Citizens United

Anti-Gay, Anti-Immigrant, Birther Groups Join Forces to File Mother of All Prop 8 Briefs

In reading through the amicus briefs submitted by anti-gay groups to the Supreme Court, we’ve been generally impressed by the relative restraint of their legal arguments compared to their day-to-day anti-gay tirades. But not so with the two briefs submitted last week by a hodgepodge coalition of conservative groups.

Citizens United’s National Committee for Family, Faith and Prayer filed two no-holds-barred amicus briefs last week, one in defense of Prop 8 [pdf] and one in defense of DOMA [pdf]. They were joined in both by the anti-immigrant groups Declaration Alliance and English First; WorldNetDaily affiliate the Western Center for Journalism; the Institute for Constitutional Values (founded by white supremacist ally Michael Peroutka, who also argues that the solution to school violence is to abolish schools); Gun Owners Foundation (the research wing of Gun Owners of America); the extremely and occasionally comically anti-gay Public Advocate; the birther group U.S. Justice Foundation; Protect Marriage Maryland and others. Far-right Virginia Del. Bob Marshall and Sen. Dick Black joined the DOMA brief. Both are signed by Michael Boos, general counsel of Citizens United, and by Herb Titus, an attorney with a sideline as a birther advocate.

So I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that the filings contain passages like this one, in the Prop 8 brief, arguing that laws against homosexuality affirm rather than deny the humanity of gay people:

Second, while the discrimination against Blacks in America denied them their rightful status as a member of the human race vis-à-vis their white counterparts, the discrimination against homosexuals affirmed their status as full and equal members of the human race. Indeed, the very definition of the “crime against nature,” was employed to emphasize that the sexual behavior condemned was contrary to the law of human nature. Homosexual behavior, then, while unnatural did not mean that those guilty of it were any less human.

Or this one from the DOMA brief arguing that gays and lesbians have not historically faced discrimination because some criminal sodomy laws also “extended to opposite sex unnatural couplings”:

As a class, homosexuals have not been discriminated against in the way that the court of appeals has so “easily” assumed. The appellate panel below concluded that “the most telling proof of animus and discrimination is that, for many years and in many states, homosexual conduct was criminal.” Yet historically, even the crime of sodomy was not so targeted. Rather, it was defined as “carnal copulation against the order of nature by man with man; or in the same unnatural manner with woman; or by man or woman in any manner with a beast.” Thus, the crime of sodomy was “known in the common law by the convertible and equivalent name [] of ‘crime against nature,” the offense not only extended to opposite sex unnatural couplings, but was one of several sexual offenses that fit under the broad category of “offenses against the public health, safety, comfort and morals.” Among these sexual offenses were bigamy, adultery, fornication, lewdness and illicit cohabitation, incest, miscegenation, and seduction, all of which could be committed by persons of the opposite sex. Rather than a narrow negative purpose, these laws reflect a perceived concern for the public health, safety, comfort, and morals of certain sexual behaviors.

Or that the groups oh-so-cleverly invoke the court’s Obamacare decision to argue that the extra taxes same-sex spouses pay under DOMA are an acceptable way of “deterring certain activities”:

Additionally, this Court has consistently ruled that Congress’s power to tax is not limited to the purpose of raising revenue. Thus, this Court found that it is permissible for Congress to adopt a taxing policy for the purpose of deterring certain activities by the levying of a tax on them, as well as for the purpose of collecting revenue. Therefore, according to precedent, it is a constitutionally permissible exercise of Congress to adopt a tax policy for the purpose of nurturing traditional marriage as the ideal family structure for raising children, just as this Court has recently observed, that it is perfectly permissible for Congress to impose a tax “to encourage people to quit smoking” or “to shape decisions about whether to buy health insurance.”…It is not for the courts to second-guess whether Congress should promote a traditional family policy in the exercise of its taxing powers.

But what is truly remarkable about the Citizens United coalition’s legal arguments is their eagerness to burn all bridges and declare everything they come across unconstitutional. While the Family Research Council and Liberty Counsel, presumably trying to appeal to Justice Anthony Kennedy, hold their noses and accept Kennedy’s pro-gay rights opinions in Lawrence v. Texas and Romer v. Evans as law, Citizens United et al have no such scruples. Not only should Lawrence and Romer be overturned, this group argues, but so should Bolling v. Sharpe, the 1954 Brown v. Board companion case that desegregated the District of Columbia’s public schools. Bolling was the first decision in which the Supreme Court explicitly found an equal protection component in the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, thus setting the stage for six decades of prohibitions on discrimination by the federal government – all of which the coalition would like to see go.

But these groups don’t just go after decades of legal precedent. They also personally attack two judges who ruled against Prop 8 before it reached the Supreme Court, in particular district court judge Vaughn Walker, who is openly gay:

With the understanding of Judge Walker’s personal interest in the outcome of the case, it becomes much easier to understand his finding every fact for the plaintiffs and his willingness to impute ill will to the proponents of Proposition 8. For example, having in his personal life rejected 6,000 years of moral and religious teaching, we can see how Judge Walker could readily determine that California voters were motivated solely by “moral and religious views…that same-sex couples are different from opposite-sex couples [and] these interests do not provide a rational basis for supporting Proposition 8.” The same is true for Judge Walker’s conclusion that supporters’ motivations were: “fear,” “unarticulated dislike,” not “rational,” based on “animus toward gays and lesbians,” “irrational,” “without reason,” and “born of animus.” Petitioners were entitled to have their case heard by an impartial judge – not one who was leading a secret life engaging in behaviors which he appeared to believe were being unfairly judged and criticized by the proponents of Proposition 8.

 

(Citations omitted in block quotes)
 

Bachmann Backers Play Victim Card in Wake of Backlash

It was only a matter of time before Michele Bachmann’s allies tried to play the victim following the backlash against her latest conspiratorial witch hunt, this time focusing on Muslim-Americans serving in the Obama administration. Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy, who helped launch the attacks on Sec. Hillary Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin and whose report Bachmann and four other Republican members cite in their letters to the inspectors general, spoke today with David Bossie of the right-wing group Citizens United to defend the witch hunt.

Bossie said that Bachmann’s main problem was naming Abedin in the State Department letter, which was rebuffed by the inspector general, when she should have tried to “name her without naming her.” He claimed that people are attacking Bachmann because she tries “to defend our freedoms” and represents a “danger” to their nefarious plans. Gaffney, who has made a career disparaging people like Abedin and even conservatives such as Grover Norquist, lamented that there is “an effort to demonize and take down” Bachmann.

Bossie: These five members of Congress led by Michele Bachmann, because they just hate her so, because they just have this natural desire to attack her at every turn because she’s decided to pick up a weapon and stand a post, she decided that she was going to defend our freedoms at every turn for many years. So certainly if I was in her camp, would I have said ‘hey let’s ask these questions, let’s do all this without putting a staffer’s name in it,’ because as a former staffer, as a guy who was the chief investigator for Congress during the ’90s and somebody who investigated the Clinton’s relentlessly and whose name was in letters like this all the time from the left, Republicans stood tall for me at every turn because members didn’t like members picking on staffers, at least how it’s presumed. So you could see how that could be perceived. I would have probably said, ‘let’s name her without naming her,’ that’s one way to solve what potentially happened.

But they want to attack Michele Bachmann for what is really an oversight in my opinion by naming her, but they want to attack her because she’s been a leader against the Muslim Brotherhood, against radical Islam, for the last four years that she has been in the House of Representatives and they see her as a danger, as a leader who is dangerous in their pursuits.

Gaffney: That’s the point. It’s really an effort to demonize and take down, if they can, a formidable political adversary in Michele Bachmann.

If Bachmann really was the courageous leader that Bossie and Gaffney described, it’s hard to see why she literally ran away from a CNN reporter who was asking her questions about the letters, and if people are only criticizing Bachmann because they detest her attempts to “defend our freedoms,” then leading Republicans like John McCain, Marco Rubio, John Boehner and Mike Rogers must be included on that list.

Bossie also took to Politico to defend the congresswoman and her Republican allies, saying they “should be applauded for their letter and be regarded as patriots”:

The inspectors general should absolutely investigate whether individuals with associations with the Muslim Brotherhood are contributing to the adoption of policies that favor an organization that poses a threat to national security. The Muslim Brotherhood is the driving force behind the effort to impose a totalitarian ideology it calls “shariah.” During the Obama presidency, the Brotherhood has made huge strides towards achieving its goal in the Middle East.

Unfortunately, as is made clear in their own documents – specifically a strategic plan introduced into evidence in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial, the largest terrorism financing prosecution in our nation’s history – the Muslim Brotherhood also has as its goal “destroying Western civilization from within.” This goal is being pursued via what the Brothers call a stealthy “civilization jihad” that involves, among other techniques, gaining access to and influencing government agencies.

It is not McCarthyism to state these irrefutable facts. Neither are requests by members of Congress seeking, through the appropriate formal channels, to establish whether the Muslim Brotherhood has gained a foothold and legitimacy – especially in light of the adoption of Brotherhood-friendly policies by the Obama Administration. These are absolutely legitimate and necessary questions because of the stakes for our national security.

Far from being criticized or suppressed by America’s elites and politically correct police, Reps. Bachmann, Gohmert, Franks, Westmoreland and Rooney should be applauded for their letter and be regarded as patriots.

GOP Candidates Line Up to Attend Huckabee's Anti-Choice Premier

Lately, Mike Huckabee has been making the rounds on right-wing radio promoting a new anti-choice documentary he produced with Citizens United called "The Gift of Life" which profiles anti-choice activists as well as those who were "saved from the abortionist":

Huckabee is scheduled to premier the film in Iowa next week and he invited the candidates seeking the Republican nomination to join him for the event where each would be given five minutes to address the audience and flaunt their anti-choice credentials ... and so far, four candidates have accepted the invitation:

Four of the Republican presidential candidates have committed to be at a pro-life forum in Des Moines, Iowa hosted by Mike Huckabee on December 14 to join more than 1,000 pro-life advocates for the unveiling of the new pro-life film Gift of Life.

Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum will come together for the event along with local pro-life Iowans as “The Gift of Life” will make its debut that night. The documentary was produced by Citizens United, the company made famous by a U.S. Supreme Court case that opened the door for unlimited spending on election ads by corporations.

Three other GOP presidential hopefuls, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Jon Huntsman, have also been invited to the event and they, along with the attending candidates, have been invited to address the audience on pro-life issues before the screening.

Also taking part will be Family Leader President Bob Vander Plaats, Iowa Right To Life Executive Director Jenifer Bowen, Citizens United President David Bossie, and “Mickelson In The Morning” radio host Jan Mickelson, said Jeff Marschner, a spokesman for Citizens United. The event takes place at the Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines.

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