Progressive Socialists Petition Supreme Court to issue restraining order while they review Chancellor’s Security Law

(Above: Felicia Gibson, PS-268 speaking at a protest against the Chancellor’s security law)

Felicia Gibson, two term Chamber-member and formerly a lifelong member of the Environmental Justice Party was part of the mass exodus from the party that has formed the new Progressive Socialists, was recently elected as Vice Chair of the newly formed party serving under party Chair Jax Bertoni. She and other PS members participated in protests and demonstrations across Doatia over the last few months; largely against the administration’s response to the DRF uprising and their approach to retaking Hunaq, there is also stiff opposition to the Chancellor’s security bill.

The bill, supported by only a little more than 1/3 of EJP representatives at the time, passed with the Chancellor’s blessing and overwhelming PLP-CP-DN support in the Chamber. It created a rift within the Chancellor’s own party, eventually leading to the recent split. Now, Representative Gibson, along with all the other 123 PS members, 3 PLP members, and 87 EJP members are now calling for the Supreme Court to issue a restraining order against the bill, effectively halting its execution.

Key portions of the security act are currently being utilized in the proceedings against DRF members and their affiliates. The law has enabled the Justice Department to singlehandedly strip suspects of their rights to due process and regular legal representation; and refer them to a military tribunal, rather than the standard lower courts.

The Supreme Court decided last week to take up the case as nearly 300 Chamber-members, 5/7 Regional Governors, and 4/7 Regional legislatures, along with a multitude of localities, filed a lawsuit against the administration decrying the bill as unconstitutional and a violation of constitutional and human rights. Their decision is expected by mid-march, but while their deliberating the law is still in effect.

Representative Gibson and her cohorts are now suing for the court to issue a restraining order and prevent the law’s execution until a decision is rendered.

This would likely delay the DRF-trials, as the administration has made it clear their intention to try the perpetrators through the new means allowed via this act. Rep Gibson spoke in front of the Chamber this afternoon, saying in part:

“This administration and the Chancellor herself has shown a complete disregard for the constitution and the rights of Doatians. I am in no way defending the abhorrent insurrection or the actions of the DRF, but I am resisting the notion that the government can strip a citizen of their citizenship, deny them of their due process and right to legal representation, and then subsequently execute them. Not only is this morally bankrupt and illegal, it is a glaring warning to Doatians. The erosion of our cherished Republic is upon us. Protesting is not enough. We must pursue every avenue possible to preserve fairness in the law, democracy, and the rights of Doatians. Under this act, anyone who engages in an act against the state is subject to systematic disenfranchisement. Who interprets what is an act against the state? A court of law and fair trial? No, the sitting Chancellor, the Justice Department, the Minister of Justice; the powers that be. That isn’t and shouldn’t be acceptable to anyone. It is utterly frightening. I urge the court to issue a restraining order, and then make the right decision and strike this law down before it has the ability to inflict even more harm. We’re giving the ability to make these decisions over to administration which has slaughtered more than 26,000 innocent civilians in their overkill approach to retaking Hunaq. Millions still can’t go home. They’ve made a mockering on the international stage of the nation we all hold dear. It is time for good trouble. It is time for civil disobedience. It is time for a new option for the electorate. It is time for a special election. It is time for the court to strike this dangerous law down.”

She spoke to a crown of thousands, with thousands more joining her and other PS members/organizers to march to the Chancellor’s residence.

The Chancellor’s approval rating has dropped further overnight, after the PS exodus and the Gibson rally and petition: 34% of Doatians approve of the Chancellor. The EJP has also taken a hit, dropping from 52% at the last election to 32% approval. The CP and DN, both of which also supported the law, sit at 28% and 4%, respectively. And the PLP has dropped even further to less than 3%. The newly formed Progressive Socialists host an approval of 15%. When asking how 10,000 voters identified, here are the results:

26% – Environmental Justice Party

23% – Conservative Party

12% – People’s Liberation Party

5% – Doatian Nationalists

13% – Progressive Socialists

7% – Neutral/undecided

11% – Independent

3% – Smaller parties

Immediately prior to Gibson’s rally and her remarks, Representative and PS Chair Jax Bertoni motioned for a Special Election within the next 10 days during today’s Chamber session. Members from the EJP, PLP, and CP shouted out, forcing the Speaker to bang the gavel and demand order. The motion failed in a vote of 289Y/370N/41A. He then motioned for a Special Election within 30 days, leading to additional unrest in the Chamber. The Speaker threatened to have unruly members removed, and order was soon restored. The vote narrowly passed after an amendment to only count so-called ‘business days’ was approved. The results were: 319Y/310N/71A, with the abstentions lowering the required 50%+ threshold from 351 to 315.

With Chamber approval secured, the Doatian Election Commission must schedule a special election by April 10th, 2024.

Gregory Lawson, Doatian Journal Senior Correspondent

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