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Court delivers brutal ruling against Kim Davis — the Kentucky clerk who blocked same-sex marriages

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In 2015, Christian fundamentalist Kim Davis (who was serving as clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky at the time) was praised by the right wing after refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples — a violation of federal law. The U.S. Supreme Court had just, in effect, legalized same-sex marriage all over the country with its ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. Some same-sex couples filed a lawsuit in response, and a federal appeals court has reaffirmed that the State of Kentucky will have to pay a hefty amount thanks to Davis.

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The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, on Friday, ruled that the State of Kentucky must pay almost $225,000 in legal fees that same-sex couples incurred because of their lawsuit against Davis. With this decision, 6th Circuit Court of Appeals was upholding a previous ruling by a federal district judge that ordered the State of Kentucky to pay that amount.

In its ruling on Friday, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals wrote, “Because Davis acted on Kentucky’s behalf when issuing and refusing to issue marriage licenses, the district court correctly imposed liability for the award on the commonwealth.”

It continued: “The district court ruled that Davis, as an official, acted on Kentucky’s behalf, meaning sovereign immunity protected her. Plaintiffs dispute that ruling. The court also ruled that plaintiffs pleaded a plausible case that Davis, as an individual, violated their right to marry and that the right was clearly established, meaning qualified immunity didn’t protect her. Davis disputes that ruling. We agree with the district court on both issues and therefore, affirm.”

The U.S. Supreme Court reached its 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges in June 2015, recognizing same-sex marriage as a constitutional right. The four right-wing dissenters in that case were Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Samuel Alito, Chief Justice John Roberts and the late Antonin Scalia — all appointed by Republican presidents. But the person who authored the decision for the majority in that case was not someone on the left wing of the Court, but rather, libertarian Justice Anthony Kennedy — a right-of-center Ronald Reagan appointee who tended to be fiscally conservative but liberal on social issues. Kennedy retired from the High Court in 2018 and was replaced by President Donald Trump’s nominee, Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, in its decision on Friday, noted that because of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, same-sex marriage became the law of the land in the United States. But because “same-sex marriage offended her religious beliefs,” the 6th Circuit wrote, “Davis took matters into her own hands. One day after the Supreme Court released Obergefell, Davis stopped issuing marriage licenses. She didn’t discriminate against same-sex couples, though; she stopped issuing licenses altogether. That meant that when plaintiffs — two same-sex couples who lived in Rowan County — sought marriage licenses from the Clerk’s Office, they couldn’t get them.”

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In an opinion concurring with the majority of the court’s conclusions, Judge John Bush found that “Davis knew or ought to have known, to a legal certainty, that she could not refuse to issue marriage licenses, as was her duty under state law, because of moral disapproval of homosexuality. And if Davis truly believed that she had a right under [Kentucky law] to not issue marriage licenses, she should have sought and obtained judicial confirmation of her claim. That, she did not do.”


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Trump is already making up conspiracy theories about voter fraud — and it’ll only get worse

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The election is eight months away, but President Donald Trump is already crying foul.

Bloomberg News wrote Sunday that Trump is already working to undermine the American electoral process by attacking the Democratic presidential primary.

"Indeed, his campaign, with the full support of the Republican Party, is already waging a vigorous crusade to destroy his opposition. No, it's not Joe Biden, who inspired Trump's shakedown of Ukraine. Trump's gunning for bigger game: democracy itself," wrote Francis Wilkinson for Bloomberg.

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READ IT: More than 1,100 former US Department of Justice officials tell Bill Barr to resign now

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More than 1,100 former US Department of Justice officials called on Attorney General William P. Barr on Sunday to step down after he intervened last week to lower the Justice Department’s sentencing recommendation for President Trump’s longtime friend and political crony Roger J. Stone Jr.

“It is unheard of for the Department’s top leaders to overrule line prosecutors, who are following established policies, in order to give preferential treatment to a close associate of the President, as Attorney General Barr did in the Stone case,” wrote the former Justice Department attorneys in their Sunday letter. “It is even more outrageous for the Attorney General to intervene as he did here — after the President publicly condemned the sentencing recommendation that line prosecutors had already filed in court.”

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Trump campaign forced to delete #Daytona500 Air Force One photo because it was from 15 years ago

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Air Force One in flight.

Another oops moment happened for President Donald Trump's campaign manager stole George W. Bush's photo from the Daytona 500 in 2004.

Tweeting Sunday, Brad Parscale proclaimed, "[email protected] won the #Daytona500 before the race even started."

Except, it wasn't him. As many people pointed out, the image was from 16 years ago by photographer Jonathan Ferrey, CNN reported. Parscale was forced to delete it and tweet it out again with an underwhelming photo.

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