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Hometown: Atlanta
Home country: US
Member since: Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:19 AM
Number of posts: 4,331

Journal Archives

Democratic Prosecutor and Her Office Were Kicked Off of Criminal Case Against Gun-Pointing St. Louis

Source: Law and Crime

Who will prosecute Missouri criminal defendant Mark McCloskey? Not St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner or her office. A judge on Thursday ruled that there was the appearance of impropriety after Gardner’s campaign fundraised off of the controversy over McCloskey and wife Patricia McCloskey pointing their guns at protesters passing by their home in June.

“The campaign emails demonstrate the Circuit Attorney’s personal interest in this case, raise the appearance of impropriety and jeopardize the Defendant’s right to a fair trial,” Missouri Circuit Court Judge Thomas Clark II wrote. “Among other previously described concerns, these email solicitations aim to raise money using the Defendant and the circumstances surrounding the case to rally Ms. Gardner’s political base and fuel contributions. While the collateral consequence of the emails may have been inadvertent or unintentional, ‘intention’ is not a factor under the legal standard. The legal standard only requires that the court conclude that the conduct appears inappropriate.”

The McCloskeys, who are local attorneys, infamously pointed guns at protesters demonstrating against St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson (D), who doxxed people who wanted to defund the police department. The defendants said that the people were trespassing on a private street. The couple maintained they feared for their safety. This incident quickly attracted political controversy. Supporters said the McCloskeys were just defending themselves. Critics said the couple were in danger of shooting peaceful protesters.

As indicated in the ruling, Gardner fundraised off the incident. From a July 17 email, just a few days before the McCloskeys were charged:

Read more: https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/democratic-prosecutor-and-her-office-were-kicked-off-of-criminal-case-against-gun-pointing-st-louis-lawyer/?utm_source=mostpopular

Supreme Court Says Muslim Men Can Sue FBI Agents In No-Fly List Case

Source: NPR

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a unanimous opinion, ruled Thursday that Muslims put on the no-fly list after refusing to act as informants can sue federal officials for money damages under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The case – Tanzin v. Tanvir — involved three Muslim men who said their religious freedom rights were violated when FBI agents tried to use the no-fly list to force them into becoming informants.

Ramzi Kassen, the lawyer representing the thee men, explained that the no-fly list is problematic because it combines "tremendous power with a near total lack of transparency," empowering the FBI to use it as coercive force.

None of the men was suspected of illegal activity, and indeed the Obama administration tried to head off the suit by removing their names from the no-fly list just days before the case first went to court. It didn't work. The men refused to drop their case, and on Thursday the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in their favor.

Read more: https://www.npr.org/2020/12/10/945000341/supreme-court-says-muslim-men-can-sue-fbi-agents-in-no-fly-list-case

8-0 opinion written by Thomas.

Biden says he won't remove Trump's tariffs on China immediately

Source: The Hill

President-elect Joe Biden says he won’t immediately remove the tariffs that President Trump imposed on China.

In an interview with The New York Times published Wednesday, Biden said he would not “make any immediate moves” on tariffs, adding that he was “not going to prejudice my options.”

He told the newspaper that he wants to review existing agreements with China and then turn to allies in Asia and Europe “so we can develop a coherent strategy.”

Trump signed the first phase of a U.S.-China trade agreement in January, under which China agreed to boost purchases of U.S. goods by $200 billion over the next two years. According to the Times, China has fallen behind on those purchases.

Read more: https://thehill.com/policy/international/china/528321-biden-says-he-wont-remove-trumps-tariffs-on-china-immediately

Neal Katyal Argues U.S. Corporations Should Not Be Liable for Using Child Slaves Abroad, But SCOTUS

Source: Law and Crime

Neal Katyal Argues U.S. Corporations Should Not Be Liable for Using Child Slaves Abroad, But SCOTUS Appears Unconvinced

Barack Obama’s former acting Solicitor General and current litigator Neal Katyal appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court during oral arguments on Tuesday to defend multinational and U.S.-based corporations from liability for using child slaves abroad for profit.

Throughout the proceedings, most of the nine justices appeared skeptical of Katyal’s arguments on behalf of his corporate clients. But attorney Paul Hoffman, representing several former child slaves, often struggled before the high court himself–leaving the ultimate adjudication of the likely-to-be influential case anyone’s guess.

In two consolidated cases stylized as Nestlé USA v. Doe I and Cargill, Inc. v. Doe I, former child slaves forced to work on cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast sued the companies in their corporate forms for aiding and abetting slave labor under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) of 1798.

Passed by the very first U.S. Congress, the ATS authorizes federal courts to effectively craft or sanction novel causes of action so long as the underlying activity–the bad behavior alleged–violates international law. Another way to think about the ATS is that it is one of a small number of U.S. legal instruments that can be used to assert universal jurisdiction over violations of international law. At root, the law allows non-U.S. citizens an avenue for redress that would otherwise be unavailable to them in the U.S. legal system.

Read more: https://lawandcrime.com/supreme-court/neal-katyal-argues-u-s-corporations-should-not-be-liable-for-using-child-slaves-abroad-but-scotus-appears-unconvinced/

Historic deal revives plan for largest US dam demolition

Source: AP

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An agreement announced Tuesday paves the way for the largest dam demolition in U.S. history, a project that promises to reopen hundreds of miles of waterway along the Oregon-California border to salmon that are critical to tribes but have dwindled to almost nothing in recent years.

If approved, the deal would revive plans to remove four massive hydroelectric dams on the lower Klamath River, creating the foundation for the most ambitious salmon restoration effort in history. The project on California’s second-largest river would be at the vanguard of a trend toward dam demolitions in the U.S. as the structures age and become less economically viable amid growing environmental concerns about the health of native fish.

Previous efforts to address problems in the Klamath Basin have fallen apart amid years of legal sparring that generated distrust among tribes, fishing groups, farmers and environmentalists, and the new agreement could face more legal challenges. Some state and federal lawmakers criticized it as a financially irresponsible overreach by leaders in Oregon and California.

“This dam removal is more than just a concrete project coming down. It’s a new day and a new era,” Yurok Tribe chairman Joseph James said. “To me, this is who we are, to have a free-flowing river just as those who have come before us. ... Our way of life will thrive with these dams being out.”

Read more: https://apnews.com/article/dams-fish-salmon-oregon-environment-71045373e7063bfff75fc43d15885639

Judge drops third-degree murder charge against former officer Derek Chauvin in George Floyd's death

Source: CNN

A Hennepin County judge has dropped a third-degree murder charge against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd.

Chauvin still faces charges of second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd's death on May 25, which sparked nationwide protests and a reckoning over race and policing this summer.

Chauvin, who was released on $1 million bond earlier this month, was seen in videos of the incident kneeling on Floyd's neck for almost eight minutes, while the Black man told Chauvin and three other officers that he couldn't breathe.

The other now-former Minneapolis officers have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. The judge upheld those charges.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/22/us/derek-chauvin-george-floyd-charge-dropped/index.html

American cyclist suspended by team after pro-Trump comments

Source: Associated Press

GENEVA (AP) -- American cyclist Quinn Simmons was suspended by the Trek-Segafredo team on Thursday after posting antagonistic comments on social media in support of President Donald Trump.

"Regrettably, team rider Quinn Simmons made statements online that we feel are divisive, incendiary, and detrimental to the team, professional cycling, its fans, and the positive future we hope to help create for the sport," Trek-Segafredo said in a statement. "He) will not be racing for Trek-Segafredo until further notice."


The 19-year-old rider reacted Wednesday when Dutch journalist Jos Been posted on Twitter that she hoped for her American friends that "this horrible presidency ends for you," adding "if you follow me and support Trump, you can go."

Simmons replied by writing "Bye" with an emoji of a dark-skinned hand waving.

When a separate account replied "Apparently a Trumper," Simmons countered "That's right" with a United States flag symbol.

Read more: https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-netherlands-cycling-media-social-media-05b5d642bf0ddab40b0c5b95115b2b4c

I'm of mixed opinion about this. All he posted was that he supports Trump, and they suspended him. No insults, no derision, just a confirmation that he supports Trump. And this is in a sport, cycling, that has multiple teams sponsored by criminal regimes as PR campaigns (Astana - Kazakstan, Bahrain McLaren, Israeli Start Up Nation, and Team UAE Emirates).

Pelosi begins mustering Democrats for possible House decision on presidency

Source: Politico

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has begun mobilizing Democrats for the possibility that neither Joe Biden nor President Donald Trump will win an outright Electoral College victory, a once-in-a-century phenomenon that would send the fate of the presidency to the House of Representatives to decide.

Under that scenario, which hasn’t happened since 1876, every state’s delegation gets a single vote. Who receives that vote is determined by an internal tally of each lawmaker in the delegation. This means the presidency may not be decided by the party that controls the House itself but by the one that controls more state delegations in the chamber. And right now, Republicans control 26 delegations to Democrats’ 22, with Pennsylvania tied and Michigan a 7-6 plurality for Democrats, with a 14th seat held by independent Justin Amash.

A battle inside the House could be brutal, even more politically bare-knuckled than Trump and Senate Republicans pushing through a Supreme Court nominee days before the election. In some states, a single seat could decide the partisan makeup of a delegation. There could be extended legal challenges over declaring victors in House races, as national party leaders and their legal teams dive headlong into the results for individual races at the county or even precinct level.

Pelosi, in a Sunday letter to House Democrats, urged them to consider whether the House might be pulled into deciding who is president when determining where to focus resources on winning seats in November. This could lead to more concerted efforts by Democrats to win in states such as Montana and Alaska — typically Republican turf but where Democrats have been competitive statewide. In these states, Democratic victories could flip an entire delegation with a single upset House victory.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/09/27/pelosi-mobilizes-democrats-house-decision-on-presidency-422359

U.S. court allows Trump to phase out immigrant humanitarian protections

Source: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Monday sided with President Donald Trump over his administration’s decision to end humanitarian protections for hundreds of thousands of immigrants, many of whom have lived in the United States for decades.

In a 2-1 ruling, a panel of three judges in the California-based U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision that had blocked Trump’s move to phase out so-called Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for people from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan.

The ruling is also expected to affect the status of people from Honduras and Nepal, who filed a separate lawsuit that was suspended last year pending the outcome of the broader case.

The TPS enrollees from the six countries currently have work authorization through Jan. 4, 2021. The appeals court ruling means that those immigrants will be required to find another way to remain in the United States legally or depart after a wind-down period of at least six months and longer in the case of El Salvador. However, the case is likely to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which could delay that outcome.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-court/u-s-court-allows-trump-to-phase-out-immigrant-humanitarian-protections-idUSKBN26530K

One dead in Lancaster officer involved shooting

Source: ABC

LANCASTER, Pa (WHTM) – Officers from Lancaster Bureau of Police say there was an officer involved shooting after police responded to a domestic disturbance on the 300 block of Laurel Street at 4:15 this afternoon.

Police say preliminary information indicates that an adult male has died.

According to police, the deceased was armed with a knife at the time of the shooting.

Read more: https://www.abc27.com/news/local/lancaster/one-dead-in-lancaster-officer-involved-shooting/

Developing, no more at link.
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