Sunday, September 03, 2023

We Are Above The Law!

The courts said it was unconstitutional but hey I don't think so said district attorney, do it and I'll have you arrested.
By: Ella Wales, Colleen Guerry
August 31, 2023

The Blount County district attorney sent a letter to Blount Pride organizers, warning them of potential prosecution if they violate what’s known as Tennessee’s “anti-drag law” at their event Saturday, despite a federal judge ruling the law was unconstitutional.

The Adult Entertainment Law was signed into Tennessee law in early 2023, criminalizing drag shows that take place in public or where they could be seen by children.

U.S. District Judge Thomas L. Parker, a Trump appointee, blocked the law in June. He wrote in his ruling that the law violates the First Amendment and was “unconstitutionally vague and substantially overbroad.”
Hey, it is only a federal court... what do they know about the Constitution,
“It is my conclusion that violations of the AEA can and will be prosecuted by my office, however, it is important to note that we do not prematurely evaluate the facts or evidence related to a potential investigation into possible criminal conduct,” Desmond wrote in the letter. “It is only after review of all the relevant evidence that my office will reach a position as to whether criminal conduct has occurred.”

Desmond also cited “concerned citizens” as a reason for sending the letter, Higdon said there is a simple solution for those opposed to the event.
You know if "The Law" is against the party doctrine and beliefs of the Republican's idol Trump, the "law" of The Party supersedes it.

But you know what? The judges doesn't want anything to with it, he came down on them hard.
Knoxville News Sentinel
By Allie Feinberg and Tyler Whetstone
September 1, 2023

A federal judge has blocked the Blount County district attorney and police departments from enforcing Tennessee's anti-drag show law ahead of the Labor Day weekend Blount Pride festival. Earlier this summer, a different federal judge ruled the law was an “unconstitutional restriction on the freedom of speech.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee filed a complaint Aug. 30 in the Eastern District of Tennessee federal court on behalf of Blount Pride and Christian artist and drag performer Flamy Grant. This week, Blount Pride organizers received a letter from Blount County District Attorney Ryan Desmond outlining the state's anti-drag law and stating violations could result in prosecution.


Federal Judge Ronnie Greer ruled Sept. 1 that the Blount DA and police chiefs cannot interfere with the festival, including by discouraging the venue host.
The ACLU lawyer had this to say…
“Threatening to enforce this unconstitutional law amounts to a harmful attempt to remove LGBTQ people from public life, which is simply unacceptable,” Yarbrough said. “The court has made it abundantly clear that drag performance is constitutionally-protected expression under the First Amendment, regardless of where in the state it is performed.”
The ball’s in the DA’s hands stay tune for the exciting adventure of the DA and the Judge!

Note: I wrote the above on Friday night. Below is the result of the Pride...

More on the never ending story of the Wisconsin Supreme Court impeachment.

This is getting weirder and weirder. They want to impeach a newly elected justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court for pre-judging the cases about gerrymandering. What did she say? That the district maps are "unfair" and "rigged" and said there needs to be "a fresh look at the gerrymandering question." But here is the thing… the federal courts has ruled that in a case. And some Republicans have also said that. What she didn’t say is how she would rule, just that another look is needed and that sent the Republicans in to a tizzy.
Liberals argued in a legal filing this week that Republicans were trying to nullify the election of a Democratic-backed Wisconsin Supreme Court justice by asking her to recuse herself from hearing redistricting lawsuits that could result in drawing new legislative electoral maps.

Attorneys in two separate redistricting cases filed arguments Tuesday objecting to the Republican-controlled Legislature's request that Justice Janet Protasiewicz recuse herself. They argued that there was no legal or ethical obligation for Protasiewicz to step aside, despite her comments during the campaign that she thinks the current maps are "rigged" or because she accepted nearly $10 million from the Wisconsin Democratic Party.

One motion objecting to Protasiewicz's recusal argued that such a move would be unsupported by fact or law and "it would be contrary to her duties as a justice on the Supreme Court."

"Unhappy with this electoral result, which they could not prevent through gerrymandering, (Republicans) now seek to nullify the results and pick their Justices," said the filing from Law Forward, a Madison-based liberal law firm, the Stafford Rosenbaum law firm, Election Law Clinic at Harvard Law School, Campaign Legal Center, and the Arnold & Porter law firm.

The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature argued in filings last week that Protasiewicz has pre-judged the cases, which could result in new more Democratic-friendly maps being drawn before the 2024 election. Republican legislative leaders have threatened to impeach her if she hears the cases, a move that they have enough votes to do.
Oh boy! The Republicans are worried that their lock on the government is in jeopardy and they are quaking in their boots!

What are their chances of impeaching her and their possible strategy? NPR Wisconsin reports,
Could language in the state’s Constitution allow Republicans to sideline the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s new left-wing majority?

The left-leaning Janet Protasiewicz overwhelmingly won a seat to the court in the spring, giving liberals a majority there for the first time in years. The court could decide on some major issues soon, like redistricting and abortion.

How far would Republicans go to protect the political districts they drew that give them maximum political advantage in the state legislature? They have controlled that body almost exclusively since 2011. The Constitution contains a wrinkle that might help them do that, but more importantly, might not let them get there in the first place.
Before she even took her seat, at least one Republican floated the idea of impeaching and removing Protasiewicz. The GOP has the needed simple majority in the state Assembly and a supermajority in the state Senate to do so, but is only allowed to impeach government officials for “corrupt conduct in office, or for crimes and misdemeanors,” according to the Wisconsin Constitution.
How likely this will happen, very. The Republicans see it as a battle for their lives because they know that in a fair election their changes of winning are slim. So they are trying to use her campaign statement against her even though she was stating a federal court ruling!
“It is not at all clear that the Legislature has the power to impeach a justice merely because of a disagreement over recusal,” said Robert Yablon, an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School. “Politics in Wisconsin has been contentious for a number of years, but going down the impeachment road would be a serious escalation of partisan conflict.”
I don’t even think the law will matter to the Republicans, that is just a minor speed bump to them.

So what will happen if they do impeach her?
Setting aside the debate of whether this comment rises to the level of “corrupt conduct in office,” especially considering she made it before she was in office, Republicans have the numbers to impeach and remove Protasiewicz.

But Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, could simply reappoint her, or another person, to the position, allowing the left to maintain their majority.

However, the state Constitution says this on the matter: “No judicial officer shall exercise his office, after he shall have been impeached, until his acquittal.”

So could the GOP impeach Protasiewicz in the state Assembly, but take no action in the state Senate, to keep her in legal limbo?
The Republicans don’t trust the voters to do the right thing!

What's at stake? The 2024 election districts and the abortion vote, the change in election districts has the Republicans worried that they will lose control of the Senate and the House, also votes on abortion will be coming before the courts and that is the Republican pet little project. I think we will see more of this in the coming months.

One of the commenters on Yahoo wrote…
The Republican Constitution:
We the Republicans of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union for ourselves, establish Justice as we see it, insure domestic Tranquility as long as it favors us, provide for the common defense of our financial holdings, promote the general Welfare of the rich, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Republican Constitution for the United States of America.

Update 11:10 AM

Follow-up on Blount Pride Festival after the federal judge told Blount County District Attorney Ryan Desmond to back off!
'We get to celebrate who we are' | Hundreds gather for Blount Pride Festival at Maryville College
The event took place after a federal judge blocked Blount County District Attorney from enforcing Tennessee's anti-drag law.
By Chrissa Loukas
September 2, 2023

Many people from the community gathered at the Blount Pride Festival on Saturday. This was just after a federal judge blocked Blount County officials from interfering with Blount Pride. One of the artists, Flamy Grant, shared her story.

"I grew up in western North Carolina in Asheville. I grew up really fundamentalist, very conservative, evangelical," Grant said. "I went to college, and then got out of college, I became a worship leader for a conservative church."


One of the people who filed a lawsuit against Blount County's District Attorney, Representative Zooey Zephyr, dropped by to show her support.
But not everyone there were pro-LGBTQ+ the protester also shown up. The Daily Times reported,
Protestors lined East Lamar Alexander Parkway Saturday afternoon, holding signs and encouraging drivers to honk their horns within a stretch of sidewalk outlined by MPD officers. Some posed with a full-sized wooden cross. Police in patrol cars, on foot and on bicycles kept watch over the area.

Chaz Farmer was one of the protestors. He came with a group from his church out of personal conviction.

“The main reason we’re here is for the protection of children,” he said. “Jesus loved children very much, and he said it’s to those who are like these that the kingdom of God belongs to. He had this love for children, and what’s happening here is the furthest thing from loving children.”

They use their religion to hide their homophobia while shouting quotes from their Bible.

You don’t have to wonder why people are less religious when more and more religions are pushing hate over what Jesus taught… love.

Update 9/4/23 7:30 PM

Thank you, think you... you doubled attendance at the Pride with people coming out to show support!
Tennessee’s Blount Pride Fest Doubles Attendance After Anti-Drag Threat
A local district attorney threatened charges if Blount Pride hosted its planned drag events. The show went on anyway.
The Daily Beast
By Kelly Weill
September 04, 2023

Days before Blount County, Tennessee’s annual Pride festival, a local district attorney released a letter threatening to prosecute the event’s organizers under a defunct anti-drag act. The festival went on as scheduled this weekend—and more than doubled its 2022 attendance.

Blount Pride is an annual LGBTQ+ celebration in Maryville, offering music, art, drag performances, and community resources. But this year’s festival came under legal threat last week when Blount County District Attorney Ryan Desmond warned that he would prosecute organizers if they violated a short-lived anti-drag law.

After a last-minute lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union and a ruling from a federal judge, the festival went on as planned, with more than twice as many attendees as last year.
It looks like the Republican DA brought in our supporters from around the state.

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