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NCAA cites 13th Amendment slavery loophole when arguing why they shouldn’t pay student athletes

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When arguing why student athletes aren’t legally entitled to compensation, the National Collegiate Athletic Association cited a court case that relied on a loophole in the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution that allows legal unpaid labor in the case of imprisonment.

The Intercept’s Shaun King reported on the NCAA’s legal justification for refusing to pay the athletes who propel the multi-billion dollar college athletics industry. The organization is using the early Vanskike v. Peters, in which a federal appeals court ruled in favor of not paying an inmate based on the 13th Amendment.

“Daniel Vanskike was a prisoner at Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet, Illinois, and Howard Peters was the Director of the state Department of Corrections,” King wrote. “In 1992, Vanskike and his attorneys argued that as a prisoner he should be paid a federal minimum wage for his work. The court, in its decision, cited the 13th Amendment and rejected the claim.”

Though the 13th Amendment “is commonly hailed as the law that finally ended slavery in America,” it has one essential caveat — that “involuntary servitude” is legal “as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” Many argue that the amendment allows for imprisonment to serve as a substitute for enslavement, leading to institutions such as what anti-racists call the “school-to-prison pipeline” and laws passively intended to punish African-Americans.

The NCAA, King continued, has already won two other lawsuits that cited Vanskike v. Peters.

“Comparing athletes to prisoners is contemptible,” attorneys for former Villanova wide receiver Lawrence “Poppy” Livers wrote in their rebuttal to the NCAA’s motion.

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The use of the Vanskike precedent “is not only legally frivolous, but also deeply offensive to all Scholarship Athletes – and particularly to African-Americans,” the rebuttal noted.

You can read Livers’ entire response to the NCAA’s motion below via the Intercept.

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QAnon authors in a fight over doing an audiobook — because they think their followers can’t read

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On Monday, The Daily Beast reported that the authors of a popular book for believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory are in a bitter fight over whether or not to release an audiobook version.

QAnon: An Invitation to The Great Awakening came out last year and peaked near the top of the Amazon bestseller list in March. One of the book's co-authors, Dustin Nemos, is publicly attacking another co-author, who goes by the name of "JoeM," for his "petty and hostile and paranoid" refusal to help produce an audiobook, and notes that it is necessary because a disproportionate number of QAnon believers are elderly, have bad eyesight, and may not be able to read the book as text. JoeM, for his part, has accused Nemos of being a "grifter" who is trying to make a buck off of true believers.

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Missouri governor appoints judge who fundraised for crisis pregnancy center to help decide Planned Parenthood’s license

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On Monday, the Associated Press reported that Gov. Mike Parson (R-MO) has appointed former Macon County Associate Circuit Judge Philip Prewitt to the Administrative Hearing Commission, a state agency that oversees disputes between the state and organizations seeking licensure.

Prewitt, a former Republican candidate for office, once fundraised on Facebook for Ray of Hope Pregnancy Care Ministeries, a "crisis pregnancy center" that masquerades as a health care facility in order to trick women seeking abortions into listening to anti-abortion propaganda. In 2015, the Missouri Supreme Court reprimanded Prewitt for the post encouraging people to donate, saying that it violated judicial ethics rules.

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Trump being a ‘compulsive liar and erratic ignoramus’ is why he failed on Iran: Conservative columnist

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President Donald Trump's highly-criticized decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal has resulted as was warned, with the country reviving its nuclear program, a conservative columnist explained in The Washington Post on Monday.

Conservative Max Boot took a victory lap in the hard-hitting column, reminding that he had signed a March 2016 letter by 121 Republican foreign policy analysts warning about Trump's approach.

"I wish we had been wrong, but we were all too right," Boot wrote.

"Trump has shown no ability to grow in office; but then it’s hard to learn if you all you read is Fox News chyrons. He is today the same compulsive liar and erratic ignoramus he was at the start of the 2016 campaign," Boot said. "Only now, the stakes are much higher."

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