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Solly Mack

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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Back of Beyond
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 84,048

About Me

Busy observing the group dynamics of dust bunnies.

Journal Archives

Brett Kavanaugh - potential SCOTUS justice

Garza v Hargan:Garza revolves around Jane Doe (as she is described in court filings), an undocumented minor who came to the United States in September without her parents. The government placed Doe in a federally funded shelter, where she learned that she was pregnant. She requested an abortion, but the shelter refused, following guidance issued by the Office of Refugee Resettlement—a wing of the Department of Health and Human Services that oversees shelters for undocumented, unaccompanied minors like Doe. In March, ORR announced that these shelters could not take “any action that facilitates” abortion for unaccompanied minors, including “scheduling appointments, transportation, or other arrangement,” without “direction and approval” from Scott Lloyd, the agency’s director.

Lloyd, a Trump appointee and anti-abortion activist, refuses to provide such approval. Instead, he directs shelters to take pregnant minors to “crisis pregnancy centers” to be “counseled” out of their decision. At least once, he has also personally called a minor to urge her not to terminate her pregnancy. Doe’s shelter took her to a crisis pregnancy center, but it did not change her mind

A staff member at the shelter then called Doe’s mother and informed her that her daughter was pregnant. Still, Doe wanted the abortion. She went before a state judge and obtained judicial bypass, as required by Texas law when a minor wants an abortion without parental consent. But the federal government declined to honor the judge’s decision. It ordered the shelter to prevent Doe from getting the abortion that, under Texas law, she is legally entitled to obtain.


Despite the fact that Doe has been granted a judicial bypass by the Texas courts, and despite a federal court having ordered that she be allowed to have the procedure, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit refused to order the Department of Health and Human Services to allow her to have the procedure. In four weeks she will be too far along in her pregnancy to terminate in Texas, yet the federal appeals court told HHS last week that they now have 11 days to find a sponsor to take charge of Jane Doe. That is a process that can take months. This week, her lawyers asked the full D.C. Circuit to revisit that decision.

Jane Doe, a pregnant teenager currently staying at a shelter for unaccompanied immigrant children in Texas, has been prevented from getting an abortion by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). She has already been subjected to egregious delays to her medical care as well as counseling and procedures without her consent:

1 - The Department of Health and Human Services required her go to a government “approved” counselor at a religiously affiliated, anti-abortion “Crisis Pregnancy Center,” which urged her to continue her pregnancy.

2 - Federal officials forced her to have a medically unnecessary sonogram against her will.

3 - ORR blocked her from travelling to her medical visits, even after judicial authorization and after her court-appointed attorney and guardian have offered to provide transportation to the abortion provider. She has also secured private funding for her abortion.
Federal officials told Jane’s mother about her abortion despite her clear wishes not to tell her parents and despite Jane getting a court order under Texas law to consent to her abortion without notification of or consent from her parents. Jane did not want to involve her parents because they were physically abusive to an older sister who became pregnant.

On October 25, Jane Doe obtained an abortion

In December, the ACLU became aware of two additional unaccompanied immigrant minors in ORR custody in two additional states (other than Texas) who sought but were refused access to abortion by ORR. On December 15, we returned to court seeking another temporary restraining order prohibiting the government from blocking these young women (known as Jane Roe and Jane Poe in court papers) from accessing abortion.

The government contended that because Jane Roe and Jane Poe are in the government’s care, the government is entitled to determine what it thinks is in their “best interest” and act accordingly; however, in the states in which these young women are detained, even a parent could not veto a minor’s decision to obtain an abortion.

Judge Henderson dissented, arguing that J.D. (Jane Doe) was not a “person” under the Due Process Clause, and thus did not have the same abortion rights citizens do.

In other words, immigrants at the border/ in detention don't have rights under the Constitution because they aren't recognized as "people" under said Constitution.

Judge Kavanaugh also dissented, joined by Judges Henderson and Griffith. He defended the panel’s decision allowing more time to find a sponsor who could remove J.D. from ORR’s custody, characterizing the en banc majority’s decision as creating “a new right for unlawful immigrant minors in U.S. Government detention to obtain immediate abortion on demand.”
39. Id. at 752 (Kavanaugh, J., dissenting).

Instead, he would have held that sponsorship is not an undue burden, arguing that avoiding the need for the government to facilitate the abortion successfully balances the parties’ interests.

Kavanaugh earlier suggested the young girl could wait until she had a sponsor who would "facilitate" an abortion, though she already had been waiting and Texas law has a 20 weeks cut-off. The longer she had to wait the less likely she could get a legal abortion.

The government (Trump/Sessions) threw up all kinds of roadblocks and even knowing this, Kavanaugh still claimed there was no undue burden on the young girl to obtain a sponsor in order to get an abortion. Kavanaugh also argued that the government had a vested interest in forcing the young girl to carry her child to term.

Amy Coney Barrett would vote to overturn Roe V Wade

Raymond Kethledge

Precedent and Jurisprudential Disagreement (stare decisis) by Amy Coney Barrett

Precedent and Jurisprudential Disagreement from the Texas Law Review, 2015.

III. Institutional Legitimacy and Reliance Interests

Because stare decisis is relatively weak in constitutional cases, the moderating function is the main contribution of the constraint against overruling in cases involving deep-seated jurisprudential disagreement. It forces the Court to proceed cautiously and thoughtfully before reversing course, but it does not force the Court to retain precedent. Yet while this may be consistent with the Court’s actual practice, it is contrary to the arguments of those who have argued in favor of a significantly stronger role
for stare decisis in constitutional cases.89

It also arguably gives short shrift to the risks associated with departures from precedent—in particular, preservation of the Court’s institutional legitimacy and the protection of reliance interests.90 This Part considers those concerns in turn and concludes
that even a weak system of constitutional stare decisis protects institutional legitimacy and reliance interests more than is commonly supposed.

A. Institutional Legitimacy

Leaving room for new majorities to overrule old ones allows changed membership to change what the Court says the Constitution means. One of the stated goals of stare decisis, including stare decisis in constitutional cases, is institutional legitimacy, both actual and apparent.91 If the Court’s opinions change with its membership, public confidence in the Court as an institution might decline.92 Its members might be seen as partisan rather than impartial93 and case law as fueled by power rather than reason.94 Others have challenged the view that protecting the Court’s reputation is a valid reason to retain precedent.95 Akhil Amar captures the criticism well:

“ It does not seem to me that when the Supreme Court has made a mistake, it ought to respond by not telling the citizenry because it fears that the American people cannot handle the news.”96

But even assuming that the Court should make decisions with an eye toward its reputation, there is little reason to think that reversals would do it great damage. Stare decisis is not a hard-and-fast rule in the Court’s constitutional cases, and the Court has not
been afraid to exercise its prerogative to overrule precedent.97 Still, public confidence in the Court remains generally high.98 Moreover, members of the public (and particularly elites) regularly argue that the Court should overrule certain of its cases.99

If anything, the public response to controversial cases like Roe reflects public rejection of the proposition that stare decisis can declare a permanent victor in a divisive constitutional struggle rather than desire that precedent remain forever unchanging.

Court watchers embrace the possibility of overruling, even if they may want it to be the exception rather than the rule. The “protecting public confidence” argument seems to assume that the public would be shaken to learn that a justice’s judicial philosophy can affect the way she decides a case and that justices do not all share the same judicial philosophy.1

Cheeto American from the orange cheese portion of Earth's moon. (That's science. Period - Spicer)

(or an alternative fact - KA Conway)

Their skin becomes a soft squishy pinkish red away from their native cheesy land and they need to use orange spray tan to achieve their normal skin hue.

You'll know them mainly by their orange skin and freakish hair. A separate living organism that attaches itself to the heads of Cheeto babies shortly after they are plucked from the Cheeto mother tree. All Cheetos® come from the same mother tree.

Cheeto-Americans can be easily found (and avoided) due to their constant braying over every little slight - real or imagined.

Lying is how they breathe and Cheeto-english is their primary language.

Cheeto-english is sort of a Palinesque off-shoot mixed with gibberish, but said with as much braggadocio as possible. Native speakers are known for repeating the same words over and over again, as well as pursing the lips into the shape of a hen's ass to achieve the proper Cheeto desired effect.

Cheetos® can breed with humans but the resulting offspring is expensive to maintain and useless in function.

To date, there has only been one Cheeto to make the trip from the orange cheesy nether regions of Earth's moon. Fred Trump touched down on earth some 112 years ago. He was allowed to stay and granted citizenship. His son, Donald, much like the artificial representation of cheese his skin hue suggest, is also an artificial representation of a human.

The End.

Besty Devos lied about the history of school choice and she knows she lied.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos offered a positively Orwellian explanation Monday of why historically black colleges and universities were created in the United States. Incredibly, she suggested that they were “real pioneers” in the school-choice movement and “started from the fact that there were too many students in America who did not have equal access to education.”

But the truth about school choice is:

Once schools were desegregated, white people would start inexpensive private schools to keep their white children from attending public schools with black children.

And - this is the actual birth of "school choice" - those all white segregation academies demanded taxpayer vouchers to pay their tuition.

Same thing DeVos supports now. Taking money away from public schools to fund vouchers in the name of "school choice".

So, school choice began as a racist response to school desegregation. White people not wanting their kids to attend public schools with black students.

Betsy DeVos told a huge lie about HBCU and school choice and she knows she lied because she knows the racist history of school choice/vouchers in America, but pretends she doesn't. I don't think she would have tried to link "school choice" with HBCU if she didn't know the racist history of school choice - in an attempt to downplay that racist history. Which makes her statement that much more egregious.

Segregation Academies and Other History Stuff by me

And, to add, because my research was used by a school district in New Jersey to fight against vouchers and taking public school funds away from public schools.

More on Segregation Academies.

In Southern Towns, 'Segregation Academies' Are Still Going Strong

Yes, that is what she means. If a president does it, regardless of what it is, then

it is presidential by definition, since the word presidential can simply mean, relating to a president.

So if a president does it, it's presidential.

Now, you and I, and everyone else hears - acting in a manner befitting the office of president.

But that's not the meaning she is going with.

So, when Trump breaks law after law after law, and lies and steals, and whatever, Conway will continue to use the simple definition. Because a president does it, it's presidential. She's taking the Nixonian stance and expandng it out to include everything - not just breaking the law. Recall how Trump has already said as much - "‘the president can’t have a conflict of interest’".

People read that statement and think of course a president can have a conflict of interest - anyone can. But Trump means it the way Nixon did it. As president, he is above such considerations. Why? - because he's president and anything a president does is, by definition, presidential.

And around and around we go!

Oh, and yeah - she is full of shit but that won't stop anything.

On Trump, PTSD, and being a Coward.

I wrote this in 2005. I am including both the link to the original article and the article itself.

June 8 2005

A question was recently posed asking at what point do American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan cross the line and go "from duty to brutality."

It's an excellent question and one that needs to be asked. More importantly, it needs to be answered. Yet Americans can't look to the office of the president for the answer, because the president is too busy denying that there is a problem. The president believes that reports of torture and abuse are "absurd" and that a "few bad apples" are to blame.

What he ignores are the horrors of war for both the civilian and the soldier. What he ignores are the crimes being perpetuated in every American's name. What he ignores is the damage caused by his personal quest for glory and a place in history.

George Bush's illegal war has brought not just death, but with his lies and denials, George Bush has given America yet another dark stain on her short history as a nation - the consequences of which have yet to be fully realized. George Bush will tell you he is keeping America safe. I will tell you that he is bringing death and destruction to all involved that will be felt for years to come.

While Bush is busy ignoring and denying war crimes - and not because such things speak ill of America, but because of his own involvement in those crimes - American troops have been learning, first-hand, what causes a soldier to cross the line between doing their duty and becoming a war criminal.

But I can't live in George Bush's denial. I can't embrace his lies. You see, my husband is a soldier. He spent a year in Iraq.

The question of soldiers crossing the line and becoming war criminals comes up a lot in our home. We talk about this all the time. My husband was lucky - not just because he survived, though I'm not discounting that in the least, but because when he saw other soldiers crossing that line, he told his command. He kept his humanity.

My husband has never killed anyone. Odd statement that. It's not a brag, it's a sigh of relief. I'm not sure how to help others feel the emotion those words can bring. "He never killed anyone." It's like missing the collision but still being on the highway driving at top speed with no brakes. Every close call is punctuated by "this time."

So we talk.

"Why do some soldiers cross the line?"

Because some soldiers are already crazy, and some soldiers go crazy during war. Because some soldiers just don't care and they buy the lies and the hate, and because some soldiers just go along with the crowd. Some soldiers are just so scared, they don't think.

"But when it comes to war, you aren't trained to think, you're trained to react."

That's not true. The catch is, if you react without thinking you'll endanger everyone (civilian and soldier alike). Those are the worst soldiers - the ones who do not think. They might survive the war but they'll lose the battle - they have become damaged humans.

"What makes the difference?"

The character you carry within you. That moment of choice - and you choose the right path. You never know really. Different things for different people keep them from crossing the line. Some would never think to cross it and some have to fight that struggle each and every moment. Some are just lucky.

"And you?"

I don't know. Some things just never cross your mind. I didn't think of why I didn't do something, I just didn't do it.

"And what is your lasting memory of Iraq?"

The little girl.

The little girl had leprosy. He met her early on. Her disease was so advanced she was dying from non-treatment. In her entire short life, she got next to no treatment. My husband carried her dying body, along with her mother and father, through three cities seeking help for her. He couldn't find it. Iraqi doctors too scared or wanting money (to survive with) and American medics not concerned.

He finally reached into his wallet, took out all his cash, then gave it to an Iraqi doctor. The doctor helped the child die comfortably because that's all they could do for her by then.

That's what my husband brought home. That's what he remembers most about Iraq.

He still twitches in his sleep. He still cringes when we drive near a bridge. Narrow roads make him jumpy - but all that's gotten better over time. It used to be way worse. It's the little 7-year-old girl that will haunt him forever.

What makes a soldier cross that line?

I don't know but some do, and they have gone to a place inside themselves I can't begin to understand. But it's the ones that don't cross that line that live with heartaches that I'll never be able to imagine, and they are the ones you and I will never hear about. Their pain doesn't make the news.

Those soldiers come home from George Bush's illegal war, to the lies and the cover-ups and the denials, and will be forgotten and overlooked because our president doesn't just ignore the "bad apples" and deny the torture, he ignores and denies all of the troops.

October 4, 2016

I wished it took a special kind of callous indifference to the pain and suffering caused by war (as displayed by Trump), but it has been my experience that far too many people willingly embrace any excuse to forget or downplay the horrors that war can bring. Both during and after, the toll on the human body, both mentally and physically - crippled by the unrelenting fear and terror, the anguish that stays with you, and a sorrow so deep a person never really feels whole again - can't be bargained away by treaty or set right by diplomacy.

For those who have suffered the cruelties of war, the end is seldom the end.

You carry it with you always.

A very human reaction to the inhumanity of war is something Trump will never understand. He can't.

To do so would require him to tear down the braggadocian facade he hides behind and admit he's afraid. Make no mistake, Trump is afraid. Everything and everyone he attacks is a source of nightmares for Trump. Persons of color and women cause him to feel great fear. For anyone to even question that he might not do everything (or anything) particularly well is seen as an attack against his character and his abilities. And like any all-too-typical coward, he's a bully who hopes his bravado will disguise his weaknesses.

It doesn't. It never will.

My husband still dreams of that little girl. He always will.

Thank you,

Solly Mack

Free Film "Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot" for Educators/Civic Groups

Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot is the true story of the forgotten heroes in the fight for voting rights—the courageous students and teachers of Selma, Alabama, who stood up against injustice despite facing intimidation, arrests and violence. By organizing and marching bravely, these change-makers achieved one of the most significant victories of the civil rights era.

The sacrifices of those who fought so hard for equality should never be forgotten. In the 2012 presidential election, more than 90 million eligible voters did not go to the polls. In the 18–24 age group, only six out 10 voted. And, in 2014, voter turnout dropped to a 72-year low.

This 40-minute film, narrated by Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, is a crucial reminder that each of us has the ability to bring about powerful social change and will help inspire young people and communities across the nation to exercise their right to participate in our democracy.

Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot

Brought to you by

If you are an educator or part of a civic group you can order this free film as a teaching aid. March 25, 2016 (March 25, 1965) marks the anniversary of the march from Selma to Montgomery. Get the film, then host a screening as both a celebration and a reminder of how important it is to vote, the struggle to vote, and to never stop fighting against voter suppression.

I've ordered mine.

In Defiance of Hate

by anonymous, 1987, after the Forsyth County, Ga. Civil Rights marches. I was there.

"My Skin"

My skin, my skin it burns... you

your eyes
your mind
your heart

You rant
You rage
You hate...


But my skin, my skin it burns

with life
with joy
with pride

I live
I learn
I love...


Your hate will never define me

Your violence will never confine me

I am
I will
I shall be...

...all that is inside me

You are broken


you won't break me

Without torture prosecutions, we can't claim to be a nation of laws

Without torture prosecutions, we can't claim to be a nation of laws

Imagine what the U.S. reaction -- from government officials to everyday people -- would be if we learned that agents of another country had grabbed people from outside its borders, spirited them away to clandestine chambers in third countries, and tortured them. Special forces would be deployed. The United Nations Security Council would convene. Sanctions would be imposed amid talk of isolating a rogue nation from the civilized world.

But because it was the U.S., it's likely nothing will happen despite calls for prosecutions. The Justice Department, which has already passed on prosecutions once, affirmed Tuesday that it will not reopen investigations into possible illegal acts committed by CIA agents and officials, or the people hired by them (yes, the U.S. even outsources torture).

Torture is illegal. Letting those responsible for such inhumane acts slip away without being brought to justice compounds the crime. We like to think of ourselves as a nation governed by laws, but to shrug off torture by agents of our own government tells the world that we not only find the crimes inconsequential, but we’ve turned off the international beacon of justice.

“The CIA detention and interrogation program was immoral, illegal, out of control and (the committee persuasively argues) unnecessary. President Obama's admission this summer that "we tortured some folks" doesn't begin to convey the appalling violations of human rights and international law cataloged by the Intelligence Committee. The officials who carried out these acts shamed themselves and their country.”

US hid UK links in CIA torture report at request of British spy agencies

US hid UK links in CIA torture report at request of British spy agencies

References to Britain’s intelligence agencies were deleted at their request from the damning US report on the CIA’s use of torture after 9/11, it has emerged.

A spokesman for David Cameron acknowledged the UK had been granted deletions in advance of the publication, contrasting with earlier assertions by No 10. Downing Street said any redactions were only requested on “national security” grounds and contained nothing to suggest UK agencies had participated in torture or rendition.

However, the admission will fuel suspicions that the report – while heavily critical of the CIA – was effectively sanitised to conceal the way in which close allies of the US became involved in the global kidnap and torture programme that was mounted after the al-Qaida attacks.

On Wednesday, the day the report was published, asked whether redactions had been sought, Cameron’s official spokesman told reporters there had been “none whatsoever, to my knowledge”.
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