Judge Strikes Down Welfare Drug Testing in Florida

A Florida Republican law requiring all Welfare recipients to pass drug testing has been put on hold by a Federal Court. The law is unconstitutional, due to the fact that it violates personal protections against the government invading a citizen’s privacy without reasonable evidence of wrongdoing. Statistically, Republican legislators in the state are more likely to use drugs than welfare recipients.

So… In view of the legislators ability to royally screw everything up for everyone…

Why don’t they pass a law that all elected officials in the state are regularly tested?

Federal judge temporarily bars Florida’s welfare drug-test law

A federal judge has temporarily blocked a controversial Florida law requiring all welfare applicants to be drug-tested.

U.S. District Court Judge Mary Scriven issued a temporary injunction Monday evening against enforcement of the law’s “suspicionless drug testing” of adults seeking federal welfare.

The law went into effect July 1, but a single father and the American Civil Liberties Union contend in a lawsuit that the new law is unconstitutional and violates Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

“Perhaps no greater public interest exists than protecting a citizen’s rights under the Constitution,” the judge wrote, quoting a 1997 Hawaii case.

Under the law, the Florida Department of Children and Family Services requires the drug tests of adults applying to the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. The aid recipients are responsible for the cost of the screening, which they recoup in their assistance if they qualify.

Those who fail the required drug testing may designate another individual to receive the benefits on behalf of their children, but they do not receive a refund for cost of the test.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has championed the law, saying it provides “personal accountability.” He added it was “unfair for Florida taxpayers to subsidize drug addiction.”

Florida is not the first state to pass such legislation. Michigan passed a similar law that was found to be unconstitutional by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2003 for violating the Fourth Amendment…

The GOP-controlled legislature passed the bill, and Scott signed it into law in May 2011.

“The governor obviously disagrees with the decision and he will evaluate his options regarding when to appeal,” said his deputy press secretary Jackie Schutz.

Since campaigning for governor, Scott has said that the drug-testing of welfare recipients “will help to prevent misuse of Florida tax dollars” and make sure the money goes to the children.

“Research shows higher drug use among individuals receiving government assistance, and drug abuse also forces children into welfare assistance,” Scott said while signing the bill into law.

The ACLU said the state’s own study found that of the 2,000 people who took the state drug test, only a small percentage tested positive.

“It shows that a little bit more than 2% of the welfare applicants tested positive for drugs where it’s about 8½% in the general public,” said Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida.

Black Cherokee Become Cherokee Again

Richard Pryor in Bingo Long

There was a  movie comedy some years ago (Bingo Long) about the Negro Baseball League. One of the characters was played by Richard Pryor, who showed up one day as a “Cuban”, and when that didn’t work,  in full “Native American” regalia as “Chief Takahoma”, declaring himself to be Native American, and thus eligible to play in the then segregated Major League Baseball…

Upon hearing that Jackie Robinson had been hired into the Majors, Pryor’s character laments something to the extent of  “Dang, now they are hiring black people, and I just became an Indian!”

Seems a bit like this situation.

I guess its because, as for the Cherokee…

I’m not sure there is any “Indian” left in those supposed “Native Americans” – begging the question as to their continued recognition as a tribe by the US in the first place.

Black Cherokees regain tribal citizenship

Black Cherokees in Kansas City were ecstatic Tuesday after learning that the tribal citizenship they’d been fighting years for has been restored.

Their citizenship is regained through an agreement made in federal court between the Cherokee Nation and black Cherokees known as freedmen, an attorney said Tuesday.

“This is not temporary, where the Cherokee Nation gives freedmen citizenship until after the election and then tries to change it,” said Jon Velie, who was in court Tuesday on behalf of the freedmen.

The agreement came during a hearing in federal court in Washington. The parties have until this morning to submit a written agreement to the judge.

The agreement gives 2,800 freedmen all the benefits available to the Cherokee tribe, including tribal voting rights. And it extends the voting period for the upcoming election for principal chief to Oct. 8. Before Tuesday, that election was to take place this week.

“We have been vindicated,” said Willadine Johnson, whose ancestors, like other freedmen, were held as slaves by Cherokees. After the Civil War, Cherokees signed a treaty freeing its slaves and granting them full Cherokee citizenship.

“This is the way it always should have been,” Johnson said. “You can’t take my citizenship from me.”

In 2007 the nation stripped freedmen of their citizenship and suffrage rights, saying bloodline determined citizenship.

 

 

 

Michigan Segregation/Apartheid Law Overturned (Temporarily)

Not to worry conservative folks – the fix is in on this one with the 5 Thugs in Robes of the (formerly) Supreme Court – now known as the “Cash and Carry”. The re-Segregation of America will proceed on schedule!

Appeals court panel strikes down Michigan’s affirmative action ban

Affirmative action is back on the menu in Michigan, but for how long is anyone’s guess.

On Friday, a federal appeals court struck down Proposal 2, the 2006 Michigan constitutional amendment that banned affirmative action in college admissions, employment and contracting.

“It’s a tremendous victory,” Detroit attorney George Washington said after a U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled in a 2-1 decision that Proposal 2 was unconstitutional.

He represents a coalition that sued the governing boards of Michigan’s three largest universities — the University of Michigan and Michigan State and Wayne State universities — to overturn the proposal.

Not so fast, countered state Attorney General Bill Schuette, who said he plans to ask the entire U.S. 6th Circuit to reconsider the ruling. In the meantime, Proposal 2 will remain the law, Schuette said.

Proposal 2 — which Michigan voters approved 58%-42% — “embodies the fundamental premise of what America is all about: equal opportunity under the law. … Entrance to our great universities must be based upon merit, and I will continue the fight for equality, fairness and rule of law,” Schuette said.

The ballot proposal was prompted by a long legal fight brought by three white students who claimed to have been denied admission because of racial preferences in U-M admissions. The Supreme Court ruled narrowly in favor of the universities in 2003.

Legal experts said a final decision by the 6th Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court, if the case gets that far, could go either way…

The appeals court said Proposal 2, which state voters approved 58%-42%, is unconstitutional because it restructured Michigan’s political process in a way that placed special burdens on minorities that deprived them of equal protection under the law. White people overwhelmingly voted for the proposal, polls showed, while black people overwhelmingly opposed it.

“The majority may not manipulate the channels of change in a manner that places unique burdens on issues of importance to racial minorities,” Judge R. Guy Cole Jr. wrote in an opinion joined by Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey. Judge Julia Smith Gibbons dissented, saying Michigan voters didn’t restructure the political process by amending the constitution, “they have merely employed it.”…

Clarence Thomas Financial Flim-Flam… A Felony

If The Legal System in the US Isn't Corrupt... This is What Should Be In Thomas' Future

This (below) from a Legal Blog. Turns out there are other people currently under indictment who did the exact same thing as Thomas did in not reporting his wife’s income.

Why should Thomas be the beneficiary of “Special Justice”? One of the cornerstones of the Justice system is that the Judges obey the laws that they are trying and sentencing people for. If a Judge walked into a bank with a gun and held it up, I think most people would recognize the problem with the impartiality of the  same Judge sitting on a case trying bank robbers. That is exactly the problem Thomas’ misconduct presents.

Back when Hoover was in charge of the early FBI, one of the rules he established was that the behavior and conduct of his FBI Agents had to be beyond reproach. Urban Legend has it he refused to hire FBI Agents with so much as Parking Tickets – because that showed a disregard for the law.

I think it is time that the Justice Department indict Mr. Thomas, for what is clearly a crime – and for Mr. Thomas to step down from the Court.

Clarence Thomas Is Trying To Get Away With A Felony

News reports on the Thomas case generally have referenced 5 U.S. Code app. section 104, which calls for a misdemeanor punishment of up to $50,000 and one year imprisonment, or both, for each violation. Given that Thomas apparently violated the statute for roughly 20 years, he could wind up with a substantial penalty under that law.

But the punishment becomes much more severe under 18 U.S.C. 1001, which also appears to apply in the Thomas case. It is a felony statute carrying at least five years in prison, and a former official with the U.S. House of Representatives currently is under indictment for actions that almost mirror those in the Thomas case. Reports POE:

While 5 USC app section 104 makes this conduct a misdemeanor punishable for up to a year in prison, 18 USC section 1001 is a felony statute carrying at least five years in prison. In fact, Fraser Verrusio, former Policy Director for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, is awaiting trial under section 1001 for not reporting income on his “United States House of Representatives Financial Disclosure Statement for Calendar Year 2003.”

You can read more about the charges against Fraser Verrusio at the link below. It appears that he was given no opportunity to amend his filings:

Indictment in U.S. v. Fraser C. Verrusio

Verrusio once worked for U.S. Rep. Don Young (R-AK), and the casehas received extensive coverage in the Alaska press. The prosecution reportedly grew out of the Jack Abramoff affair.

The U.S. Supreme Court, the very court upon which Thomas now sits, has a history of treating such violations as felonies. Reports POE:

Moreover, in UNITED STATES v. WOODWARD, 469 U.S. 105 (1985), in a case decided by the Supreme Court, the defendant, after checking the “no” box on a U.S. Customs form, was punished for both the false statement (18 USC section 1001) violation and the misdemeanor charge of failing to report the currency itself — all as a result of checking the “no” box.

You can check out the Woodward case at the following link:

U.S. v. Woodward, 469 U.S. 105 (1985)

As we reported in a recent post, domestic icon Martha Stewart and sports stars Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, and Marion Jones are among those who have run afoul of 18 U.S.C. 1001. Stewart and Jones already have served prison terms, while the Clemens and Bonds cases are pending.

Appeals Court Declares Rahm Emanuel Ineligible for Mayor

Let me get this straight…By serving his country he is no longer a “resident”?

Wouldn’t that apply to every single Congressman and Senator…As well as Armed Services Member serving overseas?

This one stinks!

Appeals court orders Rahm Emanuel off Chicago ballot

An appeals court has ordered former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel off the ballot for mayor of Chicago, saying he does not meet the residency requirement for candidates.

Attorney Burt Odelson, who represents clients challenging Emanuel’s residency, told the Associated Press about the 2-1 ruling from the Illinois appeals court.

Odelson’s clients say Emanuel is not eligible because he spent much of the past two years living in Washington as President Obama’s top aide.

Kevin Forde, Emanuel’s lawyer, told the Chicago Sun-Timesthat the 2-1 ruling is “a surprise.”

Michael Dorf, an Illinois election lawyer not involved in the case, said the dispute is “absolutely headed for the state Supreme Court.”

Dorf told USA TODAY’s Judy Keen that he listened to the appellate court arguments last week and “thought Emanuel’s side had the better piece of it.”

“Common sense clearly works in Emanuel’s favor,” Dorf said.

The ruling can be read here.

Emanuel, a hard-charging congressman before Obama tapped him for White Hosue duty, is leading polls conducted by theChicago Tribune and various unions for the mayor’s job. Emanuel, a former top fundraiser and aide to President Bill Clinton, also leads in fundraising with $11.7 million in receipts.

The election is on Feb. 22 and the winner will succeed Richard M. Daley, the city’s longest-serving mayor.

Earlier this month, an Illinois judge upheld the ruling of a Chicago elections board that Emanuel meets the residency requirement. The legal challenge arose because Emanuel rented out his Chicago house while serving as White House chief of staff.

 

 

 

France Convicts Continental Airlines of Homicide

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any stranger – a French Judge has convicted Continental Airlines of involuntary homicide for a piece of metal falling off one of their airplanes which is believed to contributed to the Air France Concorde crash in 2000. I am not terribly sure how the French Court could assign blame here – much less a criminal penalty.

The only thing I can see Continental guilty of, in my experience… Is losing bags.

France Finds Continental Guilty in Crash of Concorde

A French judge ruled on Monday that Continental Airlines and one of its mechanics were guilty of involuntary homicide for their role in the 2000 crash of an Air France Concorde jet that killed 113 people.

Judge Dominique Andréassier of the court in Pontoise, northwest of Paris, ordered the American carrier to pay a fine of $265,000 and civil damages of more than $1.3 million to Air France. John Taylor, 42, the mechanic, was fined $2,650 and given a suspended 15-month prison sentence.

Henri Perrier, 81, considered the “father” of the iconic supersonic jet and an executive of Aérospatiale, the company that built the Concorde, and two other French officials, Jacques Hérubel, and Claude Frantzen, formerly of the French airline regulator who certified the plane’s airworthiness, were acquitted.

A 2002 report by French air accident investigators concluded that a small strip of metal had fallen off a Continental DC-10 that took off minutes earlier and that the piece punctured a tire of the Concorde as it accelerated down the runway on July 25, 2000. The tire disintegrated in seconds, investigators said, sending shards of rubber into the fuel tanks and causing a catastrophic fire. All 109 passengers and crew members were killed, along with 4 people on the ground.

Olivier Metzner, the French lawyer for Continental in the case, vigorously challenged the investigators’ findings in court, however, and presented a starkly different scenario. Mr. Metzner argued that the investigators disregarded accounts of the accident from more than 20 witnesses who said the plane appeared to have caught fire at a point on the runway several yards before it reached the metal strip.

Continental said it would appeal the “absurd” ruling, which took more than a decade to work its way through the French courts. “To find that any crime was committed in this tragic accident is not supported either by the evidence at trial or by aviation authorities and experts around the world,” Nick Britton, a Continental spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement.

 

 

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