One way dictators take over democracies is by threatening the independence of a nation’s courts. Donald Trump is doing just this.
Connect the following dots:
1. In January, Trump blasted a federal judge for staying his travel ban. “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!” he tweeted.
2. In February, after the judge made the stay permanent, Trump issued a veiled threat: “Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!”
3. Last week, after another federal judge issued a nationwide injunction blocking Trump’s travel ban, Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, said “I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power.”
4. On Tuesday, after another federal judge blocked the Trump administration from enforcing a threat to take away funds from sanctuary cities, the White House issued a statement condemning the judge as “unelected.” The statement charged “this San Francisco judge’s erroneous ruling is a gift to the criminal gang and cartel element in our country, empowering the worst kind of human trafficking and sex trafficking, and putting thousands of innocent lives at risk. This case is yet one more example of egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge.”
5. On Wednesday, Trump said he was considering breaking up the court of appeals for the 9th Circuit, in which these three federal judges hear and decide cases. "There are many people who want to break up the 9th Circuit,” he said. “It’s outrageous.” The 9th Circuit Court covers Arizona, California, Alaska, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington and Hawaii, as well as Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Eighteen of the court’s 25 judges were appointed by Democratic presidents.
It is the job of the Justice Department to provide a reasoned case for overruling a federal judge’s decision. In condemning individual judges and threatening to break up the court of appeals instead, Trump is attacking the foundations of the separation of powers in the Constitution.
This assault on the federal judiciary is an abuse of Trump’s constitutional authority – yet another ground for impeachment.
Requirements for trans people to alter the sex on their birth certificate in the United States and its colonies as of March 2016.
Purple: SRS not required. (California, Utah, Wyoming, Guam, US Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Mississippi, Indiana, Missouri, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Washington DC, Michigan, Washington, Oregon, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland)
Purple with black bars: Although the law requires “an operation” to have occurred, this does not have to be SRS. (Illinois)
Pink: SRS required for sex marker change. (Alaska, Hawai’i, Montana, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Maine, Massachusets, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Nebraska, Kentucky, Arkansas. Oklahoma)
Pink with black bars:
Some officials have refused to amend the sex on birth certificates to reflect a sex change after the ruling Littleton v. Prange; however, a judge can order an amendment. (Texas)
Red: Can not change sex on birth certificate. (Idaho, Ohio, Kansas, Tennessee, Puerto Rico, American Samoa)
So I’ve never ever ever posted a picture of myself to Tumblr before…but this is the only photo that’s been taken of me since I moved out to the Northern Mariana Islands about a month ago, and I just thought I’d share because this is what my front yard looks like now and despite the loneliness and the isolation that come along with living on a tiny island…I think it’s pretty effing lovely out here.
October 8: Mississippi, South Carolina, U.S. Virgin Islands 9: Alaska, Rhode Island 10: American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii 11: Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas 12: Missouri 14: New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma 15: Delaware 17: Virginia 18: Kansas, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, West Virginia 19: Massachusetts 24: Alabama, California, South Dakota, 28: Guam, Nebraska 31: Washington
November 1: Utah 2: Vermont 3: Maryland 8 (Election Day): Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Wyoming
(Fun fact: You don’t need to register to vote in North Dakota. Deadlines for Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico have already passed.)
Go to iwillvote.com to register to vote, check your status, or update your registration in minutes.
Hey guess what? We’re actually going to have elections soon. Silly season is almost over! The schedule:
Monday, February 1 Iowa caucus Tuesday, February 9 New Hampshire Saturday, February 20 Nevada caucus (D) South Carolina ® Tuesday, February 23 Nevada caucus ® Saturday, February 27 South Carolina (D) Tuesday, March 1 (Super Tuesday) Alabama Alaska caucus American Samoa caucus (D) Arkansas Colorado caucus Georgia Massachusetts Minnesota caucus North Dakota caucus ® Oklahoma R Tennessee Texas Vermont Virginia Wyoming caucus ® Saturday, March 5 Kansas caucus Kentucky caucus ® Louisiana Maine caucus ® Nebraska caucus (D) Sunday, March 6 Maine caucus (D) Puerto Rico ® Tuesday, March 8 Hawaii caucus ® Idaho ® Michigan Mississippi Democrats Abroad17N/A Saturday, March 12 Guam (R convention) Northern Marianas caucus (D) District of Columbia caucus ® Tuesday, March 15 Florida Illinois Missouri North Carolina Northern Mariana Islands caucus Ohio Saturday, March 19 Virgin Islands caucus Tuesday, March 22 American Samoa Arizona Idaho caucus (D) Utah Saturday, March 26 Alaska caucus (D) Hawaii caucus (D) Washington caucus (D) Tuesday, April 5 Wisconsin Saturday, April 9 Wyoming caucus (D) Tuesday, April 19 New York Tuesday, April 26 Connecticut Delaware Maryland Pennsylvania Rhode Island Tuesday, May 3 Indiana Saturday, May 7 Guam (D) Tuesday, May 10 Nebraska ® West Virginia Tuesday, May 17 Kentucky (D) Oregon Tuesday, May 24 Washington ® Saturday, June 4 Virgin Islands caucus (D) Sunday, June 5 Puerto Rico caucus (D) Tuesday, June 7 California Montana New Jersey New Mexico North Dakota caucus (D) South Dakota Tuesday, June 14 District of Columbia (D)
The Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands: What Was It?
Well, first you have to know that a large part of the polynesian islands used to be a League of Nations Mandate, which was administered by Japan. It consisted of several groups of islands (modern-day Palau, Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Marshall Islands) in the Pacific Ocean which came under the administration of Japan after the defeat of the German Empire in World War I. Then, the US took the islands in 1944. The League of Nations had been dissolved, but by and large its functions were inherited by the new United Nations.
The United Nations created the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in 1947, and promptly gave administration to the US. There was a bit of a snag: legally, the Trust Territory was special, and unlike other trusts, only the UN Security Counsel could dissolve the trust. The territory consisted of more than 2,000 islands scattered over about 3,000,000 square miles of the tropical western Pacific Ocean, though only 700 square miles were land. The US government was responsible for the territory’s civil administration, but during the 1950s, criticisms of the administration of the territory from the UN Trusteeship Council and from within the United States brought increased attention to a movement toward autonomy.
On October 21st, 1986, the US ended its administration of the Marshall Islands District, which became a new nation. November 3rd, what became the Federated States of Micronesia and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (a non-state which is technically a US island territory, even though it is uninhabited) left the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands as well. The UN Security Council formally ended the trusteeship for these territories in December of 1990, acknowledging the reality on the ground.
Palau was the last to leave, in May 1994 when the Security Counsel ended its trusteeship. This was a bit odd, since Palau had a constitution and been the Republic of Palau since 1981. It had even entered into a Compact of Free Association with the US in 1982. Everyone was happy with the ongoing arrangement. With the end of the trusteeship, though, Palau became more officiallyindependent as well? I will admit, I do not understand all the legalities. The only thing left was for the US and Palau to agree on a date for establishing Palau’s national independence, which ended up being October 1, 1994.