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Tag Archives: Unconstitutional

Yet Another Chumph Travel Ban Bites the Dust

Falling faster than the criminals he appoints…

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Federal Judge In Hawaii Blocks Trump’s Third Attempt At Travel Ban

A federal judge in Hawaii has partially blocked President Trump’s third attempt to restrict entry into the U.S. for citizens of certain countries.

The newest version of the “travel ban” was due to go into effect on Wednesday. Like two previous executive orders, it was challenged in multiple courts. The new ruling by Judge Derrick Watson is only one piece of the complicated legal puzzle over the long-term fate of the president’s efforts to limit travel to the U.S.

In his ruling, Watson wrote that the third version of the ban, like those before it, “lacks sufficient findings that the entry of more than 150 million nationals from six specified countries would be ‘detrimental to the interests of the United States,’ “evidence that he says would be necessary for the ban to be enforceable.

As a result, he issued a temporary restraining order that will keep the ban from being enforced for six of the eight named countries — the six majority-Muslim nations. North Korea and Venezuela, which were added in the most recent version of the ban, are not affected by the ruling, and the restrictions on travel from those countries can go into effect.

The ruling in Hawaii v. Trump is the latest in the legal tug of war over Trump’s attempt to impose a ban on travelers from predominantly Muslim nations.

And it’s far from the end of the story. Another federal court is also expected to rule on the third version of the ban, and appeals are all but certain.

The original ban, signed by the president in the first week of his term, targeted seven countries — Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan — for 90 days. Syrian refugees were banned indefinitely. The ban also was imposed on lawful permanent residents, commonly known as green card holders, and travelers who had valid visas issued before the ban was to be implemented. That action met with immediate resistance as protestors flooded airports in major cities in support of travelers from those countries. Legal challenges to this first ban were successful as a federal district court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked it.

In early March, Trump signed a new executive order. As NPR’s Joel Rose reported, “There are some key differences between Trump’s original order and this one. It only applies to people from six majority Muslim countries. Iraq has been dropped from the list. Lawful permanent residents or green card holders are explicitly exempt. So are travelers who already have valid visas. And refugees from Syria are no longer banned indefinitely, though the U.S. refugee program is still suspended for 120 days and the number of refugees admitted this year cut by more than half.

Watson, the judge in Hawaii, blocked that second travel ban too, saying that it was unconstitutional because it disfavored a particular religion. A court in Maryland came to the same conclusion. The parallel rulings were upheld by appellate courts.

That set the stage for the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene. In late June, the justices allowed Trump’s travel ban to take partial effect, but it allowed people with “close familial relationships” with someone in the U.S. to enter the country.

The debate then turned on what familial relationships would be considered valid. The administration interpreted that decision as favoring only certain family members such as parents, spouses, children, adult sons or daughters, sons- and daughters-in-laws, siblings, and fiances.

Left out were grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins of people currently living in the United States.

In September, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the government couldn’t bar entry to grandparents and other extended family members. However, the Supreme Court did allow the administration to ban refugees even if they had formal ties to U.S. resettlement agencies.

Then, late last month, the president amended the travel ban, as NPR’s Brian Naylor reported:

“The latest version of the travel ban — version 3.0, if you will — limits travel from Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia and Yemen. The nations of Chad, North Korea and Venezuela have been added. And Sudan, which was part of the original ban, has been dropped.

“The new rules take effect October 18. And unlike previous versions, the new ban is not temporary. It will remain in place until the affected nations comply with stringent requirements for vetting their citizens before they can receive visas to enter the U.S.”

That’s the version of the ban has now been blocked from going into effect, nationwide — at least for now.

However, the state of Hawaii did not challenge the ban as it applies to North Koreans or Venezuelans. Therefore, the judge’s restraining order does not apply to those portions of the ban, which can be enforced starting tomorrow.

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Leading Constitutional Scholar – Impeach the Chumph!

Yup…The boy done stirred up a real shitstorm, with hi illicit, and unconstitutional actions.

Time to move him out of here.

 

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An “Oldie but Goodie” from the Nixon firing of Archibald Cox who was investigating Watergate.

 

Harvard Constitutional Scholar Calls For Trump Impeachment Probe

The “authoritarian” president “interfered with an investigation involving national security,” writes Laurence Tribe.

A top Harvard constitutional law professor is calling for an impeachment investigation into Donald Trump for obstruction of justice, branding the president’s firing of FBI Director James Comey as an “obvious effort to interfere with a probe involving national security.”

To “wait for the results of the multiple investigations underway is to risk tying our nation’s fate to the whims of an authoritarian leader,” Professor Laurence Tribe wrote in an opinion piece in The Washington Post on Saturday. Tribe added that Trump’s conduct “strongly suggests that he poses a danger to our system of government.”

After Comey’s firing last week, Tribe joined the legal advisory board of Impeach Trump Now, a campaign pushing for an impeachment probe into the president.

“It is now up to Congress to save the Constitution by initiating impeachment proceedings,” Tribe said in a statement Friday when he joined the board. “Trump can’t say ‘You’re fired’ to the House of Representatives.”

Tribe wrote in the Post that “ample reasons existed to worry about this president, and to ponder the extraordinary remedy of impeachment even before the Comey firing.” He cited Trump’s apparent “brazen defiance” of the foreign emoluments clause of the Constitution, which bars a president from receiving foreign funds.

But Tribe is particularly troubled by Comey’s firing and its aftermath. After the ouster last week, Trump appeared to encourage Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy Rod Rosenstein to provide cover for a decision Trump conceded he had already made and scrambled to work out some consistent “story” for Comey’s firing.

Tribe said Trump’s actions in firing Comey were “vastly more serious” than the “third-rate burglary” that Richard Nixon tried to cover up in Watergate. On Friday, journalist James Fallows wrote in the Atlantic that Trump’s scandal “looks worse than Watergate.”

“The crucial thing is that the prospect [of impeachment] now be taken seriously, that the machinery of removal be reactivated, and that the need to use it become the focus of political discourse going into 2018,” Tribe concluded.

 

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ANOTHER Chumph Smackdown! Federal Judge Rules Executive Order Unconstitutional

I can imagine the Chumph can’t wait to get his stooges on the benches across America so he can twist and destroy the Constitution…

But right now he is stuck with those that are in place.

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On the Chumph “Executive Order” on Sanctuary Cities, withdrawing all Federal funding...

“Although the Government’s new interpretation of the Order  is not legally plausible, ineffect it appears to put the parties in general agreement regarding the Order’s constitutional
limitations. The Constitution vests the spending powers in Congress, not the President, so the Order cannot constitutionally place new conditions on federal funds. Further, the Tenth Amendment requires that conditions on federal funds be unambiguous and timely made; that they bear some relation to the funds at issue; and that the total financial incentive not be coercive.Federal funding that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the President disapproves.”
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Suggest the Chumph have his wife move to the White House and read this to him

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Republican Racist Redistricting Ruled Illegal in Texas

Same old racist Republican shit in Texas – Overthrown…For now.

Jim Crow gets a pass under the Chumph.

 

 

 

 

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DOJ Says NC Religious Freedom (Bathroom Law) Is Unconstiutional

DOJ has rejected the North Carolina anti-LGBT Law, and given the State 2 days to comply.

If the State does not comply, the Federal Government may immediately begin cutting off Federal funding, the first stage of which would be to cut off the $4.5 billion North Carolina gets in Educational money from the Federal Government. Besides that, the state would lose billions in Transportation funding, as well as funding from  Labor, Housing and Urban Development, and Health and Human Services.

Lastly Military spending:

  1. Nearly 110,000 active duty military personnel were assigned to units in North Carolina as of March 31, 2013
  2. Department of Defense contracting in FY 2012 totaled $3.4 billion
  3. The military supports 540,000 jobs in North Carolina, $30 billion in state personal income, and $48 billion in gross state product.
  4. 340,000 of military-supported jobs occur in the private sector.

This shidt is getting ready to hurt!

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory speaks at the Governor's Mansion in Raleigh last month. 

North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory

North Carolina LGBT law violates the Civil Rights Act, feds say

North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2 breaks civil rights laws banning workplace discrimination based on sex, U.S. Justice Department officials said Wednesday.

The feds alerted Gov. Pat McCrory he has until Monday to address the violation of the U.S. Civil Rights Act “by confirming that the State will not comply with or implement HB2,” according to a letter obtained by The Charlotte Observer. DOJ officials said HB 2 is illegal under both the law’s workplace discrimination statutes and Title IX, which forbids discrimination in education based on gender.

The state law voided a Charlotte municipal ordinance allowing transgender people to use the restroom of the gender they identify with and prohibited other cities and counties from passing their own anti-discrimination statutes. HB 2 also restricts transgender people to the public bathrooms of the gender on their birth certificates. Protests by activists and businesses followed passage of the bill in March.

“The State is engaging in a pattern or practice of discrimination against transgender state employees and both you, in your official capacity, and the State are engaging in a pattern or practice of resistance,” toward their civil rights, said the letter from DOJ Civil Rights Division principal deputy attorney general Vanita Gupta. The finding places hundreds of millions of dollars in federal education funds in jeopardy.

 

 

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Major Businesses Slam Georgia’s Anti-Gay “Religeous Freedom” Bill

Another conservative idea from the extremist right which is a stupid idea has put Georgia in the headlights of major corporations in the state, and has opened the door to exodus of at least one corporation.

The NFL has decided it really doesn’t want a Superbowl in a state where it’s paying customers can be discriminated against because someone’s “religion” tells them they don’t have to deal with gays, minorities, or other religions based on whatever whack-job interpretations some back-alley ignorant arsed so called preacher comes up with.

The bill’s Senate sponsor, Greg Kirk, a Republican

NFL Wants to Sack Anti-Gay Bill in Georgia

The NFL’s threat to re-evaluate Georgia’s Super Bowl dreams has the governor thinking twice about signing a controversial bill that would allow faith-based organizations to discriminate based on sexual orientation.

Roger Goodell, chairman of the National Football League is on the cusp of becoming America’s newest gay icon.

Goodell, who has an openly gay brother, and the NFL, have emerged as staunch allies in gay rights advocates’ efforts to defeat HB 757, the controversial religious freedom bill that passed the Georgia legislature late last week.

HB 757 began the year as “the Pastor Protection Act,” a measure giving clergy the right to refuse to perform same-sex weddings. But after two trips through the Georgia state House and Senate, the bill now gives faith-based organizations the right to hire and fire people who violate their “sincerely held religious beliefs,” as well as the right to refuse to rent facilities for events they find “objectionable.”

The bill would also make it illegal to force an individual to attend a gay wedding.

With every expansion of the bill, Georgia legislators were warned by local business leaders not to do to Georgia what Indiana legislators did in 2015, when their own Religious Freedom Restoration Act led to an immediate nationwide backlash, including more than 400 million #BoycottIndiana tweets in the week the bill passed.

A year later, local tourism officials estimate the city lost at least 12 conventions and $60 million in direct business as a result.

Brandon Lorenz, communications director with the Human Rights Campaign, called Georgia’s HB 757 “an Indiana-style bill that blatantly promotes discrimination.”

“The Georgia legislature took a bad bill and made it worse.” Lorenz said. “This is a bill that has all kinds of avenues for harm and discrimination for Georgians.”

Along with LGBT advocates, major players in Georgia’s business community have ripped the legislation.

Coca-Cola, Home Depot, and Delta Airlines oppose it. Michael Dell, Richard Branson, and Jack Dorsey have all spoken out against it. SalesForce CEO Mark Benioff, who has 16,000 employees in Georgia, has warned he’ll pull as much of his business as possible out of the state, tweeting last week:

“Once again Georgia is trying to pass laws that make it legal to discriminate. When will this insanity end?”

But in a state where football is practiced like a religion, it has been the loud and unanimous objections of the sports community that has raised the greatest doubts about whether Gov. Nathan Deal will sign the bill.

In addition to the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Braves, who called the bill “detrimental to our community and bad for Georgia,” Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank warned the bill would have a “long-lasting negative impact on our state and the people of Georgia.”

“One of my bedrock values is ‘Include Everyone’ and it’s a principle we embrace and strive to live each and every day with my family and our associates, a vast majority of which live and work in Georgia,” he said.

Blank has taken the lead in the city’s efforts to bring the Super Bowl to the city, including with a new $1.7 billion Mercedes-Benz stadium already under construction in downtown Atlanta. But on Friday, Goodell and the NFL dropped a bomb on Atlanta’s hopes of hosting the 2019 or 2020 Super Bowls when it said the RFRA bill would endanger the city’s bids if Deal signs it into law.

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2016 in The Definition of Racism, The New Jim Crow

 

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The New Jim Crow – Unconstitutional and Illegal Bail Systems

Below is a map of “Economic Opportunity” broken into the MSAs in each state. Economic Opportunity is the measure of how likely it is for someone born in the lowest income and social class to be able to rise. Or to put it another way – the lower the Economic Opportunity, greater the chance that a poor person’s child will also be poor, and their children and their children.

Notice that isolated red spot right around ST. Louis, Mo – and including Ferguson?

Which areas have the highest populations on welfare and disability?

Just for fun, let’s look at the states with or without minimum wage laws…

Tell you Something?

Political Corruption Level in States – (Provided by London School of Economics)

State Incarceration Rates –

Which gets us the The New Jim Crow – Virtual Debtors Prisons and Bail Bond Extortion

How Civil Rights Groups Are Unraveling Illegal Bail Schemes That Fill Jails With Poor People

Like the majority of the nearly 750,000 people stuck in local jails across the United States, Rebecca Snow was not held in the Ascension Parish jail in central Louisiana because she had been convicted of a crime. The 33-year-old mother of three, who was charged with two nonviolent misdemeanors in late August, simply could not afford to post bail.

If Snow had the $289 set for each charge, she could have gone home to her family instead of sitting in jail. Many others arrested in the parish are able to post bail and go home, but Snow didn’t have the extra cash: She relies on public assistance and is indigent, according to a civil rights complaint filed against the parish’s sheriff and top judge.

The US Supreme Court and the Justice Department have both said that incarcerating someone solely because they can’t afford to post cash bail is unconstitutional, but that was the policy in Ascension Parish until just a few weeks ago.

Ascension sheriff deputies would set bail during booking using a court-issued “schedule” that matched the alleged offense with a generic bail amount, and some arrestees waited days before seeing a judge who could hear a motion to reduce it, according to the complaint. No individual factors such as prior record or employment were considered, and even those arrested for minor crimes like traffic violations were not released without posting bail.

In early September, civil rights attorneys filed a class-action lawsuit challenging the bail scheme, with Snow as the lead plaintiff. A settlement was reached within weeks. Now those arrested for misdemeanors in Ascension Parish are released on their own recognizance unless they are charged with assault, drunk driving or a list of other crimes that generally involve putting other people in danger. A judge must promptly set an individualized bail for those who are jailed.

“[The defendants] don’t really have any arguments,” said Alec Karakatsanis, a cofounder of Equal Justice Under Law, which worked with civil rights lawyers from southern Louisiana to challenge Ascension’s bail policy. “It’s a terrible policy in addition to being illegal. It’s expensive and it ruins people’s lives and it devastates them.”

Nationally, jails have twice the admission rate of state and federal prisons, and 62 percent of those locked up have not been convicted of any crime and are legally presumed innocent, according to the Vera Institute of Justice. Three out of four people in jail are being held on nonviolent traffic, drug, property or public order charges. In most jurisdictions, poor people facing minor charges are forced to stay in jail or plead guilty to get out while those who have money on hand often go free.

Using the Constitution to Force Local Reforms

Since January, Karakatsanis and local partners have filed lawsuits challenging secured money bail programs in seven cities across the South, and so far defendants in six cities quickly settled and agreed to end the practice of requiring bail for nonviolent misdemeanors. The first lawsuit, filed against the City of Clanton, Alabama, attracted a statement of interest from the Justice Department declaring that jailing people solely because of their poverty violates the US Constitution’s equal protection clause and is simply “bad public policy.”

Suing individual officials and jurisdictions has proved to be an effective tactic for civil rights advocates who argue that many of the nation’s 3,000 jails have become modern-day debtors’ prisons. Attorneys like Karakatsanis are going from county to county to shut down illegal secured money bail and court fine collection schemesthat fill courthouse coffers and keep private collection companies and bail bondsmen in business while poor defendants, who often cannot afford child care or to miss even a day of work, are caged without being convicted.

“We are going from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and asking them to change, and if they don’t, we certainly sue them,” Karakatsanis told Truthout. He added that his group would be filing more lawsuits across the country.

By definition, bail is not a fine or a form of punishment. The purpose of bail is, in theory, to ensure that arrestees show up to court. If you are jailed and a bail is set, you may wait there for weeks, months or even years for your trial to start – or you can post bail, which will be refunded when you appear before a judge. In some parts of the country, if you don’t have the money, you can hire a bail bonds agent to post bail for a fee, usually at 10 percent of the bail amount. You don’t get that money back even if you are found not guilty. (In the few states that have outlawed for-profit bail bond agents, a secured bond may sometimes be paid at 10 percent of the set amount as well.)

Money bail tips the scales of justice in favor of those who have cash on hand. For arrestees who can’t afford to put money down on their own freedom, jail makes it much more difficult to escape the deep maze of the criminal legal system. The Vera Institute reports that even spending as few as two days in jail can reduce economic viability, promote future criminal behavior, degrade personal health and increase the chance that a defendant is incarcerated if found guilty.

Pretrial incarceration also increases the likelihood that people will take a plea deal, and some people plead guilty to crimes they didn’t commit just to go home and avoid losing their jobs and contact with friends and family. That’s one reason why activists in Massachusetts, New York City and Chicago have organized community bail funds to free low-income people from jail. Since bail money is generally returned once defendants appear in court, these grassroots bail funds can extend the benefits of a recyclable resource to many people who would otherwise be left to defend themselves from a position of incarceration….Read the Rest Here

Still wonder why it is so hard to get that Economic Opportunity in some places?

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2015 in The New Jim Crow

 

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