President Obama largely commuted the remaining prison sentence of Chelsea Manning https://t.co/idlDyabmsV— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 17, 2017
President Obama today shaved 28 years off the sentence of Chelsea Manning. Below are items by Lawfare Blog and Jacobin Magazine supporting this decision. My comments follow.
President Obama must act now and grant clemency to Chelsea Manning. https://t.co/SNje28Vj4R— Jacobin (@jacobinmag) January 14, 2017
Until the past week I had opposed freeing Manning due to the seriousness of her crime, though I defended her right to appropriate healthcare and criticized the apparent denial of care as a form of punishment. I was persuaded by the Lawfare piece, which makes a good point about the difference between pardon and commutation, and about mitigating circumstances. I agree with the distinction between Manning and Edward Snowden. That Manning's jailers have been at best indifferent to her health, and appear to have gone to considerable lengths to harm her health as an extra-judicial punishment, was perhaps the best argument for clemency.
Further, the disgraceful handling of her incarceration makes a strong case for demanding better training and health-related protocols moving forward. It is no more acceptable to treat trans prisoners this way than to condone prison rape. If the latter is truly what we want, then we should advertise our barbarity by explicitly including it in formal sentencing. Otherwise we should damn well stop it.
Contact: Benjamin Fritsch – o: 202-225-8050, c: 202-225-8143
January 12, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) said she plans to mount a vigorous defense of the District of Columbia’s medical aid-in-dying bill, the Death with Dignity Act, from congressional attacks after Senator James Lankford (R-OK) and Representative Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) today introduced resolutions of disapproval to block the District’s local legislation from taking effect.
“Senator Lankford and Representative Wenstrup claim to carry the mantle for a small, limited federal government, yet they have introduced bills that abuse the federal government’s power over the District in order to interfere with our purely local affairs,” Norton said. “It is particularly disappointing that Senator Lankford has chosen to abuse congressional authority over D.C., as I have worked successfully with him on federal matters affecting the District, including reforms and improvement to the D.C. courts. The District held hearings and heard vigorous and thoughtful debate from both sides of this controversial issue. Ultimately, the local officials who represent the 680,000 American citizens living in the District of Columbia deliberated and passed the Death with Dignity Act. Unaccountable Members of Congress have no business legislating on the local affairs of our jurisdiction. Since they believe medical aid-in dying is bad policy, Senator Lankford and Representative Wenstrup should advocate their positions on the national stage, where Congress has clear jurisdiction, and introduce bills to prohibit physicians nationwide from prescribing lethal doses of medication, instead of singling the District out for different treatment. The House and Senate have more than enough on their plates trying to solve the many issues facing our country. While Congress tackles the country’s issues, we ask that Congress let the District handle its own local issues, a right enjoyed by every other jurisdiction. I am ready to fight these naked attacks on the District’s local democracy until the day D.C.’s Death with Dignity Act becomes law.”
Under the Home Rule Act of 1973, all D.C. legislation must be transmitted to Congress for a review period before they can take effect. A bill takes effect at the expiration of the review period unless a resolution of disapproval is enacted into law during that period. Norton has prevented a disapproval resolution from being enacted into law since 1991.
DC Mayor Bowser & Council Chairman Phil Mendelson release statement's opposing congressmen's efforts to void local right-to-die legislation: pic.twitter.com/2ZAOcfrVPY— Andrew Giambrone (@AndrewGiambrone) January 13, 2017
Thanks to Mayor Bowser and D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson for their strong statements against the undemocratic resolution introduced in Congress to block the District's Death with Dignity Act. The District does not need people we did not elect imposing their views on our local public policy over those of our elected reps. The struggle continues.
A national hero and longtime pro-LGBT ally who risked his life fighting for voting rights a half century ago steps up to oppose the nomination of a man with a record of opposing voting rights, LGBT rights, and women's rights. Thank you, Congressman.
Superb testimony by Sen. Cory Booker. Tom Cotton is unhappy that Cory Booker is testifying against a fellow senator. It's a violation of custom, he says. Well so is drafting a letter from 47 senators to leaders of Iran to undermine POTUS. Such a move might even be called treasonous. So take a seat, Tom. Go Cory!
Police quickly arrested four suspects in a Chicago hate crime, but racists are gleefully blaming it on Black Lives Matter, which does not advocate hate or violence. Of course it would never occur to these malignant white clowns to take responsibility for the crimes of some random white person, even if their rhetoric helped incite it. This is the poison of racial privilege. But calling them deplorable is the truly unforgivable thing? They can Rot. In. Hell.
Sentence overturned in HIV transmission case https://t.co/UXAKfJBBkx— Washington Blade (@WashBlade) December 23, 2016
GLAA has long opposed the criminalization of what should be understood and treated as a health issue. A good rule of thumb when facing the making of public policy based on controversial cases is: who will be helped by our doing this?
An absolute disgrace. If the NC GOP thinks this betrayal will be soon forgotten, they are sorely mistaken.
An excellent question. Peter King is a hypocrite. As to singling out Muslims, Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, testified on that issue more than five years at a hearing chaired by Rep. King.
Two bills passed their second and final readings Tuesday afternoon on the consent calendar at the D.C. Council's legislative meeting:
Collaborative Reproduction Amendment Act of 2016, Bill 21-16
Death Certificate Gender Identity Recognition Amendment Act of 2016, Bill 21-444
The first of these legalizes and regulates surrogate parenting agreements in the District. GLAA and our coalition partners have pushed this for four years. Special thanks and congrats to Alison Gill who coordinated our coalition effort.
The second clarifies the process for designating a decedent's gender identity or expression on their death certificate. Lack of respect for people's gender identities after their deaths has been a recurring problem.
An outrageous betrayal of American democratic norms. In other words, standard Republican behavior in 2016.
Mara Keisling of National Center for Transgender Equality writes:
HB2 to be repealed?? HB2 must be fully, completely, unequivocally repealed. Is legislature distracting from recent illegal power grab.
Thank goodness, though this will not bring back the martyred people of Emanuel AME Church. Roof has decided to represent himself in the sentencing phase.
The Collaborative Reproduction Amendment Act of 2016 passed its first reading as part of the consent agenda at the D.C. Council Legislative Meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 6. That means it was supported unanimously.
The bill will have its second and final reading at an additional legislative meeting (probably December 20), then it will go to Mayor Bowser for her signature.
This carefully written bill legalizes and regulates both traditional and gestational (in vitro fertilization based) surrogacies. It will give District couples, both gay and straight, a parenting option commonly practiced elsewhere. No longer will they have to travel outside the District for this purpose. Many couples' dreams of having families will be made easier and less stressful.
This comes after a four-year effort by a coalition of groups including GLAA that worked with the Council's Judiciary Committee staff, medical experts, and family advocates. Thanks to all the activists, families, experts, and affirming clergy who helped. It was opposed by the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, but they've pretty much opposed everything we've done for the past three-plus decades.
After it is signed, the bill will be transmitted to Congress for the congressional review period that all D.C. legislation must undergo. There may be challenges there; stay tuned.
On Wednesday, November 30, the surrogacy parenting bill (currently known as the Collaborative Reproduction Amendment Act of 2016), which has been knocking around the Council since January 2013, passed the DC Council Committee on the Judiciary by voice vote.
The Committee of the Whole will consider the bill on Tuesday, December 6. The bill will then get its first reading and vote by the full Council at the Legislative Meeting that follows the COW meeting. Second reading will occur later in December, then the bill goes to Mayor Bowser for signature.
This bill was the work of a broad coalition of advocates coordinated by past GLAA honoree Alison Gill, including extensive work by Judiciary staff under previous Judiciary Chair Tommy Wells and current chair Kenyan McDuffie. Particular thanks to current committee director Kate Mitchell.
Legalizing and regulating surrogacy is the last major piece of family-related law on GLAA's policy agenda. We testified in support of it in June 2013. I will conclude my term as GLAA president at the end of this month. I will be very glad to leave office on this note. We and our allies may have to battle to defend it during its congressional review period on Capitol Hill; but first things first.