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Gender: Male
Hometown: Delaware
Member since: Fri Jan 20, 2006, 07:14 PM
Number of posts: 38,378

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Here's what happens when clerks refuse

While there have been interesting visions of "lock 'em up" or "send in the troops", the actual process in these instances has a little more sting, and a lot less "martyrdom potential".

So, what do you do when a clerk refuses to issue a lawful marriage license on the basis of their religious beliefs?

Contrary to what some believe, it is not directly a "crime" to disobey a court order, and in a direct sense, this clerk has not been "ordered" by any court to issue a marriage license in the first place.

However, it is now the law of the land that persons of the same sex who are otherwise lawfully able to be married (age, consanguinity, consent, residence, whatever) what the clerk is doing is a deprivation of civil rights.

When you have been deprived of your civil rights by a government official, the relevant law is 42 USC 1983 (that's chapter 42 of the United States Code, Section 1983), typically called a "1983 action":

"Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer’s judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable."

Okay, so that says "you can sue the clerk".

But, as they say on Survivor, "You want to know what you're playing for?"

Compensatory damages, punitive damages, and, in a rare departure to the normal rules of litigation in the US - attorney's fees - under 42 USC 1988:

"In any action or proceeding to enforce a provision of sections 1981, 1981a, 1982, 1983, 1985, and 1986 of this title... the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party, other than the United States, a reasonable attorney’s fee as part of the costs, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer’s judicial capacity such officer shall not be held liable for any costs, including attorney’s fees, unless such action was clearly in excess of such officer’s jurisdiction."

And, oh yeah, it's clearly in excess. Mind you a "reasonable attorney's fee" does not have to be the actual hours at the billable rate, but what would be "reasonable". If a top shelf NY firm would charge $10,000 to file, then that's "reasonable". The system is run by lawyers, and they can be downright unreasonable about what is a "reasonable attorney's fee".

That, incidentally, is how civil rights litigation organizations are funded, apart from donations.

So, you fill in the relevant names, dates and places in a form complaint, pay your $300 filing fee (also included in the prize package), along with the form motion for emergency injunctive relief, and serve it on the clerk.

The clerk then checks up the line and says, "Hey, is this real? Am I covered for this?" and finds out, in most instances, that the county will not pay their legal fees or cover their liability. The clerk then calls his or her friend the lawyer who says, "Issue the license or get out your checkbook."

Now, where it gets real fun is when the clerk decides he/she wants to be a hero. The clerk is going to lose on the motion for injunctive relief (ordering the clerk to issue the license) and is then going to have to decide how many days they want to spend locked up on contempt before (a) they issue the license, (b) they resign their post or (c) someone else in that county office is empowered to issue the license and they do so. Both (b) and (c) render holding the clerk on contempt to be moot, since the point of contempt is to gain compliance with the order, and not some "penalty" for non-compliance.

And this is what just played out in a county in Texas. While the Texas AG issued a much-hyped memo to clerks saying that they, personally, do not have to issue a license, the less-hyped portion of that memo says that someone ELSE in the office with the same power can issue it.

Karen Phillips, the Smith County (Texas) Clerk, just learned this the hard way:

Suit filed Friday. Clerk folded on Monday.

Man, if I didn't have my hands full this week, I'd get a van, a couple, and take a road trip into Dumbfuckistan.

Despite mourning, statehouse Confederate battle flag remains at full staff

Well, I guess EarlG nailed it:


The Confederate flag flying at the Statehouse in Columbia became part of the Charleston church massacre story line Thursday after the U.S. and South Carolina flags were lowered in mourning but the rebel banner was left flying at its full height

Sydneys Voluptuous Buttocks is worth taking a look at

So, yes, Sydneys Voluptuous Buttocks, unlike Donald Trump, has filed a declaration of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission:


Office Sought: P - PRESIDENT
Election Year: 2016
State: US - UNITED STATES, District: 00

Digging a little further into Sydneys Buttocks, I found this blog:


While it's not much, I think we are going to see a lot more of Sydneys Voluptuous Buttocks over the next few months.

So far, what's come out of Sydneys Buttocks has been the statement "For World Peace" and this picture of the candidate:

We've been spending too much time talking about joke candidates like Donald T. Rump, and I think it is time for us to get down to business with Sydneys Voluptuous Buttocks.

Hillary consorting with felons...

I still think it's way too early, but since it is probably a large collection and will take a while, can we go through the "Here's a picture of Hillary Clinton standing next to someone awful" and therefore her heartfelt and personal endorsement of everything said awful person has ever done?

I'll lead with Martha Stewart:

Okay, that one's out of the way.


We'll also need the official repository of "Hillary Clinton pointing to someone she recognizes in a crowd and giving an excited smile" pictures.

DEA Steals $16,000 In Cash From Young Black Man


After scraping together enough money to produce a music video in Hollywood, 22-year-old Joseph Rivers set out last month on a train trip from Michigan to Los Angeles, hoping it was the start of something big.


Rivers changed trains at the Amtrak station in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on April 15, with bags containing his clothes, other possessions and an envelope filled with the $16,000 in cash he had raised with the help of his family, the Albuquerque Journal reports. Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration got on after him and began looking for people who might be trafficking drugs.

Rivers said the agents questioned passengers at random, asking for their destination and reason for travel. When one of the agents got to Rivers, who was the only black person in his car, according to witnesses, the agent took the interrogation further, asking to search his bags. Rivers complied. The agent found the cash -- still in a bank envelope -- and decided to seize it on suspicion that it may be tied to narcotics. River pleaded with the agents, explaining his situation and even putting his mother on the phone to verify the story.


“We don’t have to prove that the person is guilty,” Sean Waite, the agent in charge at the DEA's Albuquerque's office, told the Journal. “It’s that the money is presumed to be guilty.”


I believe that Sean Waite - that's sean.r.waite@usdoj.gov - deserves a personal round of appreciation from anyone who feels led to congratulate him on this remarkable victory in the war on families raising money for a young man to pursue his dream.

Sign Up Online To Run For President

The FEC form 2 is available online here:


Remember: You can't win if you don't play.

I like Clinton and Sanders

Do we all have to buy into politics as "Mortal Kombat"?

The primaries will come and go, and good times will be had by all along the way.

It's not going to end with one of them yanking out the still-beating heart of the other.

Both have pluses and minuses as far as I'm concerned but, good golly, what is with the continual sniping at one another here?

People kill people over stupid shit every god-damned day


Man Fatally Stabs Brother Over Mayweather-Pacquiao Fight

The victim's cousin told police that he was stabbed by his brother during an argument about the much-anticipated boxing match that took place Saturday night.

Not a single DU thread here supporting the right to the dead guy's opinion about that boxing match.


A verbal altercation between two groups at a Tyler Walmart Thursday night ended with one man dead and another shot after they followed the other party to their home.

Well, golly, has anyone gone and found out what they were arguing about, who was right, and boldly stood up for the right of whomever was shot to say whatever it was he said?


Man shot in shoulder Wednesday after argument at Jacksonville food store

Well, my goodness, I have no idea what to make of that with no idea what they were arguing about.

"Someone stupid shot someone over some stupid shit someone said" is hardly an unusual news item. Whatever the "stupid shit" may have been is irrelevant to whatever it was that inspired the stupid person to do the shooting.

About that Popeye's restaurant which fired the pregnant employee

The franchise owner of the Popeye's in question is Z&H Foods Inc., of Houston, Texas.

They were sued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2014 for failing to respond to an administrative subpoena pursuant to an investigation of their employment practices:



4. The Respondent is an employer doing business in the State of Texas,
with a Popeye’s facility at 3103 FM 1960, in Humble, Texas.

5. On May 6, 2014, pursuant to its authority under 29 U.S.C. § 161 (incorporated in
Section 710 of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-9, which, in turn, is incorporated in Section 107(a)
of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. §12117(a)), the EEOC issued to the Respondent Subpoena No.
HU-A14-39, which was duly served on the Respondent.

6. Subpoena No. HU-A14-39 required the Respondent to produce information
needed as part of the EEOC’s investigation of a charge of unlawful employ
ment practices, Charge No. 460-2014-00470, which has been filed against the Respondent.

7. The Respondent has not filed a petition to revoke or modify the Subpoena.

8. The Respondent has refused to comply with Subpoena No. HU-A14-39.

The proceedings appear to have been served on the following individual:

Z&H Foods, Inc.
Shoukat Dhanani
4415 Highway 6
Sugarland, TX 77478

A real peach that guy is.

Be sure to say hello to him on Facebook, for those of you that use it:


In Florida Man's Defense (the tree guy)

Who could resist the heady mix of Anita Bryant's overpoweringly wholesome sexual excitement and a great source of vitamin C?

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