Saturday, Sep 24, 2022 - 23:38:11
1000 results - (0.008 seconds)

Federal Judge J:

latest news at page 1:
    Washington (CNN)A federal judge in Arizona has decided the court can't block a House January 6 committee subpoena for GOP state chair Kelli Ward and her husband Michael's cell phone data, a ruling that may deliver more information in the probe about the state-level backing for Donald Trump after his 2020 loss. Judge Diane Humetewa found the court didn't have power to curtail the House's investigative steps in response to the Wards suing the committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol. The Wards' phone company received a subpoena in January seeking certain phone records from November 2020 through January 2021.The Wards' lawsuit was one of several filed by people whose phone records were subpoenaed in the House probe, but it's one of the first among them with such a conclusive ruling. The phone companies have largely allowed their customers whose records were subpoenaed to block the House from accessing them simply by filing a lawsuit, which many allies of Trump have done.The Wards claimed in their lawsuit against the House committee that the demand for the...
    by Alan Wooten   Sandy Brick felt her freedom was on the line. The Head Start teacher taught through the pandemic and opposed a federal “jab-or-job” mandate from the president. Judge Terry A. Doughty, on the bench of a U.S. District Court in Louisiana, on Wednesday agreed. He ruled the federal government cannot require Head Start program teachers, staff and volunteers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, nor can it require adults or students to wear masks. His order “permanently enjoins the vaccine and mask mandate in 24 states,” a release from the Liberty Justice Center says, and impacts 280,000 teachers, staff and volunteers. In his ruling, he wrote, “The public interest is served by maintaining the constitutional structure and maintaining the liberty of individuals who do not want to take the COVID-19 vaccine. This interest outweighs Agency Defendants’ interests. The public has a liberty interest in not being required to take a vaccine or be fired from their jobs. The public interest must be considered before allowing Agency Defendants to mandate vaccines. Although vaccines arguably serve the public interest,...
    (CNN)A federal judge denied Mike Lindell's request to reclaim his phone from investigators after it was recently seized by the FBI at a Hardee's drive-thru in Minnesota as he returned from a duck hunting trip.Judge Eric Tostrud said that Lindell, CEO of My Pillow and prominent backer of former President Donald Trump's false voter fraud claims, did not prove that his rights were violated. Tostrud, who is a Trump appointee, also said that Lindell did not properly answer the legal questions required to make such a request. Lindell had alleged that the FBI's recent seizure of his phone may have been an illegal search -- where he was questioned about what he knew around the 2020 election and election machines in Colorado -- without properly being explained his rights or being allowed to leave the drive-thru without handing over his phone.The Justice Department had obtained a warrant, approved by a federal judge, to perform the search, according to the court record.Lindell's challenge followed others from prominent Trump supporters and advisers, who had their own phones seized in investigations related to...
    My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell will not be getting his cell phone back any time soon, even after his new lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, demanded it from a federal court in their First, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment lawsuit against Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Chris Wray. Lindell’s phone was seized by federal agents at an Indiana Hardee’s drive-thru after a duck hunting trip the shredded foam entrepreneur and right-wing conspiracy theorist recently took. Last week he accused the federal government of engaging in “Gestapo tactics” for taking his phone, despite a warrant that shows he is reportedly under investigation for possible identity theft, conspiring to damage a protected computer connected to a suspected voting equipment security breach, and conspiracy to defraud the United States. On Tuesday Dershowitz and three other attorneys filed suit against the DOJ in a Minnesota federal court. READ MORE: Mike Lindell’s New Attorney Alan Dershowitz Is Suing DOJ Demanding ‘Special Master’ to Return His Cell Phone On Wednesday Dershowitz and the other attorneys filed a memorandum demanding the judge appoint a special master, and...
    Touted by her alma mater as a "warrior for reproductive rights" and ranked second on InStyle's 2022 list of "The Badass 50," Rikelman was lead litigator for the plaintiff in the 2020 Supreme Court case June Medical Services LLC v. Russo, where the high court ruled in favor of her client, which had challenged a Louisiana state law placing hospital admission requirements on abortion clinic doctors. After the decision, Rikelman told the Harvard Gazette that "it's really important for people to remain vigilant, because we know that the opposition is relentless," arguing that laws like Louisiana's must be "permanently blocked." Prior to the Supreme Court's 2022 Dobbs ruling, she recommended "expanding access to abortion," stating that the "status quo is not good enough" and that she was committed to the "battle against outright bans on abortion."Advocate or judgeOn Wednesday, Rikelman claimed that she would "apply Dobbs faithfully," separating her lifetime of abortion advocacy from her potential work as a federal judge. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) drew attention to a 2018 article penned by Rikelman, wherein she deemed pregnancy resource...
    U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon, a Donald Trump appointee, has drawn a great deal of criticism from Trump’s detractors for granting his request for a special master in the federal case involving government documents he was storing at his Mar-a-Lago resort/home in Palm Beach, Florida. And on Wednesday night, September 21, some of the criticism of Cannon’s decision came from a three-judge panel that included two other Trump appointees. According to the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake, “A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit was rather unsparing in unanimously granting the Justice Department a reprieve from Cannon’s order barring them from reviewing documents with classified markings seized from Mar-a-Lago. The stay is temporary, but the reasoning is firm. They repeatedly rejected not just the Trump legal team’s lack of arguments, but also, Cannon’s acceptance of them. Indeed, they suggested it was inexplicable that Cannon ruled for Trump even by her own logic.” When FBI agents executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago on Monday, August 8, the items that they were looking for, according to...
    Former President Donald Trump’s battle with the FBI over its search of Mar-a-Lago has moved from South Florida to New York City, where a court-appointed “special master” on Tuesday indicated he has a very simple test for whether he sides with the Department of Justice. The special master, Raymond J. Dearie, said Tuesday that if Trump’s lawyers don't officially counter whether the documents the former president took are classified, then Dearie will side with the DOJ. “As far as I'm concerned, that's the end of it,” he said. Dearie, a semi-retired federal judge in Brooklyn who’s playing the role of temporary referee, wants to speed up the process and get federal agents back on track. And while Trump has been alleging on social media that he already declassified the records he swiped from the White House, Dearie is demanding that Trump put up or shut up. The senior judge is asking that Trump’s team assert—in sworn affidavits where lies could mean jail time—whether or not Trump actually declassified them. Dearie said wasn’t going to “hurry,” but noted that time...
    U.S. District Judge R. Austin Huffaker ruled that death row inmate Alan Eugene Miller should not be put to death unless it is by his chosen method A federal judge on Monday halted the scheduled lethal injection of an Alabama death row inmate, ruling that he 'likely faces irreparable injury' if he is not executed by his requested method. U.S. District Judge R. Austin Huffaker issued a preliminary injunction blocking Alabama from putting Alan Eugene Miller, a delivery truck driver convicted of killing three co-workers in 1999, to death on September 22 as previously scheduled. The judge found that the state likely lost Miller's paperwork requesting to be executed by nitrogen hypoxia - a supposedly more humane method akin to suffocation - which Alabama has authorized but not yet implemented.  An Alabama jury took 20 minutes to convict, in a 10 to 2 vote, in July 2000 and decided that put Miller should be put to death. Two appeals of the verdict were denied. 'Miller will likely suffer irreparable injury if an injunction does not issue because he will be...
    A federal judge sentenced a 41-year-old convicted drug trafficker with a history of convictions to 16 years in prison earlier this month, authorities said. Officers arrested him after finding his stash hidden inside a wall at an apartment complex.  Daniel Donald of Worcester was convicted last year of possession with intent to distribute over 100 grams of heroin, over 500 grams of cocaine, over 28 grams of crack cocaine, and fentanyl, and being a felon in possession of a firearm, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Massachusetts said. The court ruled Donald was a "career offender" and an "armed career offender," which added to his sentence.  Donald and a partner, Robert Young, leased two apartments on Groton Street in Worcester, where they dealt drugs, federal authorities said. In 2017, officers began investigating the pair and found a kilogram of cocaine, 345 grams of heroin, 80 grams of crack, and about 200 pills containing fentanyl between an interior and exterior wall, the prosecutor said. Investigators also found a loaded 9mm pistol.  Young pleaded guilty to charges last year, federal prosecutors said, and a...
    A federal judge on Friday signed a temporary restraining order addressing Los Angeles County jail conditions that a civil rights group called “barbaric.” The order signed by U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson bars the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department from holding a person in the overcrowded jail system’s inmate reception center for more than 24 hours. Deputies at the center’s clinic will be barred from handcuffing, chaining or tethering a person to a chair “or any other object” for more than four hours and from keeping more people in holding cells than allowed by state regulations “without first exhausting every other means.” People cannot be kept in a holding cell for more than 12 hours or in a locked cage for more than eight hours, according to the court documents. California ‘Barbaric’ L.A. County jail conditions alleged as ACLU seeks federal intervention L.A. County jail inmates are left to defecate in garbage cans and sleep chained to chairs or benches, ACLU alleges in demand for an emergency court order Friday’s order comes after the American Civil Liberties Union...
    A veteran New York judge from Long Island will be tasked with reviewing documents that were seized by the FBI from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Raymond Dearie, age 79, a senior federal judge in the Eastern District of New York, was named by a federal judge in Florida as a so-called special master Thursday evening, Sept. 15. Dearie was one of two potential candidates put forward by Trump’s legal team and was also endorsed by the Department of Justice. In his role as special master, he will be responsible for reviewing documents and separating out those that could be covered under claims of executive privilege. He will also evaluate any claims regarding the return of property, US District Judge Aileen Cannon said. Cannon gave Dearie until Wednesday, Nov. 30 to wrap up his review. Federal investigators said they recovered more than 11,000 documents from Trump’s home during their search on Monday, Aug. 8. Over 100 documents were marked as classified, the DOJ said. As part of her ruling Thursday, Cannon also barred the Justice...
    Share this: SENATE AFFIRMS COURT OF APPEALS/2ND CIRCUIT JUDGE: The Senate on Thursday confirmed Judge Sarah Merriam to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which has appellate jurisdiction over New York, including the U.S. District Court-Eastern District (federal court) here in Brooklyn. Merriam, who was confirmed in a 53-44 vote, becomes the fifth judge appointed to the court by President Joe Biden, and is among those with a public defender background. A federal trial judge in the District of Connecticut, Merriam is also the third federal appellate judge confirmed by the Senate this week, with Salvador Mendoza joining the Ninth Circuit and Lara Montecalvo to the First Circuit. ✰✰✰
    Attorney George Conway reacted incredulously to Judge Aileen Cannon’s rejection of a Department of Justice request to allow investigators to continue reviewing documents seized at Donald Trump’s home last month. FBI agents executed a search warrant at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate, where they found thousands of government documents, including classified material. Trump’s attorneys have claimed some of the documents are privileged. They requested the appointment of a special master to review the documents instead of federal prosecutors – a request Cannon, whom Trump appointed in 2020, granted earlier this month. In her ruling today, she appointed Raymond Dearie as special master. The DOJ is expected to appeal to the 11th Circuit. Conway appeared on CNN Thursday even to offer his reaction. “I don’t know that it’s going to be a huge setback in long-term, but it’s going to delay them to some extent,” he stated. “I mean, this ruling is absolutely a disgrace. And I don’t think it’s going to take very much to overturn it. I mean, Bill Barr last week told the New York Times that the...
    By ERIC TUCKER WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday appointed a veteran New York jurist to serve as an independent arbiter and review records seized during an FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home last month. In her order, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon refused a Justice Department request to lift her temporary prohibition on the department’s use of the roughly 100 classified records that were taken during the Aug. 8 search. She also granted the newly named special master, Raymond Dearie, access to the entire tranche of documents seized from the property even though the department had said the arbiter shouldn’t be permitted to inspect the batch of classified records. The Justice Department is expected to contest the judge’s order to a federal appeals court. It had given Cannon until Thursday to put on hold her order barring the continued review of classified records, and said it would ask the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to intervene if she did not do so then. A Justice Department spokesman did not immediately return a...
    (CNN)A conversation between a federal judge and a lawyer for one of the Oath Keepers charged with seditious conspiracy ended in a screaming match on Wednesday, when the lawyer suggested she would argue at trial that her client deleted evidence after the riot because he was directed to by another lawyer.Juli Haller, who represents Oath Keeper Kelly Meggs, told US District Judge Amit Mehta that she was exploring whether to argue that the Oath Keepers general counsel, Kellye SoRelle, instructed Meggs to delete text messages from his phone after the riot.Meggs has since been charged with tampering with documents for the alleged act and has pleaded not guilty."How is it today, 10 days before trial, I'm first being told you might advance an advice-of-counsel-defense," Mehta shouted at Haller. The argument is indicative of the many legal issues that have yet to be resolved before the five leaders of the far-right Oath Keepers militia group head to trial later this month -- the first seditious conspiracy trial stemming from January 6.Read MoreThe trial will be a major test of DOJ's decision...
    A Texas woman is now facing charges for making threats against the federal judge presiding over the U.S. Department of Justice's classified documents investigation involving former President Donald Trump. According to NBC News, Tiffani Gish, a resident of Houston, Texas, was arrested after admitting to U.S. Marshalls that she did, in fact, call U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon and leave multiple threatening messages on his voicemail. Per the federal complaint, according to the news outlet, Gish — who identified herself as the spy, "Evelyn Salt," from the 2010 film, Salt during the call — claimed Cannon was "'marked for assassination' and that she planned to shoot her in front of her family." READ MORE: Ex-federal prosecutor: DOJ may believe Donald Trump possesses more secret documents During the calls, which were reportedly placed on Sept. 1, Gish is also said to have made a number of other statements. According to the court filings, she claimed to be "'in charge of nuclear' for the country and that she has a 'license to kill,'" the news outlet reports. During the...
    Washington (CNN)The Justice Department and former President Donald Trump's legal team have found rare agreement in a potential candidate to serve as the special master tasked with reviewing the documents seized from Mar-a-Lago. Judge Raymond Dearie, whom Trump's legal team put forward, is an acceptable option to serve as the third-party attorney to independently review the seized materials, the Justice Department said in a court filing Monday evening. While it remains unclear when US District Judge Aileen Cannon will decide who will serve as the special master, here's what you need to know about Dearie and the role he could play in the investigation. Who is Raymond Dearie?Dearie, a Reagan nominee, has served as a federal judge in New York since 1986. He retired in 2011 and is now a senior judge on the circuit. Read MoreHe also served a seven-year term on the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA court. Dearie was one of the judges who approved an FBI and DOJ request to surveil Carter Page, a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, as part of the federal...
    The Justice Department on Monday approved one of the candidates suggested by Donald Trump as an independent arbiter in the investigation into top-secret documents found at Mar-a-Lago. Trump's team submitted their candidates for the role of special master on September 9, and on Monday the Justice Department responded. They said they would accept Barbara S. Jones, Thomas B. Griffith, or Raymond J. Dearie in the role. Dearie was proposed by the Trump team.  Jones and Griffith are new names, suggested by the government.  The Justice Department said all three retired judges 'have substantial judicial experience, during which they have presided over federal criminal and civil cases, including federal cases involving national security and privilege concerns'. A fourth candidate, Paul Huck, was rejected by the Justice Department, with the government saying he 'does not appear to have similar experience'.  They said their chosen three have suitable staff to assist them with the task.  Raymond J. Dearie, the former top federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of New York, was proposed by the Trump team as an overseer of the Mar-a-Lago documents investigation: on Monday...
    (CNN)A Texas woman who allegedly left a series of threatening messages on the voicemail of a federal judge overseeing one of former President Donald Trump's legal fights in Florida was arrested last week, according to court documents.Tiffani Shea Gish, of Houston, left three voicemails for Aileen Cannon, a federal judge in the Southern District of Florida who was nominated by Trump in 2020, according to court documents. Cannon is handling the former President's request for a special master to review documents and other items the FBI seized from Mar-a-Lago last month.In the voicemails, Gish threatened to have Cannon assassinated in front of her family for "helping" the former president, court documents say. Trump opposes DOJs Mar-a-Lago special master candidates but doesnt say why"Donald Trump has been disqualified long ago, and he's marked for assassination. You're helping him, ma'am," Gish allegedly said one of the voicemails."He's marked for assassination and so are you," she said, according to court documents, telling Cannon to "stand the f*ck down or get shot."Read MoreIn other messages, Gish, who identified herself on the messages as "Evelyn...
    (CNN)Former President Donald Trump opposes the Justice Department's two proposed candidates to be the special master overseeing a review of evidence that the FBI seized from Mar-a-Lago last month, he told a federal judge on Monday.But the Trump team declined to give its reasons for objecting to the pair -- retired federal judges Barbara Jones and Thomas Griffith -- at this time. "Plaintiff objects to the proposed nominees of the Department of Justice. Plaintiff believes there are specific reasons why those nominees are not preferred for service as Special Master in this case," the Trump lawyers wrote.The Justice Department nominated Griffith, who served as a judge on US Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, DC, from 2005 to 2020, and Jones, a former federal prosecutor who has been a special master in several recent high-profile investigations. Takeaways from the Trump and DOJ Mar-a-Lago special master court filingThe Trump team suggested lawyer Paul Huck Jr., a former partner at the Jones Day law firm and a contributor to the conservative legal organization the Federalist Society, and retired Judge Raymond Dearie, who...
    A detailed property inventory of documents and other items seized from former U.S. President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate is seen after the document was released to the public by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in West Palm Beach, Florida, September 2, 2022.Jim Bourg | Reuters A Texas woman has been charged with threatening to kill the federal judge presiding over a dispute between former President Donald Trump and the Department of Justice about records seized in an FBI raid of Trump's home last month. An FBI special agent said Tiffani Shea Gish of Houston left three threatening voicemails for the chamber telephone of Judge Aileen Cannon of U.S. District Court in southern Florida, according to a criminal complaint filed Sept. 6. Identifying herself as the fictional Russian agent Evelyn Salt, Gish claimed to be "in charge of nuclear" for the government, a federal agent and "Trump's hitman" who had a "license to kill," according to transcribed excerpts of the calls included in the complaint. Gish's pseudonym is the same name as the protagonist played by...
    When Judge Aileen Cannon granted former President Donald Trump’s request for a special master in the federal investigation of the government documents he was storing at Mar-a-Lago, more than a few Trump critics pointed out that Cannon is a Trump appointee. Journalist Jason Linkins, in an article published by The New Republic on September 12, points to Cannon as a symptom of a larger problem: too much “right-wing “hackery” in the federal courts. “Over Labor Day weekend, Trump-selected judge Aileen Cannon ordered the appointment of a special master to review the material seized by the Justice Department from Mar-a-Lago — a move that will allow the president to delay the ongoing investigation,” Linkins explains. “It’s a result that everyone with half a brain could have spotted from a million miles out: Trump sought out the judge most willing to bend the rules in order to help him wriggle his way out of trouble…. It should be apparent to everyone by now that the conservative legal movement and its foot soldiers in the judiciary have ideological goals in mind and a...
    (CNN)The Justice Department and former President Donald Trump's lawyers proposed two selections each to a federal judge for who should serve as "special master" in the Mar-a-Lago investigation.District Court Judge Aileen Cannon, the Trump-appointed judge presiding over the case, earlier this week granted the former President's request to appoint a third-party attorney, known as a special master, to independently review the materials -- including more than 100 classified documents -- that the FBI seized from his Florida residence and resort.READ: DOJ and Trump team proposals for special master reviewTrump's legal team has argued that the Justice Department can't be trusted to do its own review for potentially privileged materials that should be siloed off from the criminal probe. The Justice Department on Thursday appealed the court-ordered special master review as it argued the order was putting US national security at risk.Cannon has said she'll decide "exact details and mechanics" of the special master process "expeditiously" after both sides submit their proposals, but it's not clear when the judge will rule or what form that ruling will take.Here are the four...
    (CNN)The Justice Department and former President Donald Trump's lawyers have submitted their proposals to a federal judge for who should serve as special master to review materials seized from Mar-a-Lago and how the process should work. Friday night's joint court filing is the latest legal turn in the Justice Department's historic criminal investigation into Trump's potential mishandling of documents as his term ended in January 2021. The FBI executed a search warrant last month at the former president's Florida home and resort, seizing 11,000 documents, including more than 100 classified government records. READ: DOJ and Trump team proposals for special master reviewUS District Judge Aileen Cannon earlier this week granted Trump's request for a special master -- a third-party attorney outside of the government -- and ordered criminal investigators at the Justice Department to stop using the seized materials as part of their ongoing probe until the special master finishes their review.Alongside their nominees, the Justice Department wants the special master to move relatively quickly, wrapping up its review in five weeks, by October 17. Trump proposed 90 days. Whomever...
    A federal judge in Florida has tossed a racketeering lawsuit that Donald Trump filed against Hillary Clinton and a slew of other defendants—dismantling his claims one by one in an absolutely withering critique. “It is not simply that I find the Amended Complaint ‘inadequate in any respect,’” Judge Donald Middlebrooks writes at one point. “It is inadequate in nearly every respect.” Trump filed the suit in March alleging that Clinton and the others “orchestrated a malicious conspiracy to disseminate patently false and injurious information” about his campaign’s possible collusion with Russia. After the defendants filed a motion to dismiss, Trump’s lawyers filed a 193-page amended complaint, adding a new claim of wire fraud—and the judge writes, “eighty new pages of largely irrelevant allegations that did nothing to salvage the legal sufficiency of his claims.” Trump had no immediate comment on the dismissal. Middlebrooks, who was appointed to the bench by President Bill Clinton, makes clear from the outset that he thinks the complaint filed by Trump’s lawyers is legal gobbledygook. “Plaintiff’s theory of this case, set forth over 527...
    (CNN)A federal judge rejected Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes' efforts to fire his two attorneys and delay his weeks-away trial for seditious conspiracy relating to the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, telling the leader there was no "legitimate reason" to make the eleventh-hour change. According to Rhodes, who has pleaded not guilty, he and his lawyers Phillip Linder and James Lee Bright had a "near-complete breakdown of communication" and have not spoken in nearly a month. Rhodes also alleged that his lawyers missed filing deadlines and failed to request evidence from prosecutors that Rhodes wanted to use in his defense. During a contentious hearing on Wednesday, DC District Court Judge Amit Mehta rejected Rhodes' allegations, saying that the claims were not consistent with what he had witnessed up to this point. Linder and Bright, who were present at the hearing, both fiercely defended their representation of Rhodes so far, with Bright saying that the allegations were "fallacious at best," but the two pledged to "make every effort" to rectify their relationship. "Mr. Bright and Mr. Linder are...
    A federal judge sided with Republican officials on Tuesday in ordering the White House to turn over messages discussing misinformation and content censorship with social media companies. US District Judge Terry Doughty gave the Biden administration 21 days to hand over emails sent by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, according to the court filing. The GOP attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana filed the lawsuit, accusing the Biden administration of politically weaponizing social media platforms to censor stories on Hunter Biden's laptop, mail-in voting and COVID-19 information. Doughty - who was appointed by Donald Trump - cast aside the Justice Department's attempt to use executive privilege, claiming that it would only apply to internal administration emails. Emails with outside executives were fair game, he ruled. Their correspondences are also 'obviously very relevant' to the case, the judge wrote in his 10-page opinion. 'Dr. Fauci’s communications would be relevant to Plaintiffs’ allegations in reference to alleged suppression of speech relating to the lab-leak theory of COVID-19’s origin, and to alleged suppression of speech about the...
    Abbott used 'scorched earth' tactics to bury claims its baby formula caused brain damage or death in children, a former federal judge has claimed. The firm's powerful lawyers overloaded their opponents with paperwork for years as they crushed them in court, ex-attorney Mark Bennett alleged. The Iowa native, who watched over several cases between families and the company, also argued they reached secret court deals with alleged victims. And he accused the lawyers of trying to push blame on the affected children's parents for having a deadly bacteria in their houses. Bennett said their conduct was 'the worst by a factor of 10' he had ever seen over the course of his two decades on the bench. The shocking claims come as Abbott ramps up production of baby formula at its Michigan plant after it was closed over a harmful bacteria in its products. The move led to a nationwide disaster as desperate parents were forced to strip supermarket shelves of their remaining stock. Joe Biden finally brought in a series of emergency flights to get it from abroad in May...
    A federal judge with a lengthy history of deciding against LGBTQ people and in favor of the far Christian right has ruled the Affordable Care Act and the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services cannot require companies to cover the cost of an HIV prevention drug referred to as PrEP. The plaintiffs sued the federal government claiming their business is a “Christian for-profit corporation” that “objects” to “coverage of preventive care such as contraceptives and PrEP drugs” on “religious grounds.” The plaintiffs, the lawsuit also says, “claim that compulsory coverage for those services violates their religious beliefs by making them complicit in facilitating homosexual behavior, drug use, and sexual activity outside of marriage between one man and one woman.” HIV is not exclusive to people who engage in same-sex intimate relations, drug use, or sexual activity outside of marriage between one man and one woman. U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor (photo) of Texas, who ruled in 2018 that ObamaCare is unconstitutional, on Wednesday declared the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services “did not provide any ‘compelling’ evidence to...
    (CNN)A federal judge could rule soon on former White House chief of staff Mark Meadow's legal challenge against subpoenas from the House select committee investigating January 6. Judge Carl Nichols said he would issue a ruling "appropriately quickly." At a hearing on Wednesday, Meadows' attorney, George Terwilliger III, argued that executive privilege extended to former aides to the president and that the subpoenas issued by the select committee were overly broad and violated Meadows' Fourth Amendment rights. After Mar-a-Lago search, Meadows turns over more texts and emails to ArchivesThe House referred Meadows last year to the Justice Department for refusing to fully comply with subpoenas. But the DOJ declined to indict him and Dan Scavino, former deputy chief of staff to then-President Donald Trump, on criminal contempt of Congress charges.The House's general counsel, Douglas Letter, told the judge that "Mr. Meadows has an obligation to answer questions" to the committee and that executive privilege, even if asserted during testimony, wouldn't cover everything the House committee wants to ask Meadows about. Read MoreTerwilliger praised Nichols outside the courthouse as "very knowledgeable,"...
    (CNN)A federal judge in Texas on Wednesday struck down an Affordable Care Act requirement that insurers and employers offer plans that cover HIV-prevention drugs.The ruling came as part of a broader decision that was a partial victory to Obamacare opponents who challenged the Affordable Care Act mandates for coverage of preventive care services without charge.US District Judge Reed O'Connor ruled that the requirement that employers offer insurance plans that cover HIV-prevention pills, known as PrEP drugs, violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The requirement's challengers, employers in Texas, argued that the mandate facilitated behavior to which they have religious objections. As part of the ruling, O'Connor declared unconstitutional part of the broader preventive services mandate, which requires insurers and employers to cover screenings for cancer and heart disease, as well as programs for smoking cessation, among many others. However, the judge upheld certain services for children and women, as well as immunizations.Read MoreThe extent of the ruling remains to be determined. O'Connor has requested both sides file additional briefs by Friday.This story is breaking and will be updated.
    By Meg Kinnard, Curt Anderson and Eric Tucker | Associated Press ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon is facing sharp criticism following her decision this week to grant a request by former President Donald Trump’s legal team for an independent arbiter to review documents obtained during an FBI search of his Florida property last month. Cannon on Monday authorized an outside legal expert to review the records taken during the Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago as part of a probe into Trump’s inappropriate retention of sensitive material from the White House. The expert would have power to weed out any material that might be protected by claims of attorney-client privilege or executive privilege. The order came over the strenuous objections of the Justice Department, which said a so-called special master was not necessary in part because officials had already completed their review of potentially privileged documents. The move was cheered by Trump supporters seeking a check on the government’s probe. But others say Cannon gave undue deference to the former president and unnecessarily put on hold certain...
    Jeenah Moon/Getty Images In a landmark ruling on Tuesday, a New Mexico state district court judge barred Otero County Commissioner and Cowboys for Trump co-founder Couy Griffin from holding or seeking public office again. “This decision marks the first time since 1869 that a court has disqualified a public official under Section 3, and the first time that any court has ruled the events of January 6, 2021 an insurrection,” noted Citizens for Ethics while reporting on the ruling. In March, Griffin was convicted on a federal misdemeanor for entering the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021, and sentenced to 14 days in jail, but released for time served. District Court Judge Francis Mathew ruled that Griffin be immediately removed from office and permanently banned from any future office under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment – also known as the “Disqualification Clause.” Citizens for Ethics breaks down the language of the clause: Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, also known as the Disqualification Clause, bars any person from holding federal or state office who took an “oath…to support the...
    A federal judge appointed by Donald Trump and confirmed after he lost the 2020 presidential election on Monday granted the former president his request for a “special master,” an independent third party, to review the more than 11,000 documents stolen from the White House and seized by federal agents at Mar-a-Lago on August 8. U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, a member of the far-right Federalist Society since 2005, not only granted Trump his request, but ordered the U.S. Dept.of Justice to cease, at least for now, its criminal investigation into Trump and the stolen documents, which include more than 100 classified, highly classified, and top secret documents. Last week former federal prosecutor Shan Wu said Judge Cannon “has no business trying to oversee a federal criminal investigation.” READ MORE: Trump Suggests It’s Corruption for DOJ to Not Release Information Regardless of How It Could Influence an Election “Special masters are used in federal courts to assist judges in matters involving some ‘exceptional condition,’ or ‘complex accounting or computation of damages,’ or where a ‘district judge or magistrate judge of the...
    When former President Donald Trump summoned up years of bubbling resentment and sued Hillary Clinton and everyone else involved in Russiagate earlier this year, he naturally filed his lawsuit in South Florida—home to his oceanside estate. And yet, when his attorneys formally filed the paperwork, they selected a tiny courthouse in the sprawling federal court district’s furthest northeast corner—a satellite location that’s 70 miles from Mar-a-Lago. They ignored the West Palm Beach federal courthouse that’s a 12-minute drive away. Trump’s legal team, it seemed, was specifically seeking out a particular federal judge: one he appointed as president. The tactic failed, and Trump instead got a Clinton-era judge whom he promptly tried to disqualify for alleged bias. U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks called him out in a snarky footnote. “I note that Plaintiff filed this lawsuit in the Fort Pierce division of this District, where only one federal judge sits: Judge Aileen Cannon, who Plaintiff appointed in 2020. Despite the odds, this case landed with me instead. And when Plaintiff is a litigant before a judge that he himself...
    (CNN)A federal judge on Friday denied Steve Bannon's request for a new trial, after the former Trump adviser was convicted of contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack.Bannon had raised a series of issues, including about the instructions to the jury, that failed to sway the judge."Defendant's arguments relating to the jury instructions, while certainly well preserved, do not demonstrate a serious miscarriage of justice," US District Judge Carl Nichols, who presided over Bannon's trial, wrote in a Friday ruling.Bannon had also requested that the judge dismiss the case against him because Bannon was blocked from compelling a variety of lawmakers -- including the members of the House select committee -- from testifying at his trial."Defendant has not shown that the testimony from any member of the House of Representatives that he sought would be material," Nichols wrote.Read MoreBannon is slated to be sentenced on October 21 and faces a minimum of 30 days in jail.
    Washington (CNN)A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit brought by Trump 2016 campaign adviser Carter Page, who sued the FBI and Justice Department for damages stemming from the controversial government surveillance he faced due to his Russian ties. During the 2016 presidential campaign, federal investigators obtained permission from the FISA court to wiretap Page, and the surveillance continued for roughly one year.While Russia was meddling in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump, investigators wanted to monitor Page because of his web of Russian connections. This included ties to known Russian spies, his past work for Kremlin-controlled Gazprom and a pro-Russia speech that he delivered in Moscow at the height of the campaign. However, the process that the FBI and DOJ used to secure the warrants was riddled with errors, mistakes and overall sloppiness, according to a DOJ inspector general report. Investigators also relied in part on material from the notorious Trump-Russia dossier, written by a retired British spy, which has since been largely discredited. Two of the four surveillance warrants granted by the secretive FISA court have since...
    Getty Local law enforcement officers are seen in front of the home of former President Donald Trump at Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida on August 9, 2022. Aileen Cannon is the federal judge presiding over a hearing in the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago. She is considering a request from former President Donald Trump to appoint a special master in the investigation. Cannon was appointed by Trump to her position as U.S. District Court Judge. On Thursday, September 1, 2022, she heard from Trump attorneys asking she place restrictions on investigators, saying national security was at risk. She is a district judge for the Southern District of Florida in Fort Pierce, Florida, according to Florida’s court portal. Cannon filed a 24-page application to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary to apply for her role. Cannon’s husband is Josh Cannon, who she married June 7, 2008, according to her wedding website.
    The Justice Department came out swinging against former President Donald Trump late Tuesday night, in a scathing court filing to block him from getting his stuff back from the Mar-a-Lago search by stating flatly that “those records do not belong to him.” In the 36-page document, the DOJ argued that Trump lacks any ability to even ask for a federal judge to step in and oversee the seizure of sensitive documents that were kept unsecured at Trump’s oceanfront mansion in South Florida. Trump, represented by a team of defense attorneys who have been criticized for their ineptitude, waited a whopping two weeks after the FBI raid at his Palm Beach estate to sue and ask for a judge to appoint a “special master” to oversee federal agents’ handling of the records they seized. On Tuesday night, the DOJ responded by arguing that the Presidential Records Act “makes clear” that the government “has complete ownership, possession, and control” of those documents and the former president can’t just ask for them back—or dictate how they should be handled.
    Former U.S. President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort is seen in Palm Beach, Florida, February 8, 2021.Marco Bello | Reuters The Department of Justice on Tuesday night urged a federal judge to oppose a request to appoint a special master to review documents seized from the Florida residence of former President Donald Trump earlier this month. The response came one day after the Justice Department revealed to a federal judge that its review of the seized materials was complete. Trump had sued to block the DOJ from further investigating any materials taken in the raid until a court-appointed "special master" is able to analyze them. A law enforcement team identified a "limited set" of materials that may be protected by attorney-client privilege, the DOJ wrote Monday in U.S. District Court in southern Florida. That privilege often refers to the legal doctrine that protects the confidentiality of communications between an attorney and their client. The so-called Privilege Review Team — which is separate from the investigation that led the FBI to search Trump's residence earlier this month — is following a process to...
    by Bethany Blankley   A federal judge sided with Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and 12 other plaintiff states in a Louisiana-led lawsuit, issuing a permanent injunction against the Biden administration’s moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal lands and water. U.S. District Court Judge Terry Doughty issued the permanent injunction, declaring that the president exceeded his authority when halting oil and gas leasing and drilling permits. “I am pleased the Court recognized that the President stepped outside his authority,” Landry said in a statement. “Biden’s energy policies have crushed American families with higher energy bills for their homes and vehicles.” Doughty ruled that Biden’s executive order issued Jan. 27, 2021, violated the Mineral Leasing Act (MLA) and Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) and was “beyond the authority of the President of the United States. Even the President cannot make significant changes to the OCSLA and/or the MLA that Congress did not delegate.” The order implemented a moratorium on new development of oil and gas fields on federal lands just days after the U.S. Interior Department also imposed...
    A federal district judge has shown her 'preliminary intent' to grant former President Donald Trump's request of having a special master go through documents agents seized at Mar-a-Lago. Trump-appointed Judge Eileen Cannon issued the order Saturday evening, just hours after the Justice Department released a redacted version of the affidavit that bolstered the search warrant that FBI agents carried out August 8. That document provided new insight into the trove of classified documents that were stored at the former president's club, including information that could compromise 'clandestine human sources.' Judge Cannon issued her order in response to Trump's blistering lawsuit filed in the Southern District of Florida, arguing that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated. But she surprised some legal observers by tipping her inclination even before hearing opposing arguments from the government. It also is not clear that DOJ has yet been formally served in the case. She set a hearing for Sept. 1, but said her order was not a 'final determination.' She also told DOJ, the defendant in this case, to provide a 'more detailed report' of...
    The school also argued, according to court documents, that the scan was "brief, only revealed items in plain view, and the student controlled the inspection to the extent that the student chose where in the house to take the exam and where in the room to direct the camera." U.S. district court Judge J. Philip Calabrese ultimately decided in Ogletree's favor. "Mr. Ogletree's privacy interest in his home outweighs Cleveland State's interests in scanning his room. Accordingly, the Court determines that Cleveland State's practice of conducting room scans is unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment," Judge Calabrese stated. "We hope more schools will recognize that just because an invasive surveillance tool exists, it isn't necessarily helpful to education," Jason Kelley, the Associate Director of Digital Strategy at EFF, told Reason. "And as this ruling illustrates, it may in fact be a violation of students' rights." The school’s legal representative, Dave Yost, who is also Ohio’s attorney general, is “reviewing the decision and consulting with the university on possible next steps,” according to the New York Times.
    (CNN)A federal judge has ruled that a Texas law that bans people ages 18 to 20 from carrying handguns in public is unconstitutional, saying the restriction is inconsistent with the Second Amendment and US history. The decision follows a transformational Supreme Court ruling in June which significantly expanded gun owners' rights to carry firearms outside the home and raised the threshold that authorities must meet when defending gun restrictions. District Court Judge Mark Pittman stated that the Texas restriction on "law-abiding 18-to-20-year-olds" is inconsistent with the Constitution because the Second Amendment itself does not state an age restriction, and minors were part of state militias that existed in the formative years of American history.The same reasoning has been used recently by other Trump-appointed judges to rule against gun purchase limits for older teens. The case was brought by the gun rights nonprofit Firearms Policy Coalition, which has brought a handful of similar challenges against other states, including Pennsylvania and California. Read More"Texas cannot point to a single Founding Era law that prohibited 18-to-20-year-olds from carrying a functional firearm for self-defense,...
    Share this: Words matter and have consequences, particularly when spoken by lawyers and public leaders about contentious legal processes. In these circumstances lawyers, in particular, have an important role to play in upholding, not undermining, the rule of law and the independence of the judicial system. And, in a highly charged environment, like the one we find ourselves in today, violence cannot be an unanticipated outcome when the words used are inflammatory, misleading, or reckless. The execution of a search warrant by the FBI on former President Trump’s Mar-A-Lago complex unleashed an uproar with little precedent that quickly escalated to threats and acts of violence against federal law enforcement personnel and a federal judge. During this controversy, lawyers and high public office holders have provided misleading and confusing statements and have expressed contempt for – and leveled thinly-veiled threats against – law enforcement officers, a judge and the entirety of the criminal justice system and those who administer it. Remarks have demonstrated an alarming acceptance of violence as a means of redress of perceived wrongs committed by law enforcement officers...
    by Laurel Duggan   James Hendrix, U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Texas, temporarily blocked President Joe Biden’s attempt to force states to provide abortions in certain emergency situations in a Tuesday ruling, according to court documents. Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued guidance under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), which requires hospitals that receive Medicare funding to provide emergency medical aid in an attempt to override state abortion bans. Hendrix halted the guidance and temporarily blocked the HHS from enforcing its interpretation of EMTALA. EMTALA only overrides state abortion laws when the two are directly in conflict and, since Texas law allows abortions to save the life of a mother and the removal of ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages, HHS’s interpretation that it overrides Texas state law on abortion was incorrect, Hendrix argued. EMTALA protects both mothers and unborn children, makes no mention of abortion and doesn’t instruct doctors on how to weigh risks to the lives of mothers and babies in medical emergencies, he wrote. Biden is attempting to twist federal law to...
    Tea Party Patriots Action [TPPA] said in a Wednesday press release that it is filing a complaint against the judge who signed off on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) search warrant to raid former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. TPPA’s Honorary Chairman Jenny Beth Martin said the following: “Judge [Bruce] Reinhart acted unethically in approving the warrant to search President Trump’s residence. Judge Reinhart is a Democrat who donated to former President Obama. The judge publicly denigrated former President Trump in social media posts. Just two months ago, he recused himself from a lawsuit involving President Trump in his suit against Hillary Clinton, citing a ‘conflict of interest.’ He has a history of ethical issues, most notably his conduct during the Jeffrey Epstein investigation and prosecution. He should be disciplined and removed as a federal magistrate. The entire episode involving the search of former President Trump’s home threatens the principle of ‘equal justice under law’ and the confidence of the American people in an unbiased judiciary.” As reported by The Tennessee Star, Reinhart is a magistrate judge who himself was...
    A federal judge appeared to consider the Biden administration’s claim that Idaho’s abortion ban would violate the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) as having merit. Judge B. Lynn Winmill, of U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho, said during a hearing regarding the challenge brought against the state by the Biden administration that, although the law allows for abortions to prevent the death of a pregnant woman, doctors who performed the procedure in an emergency might still be hesitant to do so based on their “good faith medical judgment,” as stipulated in the Idaho law. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) states regarding EMTALA: In 1986, Congress enacted the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (EMTALA) to ensure public access to emergency services regardless of ability to pay. Section 1867 of the Social Security Act imposes specific obligations on Medicare-participating hospitals that offer emergency services to provide a medical screening examination (MSE) when a request is made for examination or treatment for an emergency medical condition (EMC), including active labor, regardless of an individual’s...
    (CNN)A US district court on Wednesday evening granted a Biden administration request, temporarily blocking Idaho's ban on abortion in situations where the ban conflicts with federal standards for emergency care."This Court is not grappling with" the larger questions about a right to an abortion, US District Judge B. Lynn Winmill wrote in handing down a preliminary injunction. "Rather, the Court is called upon to address a far more modest issue — whether Idaho's criminal abortion statute conflicts with a small but important corner of federal legislation. It does."The Biden administration had challenged parts of Idaho's abortion ban, which was set to take effect on Thursday, under a law known as the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act or EMTALA, which establishes emergency care requirements for certain health care providers. Winmill said Wednesday that the Justice Department was likely to succeed in its argument that Idaho's abortion ban criminalized abortion care that physicians are obligated to offer in medical emergencies under EMTALA."In short, given the extraordinarily broad scope of Idaho Code § 18-622, neither the State nor the Legislature have convinced...
    A federal judge in Idaho has barred the state from enforcing a strict abortion ban in medical emergencies over concerns that it violates a federal law on emergency care. The ruling Wednesday evening came after a federal judge this week in Texas made the opposite call, barring the federal government from enforcing a legal interpretation of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act that would require Texas hospitals to provide abortion services if the health or life of the mother is at risk. In Idaho, the ban makes performing an abortion in any "clinically diagnosable pregnancy" a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Much of Idaho's law will still go into effect Thursday, but U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled Wednesday the state cannot prosecute anyone who is performing an abortion in an emergency medical situation. That's because abortions in those cases appear to fall under a federal health care law requiring Medicare-funded hospitals to provide "stabilizing treatment" to patients, Winmill said. That includes cases when the health of a pregnant patient is in serious jeopardy,...