Category Archives: Department of Justice

Suing Jeff Sessions (E29)

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You may be familiar with the many times the ACLU has sued the president, but today we’re going to cover two lawsuits against the Trump Administration you may NOT have heard of. We interview Glenda Aldana Madrid, Staff Attorney at the the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project about their lawsuit against Jeff Sessions. We also discuss a couple of lawsuits against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and some awesome Listener Mail about the UK election.

MENTIONED ON THE SHOW:

Hat tip to @jenesaiswha for the recommendation of the BBC 4 News Quiz Extra show.

America’s Hidden H.I.V. Epidemic – The New York Times

Betsy DeVos lost the first part of a a court battle when a California federal judge ruled that her Department’s effort to delay addressing a defrauded student’s claim for loan relief was “both frivolous and in bad faith.”

The Mass. Attorney General on DeVos’s latest move: “I’m going to sue them.”

Warrantless Wiretapping; Chase Strangio on Title IX and Gavin Grimm’s lawsuit (E20)

If you want to support the show, you can support us on Patreon for as little as $1 a month. You’ll get access to bonus content each month and help us keep the show going! 

Donald Trump said that President Obama wiretapped him. Like most things that Trump says, that’s a lie. But the law that authorizes the warrantless wiretapping of American citizens is up for reauthorization this year. We talk about why that matters, and what we can do about it. We also discuss how the Trump Administration wants to delay (and kill) a rule that helps prevent Wall Street from stealing your money through conflicted retirement advice.

Finally, we have a discussion with ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio (@ChaseStrangio) about the legal details of Gavin Grimm’s case, the underlying law that protects him and other trans students (Title IX), and also get an update on the ongoing legal battle against the anti-LGBT bill HB2 in North Carolina. We also reminisce about how isolating it was to be young queer kids, and hope things are at least a little better for the young queers today.

TAKE ACTION:

  • Send a comment letter to the Department of Labor, telling them not to delay the rule that protects retirement savers from conflicts of interest.
  • Call the Capitol Switchboard, (202) 224-3121, and ask for your Senators (or your Representative), and tell them: I am very concerned about the reauthorization of Section 702 of the FISA amendments act. My understanding is that this law put Congress’s stamp of approval on Bush Admin’s warrantless wiretapping program, and I do not believe that warrantless spying makes us any safer. In fact, it threatens the core liberties that this country should be the most proud of. So you should vote against it!

SUGGESTED READING:

Image credit: jeffschuler on flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Trump’s Cabinet of Horrors, Boston Spying, and the Electoral College (E16)

Humorless Queers tackle the horror show that is Trump’s choices for the cabinet, including Jeff Sessions for the Department of Justice, Steven Mnuchin for Treasury Secretary, and Betsy Devos for the Department of Education. We also discuss the Boston police department’s plan to spend $1.4m on social media spying software. And finally, we’ll have an interview with the co-founder of DemocrEC.org, who are demanding that Republican members of the Electoral College honor the popular vote.

CITED ON THE SHOW:

SUGGESTED DONATION:

HUMORLESS QUEERS READING CIRCLE:

  1. Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America
  2. Taylor Branch: Parting the Waters. America in the King Era, 1954-1963

Credit where due:

The theme for this show is the song “Missing You” by Jahzzar, also know as Javier Suarez. You can find his work at betterwithmusic.com.

HQ Quickie: Chase Strangio on the Lawsuits over the Anti-Trans Bill HB2 (E12)

Alexis speaks with ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio about the flurry of news happening around the insanely bigoted anti-trans bill in North Carolina, #HB2. From North Carolina suing the Feds, to the Feds suing North Carolina, we catch you up on what’s going on. We also discuss how much more the Department of Justice needs to do to truly protect trans people, including their ongoing refusal to allow Chelsea Manning to grow her hair long. We also discuss the Departments of Justice and Education issuing guidance to schools on how to ensure the civil rights of students at federally funded educational institutions .

Further Reading / Mentioned on the Show:

How to Help

Here are organizations doing work in North Carolina that folks can donate to or support in other ways:

Credit Where Due

The theme for this show is the song “Missing You” by Jahzzar, also know as Javier Suarez. You can find his work at betterwithmusic.com. And the font for our logo is by the graphic designer Marisa Passos.

Header image credit:Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)

Ep 3: Problems with the Tsarnaev trial, Wall Street reform in 2015

Kade discusses problems with the Tsarnaev trial (United States v. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev), including troubling secrecy and civil liberties violations. And Alexis talks about what we can expect in the realm of Wall Street reform in 2015, especially given the action-packed first week in the House of Representatives.

We also review which news producers really need to quit their jobs, and why the NYTimes editorial board, usually decent on civil liberties, earns a “b*tch, please!” for a December 30 oped on the NYPD.

You can also listen to the episode on YouTube and iTunes.
Continue reading Ep 3: Problems with the Tsarnaev trial, Wall Street reform in 2015

Ep 1: Government Spying from the Sky, Obama (Still) Loves Bankers

In the inaugural episode of Humorless Queers, we discuss U.S. Marshalls spying on your cell phone from the sky, and President Obama’s latest banker nomination to Treasury. Continue reading Ep 1: Government Spying from the Sky, Obama (Still) Loves Bankers