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Polybius's Journal
Polybius's Journal
June 29, 2022

Mississippi GOP Rep. Steven Palazzo ousted in primary runoff

Source: NBC News

WASHINGTON — Embattled Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., was defeated by Mike Ezell in a runoff in the state's Gulf Coast-based 4th Congressional District on Tuesday, NBC News projects.

Palazzo, a six-term incumbent who is a member of the powerful Appropriations Committee, faces a House ethics investigation into potential misuse of campaign funds.

Ezell, a longtime local sheriff and a county chair for Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, hounded Palazzo over the ethics probe and for being absent from both the district and the House chamber.

Several times during the current Congress, Palazzo wrote letters to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., designating colleagues to vote for him by proxy because the Covid pandemic prevented him from participating in person.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2022-election/mississippi-rep-michael-guest-voted-jan-6-commission-wins-gop-primary-rcna35571

June 27, 2022

Judges Can Weigh New Factors in Crack Cases, Justices Say

Source: Bloomberg Law

Judges can consider new circumstances when resentencing criminal defendants punished when penalties for crack-cocaine were harsher, the US Supreme Court ruled.

In a 5-4 decision on Monday on a question the petitioner said affects thousands of people eligible for resentencing, the justices said the First Step Act allows district courts to consider intervening changes of law or fact in exercising their discretion to reduce a sentence.

In an unusual line-up, conservatives Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch joined the court’s liberal wing in the majority opinion written by Justice Sonia Sotomajor.

The appeal was brought by Carlos Concepcion, who pleaded guilty to crack-cocaine charges and was sentenced to 19 years in federal prison in 2009. That was a year before the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act, which narrowed the disparity between crack- and powder-cocaine penalties. The 2018 First Step Act made the 2010 act’s changes retroactive.

Read more: https://news.bloomberglaw.com/us-law-week/judges-can-weigh-new-circumstances-in-crack-cases-justices-say

Odd that Thomas sided with the liberals on this.
June 27, 2022

Supreme Court Rules for Doctors on 'Pill Mill' Prosecution Proof

Source: Bloomberg Law

The US Supreme Court sided with doctors seeking a higher burden of proof in prosecutions for distributing controlled substances like opioids.

In a unanimous decision on Monday, the justices rejected the government’s attempt to make it easier to convict physicians it alleged acted more like drug dealers in prescribing pain killers.

The ruling stemmed from two separate cases prosecuted under the federal Controlled Substances Act for unlawfully prescribing opioids and other controlled substances. Registered professionals are exempt if they prescribe drugs for legitimate medical purposes in the usual course of practice.

The justices vacated the appeals court decisions affirming the convictions and sent the cases back for further review.

Read more: https://news.bloomberglaw.com/us-law-week/justices-rule-for-doctors-on-pill-mill-prosecution-proof

Unanimous decision.
June 27, 2022

Was challenging the Mississippi 15 week abortion ban a mistake?

Let me be clear: This post is in no way an attack on Democrats. Those who know my posts know that I never do that. I am merely asking a question. You can say yes, no, or maybe.

Now, with that out of the way, a little backstory:

In March 2018, Mississippi passed the Gestational Age Act, which banned abortion after 15 weeks (it passed the House on February 2, 2018, by a 79-31 vote, and then the Senate on March 6, 2018, by a 35-14 vote). Governor Phil Bryant signed the bill into law.

Mississippi's only abortion clinic, Jackson Women's Health Organization, which did surgical abortions up to 16 weeks, challenged the law. Southern District of Mississippi Judge Carlton Reeves agreed, striking it down. The Fifth Circuit upheld Reeves's ruling in a 3–0 decision in December 2019. Mississippi petitioned its appeal of the Fifth Circuit decisions to the Supreme Court in June 2020, and they took up thee case.

I get it, 15 weeks isn't enough time. But the clinic that appealed only did 16 weeks anyway. If they had left it alone, abortion rights would still be constitutionally protected and Mississippi would have a 15 week ban.

But for principle along, was challenging the law a good idea? Or was it a mistake?

June 26, 2022

Was Robert Bork the only Republican nominee that didn't dodge the truth or lie about Roe?

Here's what he said during the Senate hearings in 1987:

"I am convinced, as I think most legal scholars are, that Roe v. Wade {the court's 1973 abortion ruling} is, itself, an unconstitutional decision, a serious and wholly unjustifiable judicial usurpation of state legislative authority," Bork testified before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee in 1981, adding that the case "is by no means the only example of such unconstitutional behavior by the Supreme Court."

Did Scalia and Kennedy dodge the truth as well? What about O'Conner? Was she even asked?
June 25, 2022

U.S. joins only 3 other countries that have rolled back abortion rights since 1994

Source: Axios

With the Friday's Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, the U.S. joined only three other countries — El Salvador, Nicaragua and Poland — that have rolled back abortion rights since 1994, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights.

The big picture: Nearly 60 countries have liberalized their abortion laws — though some only incrementally — over the last 25 years.

The rollback of abortion rights has come in countries "where democracies have eroded," said Margaret Harpin, a legal adviser at the Center for Reproductive Rights, which advocates for abortion rights advocacy and tracks abortion laws worldwide.

At the same time, "we've seen a considerable amount of change in recent years, [and] an overall global trend towards liberalization" of abortion laws, Harpin told Axios before the Supreme Court decision.

Read more: https://www.axios.com/2022/05/05/only-3-countries-have-rolled-back-abortion-rights-since-1994

June 25, 2022

Lawrence O'Donnell just said that GWB was the first guy to lose the popular vote and still win

I love the guy, and he's a good liberal, but how the Hell can a man of his stature think that Bush Jr.'s 2000 win was the first time in history that someone lost the popular vote yet still won? Come on. It's happened 5 times, 3 before him. He really should know this.

He says it at about the 1:06 mark.

June 25, 2022

Liz Cheney Tweet on the abortion ruling


Yet she wants Democratic crossover votes. Yeah, I hope she loses. You're either with us, or you're against us.

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