Sunday, May 29, 2016

Antonin Scalia School of Law Offers Master’s in Women’s Law Program

Antonin Scalia School of Law

Offers Master’s in Women’s Law Program


Professors Coulter, Palin, and Palin Scheduled As Seminal Lecturers

Wednesday, April 20, 2016,  Fairfax, VA
By: William Bruce and Jeramee Sikorski, Ed. Jeramee Sikorski
 



     Sarah and Bristol Palin, along with Anne Coulter, will be lecturing professors teaching women’s law.  The Antonin Scalia School of Law in Virginia has contracted them as professors for the new master’s program in women’s law.  The school says that the trio of professors will “highlight and mentor a woman’s place in our traditional legal field.”

      In an attempt to reach out to an increasingly diverse base of students, the newly named Antonin Scalia School of Law (ASSLaw or ASSoLi) at George Mason University will offer a new post-doctoral degree this fall.  Students will be able to earn a Matron Recognitio Scienter, (MRS), post-doctoral master’s degree in women’s law through the program.  Coulter and the mother-daughter duo of Sarah and Bristol Palin will be the original professors in this Originalist program.  ASSLaw is “excited to offer this new post-doctoral program for recent, especially female, graduates.  It focuses on the necessary and proper societal roles for institutions, such as legislatures and marriage, and the roles of men and young ladies before the law.  

     George Mason has been alluring prospective conservative students for some time now.  When ASSLaw changed its name in honor of Scalia, it became even more enticing.  The phalanx of women's law program graduates is intended to be the head of the school's major thrust to become a patriarch of conservative thought.  This will be highlighted by the way all the professors pay special attention to the history, traditions, and worldviews of our society’s moral legislation.  The ASSoL faculty is sure that this program would put a sparkle in Scalia’s brown eyes,” the school announced in a carefully prepared zinger of a statement.

     The focus of the MRS program will be ensuring that young women entering the legal field today have the necessary skills for success.  It is either a one or two year program, depending on the student’s domestic and other demands, with 3 trimesters of classes offered every year.  As Professor Sarah said, “we teach what you need to know to be successful with an MRS. degree.  If you want to be a successful woman in a man’s world, then you really need to know everything you can about what we teach at ASSLaw.”  Toward that end, the seminal semester will include 3 courses: consumer contract law, consumer culinary law – an exciting blend of farm policy, consumer protection law, and freedom – and Gender Based Equities and Remedies Law.  The courses will focus on practical aspects of each area of law. It will teach morals and avoid theory because, as a conservative lawyer, one must, as Scalia famously said, “[h]ave the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity.”ii

     The consumer contract law course will be taught by celebrity guest lecturer Anne Coulter.  “It will cover typical consumer issues that our lady ASSoL graduates will come across in their lives and those of other potential clients they would meet at the PTA and other events,” said Coulter.  It includes issues such as whether they have to pay shipping to return that thigh master, and how the UCC can be used at school board meetings.”  We expect it to be a very useful course for ASSLaw graduates.



     “We will even have a whole section on the Uniform Commercial Code and prenuptial contracts,” said Professor Coulter.  “Some people claim that the UCC expressly covers only the sale of goods, like shoes and purses, and negotiable instruments, like checks and money orders,” she continued.  “This is a fascinating new area of law,” noted Coulter, “and that is why it’s so important that the courts respect different worldviews and the history and traditions of our society. We even have valid law that we can cite to the courts such as 27 Lev 3 – 8 1,iii.  This old law actually gives a pricing structure that can be used for valuation of marriage contracts, and it also includes a market price valuation adjustment2 clause3. We have copies dating to the Revolution, so we know the founders would have used this law!”



     Professor Sarah Palin will teach a topical seminar series on different aspects of law related to food law, and, with a nod to multidisciplinary education, will include a complimentary recipe and cooking demonstration at the end of every class.  While the syllabus isn’t finalized yet, we were leaked the first two week’s topic titles.  Week one will focus on farm policy with a seminar titled “No Free Lunch: Constitutional Harm to the Bundy Ranch by Obama’s Overreach.  Recipe: Alaskan Word Salad al Fresco, with a light drizzle of Hurr de Durr Dressing, then tossed lightly in whitewash sauce and black double entendres.”  The next class will tackle advertising, fraud, and consumer’s right to know.  Professor Sarah takes a critical stance when she asks “can you show me one instance where John Adams demanded that markets put up a sign thingy telling customers whether their Alaskan cod was from Maine or Texas?”  The second week’s lecture topic is “Just Label It Big Government: GMO Labeling and Government Waste” which will be accompanied with “USDA Grade A” “Black Angus”  “Beef” Stroganoff and paired with California “Champagne.” “It promises to be an essential foundation to career success for our MRS graduates,” Palin noted with her trademark wink and nod.

      Bristol, the junior Professor Palin, will teach Gender Based Equities and Remedies. “Equities and Remedies class covers what parties can get from a lawsuit,” said Professor Bristol. “That is, besides headaches and frustration,” she added with a chuckle.  Topics covered will include specific performance for promised marital acts; enforceability of marital promises if the promise was made while under the influence or verbally; and legal advantages of modern coverture, which is the legal doctrine that gives all marital property rights to the husband.   

     We will also spend some time this trimester looking at the birth control debate and answering questions like “What is the right remedy for unmarried women who want birth control without either a doctor’s, husband’s, or parent’s prescription?” the new professor asked rhetorically, adding with another trademark chuckle “other than giving her a bottle of aspirin?”  The course will focus a lot on the history and tradition of women’s legal rights, but will also look at some new conservative ideas in the area contraceptive remedies, including the cold shower theory and aspirin-between-the-knees theory.   Bruce Bigelow, president of the school’s Tea Party Law Society is also working on a paper with the new professor advocating the aspirin-between-the-knees contraceptive approach to the law.  “If contraception and avoiding pregnancy is your concern, then the ASSoL is really where you want to be.” The school initially thought this would be a good course for the third trimester of the graduate program, but the junior professor thought it should come earlier in the degree program, saying “I know how busy you can get in the third trimester.” 

     Readers of the Diogenetic Light may be familiar with Bruce’s father, Ray Bigelow, the TeaParty leader from Paducaville, NC. Ray Bigelow recently introduced anti-trans-species predator legislation in North Carolina to strengthen the State’s controversial new bathroom ordinance.  That bill has also recently been taken up by the New Jersey State legislature.  Bigelow recently announced that he is seeking election to North Carolina’s State legislature this fall.  


     Professors Bristol and Coulter are rumored to also be doing legal research together on an overlapping question of law: If old law, like 21 Ex 2 – 44, can show that marriage contracts were originally intended to be considered a standard commercial contract back in the founder’s day, then does the Uniform Commercial Code apply to defenses against prenuptial contracts?  We all know that children under 18 aren’t allowed to get credit cards under the law, but what about signing a marriage contract?  Where are the UCC protections for that?  “We really think this could be a game-changer in the legal field,” said Professor Bristol “to establish an area of personal sovereignty.5”  We have also reached out to Rex Dicta, a leading theorist on the UCC and sovereign citizen movement, to team up on this research.  It’s like the school’s motto: “If you want to make a name for yourself as a conservative thinker, you must start by getting your head in the ASSoL.”

     Professor Bristol will not just lie back in this easy new position, however.  Her fertile mind has already spawned a new species of speculation that is sure to breed much more conservative intellectual intercourse than has been seen lately. She will introduce a new Intelligent Creation doctrine to the public sphere.  "This is a consort to Intelligent Design (ID) theory," she said.  "This theory, which is a direct corollary to ID theory, claims that conception is not always due to marital relations, but that life may also be intelligently created by an intelligent designer.”  

     “We just want to make sure that both sides of the controversy are taught,” remarked Palin while defending her new theory and echoing her mother’s support for teaching ID in the classroom.  “I’m tired of the constant persecution,” she said. It’s like my mom said, “’the man can only ride you when your back is bent, which I know.” “’So strengthen it!’” she continued quoting, “’Then the man can't ride you, America won't get taken for a ride, because so much is at stake.’”6,iv

     Bristol already teaches similar material in her History and Traditions of Family Law course, an elective in the regular law school.  That class focuses on legal issues of all parts of the family and gives special attention to 'traditional' and other ‘historical sources’ of our law.  Student comments show she is a “very, very hands-on during the laws of conception and contraception part of the class,” and already has a +100 hottie rating at RateMyProfessor.com.   Tommy Lipton, a sophomore and president of the Theta Iota Theta Sigma chapter of the North Alpha Sigma Sigma co-ed fraternity (commonly referred to by its acronym) also has strong praise for the curriculum.  If we can’t get the law on sexual relations changed with a full frontal assault, then we will have to go in through the back door, and that’s what they teach in ASSLaw,” he said. 



     Mr. Lipton also commented that the senior professor Palin “looks just like that Gina Fey lady from that Saturday Night show my dad watches in the basement," he said.  “It would be cool to have her as a teacher.”

     "You mean 'Tina Fey?'" we asked.


     "No, my mom always calls her Gina Fey or Jaina Fey," he replied.  "Mom doesn't like Gina Fey because she says that she makes fun of a model of a godly, Christian woman," he continued, "but my dad sneaks down in the basement to laugh and watch her anyway.  I guess we all need a release from the stress that builds up over time."

     “That’s exactly what we are aiming for in the ASSoL,” commented the elder Palin. “We want it to be the cool place for kids to spend their Saturday nights when they need a release from the pressures of pounding the books.”


***** Related Content *****





Trump Reforms Conflict of Interest Law (coming soon)

**********

Dear Readers,

Thank you for taking the time to read this installment of the Diogenetic Light.  If you've enjoyed reading about how the ASSoL contracted the Palins, then please consider giving the other gift that keeps on giving -- humor.  Only you can spread this article and make it go viral.  Let's not limit the spread of this conservative story to the ASSoL alone!  

There are share buttons between the end notes and the comments section.  Also, at the top right of the page is a follow button so you can get the latest posts immediately.

Sincerely,
The Editor  

********************************************************
Footnotes:
1 27 Lev 3,4 says: 3. And thy estimation shall be of the male from twenty years old even unto sixty years old, even thy estimation shall be fifty shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary. 4. And if it be a female, then thy estimation shall be thirty shekels.
2 27 Lev 8. “But if he be poorer than thy estimation, then he shall present himself before the priest, and the priest shall value him; according to his ability that vowed shall the priest value him.”

3For the non-lawyers: The format of these bible quotes have been changed to resemble the format used for most legal citations. It’s criticizing the way that conservatives try to keep sneaking camouflaged religious authority into the public discourse to justify bigotry under the guise of “respecting different worldviews,” “traditions,” and “culture.” I trust that legal professionals would understand this already.
4 21 ex. 2 – 4: 2. If thou buy an . . . servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. 3. If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. 4. If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself.

6Yes, this is an actual quote. See end-notes for reference.

Endnotes:
i Yes, ASSoL and ASSLaw are real!
 http://abovethelaw.com/2016/04/asslaw-at-george-mason-attempts-re-brand-will-fail/?rf=1 last checked May 29, 16
ii Yes, this is an actual quote. http://www.newsweek.com/wit-wisdom-antonin-scalia-426548 last checked April 27, 2016 and https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Antonin_Scalia last checked May 29, 2016


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Experimental Page




This is a test page that I'm using as I experiment and figure out how to blog!


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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Jersey Devil Banned from New Jersey Bathrooms

New Jersey Follows Suit with Law Banning Tran-Species-People

Trenton, New Jersey
By Jeramee Sikorski

Following a strange arrest last Saturday night at a rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike, New Jersey legislators are considering a bathroom bill similar to the one recently introduced by North Carolina.

Strange 911 Calls

New Jersey State Troopers responded to several 911 calls of a Jersey Devil sighting in the men’s restroom.  911 operators initially dismissed the sighting of the fantastic ManBearPig, which was first reported on by the South Park TV show, but then dispatched officers when they heard animalistic groans come through a caller’s cell phone.  “We had conflicting reports,” said one operator, with “some saying it was ManBearPig, and others saying it was the Jersey Devil.” 

The Jersey Devil, like ManBearPig, is a legendary creature.  It is variously described as having features of a kangaroo, a goat, a bat, and a horse; descriptions often include clawed hands, cloven hooves and a forked tail.  Legends claim that it has a horrendous, blood-curdling scream[i].

 Officers Bar and Brady were first to respond at the scene.  “When we got out of the patrol car, there was a crowd of people standing about 50 feet from the restroom.  We heard some pretty strange sounds when we got to the front of the crowd,” Officer Bar reported.

“It sounded like a bear and pig were having some kind of a fight in there,” Officer Brady stated, “So, I went back to the patrol car to get our tactical gear while officer Barr did crowd control.”  “We went in expecting to have to put down a couple rabid animals,” he continued, “but what we actually encountered . . .  I have never seen anything like it in 16 years on the force,” who was still clearly in shock.

Confronting the Devil

“Everyone was amazed and couldn’t look away,” said officer Barr.  “I kept saying, ‘Move along people, there’s nothing to see here,’” he added, “but people just stood there with their mouths wide open like a bunch of lookey-Lou’s.”

“It looked like some kind of orange gorilla wearing suit pants was attacking a guy who had gotten caught with his pants down,” added Brady, “but then he turned around and things got really strange.”  “I called out, ‘Governor Christie?’” said the officer, “and he turned and snorted like a pig back at me.”  “We still weren’t sure what we were dealing with, but I switched to my tazer at that point,” he added, “just in case it really was the governor.”


“The man we thought was the victim ran and locked himself into a stall as the governor turned around,” said officer Bar, and that “At first, I thought he sounded like a bear snarling.”  “In reality, we now know that the governor was talking in his sleep,” said the officer, “He kept repeating ‘all you can eat’ over and over.”  “After that, we were able to de-escalate the governor,” he continued, “by promising to take him to Denny’s.” 
  
Unmasking the Devil

Photo of the Jersey Devil Taken by a Witness


The governor didn’t go to Denny’s that night, though.  As soon as the officers had calmed him down, he walked out of the restroom and went to sleep on the grass.  Still unsure of what they were dealing with, the officers began to dismantle what they said was a bizarre outfit.  As the officer’s began to investigate, they discovered that it really was the governor, albeit that he was wearing two separate wigs.  Both are part of the Melania Trump signature clothing line, and produced by Trump Industries overseas in China.  The first wig was modeled to look like Melania Trump’s hair.  The second hairpiece was modeled to look like the Donald’s.  It seems that it was the second wig that really caused the confusion.

“The blonde wig was a different color than Governor Christie’s opulent back hair, which showed through in several places,” said Officer Brady, “and when you add the orangutan orange Donald wig on top, it creates three starkly different hair types, which caused citizens to think there might really be a trans-species-person in the restroom.” 

“The governor didn’t put the Donald hairpiece on properly,” added Officer Bar, saying that “the piece needs to be fastened close to the nape of the neck and combed forward for the proper affect.  This one was placed on the top of the other wig, so the hair came down so low that it covered the governor’s face, which then added even more confusion to the situation.”

By then, several other officers were on scene.  EMS was also on scene, and the governor was taken to a local hospital.  He was later diagnosed as having had an adverse reaction to Ambien after taking the medicine with a few glasses of wine to help him sleep.  Doctors say the stress of his failed presidential campaign, and then being treated like a stray dog by the Donald when he endorsed him, have been stressful for the governor.  “He likely took the medication so that he could get a good night’s sleep and wake up his old, cheery self,” said the doctor.

The other citizen in the restroom was later identified to be David Wildstein, the second highest-ranking Christie political appointee at the Port Authority at the time of the Bridgegate scandal[ii] He pleaded guilty in Jan. 2015 to two counts of conspiracy, and was out on bail awaiting sentencing.  He is facing 21 to 27 months in federal prison for those crimes. 

Officers arrested Wildstein on suspicion of engaging in prostitution, bribery, and “the infamous, detestable, and abominable crime against nature” with an unconscious person.  Officers Bar and Brady now believe that Wildstein was receiving fellatio from the unconscious governor.  “We can’t figure out how Christie would have known to meet Wildstein at that time in some random highway rest stop in his unconscious state,” said officer Bar, “but there’s no doubt that the governor was completely unconscious on the lawn.  Just ask any of the witnesses.”

File:Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie at FITN in Nashua, NH by Michael Vadon 06.jpg
Governor Christie during his Presidential Campaingn
Note the obvious similarity to ManBearPig



 New Anti-Trans-Species Law


At a press conference, Donald Rummey, a Christie aide, was later quoted as saying that this proves New Jersey also needs an anti-trans-species-predator law, similar to the recently introduced law in North Carolina.  When pressed about the fact that there were no trans-species persons present at the time, Rummey replied, “We aren’t going to let the liberal press spin this one.  The fact is that this happened because of the threat that so-called ‘trans’ people,” using his fingers to make air quotes, “pose to the citizenry at large.”

It was then pointed out that neither Christie nor Wildstein would have been affected if this law were already in effect.  Wildstein is already being charged under existing law.  Christie, for his part, was either unconscious victim for the entire incident or was merely an intoxicated co-conspirator who passed out once he was calmed down by officers.  Also, barring a DNA test proving trans-species status, neither person in the incident is trans-species.  When asked how the anti-trans-species law would have prevented this, Rummey stated:

“Reports that say that certain predators don’t exist are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known known predators; there are predators we know we know.  We also know there are known unknown predators; that is to say we know there are some predators we do not know about.  But there are also unknown unknown predators – the ones we don't know we don't know.  And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.”[iii]

With that Mr. Rummey abruptly ended the press conference, saying that he needed to meet with State legislators concerning this new legislation on behalf of the governor, who is recuperating at a local P.F. Chang’s.













Editor’s note: Please remember that this is purely satire that pokes fun at bigotry.  This piece was inspired by my fellow Thomas M Cooley Law School graduate, Chris Higgins.  During a conversation he made one of his typically hilarious remarks, and, from that amazing idea, this piece rolled out.




[iii] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There_are_known_knowns (Yep, that’s a Rumsfeld ‘quote’.)

Photo Credits:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Governor_of_New_Jersey_Chris_Christie_at_FITN_in_Nashua,_NH_by_Michael_Vadon_06.jpg 
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ManBearPig.jpg 

Friday, May 13, 2016

North Carolina Bans Bigfoot from Restrooms

North Carolina Bans Bigfoot from Restrooms

Raleigh, North Carolina
May 13, 2016
By Jeramee Sikorski

The Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit to block federal funding to North Carolina’s because of its anti-transgender bathroom bill.  Legal experts around the country are doubtful that this bill can withstand constitutional scrutiny, but North Carolinian legislators think they have a fix. 

One esteemed Constitutional law professor, Brendan Beery of Cooley Law School, has even offered that the federal courts have the power to grant the DoJ authority to cancel the funding until the bill is invalidated, but the court doesn’t have to take the step of invalidating the law by declaring it unconstitutional.  This would leave the State of North Carolina losing millions of dollars every day until they repeal the law themselves.

In an effort for the legislature to save face and stand its ground, yet not lose billions in federal funding, several Republican lawmakers have come up with a compromise[1] change to the bill.  The new bill will ban Bigfoot from all public restrooms.  Phil Berger, president pro tempore of the North Carolina Senate, was standing tall and excited to pass the bill.  He has already called the DoJ’s actions an over reach, but now he’s trying to do a reach around to save the law from being completely dismantled.  “We recognize that the tyrannical federal government will force itself on us,” he said “and will just keep hammering us harder and harder until we give in and satisfy it.”  “We are stuck between a rock and  . . . something really hard,” he continued, “and we just have to protect our butts right now.” 

Instead of an outright repeal of the law, lawmakers have decided to change it in a way that will keep it from being struck down.  “You see,” said Governor Pat McCrory, “we stand our ground in this State.  I don’t care if the facts show that these ‘trans’ people are not a threat to society in any way, we have our beliefs and they must be respected.  Our voters demand that we don’t compromise and do something about the trans problem.  That’s why I called the legislature back in to broaden the bathroom law – to make sure that we are safe.” 

The North Carolina bathroom law will be amended to replace “transgender” with “trans-species” and the definition of “biological sex” will be changed to simply “biology” being the “biology one has at birth as reflected on their birth certificate.”  “I have to thank Raymond Bigelow, a local Tea Party leader from Paducaville, for alerting us to the real threat --” said McCrory, “the threat of trans-species predators.  This bill makes illegal for any trans-species person to enter our bathrooms with the intention of harming our women and children.” 

We asked the governor how a person’s biology would be posted on their birth certificate.  “That’s a safeguard measure in the law,” he replied.  North Carolina doesn’t actually have a species designation on its birth certificates, and only humans can get a birth certificate.  “This way, we expect to be able to tell real birth certificates from fake ones.  The trans predators will read the law and assume that they must have a place on the birth certificate for biology.  They will write it on there to lie and say that they were born human.  When we see that on a birth certificate, then we’ll know it’s fake” explained the governor, adding that “I have to admit that this was a brilliant piece of legislating by Mr. Bigelow.”

Raymond Bigelow, who has been considering a run for the North Carolina State Legislature after his “near successful” campaign for a conservative verb tense in the schools last year, brought the issue up, and even helped to write the bill.  “I was talking with my 16 year old son when the whole ‘trans’ issue was brought up,” he said, “and my boy asked me ‘what about trans-species, like ManBearPig?’  Then he started telling me about it.  I didn’t believe him at first, but he saw it on TV.  He even said Al Gore was on the show, so it musta been true.  My boy even went on the internet and got the sketch they made of this thing to prove it to me.”

Related Content: Tense Conservatives Demand New Conservative Verb Tense



File:Manbearpig 2014-07-07 05-01.jpg[i]




“Now, we know that these trans-species people are actually the real predators.  Now, that we know about them, it makes sense that it ain’t them transgenders we gotta worry ‘bout.”  When pressed about actual occurrences of trans-species predators in North Carolina, Mr. Bigelow replied: “That’s the thing, see, there haven’t been any cases because they do such a good job trans-ing themselves to look like humans!  I’m certain that some of the reports we get around Halloween are actually just these trans-species folks who ain’t done with all the operations yet.  But mark my word, I don’t care if you’re Bigfoot, or if you’re half bigfoot, half human, and half ManBearPig, we’re gonna get you with this law.”

Mr. Bigelow said that he wrote the law to target birth certificates because it was one of his legal specialties.  Bigelow explained that he didn't need to go to law school to learn about the law.  "I learned everything anyone needs to know about birth certificate law from reading about all the research that Donald Trump and other 'Truthers' have made publicly available."  He went on to add that "it was a better education than you could get at any law school, except for the good ol' ASSoL," referring to the Antonin Scalia School of Law.  Well, ya' know what they say, "once ya' get yer head up the ol' ASSoL, you come out a brilliant conservative lawyer."

Related Content:
Antonint Scalia School of Law to Offer Master's in Women's Law Program


Bigelow was asked if it made any sense to conflate the falsely claimed predatory intentions levied against trangender individuals with even less supported claims of the existence of trans-species-persons.  "We all know that "trans" is "trans, and ya' can't really tell 'em apart." he said.  Then continued that "Some may have the political machine in Washington to protect them, but they can't all hide."

When asked if we should consider this bill his formal entrance into North Carolina politics, Mr. Bigelow confirmed.  “Yep, we need a better, safer North Carolina,” he said, adding that “my campaign will show that, from the time that this law goes into effect, there won’t be any arrests of trans-species people in North Carolina.  That’s because they’ll know we’re on to them.  My bet is that they’re packing up and moving to ol’ liberal New York right now. ”



Satire note: nope, the stupid and bigoted people in this article, even the real ones, didn’t actually say these things in this article.  Some of you were actually wondering if they said these idiotic things, though, weren’t you?



[1] Editor’s note: The original version of this story included the word “compromise”.  Several NC State legislators have complained that this word is the equivalent of cursing using the Lord’s name, so the story has been changed to protect certain people’s sensibilities.




[i]Artist’s rederning of ManBearPig courtesy of WikiMedia Commons.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Time to Man Up about the NC Transgender Law

Time to Man Up about the NC Transgender Law

File:White House rainbow colors to celebrate June 2015 SCOTUS same-sex marriage ruling.jpeg

The White House in rainbow colors celebrates June 2015 SCOTUS same-sex marriage ruling.


           

North Carolina, in an effort to protect the religious freedom of bigots who want to force their religion on others, teamed up with the sardonically[1] named “Liberty Counsel[i]” to protect North Carolinians from transgender bathroom predators.  Most people know that this law was passed to preempt the Charlotte, NC ordinance that would protect transgender people and allow them to use the bathroom of the gender that they identify with.  One would think that these predators must be incredibly stealthy since there are no records of any criminals using transgender laws to assist them in stalking people in public restrooms[2][ii]

Last week, the federal Department of Justice has informed Gov McCrory that the law constitutes a pattern or practice of discrimination against State[3] employees in violation of title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and also violating title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments.  They have threatened to withhold federal funds, potentially billions of dollars, of federal funding unless McCrory confirms that the state will not implement the law[iii].  The DoJ gave McCrory 5 days to comply with the remedy they offered for this discriminatory bill that only took 12 hours[iv] to be proposed, debated, amended, debated and amended some more, passed, delivered to the governor, and signed into law.

Now, the sides have chosen their positions.  The DoJ already has the presumptive weight of administrative deference from the courts; courts usually will side with administrative agencies because the agencies have expertise in their specific areas of law.  However, even with this strong hand to play, the DoJ chose to offer a weak compromise on the bill.  North Carolina Republicans have chosen to dig in their heels and, as of early on Monday, May 10, which is the deadline from the DoJ, they have openly refused to budge on the bill.  They even have filed a lawsuit against the DoJ to prevent them from enforcing the law in North Carolina.  They claim that this is federal overreach and that the federal government has no right to demand this.  They also state that they will not be bullied by the federal government[v].  Apparently, when there is bullying North Carolina, Republican legislators are determined that they will be the bullies.  The lines are drawn for a showdown.  However, I think that these Republicans, as stupid and bigoted as they are, are right that the federal government should not demand this weak compromise for several reasons.

First, this is an enacted piece of legislation by an elected body.  It will stand as good law unless one of a few things happens.  The most preferred possibility is that the North Carolina legislature implements a legislative fix.  It would be wonderful it they would come to their senses and just repeal this abhorrent law, and the governor, looking somewhat less foolish and prejudiced for seeing the light, immediately signing the repeal.  A second option would be for the bill to be properly challenged in court, recognized as the hate-baiting and unconstitutional measure that it is, and struck down[4].  It could also be repealed by citizen referendum, if the State’s constitution allows that.  The DoJ, for its part, attempted to go a different, extralegal, route.

The DoJ, in an attempt to gain voluntary compliance with United States law, tried to skirt the law.  They offered to not cut the State’s title VII and IX funding in exchange for the governor’s promise not to enact the anti-transgender portion of the law.  While it’s laudable that the DoJ has tried to avoid court with the voluntary compliance offer, the reporting sounds less like mediation and more like the government is strong-arm negotiating a business contract.  What’s worse is that they still leave the law as a potential problem. 

The ways to get rid of this law described a couple paragraphs above are the legal ways to get rid of it.  The DoJ’s offer takes none of those paths.  The governor and many members of the executive branch take oaths of office which require them to enforce the law.  The DoJ offer leaves the law on the books and still in effect, though not enforced.[5]  Even if this governor signs an agreement not to enforce the law, that won’t necessarily prevent others from doing so, since they aren’t parties to the contract.  Then there will be potential whistleblower claims if the governor does step in to curtail enforcement.  Other State officials could try to enforce the law, and would have an actual argument that they were following the law as written in their State.  That means the law could still be used to harass people with impunity.  If you don’t believe me, then let me relay a story that happened in Michigan many years ago . . .

I remember hearing a story on the radio that a man had been arrested for cussing and swearing.[vi]  The man had been canoe riding in a river when his canoe capsized and his buddies began to mock him.  He then dropped an f-bomb from his mouth that amused his buddies even more.  Then he began to unload a larger payload of f-bombs; each causing an explosion of laughter from his friends.  Soon his friends began to counter with f-bombs of their own.  Apparently, it must have been as horrific with the fire-bombings in Tokyo during WWII – where witnesses claimed that even one of the rivers in the city was burning – because the young guy was charged with a crime by a sheriff’s deputy.  He was then convicted.  However, the law itself was declared unconstitutional and his conviction was overturned on appeal a few years later.

The law was from 1897 and was 102 years old at the time he was arrested in 1999.  When I was in law school, this law was used as a teaching example.  It was still written in the State code books.[6][7][vii][viii]  You only knew that it was already unconstitutional if knew enough to read the fine print of legal citations underneath the law.[8]  Otherwise, you must understand how to research the law to find the case where it was overruled[9]

Now, if the bathroom bill is allowed to stay on the books then transgender folks remain at risk.  One would hope that the police officers are trained as to what is constitutional and what is not.  On the other hand, the cussing canoeist being arrested for violating the swearing ordinance from a century earlier shows otherwise.  We barely spent any time on laws like that when I went to law school several years later because there was no controversy – those laws are unconstitutional.  Now, let’s see how this could play out in North Carolina.

If this law remains on the books, then police officers can make an arrest based on the law as written and claim that enforcing the law is not only permissible, but required by their oaths of office.  The danger increases if they just get an agreement from the current governor for a few reasons.  First, the governor could let the furor die down, and then make noise about the law being valid when he needs publicity.[10]  Second, since the law has never been officially repealed or overruled, there is nothing preventing a later governor from reversing course and declaring the law enforceable.  That also goes for later sessions of the State legislature and other law enforcement officers as well. 

So, while it’s unlikely that any prosecution would proceed, because the DoJ would be expected to step in, it’s still very likely that rogue government agents could still use this law to harass people.  This would not be used just to target LGBTQ+ people.  Since it can be difficult to tell what a person has within their underwear, this law could target regular citizens who don’t conform to sexual stereotypes and could be easily targeted.  One was a lady who had some pretty bad facial hair – enough to give her a nearly full beard.  If she had a shadow toward the end of the day, she would be an easy target for a rogue officer.  I’ve also known a few ladies that were total tomboys – they had short hair and usually wore jeans and a t-shirt – but were straight.  Going back to the LGBTQ+ community, what about effeminate gay guys who, while being biologically male from birth, present as rather feminine?  (This level of vagueness makes the law unconstitutional on its face.)  There are just too many ways for the offered compromise to be ignored by State officers.

Given all these pitfalls to their plan, here’s what they should have done instead.  They should have just cut off North Carolina’s federal funding.  Then they should have filed a lawsuit in court for a declaration that the DoJ may properly withhold the funding and to grant an injunction that would make the law unenforceable[11].  [Update: this is exactly what the DoJ did earlier May, 10, 2016.]  This method will give a final and definitive conclusion to this nasty little law, and should do so quickly.

I also think they should take their sweet time about it.  This law is so poorly written that it is nearly certain to be declared unconstitutional at the district court.  The longer this case takes, the more federal funding North Carolina potentially loses, and this money does not have to be given back to the State once they lose the case.  At $4.3 billion per year of funding[12], those losses can blow a hole in a budget quickly.  It is only fair that the people who elected these bigoted legislators feel the full karmic wrath of their representative’s bigotry.  Yes, it will hurt the innocent too, but that should be an even better motivation to not allow this type of bigot back into State government again.

Professor Brendan Beery, a scholar of constitutional law at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, has expressed a wish that would take my solution even further.  He beleives that the district court will grant the declaration confirming the DoJ has the right to withhold the funding because it’s blatantly discriminatory.  However, he would rather see the injunction denied[13], which would keep the law active and on the books.  This would create a strange situation where the DoJ would continue to withhold federal funding to the State until the State itself invalidates the law.  Forcing them to choose between the money and their bigotry would be an even more just reward for these legislators.  If that happened, then it would be hilarious to watch how quickly they move to repeal the law that they have professed such adamant belief in. 

Well, we can only hope for such a just outcome.  Let’s all cross our fingers.









[1]Sorry, I know this isn’t a common word, but it’s just to perfect not to use here.
Sardonic: characterized by bitter or scornful derision; mocking; cynical; sneering; A synonym to sarcastic, but with a meaner feeling about it.   http://www.dictionary.com/browse/sardonic
[2] I’ve seen video of Chris Wallace interviewing McCrory and citing and quoting this same Fact-check article, so this one can’t just be “the liberal media bias.”
[3] “State” capitalized is not a mistake.  In the Constitution, the word State is consistently capitalized, probably to stress that these were independent nations coming together.  Even transcriptions of the Constitution capitalize “State”.  If this was good enough for our founding fathers, then it’s good enough for me too.
[4] I’ve seen links to a couple of stories that court challenges have already been filed.
[5] Even if the governor concedes that the law is unconstitutional in the agreement, it should carry no weight in any court proceeding if the DoJ tries to enforce the agreement.  After all, he should have known this before he signed the law into effect.  How  much weight do you give to the pronouncement of someone stupid enough to enact a law that they concede was illegal just a few days later?
[6] Fortunately, this law has been officially repealed effective March 14, 2016 – only 14 years after being declared unconstitutional!  It now has a nice and bright red-lettered message informing the citizenry that this is no longer good law.
[7] However, looking at a different code section, it is still a misdemeanor to curse using the holy trinity. 
[8] Granted, most people trained in law would look here, and notes are placed at the front of overruled laws in the modern e-version of the Michigan State code, but not consistently.  However, if you are a normal citizen, these citations are just gobblety-gook and could easily be overlooked.
[9] This is a general fault of the way laws are compiled.
[10] Keep in mind, this governor is a Tea Party extremist.  He doesn’t care about the general populace; he cares about keeping his narrow Tea Party based engaged.
[11] An injunction is granted when a law is unconstitutional. 
[12] That’s $358 million per month.
[13] Judges try to find ways not to address the constitutionality of a law whenever they can.  Sometimes they will refrain from declaring a law unconstitutional to maintain proper etiquette, but do so under the certainty that a higher appellate court will have no problem making such a declaration.





Photo Credit:  https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/45/White_House_rainbow_colors_to_celebrate_June_2015_SCOTUS_same-sex_marriage_ruling.jpeg