Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Great Ruling for Trans Rights

This is a big deal:
A federal appeals court panel today upheld a lower court ruling that Georgia transgender woman Vandy Beth Glenn was illegally fired from her job as a legislative editor in the Georgia General Assembly after she informed her employer she planned to transition from male to female.

"The question here is whether discriminating against someone on the basis of his or her gender non-conformity constitutes sex-based discrimination under the Equal Protection Clause. …We hold that it does," the three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled. Judge Rosemary Barkett wrote the opinion for the unanimous panel.

Read the story on oral arguments held before the 11th Circuit on Dec. 1 here.

"There is thus a congruence between discriminating against transgender and transsexual individuals and discrimination on the basis of gender-based behavioral norms.

"Accordingly, discrimination against a transgender individual because of her gender-nonconformity is sex discrimination, whether it’s described as being on the basis of sex or gender," the three-judge panel ruled. Appeals court panel rules for Ga. trans woman in job discrimination case

It looks like this could make gender-identity discrimination illegal under the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution in all fifty states. Which is a big deal. Of course there will be some appeals, but the momentum appears unstoppable at this point.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

the ruling is full of holes and legal decisions are not political campaigns, influenced by momentum:

"WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is announcing a wide-ranging effort to use U.S. foreign aid to promote rights for gays and lesbians abroad, including combating attempts by foreign governments to criminalize homosexuality.

In a memorandum issued Tuesday, President Barack Obama directed U.S. agencies working abroad, including the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, to use foreign aid to assist gays and lesbians who are facing human rights violations. And he ordered U.S. agencies to protect vulnerable gay and lesbian refugees and asylum seekers.

"The struggle to end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons is a global challenge, and one that is central to the United States' commitment to promoting human rights," Obama said in a statement."

December 07, 2011 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh good

Reagan ended the Cold War, and now, Obama has got it going again

this will great for Hollywood

"MOSCOW — Prime Minister Vladimir Putin strongly criticized U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday, accusing her of encouraging and funding Russians protesting election fraud, and warned of a wider Russian crackdown on dissent.

By describing Russia's parliamentary election as rigged, Putin said Clinton "gave a signal" to his opponents.

"They heard this signal and with the support of the U.S. State Department began their active work," Putin said in televised remarks. He said the United States is spending "hundreds of millions" of dollars to influence Russian politics with the aim of weakening a rival nuclear power.

Putin's tough words show the deep cracks in U.S.-Russian ties despite President Barack Obama's efforts to "reset" relations with the Kremlin. Ahead of the election, President Dmitry Medvedev threatened to deploy missiles to target the U.S. missile shield in Europe if Washington failed to assuage Moscow's concerns about its plans."

December 08, 2011 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reagan didn't end the cold war by making nice with Soviet leaders, or looking in their eyes like Bush did. Reagan ended the cold war by telling the Soviets what he expected of them, just like Obama and our allies are doing. Reagan was more like McCain, who looked in their leader's eyes and saw not his "soul," but "KGB."

"Putin's remarks echoed the tough anti-Western rhetoric he employed in his 2000-2008 presidency to suggest Western nations were funding Kremlin critics to try to weaken Russia and prevent its resurgence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

He has turned increasingly to the same tough talk since revealing in September that he planned to swap jobs with President Dmitry Medvedev next year.

The United States and the European Union have expressed concern about the conduct of the Russian election and the treatment of peaceful protesters. Clinton suggested on Tuesday that the vote was not free or fair.

At a conference at NATO headquarters after Putin made his remarks, she said she had expressed "well-founded" concerns.

Voters bruised Putin in Sunday's election by reducing his party's majority in the lower house, undermining his mandate as he prepares to return to the Kremlin."

December 08, 2011 2:35 PM  
Anonymous Derrick said...

Reason always wins, Anon.

Yet again...

December 08, 2011 10:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, Drick, well reason this:

the Supreme Court won't rule that supporting marriage is a violation of equal protection because it's not

all society benefits from preferencing marriage over hedonistic homosexual groupings

no one is necessarily denied protection because they aren't part of a structure that society is trying to encourage

December 08, 2011 11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Derrick failed to grasp reason


December 08, 2011 11:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the Supreme Court won't rule that supporting marriage is a violation of equal protection because it's not"

That's not logic.

How the Supreme Court will rule is anybody's guess, but if the majority follows the same logic as they did in the Lawrence v. Texas ruling, they will rule that not giving marriage rights to some couples is a violation of due process and a denial of their liberty.

"Kennedy spent most of his opinion casting doubt on the court's finding of fact in Bowers that homosexual sodomy is a widely and historically condemned practice. As an example, Kennedy cited a 1981 European Court of Human Rights case Dudgeon v. United Kingdom, as evidence that the court in Bowers was incorrect in saying that Western civilization condemned homosexuality, since Dudgeon led to the de-criminalization of homosexuality in Northern Ireland, and it had been decriminalized in the rest of Britain earlier: in England & Wales in 1967 and in Scotland in 1980. Chief Justice Burger, concurring in Bowers, had held that "Decisions of individuals relating to homosexual conduct have been subject to state intervention throughout the history of Western civilization". Kennedy's citation of European law was in part a response to this blanket characterization of the values of "Western civilization."

The Court concluded that, "Bowers was not correct when it was decided, and it is not correct today. It ought not to remain binding precedent. Bowers v. Hardwick should be and now is overruled." The majority decision also held that the intimate, adult consensual conduct at issue here was part of the liberty protected by the substantive component of the Fourteenth Amendment's due process protections. Holding that "the Texas statute furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual," the court struck down the anti-sodomy law as unconstitutional.

Kennedy's opinion grounded the right of consenting adults to have sex on how intimate and personal the conduct was to those involved, not on the conduct being traditionally protected by society (as in Bowers), procreative (as in Eisenstadt and Roe), or conducted by married people (as in Griswold). This opened the door in theory to protection of a whole host of activities between consenting adults not protected by other decisions."

Like marriage.

"Justice Sandra Day O'Connor filed a concurring opinion, agreeing with the invalidation of the Texas anti-sodomy statute, but not with Kennedy's rationale. O'Connor disagreed with both the overturning of Bowers (she had been in the Bowers majority) and with the court's invocation of due process guarantees of liberty in this context. O'Connor instead preferred the equal protection argument which would still strike the law because it was directed against a group rather than an act"

Just like denying marriage to gay couples but not to straight couples is.

December 09, 2011 8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

your mistake in logic is that marriage is not an activity, it is an institution

two consenting adults are deemed to have the liberty to act as they want unless they infringe someone else's liberty or property

marriage, however, involves the endorsement of society, which wouldn't make sense to bestow unconditionally

homosexual advocates are not seeking liberty for homosexuals, they are seeking endorsement for homosexuals

it is not owed them and there is no evidence all, or even most, homosexuals even want it

December 09, 2011 10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In March Derence Kernek and Ed Watson recorded a video requesting that California's 9th Circuit Court allow Judge Vaughn Walker's decision to overturn Prop 8 to stand. This request was due to Watson having recently been diagnosed with a rapid-onset Alzheimer's. The couple wanted to be married while Watson still had memories of their 40 years together.

On Aug. 4, 2010, Judge Walker had ruled that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional, as it denied gays and lesbians due process and equal protection under the law. As Walker had not disclosed that he was gay and in a relationship at the time, Prop 8 supporters filed a motion to dismiss his decision, as he would stand to benefit from it. Of course, their argument fails to recognize that according to their anti-gay claims, any heterosexual judge would stand to benefit from a decision in their favor."

how would straights benefit? I thought gays claim that gay "marriage" wouldn't hurt straights

looks like someone can't keep their propaganda straight !!

That argument before the 9th Circuit was heard on Dec. 8 in regard to the Prop 8 proponents' appeal of that decision.

Close to midnight, on the eve of these arguments, Watson passed away due to complications from his quickly advancing Alzheimer's and diabetes. He and Kernek were never married."

December 09, 2011 6:35 PM  
Anonymous reason always wins said...

Less than one year out from Election Day 2012, voters remain overwhelmingly pessimistic about the economy, and their concerns are taking a toll on President Obama's re-election chances. Just 41 percent of Americans think Mr. Obama has performed his job well enough to be elected to a second term, whereas 54 percent don't think so.

The president's overall approval rating remains in the mid-40's, according to a CBS News poll - lower than the approval ratings of Mr. Obama's four presidential predecessors at this point in their first terms. Mr. Obama's approval rating is dragged down by his poor marks for his handling of the economy - which, at 33 percent, is the lowest rating of his presidency in CBS News polls.

When it comes to leading the economy in the right direction, voters are unimpressed: Just 28 percent think he has made progress on improving the economy. And most Americans say the president doesn't share the public's priorities, according to the poll, conducted December 5-7.

December 09, 2011 10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scandal: Newly obtained documents show that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives used its covert operation Fast and Furious to argue for new rules about gun sales.

As we observed in June, the way Fast and Furious — the government's gun-running operation that resulted in the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry — was conducted made no sense unless its intent was to facilitate violence with U.S. weapons in the interests of pursuing the administration's gun-control agenda.

Now documents obtained by CBS News confirm that our first suspicions were correct.

As CBS' Sharyl Attkisson reports, emails show ATF officials discussed using the deliberate transfer of weapons to Mexican drug cartels to justify a new gun regulation known as "Demand Letter 3."

Representatives pummeled Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Thursday over the disputed gun-trafficking investigation called Operation Fast and Furious, accusing the Justice Department of hiding the truth and lying to Congress in a slugfest of an oversight hearing.

Mr. Holder denied the allegations and declared that he would not resign.

Representative F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. of Wisconsin called for “heads to roll” and threatened to impeach Obama administration officials. Representative Darrell Issa of California pronounced Mr. Holder in “contempt of Congress” for refusing to turn over certain internal departmental e-mails. Representative Ted Poe of Texas suggested that Justice Department officials should be prosecuted for manslaughter for recklessly allowing guns to fall into the hands of criminals.

December 10, 2011 1:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"AUSTIN, Tex. — Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Tuesday entered the turbulent political waters of voting rights, signaling that the Justice Department would be aggressive in reviewing new voting laws that civil rights advocates say will dampen minority participation in next year’s elections.

Declaring in a speech that protecting ballot access for all eligible voters “must be viewed not only as a legal issue but as a moral imperative,” Mr. Holder urged Americans to “call on our political parties to resist the temptation to suppress certain votes in the hope of attaining electoral success and, instead, achieve success by appealing to more voters.”

The speech by Mr. Holder could inflame a smoldering partisan dispute over race and ballot access as the 2012 campaign cycle intensifies. It comes as the Justice Department’s civil rights division is scrutinizing a series of new state voting laws that were enacted — largely by Republican officials — in the name of fighting fraud.

Mr. Holder spoke here at the presidential library of Lyndon B. Johnson, who signed the Voting Rights Act in 1965. The act enables the civil rights division to object to election laws and practices on the grounds that they would disproportionately deter minority groups from voting — even if there is no evidence of discriminatory intent — and to go to court to block states from putting the laws in place.

Mr. Holder also laid out a case for replacing the “antiquated” voter registration system by automatically registering all eligible voters; for barring state legislators from gerrymandering their own districts, and for creating a federal statute prohibiting the dissemination of fraudulent information to deceive people into not voting.

His remarks came against the backdrop of a huge turnout of young and minority voters in the 2008 election that helped propel President Obama to victory. In the 2010 election, when voting by such groups dropped off and enthusiasm among more conservative groups surged, Republicans won sweeping victories, winning or expanding control of many state legislatures and governorships.

This year, more than a dozen states enacted new voting restrictions. For example, eight — Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin — imposed new laws requiring voters to present state-issued photo identification cards. Previously voters were able to use other forms of identification, like bank statements, utility bills and Social Security cards.

Proponents of such restrictions — mostly Republicans — say they are necessary to prevent voter fraud that could cancel out the choices of legitimate participants. Opponents — mostly Democrats — say there is no evidence of meaningful levels of fraud and contend that the measures are a veiled effort to suppress participation by hundreds of thousands of eligible voters who lack a driver’s license.

Mr. Holder quoted with approval a speech by Representative John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat and longtime civil rights activist, who recently declared that voting rights were “under attack” in “a deliberate and systematic attempt to prevent millions of elderly voters, young voters, students, minority and low-income voters from exercising their constitutional right to engage in the democratic process.”"

December 14, 2011 2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A bipartisan group of senators is calling on the Justice Department to apologize to the family of the late Sen. Ted Stevens and fire the attorneys [in George W. Bush Administration's DOJ] accused of the withholding of evidence that contributed to his criminal conviction.

The former colleagues of the long-serving Alaskan Republican told The Hill that the DOJ’s prosecution of Stevens was a disgrace.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), a close friend of Stevens’s, said DOJ handled the case against the former senator “vindictively” and recommended the disbarment of the attorneys responsible for the botched trial. Hatch said the failure of the prosecutors to turn over key evidence was “the lowest” level of law and indicative of a hunger to convict powerful politicians even in the face of conflicting testimony.

“There are a lot of good people down at Justice, and they continue on no matter what, but there’s been a growth of ambitious prosecutors in this country — some are U.S. attorneys — who don’t care about justice, they just care about winning,” Hatch said in an interview.

“In this case, one of the most basic principles of law was ignored, and that was exculpatory evidence that would have cleared Stevens that should have said to them, ‘This man should never have been indicted to begin with,’ ” he said.

Several senators on both sides of the aisle agreed with Hatch, although the lawmakers noted the mishandling of the case has not undermined their confidence in the agency’s Public Integrity Section as a whole.

A spokesperson for the DOJ declined to answer questions for this article and instead pointed to Holder’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last month.

Recently released excerpts from a 500-page independent report on the Stevens case, which is still under review, found that prosecutors concealed evidence that would have helped Stevens’s lawyers prove his innocence and “seriously damaged the testimony and credibility of the government’s key witness.”

After a prolonged investigation by the FBI, Stevens was indicted in 2008 on charges that he failed to disclose gifts from oil executives. He was convicted about one week before voters went to the polls, and Stevens lost his reelection bid that year.

In his first months as attorney general, Eric Holder moved to dismiss the indictment against Stevens and set aside the guilty verdict after reviewing evidence that suggested the DOJ’s witnesses might have perjured themselves and that the government withheld evidence from the defense team. "

December 14, 2011 2:13 PM  

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