Groups Granted Motion in Mentally Disabled FL Rape Case
In what is becoming an increasingly moot point for the severely disabled, pregnant 22-year-old woman who was raped while in state custody and due to give birth later this month, Florida's 5th District Court of Appeals last week granted an emergency motion, giving abortion-rights and civil rights groups "friends of the court" status in an appeal involving Jennifer Wixtrom, who seeks guardianship of the woman's fetus and the state Department of Children and Families (DCF). Last June, Orange County, Florida, Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Kirkwood appointed a guardian for the woman (known as J.D.S.) but denied Governor Jeb Bush’s (R) request to appoint a guardian for the fetus. Stating that state law offered no basis for such an appointment and that a 1989 Florida Supreme Court ruling deemed the appointment of a fetal guardian "clearly improper," Kirkwood also rejected Wixtrom’s request for guardianship. Wixtrom filed an appeal, with the DCF supporting her position, in the case misleadingly termed Wixtrom vs. DCF, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Under the latest court order, the abortion-rights groups and civil rights groups including the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the Florida National Organization for Women will now have an opportunity to present an adversarial position. Pro-choice advocates say the case is yet another loosely veiled attempt to undermine abortion rights by granting legal personhood to a fetus.
5/6/2015 Four Sentenced to Death, Eight to Prison for Brutal Murder of Afghan Woman - The verdict for the 49 men charged with the murder of 27-year- old Farkhunda came yesterday, following a highly publicized and televised week-long trial and public outrage for violence against women in Afghanistan.
Farkhunda, who was an Islamic law student, accused a local Mullah of acting inappropriately. . . .
5/5/2015 Sen. Reid Promises to Filibuster "Fast Track" for the TransPacific Partnership - Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid has promised to delay efforts to push through the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal until the Senate first deals with two stalled bills that may soon expire.
Reid says that the two measures, an infrastructure bill on highway funding, and reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), are "very complicated issues," that require the Senate's attention "before we even deal with [the Trans-Pacific Partnership]."
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive free trade agreement currently being promoted by the Obama Administration, has been heavily criticized by humanitarian groups, environmental groups, and medical groups. . . .