As it reels from surging gun violence, New York City on Wednesday urged the Supreme Court to shoot down a lawsuit seeking to undermine local gun regulations. In an amicus brief to the nation’s top court, Mayor de Blasio and the city’s top lawyer outlined the need to maintain laws regulating concealed handguns in the five boroughs, detailing the consequences of violence in the nation’s densest and most populous city. The brief was filed in a case, supported by the NRA, arguing that the 2nd Amendment guarantees the right to carry guns outside the home. City Hall says an adverse ruling from the h...
Stories Chosen For You
Alabama GOP chair's family refused to get voter IDs because they are 'Mark of the Beast': deposition
On Tuesday, writing for Al.com, editorial columnist Kyle Whitmire revealed the reason the family of the chairman of the Republican Party of Alabama refused to comply with the state's voter ID laws.
The report comes after it was reported earlier this month that a poll worker was fired after asking Alabama GOP Chair John Wahl and his family to present ID, which they refused to do.
"In 2015, John Wahl’s oldest brother, Joshua, approached the NAACP which was fighting the photo ID law in court, and in February of 2016, he sat for a deposition, giving sworn testimony under oath about how the law had affected his family," wrote Whitmire. "That deposition and other records in the court file show that the Wahls have struggled for years to vote in Limestone County going back to 2014, the year voter ID became law in Alabama. John Wahl said that he knew his brother took part in a deposition but that was the extent of what he knew."
As it turns out, his family claimed religious objections — specifically, by alleging they believed that certain types of new government-issued identifications are Satanic.
"When asked by lawyers for the state, his brother Joshua said only that they were Christians, although he recognized that his beliefs were different from others. His objection to voter ID, Joshua Wahl said, was that he believed all biometric identification, including photos that could be used for facial recognition programs, to be the mark of the beast foretold in Revelation," said the report. “'In particular, I object to the biometric nature of IDs in Alabama which started pursuant to the REAL ID Act,' Joshua Wahl testified. 'And there’s a passage in Revelations 12 where it says that the forthcoming mark of the beast will be a number of a man. Biometrics by its nature is a number of a man. You know, that’s what makes me uncomfortable, and that goes against my convictions.'"
Republicans’ 'substance-free' House agenda is motivated by a thirst for 'performative revenge': columnist
It won’t take a major red wave for Republicans to retake the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2022 midterms. Democrats have only a small House majority — definitely smaller than in 2019 or 2020 — and Republicans won’t need to flip a lot of Democrat-held seats to obtain a House majority.
House Republicans, in their “Commitment to America,” have discussed their plans for the House in 2023 if they become its majority party — and liberal Washington Post opinion column Eugene Robinson, in a biting September 26 column, slams it as devoid of substance. Above all else, Robinson stresses, Republicans’ plans for the House are motivated by a desire for “revenge.”
“Pay no attention to the House Republicans’ substance-free ‘Commitment to America,’” Robinson argues. “The actual GOP plan, if the party takes control of the lower chamber in January, is a campaign of performative revenge.”
Robinson, a frequent guest on MSNBC, continues, “Ginned-up investigations, cruel attacks on the marginalized, even a concocted impeachment of President Biden — that’s what the nation has to look forward to if Republicans win the House. Those are the only things the party agrees on, except fealty to Donald Trump and an all-consuming desire for power.”
The liberal columnist notes that although House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy “made a big deal” of the release of the “Commitment to America,” it was full of empty rhetoric calling for “a nation that’s safe” and “a future that’s built on freedom.”
“A Republican majority would disband the select committee investigating the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol, ending its important work,” Robinson notes. “Perhaps the Senate could try to take up the baton if Democrats retain control there. But it might be that the Justice Department is left on its own to finish writing the definitive story of what happened on that awful day and why. McCarthy and his committee chairs would also quickly launch a series of show-trial investigations. Think Benghazi after Benghazi after Benghazi.”
If McCarthy becomes House speaker, Robinson warns, anti-abortion bills are a possibility.
“On culture-war issues, how far the House would try to go under McCarthy would depend on how vulnerable he feels to the far-right wing of his caucus,” Robinson explains. “Opinion polls indicate, for example, that any attempt to pass a nationwide abortion ban would hurt the GOP among independent voters. But if enough House Republicans want to barrel down that road, McCarthy might be compelled to go along.”
Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan, two of the three Democrat-appointed justices on the U.S. Supreme Court, have been warning that public opinion continues to go from bad to worse where the High Court is concerned. According to polls, the Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — which overturned Roe v. Wade after 49 years — is wildly unpopular.
Journalist Matt Ford, in an article published by The New Republic on September 26, stresses that the public’s view of the High Court continues to deteriorate. Post-Dobbs polls, according to Ford, show “a clear and unambiguous shift in how the American people perceive the Court since it overturned Roe v. Wade this summer — and a growing willingness to rein in the justices’ ideological shift.”
“On June 23,” Ford explains, “Gallup found that only 25 percent of Americans said that they had either a great deal of confidence or quite a lot of confidence in the High Court. That represented a 5 percent drop from the previous low in 2014, as well as a 10 percent decline from the 2021 survey. The Gallup poll technically preceded the release of the Court’s decision in Dobbs on June 24. But it came more than a month after Politico published a draft copy of Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion in the case, which all but proved that the Court would overturn Roe later that month.”
Ford continues, “Next came a survey by the Pew Research Center on September 1. It incorporated the entire period after Dobbs’ release and found an even deeper shift in public opinion about the Supreme Court in three significant ways. First, it found that the Court’s overall favorability ratings were underwater for the first time since it began asking Americans in 1987, with 49 percent of Americans viewing the Court unfavorably and 48 percent favorably. That was a sharp reversal from two years ago when 70 percent of Americans said they viewed the Court favorably and 28 percent said they didn’t. In essence, nearly a third of Americans have changed their mind about the Supreme Court over the past two years.”
Ford notes that Pew has found “a major partisan divide in how people view the Court.”
“While 67 percent of Democrats described themselves as favorable in 2020,” Ford observes, “only 28 percent said the same thing in 2022. Republican support, by comparison, clocked in at 73 percent…. The third notable finding from Pew was a growing sense that the Supreme Court as an institution had grown too strong. Only 25 percent of Americans said, in 2020, that the justices had too much power. That number jumped to 45 percent after Dobbs…. The terminology that we use to describe this situation — a crisis of legitimacy, a loss of prestige and authority, a decline in popularity, or something else — matters less than its practical implications.”
Ford continues, “The Supreme Court has shown little to no interest in not taking up cases that resolve major political issues in the conservative legal movement’s favor, even if it is out of step with public opinion. A strong plurality, and perhaps even a narrow majority, of the American people is not only unsatisfied with this trend, but is also increasingly supportive of proposals that would prevent or reverse it. Eventually, one of these sides will have to win or give way.”