Tag Archives: equal protection

Mr. POTUS, we must ‘have judges’

Donald J. Trump wants to change U.S. immigration policy by diminishing the role of — get a load of this — the federal judiciary.

Trump wants to toss all illegal immigrants out of the country without the benefit of having their cases heard by judges.

The president of the United States today yet again took dead aim at our immigration policy. He called it the worst policy “in the history of the world.” He then said something quite remarkable in a brief give-and-take with reporters gathered at the White House.

Trump noted that when immigrants cross our border, “they have judges.” Yes, judges. These are the men and women who take an oath to administer the law in accordance with the U.S. Constitution, to ensure that federal law doesn’t violate the Constitution.

Federal immigration law — indeed, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution — grants “any person” the right to “due process” and “equal protection” under the law. It doesn’t limit those guarantees to U.S. citizens, let alone to those who come here legally from another nation.

The president’s desire to toss out the Constitution, to ignore existing federal statutes crosses the line into a desire to create an autocracy. He wants to throw into the crapper a fundamental tenet that the nation’s founders insisted on when they created this government. That tenet established a judicial system that is ostensibly free of political pressure and coercion.

Yes, we need more federal judges — not fewer of them — to deal specifically with this issue of immigration. Yet the president now disparages the role these judges play? He disrespects their vital contribution to the administering of justice?

Reprehensible.

It’s about her sexual orientation, period!

An item I posted on this blog about Stacy Bailey’s suspension from her teaching job in Arlington, Texas, provoked a fascinating exchange along some of my social media contacts.

Bailey was kicked out of the classroom after she showed her elementary school students a picture of her and now-wife. Mansfield Independent School District officials acted as they were allowed to do under Texas law, which enables them to punish an employee based on their sexual orientation.

One of my social media contacts suggested that Bailey should have known better than to show the students a picture with her same-sex significant other. Another of my social media friends said that teachers shouldn’t ever engage in such a personal matter with students.

Back and forth it went.

Get set for another key court decision on being gay

I come down in this manner. The only reason Bailey was suspended by Mansfield ISD is because of her sexual orientation. Had she shown the students a picture of her with her husband, there wouldn’t even be a discussion about it. No student would have said a word to Mom and Dad about it. There would be no hubbub.

This story revolves exclusively around the sexuality of a teacher who, by all accounts, does a good job of educating the children in her classroom.

It has not a thing to do with the idea of showing a picture of her with a loved one, per se. It has everything to do with the fact that her loved one happens to be of the same gender as the teacher.

That is where I hope this gets case gets argued. Bailey has filed a complaint and my hunch is that it’s going to end up in the very highest of the Texas judicial system. It well could wind its way into the federal system as well, possibly as high as the U.S. Supreme Court.

Stacy Bailey had better prepare herself to be the next big test case for the cause of Equal Protection, which is stipulated in the U.S. Constitution. Either she is entitled to the same rights of such protection as every other American — which the Supreme Court endorsed when it legalized gay marriage — or she isn’t.

My hope is that the court would affirm her rights to such protection as a U.S. citizen.

This woman’s sexual identity — and nothing else — is at the center of this dispute.

Feds have no say in marriage? Um, yes, they do!

The issue of marriage came up as a side issue in an editorial published by a Texas newspaper. I feel the need to set the record straight about what rights the federal government has in determining marriage.

The Amarillo Globe-News said this, among other things, in discussing states’ rights on sports betting and a recent Supreme Court ruling on that subject: The federal government has no right to define marriage in any way, shape or form. Yet the U.S. Supreme Court sees fit to define marriage for the entire nation. Again – no state’s rights here.

The AGN is seeking to ascertain where states’ rights are relevant and where federal authority supersedes them.

Read the editorial here.

Back to the point: The Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that the U.S. Constitution — the document that governs the entire nation — has a clause that requires all citizens to have “equal protection under the law.” That was the basis of its ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 our states.

This isn’t a deeply held secret ruling concocted in some star chamber by a majority of the Supreme Court justices. The law is clear. Marriage becomes a federal issue if someone chooses to seek a legal remedy that they believe violates one of the key provisions of the Constitution.

Equal protection is such a key provision. Thus, when a segment of our population is denied the right to marry whoever they love, then the federal judiciary has an obligation to set the record straight.

States have no right, therefore, under the federal Constitution, to deny any American their guarantee of equal protection under the law.

Are we clear now? Good!

Texas Senate deciding whether to defy U.S. Supreme Court

I cannot believe the Texas Senate is considering a bill such as the one it is considering.

Senators are debating whether to allow county clerks to deny gay couples a marriage license.

Let’s see. How is this supposed to work?

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled two years ago in a landmark decision that gay marriage is protected under the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. It ruled that every state in the country should allow same-sex couples to marry, which requires them to obtain the legal documentation necessary to become married — just as straight couples are required to do.

The highest court in the nation — to which Texas belongs — ruled that gay marriage is legal.

County clerks, thus, are required to obey the oath they take to honor the laws of the land. Isn’t that right? A handful of county clerks quit their posts rather than perform the duties required of them as a result of the court ruling. Those who remain, though, must fulfill the oath they take — regardless, it seems to me, of their own religious conviction.

Amarillo straddles a border separating Randall and Potter counties. Renee Calhoun and Julie Smith, who serve as county clerks in Randall and Potter counties, respectively, both declared they would issue licenses to gay couples who requested them.

Given the political nature of this discussion, I feel compelled to note that both Calhoun and Smith are Republicans. A healthy majority of Republicans are inclined to oppose gay marriage as a matter of principle, relying on their belief in biblical assertions that marriage should be performed only between one man and one woman.

To my way of thinking, there shouldn’t even be a bill considered in the Texas Legislature that would give county clerks an “out” if they chose to deny gay couples a license to marry.

The Supreme Court of the United States, acting as the final arbiter on these constitutional matters, has decided the issue once and for all. Gay marriage is legal and county clerks ought to be required to do the job to which they swore an oath to perform faithfully.

I must stipulate that they swear their allegiance to the Constitution, as secular a governing document as any ever enacted.

KKK spews same old hate message

Hold on a second! I thought I read a time or two that the Ku Klux Klan was seeking to remake its image, that it was going to a sort of “kinder, gentler” hate group.

I must have dreamt it. The KKK is reverting to form.

A Mississippi Klan chapter has issued what it said is a “call to arms” to protest a decision to allow same-sex marriages to occur next door in Alabama.

http://www.salon.com/2015/02/14/kkk_issues_call_to_arms_over_alabama_same_sex_marriage_ruling_partner/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

Where I come from, a “call to arms” means what it says: that you are going to take up arms and fight someone — in this case, presumably the federal government. Also, where I come from, that sounds like sedition, which means to plot against the government, to mount an armed rebellion. And isn’t that an act of treason, punishable by, um, death?

A Ku Klux Klan grand dragon/serpent — a guy named Brent Waller — said this on a website post: “We as White Christians intend to see that no outside agitators bully or intimidate the White Christian majority in the State of Alabama. We salute those like the chief justice (Roy Moore) for standing against the Immoral, Ungodly and activist Federal Judges.”

How will they do that? Are they going to shoot someone?

Holy hate speech, Batman!

This nimrod needs to know that the federal judges who are ruling against statewide bans on same-sex marriage are acting totally within the law. The Constitution gives them authority to interpret the nation’s government framework, which they’re doing by declaring the 14th Amendment to the Constitution protects all Americans’ right to “equal protection” under the law. I will restate right here that all Americans means everyone, no matter their sexual orientation.

History has demonstrated time and again — for more than a century — that the Klan doesn’t believe in the Constitution.

 

 

Ready or not, Texas, same-sex marriage on its way

Get ready, Texas.

We’re about to be told that same-sex marriage is OK after all in the Lone Star State.

That vote we had to amend the Texas Constitution to say “not just ‘no,’ but ‘hell no!’ to same-sex marriage”? It’s going to be ruled in violation of the other Constitution, the federal document that governs all Americans. You see, it has an amendment that guarantees “equal protection under the laws” for all U.S. citizens. It doesn’t say just for those who want to marry those of the opposite sex; it means all, period.

http://www.texastribune.org/2015/02/12/light-alabama-plaintiffs-tx-ask-relief/

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against an effort to overturn a lower-court ruling involving this issue in Alabama. That has court-watchers believing that other states whose same-sex marriage laws are in limbo at the moment now will be informed that, yes, they also must allow same-sex couples to get married.

One of the U.S. Supreme Court justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has said publicly that all Americans had better get used to the idea of same-sex marriage becoming legal in this country.

I remain somewhat conflicted on this issue. I dislike using the term “marriage” to define same-sex relationships. Being an old-fashioned kind of fellow, I remain a bit reluctant to climb on board fully. That all said, I do understand what the federal Constitution’s 14th Amendment says about equal protection.

Therefore, I believe it should be legalized purely on the grounds that the Founders understood that all citizens need certain guarantees written into the nation’s governing framework.

Texas remains one of 50 states, all of which are subject to federal law. Thus, we’d better prepare ourselves for the inevitable change in the way we view marriage.