Monday, June 27, 2022

'Uncle Clarence' Thomas willing to sacrifice freedom of the press to go after 'the gays'

Justice Clarence Thomas wants you to believe that he is as crochety as he looks here.

This Supreme Court term has been a disaster on all levels, especially its boneheaded decision to overturn Roe V Wade.  There is one precedent the court didn't overturn, however. But if one crochety justice had his way, it would have.

From The Hill:

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Monday expressed a desire to revisit a landmark 1964 ruling that makes it relatively difficult to bring successful lawsuits against media outlets for defamation. Thomas’s statement came in response to the court’s decision to turn away an appeal from a Christian nonprofit group who disputed their characterization by the civil rights watchdog group Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). 

 Coral Ridge Ministries Media sued the SPLC for defamation for listing them as a hate group on their public database, which led to Amazon excluding Coral Ridge as a recipient of charitable contributions from online shoppers. 

 Thomas dissented from the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the lawsuit, which had been dismissed by lower courts for failing to overcome the decades-old legal standard, established in the landmark 1964 New York Times v. Sullivan decision, that public figures who sue for defamation must not only prove defendants made defamatory statements, but that those statements were made with “actual malice.”

“This case is one of many showing how New York Times and its progeny have allowed media organizations and interest groups ‘to cast false aspersions on public figures with near impunity,’” Thomas wrote. “SPLC’s ‘hate group’ designation lumped Coral Ridge’s Christian ministry with groups like the Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazis,” the justice added. “It placed Coral Ridge on an interactive, online ‘Hate Map’ and caused Coral Ridge concrete financial injury by excluding it from the AmazonSmile donation program. Nonetheless, unable to satisfy the ‘almost impossible’ actual-malice standard this Court has imposed, Coral Ridge could not hold SPLC to account for what it maintains is a blatant falsehood.”

The irony is that SPLC could probably prove that Coral Ridge Ministries is a hate group.  According to Raw Story:

In its iconic 2010 report, "18 Anti-Gay Groups and Their Propaganda," the Southern Poverty Law Center explained that the "late Rev. D. James Kennedy started turning fundamentalist Coral Ridge Presbyterian into a mega-church in the 1960s."

 In an especially nasty 1989 edition of a CRM newsletter, Kennedy ran photographs of children along with the tagline, “Sex With Children? Homosexuals Say Yes!” "Over the years," the SPLC report adds, Rev. Kennedy "emphasized anti-gay rhetoric, particularly in his TV ministry. He recommended as 'essential' the virulent work of R.J. Rushdoony ... who believed practicing gays should be executed."

Also in 1986,  Kennedy endorsed an outrageously homophobic booklet called Homosexuality: Legitimate Alternate Deathstyle. The booklet contained false information on gays claiming, amongst other things, that gay men molest children at a proportionately large number, are serial killers, and are dangerous to the public in general:

The booklet also contained the following images:

Kennedy's endorsement of this monstrosity read as follows:

"Dick Hafer (the comic book's author) has produced a very accurate portrayal of homosexuality and the problem it poses to our nation and civilization. This unique book deserves an open-minded reading by all Americans, and especially by those who serve in leadership capacities."

Coral Ridge Ministries trying to defend this would have made for an interesting day in court. But to the point, Thomas seems to be full of himself during this session. He already helped overturn the precedent of Roe V Wade and in doing so, said he wanted to revisit precedents which allowed contraception, knocked down the sodomy laws, and established marriage equality.

He conveniently omitted the case which established the right to interracial marriage. I'm sure his wife, Ginni, would be glad about that one.

'LGBTQ community urged to 'fight like hell'' after overturn of Roe v Wade' & other Mon midday news briefs

How Queer Celebs & Activists Reacted to SCOTUS Overturning Roe v. Wade - I have no words. Only a steadfast resolve.

Anti-Abortion Activists Will Now Aim Their Viciousness at Marriage Equality - We knew they would try before Roe v Wade was overturned. It's interesting to see how much incentive this will give them.