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Hometown: Atlanta
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Member since: Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:19 AM
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Journal Archives

Chuck Todd apologizes for airing edited William Barr clip

Source: The Hill

NBC "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd apologized on Tuesday for airing a clip Sunday of Attorney General William Barr's interview with CBS reporter Katherine Herridge, which Todd acknowledged was misleading because of an edit that took Barr's remarks out of context.

Todd and "Meet the Press" had come under heavy criticism for airing the clip, which made it appear that Barr had decided to drop charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn for political reasons.

After the clip from the May 7 CBC interview aired, Todd said that Barr "didn't make the case that he was upholding the rule of law. He was almost admitting that, yeah, this is a political job."


He said the Barr's full answer would have put in context the portion of the interview that "Meet the Press" did air.

"Had I seen that part, I would not have framed the conversation the way I did," he said. "And I am obviously very sorry for that mistake and we strive to do better going forward.”

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/media/497458-chuck-todd-apologizes-for-airing-edited-william-barr-clip

Justices Ginsburg and Thomas Bash 9th Circuit for 'Abuse of Discretion' in Immigration Consultant Ca

Source: Law & Crime

Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Clarence Thomas each penned opinions on Thursday in United States v. Sineneng-Smith bashing the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for an “abuse of discretion.”

The Supreme Court unanimously held that the Ninth Circuit “panel’s drastic departure from the principle of party presentation” in the case of immigration consultant Evelyn Sineneng-Smith “constituted an abuse of discretion.” Ginsburg penned the opinion for the court; Thomas filed a concurring opinion that took things a step further.


The Court called the Ninth Circuit‘s hijacking of the case a “radical transformation” that went “well beyond the pale.”

Sineneng-Smith is a U.S. citizen who worked as an immigration consultant in San Jose, California for almost 20 years; in her practice, she helped non-citizens navigate the American immigration system. Sineneng-Smith was charged in 2010 in connection with helping three undocumented workers and their employers complete applications for employment-based lawful permanent residence. Among the charges were three felony counts under 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv), for Sineneng-Smith’s use of “dangerous words,” and for “words and … deeds” aimed at “encourag[ing] or induc[ing] an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States.” The § 1324 charges were the focus of the ensuing appeal, not the tax fraud charges Sineneng-Smith pleaded guilty to committing nor the mail fraud counts. Even though there was already sufficient evidence to support the fraud conviction, the government chose to bring criminal charges based on immigration advocacy generally.

Read more: https://lawandcrime.com/supreme-court/justices-ginsburg-and-thomas-bash-9th-circuit-for-abuse-of-discretion-in-immigration-consultant-case/

Georgia district attorney vows grand jury review after man shot and killed while jogging

Source: The Hill

A Georgia prosecutor on Tuesday said he would present the case of a man who was shot by a father and son earlier this year to a grand jury for review.

The case involves the death of Ahmaud Arbery, 25, an unarmed black man who was shot and killed on Feb. 23 in Brunswick, Ga., after Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael followed him in their truck. The McMichaels have claimed they believed Arbery to be a burglar, while an attorney for Arbery’s family said he was in the neighborhood jogging.

"I am of the opinion that the case should be presented to the grand jury of Glynn County for consideration of criminal charges against those involved in the death of Mr. Arbery," District Attorney (DA) Thomas Durden said Tuesday, according to NBC News.


Durden is the district attorney of Hinesville, about 70 miles from where the incident occurred. He is the third prosecutor to take up the case after two others recused themselves over potential conflicts of interest, including the DA of Brunswick, the jurisdiction where the incident occurred and where Gregory McMichael is a longtime investigator for the DA's office. Under lockdown orders in Georgia, courts are barred from empaneling either standard trial juries or grand juries through at least June 12.

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/news/496248-georgia-district-attorney-vows-grand-jury-review-of-shooting-of

American Bar Association Reverses Course on Justin Walker, Says He's 'Well Qualified' for DC Circuit

Source: Law & Crime

In a high-profile reversal of course, the American Bar Association (ABA) on Tuesday furnished federal circuit court nominee Justin Walker, 38, with a “Well Qualified” rating, less than a year after the organization said he was “Not Qualified” to serve on the district court where he currently presides.

In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Chairman of the ABA’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary William C. Hubbard said that a majority of the Standing Committee was of the opinion that Judge Walker was “Well Qualified” to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, though smaller factions of the committee also found him “Qualified” and “Not Qualified.”

The D.C. Circuit Court is widely considered the second most powerful court in the nation, behind the U.S. Supreme Court due to its jurisdiction in the nation’s capital, which means it overhears issues pertaining to Congress and federal administrative agencies. Just a few hours ago, the Philadelphia Bar Association said Walker was not qualified for the “lofty” role and cited the ABA’s prior opinion of Walker.

Less than one year ago, a majority of the ABA rated Walker as “Not Qualified,” claiming he did not “have the requisite trial or litigation experience or its equivalent” to serve as a district court judge.

Read more: https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/american-bar-association-reverses-course-on-justin-walker-says-hes-well-qualified-for-d-c-circuit/

Dude is 38 years old.

More than 80% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Georgia last month were black, CDC study finds

Source: CBS News

A CDC study released Wednesday found that over 80% of the COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Georgia last month were black. It's the latest analysis showing that communities of color are being hit disproportionately hard by the coronavirus.

The study comes just days after Georgia Governor Brian Kemp started reopening some of the state's businesses — a move condemned as premature and dangerous by local black leaders as well as public health officials and even President Trump.

The study from the CDC, which is headquartered in Atlanta, surveyed eight hospitals in the state — seven in the Atlanta metro area and one southern Georgia. In the sample of 305 COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized in March, 247 — or 83.2% — were black. By comparison, 32 patients (10.8%) were white, 10 (3.4%) were Hispanic and eight (2.7%) were Asian or Pacific Islander.

"The proportion of hospitalized patients who were black was higher than expected based on overall hospital admissions," the study says.

Read more: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/georgia-coronavirus-patients-black-covid-19/

Justices ask for more briefing in Trump tax-returns cases

Source: SCOTUS blog

This morning the Supreme Court issued orders from the justices’ private conference last week. The justices did not act on two cases that have been repeatedly relisted in recent weeks, a death-penalty case from Texas and the federal government’s challenge to one of California’s “sanctuary state” laws, which prohibit state and local law-enforcement officials from cooperating with federal immigration officials. The most noteworthy order came instead in a set of cases scheduled for argument in the justices’ upcoming argument session and could potentially derail congressional efforts to obtain President Donald Trump’s financial records.

The justices have scheduled oral argument for May 12 in a trio of cases involving efforts by the U.S. House of Representatives and a Manhattan district attorney to obtain Trump’s financial records from his long-time accountant and his lenders. In the two cases involving Congress, which are consolidated for one hour of argument, the question is whether the committees can subpoena Trump’s records, while in the New York case the question is whether a state grand-jury subpoena can be enforced while the president is in office.

Today the justices asked the parties to the congressional-subpoena cases and the federal government, which filed a “friend of the court” brief supporting Trump, to file supplemental briefs addressing whether the political-question doctrine applies to the cases – that is, whether courts should stay out of the fight over the subpoenas because it is fundamentally a political dispute between the branches of government. If the justices were to conclude that the doctrine applies, they could dismiss the cases without ruling on the merits of the dispute – which might be a particularly appealing outcome for some justices in the lead-up to the presidential election. Such a decision could have mixed results for Trump: Without a ruling in his favor, he might not be able to block the accountant or lenders from turning over the records, but on the other hand Congress would not be able to enforce a subpoena if the companies holding the records opted not to comply.

The justices will meet again for their next conference on Friday, May 1. We expect orders from that conference on Monday, May 4, at 9:30 a.m. EDT.

Read more: https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/04/justices-ask-for-more-briefing-in-trump-tax-returns-cases/#more-293381

BREAKING: Georgia Democratic lawmaker who endorsed Trump abandons plans to resign

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A day after announcing his resignation from the Georgia House, state Rep. Vernon Jones said he will serve the remainder of his term.

The Lithonia Democrat, who made national headlines last week when he endorsed Republican President Donald Trump’s bid for re-election, said in a video posted Thursday on Twitter that he received an “overwhelming amount of support” from his constituents after announcing his plan to resign.

“That was emotional and that was motivational,” he said. “Because of what you did for me, I’m going to remain on the battlefield. I’m going to complete my term. I’m going to continue to put my country before my party. And I’m going to do everything I can to get Donald J. Trump elected.”

Read more: https://www.ajc.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/georgia-democratic-lawmaker-who-endorsed-trump-abandons-plans-resign/hBFiqiOpQ9K2jd42zELoCL/


Kavanaugh and Roberts Side with Liberals to Hand Environmentalists Huge Win; Alito Is Not Amused

Source: Law & Crime

Environmentalists scored a significant victory in the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday with help from some unusual suspects.

In a 6-3 opinion authored by Justice Stephen Breyer, two of the court’s conservatives–Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh–joined with the four-member liberal minority in order to strengthen a key provision of the Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972.

Stylized as County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, the case stems from a lawsuit filed by “several environmental groups” in 2012 which alleged that Maui’s use of a wastewater reclamation facility ran afoul of the CWA by pumping roughly four million gallons of treated wastewater into the Pacific Ocean every day without a permit.

Under the CWA, a permit is required for the “discharge of any pollutant” into U.S. waters–which is defined as “any addition of any pollutant to navigable waters from any point source [or] any addition of any pollutant to the waters of the contiguous zone or the ocean from any point source other than a vessel or other floating craft.”

The term “pollutant” is defined broadly by the nation’s longstanding environmental statute and also specifically includes “solid” and municipal…waste discharged into water.”

Read more: https://lawandcrime.com/supreme-court/kavanaugh-and-roberts-side-with-liberals-to-hand-environmentalists-huge-win-alito-is-not-amused/

Georgia Democratic lawmaker announces resignation week after endorsing Trump

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A little more than a week after he announced that he was endorsing President Donald Trump, Democratic state Rep. Vernon Jones announced Wednesday morning that he would not complete his term.

“Turn the lights off, I have left the plantation,” Jones said in a statement. “Someone else can occupy that suite. Therefore, I intend not to complete my term effective April 22, 2020.”His spokesman said the Lithonia Democrat would not be seeking re-election.

“I don’t plan to leave the Democratic Party because somebody’s got to be in there to hold them accountable —hold them accountable to how they are treating black people (and) root out the bigotry,” Jones said on The Rashad Richey Morning Show shortly after announcing his resignation.


“I’m sick and tired of me and my family being attacked and harassed by the Democrat Party for putting my country before my party,” Jones said.

Read more: https://www.ajc.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/georgia-democratic-lawmaker-announces-resignation-week-after-endorsing-trump/vOcyL9hiN7DnfI1G3K3A1J/

Liberal Justice Slammed for Joining Conservative Dissent That 'Ignores Racist History' of Jury Issue

Source: Law & Crime

When the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its ruling in Ramos v. Louisiana on Monday, many were unprepared to see liberal Justice Elena Kagan side with Justice Samuel Alito’s dissent along with Chief Justice John Roberts.

At issue in the case was a Louisiana criminal procedure rule (as well as a similar one in Oregon) that allows criminal defendants to be convicted by a jury vote of 10 to 2 – instead of the usual requirement for unanimity. Part of the majority’s lengthy analysis centered around the rules’ history, which had been rooted in racism

Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for the majority, called out non-unanimous jury rules for being engineered to nullify the votes of black jurors. Gorsuch wrote that the origins of the rules were clearly tied to white supremacy, and included many trappings of Jim Crow. Gorsuch explained that the rule was adopted “with a careful eye on racial demographics.” Gorsuch said it was designed to appear facially-neutral in an effort “to ensure that African-American juror service would be meaningless.”

The dissenting trio, however, wouldn’t hear any of these accusations. Alito accused the majority of raising racism as nothing more than an ad hominem attack on Louisiana: “If Louisiana and Oregon originally adopted their laws allowing non-unanimous verdicts for these reasons, that is deplorable, but what does that have to do with the broad constitutional question before us? The answer is: nothing.”

Read more: https://lawandcrime.com/supreme-court/liberal-justice-slammed-for-joining-conservative-dissent-that-ignores-racist-history/
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