Failing Mental Health in Alabama’s Prisons

Mental health services in the United States are not as readily available to all Americans as they should be. Low-income people with mental health issues are less likely to visit mental health treatment centers; similarly, people in rural areas are less likely to visit them, too.

It goes without saying, but incarcerated inmates in prison are incredibly underrepresented in both mental and physical health treatment. Most prisons do not allow a number of effective medications to help inmates live better, symptom-free lives, as they are at inflated risks for abuse. The state of Alabama’s prisons have recently been criticized for lacking proper mental health treatment services.

Prisons in the state of Alabama have been accused by a federal court for violating the Eighth Amendment, which states that “. . . cruel and unusual punishments [shall not be] inflicted.” The court case in reference, titled Braggs v. Dunn, composes 302 pages of evidence detailing the lack of sufficient mental health treatments.

Mr. Jefferson Dunn, the face of Alabama’s prisons, formally holding the title of Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections, agreed with plaintiffs that current mental health treatments are lacking. Suicide rates have risen increasingly in the past two calendar years, along with more cases of self-harm and mental health symptoms overall getting worse.

Room in Alabama prisons are also considered inadequate, with 23,328 prisoners housed in September 2016, compared to a maximum holding capacity of 13,318 prisoners. This equates to an approximate occupancy rate of 175%, grossly exceeding the allowable limit. Staffing is also not doing as well as required, with too few counseling staff being available to deal with every prisoner’s mental health issues. Alabama prisons don’t even have enough room to segregate those who have harmed themselves or threatened to do so, resulting in more self-harm incidents than necessary.

Prisoners who threaten self-harm or suicide have been placed in unsafe areas, resulting in more danger to prisoners than necessary. This fact combined with others mentioned herein have collectively contributed to the failing state of Alabama’s prison system.

In order to meet the needs of Alabama’s currently lacking prisons, about $25 million dollars must be expended towards the system to meet legally-mandated requirements, according to Alabama senator Cam Ward.

What you should know about Abortion Law in Northern Ireland

The court of appeal in Belfast, Northern Ireland has made the decision that abortion law should be determined by Stormont Assembly and not the courts. In a recent case, the high court ruled that there was a flaw in the current abortion laws in Northern Ireland. The country’s abortion laws breached the European Convention on Human rights, the court determined. In an explanation that followed, the high court explained that the law didn’t give direction on sexual crimes pregnancies as well as fatal foetal abnormality that would require abortion to save the life of the mother. However, the ruling was later challenged by Northern Ireland attorney general and the country’s justice department. Compared to other countries in the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland has much stricter laws concerning the issue of abortion.

The court of appeal decision was made by three judges who decided to overturn the lower court’s ruling. They instead found out that the current laws in Northern Ireland were not in line with UK’s Human Rights Act Obligations. Things didn’t end there as the Court mentioned that the case could be heard in the Supreme Court if legal submissions are made on time. In a layman’s language, the ruling determined that the issue of abortion should not be determined by courts or the local governments. Instead, the judges ruled that there are other issues that should be used in determining the case such as religious beliefs and complex moral issues.

After the ruling, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission criticized the decision saying that the court should have done better. To better understand the ruling, it’s good to know what the law says in Northern Ireland. For a woman to be allowed to abort, the pregnancy must be posing serious risks to her life. This could be physical health or mental health. Anyone caught to have breached this law is punished by life imprisonment.

This case had been presented to the court of appeal by the NI Human Rights Commission. The commission had introduced other grounds for abortion that were quashed by the court hence the disappointment. A woman known as Sarah Ewart revealed that she had to travel to England to take care of the fatal foetal abnormality. With this condition, her child would not have survived and yet, the law in Northern Ireland didn’t allow termination. She explicitly said that she had been devastated by the ruling and they would appeal.

Similarities and Differences Between Big Tobacco and Big Pharma’s Opioid Crisis

Opioid painkillers help many people afflicted with chronic pain live near-normal lives. Without opioids, many chronic pain sufferers may not be able to work, care for others, or even perform household chores like washing dishes or sweeping floors. Although prescription opioids have been available in the United States for over one hundred years, opioids have recently made a big splash in the world of litigation. Despite them just now getting deserved attention, poppy plants — the precursors to opioid painkillers and heroin alike — have been used by humans for centuries.

Drugs have been a staple of human history for many years, and are likely to continue being a part of most people’s lives. Coffee, tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, hard drugs, and prescription medications all fit the bill for the aforementioned drugs. In recent United States history, various drugs have caught flak for various reasons.

Alcohol was prohibited about a century ago, then made legal and regulated due to the crime and danger associated with bootleg alcohol. Tobacco makers were sued in the 1990s for pushing unarguably deadly tobacco products to consumers without appropriately representing their risks.

An industry-wide penalty was placed on the United States’ largest tobacco manufacturers in 1998, being forced to pay $250 billion throughout future years. Experts believe class-action lawsuits against opioid painkiller manufacturers, developers, and marketers may appear very soon. Although the tobacco market of the 1990s was much larger than the prescription opioid market of today in the United States, possibilities for suing are very real.

Some attorneys have pointed out glaring differences in the two addiction-forming scenarios. Tobacco companies sold their products directly to consumers, with any United States citizen over the age of 18 with valid identification being able to purchase, and use, tobacco. Prescription opioids, on the other hand, require healthcare professionals to prescribe them. Even opioids have been redirected from prescription holders into the hands of street drug users, effectively finding their ways into mouths, noses, and veins of millions of Americans, pharmaceutical companies are not directly to blame.

With the opioid crisis birthing countless detrimental outcomes by the day, turning many prescription opioid users into heroin addicts, litigation is certain to become actuality in the next few years. The outcome of lawsuits, however, is clearly up for debate.

Only coming years will determine the fate of opioid-producing pharmaceutical giants.

In Illinois, Judge Stops Tax on Sugary Drinks From Going Into Effect

Hours before it would go into effect, an Illinois judge stopped the completion of a Chicago legal effort that would tax drinks with high sugar content.

Citing that the lawsuit filed by vendors must first blow over, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Kubasiak temporarily paused the implementation of the sugary tax. It was meant to begin on Saturday. The lawsuit, which sellers submitted on Tuesday, calls the mandate “unconstitutionally vague” and contends that it will unfairly tax different beverages in different amounts.

Kubasiak said that he believed his choice will safeguard concerns for all sides.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle immediately made a statement that the county would try to undo this ruling and continue to pursue the tax.

The Cook County measure follows in the footsteps of sweetened drink tax laws already in place in Seattle, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. Pertaining to soda, sports beverages, and energy drinks, the bill was ratified by the county’s Board of Commissioners in November.

David Ruskin, the lawyer for the Illinois Retailer’s Association, argued that if the tax was implemented and then rescinded, consumers would have no way to get their money back. Ruskin also said that the repercussions would be severe for grocers who refused to adhere to the “unconstitutionally vague” tax.

While acknowledging that the law may be flawed, county lawyer Sisavanh Baker explained that without the tax, Cook County would be deprived of $17 million of potential monthly revenue. In Preckwinkle’s statement, she mentioned that she hoped to address the loss of income with personnel cutbacks, among other ways.

Ruskin also claims that the tax on sugared drinks would leave these businesses out from inclusion with the SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. This program assists low-income people in affording groceries.

However, the county’s attorney, James Beligrates, asserts that the lawsuit’s claim about SNAP is misleading because these businesses wouldn’t receive the tax on the SNAP goods.

The two sides will make their arguments at a hearing on July 12th.

Drug Laws Changing

One of the biggest political issues today involving the legal field is around drug laws in the United States. Many people feel like the drug laws in this country are too strict. Millions of people are in jail across the country for buying or selling drugs. However, there are other people who are able to do things much more damaging to society and get out earlier.

Over time, it is vital that this area is looked at by those in the legal field. However, the legal profession as a whole is faced with some big issues. Some states are starting to take matters into their own hands by legalizing certain types of drugs.

Legal Implications

For many states, one of the largest costs in operating their budget is the cost of housing inmates. Many people believe that with less strict drug laws, more money within the state could be devoted to things like education. However, there are other people who believe that this is a great source of spending for the state to keep drug dealers off of the streets.

In certain states, some drugs are only legal in specific situations. These states are seeing a major decrease in crime related to drug offenses and it is saving them money. It will be interesting to see if other people follow suit.

Legalizing Drugs?

There are many people who have concerns about legalizing drugs for a variety of reasons. Drugs have a lot of damaging properties in them. The people who are not in favor of drugs tend to think that people cannot make decisions for themselves. This is a debate that is going to continue in the years ahead across the country.

Unhealthy Lifestyles

One of the biggest issues for many people today is living a lifestyle that is not healthy. Over time, people need to realize that the choices they make are not healthy with the foods they eat. A huge percentage of the population is obese, and it takes immediate action to mitigate any risk in this area to your health.

This is why so many people think it is crazy that drugs are illegal. People are allowed to be overweight, but they are not allowed to do drugs that make them feel better. This is a debate that will not be settled for many years, and the legal profession has a lot of work to do with these changes.

Read More:

Law School Debt

One of the biggest issues facing students today is student loan debt. A lot of students are going into a career field that they believe will lead to high pay and great benefits. However, a lot of these industries are not growing at all. There are many people who are struggling financially because of this.

At one time, becoming a lawyer was one of the best things that any young person could do. However, a lot of people today are finding that the legal industry is saturated with people who have already graduated from law school. It is vital for students to understand these trends before they spend all of that time and money trying to get a job in this field.

Cost of School

Any additional degree program is going to cost a lot of money. The biggest problem with law school is that it is long and costs a lot of money. Just because a student graduates from law school, this does not mean that they will pass the BAR exam. Not only that, but passing the exam does not guarantee a job in the field.

Over time, students have to look at the cost versus the benefits of getting what they want. There are many people who are excited about the changes that are going on in the industry today, but these changes are not necessarily great for new graduates.

Student Loans

There are a lot of students who are graduating from law school with high levels of student loan debt. This becomes a major financial issue for them later on in life. Not only that, but many graduates end up joining a different field where the pay is not as high. For many graduates, they are stuck with student loan payments without having a high salary. This is not a good place to be in, especially when it comes to buying a home or raising a family.

Future Trends

In the coming years, many people are hoping that the overall cost of college will go down. However, few people actually think that this will be the case. Many students are tired of paying high fees just to get a law degree without having better job prospects.

There are many people who believe that the legal field is going to have a shortage of graduates in the years ahead. It will be interesting to see how the industry responds.

Texas Supreme Court’s Recent Ruling on Gay Marriage Benefits

Almost exactly two years ago, in late June 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage was legal and states with bans against gay marriage were acting unconstitutionally. Gay marriage is a hot-button topic in the United States; even though gay marriage is legal, many American citizens continue to argue against same-sex marriage.

Texas is known for having staunchly conservative stances towards many controversial issues. Although citizens of every state, including Texas, are not exclusively against or in support of gay marriage, the Texas Supreme Court has taken a stance against gay marriage.

Married couples in the United States are recipients of several benefits, including saving taxes through joint returns, being exempt from gift and estate taxes for belongings left to spouses, spousal Social Security benefits, among many others. Texas’ Supreme Court recently ruled that couples in same-sex marriages are not privileged to benefits provided for marriage through the United States government.

The 2015 United States Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriages was legally known as Obergefell v. Hodges. Although this case did make it legal for gay and lesbian couples to legally tie the knot, spousal benefits such as Social Security payments to significant others were not taken care of. Because the 2015 Supreme Court ruling did not touch on spousal benefits, the Supreme Court of the state of Texas found that spousal benefits were not due to same-sex married couples.

Same-sex marriage controversy in Texas dates back four years ago to 2013. Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker granted spousal benefits to a same-sex couple, in which the city they lived in approved of same-sex marriage. Mayor Parker was sued by Texas state Republicans and two Houston citizens, reversing the decision of granting them benefits as a married couple.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and social group Texas Values broke news as publicly supporting the court’s recent decision, whereas LGBT groups in Texas have publicly opposed the decision. LGBT legal support group Lambda Legal stated they plan to appeal the oppositional ruling made June 30th, 2017, in Texas’ Supreme Court up to the level of United States Supreme Court. However, because the Supreme Court hears only a tiny fraction of cases forwarded to their jurisdiction, the recent ruling is likely to go unchanged.

Finding a Lawyer

There are a lot of people today who need legal advice. With all of the changes going on in the industry, it is hard for people to keep up in some cases. One of the biggest changes that is happening is the move to online legal advice. Every industry is changing with the new options that are available online. This is especially true in the legal world. Here are some of the ways that legal advice online can impact the industry in the future.

Cheaper Services

One of the reasons that legal advice is so expensive is that there are few options in many areas. If you want to get legal advice, you generally have one or two places to go in small towns. With more competition online, the legal service teams will have to lower their prices in order to compete.

Overall, this is a good thing for the industry. Far too many people have to spend thousands of dollars for simple legal advice. This is hurting a lot of families who need quality legal advice at an affordable price.

Better Service

Another great thing about offering legal services online is that the customer service will be better. Instead of having to wait for someone to get back with you over a couple of days, you can generally get legal advice almost instantly. A lot of people are excited about all of the potential changes that are going to happen because of this shift.

If you are stuck in a legal issue, it is nice to be able to go online and find a lawyer who fits within your budget and timeline. Not only that, but you can read online reviews before you go out and decide who you want to hire.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of people who do not like to deal with lawyers. With all of the changes that are starting to take place in the industry, now is the time to understand how these changes will impact you. Many people are excited about the future of the industry. In the coming years, many experts believe that more innovation is needed in order to keep the industry moving forward. For consumers, all of these changes either mean more options or less expensive services. This is great for an industry that has a lot of negative connotation from many people.

Legal Issues affecting the State of Texas

Donald Trump is making headlines again after appointing dozens of people to fill vacant positions in the federal government. Most of the positions are legal ones especially the appointees of circuit courts. He has also appointed ambassadors from Singapore to Alabama. However, he has singled out Texas as none of the vacant legal positions have been filled in the State. In the State of Texas alone, there are vacant positions such as two slots for the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, 11 district judgeships as well as four district attorney seats. By this date eight years ago when Barrack Obama was the president, most of these legal vacant positions had already been filled. In fact, statistics show that Donald Trump has done half of the work that Obama had completed by this time. As for appointing the U.S. attorneys, this is usually a slow process. While Trump made his first appointment on 12th June, Barack Obama made his nominations on 15th May. As for George. W. Bush, he made these appointments on 1st August.

Like earlier mentioned, the number of vacant positions in Texas are noticeable. In fact, the state of Texas is known for having the largest numbers of U.S. attorney districts in the United States. A recent report detailed that the Southern District of Texas is one of the busiest districts in the United States. For instance, in a case of 52 judicial emergencies, nine of them were filed in the state of Texas alone. However, there is a vacancy in this state that has been unoccupied since the year 2011. Legal experts feel that the president should do something to fill these vacancies as they are slowing the process down. Also, some experts feel that given the size of Texas and its legal problems, this is a serious issue. It’s also important to remember that most of Trump supporters are from this state.

This has made critics say that Trump is not interested in implementing the things that he promised during the campaign. Instead, he is seen to use them as a way to gain political relevance. It’s important to note that all U.S. attorneys happen to be political appointees with the presidential input. They have to pass through a vetting process that is usually carried out by the U.S. Senate. There are legal issues in Texas such as drug trafficking, immigration as well as border security. This explains the importance of these appointments.


The Supreme Court Reinstates the Travel Ban

President Donald Trump promised the Americans that they would work together to make America great again. True to his words, he tried to implement some promises but he was set back by some court rulings. However, the president and his followers have something to smile about as the Supreme Court on Monday decided to overturn the rulings of the other courts. The president had imposed a travelling ban that affected nationals from six Muslim countries. Donald Trump defended his actions as aligning to national security but his opponents went to court terming this as discriminatory. The executive order had been issued on 6th March this year.

The order was reinstated on the last day of the current term as the judges are going for the summer vacation. However, they revealed that they would look into the issue thoroughly once they are back in August. This will be seen as a test for the presidential powers especially if the ban will be thrown out. Following the Supreme Court ruling, Donald Trump said that this is a win for the national security. He also emphasized that the ruling by the Supreme Court would also help the ban become effective than before. Trump continued to explain that it’s his responsibility as the president of the United States to keep away people who want to harm the nation. He also emphasized his love for people who have good intentions for the nation and its citizens. He also mentioned that the country was interested in hard working people.

These orders affect people from Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and Syria meaning that they cannot be allowed into the country. The ban also implements a 120 days ban on refugees entering the United States. This ban was issued after an attack on major cities across the globe such as Berlin, Brussels, London and Paris where citizens of these nations were linked to these attacks. However, the court was challenged the federal courts. The courts ruled that the ban violated federal immigration laws. Federal courts also ruled that the ban was discriminating the Muslim people.

The Supreme Court on its part upheld the ban stating that any person from these six countries seeking to enter the United States should have a direct relative. If they don’t match these requirements, they will be prevented from entering the nation. The ban had been challenged by the Hawaii Attorney General. His name is Douglas Chin and has left his position since then.

Grand Jury Indicts Chicago Policy Officers in Laquan McDonald Case

The shooting of Laquan McDonald captured headlines when it was caught on tape. A grand jury is now indicting three Chicago policy officers. Felony charges are being brought against the three officers who are alleged to have engaged in a cover-up after the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald in October of 2014.

Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was the shooter highlighted in the video. Van Dyke is seen shooting the 17-year-old Laquan McDonald over a dozen times in a video that drew national attention and outrage. It wasn’t for another year after the shooting, however, that a court demanded the infamous dashcam video by unveiled to the public.

Officer Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder in the wake of the on-tape fatal shooting of the young Chicago teenager. The public and legal authorities were nonetheless troubled when the Chicago Police Department seemed to tell a radically different version of events than what the video apparently showed.

The very recent Cook County grand jury indictment alleges that three officers on the scene of the fatal shooting that October night in 2014 actively concealed evidence and misdirected attention in the subsequent police report on the fatal shooting. The grand jury’s indictment picked these three officers because they supposedly went far beyond simply subscribing to the code of silence that prevails among some police departments in the aftermath of a complicated case.

Police officers David March, Thomas Gaffney, and Joseph Walsh is each alleged to have misdirecting evidence and thwarting an independent criminal investigation from taking place. The grand jury asserts that the three officers knew that public scrutiny of the dashcam video would be problematic for the Chicago Police Department. The three officers are further being accused of conspiring with each other and preventing other law enforcement authorities from taking a hard look at the evidence for and against Officer Van Dyke’s conduct.

The three police officers indicted by the grand jury are being hit with three felony counts. Two have already been alluded to – conspiracy and obstruction of justice. The third charge is for official misconduct and indicts the officers for willfully obfuscating the evidence. In the meantime, the three officers are not being held in custody. That said, each is expected to appear at an arraignment in about two weeks.

Two of the three indicted Chicago police officers are no longer hired by the Chicago Police Department.

Changing The U.S. Tax Code Is A Challenge For Lawmakers

One of Donald Trump’s campaign promises was to throw out the old tax system and replace it with a simpler system that reduces individual and corporate tax payments. But revamping a tax code that is out of control and totally confusing is not a simple task. The Republican effort to overhaul the tax system has hit a wall in the House of Representatives, and the wall is full of spending cut battles and infighting.
The House Budget Committee is not sending a budget resolution to the floor because conservation Republicans are adding billions of dollars in spending cuts to the basic blueprint of the budget. Trump needs House and Senate approval of a budget, so Republicans can avoid Democratic opposition in the Senate. But the proposed spending cuts on food stamps and Medicaid are not helping matters, and a stalemate could be “the political blue plate special of the day.” A stalemate means no movement on tax reform.

The fly in the political ointment seems to be gaining strength, according to Washington insiders who say “no budget, no tax reform.” The conservation House Freedom Caucus wants to cut $400 billion from programs that help the poor. And the chairman of that committee wants another $295 billion in spending cuts. There is a Republican agreement in place that will top spending levels for defense and nondefense programs, but other spending cuts are necessary so the national deficit doesn’t increase when a new tax system becomes a reality.

But cutting programs for the poor to fund tax breaks for the wealthy and big corporations is not the answer, according to many Democrats. And the initial Trump plan to cut tax rates from seven to three would not help average Americans if some of the itemized deductions go away. And there is talk of a reduction in itemized deductions, especially interest deductions.

There are House and Senate members who want a consumer-driven tax system or a consumption tax. A consumption system would eliminate all the complex paperwork and most of the daily functions of the IRS. But a consumption tax system is not in the cards on Capitol Hill this year. And if the infighting continues in Congress, any new tax system is out of the question. But one way or another Trump will get a new tax code. But just putting any tax code in place may not help solve the long-term tax system debacle.

Two Attorneys General Sue President Trump

Two attorney generals have decided to sue President Trump for violating the Constitution’s emoluments clause. The emoluments clause was put into the Constitution by the founding fathers to prohibit representatives of the federal government from granting titles of nobility or receiving gifts and emoluments in exchange for preferential treatment.

The aim behind the clause tucked into section nine of the U.S. Constitution is to prevent foreign powers from exercising undue influence on the national interests of the United States and its people. Founding fathers like Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton positioned their opposition to attempts at foreign gifts and bribery in history. Both England and France in the late 19th century had fallen victim to corruption from foreign governments, and the founding fathers didn’t want to see that happen to the United States.

Bringing things back to today’s politics, District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh suspect that President Trump may be unconstitutionally profiting from his time in office. Both attorneys general sued the president earlier this month for violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution and failing to divest himself fully from his family-operated business.

Technically, the two attorneys general are suing for President Trump’s alleged violation of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clause. (An emolument is an antiquated term for a profit or a fee that one collects while serving in office.) In the language of the original emoluments clause, a sitting president must have the expressed consent of Congress before taking any kind of inducement or gift from a foreign power.

Attorney General Racine opined that President Trump has rode roughshod of the anti-corruption laws included in the U.S. Constitution. Both attorneys general suing the president are doing so partly to show that nobody is above the law. Each also believes that the state’s attorneys general have a binding duty to ensure that there are safeguards along the way to thwart federal politicians from bending the rules for material advantage.

Both Attorney General Racine and Attorney General Frosh have sought an injunction to prevent President Trump from continuing to violate the emoluments clause of the Constitution. Many from around the country forcefully assert that the president’s duty is foremost to the American people; personal economic advantage should not enter into the picture. Attorney General Frosh concedes that he is spearheading the lawsuit partly to prevent this behavior from becoming more normalized.

Republicans Postpone Senate Vote on Healthcare

Republicans in the Senate have decided to postpone a vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. The bill is the next chapter in an attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act ushered in to existence by democrats under President Obama. The newer Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 shepherded by Senate Republicans is the follow-up to the House of Representative’s American Health Care Act of 2017 passed under the stewardship of Congressman Paul Ryan.

Democratic senators have been vehement in their opposition to the Senate’s healthcare reform proposition, but it wasn’t until Republican senators like Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Rand Paul began voicing their misgivings that Republican leadership understood the extend of opposition to the proposal. On Tuesday, June 27th the Republican-controlled Senate lead by majority leader Mitch McConnell decided to postpone a vote on healthcare reform under after the July 4th recess.

Sources claim that Republicans were backed in to forcing a postponement of a vote on healthcare due to opposition within the Republican party. An additional inducement to postpone came from President Trump, who called Republicans to the White House in order to reconcile the divisions among their own ranks. The trouble is that Republicans have only a slim majority in the U.S. Senate – as opposed to the House of Representatives where Republicans enjoy a more robust majority – and any Republican opposition among Republican senators could greatly complicated speedy passage of H.R. 1628, or the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.

Senator McConnell claimed that postponing the vote until after the July 4th recess was informed by a desire to make other senators feel comfortable with the bill and its implications. Opponents across the aisle claim that Senator Mitch McConnell didn’t have the necessary votes to see the bill’s passage this week and decided to take his chances until after the July 4th recess. Democratic senators, in fact, are unanimous in their opposition to the Senate’s healthcare overhaul.

Another factor that swayed the debate in democrat’s favor was the fact that the Congressional Budget Office recently reported that the Senate’s healthcare overhaul would leave over 20 million Americans without insurance over the next ten years. The new Senate bill would, however, chisel over $300 billion from the federal budget over that time frame, which is music to the ears of conservative politicians concerned about the federal deficit. Senators return July 10th.

Trump’s Attorney General May Go After Medical Pot Providers

Jeff Sessions, the former Alabama senator, and the current Attorney General of the United States is shaking the political trees and what is falling from those trees isn’t pretty. Sessions is a hard-nosed politician with extremely conservative views when it comes to criminal activity and the legalization of marijuana.

Session’s performance in front of Congress recently wasn’t as forthright as some lawmakers wanted it to be. But his performance did show a man who is not afraid to protect himself, and his reputation, at all costs. Some Washington insiders say Sessions is pushing hard to seek the maximum penalty in all criminal cases and to battle legalizing cannabis in order to protect his reputation as a narrow-minded lawmaker with antiquated beliefs.

The new attorney general sent a letter to Congress recently. Sessions wants the lawmakers to help him override state marijuana laws. Members of Congress could do that by not renewing the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which stops the Justice Department from interfering with state medical marijuana decisions. Sessions believes marijuana is the primary cause of the current drug epidemic in the United States. But the facts show opioid addiction, not marijuana use, is the catalyst for the drug epidemic. According to a Washington Post article, there are fewer cases of opioid addiction and abuse in states where marijuana use is legal.

And Jeff Sessions didn’t stop shaking the trees when he stopped federal prosecutors from using their discretion in fitting the punishment to the crime. Sessions wants the maximum penalty possible in all criminal cases. Sessions wants to stop the recent crime surge in America. But statistics show between 2004 and 2014 crime fell in spite of the fact that prosecutors were treating crime with a sense of understanding.

The truth is, the minimum sentencing procedures put in place by former Attorney General Eric Holder, did not jeopardize the American public. In fact, for the first time in four decades’ crime fell. The severely over-populated prisons in the U.S. were less crowded between 2013 and 2016 because low-level drug offenders did not serve long prison terms.

But Jeff Sessions is on a mission to increase the prison population problem. U.S. attorneys must throw the book at all defendants even though some prosecutors think that is a bad idea. Throwing the book at low-level criminals is an attack on American taxpayers, according to the Washington Post and other news agencies.