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Scalia-loving Tennessee judge: Straight couples can’t divorce if same-sex couples can marry

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A local judge in Tennessee has refused to grant a divorce to a straight married couple, citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage as one reason he cannot let the man and woman untie the knot.

Hamilton County Chancellor Jeffrey Atherton denied the divorce petition last week, according to The Times Free Press, saying that the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage made it impossible for the state of Tennessee to determine what constitutes divorce.

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The Tennessee judge was apparently peeved that the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges had overturned the state’s Marriage Protection Amendment, which defined marriage as solely the union between a man and a woman. But he was apparently very fond of Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in that ruling.

“With the U.S. Supreme Court having defined what must be recognized as a marriage, it would appear that Tennessee’s judiciary must now await the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court as to what is not a marriage, or better stated, when a marriage is no longer a marriage,” Atherton wrote in his decision.

“The majority’s opinion in Obergefell, regardless of its patronizing and condescending verbiage, is now the law of the land, accurately described by Justice Scalia as ‘a naked claim to legislative — indeed, super-legislative — power.'”

“The conclusion reached by this Court is that Tennesseans have been deemed by the U.S. Supreme Court to be incompetent to define and address such keystone/central institutions such as marriage, and, thereby, at minimum, contested divorces… [A]ccording to Justice Scalia, the majority opinion in Obergefell represents ‘social transformation without representation.'”

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Atherton continued: “Although this Court has some vague familiarity with the government theories of democracy, republicanism, socialism, communism, fascism, theocracy, and even despotism, implementation of this apparently new ‘super-federal-judicial’ form of benign and benevolent government, termed ‘krytocracy’ by some and ‘judi-idiocracy’ by others, with its iron fist and limp wrist, represents quite a challenge for a state level trial court.”

In denying the divorce, the judge also said the marriage between the couple — Thomas Bumgardner, 65, and his wife, Pamela, 61 — was not “irretrievably broken”

Atherton defended his decision Wednesday afternoon but refused to discuss it.

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“I don’t want extraneous conversation,” he told The Times Free Press. “I’ll have to stick with the words of the order.”

Atherton said he was hopeful that the couple would salvage their marriage.


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Dem lawmaker encourages acting-DNI to ignore White House and deliver the whistleblower report directly to Congress

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Appearing on CNN on Friday morning to discuss an alarming whistleblower report on Donald Trump's actions that the president's administration is withholding from Congress, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) encouraged the acting Director of National Intelligence to hand the report over and ignore the administration.

Speaking with CNN host Jim Sciutto, Swalwell made a direct appeal to acting-DNI head Joseph Maguire.

"This is an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to unite and say, we don't want this in our democracy," Swalwell explained. "You know, that's why I wrote the Protecting Our Democracy Act, to, you know, have a bipartisan commission look at this."

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‘Time for a new special counsel’: Ex-DOJ inspector general calls for formal probe of Trump-Ukraine calls

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A veteran law enforcement official called for a new special counsel investigation of President Donald Trump's communications with the Ukrainian president.

An intelligence official filed a whistleblower complaint against the president, and speculation has begun to focus the report concerns Trump's efforts to pressure Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden in exchange for U.S. aid -- and former Justice Department official Michael Bromwich called for a formal probe.

"Time for a new Special Counsel," Bromwich tweeted.

Bromwich -- inspector general for the Department of Justice from 1994-1999, former assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and associate counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel for Iran-Contra -- was responding to a summation of the allegations against Trump.

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Defiant Trump tells reporters ‘it doesn’t matter what I discussed’ with Ukrainian PM — then smears Joe Biden

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A defiant President Donald Trump said on Friday that whatever he told Ukraine's prime minister about seeking dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden wasn't important.

As reported by CNN's Jim Acosta, the president told reporters in the Oval Office that "it doesn’t matter what I discussed" recently with Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk, and then pivoted to attacking Biden.

"Someone ought to look into Joe Biden," the president said.

In Oval, Trump tells reporters when asked about Ukraine and whistleblower “it doesn’t matter what i discussed” and adds “someone ought to look into Joe Biden” (per WH pool).

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