting sites.

“We want to educate voters because of the inevitability of long wait times,” said Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections Penelope Townsley.

All those ballot pages mean voters will need more time to vote.

“I’m beyond concerned,” said Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley. “The unknown variable is how long the voter is in the privacy booth. They can be there as long as they want to.”

Corley is adding brightly colored “voter alert” notices on business cards, utility bills and voter information cards issued by his office, urging people to request absentee ballots for the Nov. 6 election.

“Avoid lines and vote from the convenience of your home,” the notices tell Pasco voters.

So many ballot pages means more work for those box-shaped optical scan machines that “read” the results. That has elections officials bracing for another problem.

The boxes below those scanners can only hold so many pages, and they will have to be replaced a lot more frequently than usual.

“We’re going to have to stop periodically throughout the day and empty those bins and seal them,” said Harrington of Lee County. “It may hold up some people at the polls for a little while.”

Lee County voters have in the past been given a two-page ballot because of the county’s multitude of elections for single-purpose boards such as fire districts. This year’s ballot is four pages with choices on both sides.

Like most counties, Lee will send every registered voter a sample ballot. Harrington says people who want to vote on Election Day should fill out the sample ballot at home and bring it with them when they vote.

The cost for a Lee County voter to return an absentee ballot is 65 cents, the same as in Pasco and Pinellas counties.

Pinellas offers 14 ballot return sites throughout the county so that voters can return their mail ballots without buying stamps.

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher said the postage needed to return a mail ballot there is $1.50.

Elections officials don’t like to say it publicly, but they have agreements with the U.S. Postal Service to pay for postage due on ballot envelopes.

For the first time, Hillsborough is prepaying the postage for all of its six-page mail ballots, as a convenience to voters. The cost is about $105,000.

Deirdre Macnab of Winter Park, president of the League of Women Voters of Florida, said the length of the ballot may make legislators regret their decision to reduce the number of early voting days from 14 to eight. The group challenged the decision in court.

Fired Elections Officials Sue Ohio Secretary of State For Wrongful Termination | ThinkProgress


Fired Elections Officials Sue Ohio Secretary of State For Wrongful Termination | ThinkProgress.

Two Montgomery County board of election members are suing Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted for wrongful termination after they voted to allow early voting on weekends. Husted immediately suspended and then fired them for defying his state-wide directive restricting voting to weekdays only. Dennis Lieberman and Tom Ritchie, who have served on the board for a collective 28 years, filed the federal lawsuit Monday morning. Besides accusing Husted of wrongful termination, the two Democrats are asking for a temporary reinstatement as the Montgomery County elections board comes up against the September 11 deadline to hire new members in order to continue operations. Husted is currently grappling with multiple lawsuits against his office and is appealing a recent decision to restore early voting on the three-day period before Election Day.

Obama Appoints Record Number Of Women Judges To Federal Bench


Obama Appoints Record Number Of Women Judges To Federal Bench.

WASHINGTON — With the confirmation of Stephanie Rose as a U.S. district court judge on Monday, President Barack Obama has put 72 women on the federal bench — the most ever appointed by a president in one term. It also ties the number former President George W. Bush had confirmed in his entire eight-year presidency, according to numbers provided by the White House.

In an 89-1 vote, the U.S. Senate voted to approve Rose as a judge in the Southern District of Iowa. She is the first woman to ever serve on this court, and it’s the sixth time that Obama has put a woman on the bench for the first time in various courtrooms.

Former President Bill Clinton had the most number of female judges confirmed during his entire presidency — 111 — but just 61 of them were appointed in his first term.

Beyond women on the bench, Obama has had a remarkably strong record on diversifying the federal judiciary. The AP reported last year that Obama is “the first president who hasn’t selected a majority of white males for lifetime judgeships.”

Obama has had 29 minority women confirmed to the federal bench, compared to 22 during Bush’s presidency. He has also had 31 African-American federal judges confirmed, compared to 26 for Bush. Three openly gay judges have been confirmed as federal judges under Obama; there were zero confirmed during Bush’s term.

“At this time, it’s beyond dispute that having a diverse set of judges improves the quality of justice for everybody,” said Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center. “And that is certainly true for having women on the bench as well as men. A woman’s perspective can enrich the way women understand the practicalities of the application of legal issues to real life.”

Greenberger pointed to the effect that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had in the 2003 case of Arizona student Savana Redding, whose mother sued the school after after a nurse and an administrative aide strip-searched her to see if she had unauthorized prescription-strength ibuprofen on her.

During oral arguments, Justice Stephen Breyer — who was also nominated by former President Bill Clinton — said he didn’t understand why Redding believed her rights had been violated, since children also change together in locker rooms.

Ginsburg, the only woman on the court at the time, responded by letting her male colleagues know how traumatic it could be for a young woman to undergo such an experience.

“Maybe a 13-year-old boy in a locker room doesn’t have that same feeling about his body,” said Ginsburg. “But a girl who’s just at the age where she is developing, whether she has developed a lot … or … has not developed at all (might be) embarrassed about that.”

As Charlie Savage of The New York Times noted last month, Obama has lagged in his judicial nominations and is “set to end his first term with dozens fewer lower-court appointments than both Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush achieved in their first four years.”

While Greg Craig, Obama’s first White House counsel, said the lower number comes in part from a deliberate strategy by the Obama administration to nominate fewer — and more moderate — judges, the president’s nominees have also been blocked by Senate Republicans who have objected to even uncontroversial individuals.

“There’s been a very distressing slowdown in the consideration of nominations to courts, so meeting this record and making this record is all the more commendable. It also points out how important it is for the Senate to fill the vacancies,” said Greenberger. “There are a number of uncontroversial nominations that include women that need to be considered by the Senate.”

According to statistics put out by the NWLC last month, 31 percent of the active judges on the 13 federal courts of appeal are women. Approximately 30 percent of active U.S. district court judges are women.

Bobby Jindal is Fighting Right of First Black Supreme Court Justice to be Chief


Bobby Jindal is Fighting Right of First Black Supreme Court Justice to be Chief.

Of course, if this were true, George W. Bush would not have ever been able to destroy our economy.

But let us not go down that rabbit hole, since we are told by peeved Republicans that we may not blame Bush for what he really did, because it never happened and if it did, it was Obama’s fault.

Justice Johnson took her case to federal court, to ask that her full tenure on the Supreme Court be reaffirmed. No word on whether or not Jindal is requiring her long form birth certificate yet, but double checking the worthiness of black people is always in the cards when those in power are trying to keep their racial discrimination under wraps. It turns out that the federal court agreed that her time served met the state’s constitutional requirements.

If you’ve read your history or even this article, you already know what Jindal’s argument was in his appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals of the federal court’s ruling.

Say it with me: State’s rights! “The issue on appeal is not who should serve as the next Chief Justice, but whether the Louisiana Supreme Court should be prohibited by a federal court from interpreting the state’s constitution.”

That’s right, because remember, it was the federal court who ordered them to have a minority on the court in the first place. But who needs the feds telling bigots what to do? Way back in the good old days of the Civil War (where no doubt, Republicans aim to take us again), arguments for “state’s rights” were code for legislating racial discrimination. And nothing much has changed these days.

And it was a federal court that sided with Justice Johnson just six days ago:

U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan ruled that Johnson had the seniority to succeed Chief Justice Catherine “Kitty” Kimball when she retires early next year.

Morgan validated Johnson’s service as counting toward having the longest tenure. Republicans will claim this is not about racism, and yet they have given no valid reason for fighting Johnson’s seniority other than her being forced upon them due to their racial discrimination, and given the reality that they were forced to have her on their court in the first place, it’s getting really hard to avoid the elephant in the room.

Even the mainstream media isn’t avoiding it, noting things like “Morgan sided with Johnson’s bid to become the state’s first black chief justice” and Reuters noting that Jindal is fighting the ruling that would “allow a black state supreme court justice to become the court’s next chief justice”, while noting not only Jindal’s racial make up, but the all white court. Clearly, the racial make up of the players is an issue.

They’re just not coming out and saying that yes, Bobby Jindal is engaging in racism and discrimination. And why? Yes, why would you suppose that Bobby Jindal would care who makes up the courts that will decide on things like whether or not Republican voter ID laws are fair and if their redistricting is fair? Heavens, we can’t have actual representatives of the people making decisions like that.

The Republican thinking goes something like this:

Have we seen Justice Johnson’s long, long form birth certificate? It’s not that we’re racists, it’s just that we don’t believe she’s qualified to do the job because her time serving the court is not as good as the white guy who served less time. It doesn’t count, see? She’s gonna have to prove through many, many courts that she is valid. And in reality, we really, really don’t want to be ruled by black people, because they will not agree with being suppressed by our laws, and that would be a real drag. Things work out so much better when the feds stay out of our business, and let us run things like we want to. Y’all might think black people have rights, but down here, we know how to keep ‘em in their place.

And their place is most assuredly not in the White House or as Chief Justice.

Southern strategy? We’re not racists! We love the coloreds. We just don’t want them in charge of anything. Especially after Barack Obama humiliated the white boys with his competency in cleaning up after their mess and then had the audacity to own it, taking even remote, proxy credit for making the decision to get bin Laden. We draw the line at letting the coloreds take credit for their work. They have to know their place. But it’s not about race; it’s about state’s rights to impose racial discrimination. Get it?
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Posted by Sarah Jones on September 8th, 2012. Filed under Bobby Jindal,Commentary,Featured News,Race,Republican Party,Sarah Jones. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
10 Responses to Bobby Jindal is Fighting Right of First Black Supreme Court Justice to be Chief

How the Republican Party Became the Party of Hate


How the Republican Party Became the Party of Hate.

I became an atheist because of the hatred generally associated with the Republican Party and their love of God. A party based upon: homophobia, xenophobia, racism, oppression as well as violence seems to be the norm, regardless of sex or age.

A story written by reporter Sarah Jones titled-What Do You Do With a 16-Year-Old Who Calls for the Assassination of Obama? Is proof positive that the conservative party is not the party of Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower, Ricard Nixon or arguably, Ronald Reagan. It has morphed into some evil entity that even Richard Nixon would shudder at.

@Alyssa_Douglas: Someone needs to assassinate Obama…like ASAP #DieYouPieceOfShit

Alyssa Douglas, a 16-year-old girl was questioned by the Secret Service and most likely, not be charged for making a threat, seemed to have a hatred for a man she knows nothing about, except what is spewed from Fox News or other conservative media. Her photo shows a happy-go-lucky girl who probably typed what she wrote as a naive and gullible teen. But her actions are leading to her eventual path everyone fears to follow… prison.

Many wondered why would she tweet:

@Alyssa_Douglas: Someone needs to assassinate Obama…like ASAP #DieYouPieceOfShit

Maybe because no one taught her that a threat against the president is a federal offense:

18 USC § 871 – Threats against President and successors to the Presidency

USC › Title 18 › Part I › Chapter 41 › § 871

(a) Whoever knowingly and willfully deposits for conveyance in the mail or for a delivery from any post office or by any letter carrier any letter, paper, writing, print, missive, or document containing any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States, the President-elect, the Vice President or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President of the United States, or the Vice President-elect, or knowingly and willfully otherwise makes any such threat against the President, President-elect, Vice President or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President, or Vice President-elect, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

(b) The terms “President-elect” and “Vice President-elect” as used in this section shall mean such persons as are the apparent successful candidates for the offices of President and Vice President, respectively, as ascertained from the results of the general elections held to determine the electors of President and Vice President in accordance with title 3, United States Code, sections 1 and 2. The phrase “other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President” as used in this section shall mean the person next in the order of succession to act as President in accordance with title 3, United States Code, sections 19 and 20.

I knew from elementary school that making a threat against the president is a federal offense. I knew I was abiding by the law when I said that George W. Bush must be hanged at the Hague. The threat was no threat because the comment of punishment was the result of a fair and impartial jury and the hanging is the punishment portion of the fair and impartial hearing.

Yet what is the progenitor of the Republican Party or the neo-conservative hate movement and when did it first reared its ugly head? Arguably since WWII. And it began with George W. Bush’s grandfather Prescott Bush.

How Bush’s grandfather helped Hitler’s rise to power
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/…

The Republican Party of the 20th century aligned itself with the right winged Christian hate groups, Nazis, Ku Klux Klan and other far right fringe groups that in the past, the Republicans abhorred. As the party grew, the continual hatred grew in leaps and bounds and problems ensued.

Hate groups like God Hates F@gs are the norm and not the exception. Other norms within the Republican party are:

American Border Patrol/American Patrol
Ideology:
Anti-Immigrant

American Family Association
Ideology:
Anti-Gay

American Third Position
Ideology:
White Nationalist

Aryan Nations
Ideology:
Neo-Nazi

Blood & Honour
Ideology:
Racist Skinhead

Brotherhood of Klans
Ideology:
Ku Klux Klan

And other extremist groups aligning themselves with the Republican Party mainly because:

“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

Now is Mitch McConnell racist? Not necessarily, but his goal to get Obama out of office, not because he’s black, but because Obama is a Democrat, and the Republicans want control of the House, Senate, White House and the SCOTUS. But in order to get the Democratic Party out, they will delve into the above-mentioned extremists and play with fire, in order to win.

So when Douglas, a 16-year-old white girl writes her garbage, it just incites the base and where ever the chips fall, McConnell and his band of idiots will only try to take the power away from the people and ultimately, throw people like Douglas and the other right winged extremists under the bus…oh and blame Obama and the Democratic Party.

So be aware of your surrounding, know your enemies and vote Democratic.
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Posted by Tim From LA on September 8th, 2012. Filed under Featured News,Tim In LA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
3 Responses to How the Republican Party Became the Party of Hate

Ken Reply

September 8th, 2012 at 9:31 pm

I became an atheist because the religion doesn’t make sense – not because some of them are hateful. There are also a lot of loving religious people (they just aren’t making a lot of obnoxious noise so are not noticed).

Olmert Dave Reply

September 8th, 2012 at 9:38 pm

When you have talk radio hosts saying, what if I said I want to k— Obama, and get away with it cuz he says “what if” what else can a person expect? This host is leaving and retiring so maybe his influence over these people who believe everything he says and do not hear the ” What If ” will get over this blind hate! Not likely, but hopefully.

Sally Reply

September 8th, 2012 at 9:50 pm

I hope they make an example of this girl. She is sixteen and knows better. And so should her parents, from whom she has learned well. As the song says, “You’ve got to be carefully taught.” And she learned ehr lessons well. Obama is evil. He’s destroying America because he hates white people. He is a closet Muslim, commie, Stalinist, fascist, China lover, Israel hater angry black man. It doesn’t matter to them that every one of those is untrue. After all, they heard Hannity clain last night that the Democratic Convention was dull and boring. Funny, anyone who watched it saw dozens of speakers give the speeches of their lives, with facts, fore, and conviction. I guess the GOP is so used to defending their boring lying sleazyball candidates, they no longer recognize facts. It is a shame that Palin threw gasoline on this fire and somehow permission was granted to hate and hate big. Wish death on elected officials. Buy elections, or cheat with machines if you can’t win on class and ideas.

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How the Republican Party Became the Party of Hate
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Key Element of Arizona Immigration Law Survives Ruling – NYTimes.com


Key Element of Arizona Immigration Law Survives Ruling – NYTimes.com.

TUCSON — A decision by a federal judge on Wednesday paved the way for the most controversial section of Arizona’s sweeping immigration legislation, requiring the authorities to verify the status of people who they suspect are in the country illegally, to finally take effect.
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Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona at the United States Supreme Court in April during judicial debate over Arizona’s immigration law. A federal judge Wednesday let stand a key provision of the law.
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Arizona: Judge Upholds Immigration Law (September 6, 2012)
Times Topic: Arizona Immigration Law (SB 1070)

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In denying a request by a coalition of civil rights groups to bar the provision, commonly referred to as “show me your papers,” Judge Susan Bolton of United States District Court in Phoenix adopted the same wait-and-see approach suggested by the Supreme Court in June, saying that the measure could be challenged “as interpreted and applied after it goes into effect.”

The decision, though, does not end the legal battles that have enmeshed the measure and other portions of the law for more than two years, challenging their validity and constitutionality all the way to the Supreme Court.

For law enforcement agencies that had taken a more benign approach to immigration enforcement, it poses a quandary, forcing them to balance conflicting obligations of going after illegal immigrants while keeping them on their side.

“All this does is amplify a problem that already existed,” which is establishing trust among people already reluctant to cooperate with the authorities, Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik of Pima County said in an interview from his office here.

Hoping to validate concerns raised by the Supreme Court in its ruling, the civil rights groups presented several examples to bolster the argument that traffic stops and detentions would inevitably grow longer as a result of efforts by law enforcement officers to verify a person’s immigration status. The groups also used statements made by some state legislators — who spoke of illegal immigrants and Mexicans or, more generally, Hispanics, as one and the same — to prove that the immigration bill they passed was inherently discriminatory, a violation of the 14th Amendment’s equal-protection clause.

Judge Bolton dismissed the first contention and seemed to have ignored their other claim. She made no mention of it in her order, which ran 12 pages and quoted extensively from the Supreme Court’s ruling, as well as lower courts’ rulings on similar immigration laws challenged in other states.

She did, however, give the plaintiffs one measure of victory by ordering the state to stop enforcing an aspect of its immigration law that makes it a crime to harbor or transport illegal immigrants. She employed the same rationale used by the courts in Alabama and Georgia to block similar provisions, arguing that states cannot impose rules in areas already regulated by federal immigration laws.

Gov. Jan Brewer’s staff was still weighing Thursday whether to appeal the order, but the governor still hailed Judge Bolton’s ruling, saying that it put the state “one step closer to implementing the core provision” of its immigration law.

Cecillia Wang, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, which is part of the civil rights coalition, said the judge “really missed an opportunity” to prevent the types of abuses she and others have claimed are already happening in places like Maricopa County, where Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his deputies have been vigorously using other state laws to go after illegal immigrants.

Judge Bolton’s order, Ms. Wang added, “puts the burden of defending constitutional rights on the victims of abuse by police and sheriff’s offices in Arizona.” Carlos Garcia, executive director of Puente, an advocacy group in Phoenix, said the ruling “will only expand the human rights crisis in Arizona” and the police will no longer be able to “protect and serve” Latinos, “only racially profile them.”

Sheriff Dupnik said his deputies were trained to “use common sense and good judgment” before they stop, detain or question a suspect. “This law,” he went on, “makes it no different.”

Lawsuits by the Justice Department and a similar roster of civil rights organizations that appeared before Judge Bolton were already challenging Sheriff Arpaio’s methods and intentions, saying they were intended to single out Latinos for enforcement actions.

In 2010, Judge Bolton issued a preliminary injunction against the show-me-your-papers provision. The injunction is still in place, though on Wednesday she gave the department and the State of Arizona 10 days to formally request its dismissal.