U.S. Politics

Report: Trump Remark About Breaking Pledge May Cost Him SC Delegates


AP Photo / Mic Smith


A Time magazine report suggested Thursday that the 50 delegates Donald Trump won in South Carolina’s winner-take-all primary could be at risk over comments he has made about breaking his pledge to support the eventual GOP nominee.

The story cites a comment from Matt Moore, the chair of the South Carolina Republican Party, who said a broken pledge “could put delegates in jeopardy.” However, Moore clarified after the story was published that there was no effort currently underway to take Trump’s delegates away from him.

“Breaking South Carolina’s presidential primary ballot pledge raises some unanswered legal questions that no one person can answer,” Moore had originally told Time. “However, a court or national convention Committee on Contests could resolve them. It could put delegates in jeopardy.”

According to Time, South Carolina is one of many states that require candidates to pledge to support the eventual GOP nominee in order to appear on the ballot. The Republican National Committee made Trump and other candidates sign a similar pledge last fall, in what was perceived at the time to be an effort to deter Trump from launching a third party run (The Time report noted that South Carolina’s loyalty pledge has been a requirement in the state for decades).

Trump is now leading the delegate count in the Republican presidential primary, but he also faces a campaign to block him from earning the 1,237 delegates necessary to win the GOP nomination outright at the national convention. He has thus renewed threats not to honor the RNC loyalty pledge, telling CNN this week that he no longer feels he is being treated fairly.

Trump has also recently been ramping up his campaign’s efforts to master the mechanics of delegate selection, which could prove pivotal if the Republican National Convention in July is in fact a brokered one.

Time reports that South Carolina has not selected its delegates yet, but does have a system that puts Trump at disadvantage. The state GOP requires its national convention delegates to be either delegates or alternates from the 2015 South Carolina GOP convention. Time reports those people are likely the Republican establishment types who would prefer an alternative to Trump in the event of a brokered convention.

A challenge that would unbind the South Carolina delegates from Trump over his pledge comments could only be filed once the delegates are chosen, the report noted.

U.S. Politics

SC Gov. Nikki Haley: The U.S. Has ‘Never’ Passed Laws Based On Race And Religion — Um…

SC Gov. Nikki Haley: The U.S. Has ‘Never’ Passed Laws Based On Race And Religion — Um…


Gov. Nikki Haley’s (R-SC) decision to speak out against Donald Trump and other anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim forces in the Republican Party is certainly laudable — but her awareness of American history needs a little work.

The Hill reports:

She said Wednesday that Trump’s call for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration to the country is what compelled her to speak out.

“You know, the one thing that got me I think was when he started saying ban all Muslims,” she said.

“We’ve never in the history of this country passed any laws or done anything based on race or religion,” she added. “Let’s not start that now.”

Of course, the state of South Carolina is itself a grand exhibit of America’s history of racially-based laws. It was the state where the Civil War began, as the first state to secede in the South’s effort to preserve and expand the institution of slavery, and it was where the first shots of the war were fired at Fort Sumter.

During the Jim Crow era, the state was also home to Strom Thurmond and the Dixiecrat rebellion of 1948, a political mobilization for segregation that rallied against the emerging post-World War II civil rights movement.

To be sure, both South Carolina and the United States as a whole have made progress, climbing upward from these tainted beginnings to build a great country. But it sure does sound odd to hear a political leader say that we’ve “never in the history of this country” passed such odious laws — and, “Let’s not start that now.”

A better thing to say would’ve been: “Let’s not ever do thatagain.” That sort of myth-busting — against the idea of America as not just a great country, but a perfect one — would, in fact, be the right way to avoid doing it again.


U.S. Politics

Second student arrested for filming classroom takedown describes officer’s reputation: “He’s known as Officer Slam around our school”

Second student arrested for filming classroom takedown describes officer's reputation:
(Credit: MSNBC)


Body-slamming Officer Ben Fields has been fired, but cops won’t drop charges against student who filmed his attack

Officer Ben Fields, the South Carolina deputy who slammed and then threw a female high school student across a classroom this week, has been fired after video of his physical assault went viral. While the young girl recovers from injuries she sustained from the attack, according to her lawyer, officials have refused to drop criminal charges of disrupting a classroom against her and now one of the few students who protested against her violent arrest is speaking out about the fired deputy’s longstanding reputation at Spring Valley High.

Fields arrested two female high school students on Monday for disrupting the classroom. Niya Kenny was charged with disturbing school for filming the incident, and arrested in front of her class by Fields. She was later released from custody after posting $1,000 bail.

At his press conference announcing the firing of Deputy Fields, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said that he had not had any discussions to drop charges against Kenny or the student assaulted by Fields, pointing to language used by Kenny as being disruptive towards the class. Bizarrely, as CBS reports, Lott also “commended the students who recorded the incident, saying he encouraged citizens to record authorities and bring it to his attention if they think something is wrong.”

If found guilty, Kenny faces a fine of up to $1,000 or a jail sentence of no more than 90 days.

Lott also blamed Kenny’s classmate for starting the whole commotion and ensuing national uproar. “This whole incident [was] started by this student. She is responsible for initiating this action. There is some responsibility that falls on her,” Lott said during today’s press conference. (He also oddly pointed to Field’s African-American girlfriend as a reason to be suspicious of charges he’s actions were motivated by racial animus.)

On Tuesday’s night edition of MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes,” the host spoke with Kenny about her account of events. Hayes asked Kenny if her classmate was shouting or loudly disrupting the class. “Not at all,” Kenny replied. “She’s a quiet girl. She doesn’t do anything to anyone in the class. And it was really because she wouldn’t give up her phone. And so our teacher, you know, tried to kick her out of the class.”

“I’ve heard about him,” Kenny explained, referring to former Deputy Fields. “So I wasn’t really surprised because I’ve heard so much about him. So I — before he came to class, I was actually telling them take out your cameras because I feel like this is going to go downhill because I’ve heard so much about him,” she said, pointing to her fellow classmates who Hayes remarked looked stunned into silence in video recordings.

Feilds, Kenny explained, is known as “Officer Slam” at Spring Valley High School. “I have heard he’s in the past slammed pregnant women, teenage girls. He’s known for slamming,” Kenny told Hayes.

Here is a detailed report from NBC News – ks

 H/t: DB

U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: July 9, 2015

Spencer Platt/Getty Images


1. South Carolina House votes to remove Confederate flag
After more than 13 hours of debate, the South Carolina House voted 94-20 early Thursday morning to remove the Confederate flag from statehouse grounds. The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. Nikki Haley (R), where she is expected to sign it quickly. “It is a new day in South Carolina, a day we can all be proud of, a day that truly brings us all together as we continue to heal, as one people and one state,” she said in a statement.

Source: The Washington Post

2. New York Stock Exchange stops trading for several hours
After an unexpected technical glitch caused the New York Stock Exchange to halt all trading for nearly four hours Wednesday, the NYSE resumed shortly before the 4 p.m. closing bell. An anonymous trader on the floor told The New York Times the glitch, which the NYSE said was not the result of a cyber breach, was likely related to new software rolled out earlier Wednesday morning. The malfunctionreportedly forced exchange employees to manually cancel about 700,000 orders that were in the system.

Source: USA Today, The New York Times

3. United briefly grounds all flights after computer glitch
United Airlines grounded all its U.S. flights — about 150 — for two hours Wednesday morning due to issues with “network connectivity.” United Chief Executive Jeff Smisek said the airline is investigating the cause of the glitch. This isn’t the first time United has grounded planes due to computer issues. Last month, the airline grounded 150 flights because pilots couldn’t access their digital flight plans.

Source: The New York Times

4. Greece faces deadline for finalizing bailout request
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras must finalize a bailout request from the eurozone by midnight. The one-page proposal he filedWednesday called for a three-year loan package, but didn’t offer specifics on economic reforms Greece would implement. The International Monetary Fund has estimated Greece would need at least 60 billion euros (about $66 billion) through 2018. The tight deadline for Greece comes after the country voted to reject the last bailout deal from creditors in a Sunday referendum.

Source: The Washington Post

5. Baltimore mayor fires police commissioner
Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts has reportedly been let go by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. The dismissal comes hours after the city’s police union released a report claiming rioting after the death of unarmed black man Freddie Gray in police custody was “preventable,” and that the Baltimore Police Department’s response to the riots was “lacking in many areas.” Rawlings-Blake said the move came in response to a surge in the crime rate, not the union’s report.

Source: The New York Times, The Baltimore Sun

6. The Chinese stock market rallies
The Chinese stock market on Thursday rebounded after a weeks-long slide. The main Shanghai index closed 5.8 percent higher, and the Shenzen and Hong Kong indexes both rose almost 4 percent. Analysts believe the rally can be attributed to the Chinese government banning major stockholders from selling late Wednesday, but economists warn that valuations on small companies still remain too high and the market probably has further to fall.

Source: The New York Times, The New York Times

7. Judge upholds Redskins trademark cancellation
A federal judge in northern Virginia upheld last summer’s cancellationof the Washington Redskins’ trademark registration Wednesday. For more than two decades, the NFL team have been fighting to keep the trademark on the name, which has faced strong opposition from Native Americans for its racial implications. Last summer, the federalTrademark Trial and Appeal Board voted in favor of that opposition, declaring the name offensive to Native Americans and therefore ineligible for recognized status in the federal trademark registry.

Source: The Washington Post

8. Execution dates set for Oklahoma inmates that brought Supreme Court case
Oklahoma set execution dates for three death row inmates who challenged the use of a lethal injection drug, midazolam. The inmates wanted their executions put on hold due to concerns about the humanity of the drug, part of a cocktail that gave death row inmate Clayton Lockett a heart attack during an agonizing 43-minute execution. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 the drug did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. Now the inmates could receive that very drug in their own executions.

Source: The Associated Press

9. Disney removes statue of Bill Cosby from Florida theme park
Disney has removed Bill Cosby’s statue from its Hollywood Studio theme park in Orlando, Florida, following the release of documents revealing the comedian had admitted under oath he acquired Quaaludes to give women he wanted to have sex with. Cosby’s bronze bust had formerly been on display at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame Plaza. Forty-seven women have publicly accused him of sexual assault. He has never been criminally charged.

Source: USA Today

10. FIFA bans whistleblower Chuck Blazer for life
FIFA banned former Executive Committee member Chuck Blazer from national and international soccer activities for life, soccer’s governing body announced Thursday. In 2013, he pleaded guilty to bribery, tax evasion, and money laundering charges. Blazer has worked as a confidential informant for the FBI and IRS, feeding them secret information gleaned from FIFA meetings. In May, the U.S. Justice Department indicted 14 FIFA officials on charges of corruption.

Source: BuzzFeed News, The Guardian

Julie Kliegman

U.S. Politics

Watch Bree Newsome climb a 30-foot flagpole to take down South Carolina’s Confederate flag

Though the following VOX article is dated today, this amazing fete occurred yesterday June 26, 2015.


Bree Newsome, an organizer and activist from Charlotte, North Carolina, took down South Carolina’s Confederate flag this morning by climbing up the 30-foot flagpole on statehouse grounds.

“We come against… hatred, oppression, and violence. I come against you in the name of God,” Newsome shouted as she climbed the flagpole. “This flag comes down today.”

As soon as Newsome got down from the flagpole she was arrested and charged with defacing monuments on state capitol grounds, according to the Associated Press. A crowdfunding page has already garnered more than $17,000 in donations toward her bail.

The South Carolina legislature is set to vote on taking down the Confederate flag, which requires a two-thirds majority in both houses. The flag has flown over the statehouse since 1962, when it was put up as a symbol of resistance to racial integration.

U.S. Politics

Mass Shooting at Historic Black Church in Charleston; 9 Dead; Manhunt Underway

AP Photo | David Goldman


CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Police are searching for a 21 year old white man who allegedly opened fire Wednesday evening on parishioners at the historic Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley has confirmed that nine died in the church.

The pastor of the church was inside for a service at the time of the shooting. But it was unclear if the shooting took place inside the church.

Police are saying on Twitter that they’re looking for an approximately 21-year-old white male.

An Associated Press reporter on the scene says police helicopters with searchlights are circling overhead in the area, and a group of pastors are kneeling and praying across the street.

The Emmanuel AME church is a historic African-American church that traces its roots to 1816, when several churches split from Charleston’s Methodist Episcopal church.

One of its founders, Denmark Vesey, tried to organize a slave revolt in 1822. He was caught, and white landowners had his church burned in revenge. Parishioners worshipped underground until after the Civil War.


U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: April 8, 2015

(AP Photo/Courtesy of L. Chris Stewart)

The Week

1.South Carolina officer charged with murder in man’s death after traffic stop
A white North Charleston, South Carolina, police officer in North Charleston, S.C., was charged with murder on Tuesday for fatally shooting a black man in the back as he ran away after a traffic stop. The officer, Michael Slager, had pulled over the man, Walter L. Scott, for having a broken taillight on Saturday. A foot chase allegedly ensued, and after using a Taser against Scott, Slager said he feared for his life and shot Scott eight times. A film taken by a bystander shows Slager drawing his gun and opening fire once Scott is about 15 to 20 feet away.

Source: The New York Times

2.Rahm Emanuel wins reelection in Chicago mayoral runoff
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel won reelection on Tuesday, defeating Jesus “Chuy” Garcia. Emanuel, who served as chief of staff for President Obama, had 56 percent of the vote to Garcia’s 44 percent with nearly 99 percent of the vote counted. Garcia conceded defeat but said the hard-fought race sent Emanuel a message that voters are tired of street violence and want a city that “works for everyone.” Emanuel thanked Chicagoans for a “second term and a second chance,” vowing to be a “better mayor.”

Source: CNN

3.UConn beats Notre Dame for third consecutive NCAA women’s basketball title
The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team defeated Notre Dame 63-53 on Tuesday to win its third straight national championship. The title is the 10th overall for coach Geno Auriemma, equaling late UCLA coach John Wooden’s record for the most college basketball titles ever. The Huskies’ unmatched defense held Notre Dame to 33 percent shooting from the floor, the team’s second worst performance of the season. UConn senior Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis single-handedly disrupted two Notre Dame rallies with seven-point runs.

Source: ESPN

4.Rand Paul announces a White House bid to “take our country back”
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) launched a campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday, vowing to take the country back from a “Washington machine that gobbles up our freedoms and invades every nook and cranny of our lives.” The libertarian Tea Party hero portrayed himself as an anti-establishment hero, and vowed to fight to end NSA surveillance and require a balanced budget. “Both parties and the entire political system are to blame,” he said.

Source: Reuters

5.Shell to buy BG Group for $69.6 billion
Petroleum giant Royal Dutch Shell said Wednesday that it would buy oil and gas explorer BG Group for $69.6 billion in cash and stock. The deal marked the latest sign of the industry’s reaction to a 50 percent drop in oil prices since last summer. Shell will be paying a 50 percent premium on BG shares, which started trading 42 percent higher on the news. The combined company will be the world’s largest producer of liquefied natural gas.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, BBC News

6.Kansas governor signs bill banning “dismemberment abortion”
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) on Tuesday signed legislation making his state the first to ban a common second-trimester abortion procedure called dilation and evacuation. The new law, drafted by the National Right to Life Committee, redefines the method as “dismemberment abortion.” “This is a horrific procedure,” Brownback spokesman Eileen Hawley said. “He hopes the nation follows suit.” Abortion rights groups argue the method is often the safest for women, and say they are considering challenging the law in court.

Source: The Associated Press

7.Job openings rise to highest level since 2001
U.S. job openings increased in February by 168,000 to 5.13 million — the most in 14 years, according to a Labor Department report released Tuesday. Analysts said the figure suggested that hiring was holding strong despite a slowdown in March and a cooling economy, as companies. Firings dropped to the lowest level since late 2013. “It’s one of the signs the labor market is strong,” said RBC Capital Markets senior U.S. economist Jacob Oubina.

Source: Bloomberg

8.Researchers say brontosaurus deserves a spot on the dinosaur family tree
The brontosaurus was a distinct type of dinosaur, after all, according to a new paper published in the journal PeerJ. The long-necked “thunder lizard” was discovered in 1879 by Charles Marsh, shortly after he also found the first partial Apatosaurus skeleton. Later findings suggested the two were one and the same, so the Apatosaurus, which Marsh found first, was declared the name of the species. The researchers in the new study, however, found enough differences to set the two apart.

Source: PeerJ, The Washington Post

9. Tiger Woods ends hiatus
Tiger Woods returns to tournament play for the 79th Masters, which beginsThursday, after a two-month hiatus to work on his sputtering game. Woods is a four-time Masters champion, but hasn’t won the storied championship in 10 years, and hasn’t won any major tournament since 2008. Woods dropped off the PGA Tour to focus on practice after shooting an 82 — the highest round of his pro career — and said he got back into good form by practicing from sunrise to sunset. “I worked my ass off,” he said Tuesday.

Source: USA Today

10.Actor who played Dukes of Hazzard sheriff dies at age 88
James Best, the actor who played Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on The Dukes of Hazzard, died this week after a brief illness. He was 88. Coltrane said he had a blast playing the bumbling country lawman who constantly chased Bo and Luke Duke around Hazzard County on the iconic TV series, which aired from 1979 to 1985. “I acted the part as good as I could,” Best told The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer in 2009. “Rosco — let’s face it — was a charmer.”

Source: USA Today


U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: November 13, 2014

A convoy of pro-Russian tanks rumbles towards Donetsk, Ukraine. 
A convoy of pro-Russian tanks rumbles towards Donetsk, Ukraine. (AP Photo/ Mstyslav Chernov)

The Week

Russian tanks return to Ukraine, Europe’s Philae probe lands on a comet, and more

1. Russia invades Ukraine… again
Russian tanks and troops entered Ukraine near strongholds of pro-Moscow separatists, NATO officials said Wednesday. Russia, which had been accused before of invading, denied it was intervening in the conflict. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Moscow was resuming the Cold-War-era tactic of flying bomber patrols near U.S. territorial waters due to NATO’s “anti-Russia inclinations.” [The New York Times, Los Angeles Times]


2. Philae makes first landing on a comet in history
A European Space Agency probe from the mothership Rosetta made the first landing on a comet ever on Wednesday. The 220-pound Philae lander’s two harpoons, designed to anchor it to the surface of the comet, failed to deploy, but scientists said Philae will still be able to take samples that could unlock how planets and life formed. [National Geographic]


3. Courts rule in favor of same-sex marriage in Kansas and South Carolina
Gay-marriage advocates added to a string of victories on Wednesday when the Supreme Courtended a stay that had prevented Kansas from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Earlier the same day a federal judge in Charleston struck down South Carolina’s gay-marriage ban as unconstitutional. [Los Angeles Times]


4. New Orleans watchdog says sex crimes were not investigated
Five New Orleans police detectives charged with investigating sex crimes failed to look into the vast majority of cases assigned to them over three years, according to a city inspector general report released Wednesday. Out of 1,290 sex crime calls, the detectives dismissed 840 as “miscellaneous” and did nothing. [The New York Times]


5. Minor earthquake hits Kansas and Oklahoma
A 4.8-magnitude earthquake rattled parts of Kansas and Oklahoma on Wednesday. It was the strongest temblor since a series of minor quakes began over a year ago. Wednesday’s earthquake came a day after a 2.6-magnitude quake in southern Kansas. The only damage reported from Wednesday’s quake: Trees fell and damaged one house’s foundation. [The Christian Science Monitor]


6. NOAA confirms cyberattack by China
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Wednesday that four of its websites were attacked by Chinese hackers. NOAA, which oversees the National Weather Service, said hackers struck a few weeks ago. An internal report warned in July that NOAA had grave technology security problems. [NBC News]


7. Turkish nationalists rough up U.S. sailors
A group of young Turkish ultranationalists assaulted three U.S. sailors on shore leave in Istanbul early Wednesday. The attackers shouted anti-American slogans, such as “Yankee, go home,” threw red paint at them, and called them murderers. The sailors escaped. The U.S. Navy called the attack “appalling.” [The Huffington Post]


8. New York prosecutor directs $35 million to testing rape kits
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced Wednesday that he would dedicate $35 million for helping U.S. prosecutors clear a backlog by testing tens of thousands of rape kits. Vance was flanked by Law & Order actress Mariska Hargitay, whose Joyful Heart Foundation will put up some of the money. [New York Daily News]


9. Stranded window washers saved at World Trade Center tower
Emergency crews rescued two window washers from scaffolding dangling at the 68th floor of the 104-floor One World Trade Center building in New York City on Wednesday. The rescuers cut through three layers of glass to get to the men and pull them to safety. The men were taken to a hospital to be treated for mild hypothermia. [CNN]


10. Kershaw and Kluber win Cy Young Awards
Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw won his second straight National League Cy Young Award in a unanimous vote on Wednesday. Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians narrowly beat the Seattle Mariners’ Felix Hernandez, who won the pitching prize in 2010, to win in the American League. [Fox News]


U.S. Politics

South Carolina exit polls ask voters whether blacks are getting too uppity about equality

Upset black female (Shutterstock)

In the late 50’s I was a little girl born and raised in the North (NYC) where the racism there was subtle.  For the most part it was not as newsworthy as the southern version of racism.  Although the following was a common occurrence even with United States Supreme Court guidelines against discrimination in place:

Once, I  inquired  about a part-time job when I was 16 years old (this was around 1963).   I spoke to the manager of a realty corp over the phone regarding the available part-time position.    He told me to come in for an interview and when I got there…he said with an apparent look of disappointment, “Oh, you didn’t sound Black over the phone”.  I promptly left.

The Raw Story

An exit poll in South Carolina being criticized after voters in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, and Spartanburg were asked a series of questions about race and slavery, WSPA reports.

Voters were asked whether “blacks are getting too demanding in their push for equal rights”:

The poll was conducted by a political scientist from Clemson University, David Woodard, who insisted that it was not meant to be provocative.

“It was designed to take advantage of a political moment of Senator Tim Scott’s election as the first African-American from a southern state since reconstruction,” he told WSPA.

But many voters were, in fact, provoked by questions that asked them to “agree” or “disagree” with statements like, “it’s really a matter of some people not trying hard enough; if blacks would only try harder, they could be as well as whites.”

The political scientist who asked them to do so said the questions have been used by pollsters for decades — and they are taken, word-for-word, from the Modern Racism Scale, an analytic tool used to gauge an individual’s non-conscious biases.

This exit poll is not, however, the first time Woodard has stirred up a racially based controversy.

In August, he responded to the student-run “See the Stripes” campaign by calling it a form of “fascism.” The campaign attempted to call attention to the ways in which Clemson University celebrates its slave-owning legacy in building names and statues, by “making a connection between the fields the slaves worked for Master Calhoun and the field on which student-athletes give their time, talent, blood, sweat and tears for The Program.”

“It’s fascism,” Woodard said of it. “It’s looking at things only through racial lenses and not seeing anything else when in fact there is no racism associated with this.”

Woodard plans to release the results from the now-controversial exit polls in January.

Watch a report on the exit polls via WSPA here…

Domestic Abuse

South Carolina Prosecutors Say Stand Your Ground Doesn’t Apply To Victims Of Domestic Violence

domestic abuse

Think Progress

South Carolina is one of more than 20 states that has passed an expansive Stand Your Ground law authorizing individuals to use deadly force in self-defense. The law has been used to protect a man who killed an innocent bystander while pointing his gun at several teens he called “women thugs.” But prosecutors in Charleston are drawing the line at domestic violence.

In the cases of women who claim they feared for their lives when confronted with violent intimate abusers, prosecutors say the Stand Your Ground law shouldn’t apply.

“(The Legislature’s) intent … was to provide law-abiding citizens greater protections from external threats in the form of intruders and attackers,” prosecutor Culver Kidd told the Post and Courier. “We believe that applying the statute so that its reach into our homes and personal relationships is inconsistent with (its) wording and intent.”

Most recently, Kidd raised this argument in vigorously pursuing a murder case against Whitlee Jones, whose screams for help as her boyfriend pulled her down the street by her hair prompted a neighbor to call the cops during a 2012 altercation. When the officer arrived that night, the argument had already ended and Jones had fled the scene. While she was out, Jones decided to leave her boyfriend, Eric Lee, and went back to the house to pack up her things. She didn’t even know the police officer had been there earlier that night, her lawyer Mary Ford explained. She packed a knife to protect herself, and as she exited the house, she says Lee attacked her and she stabbed Lee once in defense. He died, although Jones says she did not intend to kill him.

On October 3, Circuit Judge J.C. Nicholson sided with Jones and granted her Stand Your Ground immunity, meaning she is exempt from trial on the charge. In response to Kidd’s argument that individuals could not invoke Stand Your Ground to defend against violence in their own homes, Nicholson said that dynamic would create the “nonsensical result” that a victim of domestic abuse could defend against an attacker outside of the home, but not inside the home – where the most vicious domestic violence is likely to occur.

Kidd is unsatisfied with this reasoning, and is appealing the case to argue that Jones and other defendants like her can’t invoke the Stand Your Ground law so long as they are in their home. The Post and Courier reports that there are two other similar cases coming up the pike that are being pursued by the same prosecutor’s office. In one, a judge who dismissed a murder charge against a women who stabbed a roommate attacking her called the charge “appalling.” In another, the defendant’s attorney plans to ask for a Stand Your Ground hearing.

Solicitor Scarlett Wilson, the top prosecutor for that office, is also siding with Kidd. Wilson and Kidd do have a legal basis for their arguments. South Carolina is one of several states that has two self-defense provisions. One known as the Castle Doctrine authorizes occupants to use deadly force against intruders. Recently, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that this provision could not apply to fellow occupants of the home, in a case involving roommates, although that ruling was since withdrawn and the case is being re-heard this week. The Stand Your Ground law contains a separate provision that authorizes deadly force in self-defense against grave bodily harm or death in another place “where he has a right to be.” Prosecutors are arguing that neither of these laws permit one occupant of a home to use deadly force against another. But as Nicholson points out, this interpretation would yield the perverse result that both self-defense provisions explicitly exempt domestic abusers when they perpetrate violence within their own home.

The Post and Courier, which originally reported prosecutors’ position, has been doing a series on domestic violence over the past few months, in which it found that women are dying at a rate of one every 12 days from domestic abuse in South Carolina, a state “awash in guns, saddled with ineffective laws and lacking enough shelters for the battered … a state where the deck is stacked against women trapped in the cycle of abuse.” More than 70 percent of those who kill their spouse had “multiple prior arrests on those charges” and the majority spent just days in jail.

It is in that context that the Post and Courier gave front page treatment to another strike against domestic victims in Stand Your Ground laws, even as those who engage in what many consider vigilante killings are protected by the law. The man granted immunity for killing an innocent bystander, Shannon Anthony Scott, reportedly had a sign posted in his window that read, “Fight Crime – Shoot First.”

Lee, the victim in Jones’ case, had previously been arrested when “a woman said he smashed her flower pot and shattered her bedroom window with a rock during a fit of rage” and had a prior conviction for property a property crime.

Jones said she feared for her life. And those like her who defend themselves against domestic abuse shouldn’t need Stand Your Ground laws to raise a claim of self-defense. Most states, including South Carolina, have longstanding court precedent that permits individuals to raise claims of self-defense in cases where their life is threatened. And those common law claims are one of the reasons many opponents argue that the expansive protection of Stand Your Ground laws is not needed, and gives those who turn to force too much legal cover. But one of the demonstrated flaws of Stand Your Ground laws is that their imposition has been arbitrary, and allowed immunity in many more cases involving white shooters and black victims. In cases in which women have invoked Stand Your Ground laws, an MSNBC analysis found that women invoking the Stand Your Ground defense against white men succeeded in only about 2.6 percent of cases (2.9 percent of the woman was also white). The disparity of Stand Your Ground cases came to national attention with the case of Marissa Alexander, who was sentenced to 20 years in jail for firing a warning shot against her alleged abuser. She was denied Stand Your Ground immunity.