Biden Surfaces As The Lead Candidate But Elizabeth Say Joe’s Old News

The Chinese are on their way to Washington for another round of trade talks. The Chinese know Trump’s additional tariff threats are just that. But they want to end the trade talk chaos Trump reigns down on them before he goes off the deep end again. China holds a strong hand in the negotiations. Mr. Trump may come away from the talks with a victory, but the experts say his victory is more hype than reality. China won’t let Trump interfere with how they run the country. But they will throw him a few trade bones to get him off their backs.

Trump doesn’t want Mueller or Don McGahn to talk to Congress. Senate leader Mitch McConnell said the Mueller case is over and the Democrats need to move on. McConnell knows he’s on a slippery political slope and he might fall off if the public finds out what the Mueller report says about Trump. Mr. Trump did try to obstruct justice, according to Mueller. Congress wants Mueller to tell the public how Trump wanted to control his investigation.

Meanwhile, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos gave the press a verbal thrashing for the way they treat her. She also told teachers if they want to complain they should do it on their own time. DeVos did admit she’s an introvert. She doesn’t like to be on stage and make a fool of herself but she can’t help it due to her shyness. Dick DeVos may put his foot down and make Betsy come home if Trump wins another term. He hates it when Betsy acts stupid in front of the cameras.

Elizabeth Warren told the press more than 500 U.S. prosecutors think Trump would be behind bars if he wasn’t the president. There’s enough evidence in the Mueller report to charge him. That’s why Warren wants to impeach Trump. But Nancy Pelosi thinks that’s a bad idea. She wants to beat Trump in 2020. But according to Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen Trump won’t give up the presidency without a fight if he loses. That’s why Pelosi thinks the Democrats must overwhelmingly beat Trump.

Nancy thinks Joe Biden is the candidate who can bring Democrats together. But Biden has a lot of political baggage and most of it doesn’t jibe with liberals in the party. Biden is a capitalist who wants to protect insurance and credit card companies. Plus, he still doesn’t know who the Prime Minister of England is so his foreign policy skills are more than rusty, according to his critics.

Family Of Minneapolis Shooting Victim Receives $20 Million Settlement

The city of Minneapolis agreed on Friday to pay the family of Justine Ruszczyk a settlement of $20 million. Ruszczyk was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer after she called 911 to report a disturbance in an alley not far from her home.

The settlement is one of the largest ever in a shooting incident involving an officer and was announced three days after the conviction on murder charges for officer Mohamed Noor. Noor is a black, Somali-American who is also Muslim. With the conviction, Noor became the first officer in Minnesota to be found guilty of murder for a shooting that took place while on duty.

Ruszczyk was shot when she approached a police cruiser where Noor and his partner, Matthew Harrity, were seated. The forty-year-old yoga instructor called the police moments before her own shooting to report she heard a woman being attacked in the alley.

Defense attorneys say the shot by Noor was in defense of his partner. He testified to hearing a thumping sound and then seeing a figure next to the driver side of the vehicle where Garrity was seated.

Noor faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison but is expected to receive a sentence significantly less than the maximum.

Mayor Jacob Frey addressed the media and said there are no winners in the situation involving Officer Noor and Justine Ruszczyk. The mayor also said the settlement represents an effort on the part of the city to provide closure to the family of the victim and move on from the matter.

A lawyer for the Ruszczyk family, Robert Bennett, says the settlement will send a distinct message to the Minnesota Police Department.

Experts on the matter felt the settlement was necessary to avoid the case being heard by a jury who could possibly award the victim’s family much more.

Advocates for social justice see the issue in a slightly different light. The advocates have already been vocal regarding the racial dynamics of the case and say the large settlement offered to the Ruszczyk family is another sign of the great disparity that exists between black and white victims of violence at the hands of police officers.

An expert with an opposing view says the large settlement and attention given to the Noor case is a result of the significance Americans have placed on addressing police shootings.

Jerry Falwell Jr. Wants To Extend Trump’s Term By Two Years

The talks with China are in a political ditch. Trump wants to force the Chinese to change the way they do business, and that’s a big ask, according to a former U.S. ambassador to China. China did agree to buy more products from the U.S., and they will lower tariffs on American-made vehicles. They also agreed to stop the seemingly unlimited supply of fentanyl that comes to the U.S. from Chinese drug factories. But they won’t let Trump tell them how they run their government. And they want all the tariffs removed when they sign an agreement. Trump doesn’t want to do that.

Trump is full of requests, thanks to the Mueller report. According to nymag.com, he wants Barr to investigate the investigators. That’s Trump’s new slogan on the campaign trail. Barr has his own issues now that the Democrats know his sole purpose as attorney general is to protect the president. The Democrats want to impeach Barr, but that won’t happen, according to the New York Times.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants Barr to resign now that he showed the world he’s a liar. Barr lied to Congress when he said he didn’t know if Mueller had an issue with his four-page Trump gets-out-of-jail free card. Nancy also thinks Trump is guilty of impeachable offenses. But she knows starting the impeachment process is a waste of time. She wants the Democrats to solidly beat Trump in 2020. If it is a narrow Democratic victory, Pelosi thinks Trump will protest the vote to stay in office. She believes Trump will not leave office if a Democrat beats him by a narrow margin.

But Trump has other fires to put out now that Mueller may sit in front of Congress and tell them what he really found in his investigation. Trump claims the FBI spied on his campaign for no reason. And that’s why the investigation started. The FBI did spy after an Australian diplomat said George Papadopoulos told him the Russians had dirt on Clinton in 2016. The only way George would know that is if he talked to the Russians about exposing the Clinton dirt.

But even though Trump is up to his neck in the Washington swamp, Jerry Falwell Jr. thinks Trump deserves another two years in office. Jerry thinks Trump’s term should be six years instead of four. Falwell claims the Mueller investigation robbed Trump of two productive years. A Trump tweet confirms the president is on board with that idea. Mr. Trump believes even though he is the greatest president in history another two years in office would make him greater.

Judges Rule Against Gerrymandering

A panel of three judges from the United States District Court in Cincinnati, OH ruled this past week that the state of Ohio will have to redraw its congressional district’s map because too much partisanship went into drawing the borders of the districts. Gerrymandering is the process by which the state legislature manipulates the borders of congressional districts in order to make the district a more favorable place for a particular party to win an election.

Ohio has a state government that has been dominated by the Republican Party for a number of years. When the districts had to be redrawn as must be done after every census, the legislature drew the districts so that Republicans could win the most districts by far. This process angered the Democrats in the state as well as other voting rights groups. In order to challenge the new districts, the League of Women Voters and the American Civil Liberties Union brought suit against the state of Ohio.

This week, the judges stated in their opinion that Ohio must redraw the congressional districts before the 2020 Presidential elections. The judges gave the state until June 14 of this year to develop a plan to correct the situation. The state of Ohio was informed that if it could not come up with an equitable plan, the court would be forced to redraw the district maps.

There was a similar ruling about gerrymandered districts in the state of Michigan earlier this year. Also the United States Supreme Court is considering a case regarding the federal courts ability to rule on gerrymandering.

Many legal observers believe that the Supreme Court with its 5-4 conservative tilt will rule that federal courts cannot rule on gerrymandering cases. If this happens, all cases will have to be reheard in state courts, and solutions would have to be worked out on a state by state basis.

Bill Barr May Ignore Congress After His Shaky Senate Performance

President Trump knows Deutsche Bank has some revealing financial information that could make his life miserable if the German bank shares it with Congress. Deutsche Bank is Trump’s $300 million-dollar friend. Trump made friends with high-ranking German bank executives and he cut a deal, according to Congressman Adam Schiff. Schiff thinks the Trump Organization was part of a money-laundering scheme.

A NY Mag article outlined the scheme, and that was enough information for Mr. Trump. He decided to sue Deutsche Bank to stop the release of his financial records. The president also blocked the Congressional subpoenas that require his aides to tell what they know about Trump’s plan to obstruct justice by firing Bob Mueller.

Suing is part of Trump’s DNA. He has more than 4,000 lawsuits notched in his super-sized leather belt. Stopping Deutsche Bank from raining on his unethical presidential parade is standard behavior for the Trumpster. The lawsuit will give him enough time to win the election, according to Republicans. But the state of New York isn’t waiting for the lawsuit’s verdict to get Trump’s financial records. New York thinks it can get Trump’s state tax returns by using a new law.

But Trump’s lawsuits and Biden bashing took a backseat when Attorney General Bill Barr sat before the Senate Judiciary committee. Mr. Barr thought he could get away with acting like Trump’s consigliore instead of the attorney general. But when Democratic Senator Miro Hirono called Barr a liar, he knew he couldn’t sit before Congress and let the Democrats have their way with him. The Department of Justice told House Oversight Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler Mr. Barr would be a no-show for his hearing.

If Mr. Barr tells Nadler to stick his meeting up his butt, there’s not much Congress can do to get Barr to testify. Barr said he didn’t like Nadler’s question format. Nadler wants staff lawyers to question Barr. He got a taste of the type of question they would ask him when Kamala Harris caught Barr off guard with her carefully worded questions during the Senate Judiciary hearing. Chairman Lindsey Graham told Harris she was out of line, but she proved her point. Mr. Barr is Trump’s protector and he’ll stick by his no collusion, no obstruction story despite what the Mueller reports says.

Senator Hirono thinks Barr should resign. And Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said the same thing. Barr did the job Trump expected when he nominated him for attorney general. But Mr. Barr legal credibility took a massive hit. But in Trumpland, legal credibility doesn’t count as much as mobster loyalty.

Trump’s Golfing Pal Senator Lindsey Graham Tries To Put A Legal Noose Around Clinton’s Neck At Barr’s Hearing

Bill Barr knew the Senate Judiciary hearings would not be as difficult to endure as the Congressional hearings. But Barr got a wake-up call when the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee decided to attack his credibility. Senator Kamala Harris, a 2020 presidential candidate, gave Barr a lesson in legal wording when her poignant questions disrupted the attorney general’s thought process. Harris wanted Barr to trap himself and she succeeded, according to the Washington Post.

But Hawaii’s Senator Hirono gave Barr a dose of unfiltered truth when she called him a liar. Hirono said Barr lied when he told Congress he didn’t know if Mueller and his team thought Barr defended Trump in his four-page summary and press conference. Mueller sent Barr a letter in March before Barr testified in front of Congress, and he told Barr he didn’t agree with the way he worded his obstruction findings. Mueller plans to tell the real obstruction story when he testifies before Congress in May.

Mr. Barr defended his Trump claims. The president didn’t obstruct justice, and he’s betting Trump’s voter base will believe him. Barr has a date with Congress to explain why he acts like an oversized Rudy Giuliani when he’s on TV instead of fulfilling the duties of an attorney general. But after the Senate hearing, Barr wants to blow-off the Congressional hearing. Oversight Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler threatened Barr if he doesn’t show. But Nadler can’t do much. Barr claims he doesn’t like the format. In other words, he won’t put himself on the hot seat again after he ate crow at the Senate hearing.

Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, did his best to protect Barr from attacks by Democrats. He started the meeting with let’s put Clinton and Obama on trial for their ineptness when they were in charge. Mr. Trump continues to use Clinton and Obama as defensive shields when the Democrats get too close to his presidential mobster show. And Graham, the chameleon who worships every blade of grass on a Trump golf course, sticks up for the president no matter how many legal lines the Trumpster crosses.

Mr. Trump didn’t say much about Barr’s appearance before the Senate committee. He’s too busy bashing the firefighters union for backing Joe Biden. Joe is ahead in the polls, and his strategy is to attack Trump every chance he gets.

Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6981163/Trump-f-ing-idiot-Lindsey-Graham-shocks-Senate-reading-text-probes-FBI-lovers.html

Stokeling vs. United States

Introduction – Stokeling vs. United States
The U.S. Supreme Court heard a case that set the threshold lower for sentencing repeat offenders to stiffer prison terms.

The basic question posed in this case was whether stiffer prison sentences should be levied for repeat offenders like Denard Stokeling, defendant in Stokeling vs. the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Basics of the Stokeling Case
Denard Stokeling, arrested in 2014 in Miami Beach, Florida, for robbery of a restaurant. At the time of his arrest, he was asked if he had any firearms or ammunition in the backpack he was carrying.

Stokeling was previously convicted of kidnapping, robbery and home invasion. However, Stokeling’s lawyer claimed the conviction for robbery should not be considered in this case since Florida law does not require sufficient force of victims to constitute a “violent felony.”

Ref: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-sets-low-threshold-for-sentencing-repeat-violent-offenders-to-stiff-prison-terms/2019/01/15/fde7f3ea-18f1-11e9-88fe-f9f77a3bcb6c_story.html?utm_term=.d5bf765fee21

The ACCA (Armed Career Criminal Act) 18 U. S. C. §922(g)(1), 1984
The crux of this case included the court discussion on applicability of the ACCA law passed in 1984. As originally passed, the statutes of this law as written are:

“A convicted felon who possesses, receives, or transports a firearm in interstate commerce may be sentenced to imprisonment for up to two years, fined up to $10,000, or both.”

“The second sentence of the statute, the Armed Career Criminal Act of 19843 (“ACCA”), requires that a convicted felon who possesses, receives, or transports a firearm in commerce and who has three prior convictions for robbery, burglary, or both, must receive a sentence of at least fifteen years imprisonment and be fined up to $25,000.”
Ref:https://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2793&context=flr

As written in repeal of parts of the ACCA in 2018, the law imposed no maximum term of imprisonment. Upon proof of a defendant’s prior convictions, sentencing of a career criminal should be discussed further.

Supreme Court Ruling
The Stokeling case showed a remarkable division among Supreme Court justices on the basic issue of se

Introduction – Stokeling vs. United States
The U.S. Supreme Court heard a case that set the threshold lower for sentencing repeat offenders to stiffer prison terms.

The basic question posed in this case was whether stiffer prison sentences should be levied for repeat offenders like Denard Stokeling, defendant in Stokeling vs. the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Basics of the Stokeling Case
Denard Stokeling, arrested in 2014 in Miami Beach, Florida, for robbery of a restaurant. At the time of his arrest, he was asked if he had any firearms or ammunition in the backpack he was carrying.

Stokeling was previously convicted of kidnapping, robbery and home invasion. However, Stokeling’s lawyer claimed the conviction for robbery should not be considered in this case since Florida law does not require sufficient force of victims to constitute a “violent felony.”

Ref: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-sets-low-threshold-for-sentencing-repeat-violent-offenders-to-stiff-prison-terms/2019/01/15/fde7f3ea-18f1-11e9-88fe-f9f77a3bcb6c_story.html?utm_term=.d5bf765fee21

The ACCA (Armed Career Criminal Act) 18 U. S. C. §922(g)(1), 1984
The crux of this case included the court discussion on applicability of the ACCA law passed in 1984. As originally passed, the statutes of this law as written are:

“A convicted felon who possesses, receives, or transports a firearm in interstate commerce may be sentenced to imprisonment for up to two years, fined up to $10,000, or both.”

“The second sentence of the statute, the Armed Career Criminal Act of 19843 (“ACCA”), requires that a convicted felon who possesses, receives, or transports a firearm in commerce and who has three prior convictions for robbery, burglary, or both, must receive a sentence of at least fifteen years imprisonment and be fined up to $25,000.”
Ref:https://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2793&context=flr

As written in repeal of parts of the ACCA in 2018, the law imposed no maximum term of imprisonment. Upon proof of a defendant’s prior convictions, sentencing of a career criminal should be discussed further.

Supreme Court Ruling
The Stokeling case showed a remarkable division among Supreme Court justices on the basic issue of sentencing of career criminals.

In this 5 to 4 ruling, Justice Breyer, a liberal, agreed with four conservatives on the court, while Chief Justice Roberts, a conservative agreed with the three liberals of the court.

Conclusion – The Impact of the Stokeling Case on Similar Future Cases
With the bar set lower for prison sentencing of career criminals, it appears career criminals may face more serious implications for robbery as a “violent offense” as a result of the Supreme Court ruling.

ntencing of career criminals.

In this 5 to 4 ruling, Justice Breyer, a liberal, agreed with four conservatives on the court, while Chief Justice Roberts, a conservative agreed with the three liberals of the court.

Conclusion – The Impact of the Stokeling Case on Similar Future Cases
With the bar set lower for prison sentencing of career criminals, it appears career criminals may face more serious implications for robbery as a “violent offense” as a result of the Supreme Court ruling.

https://www.nationalreview.com/bench-memos/brett-kavanaugh-rush-to-judgment-on-newest-scotus-judge/

 

Chalking Tires: An Unconstitutional Practice for Parking Enforcement Officers

Is it possible that parking enforcement officers have violated the constitutional rights of Americans? Yes, according to the judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The three judges on the panel recently agreed unanimously that the method is a form of trespass that violates Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure.

Michigan resident Alison Taylor brought the case due to her frustration about the number of parking tickets written against her. The complainant specifically targeted the city of Saginaw and the officer that had written each of the 15 tickets Taylor received. Taylor’s lawyer, Philip Ellison said that the chalk marks on the tires were a form of trespassing.

Parking enforcement officers chalk tires to determine if the vehicle was moved during their rounds. Taylor and her lawyer believed the marks on vehicles allow the officers to gather information from private property without a warrant. The court said that the chalking does qualify as an unreasonable search because the contact with the vehicle to mark the tire is a form of trespassing without cause.

Alison Taylor was pleased with the result and even happier to think that her actions helped to change a law. The lawyer for the Michigan woman pointed out that free parking is not a constitutional right, but that the Saginaw parking enforcement agency chose a method that violated the rights of citizens. Ellison, however, has filed a class action lawsuit against the city to refund excessive parking fines and fees for the previous three to six years, based on what a judge declares allowable.

Alternatives for how to constitutionally check vehicle parking times have already been thought out by legal experts. Orin Kerr, a law professor, said a straightforward way to avoid any constitutional problems would be with photographs. The method allows offices to mark the exact position of a vehicle without any physical contact. The City of Saginaw already adapted their own process and now mark the pavement beside the tire rather than the tire itself.

https://www.npr.org/2019/04/23/716248823/court-says-using-chalk-on-tires-for-parking-enforcement-violates-constitution
https://www.abc12.com/content/news/Class-action-lawsuit-targets-Bay-City-Saginaw-for-chalking-tires-to-issue-parking-tickets-509132891.html

Russian Agent Maria Butina Receives 18-Month Prison Term

Maria Butina, a confessed Russian agent, pled for mercy moments before being sentenced for conspiring to infiltrate a group for gun rights advocates. Once the group was infiltrated, Butina and a Russian official planned to influence the thoughts of conservatives and Republicans. Butina expressed remorse to the court for her actions.

United States District Judge Tanya Chutkan provided a judgment that was in line with the desires of prosecutors. In addition to an 18-month prison sentence, Butina will be deported to her home country of Russia following her incarceration.

According to CNN, the effective start date for the sentence is the day Butina was first arrested in July. This means Butina is already credited with serving nine months of her 18-month sentence.

Butina once attended graduate school at American University where she was a public advocate for gun rights. Her lawyers asked Judge Chutkan to issue a sentence of time served and allow their client to return home to Russia.

Butina appeared at her sentencing dressed in a green prison jumpsuit and was in tears while asking the judge for leniency.

Butina told the court she was embarrassed and ashamed of her actions. She also said her parents taught her the value of higher education. Butina says her parents always encouraged her to live a lawful life and treat others well.

Butina continued by telling the court she has earned three degrees but is now a convicted felon with very limited opportunities.

Judge Chutkan chastized Butina and told her the offense she committed was not a simple mistake by an overzealous college student from a foreign country.

Butina confessed to working with a Russian Official and two Americans citizens to gain influence within the National Rifle Association. The group is closely aligned with the Republican Party and current president Donald Trump. Butina and her co-conspirators intended to create a line of communication with politicians in Washington to influence political policies.

The Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow characterized the harsh sentence received by Butina as politically motivated. The feeling of the Ministry is Butina’s status as a Russian citizen is the true reason she received the sentence.

Prosecutors say Butina did not take part in traditional activities of spies. Instead, she worked behind the scenes arranging dinners in New York and Washington. She also attended events that gave her the opportunity to meet top politicians. Her goal was to promote better relations between the United States and Russia.

Trump’s Legal Fees Top $8 Million During His First 28 Months In Office

Theresa May needs help from Mr. Trump. Her Brexit deal is a mess, and the U.K. is in a pot of political turmoil. Parliament rejected the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal with the European Union three times. But May still believes her government can hammer out a deal that Parliament will approve. But even May’s government are at odds with each other over Brexit. If May can’t get her act together and come up with a solution for the backstop clause, the U.K. may leave the EU without a deal when the extension she got from EU leaders expire, according to British news reports.

But just like all smart politicians, Theresa May wants to shake up the status quo and make a risky move. Ms. May has President Trump in her risky mix. May asked the queen to invite Trump to England for one of those royal state visits. That means Trump will be able to act like the king he thinks he is when he rides down the streets of London in a royal carriage. He will finally get the recognition he wants, but he will experience that recognition in British chaos.

Mr. Trump likes chaos, according to a Times article. He likes it when people fight over his words and actions. Trump is a die-hard fighter who likes to battle in court. And he has the legal bills to prove it. According to ABC News, the Trump campaign paid lawyers $8 million while he’s been in office. Trump’s 2019 legal fees hit $1.7 million at the end of March. And former White House attorney Don McGahn’s firm received $1.2 million of that legal fee windfall.

McGahn’s legal firm, Jones Day, is still the number one legal firm on the Trump campaign’s legal payroll. The campaign paid Jones Day $5.6 million for legal services rendered for Trump, Don Jr. and Jared Kushner.

According to ABC News, Jones Day won’t continue to reap the rewards from Trump’s court battle addiction. The Trump campaign hired a new legal team to represent the president, according to a Politico article.

Trump enormous legal bills make Obama’s $2.7 million legal expenses look like pocket change. George W. Bush only spent $260,000 in legal fees during his first two years in office. But according to Bill Clinton, he left the White House $16 million in debt because of his legal issues.

The President Wants To Stop McGahn And White House Aides From Spilling The Obstruction Beans On Congress

Jared Kushner, the president’s special advisor and peacemaker extraordinaire, got a chance to show the world why his security clearance came from Trump, not from security officials. At the Time 100 Summit, Kushner did an interview, and it contained vintage Trump damage control.

Trump overrode security officials so Jared could hold press conferences that defy common sense. Mr. Kushner told the Time interviewer the Russians only ran a couple of Facebook ads during the 2016 campaign, and the ads didn’t interfere with the election. According to Kushner, the Mueller investigation did more damage to America’s democracy than Facebook ads. Jared said the Russian Facebook ads were bad, but Mueller’s two-year investigation did more harm to democracy.

Kushner wants to stay in the public eye while Prime Minister Netanyahu plans to annex the Golan Heights. The Prime Minister plans to name a town after Mr. Trump. Plus, Netanyahu loves Kushner Middle East plan, and so does his father-in-law. Kushner hasn’t talked to the Palestinians about his plan, according to the New York Times. But he does have backing from the Saudi Prince. Kushner and the Saudi prince are big buds.

According to Vox.com, the Mueller report claims Sarah Sanders lies when she holds press briefings. Sanders told Mueller she has occasional slip-of-the-tongue moments when reporters ask her pertinent questions. She lied about James Comey after Trump fired him. But she stood behind her lies about Comey when George Stephanopoulos interviewed her on his Sunday talk show. Sanders is proud of her vocal part in the Trump con job, according to the Washington Post.

The Trump con job didn’t last long on White House lawyer Don McGahn. McGahn spent more than 30 hours with Mueller’s investigators, and he let them know Trump wanted Mueller to go. The president asked McGahn to fire Mueller. But McGahn stopped Trump from obstructing justice when he refused to follow his orders.

Mr. Trump claims all his aides follow his orders. But Mueller was able to find several aides who don’t. And their testimony has Trump nervous. Trump claims he’ll pull rank with executive privilege in order to stop aides and McGahn from sitting in front of Congress.

Mr. Trump knows if they tell Congress about the White House chaos and the Trump lies his autocracy might be in jeopardy. But Congressman Jerry Nadler the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee told the press it’s too late for Trump to pull the executive privilege card to stop McGahn from testifying.

Federal Judge Rules Against Trump Abortion Rule

A federal judge in Oregon decided to block a decision by the Trump administration to withhold funding from clinics that perform abortions. The administration also wants to deny government funding to clinics that provide referrals to abortion providers as well as abortion counseling.

The new Title X rule from the Trump administration is scheduled to become effective in May. The law would stop all government funds that go to Planned Parenthood and clinics where abortions are performed. Planned Parenthood is a major target for the Trump administration due to the subsidies it provides for women who cannot afford abortions on their own. Planned Parenthood clinics offer other healthcare to women as well.

Critics of Title X say the law is simply an attempt by the president to pander to his base ahead of next year’s election. President Trump promised to defund Planned Parenthood while campaigning for office in 2016.

The lawsuit filed against Title X in Oregon named the plaintiffs as the American Medical Association and the Planned Parenthood Federation.

Michael McShane, United States District Judge, announced Tuesday he is issuing a temporary injunction against the restrictions the Trump Administration seeks to impose on Planned Parenthood and other clinics offering abortion services.

It is not clear when the ruling from McShane will be formalized or how much reach the ruling will possess.

The Justice Department stands in opposition to the injunction and made the request that the injunction only becomes applicable to case plaintiffs.

Congress approved $286 million in funding for Planned Parenthood and abortion clinics through Title X grants in 2017. The money approved by Congress is not to be used for abortions. However, critics say the money has provided subsidies for clinics like Planned Parenthood that perform the abortions.

Barbara McAneny, President of the American Medical Association, applauded Judge McShane for the stance he has taken. She says it is obvious the judge understands the issues and ‘got it right.’

Planned Parenthood Federation President, Leana Wen, praised the decision of McShane as a victory for both doctors and patients. Wen also reminded supporters that more work is ahead of them. She explains the current victory is temporary and the fight must continue.

Legal battles over the issue are looming in other states as well. Media reports state a Title X case pending in California is expected to garner national attention soon.

Read More: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/u-s-judge-washington-state-blocks-new-trump-abortion-rule-n998706

Supreme Court Decides To Rule On LGBTQ Workplace Discrimination Cases

On April 22, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States decided to hear three cases involving workplace discrimination against those in the LGBTQ community. At issue in these cases is whether or not laws that ban discrimination against a person’s sex also apply to those who are gay or transgender.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against their employees due to a number of factors. These include a persons sex, race, religion or national origin.

According to the interpretation of the law by the Obama Administration, Title VII’s protection of workers against discrimination based on sex also including barring discrimination against someone based on that person’s sexual orientation. Since the Trump Administration has come to power, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is interpreting Title VII to only apply to a person’s sex and not a person’s sexual orientation.

The Supreme Court will hear three cases concerning workplace discrimination of LGBTQ workers. The first case involves an instructor in New York who was fired. The second case involves the firing of a child welfare worker from the state of Georgia. The third case is somewhat different. The third case involves an employee who states that she was fired when she revealed to her employer that she was in the process of transitioning from a male to a female.

These cases will be watched closely by legal experts. Former Justice Anthony Kennedy was considered a more moderate voice on the Supreme Court on the issue of LGBTQ rights. His was the deciding vote which allowed gay marriage to become legal throughout the United States.

Now, Brett Kavanaugh is serving in Anthony Kennedy’s place. Mr. Kavanaugh is considered to be much more conservative than Mr. Kennedy. Legal observers believe that Justice Kavanaugh may join with the other four conservative members of the Supreme Court and rule that Title VII does not apply to those in the LGBTQ community.

Read More: http://time.com/5575299/supreme-court-lgbt-gay-job-discrimination/

New York’s Mandatory Vaccination Order Upheld

The United States is currently experiencing one of the worst outbreaks of measles cases in several years. Currently, there are 21 states with confirmed measles cases. There are 555 cases spread through 20 of the states. However, the state of New York has seen the most number of measles cases by far. 329 cases of measles have been confirmed in Brooklyn, and over 220 cases are confirmed in the rest of the state of New York.

CNBC reports due to the high number of measles cases, the city of New York mandated that all children would be required to have a measles vaccination unless a child was proven to have a legitimate medical reason to be exempt from vaccination. Those who failed to have a child vaccinated would face fines from the city.

Parents who did not want to have their children vaccinated filed suit claiming that the city was overreaching its authority. Those protesting against mandatory vaccination stated that they believed that quarantining affected individuals would do just as much good as mandatory vaccination. Health officials countered by stating that the measles virus is transmissible before a person shows any sign of having the infection.

This week Judge Lawrence Knipel ruled that New York did have the right to order mandatory vaccination. The judge ruled that the situation was a health emergency that the city had the right to act upon.

Almost every case of measles that has occurred in New York has been in non-vaccinated individuals. Most cases have occurred in Orthodox Jewish areas where vaccination rates are low.

In other areas of the country, cases are also occurring almost entirely in non-vaccinated people. Many parents are not giving the vaccine to their children due to the unscientific belief that vaccines are the cause of autism in children.

In order for a person to be protected from measles, two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine must be given. If a person contracts measles, there can be serious health effects even if the person survives the initial infection.

Border Crisis Gets Militant

As recently reported by CNN, the immigration situation at the southern border has the potential to turn violent quickly. Attorney General Hector Balderas issued a written statement that a fairly organized militia group has detained more than 100 immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. The militia group refers to itself as the United Constitutional Patriots and vows to fight against the entry of undocumented immigrants into the U.S. The group is not affiliated with any state, local or federal law enforcement organization and appears to be operating under the umbrella of vigilante justice.

An observer took a video of the recent incident in which the militia group members attempted to prevent immigrants seeking asylum in crossing the border. What is unusual about this incident is that it was actually caught on camera because these types of anti-immigrant militia groups usually operate under the radar. The members dress in military gear and often obstruct their face while carrying weapons. The video shows men ordering the immigrants to stop and sit down while they contact actual Border Control to come arrest the immigrants. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol has issued an official statement that they do not coordinate in any official capacity with the militant group, although members of the group do frequently contact Border Patrol to respond to situations involving detained immigrants.

The American Civil Liberties Union has spoken out against the United Constitutional Patriots and has argued that this group violates the constitutional rights of immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. They also contend that it is actually a crime for members of the United Constitutional Patriots to pose as Border Patrol agents and detain any immigrants without proper authority from federal law enforcement agencies. In addition, they have condemned U.S. Customs and Border Patrol for not taking a stronger stance against groups like the United Constitutional Patriots in preventing them from posing as law enforcement officials or obstructing access across the border for immigrants seeking asylum.

While no one appears to be hurt in the video posted online of the most recent incident involving members of the United Constitutional Patriots, civil rights activists are concerned that these types of situations have the potential to turn violent quickly. Even though the immigrants may not be armed, the members of the United Constitutional Patriots and other groups like them do not necessarily have the training or wherewithal to remain calm in tense situations.