“This order sent a very clear message to the Imperial dictators at the Obama White House, In Your Face!”
A federal appeals court rebukes his immigration order
“…The Fifth Circuit decision vindicates the rule of law and shows again how Mr. Obama is exceeding his legal authority. But it is also a tragedy for immigrants who Mr. Obama teased with his illegal legalization. After last year’s election, many GOP leaders believed they had a chance to pass reform that addressed specific immigration problems—for farm or high-tech workers, for example.
But by acting on his own Mr. Obama poisoned the politics of immigration reform for the rest of his tenure. Republicans who favor reform have no chance to bring along angry back-benchers who have zero trust in the President to follow any immigration reform that Congress passes. This may have been part of Mr. Obama’s plan, letting him take sole political credit among Hispanic voters for legalizing 4.3 million while causing Republicans to again seem anti-immigrant.
Mr. Obama could have avoided this mess if he had recalled his law classes on the separation of powers…”
BREAKING: Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Court Rules with 26 States Challenging Obama’s Executive Immigration ActionPosted: May 26, 2015
The three-judge panel ruled that the executive action, which would grant an estimated 4.7 million undocumented immigrants relief from deportation, should stay on hold while the states work to overturn it.
Bills hampered by university leaders’ resistance, even in gun-friendly states
Of the 15 “campus carry” bills introduced earlier this year, none has passed.
“Nathan Scott, a former student at Florida State University who was shot in the leg in the school’s library by a gunman last November, said that having a gun would have helped him defend himself.”
Measures in 11 states have already effectively died, including in Florida, where gun-rights supporters had high hopes before two bills stalled before reaching floor votes.
And on Thursday, the Nevada senate defeated an 11th-hour move to tuck campus carry into a broader firearms measure, likely dooming the effort this year. Bills in at least two other states are expected to fail soon as well.
“If I had been armed, I would have shot the killer before he shot me, absolutely. It’s ridiculous that students aren’t able to carry.”
— Nathan Scott
Attention is now focused on lawmakers in Texas, who could vote to expand campus carry soon, in the waning days of the legislative session. A win in Texas, which could come as early as next week, could help keep the effort alive and provide momentum heading into 2016.
“Permit holders are more law-abiding than the general public, and there’s just no reason their constitutional rights should stop at the borders of a college or university.”
— Jennifer Baker, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association
The push to allow those with concealed-carry permits to carry firearms on campus picked up following the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech University, in which 33 people, including the gunman, were killed.
The National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups say students should have had the ability to defend themselves with firearms.
“Advocates of looser laws concerning guns on college campuses say that students trained with a gun would be better positioned to fend off a host of potential crimes, from sexual assaults to a Virginia Tech-style mass shooting.”
The U.S. Supreme Court, in its seminal 2008 ruling called District of Columbia v. Heller, found that the Second Amendment protects one’s right to possess a gun inside the home for self-defense. But the court didn’t say precisely when that right can be exercised in public. Since then, lower courts have wrestled with how to apply the Heller ruling to gun bans in public places, and legal experts think the Supreme Court will likely take up the question in another case before too long. Read the rest of this entry »
BREAKING NEWS – The Republican-led Senate blocked a House bill early Saturday that would have ended the National Security Agency’s bulk of collection on domestic phone records.
The vote was 57-42, short of the 60-vote threshold to move ahead. It leaves the fate of the key provisions in the Patriot Act in doubt with a June 1 deadline less than two weeks away.
The Senate also failed to advance a two-month extension of NSA programs as well. The vote also needed 60 votes to get to the Senate floor. The vote was defeated 54-45…(read more)
THE HORROR: Majority of Democrats–and an Increasing Percentage of Republicans–Support Criminalizing Free SpeechPosted: May 22, 2015
John Sexton reports: A new poll shows that a majority of Democrats want to limit free speech with laws that would prohibit so-called “hate speech.”
A clear example of this desire to limit speech can be found in the New York Times editorial board’s reaction to the attack in Garland. In a piece titled, “Free Speech vs. Hate Speech,” the Times criticizes Pam Geller, the organizer of the cartoon contest and the intended victim of the attack. Speaking of Geller, the Times wrote, “she achieved her provocative goal in Garland — the event was attacked by two Muslims.”
The Times goes on to argue that no amount of violence—not the Charlie Hebdo attacks, not the theatrical brutality of ISIS, not even 9/11—can justify “provocations” (i.e. cartoons) of Islam. This is the severely limited view of the 1st amendment the left-leaning NYT has already embraced.
In contrast, the opposing view, held by most Republicans and independents according to this YouGov poll, is probably best exemplified by a piece Eugene Volokh published at the Washington Post:
Eugene Volokh writes:
I keep hearing about a supposed “hate speech” exception to the First Amendment, or statements such as, “This isn’t free speech, it’s hate speech,” or “When does free speech stop and hate speech begin?” But there is no hate speech exception to the First Amendment. Hateful ideas (whatever exactly that might mean) are just as protected under the First Amendment as other ideas. One is as free to condemn Islam — or Muslims, or Jews, or blacks, or whites, or illegal aliens, or native-born citizens — as one is to condemn capitalism or Socialism or Democrats or Republicans….(read more at Washington Post)
The 1st Amendment protects all speech, but there is no doubt the left is increasingly comfortable with limiting this…
Unmentioned in John Sexton‘s analysis however, is that Republicans and Independents, not Democrats, are increasingly warming to the idea of free speech bans, while Democrat support is relatively unchanged. For example:
Democratic support for banning hate speech hasn’t increased at all; on the contrary, Dems are a bit more likely to oppose a ban than they were seven months ago, a rational reaction to the creepy spectacle of western media outlets self-censoring images of Mohammed cartoons after the Charlie Hebdo massacre. It’s Republicans and independents who are slowly warming to hate-speech bans. Indie opposition has dropped 12 points, with an increase of eight points in support. GOPers are now 12 points more likely to support hate-speech bans than they were last year.
Allahpundit‘s exit question:
I can understand why progressives would want a legal cudgel to silence their enemies but I can’t understand why conservatives increasingly would. Even if you don’t value free speech enough to abhor that sort of cudgel on principle, surely you understand that the “politically incorrect” will be the main target of prosecutions. Why on earth would you enable this?
…Hillary Clinton has said that overturning Citizens United is a priority for her if elected President. Read the rest of this entry »
Officer Caesar Goodson, driver of transport van, faces second-degree murder charge
The announcement by State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, the city’s chief prosecutor, surprised many in a city where officials had cautioned for days that the investigation might not come to a quick resolution. Spontaneous celebrations broke out in some neighborhoods that were roiled by looting and violence after Mr. Gray’s funeral on Monday, while police union officials said they were disappointed in what they called a rush to judgment.
“These charges are an important step in getting justice for Freddie.”
— Richard Shipley, Mr. Gray’s stepfather
The most serious charges were brought against Officer Caesar Goodson, who was driving a police transport van that brought Mr. Gray to a police station after his April 12 arrest. Mr. Goodson, 45 years old, was charged with second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and other charges.
“I have never seen such a hurried rush to deliver criminal charges. We believe these officers will be vindicated as they have done nothing wrong.”
— Mr. Davey, president of the Baltimore police union
Officers William Porter, 25, Lt. Brian Rice, 41, and Sgt. Alicia White, 30, were each charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office. Officers Edward Nero, 29, and Garrett Miller,26, were charged with second-degree assault and misconduct in office. Lt. Rice and Messrs. Nero and Miller were also charged with false imprisonment for making what Ms. Mosby termed an illegal arrest of Mr. Gray.
The officers surrendered to police and bail was set in amounts ranging from $250,000 to $350,000, according to court records and state officials. By Friday night, all six officers had posted bail and been released, according to public records. Like Mr. Gray, three of the officers, including Mr. Goodson, are African-American.
Mike Davey, a Baltimore attorney who represents Lt. Rice and said he was speaking for all six officers, said he thought the publicity surrounding the case had motivated the filing of charges, and that the officers would ultimately be cleared. Read the rest of this entry »
The Kentucky Republican’s speech, which began at 1:18 p.m., is not technically holding up any legislation because the Senate is actually currently debating a trade bill, but Mr. Paul said his move was a filibuster nonetheless, as he vowed to hold the floor until he couldn’t go any longer.
“It’s time to end the NSA spying,” his official Twitter account said in a post at 1:36 p.m., as he was on the floor.
(CNN) Dana Ford reports: An alleged prostitute accused in the death of a Google executive pleaded guilty on Tuesday, and was sentenced to six years in prison.
Alix Tichelman faced a series of charges in the death of Forrest Timothy Hayes, 51. The married father of five was found dead in November 2013 aboard his 50-foot yacht in California’s Santa Cruz harbor.
Authorities say Tichelman gave Hayes an injection of heroin and then, as he began to die, she sipped her wine, gathered her belongings, and calmly walked away.
She pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, administering a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, destroying or concealing evidence, and engaging and agreeing to engage in prostitution, according to the Santa Cruz Superior Court. Read the rest of this entry »
OH YES THEY DID: Washington Driver Gets Six Months for ‘Marijuana-Related’ Crash That May Have Had Nothing to Do With MarijuanaPosted: May 19, 2015
Jacob Sullum writes: Today a Vancouver, Washington, pot smoker received a six-month jail sentence, followed by five years of probation, in a case that seems to illustrate the injustice caused by his state’s new definition of stoned driving. Scotty Rowles was driving his 1995 Ford pickup truck on East Mill Plain Boulevard around 6 p.m. on December 17, 2012, when Donald Collins stepped from the median into the street in front of him. According to KPTV, the Fox station in Portland, Oregon, “Investigators said Collins was close to two different lit and controlled intersections, but stepped out in the middle of traffic to try and cross the road.” On the face of it, Collins’ death was not Rowles’ fault. But a police officer smelled marijuana on Rowles, who admitted that he had smoked “a little bowl” one or two hours earlier. He was charged with vehicular homicide.
Prosecutors dropped that charge after concluding that there was insufficient evidence to support it. But they changed their minds after a blood test put Rowles’ THC level at 7.2 nanograms per milliliter, 2.2 nanograms above Washington’s new cutoff for driving under the influence of marijuana. Because of that rule, which was included in the marijuana legalization intitiative that voters approved a month before the accident, Rowles was guilty of DUI even if he was not actually impaired. Read the rest of this entry »
The legal shakedown is right out of her dad’s pay-to-playbook
Kathianne Boniello She learned at the feet of a master.
Shakedown artist Al Sharpton’s eldest child wants $5 million from city taxpayers after she fell in the street and sprained her ankle, court records show.
“I sprained my ankle real bad lol.”
— Dominique Sharpton, on Instagram
Dominique Sharpton, 28, says she was “severely injured, bruised and wounded” when she stumbled over uneven pavement at the corner of Broome Street and Broadway downtown last year, according to a lawsuit.
Currently on vacation in Bali, the membership director for her gadfly dad’s National Action Network claims she “still suffers and will continue to suffer for some time physical pain and bodily injuries,” according to the suit filed against the city departments of Transportation and Environmental Protection.
“I sprained my ankle real bad lol,” she wrote in a post to Instagram after the Oct. 2 fall.
She was pictured in a walking boot in the weeks following the tumble, but by December, Dominique was good to go for NAN’s Justice for All march in Washington, DC, and for a New Year’s Eve jaunt to Miami Beach.
And despite claiming “permanent physical pain” in a breathless notice of claim, there are social-media shots of her in high heels, and another of her climbing a ladder to decorate a Christmas tree.
The legal shakedown is right out of her dad’s pay-to-playbook.
Al Sharpton has used threats of protests and boycotts against large companies as a way to generate huge corporate donations, his critics charge.
Everyone from McDonald’s, Verizon, Macy’s, General Motors, Chrysler and Pfizer have forked over cash to the elder Sharpton.
The Rev on Saturday said he didn’t know the status of his daughter’s legal claim. “She’s 29 years old. Why would she have to talk to me about that?” he said of Dominique, whose mother is Sharpton’s ex-wife, Kathy. “I just know that she was hurt and that she got a lawyer and she’s a grown woman. [Where] she goes from there, I have no idea.” Read the rest of this entry »
Richard Johnson is a field artist, visual journalist and senior graphics editor at The Washington Post. Read more about his very unique perspective as a courtroom artist in the Bostom Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev death penalty debate here.
Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been sentenced to death today by a jury in a Boston federal courthouse.
Tsarnaev was convicted by the same jury of seven women and five men last month of all 30 counts related to the deadly April 15, 2013 bombing. Three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and another 260 were injured when Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, detonated twin explosive devices near the finish line of the marathon. Three days later, the brothers murdered MIT police officer Sean Collier.
The jury today found death the penalty was “appropriate” for six of the 17 death penalty eligible counts against Dzhkohar Tsarnaev. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police four days after the explosions….(read more)
Top officials repeatedly misled investigators without consequences. Congress needs to get tougher.
Cleta Mitchell writes: Two years ago this week, a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Information confirmed what hundreds of tea party, conservative, pro-life and pro-Israel organizations had long known: The Internal Revenue Service had stopped processing their applications for exempt status and subjected them to onerous, intrusive and discriminatory practices because of their political views.
“Lying to Congress is a felony. But the Obama Justice Department has not lifted a finger to prosecute anyone responsible for the IRS scandal, including top brass who repeatedly gave false testimony to Congress.”
Since the report, additional congressional investigations have revealed a lot about IRS dysfunction—and worse. But they’ve also revealed Congress’s inability to exercise its constitutional oversight responsibilities of this and other executive agencies.
Consider the repeated testimony and other statements to Congress subsequently shown to be false. The report issued in December by Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.)—then chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform—details numerous instances in which senior IRS officials, including former Commissioner Doug Shulman, Acting Commissioner Steven Miller and Exempt Organizations Director Lois Lernerlied to Congress, denying and covering up the targeting of tea party and conservative groups before the inspector general’s May 2013 report.
Mr. Shulman told the Ways and Means Committee in March 2012 that there was no targeting of conservative groups. Congressional investigations, the Issa committee report notes, established that at the time of his denial Mr. Schulman knew there was “a backlog of applications, delays in processing, and the use of inappropriate development questions.”
In the early months of 2012, Ms. Lerner made multiple false statements to Congress. In personal meetings, telephone interviews and written communications with congressional investigators, Ms. Lerner denied there were any changes in the criteria for evaluating applications for exempt status. She stated, falsely, that the intrusive demands from her agency for proprietary information from grass-roots organizations were “ordinary”—a characterization the inspector general’s report specifically rebutted.
Ms. Lerner also told Congress that “nothing had changed” about the way her unit handled such applications. But at the very time she said that, the IRS, including Ms. Lerner, had already identified seven types of information that it had inappropriately demanded from conservative groups between 2010 and 2013. These included donor lists, transcripts of speeches by public officials to meetings, and lists of groups to whom leaders made presentations.
Between May 2012 and May 2013, Mr. Miller testified before Congress on at least six occasions, first as deputy IRS commissioner, then as acting commissioner. He withheld information from Congress each time about the targeting. In a November 2013 interview with congressional investigators—well after the targeting had been documented in the inspector general’s report—Mr. Miller admitted that he became aware of possible IRS misconduct in February 2012. Read the rest of this entry »
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A former CIA officer convicted of leaking details of a secret mission to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions is making his final pitch for a lenient sentence.
Jeffrey Sterling of O’Fallon, Missouri, is scheduled for sentencing Monday afternoon in federal court near Washington.
He faces a recommended sentence of 20 years or more under federal sentencing guidelines for violations of the Espionage Act. A jury convicted him of telling New York Times journalist James Risen about a classified plan to trick the Iranian government by slipping flawed nuclear blueprints through a Russian intermediary. Read the rest of this entry »
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) May 8, 2015
In a ruling certain to profoundly shape the ongoing debate over surveillance reform in Congress, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ruled that the National Security Agency’s indiscriminate collection of Americans’ telephone calling records exceeds the legal authority granted by the Patriot Act’s controversial section 215, which is set to expire at the end of this month.
Comments Cato scholar Julian Sanchez, “While the court didn’t reach the crucial question of whether the program violates the Fourth Amendment, the ruling gives civil libertarians good reason to hope that a massive and egregious violation of every American’s privacy will finally come to an end.”
- “Second Circuit Declares NSA’s Telephone Dragnet Unlawful,” by Julian Sanchez
- “In Holding NSA Spying Illegal, the Second Circuit Treats Data as Property,” by Jim Harper