U.S. Supreme Court

Rubio: I won’t “add credence to charges” that have done “permanent damage” to Kavanaugh

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio penned a lengthy missive expressing disgust for what Brett Kavanaugh called the “circus” surrounding the federal judge’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Florida’s other senator, Democrat Bill Nelson, was more to the point in a tweet this morning:

Without coming out and directly saying he’ll support Kavanaugh, nominated by President Donald Trump, Rubio said he “won’t vote against the nomination of someone who I am otherwise inclined to support and in the process add credence to charges which have already done permanent damage to his reputation, on the basis of allegations for which there is no independent corroboration and which are at odds with everything else we have heard about his character.”

But, like many observers who’ve been appalled by what’s gone on in Washington over the past few weeks — capped by yesterday’s testimony of Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford before the Senate Judiciary Committee — Rubio waxed on about what’s at stake for the nation:

“We have lost the capacity to view Judge Kavanaugh as a son, husband and father, whose parents, wife and young children have had to endure watching him labeled a deviant and even a rapist. Instead he is treated as a dispensable combatant whose right to be treated fairly must take a back seat to the role his nomination plays in a broader partisan and cultural war.

“I had hoped that as fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, we would treat both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh the way we would want our own daughters and sons, or husbands and wives, to be treated if they found themselves in a similar predicament. Instead, this has become a modern political equivalent of the Roman circus – where the crowd is entertained by the spectacle of watching human beings destroy one another or get devoured by wild animals.

“This entire ordeal is indicative of something that goes beyond the nomination before us. It has revealed how our culture has become increasingly sick and demented, unmoored from the values upon which this great nation was founded and which have allowed our society to flourish.”

Rubio also empathized with Ford:

“We have lost the capacity to view Dr. Ford as a fellow human being who clearly did not seek the attention she is receiving, and who clearly is dealing with deep pain and anguish. Instead she is treated as yet another actor in a political drama, whose feelings and desire for privacy must take a back seat to her utility as a weapon in a larger political fight.”

And the senator also warned recent events could represent a gloomy future for our nation:

“This will be recorded as a dark moment in the Senate’s history. I hope that from it we will all try to do better. For if we do not, we will all be condemned by future generations for tearing apart a great nation by abandoning the norms that allowed us to live as a free and diverse people.”

Read Rubio’s entire message here.

Two-year anniversary for SCOTUS ruling on same-sex marriage

JimCharlesFL

Tallahasseans Jim Brenner (left) and Chuck Jones are among the dozens of plaintiffs around the country highlighted in a Freedom for All Americans blogFreedom for All Americans blog celebrating the second anniversary of the seminal U.S. Supreme Court decision that cemented the ability of gays and lesbians to marry.

The ruling came more than a year after a federal judge in Florida overturned the state’s voter-approved ban on gay same-sex marriage.

Brenner and Jones, who’ve been together for nearly three decades and were married in Canada, filed the initial lawsuit against the state challenging the gay marriage prohibition. Brenner and Jones later asked Stephen Schlairat and Ozzie Russ, a gay Washington County couple, to join the lawsuit.

The American Civil Liberties Union also filed a challenge on behalf of eight couples and other plaintiffs, and the cases were consolidated. Two of those couples are also featured in the Freedom for All Americans post.

In August 2014, Hinkle ruled that the state’s prohibition against gay marriage was unconstitutional, but he put a stay on his decision until January 2015, when same-sex marriages became legal in Florida.

Six months later, the U.S. Supreme Court cemented Hinkle’s ruling in a case known as Obergefell v. Hodges. The high court decided on June 26, 2015 — in a case dealing with other states — that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry.