Category Archives: Religion

Justice Kennedy announces his retirement: this means war

Justice Anthony Kennedy surprisingly announced his retirement at the end of the term for the Supreme Court — he had already hired his judicial clerks for next term — playing into the narrative of right-wingers who have been pressuring him all year to retire in order to put another young ideological conservative on the Court like junior associate justice Neil Gorsuch.

The New York Times reports, Justice Anthony Kennedy to Retire From Supreme Court:

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced on Wednesday that he will retire this summer, setting in motion a furious fight over the future of the Supreme Court and giving President Trump the chance to cement a conservative judicial philosophy on the American legal system for generations.

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Justice Kennedy delivered a letter of resignation to Mr. Trump Wednesday afternoon, shortly after a half-hour meeting at the White House, where the president called him a jurist with “tremendous vision and tremendous heart.”

“Please permit me by this letter to express my profound gratitude for having had the privilege to seek in each case how best to know, interpret and defend the Constitution and the laws that must always conform to its mandates and promises,” Justice Kennedy wrote to Mr. Trump.

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SCOTUS conservatives uphold Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban

David Horsey’s dystopian vision of life in America under Donald Trump (right) has become a shocking reality. With Trump’s Deportation Force rounding up immigrant familiess from Latin America and jailing them in internment camps, and Trump asserting dictatorial powers over the courts and constitutional due process, today the conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban in a 5-4 decision in Trump v. Hawaii(.pdf).

This is what creeping fascism looks like.

The conservative majority on the Court demonstrates exceeding deference to executive authority, and exceeding indifference for individual liberties. Chief Justice John Roberts, delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Kennedy, Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch joined. Kennedy and Thomas filed concurring opinions.

Effectively the conservative majority holds that as long as there is a minimally rational neutral (pretextual) reason for the action taken under the Immigration and Naturalization Act, the Court will accept that reason as reasonable and disregard other evidence of the president’s numerous and repeated discriminatory public statements exhibiting a discriminatory animus. So Trump can be a raging racist religious bigot against Muslims to his heart’s content, and it does not affect the validity of this immigration order so long as the government can provide a minimally rational (pretextual) reason for the order.

One has to pose the hypothetical question whether this decision would be the same if this was a travel ban on Christians from predominantly Christian countries, instead of Muslims from predominantly Muslim countries. Sadly, I think we all know that we can presume the answer is no, and that is why this is a suspect opinion.

To their shame, all of the justices ruling in favor of the Muslim Travel Ban are Catholics. Given the past history of the Church, I’m sure Pope Francis is most displeased with the bad optics.

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No one should have to worry about the Pharmacist not filling their prescription.

Apparently, there is a law in Arizona that allows pharmacists the right to refuse to fill a prescription for medications that pharmacist feels goes against their moral code. When this occurs, according to store policy, that pharmacist is supposed to tell another pharmacist (one not so hindered) to fill the order.

Well, that did not happen in Peoria Arizona when a lady ordered a medication that would induce a miscarriage because the ten-week fetus had stopped developing. The Pharmacist who received the order refused to fill it citing the law. However, he also broke store rules by not referring the matter to another pharmacist.

This person should be fired for not following store policy and he and his store should be sued for the suffering it has caused this woman who made the only decision she could when faced with this tragic situation.

People who subscribe to the extreme forms of Right to Life view should use some common sense. There is no life if the fetus has stopped developing at ten weeks. Show some decency.

This pharmacist belongs in a different profession. Hobby Lobby is hiring. There should be openings in the supply department of that fine bastion of conservatism and family values after all those people with the illegal smuggling of priceless artifacts from Iraq were revealed.…/z-arizona-walgreens-…/727805002/…/sarah-huckabee-sande…/729391002/…/walgreens-peoria-pha…/729189002/…/pharmacy-board-inves…/732364002/




Not a masterpiece, but a mess from Justice Kennedy

The U.S. Supreme Court today announced its long-anticipated opinion in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (.pdf), in a 7-2 plurality decision by Justice Anthony Kennedy. Justice Kagan filed a concurring opinion, in which Justice Breyer joined. Justice Gorsuch filed a concurring opinion, in which Justice Alito joined. Justice Thomas filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment, in which Justice Gorsuch joined. Justice Ginsburg filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Sotomayor joined.

Justice Kennedy’s opinion, as he is wont to do in these type of cases, tried to satisfy both sides producing a narrow decision that, in practice, will only invite further litigation on the specifics of each case in the future. That is a dissatisfactory result for all.

Amy Howe of SCOTUSblog has the Opinion analysis: Court rules (narrowly) for baker in same-sex-wedding-cake case:

The Supreme Court ruled today in favor of Jack Phillips, a Colorado baker who refused to make a custom cake for a same-sex couple because he believed that doing so would violate his religious beliefs. This was one of the most anticipated decisions of the term, and it was relatively narrow: Although Phillips prevailed today, the opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy rested largely on the majority’s conclusion that the Colorado administrative agency that ruled against Phillips treated him unfairly by being too hostile to his sincere religious beliefs. The opinion seemed to leave open the possibility that, in a future case, a service provider’s sincere religious beliefs might have to yield to the state’s interest in protecting the rights of same-sex couples, and the majority did not rule at all on one of the central arguments in the case – whether compelling Phillips to bake a cake for a same-sex couple would violate his right to freedom of speech.

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AZ’s Worst Legislator: Mark Finchem is Bad for Schools, Women, and Veterans

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Arizona Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley) wants to sell the Grand Canyon to pay the state’s debt. That’s not the only bad idea he’s come up with since representing Oro Valley and Marana in Legislative District 11 since 2015. He injects … Continue reading

The Religious Right’s ‘blitz’ on American democracy

Last week Ireland, long a Roman Catholic country, held a vote to repeal a constitutional provision criminalizing abortion.  Ex-pat Irish citizens from around the world flew home to cast their votes. It wasn’t even close. Ireland votes overwhelmingly to overturn abortion ban:

The Irish have swept aside one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the developed world in a landslide vote that reflects Ireland’s emergence as a socially liberal country no longer obedient to Catholic dictates.

With all ballots counted and turnout at a near-historic high, election officials reported Saturday that 66.4 percent voted to overturn Ireland’s abortion prohibition and 33.6 percent opposed the measure.

The outcome of the referendum Friday was a decisive win for the campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution. The 1983 amendment enshrined an “equal right to life” for mothers and “the unborn” and outlawed almost all abortions — even in cases of rape, incest, fatal fetal abnormality or non-life-threatening risk to maternal health.

“What we have seen today is a culmination of a quiet revolution that has been taking place in Ireland for the past 10 or 20 years,” Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said.

The United States, however, is now moving in the exact opposite direction. Religious Right extremists have taken Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale not as a dystopian vision of a totalitarian Christian theonomy that has overthrown the United States government, but as a handbook on how to actually make it a reality.

In March, GOP-run Mississippi enacted the strictest abortion law in the nation, for the intended purpose of a legal challenge that may get in front of the U.S. Supreme Court to directly challenge Roe v. Wade (which permits abortions in the first 24 weeks). Mississippi gov signs nation’s toughest abortion restrictions:

Mississippi’s governor signed a law Monday banning most abortions after 15 weeks’ gestation, the tightest restrictions in the nation.

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The bill was drafted with the assistance of conservative groups including the Mississippi Center for Public Policy and the Alliance Defending Freedom [based in Scottsdale, Arizona].

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