• Entertainment
    SPIN

    Bill Murray’s Lawyer Brilliantly Responds to Doobie Brothers’ Humorous Legal Threat

    Bill Murray's company, William Murray Golf, has been using the Doobie Brothers song "Listen to the Music" in ads without compensating the band, and the result has been a back and forth of dad jokes between both sides' legal counsel. On Wednesday, the Doobies' lawyer Peter Paterno publicly issued the funniest legal threat…

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  • Politics
    The Daily Beast

    Kiss Your Rights Goodbye When Amy Coney Barrett Joins SCOTUS

    President Trump’s plan to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett on Saturday to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court is a shocking political spectacle. The formal announcement Saturday will come the day after Ginsburg became the first woman and the first Jew to lie in state at the Capitol, and less than 40 days before the presidential election.In 2016, Republicans refused to consider President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Merrick Garland, 260 days before that year’s election.The nomination is also a remarkable achievement for the religious right. In less than four years, Trump will have selected three of the court’s nine justices (and notably, the three youngest justices, who are likely to have the longest terms on the bench), all of whom are religious conservatives affiliated with (or chosen by) the right-wing Federalist Society.Like Judge Garland, who was denied even a hearing, Judge Barrett is unquestionably qualified. She has written numerous scholarly articles on a wide variety of legal and philosophical issues, and unlike some recent Trump nominees, appears to have a spotless ethical record.But Barrett is also an arch-conservative who has espoused troubling views about the intersection of her personal beliefs with her role as a judge, and who will fundamentally alter the American legal landscape on a number of issues.Obviously, abortion is the highest-profile of these, and it’s easy to see why every major anti-abortion organization in America hailed Barrett when she was appointed to the Seventh Circuit. She has criticized Roe v. Wade as “judicial fiat” and an “erroneous decision.”And at a Notre Dame Law School event 2013, she asked, rhetorically, “Would it be better to have this battle in the state legislatures and Congress rather than the Supreme Court?”That, of course, is intrinsically an anti-choice position. We don’t ask whether it would be better or worse for a state to violate constitutional rights–for Mississippi to outlaw Islam, for example, or Vermont to ban the Republican party. If a constitutional right is at issue–as the Supreme Court held in Roe–then the whole point of judicial review is that it doesn’t matter if it would be “better” for legislatures to fight it out.Barrett made a similar argument regarding same-sex marriage. In a 2016 lecture she agreed with the dissenters in Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that invalidated same-sex marriage bans, saying that while legislatures could grant same-sex marriage rights, it wasn’t for the courts to decide. “It’s really a who decides question,” Barrett said.Once again, to say it’s a “who decides” question is to conclude that there is no constitutional right at issue.Likewise on other issues, in which Judge Barrett has, without a single exception I could find, taken the right-wing point of view: Obamacare (“Chief Justice Roberts pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning”), immigration, guns, and others.Finally, as has been widely reported, Barrett is a devout religious conservative. She is a member of a charismatic Catholic group called “People of Praise,” which has some unusual practices and teaches extremely conservative social teachings about men and women.On its own, none of that matters since Barrett’s religious beliefs should have no bearing on her fitness as a Supreme Court justice.However, Barrett has made several troubling statements regarding how religious belief impacts the roles of lawyers and judges. Most famously, she said in 2006 that a legal career should be “a means to an end,” namely “building the Kingdom of God.” Now, despite much liberal hand-wringing over this comment, it, alone, is not so problematic. It may simply mean to build a more just and equitable world, as the Bible requires. Indeed, Justice Ginsburg herself had Biblical injunctions to pursue justice on her chamber walls.But when Barrett's "means to an end" statement is placed in the context of other statements she has made, it raises questions. For example, in her first law review article, published in 1998, Barrett wrote that “Catholic judges (if they are faithful to the teaching of their church) are morally precluded from enforcing the death penalty.”That is an unusual position, suggesting that a judge cannot discharge her public duty if she has a personal religious belief regarding it. Ironically, if that principle is applied to all cases in which the Catholic Church has stated moral positions, it might require Justice Barrett to recuse herself from cases regarding abortion and homosexuality, as well as the death penalty.At her Seventh Circuit confirmation hearing, Barrett said that she did not believe it was “lawful for a judge to impose personal opinions, from whatever source they derive, upon the law.” But that seems at odds from her stated position on recusal – unless “personal opinions” do not include moral obligations derived from religious faith.These are not mere philosophical questions, and should Democrats choose to participate in this charade of a confirmation process, they should be probed in detail – hopefully with more subtlety than Senator Diane Feinstein’s statement to Barrett during her last confirmation hearing that “the dogma lives loudly within you,” which spectacularly backfired and became the best PR that Barrett could have received.Rather than question Barrett’s faith, Democrats must focus on her statements about how it influences her judging.To take one example, in a few weeks, the eight-justice Supreme Court will hear a case about whether taxpayer-funded adoption and foster care agencies can discriminate against people if the organization is motivated by a religious belief.Based on rulings in other cases, Justices Alito, Gorsuch, Thomas, and Kavanaugh are sure bets to allow this discrimination in the name of “religious freedom.” Justice Roberts’ position is harder to predict. Justice Ginsburg would likely have sided with the victims of discrimination rather than the religious organization doing the discriminating.What about a Justice Barrett?Based on Barrett’s statements about religion, her record as a judge, and her endorsements from every major right-wing organization, it seems certain that she would side with the court’s conservatives, allowing adoption and foster care agencies to turn away gays, Muslims, or any other group of people they felt religiously compelled not to serve.Multiply that by thousands of similar cases across the federal and state courts: religious exemptions for businesses turning away gay or trans people, further limitations on the equality of same-sex marriage, more restrictions on abortion providers and women who get abortions, religious exemptions to employment discrimination laws, funding of religious schools, and countless other issues.These, along with abortion and LGBTQ equality, are some of the specific issues Democrats must raise, if they are to dignify this process by participating in it.There is no question that Judge Barrett is qualified to sit on the Supreme Court. But once she does so—since her confirmation seems all but assured —she will change it forever.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

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  • Politics
    HuffPost

    If He Loses Election, Trump Tells Rally, 'We're Not Going To Stand For It'

    The president tells the Newport News, Virginia, crowd that the only legitimate election is the one he wins.

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  • U.S.
    The Daily Beast

    Sole Witness Who Heard Cops Announce Themselves in Breonna Taylor Raid Changed His Story

    This week, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron made the bombshell announcement that the cops who fatally shot Breonna Taylor would not be charged with killing her, calling their use of force in the March raid “justified to protect themselves.”In that justification, he said that one witness corroborated the three officers’ insistence that they knocked and identified themselves at Taylor’s Louisville home while executing a search warrant in connection with a narcotics investigation. It contradicted claims from Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenny Walker, and 11 other residents, who said they didn’t hear the cops announce themselves. Instead, Walker thought he was being burglarized and fired a warning shot that triggered a tragic chain of events.But, according to documents and audio obtained by VICE News on Saturday, that sole witness initially told investigators days after the March 13 raid that he didn’t actually hear officers Brett Hankison, Jonathan Mattingly, and Myles Cosgrove announce themselves.The witness—identified by VICE as Aarin Sarpee but by other outlets and public records as Aaron Julue Sarpee—was picking up his daughter from a unit above Taylor’s when the raid took place.It wasn’t until he was interviewed a second time, about two months after the raid by a sergeant in LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit, that Sarpee said he heard police say, “This is the cops.”Sarpee’s flip-flop, the latest twist in a case that has made Taylor an icon in the Black Lives Matter movement, calls into question the strength of Cameron’s case and the grand jury report, which state officials are demanding be made public.“I never had faith in Daniel Cameron to begin with, I knew he was too inexperienced with a job of this caliber. I knew he chose to be at the wrong side of the law,” Tamika Palmer, Taylor’s mother, said in a Friday statement. “My hope was that he knew he had the power to do the right thing, that he had the power to start the healing of this city, that he had the power to help mend over 400 years of oppression. What he helped me realize is that it will always be us against them. That we are never safe.”On Wednesday, a grand jury indicted only Hankison, though only for recklessly firing shots that endangered people in other units. Mattingly and Cosgrove—the cop who fired the shot that killed Taylor—weren’t charged.Cameron’s charging recommendations were at least partly based on Sarpee’s testimony, since the attorney general said Wednesday that investigators had “an independent witness” corroborate the officer’s account.No Cops Charged With Killing Breonna Taylor“My office was not tasked with determining if this was a tragedy, as it was,” Cameron said Wednesday, admitting that it was unlikely more charges would be laid. “My job was to put emotions aside and investigate facts to see if state law was violated.”Wednesday’s charges came more than six months after a “no-knock” warrant was issued for Taylor’s apartment as part of a controversial narcotics investigation into the 26-year-old’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover.According to VICE, LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit first contacted Sarpee a week after the shooting. The officers involved in Taylor’s warrant had previously said Sarpee was outside the apartment upstairs and got in an argument with Hankison as they were banging on Taylor’s door.When Sgt. Jason Vance asked Sarpee if he heard anyone identify themselves as law enforcement, he answered: “No, nobody identified themselves.”At the end of the March 21 conversation, Vance told Sarpee investigators would be calling him again to conduct a formal interview. Investigation notes suggest attempts were made to contact Sarpee but he didn’t speak to the Public Integrity Unity again until May 15.In a seven minute call, Sgt. Amanda Seelye pressed Sarpee on whether he knew the individuals entering Taylor’s home were officers and if he heard them announce themselves.This time, Sarpee said he heard police identify themselves, a change that suddenly corroborated the testimonies of the officers at the scene.“It’s been so long now,” Sarpee told Seelye on the call. “I recall some of it.”Sarpee also told The New York Times that he saw the officers as he stepped out onto the exterior staircase of Taylor’s apartment unit with his 2-year-old. He said that before the officers ordered him to go back inside the apartment, he heard at least three loud knocks on Taylor’s door and heard at least one of the officers scream “Police!” Sarpee, however, insisted to the Times he only heard them say the statement once.Despite Sarpee’s changing story, his claim to have heard police from the front of an apartment doesn’t offer complete clarity on whether Taylor and her boyfriend would have heard it from their bedroom towards the back of their unit.Sarpee did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment. VICE reported that the witness declined to speak with them, saying he had to speak with his lawyer first. The LMPD and Attorney General’s office also did not immediately respond to request for comment.Hankison was fired in June for “extreme violations” of police protocol after “wantonly and blindly” firing 10 shots into Taylor’s apartment–including several shots through the patio door and window, and into a neighbor’s apartment—after Walker fired an initial shot. Mattingly, Cosgrove, and the detective who requested the warrant were put on administrative leave. Six more officers are reportedly under investigation for their role in the raid.Earlier this month, the city of Louisville reached a $12 million settlement with Taylor’s family in their wrongful death lawsuit.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

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  • Lifestyle
    Scary Mommy

    My Husband And I Literally Have The Same Job, And I’m STILL Doing Everything

    My husband is also a teacher. We work in the same district. We literally have the same job, and I am the one who is still doing everything at home.

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