God Bless The Child . . . .
Sheriff Hedges ducked a bullet, apparently. The “Attorney General’s Office won’t persue criminal case over eavesdropping incident in 2006,” sayeth the Aug 21 Tribune. Seems they don’t feel there’s “sufficient evidence to sustain any criminal charges beyond a reasonable doubt.”
As you remember, Hedges was accused of, well, uh, “eavesdropping,” “wiretapping,” “listening in on,” “videotaping and recording” “a meeting between former Chief Deputy Gary Hoving and Sgt. Jay Donovan.” The reason why those words are in quotation marks is because everyone was dancing around just what it was Hedges was accused of doing. Hedges said it was part of a criminal investigation within the department and whatever he did was perfectly legal. Mr. Hoving disagreed and sued Hedges in Federal Court on charges of violating his civil rights and due process & etc. And now, after a year-long investigation, the State of California declined to prosecute. And the full report on all this is buried somewhere away from public snooping, but will likely come to light at some point as Hoving’s federal case clanks along.
Which, come to think of it, holds a great deal of irony. It was claimed that Hedges was the one who ignored state law concerning the legality of medical marijuana and called in the Federal DEA boys to bust the Morro Bay Medical marijuana dispensary and put Lynch in the slammer. Lynch was later tried and convicted in federal court. The same court Hedges now faces in the Hoving matter. State says Lynch is “legal,” Feds say . .. Naw. State says Hedges is “legal,” Feds say . . . . ?
Well, Waltz me around again, Willy. Stay tuned. With the Federal case, maybe we’ll finally be able to find out just what the Sheriff was doing. And why he was doing it.
Meanwhile, I’ve got a job for Sheriff Hedges. Seems that “The White House is missing as many as 25 days of e-mail dating back to 2003 and there is little if any likelihood a recovery effort will be completed by the time the Bush administration leaves office, according to an internal White House draft document obtained by the Associated Press.”
How convenient, as The Church Lady would say.
Yep, the goon squad is dumping the e-and-paper trail prior to scampering out the door, betting maybe that the statute of limitations will run out, at least. No accountability for these boys.
Well, I say, put Sheriff Hedges on the case. He could “videotape” them, maybe eavesdrop some and get the goods in order to bring ‘em to justice.
Will It Never End?
First, the California state Supreme Court ruled that gay folks are citizens and as such deserve full rights as other citizens, including the right to get married. Next up, the L.A. Times reports that the same California Supreme Court determined that “Doctors may not discriminate against gays and lesbians in medical treatment, even if the procedures being sought conflict with physicians’ religious beliefs.
“In its second major decision advancing gay rights this year, the state high court ruled that religious physicians must obey a state law that bars businesses from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.
“The 1st Amendment’s right to the free exercise of religion does not exempt defendant physicians here from conforming their conduct to the . . . antidiscrimination requirements,” Justice Joyce L. Kennard wrote for the court. . . .”
And so the case can now go to trial and will likely open up an interesting can of worms.
The case stemmed when a doctor refused to perform an artificial insemination on a lesbian patient, citing religious ground for refusing to do so. The doctor claimed it wasn’t the “lesbianness” but the “unmarriedness” of it and that she would refuse artificial insemination for any unmarried woman. “Asked whether [Dr Christine] Brody would perform the procedure on a married lesbian, [the Dr.’s attorney] Pedrova said, “I don’t know.”
So likely that and other questions will come up at trial. Interestingly, the issue may be mooted somewhat since gay folks can now legally get married in Calif, so the “unmarriedness” of it all is, for now, off the table.
And that leaves us with the Lesbianness of it all. And we’re back to square one with religious scruples meeting the Hippocratic oath and the non-discrimination statutes in State law.
And what does a “religiously scrupled” physician do if their religion tells them that gay people are “abominations?” Tell the person who comes into the office, “Sorry, I don’t treat abominations. You’ll have to go down the hall to Dr. Jones. He takes abominations.” Does that violate their Hippocratic Oath?
And besides abominations, are Doctors allowed to refuse patients who, for example, smoke? As in, “Sorry, you smoke. There’s the door. I don’t accept patients who smoke.” Would that violate state discrimination law?
Or a doctor who believed in Zero Population Growth principles and refused to continue to treat a patient who wanted a third child? “Sorry, that’s one too many for the planet. There’s the door. Buh-bye?”
And since Doctors are human beings and human beings are human beings, there’ll always be the case of both doctor and patient looking at one another and saying, “Eeeuuuuuuu. You stink. I’m outta here!”
Hmmmm, as I said. Can of worms.