Texas Sues to keep Obama from forcing a "Like Your Twitter? Keep your Twitter" Moment

Texas Sues in Federal Court

Attorney General Ken Paxton Works to Prevent Hand-Over of Domain Names

Joining Senator Ted Cruz, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has made his way to a federal court in Galveston to keep lawless President Obama from handing the private property of a portion of the Internet over to the UN.

“Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is jumping into Ted Cruz‘s fight to stop what the U.S. senator calls President Barack Obama’s illegal internet’giveaway.’

Paxton and three other attorneys general filed a lawsuit Wednesday night aiming to halt the Obama administration’s plan to cede oversight of the internet domain-name system to an international body. Critics claim the transition, which is set to go into effect within days, could open up the Internet to censorship by countries like China and Russia.

‘Trusting authoritarian regimes to ensure the continued freedom of the internet is lunacy,’ Paxton said in a statement. ‘The president does not have the authority to simply give away America’s pioneering role in ensuring that the internet remains a place where free expression can flourish.’

The lawsuit argues that the transfer, among other things, violates the property clause of the U.S. Constitution by letting go of government property without Congress’ approval. It also says the plan will have a negative impact on Americans’ free-speech rights under the First Amendment.

A spokesperson for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, one of the defendants, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But administration officials and technology experts have said concerns like those raised by Cruz are unfounded and demonstrate a lack of understanding about how the internet works.

The transfer has been years in the making, with the United States looking to relinquish control over domain-name registration to an international nonprofit known as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. The transfer is scheduled to go into effect Saturday.

In Congress, Cruz has made stopping the transition his top priority since returning from the presidential campaign trail in May. His efforts, however, have largely stalled, especially after Congress passed legislation Wednesday that will keep the federal government open through mid-December. That bill did not address the internet issue, as Cruz had hoped.

Cruz and Paxton, both tea party favorites in Texas, have long been allies in fights against the federal government. The three other attorneys general joining Paxton in the lawsuit are Mark Brnovich of Arizona, Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma and Paul Laxalt of Nevada.

In Congress, Cruz has made stopping the transition his top priority since returning from the presidential campaign trail in May. His efforts, however, largely stalled after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled a spending bill last week that did not address the issue.

Hat tip to KSEV AM700 morning Lance Roberts Show 30 September 2016 (hour 3).

To Anyone Who Has Had an Independent Thought,

Remember the Promise “Like Your Doctor, Keep Your Doctor” of Obama, Now It’s the Internet

If you don’t like what Obama has done to your healthcare, you’ll want to listen to a founding leader within the Internet community, Frank Gaffney:

Center for Security Policy president and founder Frank Gaffney offer(s) his thoughts on impending surrender of U.S. control of Internet registration.

“Look, the Iran deal, as you know, Alex my colleague Fred Fleitz at the Center for Security Policy (said),” he said, continuing:

This is national security fraud, of an epic character. And Hillary Clinton’s involvement in it, her support for it, her complicity in the Congress going along with it, in a fashion – I mean, these are very powerful indictments, I believe, for a woman who runs on her record of having been this great maven of national security. Ain’t so.

The conversation turned to the impending handover of Internet control to a foreign body, a topic that should be of major concern to American voters, although Marlow sarcastically observed there was no time for it during the debate because moderator Lester Holt thought it was more important to discuss Donald Trump’s thoughts on Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

“A lot of people in this audience have absolutely no clue why we would do this and can’t even interpret what Obama and the globalists are thinking,” Marlow said.

“Well, quite frankly, I’m among them. I can’t figure out what the argument is for doing this,” Gaffney replied. He went on to explain the situation:

What they’re preparing to do is to cede, or surrender, the last vestige of American control, or even influence, over what is done with critical functions of the Internet. It gets pretty arcane, but the point is, if you think that the freedom of the Internet – whether it’s the ability of people to communicate freely information on it, or whether you think of it as an engine for free enterprise, let alone if you understand the contribution that it makes these days to national security – including, by the way, the operations of our critical infrastructure – you will understand that the United States retaining a measure of quality control as to what’s going on with how the Internet is populated with names and numbers, domains, websites and the like, is a very important thing.

And for absolutely no good reason, other than people – or countries, I should say, like Russia, and China, and Saudi Arabia, and Iran, and North Korea – don’t want us to have any say in this and would like to be able to change things around so that they cannot only restrict all the things the Internet does to help their own people become familiar with the terrible they’re being subjected to, at the hands of their totalitarian or authoritarian regimes, but they want to take those freedoms – freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of enterprise – away from us, as well.

So this is what it comes down to, Alex: there’s no good reason for doing this, certainly not in the next three days, which is what’s going to happen unless Congress intervenes.

And there’s an interesting point here: Hillary Clinton could make all the difference on whether that happens or not.

Gaffney agreed with Marlow’s criticism of how this vital issue was bypassed at the debate, adding that he was hoping Trump would “jump in on it because he’s taken the right line.”

Gaffney pleaded:

If every one of your impressive audience – and I do think of you as a hotshot, I don’t care what they say – this audience is important, and if they will come up on the net, today, with calls into Mitch McConnell urging him not to give up the Internet – don’t let this happen, make sure the Continuing Resolution doesn’t permit that.

He recommended bringing pressure to bear on the Democrats through their presidential candidate:

Let’s call out Hillary Clinton, to find out whether she supports Barack Obama in diminishing our country, undermining our friends and our own interests, and emboldening our enemies. I call that the Obama Doctrine – whether she’s actually gonna stand with Donald Trump and say, “Don’t give up the Internet.” We need her help on this, and if she does it, I think most, if not all, of the Democrats in the Senate will agree, and will stop being obstructionists, will support a sound measure on this count, at least, on the Continuing Resolution.

And again, we’ve got three days to fix this, folks. This is no drill. This is a live-fire exercise. We need your help, now.

I think the more people understand what’s going on here, the more we’re gonna have the right outcome. The challenge, as with so much of the Obama agenda, as you know, Alex, is trying to slip it under the radar. Keep people from figuring it out until it’s done.

And this is the real hook. This will be irreversible. Once this so-called mechanism known as the numbering and naming function is permanently and irreversibly to some multinational non-profit – which will, trust me, be dominated in due course, if not right away, by the Russians, and the Chinese, and the Saudis, and so on – we’re not getting that back. There’s not anything a President Trump is gonna be able to do about it, if he does, in fact, become president.

It’s three days from now. It’s October 1st, the end of the fiscal year. It’s what Obama’s been striving for, is to jam this thing through, while nobody’s paying attention. We can’t let that happen.

“Come up on the net, folks. Call other talk radio show hosts, other folks that you’re dealing with, your editorial boards. Get engaged in this thing,” Gaffney implored, concluding:

It’s one of those places where your own equities – your freedom of expression, your right to use the Internet for small-business innovation and enterprise in the future, and so on – is going to be on the line because we’re going to turn it over to people who don’t want us to do that sort of thing. We mustn’t let that happen.

To Anyone Who Enjoys Free Expression

Please Listen to the FCC Commissioner

From someone who knows about freedom of speech on broadcast media, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai pointed out that a surrender of our Internet would result in a loss of freedom of speech currently available on the Internet.

“On Wednesday’s ‘Sean Hannity Show,’ FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai (R) stated that the plan to “essentially give up the US oversight role…of the Internet” to ICANN is something that should worry anyone who cherishes “free expression, and free speech rights generally,” and could potentially cede oversight of the Internet to ‘foreign governments who might not share our values.’ He further stated that such a move is ‘irreversible.’

Pai said, ‘This proposal is to essentially give up the US oversight role that it’s had for the last 20 years, basically for the entire commercial lifespan of the Internet to a company called ICANN, which is an international organization, which includes a number of foreign countries. And, it’s an unprecedented move, and one that, as Mr. DeMint pointed out, is irreversible. Once we give up this oversight role, we can’t get it back.’

He added that Internet oversight is a case of, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ Pai further stated, ‘[I]f you cherish free expression, and free speech rights generally, you should be worried, I think, when there’s — this oversight role’s going to be ceded to potentially, foreign governments who might not share our values.’ “

What Can I Do?

Contact Your US Representative

Go to the US House of Representatives Find Your Representative web page. Contact them and let them know how important your web is to you.

Contact Democrats

Tweet @NancyPelosi. E-mail  Nancy Pelosi and let SanFranNan know that this is not a time to “pass it to know what is in it” situation. This is a “time to stand for America time.”

Magnify Your Voice

 Make a hashtag.

Join with others to make your voice heard.

If you do not want to create your own petition, consider signing the ACLJ petition.

It Ain’t Over, Obergefell (Texas, February 2016 edition)

John the Baptist chained.

Texas Fights for Religious Exemptions to Gay Marriage 

As shown by a 17 February 2016 article by the Dallas-Fort Worth CBS affiliate, the fight over gay marriage has not died in Texas.  Ranging from the actions of an Attorney General who defies the concept that America is a kritarchy to a county clerk seeking to protect children to justices of the peace acting to senators writing new law,  the fight continues.  Here are the core issues from a few of the stories.

Attorney General Paxton Finds Himself Under Ethics Investigations for his Response to the SCOTUS ruling on Gay Marriage

An 11 February 2016 Newsmax article informs us:

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is being probed for ethics violations for telling county clerks that they could deny marriage licenses to same sex-couples, another potential setback for the state’s top lawyer, who is already facing felony charges.

The State Bar of Texas ordered its Board of Disciplinary Appeals this week top look into Paxton, his office and Houston attorney Eddie Rodriguez said on Thursday. If Paxton is found to have an ethics violation, he could be disbarred, which means he could no longer serve as attorney general.

Attorneys who asked for the probe said Paxton acted illegally in asking that state officials violate the U.S. Constitution by refusing to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, in defiance of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that made gay marriage legal nationally.

“Attorney General Paxton has a right to disagree with a ruling of the Supreme Court. Lawyers do that every single day. What makes a difference is that you cannot encourage people to violate that ruling and that law,” said Rodriguez, who led the call for the probe.

Paxton’s office said in a statement: “This complaint has always lacked merit, and we are confident the legal process for resolving these complaints will bear that out.”

Under its rules, the Texas Bar Association cannot confirm that a probe has been launched.

A day after the Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in June legalizing same-sex marriage, Paxton put out a statement saying county clerks could deny the licenses to same-sex couples on religious grounds.

Whose Rights and Whose Decisions are Supreme?

The New Civil Rights Movement shares:

“Am I obligated by law to issue a marriage license? I am. But I’m also obligated by law to issue a marriage license only between a man and a woman,” Criner said. “This is going to be something that violates my oath.”

Pressed by one senator about what she’ll do if a same-sex couple requests a marriage license from her office, Criner said, “I’ll have to evaluate that the day it happens.”
Republican Sen. Bob Estes responded by referencing the Constitution’s supremacy clause, which establishes that federal law takes precedence over state law.

GOP Sen. Brian Birdwell pointed to a case in his district, where a same-sex couple sued Hood County after Clerk Katie Lang turned them away. A federal judge ordered Lang’s office to issue the license, and granted the couple a $44,000 settlement.

“Your testimony, Ms. Criner, is telling of the circumstances we face today,” Birdwell said. “Is ‘supreme’ — in this case talking about the Supreme Court — is ‘supreme’ the adjective of court or is ‘supreme’ the noun? Is the Supreme Court the supreme branch of government and is it functioning within its role and its duties? I’m of the mind that it isn’t, because it’s legislating from the bench.”

But Birdwell then concurred with Estes, saying the supremacy clause means it’s up to federal officials “to check this the way we’re desiring them to check it.”

“I don’t have a solution directly to what we share as a concern, Madame Clerk,” Birdwell told Criner. “I do know that right now, based upon your testimony and my experience in Hood County, that those that want a license to be married can obtain it, even if the elected officeholder doesn’t wish to sign it and validate it as a person, that the office can validate it.”

In July, Criner said her deputy clerks don’t want to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples even if she delegates the authority to them. She added that because anyone “with 10 bucks and an Internet connection” can become a licensed minister and perform same-sex marriages, clerks are “the last gatekeeper.”

Criner also made it clear that she’s willing to be a martyr. She said she had considered the potential consequences of her decision, but ultimately they didn’t matter.

“I mean no disrespect to the same-sex couples who wish the benefits of marriage for their relations — no animosity toward them. I just have to look at what God said, and I have to look at the way our Constitution was based on what God said,” Criner told The Christian Reporter News. “I hope everybody really likes me when it’s over, and I hope I still have a home, and I hope I’m not in jail, but I really can’t think about any of that. I just leave it in the hands of God.”

Justice of the Peace Bill Metzger Refuses Same-Sex Marriages

As reported in a 4 February 2016 WFAA article, one Mesquite justice of the peace has turned his back on same sex marriage:

Dallas County Justice of the Peace Bill Metzger said on his public Facebook page this week he would only conduct marriages between a man and a woman.

“Because of my faith in God as a devout Catholic, I will only be conducting traditional marriages,” Metzger’s post reads.

Metzger cites a non-binding opinion issued by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton after the landmark ruling last June.

The opinion stated clerks and judges who perform marriages could object to same-sex marriages “so long as other authorized individuals are willing to conduct same-sex wedding ceremonies.”

Retired Dallas County district judge John Cruezot told News 8 that Metzger’s position is on a shaky legal foundation.

“You don’t have to do any marriages, nobody can compel you to do a marriage,” Cruezot says.  “However, once you take on one set of individuals, you have to do it for everyone.”

A Harris County district attorney’s opinion, also issued after the Supreme Court ruling reflects that sentiment and also cites the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct, which says “a judge who chooses to perform marriages must do so for same-sex couples, notwithstanding any personal religious objection.”

“If I do marriages, I do all or none,” Cruezot says. “It’s a bad signal to be a judge, even if it is a justice of the peace, and then make an independent decision that you’re going to follow the law for some folks but not for others.”

There have been no legal challenges to the one man, one woman marriage policy.

New Law Under Consideration

KEYE reports the following movements within the Texas Senate:

The debate over same-sex marriage is back at the state capitol. Today lawmakers began looking into how to protect individuals from government mandates that run counter to their deeply held religious beliefs.

This is going to sound very familiar because it’s tied to the uproar over the U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding gay marriage. Rebecca Robertson, legal and policy director for ACLU of Texas says, “We’re going to hear people call for the right to opt out of civil liberties protections like civil rights laws, like non-discrimination ordinances.”

And that’s what we heard as the Senate Committee on State Affairs heard from people affected by laws that conflict with their beliefs. One photographer says he no longer does any weddings rather than risk being sued for refusing same-sex couples. David Postma from Houston says, “If I say no to somebody who has got a bent in proving a point they can easily take me to court and say I have to do this. And that puts me in a position against my beliefs completely.”

And a Hill Country bed and breakfast owner says she has the room to host weddings, but turns away the business for the same reason. Angela Smith says, “This property is my livelihood. It’s my retirement at some point. And I simply cannot risk putting myself through something where I could lose literally everything. My home, my business, my future.”

A proposal to protect business owners who act based on their religious beliefs failed in the last session In part because it was opposed by the Texas Association of Business. But the law’s supporters say they’ll be back. Jonathan Saenz, President of Texas Values says, “Our organization and many others are here saying that religious freedom is good for Texas, religious freedom is good for Texas, and religious freedom should apply to all.”
Lots of action today … and this was just a committee hearing. Just wait until the session kicks in next January.

Pastor Protection Act signed by Governor Abbott

 In a 30 June 2015 article at NBC affiliate KFOR, the station documents the signing of the Pastor Protection Act:

Senate Bill 2065, also known as the Pastor Protection Act, was signed by Governor Abbott Tuesday.

The bill, written by Senator Craig Estes, “protects houses of worship, religious organizations and their employees and clergy or ministers, from being required to participate in a marriage or celebration or a marriage if it would violate a sincerely held religious belief.”

“I am very proud that Senator Craig Estes and Senate members passed SB 2065 today,” said Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. “SB 2065 protects our churches and pastors from participating in any part of a marriage that is against their beliefs.”

“Religious leaders should never be compelled to provide any kind of service that separates them from the fundamental principles of their faith,” concluded Patrick. “This bill is about protecting religious freedom across the state.”

Pastor Protection Act Also Helps Others

In a 15 June 2015 article at OneNewsNow.com, features of the Pastor Protection Act (passed slightly before the decision on Obergefell v. Hodges in the Supreme Court) are explained:

“Dave Welch of the Texas Pastor Council Action says the “Pastor Protection Act” protects hospitals, camps, and Christian organizations, along with protecting pastors from being forced to perform same-sex “wedding” ceremonies.
The bill passed with bipartisan support and was signed into law June 11 by Gov. Greg Abbott.
OneNewsNow reported in a recent story that Texas pastors rallied the state legislature to support the bill, which provides religious protection should a pending ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court make same-sex “marriage” legal in all 50 states.

While homosexual activists describe their effort as “marriage equality,” Welch says Texas pastors and clergy are protected from legal punishment for refusing to participate in a ceremony they deem sinful.

Religious freedom is constitutionally protected, says Welch, “but the reality is that we now live in a condition that we have to step out and be proactive in drawing some boundaries based on the aggression we’ve seen against the simple expression of our faith.”

Not All Who Disagree with Gay Marriage Accept Staying Silent or Refusing Work

In a 13 July 2015 article in the Dallas Observer, a Denton Justice of the Peace uses the  following method to remain true to his personal beliefs while providing service to both heterosexual and same-sex couples seeking to be married:

“I’m not going to do weddings any more, I’m going to do declarations of marriage,” DePiazza says. “For the ceremonies I’ve done in the past, I wrote the vows, they were my vows that I wrote. I wrote short vows and long vows and gave [them to] the couple to choose which vows they wanted to use. All of them are very specific to a husband and a wife.”

Couples getting married by DePiazza will no longer get the choice of vows. They can come in, affirm that they want to get married and are legally eligible to do so, and DePiazza will witness the marriage.

Anyone seeking a marriage in front of DePiazza will also have to sign a letter acknowledging that they know DePiazza would prefer not to conduct same-sex marriages. They also have to promise that there will be no “no discussion regarding [DePiazza’s] position [on same-sex marriage] before, during or after the ceremony.

DePiazza could’ve elected to stop performing marriage ceremonies entirely — justices of the peace are not required to do so — but says he wanted to do what was best for his constituents.

“I went back in forth with it, and I made the decision that, for my constituents, if that is their desire — it doesn’t matter to me what a person’s sexual preference is, what their sexual orientation is. Regardless, they’re a human being and they deserve dignity and respect. If that’s the way that they want to live their life, that’s between them, their partner and either they believe in their God or not, that’s their choice,” DePiazza says.

Offering only the stripped down ceremonies, DePiazza says, allows him to perform the duties required of a justice of the peace without compromising his personal beliefs.

Another Source Documents DePiazza 

A 17 July 2015 article in the Christian Examiner, also reports on Judge DePiazza:

“A Texas justice of the peace announced July 9 he will perform same-sex marriages if and only if gay couples acknowledge his personal disagreement with the practice and follow strict guidelines during the wedding ceremony.

Judge James DePiazza, justice of the peace for Precinct 2 in North Texas, issued a new form last week citing the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. On that form, Justice DePiazza acknowledged that marriage is now, as a matter of law, open to all citizens regardless of gender.

The document also claimed:

‘The result of this ruling has not changed Judge DePiazza’s personal convictions on marriage, but has changed the way he is now conducting ceremonies.’

‘Judge DePiazza will no longer be providing marriage ceremonies in the traditional manner. The ceremony will strictly be a witnessing to the declaration of marriage, presented by Judge DePiazza, by both parties under the laws of the State of Texas. Judge DePiazza prefers to NOT conduct same-sex ceremonies, but will not decline anyone who chooses to schedule with him,’ the document also said.

In addition to the statement on the judge’s personal beliefs, the document included new rules for the wedding ceremony, including a ban on photography until after the judge had left the courtroom. At the foot of the form, applicants for a marriage ceremony were expected to sign an acknowledgment of the judge’s opinion.”