George Pataki on Civil Rights
Republican NY Governor
PATAKI: We have a rule in America: an elected official can't say I'm not going to follow that law if it conflicts with my beliefs. I think she should have been fired and if she worked for me, I would have fired her. We have to uphold the rule of law. Imagine that was a Muslim who said "I don't believe in gay marriage," and refused to perform that wedding. We wouldn't have had that outrage. There's a place where religion supersedes the rule of law. It's called Iran. It shouldn't be the United States.
SANTORUM: People have a fundamental right in the First Amendment; that's the freedom of conscience.
PATAKI: You should be able to engage in your religious belief as you see fit. But when you are an elected official and you take an oath of office to uphold the law, all the laws, you cannot pick & choose or you no longer have a society that depends on the rule of law.
In 1976 the National Governors Association expressed support for ratification and implementation of the Equal Rights Amendment, which would constitutionally guarantee full citizenship rights and opportunities for women. In 1982 the drive for ratification fell short, and efforts to initiate the amendatory process were taken.
The National Governors Association reaffirms its support for the principles embodied in the Equal Rights Amendment, i.e., that equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on the basis of gender.
H.R. 914/S. 872 the ADA Notification Act.
Republican Main Street Partnership Congressman Mark Foley (FL) introduced this legislation to protect the Americans with Disabilities Act from a growing number of lawyers who are generating huge sums in legal fees for pointing out accessibility violations by business when often simple fixes would bring properties into compliance with the ADA's accessibility standards. This variety of litigation abuse stems from the lack of any notification provision in the ADA. RMSP supports a 90-day delay between notification of an alleged accessibility violation and any legal proceedings. This notification will allow honest business owners to become ADA compliant without added legal expense while freeing up the courts to pursue legal action against bad players.
H.R. 2341/S. 1712 Class Action Fairness Act.
Class Action suits, most often claiming product defects, have increasingly become fertile ground for unscrupulous trial attorneys. Using jurisdictional loopholes, trial lawyers are suing for enormous sums with little or no payout to injured parties. Multi-million dollar interstate lawsuits filed on behalf of irrelevant plaintiffs, often unaware that a claim has been filed, are filed in state courts. This increases the volume of claims filed, and leads to multiple, expensive, settlements. H.R. 2341, supported by Republican Main Street Partnership Reps. Judy Biggert (IL), Tom Davis (VA), Porter Goss (FL), Melissa Hart (PA), George Nethercutt (WA), and Rob Simmons (CT), eases the burden of addressing interstate claims in federal court. At the federal level, courts have greater resources and uniform rules. This provides a more appropriate venue for such cases and protects legitimate claimants ability to recover losses.
The nation’s Governors urge you to support the Indian gaming amendment sponsored by Senator Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and Senator Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.). This amendment would ensure that the secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior could not use federal funds to approve Class III gaming in the absence of a tribal-state compact, as required by law. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 (IGRA) requires that tribes negotiate compacts with states as a condition for conducting Class III gaming in that state.
The National Governors’ Association is currently in discussions with Indian tribes and the U.S. Departments of Interior and Justice about a wide range of tribal-state issues, including Indian gaming. The nation’s Governors strongly believe that no statute or court decision provides the secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior with the authority to intervene in disputes over compacts between Indian tribes and states about casino gambling on Indian lands. The secretary’s inherent authority includes a responsibility to protect the interests of Indian tribes, making it impossible for the secretary to avoid a conflict of interest or to exercise objective judgment in disputes between states and tribes. We respectfully urge Congress to adopt the Graham-Enzi amendment to ensure the integrity of IGRA.
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