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@nancy a heitzeg @ScottieThomaston Hey! I'm doing well I guess. I am so incredibly busy lately that it feels like a miracle I'm even able to comment in here. I am the only person at work and I'm sure you've seen the huge amount of LGBT cases and decisions in the news lately... it's intense. But I'm doing well. I hope you are too! Sorry again for not visiting CI as much as I want to!
3 months ago on CI: #Oct22/Stolen Lives
@KayWhitlock @ScottieThomaston @nancy a heitzeg Yep. Not sure if you saw today but Michael Brown's autopsy report was leaked. Practically immediately, media looked at a part of the report that was clearly based only on statements by the people involved, and they wrote reports that he ran at the cop trying to take his gun and didn't have his hands up. You look at the actual report and findings and it's REALLY unclear what happened. Same crap they always pull.
@nancy a heitzeg It's been really surprising just how much it is in the news lately. Considering that this has always been happening, it seems screwed up that media has only noticed now.
@KayWhitlock @ScottieThomaston @nancy a heitzeg He's a big proponent of "good government". He used to be a Congressional staffer or lawyer or something. So he really understands the real world effects of campaign decisions like this. It was a good read.
Also hey Kay! Good to see you!
9 months, 3 weeks ago on CI: Translation
@nancy a heitzeg @ScottieThomaston Great to see you too! And I was actually awake when the opinion came down, watching SCOTUSBlog's live blog. So I posted about it on Facebook all morning! Terrible news though :( Not entirely unpredictable unfortunately.
I thought Breyer's dissent pretty thoroughly shredded the majority opinion.
Oh thank you for this. I'm definitely saving it to watch in full!
@nancy a heitzeg @ScottieThomastonThis is why I always find it comforting that everything is always changing. :)
11 months, 1 week ago on CI: Beyond the Pessimism of Certainty
@KayWhitlock @ScottieThomastonI guess I do both - not really sure if that even makes sense. I mean I despair probably more than anyone I know about things, BUT I don't think I'm/we're powerless to do anything just because the circumstances are bad. It definitely matters what we do.
Wow, I can relate to this a lot, especially the opening paragraphs of the essay. I don't have an especially positive view of people, but it is obvious that everything always changes. And it doesn't make sense to sit on the sidelines knowing this. I guess that's where I'm coming from.
This is great. And hey Nancy and Kay! Really good to see both of you.
treatment of disabled students should be a source of national shame:
They represent 12 percent of students in the country, but they make up
25 percent of students receiving multiple out-of-school suspensions and
23 percent of students subjected to a school-related arrest."
1 year ago on CI: Feds Finally Take Action to End School to Prison Pipeline
@nancy a heitzeg@ScottieThomastonI'll try to look for that! I've been actually reading a lot more since I discovered that there are now a lot of books available to read online from Amazon. Easier for me to finish a book really quickly online.
Glad to hear you're good! Definitely looking forward to 2014, although I'll be 30.. and that's kind of freaking me out.
1 year, 1 month ago on CI: The Year in State-Sponsored Homicide
@nancy a heitzeg@ScottieThomastonI don't understand what it is about the south that makes people here so intent on being authoritarian on crime issues. It seems counter-intuitive to the whole "government is bad" view the south normally takes. But I never understood anyone here, so that's not new.
And hey! Really good to see you too. Glad I was actually awake this time - I'd been sleeping during the day and missing the conversation here. I'm doing okay I guess, nothing new's really going on but that can be good news. How are you?
I'm rather surprised that my state doesn't look WORSE on the map (not that it's particularly great.)
@KayWhitlock @ScottieThomaston Wow, yes we do. I think some of the kids in those places are already there because of abuse in the first place, so it's really hard to even contemplate what they were trying to do there.
1 year, 4 months ago on CI: Brutalizing Children Who Were Promised Protection
That slide show! That is unbelievable. I never heard about it.
@KayWhitlock @ScottieThomaston Agreed. I've had (ridiculous) conversations with people who seem to feel like it's just too "messy" to complicate things by bringing trans rights into the picture at this time. And people who get seriously defensive over racial discussions. There is a huge "walling off" effect. It used to seem like maybe white gay men took over the movement so their/our issues came first and others should "wait their turns", but now I honestly get the impression that people just think they shouldn't HAVE to discuss those other issues. This isn't universal, or at least I've met a lot of people who genuinely care about ALL queer people, but it is hugely noticeable.
I had no idea it was happening in anti-violence orgs but from my experience I would not be surprised. It's depressing. More and more people see only their narrow circumstances as "their" issue, and everyone else is on their own.
1 year, 4 months ago on CI: Militarization, Surveillance, and the Police State, Part 2
Same in terms of transgender people and gender non-conforming
@KayWhitlock @ScottieThomaston You see that a lot with LGBT rights, too. It's fine to harass gay people using unconstitutional laws that remain on the books in some states, or to raid bars where gays go. It's fine to make us targets of police harassment, or at least it happens without much thought. But if that system targets something that fits into a person's particular political ideology, suddenly the police state is the worst.
@nancy a heitzeg @ScottieThomaston Great to see you too!
And yep. Money trumps everything.
@KayWhitlock @ScottieThomaston It's great to see you too! I feel like it's been forever.
And that makes sense I suppose. It just seems counterintuitive to SAY you're against, for example, policies that are designed to lock up people, but then to also be for other policies that do the same thing. I guess opposition or support depends on who's most affected.
Interestingly, the libertarian crowd, Cato, et al, is strongly in support of privatized prisons. They're for that even while opposing the war on drugs and such. So these are people who theoretically oppose police states but whose preferred policies would lock more and more people away. Strange.
@nancy a heitzeg I am too, I've been regretting not being around more. I miss you.
1 year, 7 months ago on CI: The “Criminal” Court and the Needlessly Divided “Left”
@nancy a heitzeg @ScottieThomaston Thanks and please do!
@nancy a heitzeg @ScottieThomaston Exactly, it's a little scary. I got my work to join a statement calling on Congress to fix it and I wish I could do more
@nancy a heitzeg I have mixed feelings. I am relieved neither were upheld. But I wished they'd have decided on the level of scrutiny (and essentially required those people defending antigay laws to prove they'er constitutional instead of putting the burden on LGBTs) but they didn't. And I think that affected the whole DOMA opinion. It could have been more about discrimination. Instead because they didn't want to address that question it was all about a state's equal dignity, whatever that is.
Prop 8 I expected but the line up was weird. Kennedy was in dissent (he believed there was standing, but did not say anything about the merits.) So was Sotomayor. I am still disappointed especially because it's kind of a joke. Kennedy's DOMA opinion almost quotes a section of the Ninth Circuit's opinion in Prop 8. Then he talks about equality and fairness and how the state in the DOMA case has decided to promote fairness and blahblah, well if he thinks marriage equality is right under equal protection why not decide that way? Just weird.
@nancy a heitzeg @ScottieThomaston Great to see you too! Now that this is over I can try to stop by more. Been working nonstop. It's weird - I'm more RELIEVED at the wins than actually excited. My mentality is more like 'wow, that didn't suck!" I've been sick over it.
And then after the VRA decision, well, that was actually more interesting to me so losing on that one was really hard to take. If Congress doesn't attempt to fix Section 4 and there is not any outrage, I may start thinking we've reached a point where the Supreme Court can do whatever it wants, even invalidate significant civil rights laws, and majorities don't care.
I am absolutely devastated about the Voting Rights Act.
@KayWhitlock Hey! And no problem! Right now it's kinda... we're in the middle of a slow time when nothing is happening haha. The Supreme Court cases are awaiting arguments (in two weeks) but the ones in the lower courts are all on hold. So there's less to do. It's weird. :)
I miss you all though
1 year, 10 months ago on CI: Smoke and Mirrors
@nancy a heitzeg Great to see you too!
Wow. For once I don't even know what to say. Excellent piece.
I'm late here... but this is great! Thanks for this.
1 year, 11 months ago on CI: Strategizing to Defeat Control Unit Prisons and Solitary Confinement
@nancy a heitzeg Yep:
2 years, 1 month ago on CI: School to Prison Pipeline Under Federal Scrutiny
@nancy a heitzeg Same here. Did you see Scalia's comments a couple days ago? These cases are before the Court RIGHT NOW and he's going out and giving speeches comparing gays to murderers. He doesn't seem to care how it looks.
@KayWhitlock Good to see you too :) And thanks :)
I love doing it - especially right now at this time. It's like THE time to be writing about these issues.
@KayWhitlock @nancy a heitzeg Hey Kay! Good to see you!
I just typed a long reply below!
@nancy a heitzeg I did want to mention: a lot of the discussion I saw came specifically from the LGBT legal organizations. Lots of them have been extremely interested and wanting to get involved in this. Lambda Legal especially was going on about it all day and had several posts. Thought that was really cool to see them so engaged.
And as far as DOMA and Prop 8 go... holy crap. You're telling me haha. That's why I've been so busy you can imagine since I work for a site that is covering these cases. I don't know if I can talk you down haha. I can say I'm more worried about Prop 8 than DOMA. I have no clue or even speculation on what will happen with Prop 8. For all we know they could end up saying they have to dismiss it for lack of legal standing to be in court.
But with DOMA I think they pretty much have to resolve the merits. It has now been struck down in two separate courts of appeals. They can't keep a federal law operable in some circuits and inoperable in others. And if I had to guess I'd say it'll be struck down 5-4 or 6-3 (6th vote would be CJ Roberts who will likely be Chief Justice for 25 years or more and probably doesn't want his legacy in ten years to be that he voted for DOMA. By then it will be common sense to support marriage equality or whatever relationships people enter into.)
I just think the arguments that it's unconstitutional are very easy to explain and obviously unconstitutional. It's hard to say that a law that says "for purposes of federal law only marriage is between a man and a woman" is rationally related to the interest of child bearing or reproduction or morality. How? These couples are still married and still having kids. So I think the Court would look really foolish if they uphold it.
Also keep in mind the case they took was the Windsor case. This is an 83 year old woman who was engaged for 40 years and got married in 2007. Her wife died in 2009 from a debilitating disease after she took care of her for years. Then Windsor was stuck with a $363,000 tax bill simply because of DOMA. I can't even imagine the headlines if they rule against this lady. They would make the Court look really bad.
So it just depends on if they care about that at all or not.
They may not. After all they took up affirmative action and a case on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. They appear to be ready to anger people and strike THOSE down.
So I am torn on what will happen.
(I'll most likely be there in the Court room for oral arguments though!)
@nancy a heitzeg Great to see you too! So happy to be able to get over here this time! (Life = busy.)
Hope you've been well!
And the main things I saw about it were just comments that it's happening and that it's unprecedented. I didn't dig too deep to see how productive the end result was to be honest.
I've been reading about the subcommittee meeting all day and following some discussion on Twitter. Really glad this is happening.
@rubyr Thank you!! :) :) I'm really happy too.
And no it's a "virtual office": I work out of my apartment in south Alabama and some others are in California, and others are in New York. So we're all spread out. Their main location is based in California, though.
2 years, 5 months ago on Part 1: What's Next for DOMA and Marriage Equality on Trial?
@rubyr Me? At Prop 8 Trial Tracker (well, actually for Courage Campaign, who runs the site.) It is a seriously amazing job. I'm extremely happy there.
@KayWhitlock I think you're totally right. I've long thought DOMA was worse than even anti-marriage laws because it's a federal law imposing a strict definition of relationships, and I don't think that is something easily defined simply by an act of Congress. It's like, you know, why force one type of relationship onto those who don't fit into it?
And I don't know how much time you might have, but the House Report on DOMA is extremely chilling and telling. They say OUTRIGHT that DOMA is about preserving heterosexuality. They don't try to euphemize it or anything. It's actually in the text. It's very disturbing.
One odd little factoid about that: the attorney defending DOMA is Paul Clement, who also recently fought against the health care act. During the health care litigation he argued that the federal government can't channel people into an activity they were not going to otherwise participate in just for the sake of regulating their conduct.
In this litigation he is arguing that the federal government can enact DOMA as a means to channel people into heterosexual marriages, even where they weren't going to be in one.
@Richard Lyon Thanks Richard :)
Great to see you over here! I should be over here myself more often. It feels like we're nearing the end of Section 3 of DOMA. Nerve-wracking haha.
@KayWhitlock Kay! Great to see you!
I'm glad it was useful. With at least one of these going to the Supreme Court, I just wanted to be as thorough as possible. The Supreme Court is a huge deal (even though DOMA itself isn't about marriage, just about the federal law that refuses to recognize already-legalized marriages.)
If you want an even <i>more</i> detailed look you could venture to the links I posted. I pretty much have gone over every filing in these cases and posted analyses of them. :)
@rubyr Thanks! I'm doing alright :) Hope you are too!
And yeah, well I do this for work now so I'm kind of immersed in the whole thing. It's fun, but tons of work and information.
@nancy a heitzeg No problem, I'm happy to help!
@rubyr Thanks! It was really fun to write. And yeah, it can get really confusing. There are so many cases. (I think like 12 DOMA cases or something. Crazy.)
@nancy a heitzeg Thanks! I won't be able to do part 2 til the weekend and post until next week because of work, but this is really fun to write. People keep asking me what the latest is so it seemed good to get it all in one place.
@nancy a heitzeg I'm glad to be here! Surprised I had time haha, but this is awesome. Love you too!
2 years, 6 months ago on The Advocate Endorses Obama 2012
By the way, I promise my favorable account of The Advocate's endorsement has nothing at all to do with the fact that they graciously cited me the other day as the first to report on a legal development in a DOMA case (I was)!