Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Statues of SCOTUS justice who wrote Dred Scott decision are removed

A statue of former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney
Statues of SCOTUS justice who wrote Dred Scott decision are removed

ABA Journal Online Daily News
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Posted August 18, 2017

A statue of the justice who wrote the Dred Scott decision defending slavery was removed from the grounds of the Maryland State House after 145 years in a process that began just after midnight Friday.

It was the second statue of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney removed this week in Maryland, report the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun. The city of Baltimore removed a statue of Taney and three Confederate monuments early Wednesday.

Maryland Senate President Thomas Mike Miller Jr. had argued that a public hearing should have been held before a decision was made on removal. Miller had argued that, though Taney had written the decision, he also freed his slaves and had spoken against the practice.

The Constitution Daily has more. Taney’s 1857 opinion in Dred Scott v. Sandford held that slaves or slaves’ descendants could not be citizens. The opinion was seen as a factor helping to spur the Civil War.

African-Americans whose ancestors were brought as slaves to this country "are not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word ‘citizens’ in the Constitution, and can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States," Taney wrote.

"On the contrary, they were at that time considered as a subordinate and inferior class of beings who had been subjugated by the dominant race, and, whether emancipated or not, yet remained subject to their authority, and had no rights or privileges but such as those who held the power and the Government might choose to grant them."

Before that decision, Taney’s record on slavery was mixed, according to the Constitution Daily. Taney had represented an abolitionist minister in an 1819 trial and in 1820 freed the slaves he had inherited.

On the Supreme Court, Taney joined the majority in the United States v. The Amistad decision supporting slaves who took over their slave ship. The decision found that kidnapped free Africans who were forced into slavery illegally under Spanish laws had a right to freedom.

In another case, however, Taney wrote a concurring opinion agreeing that federal fugitive slave laws applied to states that had their own laws barring the extradition of escaped slaves.
Read more

Related article: "Descendant of SCOTUS justice publicly apologizes for Dred Scott opinion"

Monday, August 21, 2017

Bannon Was Set for a Graceful Exit. Then Came Charlottesville.

Stephen K. Bannon in the Oval Office earlier this year.
Bannon Was Set for a Graceful Exit. Then Came Charlottesville.

AUG. 20, 2017

WASHINGTON — John F. Kelly, the new White House chief of staff, told Stephen K. Bannon in late July that he needed to go: No need for it to get messy, Mr. Kelly told Mr. Bannon, according to several people with firsthand knowledge of the exchange. The two worked out a mutually amicable departure date for mid-August, with President Trump’s blessing.

But as Mr. Trump struggled last week to contain a growing public furor over his response to a deadly, race-fueled melee in Virginia, Mr. Bannon clashed with Mr. Kelly over how the president should respond. Give no ground to your critics, Mr. Bannon urged the president, with characteristic truculence.

At the same time, New York real estate investor friends told Mr. Trump that the situation with Mr. Bannon was untenable: Steve Roth on Monday, Tom Barrack on Tuesday and Richard LeFrak on Wednesday.

By Thursday, after Mr. Bannon undercut American policy toward North Korea in an interview published by a left-leaning magazine, Mr. Trump himself had concluded that Mr. Bannon was too much of a liability.

By Friday, when he was forced from his job as Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, Mr. Bannon had found himself wholly isolated inside a White House where he once operated with such autonomy that he reported only to the president himself. Read more

Mayor Mike Signer spoke at the Charlottesville meeting
Melee Breaks Out at Charlottesville City Council Meeting

AUG. 21, 2017

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A melee broke out at the Charlottesville City Council meeting on Monday night, as activists and residents angrily took over the Council chambers and criticized the city’s response to a white supremacist gathering here that left a local woman dead.

It was the Council’s first meeting since the Aug. 11 and 12 rallies that brought hundreds of white supremacists to Charlottesville. White and black residents alike were furious with the police response to the demonstrations, and they faulted officers for not engaging during repeated scuffles. A woman, Heather D. Heyer, was killed when a man drove into counterprotesters.

The meeting started out without incident, but soon several residents began shouting down city officials for allowing the Aug. 12 "Unite the Right" rally to take place. When police officers forcibly removed three people from the Council meeting, the 100 or so people at the meeting broke out into furious chants, screaming "Shame" and "Shut it down!" The three people were issued summonses charging them with disorderly conduct. No injuries were reported.

"I’m outraged!" said Tracy Saxon, 41. "I watched my people get beat and murdered. They let Nazis in here have freedom of speech and they protect them? And we can’t have freedom of speech?"

Two people stood on the dais and unfurled a banner with the words "Blood on your hands!" as council members and the mayor left the room. The residents refused to cede order of the room until the authorities promised to release the residents who had been taken away and let people have their say.

Councilman Wes Bellamy, the only African-American on the Council, was the only member of the council who remained. He negotiated with residents to restore order to the room in exchange for the regular agenda being scrapped and each person getting one minute to speak.

One 35-year resident, Gail Weatherall, called for a citizen-led review of the weekend’s events and the city’s response.

Several speakers criticized the Council for not having heeded warnings to avoid the protest, and promised to vote them out of office. But city officials stressed that they had tried to deny the white supremacist rally, but that a federal court had ruled in the protest organizers’ favor.

"We tried really hard," Mayor Mike Signer said after the meeting resumed and other Council members returned.

"A federal judge forced us to have that rally downtown." Read more

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Trump's lawyer forwards email that 'validates' president's stance on Charlottesville

Trump's lawyer forwards email that 'validates' president's stance on Charlottesville

ABA Journal Online Daily News
By Stephanie Francis Ward
Posted August 17, 2017

An email forwarded by President Donald Trump's personal lawyer stated that there’s no difference between Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and George Washington, and that the protest group Black Lives Matter has been infiltrated by terrorist organizations.

John Dowd forwarded the email to more than two dozen recipients, including a senior official at the Department of Homeland Security and staff at the Wall Street Journal, Fox News and the Washington Times, the New York Times reports.

The email originally came from Jerome Almon, who reportedly runs several websites alleging government conspiracies including one in which the FBI has been infiltrated by Islamic terrorists.

Among the similarities of Lee and Washington outlined in the email were slave ownership and rebelling against a ruling government. Titled "Information that Validates President Trump on Charlottesville," the email also advocated protecting monuments honoring Confederate soldiers, according to the Washington Post.

Dowd forwarded the email after after Trump stated that "both sides" were to blame for the violence Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left a 32-year-old paralegal dead.

"You’re sticking your nose in my personal email? People send me things. I forward them," Dowd told the New York Times in a phone interview, before hanging up.

The 76-year-old attorney told the Washington Post that he "shares a lot of things with people" and it was unfair to assume that he shared the views expressed in the email.

Almon told the New York Times that he sent Dowd the email last week, following up on a phone call where he claimed to have offered Dowd damaging information about former FBI investigator James B. Comey, who was fired by Trump on May 9.

Almon, who is black, told the newspaper that his email also stated that protesters should "go back to the ghettos and do raise their children and rebuild places like Detroit." Read more

Trump’s Immoral Equivalence Between George Washington and Robert E. Lee
The Daily Beast, by John Avlon, 08.17.17 12:43 PM ET
Historians: Robert E. Lee and George Washington Are Not Equivalent, Olivia B. Waxman
Is Robert E. Lee on the same pedestal as George Washington? Why scholars say no
Christian Science Monitor / Associated Press, by Andrew Dalton, Aug-17-2017

Exploring Robert E. Lee’s connections to George Washington
PBS NEWS HOUR, February 16, 2015 at 6:25 PM EDT

Robert E. Lee was the son of a Revolutionary War hero who was a trusted aide to George Washington. In 1861, after 25 years in the U.S. Army, Lee turned down an offer to command Union forces in the Civil War. That decision is the subject of a new book, "The Man Who Would Not Be Washington." Woodruff talks to author Jonathan Horn about choices that change history.

The Rise of Antifa - The Atlantic. The Rise of the Violent Left. Antifa’s activists say they’re battling burgeoning authoritarianism on the American right. Are they fueling it instead? Read more

Antifa Wikipedia. Antifa is a far-left militant[2] political movement of autonomous, self-described anti-fascist groups in the U.S.

Black Lives Matter (Official Website)

Black Lives Matter (Wikipedia). Black Lives Matter (BLM) is an international activist movement, originating in the African-American community, that campaigns against violence and systemic racism towards black people. BLM regularly holds protests against police killings of black people and broader issues of racial profiling, police brutality, and racial inequality in the United States criminal justice system. Read more

Attorney appointed to represent driver at Charlottesville rally is plaintiff in suit against city

Attorney appointed to represent driver at Charlottesville rally is plaintiff in suit against city

ABA Journal Online Daily News
By Stephanie Francis Ward
Posted August 16, 2017

A lawyer appointed to represent a man facing a second-degree murder charge in the death of a counterprotester during a rally of white nationalists and similar groups on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, is also a plaintiff in a lawsuit that seeks to keep Confederate statues in place in two city parks.

Charles L. "Buddy" Weber Jr., a former Republican candidate for the Charlottesville city council, was appointed as counsel for James Alex Fields Jr. on Monday, the Daily Progress reports. Weber, according to a profile on his law office website, represents "civilians and veterans" in criminal defense matters. He graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1998 after a 27-year career as a military officer.

Will Lyster, vice president of Friends of C’Ville Monuments, told the Daily Progress that Weber was on a hiking trip with no cellphone service and is expected to return next week.

Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal from Charlottesville, was killed when a car reportedly driven by Fields plowed into a crowd of counterprotestors. The incident occurred after skirmishes in a park containing a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in which opposing groups clashed violently.

Fields, 20, of Maumee, Ohio, made an initial appearance before a judge on Monday and indicated he was unable to afford an attorney. The public defender’s office was conflicted out of taking Fields’ case because an employee was related to someone injured in the crash, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. Read more

Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (Official Website)

Sinclair Broadcast Group is an American telecommunications company... Headquartered in Irving, Texas, the company is the second-largest television station operator in the United States... Wikipedia

Can employees like those who participated in 'Unite the Right' in Charlottesville be fired?

Woman killed in Virginia rally was a born do gooder says mother New York Post, by Max Jaeger, August 13, 2017

Can employees like those who participated in 'Unite the Right' in Charlottesville be fired?
ABA Journal Online Daily News
By Stephanie Francis Ward
Posted August 15, 2017, 1:57 pm CDT

Do protestors who appear in photographs and are affiliated with white nationalist and similar groups have job protections in spite of the potential issues they may bring? The issue is complicated, employment lawyers told the National Law Journal.

Various social media feeds, including the one from Twitter user YesYoureRacist, continue to use crowdsourcing to identify protesters from Saturday’s "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one woman dead and dozens injured. Cole White, who was one of those called out, reportedly lost his job at a Berkeley, California, restaurant.

Political views are not a protected class under federal Title VII civil rights protections, the article notes. Government employees do have free speech rights, but they’re limited in the workplace.

Also, an employer could see an employee espousing views that discriminate against people as a Title VII complaint waiting to happen. Social media has intensified the debate, says Richard Cohen, an employment lawyer with FisherBroyles.

"If an employer is watching television news — like what happened [in Charlottesville] — and sees one of his or her employees on either side of the barricades, there is nothing that protects those workers, unless they fall into another protected class," he said.

There may be an exception for speech protections, including speech that’s racist, sexist or discriminatory.

"Whether or not you agree with one or the other or the incident horrified you, it can be argued, at least from a civil rights point of view, it was protected activity," Cohen said.

That could be a stretch, said Foley & Lardner’s Donald Schroeder.

"It’s one thing to engage in a peaceful march, it’s another to engage in bottle throwing and a violent march with slurs and vulgar language," he said. "Could they bring a Title VII case? Sure, but I think it would be extremely difficult to move it forward." Read more

See also: ABA Journal: "Public Employees, Private Speech: 1st Amendment doesn’t always protect government workers"

Free PACER archive adds millions of new documents

Free PACER archive adds millions of new documents

ABA Journal Online Daily News
By Jason Tashea
Posted August 16, 2017, 11:20 am CDT

Updated: A free archive of federal court documents just got a whole lot bigger.

The Free Law Project, a California-based non-profit, posted every free written opinion and order available on PACER, the federal courts’ document portal. In total, this new collection contains 3.4 million documents from 1.5 million federal district and bankruptcy cases dating back to 1960, the Project explained in a blog post published Tuesday on the organization’s website.

"Today’s news represents a huge milestone for the project and moves the project into a new stage where we’re not only focused on people’s experience while using PACER, but we’re now also focused on providing data to startups, researchers, journalists, lawyers, and the public via our website," Michael Lissner, executive director of the Free Law Project, said in an email.

Over the past year, the Free Law Project "crawled" PACER, an automated process to collect web-based information, to build this collection. They also used a process called optical character recognition (OCR) to read and parse upwards of 400,000 scanned documents to extract the text. These documents are available on the CourtListener website.

This work was made possible by a grant from the Department of Labor and two professors studying employment law at Georgia State University. Charlotte Alexander says she and her colleague were interested in analyzing every federal case where a worker is described as an employee or an independent contractor.

Beyond her research, Alexander also wanted to make the data she used available to the public. "If we used LexisNexis or Westlaw, [the data] would only be able to be used in that discreet research project," she says, explaining that this was why she teamed up with Lissner and the Free Law Project.

With this expanded archive, anyone can access to judges’ decisions without the "restrictive terms and conditions" of for-profit, legal research vendors, explains Alexander.

These new documents were added to the already growing RECAP archive operated by the Free Law Project, which now boasts over 20 million documents from 1.8 million cases on its website. An article from 2015 noted that RECAP had collected 3.2 million documents of the potential 1 billion in PACER at that time.

Alexander and her research partner are working through the documents for their study.

"We’re still assessing how comprehensive the written reports are," she says. "There still may be holes, but this is a giant step forward in terms of access." Read online

Judges should receive anti-bias training, ABA House says

Judges should receive anti-bias training, ABA House says

ABA Journal Online Daily News
By Lee Rawles
Posted August 15, 2017, 11:52 am CDT

The issue of implicit bias has been a hot topic for the legal community, and combating it has previously been the subject of ABA efforts. New ABA President Hilarie Bass, who began her term at the close of the 2017 ABA Annual Meeting Tuesday, even created a task force to address the issue during her time as head of the Section of Litigation.

On Monday, the ABA House of Delegates approved a resolution calling for anti-bias training to be provided specifically for judges.

The Young Lawyers Division, Judicial Division and Section of Litigation introduced Resolution 121 to urge all courts to provide judicial training and continuing education on implicit bias. It also asks that state and local bar associations "work with courts to offer de-biasing training to judicial officers free of cost and at the convenience of the courts."

Lauren Marsicano with the Young Lawyers Division spoke in favor of the resolution. She recalled being told in law school that even what a judge ate before they ruled on a case could influence their decision. "I hope that they had a great breakfast, now that I’m practicing," she quipped, to laughter from the delegates.

She recalled a quote by Judge Bernice Bouie Donald of the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals: "All judges view the function of their job through the lens of their experiences."

Marsicano said with additional bias training, she hoped that the worst thing future litigants would have to worry about influencing judges was what they had to eat that day.

The resolution passed with no one speaking in opposition and no audible "no" votes.

Follow along with our full coverage of the 2017 ABA Annual Meeting. Read online

My comment as nonlawyer:

"...quote by Judge Bernice Bouie Donald of the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals: "All judges view the function of their job through the lens of their experiences.""

Yes, and Lawyer-Judges are the problem, not what a judge "had to eat that day".

The Lawyer-Judge Bias in the American Legal System is a book by Professor Benjamin H. Barton, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. From Cambridge University Press:

"Virtually all American judges are former lawyers. This book argues that these lawyer-judges instinctively favor the legal profession in their decisions and that this bias has far-reaching and deleterious effects on American law. There are many reasons for this bias, some obvious and some subtle. Fundamentally, it occurs because - regardless of political affiliation, race, or gender - every American judge shares a single characteristic: a career as a lawyer. This shared background results in the lawyer-judge bias. The book begins with a theoretical explanation of why judges naturally favor the interests of the legal profession and follows with case law examples from diverse areas, including legal ethics, criminal procedure, constitutional law, torts, evidence, and the business of law. The book closes with a case study of the Enron fiasco, an argument that the lawyer-judge bias has contributed to the overweening complexity of American law, and suggests some possible solutions."

Also on YouTube, PJTV: Bias! The Case Against Lawyers and Judges, interview by Glenn Reynolds with Professor Benjamin H. Barton


Go to law school to be a lawyer.
Go to judge school to be a judge.
Go to prosecutor school to be a prosecutor.

The time to help lawyers with mental health services is now, new report says

The time to help lawyers with mental health services is now, new report says

ABA Journal Online Daily News
By Stephanie Francis Ward
Posted August 14, 2017, 12:15 pm CDT

The stigma of attorneys seeking help for mental health disorders needs to be eliminated, according to a report released Monday by various groups, including the American Bar Association’s Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs.

"To be a good lawyer, one has to be a healthy lawyer. Sadly, our profession is falling short when it comes to well-being," states the report (PDF) from the the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being.

It cites a 2016 study done by the commission and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, which found that out of 13,000 lawyers surveyed, between 20.6 and 36.4 percent could be considered problem drinkers. The study also found that 28 percent of those surveyed suffered from depression, and 19 percent had anxiety.

The 73-page report, titled "The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change," also cites a 2016 study of law student well-being. Out of 3,300 students surveyed, 43 percent reported binge drinking at least once in the prior two weeks. The study defined binge drinking as consuming at least four alcoholic drinks in one sitting for women, and at least five in one sitting for men.

The Conference of Chief Justices, which helped develop the report, endorsed its recommendations last week, according to an ABA press release. Other recommendations include partnering with lawyer assistance programs, fostering respectful engagement in the profession and enhancing lawyers’ sense of self-control in their work responsibilities.

"Practices that rob lawyers of a sense of autonomy and control over their schedules and lives are especially harmful to their well-being. Research studies show that high job demands paired with a lack of a sense of control breeds depression and other psychological disorders," the report states. "Research suggests that men in jobs with such characteristics have an elevated risk of alcohol abuse."

Bree Buchanan, director of the State Bar of Texas’ LAP program, and James C. Coyle, attorney regulation counsel for the Colorado Supreme Court, co-chaired the task force. Their report includes action plans with checklists for stakeholders.

"The legal profession is already struggling. Our profession confronts a dwindling market share as the public turns to more accessible, affordable alternative legal service providers. We are at a crossroads," Buchanan and Coyle wrote. "To maintain public confidence in the profession, to meet the need for innovation in how we deliver legal services, to increase access to justice, and to reduce the level of toxicity that has allowed mental health and substance use disorders to fester among our colleagues, we have to act now." Read online

Also see, US Dept. of Justice Investigation Into Mental Health Screening by Fla Supreme Court on Bar Applicants

Monday, August 14, 2017

'Our country needs us, and it needs us now,' Klein tells House of Delegates

ABA President Linda Klein/American Bar Association
'Our country needs us, and it needs us now,' Klein tells House of Delegates

ABA Journal Online Daily News
By Lee Rawles
Posted August 14, 2017

ABA President Linda Klein said "the lawyers of America must lead in bringing people together and defending the values that unite us," in a speech to the ABA House of Delegates at the organization's annual meeting Monday in New York City.

Klein began her remarks by drawing attention to Saturday’s rally by white nationalists and similar groups that left a 32-year-old counterprotester dead in Charlottesville, Virginia. Klein had released a statement Sunday.

"We come to New York to celebrate the rule of law, and what do we see?" Klein asked. "We see people filled with hate coming to the hometown of the author of the Declaration of Independence.

"The principles of tolerance and liberty will always prevail over the forces of hatred and racism. Hate will not rule our country; tolerance and lawfulness will. Nothing is more basic to our profession and to our country."

Klein called on all American lawyers to continue the association’s mission to defend liberty and pursue justice.

"Our country needs us, and it needs us now," she said.

Klein began her term in office at the close of the 2016 annual meeting last August. At that time, she had intended to focus on assisting veterans with legal issues; working to ensure children’s access to a quality education; and increasing the resources and tools available to members.

Those were goals that were achieved, and she outlined some of those successes:

• The ABA Veterans Legal Services Initiative was established, and VetLex was launched in partnership with Jones Day to help connect veterans with pro bono attorneys.

• The ABA Commission on the Lawyer’s Role in Assuring Every Child’s Right to a High-Quality Education was established, and it studied how lawyers can contribute to children’s educational opportunities through litigation and volunteering. A printed version of their report will be published shortly.

ABA Blueprint was launched to assist solo and small firms and provide member-only discounts on firm management products and consultations.

However, the year also brought surprise challenges.

Klein shared an experience she had last August while visiting the USS George Washington, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. She met the crew and then was given the opportunity to climb into the "smallest, hottest, fastest plane" she’d ever been in, and be shot off the deck of the carrier via a steam-powered catapult. Only the skill of the crew and laws of physics stood between her and a sharp drop into the ocean.

"So that’s how my year began. And that’s pretty much what it’s been like the whole year through," Klein said to laughter from the audience.

It was the hard work of a "400,000-member aircraft carrier" that helped her navigate that year, Klein says.

Some of the situations that required response during her tenure were attacks on the independence of the judiciary by President Donald Trump, after his travel ban was blocked by courts; a lawsuit filed by the association against the Department of Education to protect the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program; threats to completely defund the Legal Services Corp.; and a plan by Arkansas to execute seven men in 11 days before their lethal injection drugs expired.

"By focusing on the basics, our ABA was prepared and ready," Klein says. "We responded quickly and decisively to the challenge."

One of the successes the ABA had in response to these challenges was with its lobbying efforts on behalf of the Legal Service Corp. Congress is still developing next year’s budget, but the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies has recommended that instead of defunding the LSC, its fiscal 2018 budget should be maintained at $385 million, the same amount the civil legal-aid provider received this year.

At this year’s annual meeting, "It’s Only Fair! An ABA Concert and Rally for the Legal Services Corp." featured Broadway performers, and grateful recipients of legal aid gathered to support the LSC.

For support throughout the year, Klein thanked her family, ABA staff members and her partners at Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz, where she is the senior managing shareholder.

"Thank you for a special year," Klein said to the delegates. "Our defining moment—our year." Read more

Follow along with our full coverage of the 2017 ABA Annual Meeting.

Verified Motion to Vacate Final Judgment of Foreclosure and Cancel Foreclosure Sale

Verified Motion to Vacate Final Judgment of Foreclosure and Cancel Foreclosure Sale

Friday, August 4, 2017

E-filing system at Supreme Court will make new filings accessible for free

E-filing system at Supreme Court will make new filings accessible for free

ABA Journal
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Posted August 3, 2017

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Thursday that it is adopting an electronic filing system beginning Nov. 13.

The system will make "virtually all new filings" available to the public at no cost, the Supreme Court said in its announcement. The National Law Journal (sub. req.) has a story.

Initially, official filing of documents will continue to be on paper, but parties represented by lawyers will also have to submit electronic versions. Those without lawyers will have their documents scanned by court personnel and made available to the public.

The announcement follows the rollout of the Supreme Court’s redesigned website on July 28. Helpful changes include information about cases being argued on particular days and etiquette information for court visitors, according to a previous National Law Journal story (sub. req.).

Fix The Court, a Supreme Court transparency advocate, reacted to the electronic filing announcement in a statement: "Most federal appeals courts have required electronic filing for years, so I’m pleased the Supreme Court has finally joined its institutional counterparts by implementing this policy," executive director Gabe Roth said.

Roth also said he hopes the change will lead to other improvements, such as live audio for oral arguments and a software-based conflict check system. Read online

Most often, the US Supreme Court grants or denies petitions to hear a case after reviewing a written request called a "petition for writ of certiorari". Also called "the writ of cert", it is reviewed by the Justices and granting the petition depends on whether or not it passes "the rule of four". If it does, the case is probably one of three types: a case of national importance, a case in which a lower court decision has invalidated federal law, or a case involving a split decision in lower courts. Famously, Bush v. Gore was an example of national importance, Gonzales v. Raich was a case in which a lower court invalidated federal law, and Obergefell v. Hodges was selected by the Court in order to resolve a circuit split decision. By following this protocol of case selection, the Court has been designed to be reactive to legislative decisions made in other branches of government, as opposed to an active legislative body that seeks to create and institute new laws. Overall, the result of this design is a Court that prioritizes case selections that will enable them to enforce the uniformity of federal law throughout the country.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Jill Stein on Trump as a Grave Danger & Why She was at 2015 Moscow Dinner with Putin & Flynn

Jill Stein on Trump as a Grave Danger & Why She was at 2015 Moscow Dinner with Putin & Flynn

Democracy Now
August 01, 2017

Former Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein assesses the Trump administration’s first six months and responds to questions about an infamous photo that showed her sitting at the same table as Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Russian President Vladimir Putin at a dinner in Moscow in 2015.