Hilary Duff keert terug in rol van Lizzie McGuire

Actrice en zangeres Hilary Duff (31) keert terug in haar rol als Lizzie McGuire. De gelijknamige populaire serie krijgt nieuwe afleveringen op het streamingplatform Disney+. Dat meldt Deadline zaterdag.
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The Weaponization of the Free-Exercise Clause
There was a time when the Constitution’s protection of the “free exercise” of religion was a sort of shield, a protection for religious minorities from the prejudices of the powerful. No longer. The Supreme Court’s conservative majority is in the process of transforming this First Amendment clause into a sword that politically powerful Christian conservatives can use to strike down hard-fought advances in civil rights, especially for LGBTQ individuals and women.At issue is whether religious believers who object to laws governing matters such as health care, labor protections, and antidiscrimination in public accommodations should have a right to an “exemption” from having to obey those laws. In recent years, religious pharmacists have claimed that they should not be required to fill prescriptions for a legal and authorized medical procedure if that procedure is inconsistent with their beliefs. A court clerk whose religion defined marriage as a union of a man and woman has claimed a free-exercise right to refuse marriage licenses to same-sex couples who have a constitutional right to marry. Religious business owners, such as bakers and florists, who object to same-sex marriage have claimed a right to refuse service to same-sex couples. And employers have successfully asserted a right to deny their workers health-care benefits that they would otherwise be entitled to, such as contraception or abortion counseling.[Read: The separation of church and state is breaking down under Trump]Providing such religious exemptions has required a dramatic change in the law by the Supreme Court. In 1990, in Employment Division v. Smith, the Supreme Court held that the free-exercise clause of the First Amendment cannot be used as a basis for an exception to a general law, no matter how great the burden on religion, unless the government’s action can be shown to be based on animus to religion. The case involved a claim by Native Americans for a religious exception to an Oregon law prohibiting consumption of peyote.Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the opinion for the Court ruling against the Native Americans and explained that it would be impossible to provide religious exemptions from civic obligations whenever a person disagreed with the law—there are just too many civic obligations and too many different religious views about those obligations. Also, if the government were to begin down this path, it inevitably would face the impossible task of defining a “religious” belief. Such an approach would force the Court to make intrinsically controversial and discriminatory decisions about which religious views were most deserving of special accommodation and which social values should be considered less important than the favored religious views.This decision was in line with the approach taken by the Supreme Court, in almost all cases, through American history. Courts long held that the Constitution did not require an exception to general laws on account of religious beliefs—that parents could not deny medical aid to their children, that they could not have them work in violation of child-labor laws, even if the work involved dispensing religious literature, that religious schools could not violate laws against racial discrimination, and that a Jewish Air Force psychologist could not ignore the uniform requirement by wearing a yarmulke.Unfortunately, the conservative justices on the current Court reject Scalia’s reasoning and may be about to overrule Employment Division v. Smith. If they do so, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority will in essence be saying that the views of Christian conservatives are more important than legal protections for workers and people who seek to engage in ordinary commercial activity without suffering discrimination.The first sign of this shift came with the 2014 decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, when for the first time in American history, the Court held that the religious beliefs of a business’s owner allowed it to refuse to provide employees with a benefit required by law. Under the Affordable Care Act, employers are required to provide health-insurance coverage, including coverage for contraceptives for women. The Affordable Care Act had already carved out an exemption for religious not-for-profit organizations, so that, for example, a Catholic diocese would not have to provide contraceptive care to its employees. (Legislatures can choose to give religious exemptions, even though the Constitution does not require them.) But at issue in Hobby Lobby were the rights of the owners of a purely secular business. The five conservative justices held that a family-owned corporation could deny contraceptive coverage to women employees based on the business owners’ religious beliefs.[Read: When the religious doctor refuses to treat you]The dissenters, led by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, pointed out that “the distinction between a community made up of believers in the same religion and one embracing persons of diverse beliefs, clear as it is, constantly escapes the Court’s attention,” and wondered about religious employers who were offended by health coverage of vaccines, or equal pay for women, or medications derived from pigs, or the use of antidepressants. At the very least, there is a compelling interest in protecting access to contraceptives, which the Supreme Court has deemed a fundamental right.In June 2020, the Court ruled in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey Berru that teachers at a Catholic school could not sue for employment discrimination. The two cases before the Court involved a teacher who had sued for disability discrimination after losing her job following a breast-cancer diagnosis and a teacher who had sued for age discrimination after being replaced by a younger instructor.Previously, in Hosanna-Tabor Lutheran Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC (2012), the Court said that a narrow exception protects religious organizations from being held liable for choices they make about their “ministers,” which traditionally have been considered “exclusively ecclesiastical questions” that the government should not second-guess. But now the Court has expanded that exception to all religious-school teachers, meaning that the schools can discriminate based on race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, age, and disability with impunity.This reflects a Court that is likely to expand the ability of businesses to discriminate based on their owners’ religious beliefs. A few years ago, the Court considered in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission whether a baker could refuse, on account of his religious beliefs, to design and bake a cake for a same-sex couple. This should be an easy decision: People should not be allowed to violate antidiscrimination laws because of religious beliefs, or any beliefs. For more than half a century, courts have consistently recognized that enforcing antidiscrimination laws is more important than protecting freedom to discriminate on account of religious beliefs. A person cannot invoke religious beliefs to refuse service or employment to Black people or women. Discrimination by sexual orientation is just as wrong. Although the justices in this case sidestepped the question of whether the free-exercise clause requires such an exemption, a number of other courts have ruled that compliance with general antidiscrimination laws might impose an impermissible burden on the free exercise of the owner’s religious beliefs, at least when the beliefs are Christian and the protected class includes gay and lesbian people. Moreover, the religious right has demanded that it is entitled to such exemptions.In recent months, the Court expanded civil-rights protection for gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals, but there is reason to fear that the conservative justices are about to undercut this. In June 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal law Title VII, which prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, forbids employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. But Justice Neil Gorsuch’s majority opinion left open the possibility of giving an exception to employers who discriminate because of their religious beliefs. The Court should emphatically reject such claims. Selling goods and hiring people on the open market is not the exercise of religion, and stopping discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is a compelling government interest that judges should not dismiss because members of a favored religion disagree with the policy.[Chase Strangio: The trans future I never dreamed of]Unfortunately, the Court appears to be headed in exactly the opposite direction. Next term, which begins in October, the Court will consider, in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, whether free exercise was violated by a city’s barring a Catholic Social Services agency from participating in placing children in foster care, because the agency refused to certify same-sex couples as foster parents—in violation of the city’s general nondiscrimination policy. One of the questions before the Court is whether to “revisit” Employment Division v. Smith.Five justices may be about to do just that—paving the way for the Court to allow religious organizations and persons to ignore nondiscrimination laws that protect the LGBTQ community, as well as ignore federal requirements to provide full health benefits to women.Creating a free-exercise right to flout laws that protect other people would entangle judges in endless claims about which religions deserve this special treatment, to the great detriment of true religious liberty. Conservative Christians claim that if they are not given a privileged position in the political system to harm people in these ways, the government is demonstrating hostility to religion. But requiring religious people in the ordinary course of their lives to follow the rules that apply to everyone else is not hostility; it is equality.
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Bill Barr’s Stinging Attack on Bill Barr
In an administration that tends toward incoherence and lunacy, Bill Barr’s great strength is the ability to sound levelheaded. The attorney general is calm, cogent, and logical—and, in contrast to many of his Cabinet colleagues, clearly well studied and qualified for his role.Barr’s sober demeanor allows him to make a lot of arguments that sound reasonable and persuasive when delivered, as he demonstrated in a speech to Hillsdale College on Wednesday. The problem comes when you start trying to reconcile what he says with the Justice Department’s actions. It’s almost as if there are two Bill Barrs, arguing with each other. If you take what Bill Barr says when he’s posing as a wise legal theorist seriously, you should be very worried about what Bill Barr is actually doing as attorney general.For example, although there have been accusations that Trump has improperly intervened in the Justice Department, Wise Legal Theorist Bill Barr contends that nothing is amiss, because in a democracy, the people should have ultimate control over the legal system: The most basic check on prosecutorial power is politics. It is counter-intuitive to say that, as we rightly strive to maintain an apolitical system of criminal justice. But political accountability—politics—is what ultimately ensures our system does its work fairly and with proper recognition of the many interests and values at stake. Government power completely divorced from politics is tyranny. The Justice Department, he adds, “is an agency within the Executive Branch of a democratic republic—a form of government where the power of the state is ultimately reposed in the people acting through their elected president and elected representatives.” (Barr later adds, “Letting the most junior members set the agenda might be a good philosophy for a Montessori preschool, but it’s no way to run a federal agency.” Referring to your employees as preschoolers might be good red meat in a speech to a conservative audience, but it’s no way to run a federal agency.)All reasonable stuff on its face. But Attorney General Bill Barr seems to disagree. After all, he assigned U.S. Attorney John Durham to conduct an extensive review of Obama administration officials involved in investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election, including “unmaskings” related to Michael Flynn, whose prosecution for lying to FBI agents he is seeking to drop. Weren’t those just the actions of democratically accountable executive-branch officials exercising their lawful authority?[Read: Why the Democrats can’t nail Bill Barr]Wise Legal Theorist Barr argues that the officials of the Department of Justice are accountable, in part, because “the elected Congress can summon them to explain their decisions to the people’s representatives and to the public.” But under Attorney General Barr, the Justice Department has repeatedly stonewalled Congress. The attorney general himself long refused to testify to the House, and the Justice Department has supported Trump’s attempts to argue that allegations of misconduct against him can be pursued neither by the justice system nor via congressional investigation.Wise Legal Theorist Bill Barr fulminates against: taking vague statutory language and then applying it to a criminal target in a novel way that is, at a minimum, hardly the clear consequence of the statutory text.This is inherently unfair because criminal prosecutions are backward-looking. We charge people with crimes based on past conduct. If it was unknown or even unclear that the conduct was illegal when the person engaged in it, that raises real questions about whether it is fair to prosecute the person criminally for it. The result of this, he says, is “prosecutors bringing ill-conceived charges against prominent political figures.”Quite right. Has Attorney General Bill Barr heard this critique? He is the person who reportedly told prosecutors to consider charging violent protestors with sedition—that is, plotting to overthrow the United States government. That’s a rarely used charge, and is practically unheard-of in the case of mere violent protests. Now there is a movement that is seeking to provoke a civil war, the “boogaloo.” Federal prosecutors have charged several boogaloo adherents with violent acts over the summer, but Barr himself has been more focused on the left-wing “antifa,” a loose group that, whatever its dangers, does not have seem to have any intention of toppling the government.Barr is also the person who has reportedly asked prosecutors to look into criminal charges against Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan for allowing protesters to establish a police-free zone in one section of the city over the summer, in what would almost certainly be a novel application of civil-rights laws. (Barr denies this.) And he’s the person who has rushed a decision to bring antitrust charges against Google over the objections of career lawyers. As Wise Legal Theorist Bill Barr would be quick to tell us, this is Attorney General Bill Barr’s prerogative, but it hardly exemplifies the careful, meticulous application of legal theories that he called for in the speech.Wise Legal Theorist Bill Barr warns that bringing charges against prominent figures in this way creates a “criminalization of politics” in which the legal system is used to punish behavior that is merely “questionable,” and not illegal. This is an important point. There’s all sorts of behavior that is unsavory and perhaps even corrupt in a colloquial sense, but not illegal, and it’s a matter for the political system, not the criminal-justice system, to deal with.[Sarah Chayes: Hunter Biden’s perfectly legal, socially acceptable corruption]This seems almost like a rebuke to Attorney General Bill Barr, who blasted Democrats for using the (political) process of impeachment to go after Trump’s attempt to extort Ukraine into assisting his reelection effort, accusing them of taking the president conducting the business of his office, and misconstruing it as misconduct. Yet Barr was also eagerly accepting information from Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani about the business dealings of Joe Biden’s son Hunter in Ukraine—dealings that indeed seem questionable, but about which there remains no proof of criminality.If Barr is so worried about the criminalization of politics, he can find the chief culprit in the White House. His boss won office on a platform of locking up his opponent, complaining that no charges had ever been brought against her—and then repeatedly pressured Barr’s predecessor to investigate her and find some pretense, any pretense, to prosecute her.Much of what Barr said in his Hillsdale speech makes a great deal of sense in the abstract. Of course it’s good for ultimate responsibility to rest not with career bureaucrats who are largely unaccountable to the public, but with political appointees accountable to the president, Congress, and finally voters. Of course it’s dangerous for people to be charged under novel legal theories, applied retroactively. Of course politics should not be criminalized. So why doesn’t he take his own advice?“The Justice Department is not a praetorian guard that watches over society impervious to the ebbs and flows of politics,” Barr said in his Hillsdale speech. Instead, with Barr at the helm, the Justice Department is a praetorian guard that faithfully serves its president, highly attuned to the ebbs and flows of politics.
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