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    As political party attorneys and the state of Pennsylvania argued over “curing” election ballots on Thursday, the Democratic judge hearing the case suggested that differing county rules could undermine confidence in election integrity. Judge Ellen Ceisler, one of two Democrats on the seven-member Commonwealth Court, conducted the hearing in which Republican Party lawyers pressed their case against Pennsylvania Acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman (D). Per litigation filed three weeks ago, the plaintiffs contended that the court should not permit the secretary to let counties notify absentee or mail-in voters that their ballots contain mistakes that can supposedly be corrected or “cured.”  Some voters err either by failing to sign or improperly filling out declarations on their ballot envelopes. Others fail to insert their ballot into a secrecy envelope before placing it in the aforementioned envelope. Some Pennsylvania election boards contact these voters and allow them to correct and resubmit their ballots. Kathleen Gallagher, counsel for the Republican National Committee, told Ceisler that Bucks, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Northampton, and Lehigh Counties — all in or near the state’s left-leaning southeast —...
    Share this: On Tuesday evening, the Brooklyn Democratic Party, chaired by Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, voted for Judge Edward King as the backfill pick for the Brooklyn Civil Court seat left vacant by Judge Craig S. Walker, who recently was nominated for Justice of New York State Supreme Court in a historical Brooklyn Democratic Party Nomination Convention. Edward King, who has run his private law practice for over 35 years, faced a tight vote against contender Stephen Burzio, the Principal Law Clerk for a New York State Supreme Court Judge in Brooklyn. Judge Edward King and Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn. Photo: Brooklyn Democrats King, a Black military veteran, won the heated race to become one of the few Black male judges in the Kings County Court, adding even more diversity to the borough’s Court System.
    Kentucky Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear's office released an email that confirmed President Biden planned to nominate an anti-abortion judge to the bench - the same day Roe was overturned.   The Courier Journal reported Wednesday that Beshear's office handed over a June 23 email that stated: 'To be nominated tomorrow: ... Stephen Chad Meredith: candidate for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.'  But on June 24, the Supreme Court announced it was overturning Roe, and Meredith's nomination was never announced.  Kentucky Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear's office turned on President Joe Biden (pictured) and released an email that confirmed the Democratic president planned to nominate an anti-abortion judge to the bench - the same day Roe was overturned Kentucky's Republican former solicitor general Chad Meredith (left) was to be nominated to the federal bench the day Roe v. Wade was overturned according to an email sent to the office of Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (right), which was later released to the press  Meredith receiving a lifetime appointment was apparently a deal struck between the White House and...
    A lower court in Kansas threw out the state's GOP-friendly congressional map on Monday and ordered the state legislature back to the drawing board as the Aug. 2 primary looms. Judge Bill Klapper ruled that the map engaged an "intentional, effective partisan gerrymander" and diluted the power of minority voters in the state. Republicans will likely face an uphill legal battle if they seek to appeal the decision to the Democratic-controlled state Supreme Court. CIVIL RIGHTS GROUPS SUE FLORIDA OFFICIALS TO BLOCK GOP-FRIENDLY REDISTRICTING MAP "The Buddha says the only consistent thing in the universe is change. One does not have to be a Buddhist to realize change is always taking place," Klapper wrote in the decision. "Courts in all cases are tasked in doing what is right. This case is not different. Alas, the rub becomes what is right. Let’s define right as just." The new map, known as Ad Astra 2, would have likely put the Democrats' sole congressional seat in the state at risk. Republicans currently tout a 3-1 dominance over its congressional...
    Wealthy California Democratic donor Ed Buck - convicted of supplying dangerous drugs to gay men, two of whom died of overdoses - was today sentenced to 30 years in prison. Calling 67 year-old Buck's crimes 'horrific', Federal Judge Christina Snyder told him, 'What happened here is reprehensible conduct. All lives matter.' Prosecutors at the court in downtown Los Angeles urged the judge to impose a life sentence, while Buck's attorney, Mark Werksman, asked for a 10 year sentence. But Judge Snyder, noting 'mitigating circumstances' - including Buck being sexually abused by his father and a priest as a child - said life would be 'overly punitive.' For each of the two counts of distributing methamphetamine resulting in the deaths of 26 year-old escort Gemmel Moore, and porn actor Timothy Dean, 55, the judge sentenced him to 30 years to life in prison, to run concurrently. Ed Buck was a prominent Democratic donor and political activist who gave more than $500,000 to party elites including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Congressmen Adam Schiff and Ted Lieu plus many others. The 67-year-old is...
    An Iowa Democratic Senate contender has been blocked from appearing on the June 7 primary ballot after determining her campaign failed to secure enough valid signatures. Judge Scott Beattie sided with Republican petitioners and determined some of the signatures procured by Abby Finkenauer's campaign were not properly dated, rendering them invalid. Finkenauer has signaled she will appeal the ruling, which has frustrated her bid to unseat incumbent Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley. "This misguided, midnight ruling is an outrageous and partisan gift to the Washington Republicans who orchestrated this meritless legal action," Finkenauer said in a statement obtained by the Washington Examiner. "We are exploring all of our options to fight back hard against this meritless partisan attack, and to ensure that the voices of Iowans will be heard at the ballot box." Finkenauer's campaign claimed she accumulated over 5,000 signatures — 1,500 signatures more than what was required for the nominating petitions to appear on the ballot. Prospective candidates are required to submit at least 3,500 signatures, but they have to hit 100 in 19 Iowa counties....
    (CNN)A judge in Iowa ruled on Sunday that Democratic Senate candidate Abby Finkenauer cannot appear on the state's June 7 primary ballot, dealing a significant blow to her already longshot hopes of unseating Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley. "Ms. Finkenauer's name shall not be included on the primary ballot for the Democratic Primary for U.S. Senate," Polk County District Judge Scott Beattie wrote in the ruling. The ruling centers around a dispute over the signatures required to get on the ballot. Although Finkenaur's campaign submitted more than the necessary 3,500 signatures, the judge found that she did not meet the requirement that each candidate have at least 100 signatures from at least 19 Iowa counties due to questions about three signatures obtained from Allamakee and Cedar counties."The Court takes no joy in this conclusion," Beattie wrote. "This Court should not be in the position to make a difference in an election, and Ms. Finkenauer and her supporters should have a chance to advance her candidacy. However, this Court's job is to sit as a referee and apply the law without passion...
    by Sebastian Hughes   A judge in upstate New York has rejected the state’s new congressional map for not being “bipartisan,” ordering the Democratic-controlled legislature to redraw them. “Part of the problem is these maps were void …for failure to follow the constitutional process of having bipartisan maps presented by the [independent redistricting commission],” Steuben County Supreme Court Judge Patrick McAllister said in his decision released Thursday, according to the New York Post. “The second problem was the congressional map that was presented was determined to be gerrymandered.” Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Attorney General Letitia James said they “intend to appeal” the decision in a joint statement. “The judge’s decision is a total rebuke of the brazen attempt to steal elections going forward,” Nick Langworthy, chair of the New York State Republican Committee, said in response to the ruling. Cook Political Report senior editor David Wasserman tweeted that the ruling on the map, which would give Democrats a 22D-4R House seat advantage, is likely to be stayed on appeal, as the case will face “less GOP-friendly higher courts” moving forward. “Dems believe map will...
    (CNN)A New York judge has blocked the state's new congressional map, which would have given Democrats the advantage in 22 of the state's 26 congressional seats, from going into effect for violating the state's constitution.Judge Patrick McAllister ruled Thursday that the map "was unconstitutionally drawn with political bias" by the Democratic-controlled legislature and created no competitive seats. The state legislature has until April 11 to pass a new map and submit it to the court for review, and McAllister further stated that the map had to receive "bipartisan support."A roadmap to the 2022 midterm electionsThe decision is the second redistricting defeat in the courts for Democrats in a week. On Friday, a Maryland judge ordered a new congressional map to be drawn after ruling its map would unfairly hurt Republicans' chances in the state. State courts in Ohio and North Carolina have previously blocked maps that advantaged Republicans.The New York judge further ruled that the legislature violated a 2014 constitutional amendment, which gave primary control of redistricting to a bipartisan commission, because the legislature took over the process after that...
    (CNN)A federal judge dismissed on Wednesday a January 6 lawsuit brought against Rep. Mo Brooks that had alleged the Alabama Republican engaged in a civil conspiracy. US District Judge Amit Mehta's move to dismiss the claims against Brooks was anticipated. Mehta wrote in a previous opinion in the case, which was brought by California Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell, that he was inclined to dismiss the claims against Brooks and the judge invited Brooks to formally request the dismissal.Mehta on Wednesday also denied as moot a request from Brooks that the judge certify that the House member was acting in his official capacity in his January 6 rally remarks, which were a focus of Swalwell's lawsuit. The Justice Department had previously refused to certify the alleged conduct as within the scope of his official role in a July filing, in which the department said it opposed stepping in as a defendant for Brooks in the case. By dismissing the case against Brooks altogether, the judge avoided resolving that dispute.In his Wednesday order, Mehta echoed the conclusion that he had come to...
    A judge delivered a withering put down to Donald Trump's lawyer's claim that the former president was being unfairly targeted by New York Attorney General Tish James on Thursday, saying she had every right to go after him if 'he's just a bad guy.' At the end of the hearing, New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron ordered Trump and two of his adult children to testify as part of a probe into the family's business dealings. But his language, delivered during a testy back and forth, will be seized on by Trump supporters as evidence that the investigation is a 'witch hunt.' Critics lauded the judge for telling truth.  Trump's attorney Alina Habba argued that the former president was the victim of discrimination. James has 'such disdain for this person because he was president, because he is Donald Trump and he could probably win again in '24,' she said, according to Newsweek.  'He has First Amendment rights. He's allowed to be a Republican.' Engoron responded: 'There's no viewpoint discrimination. I'm just saying there is none.' Habba then contended that...
    (CNN)Michael Sussmann, the lawyer for the Democrats accused of lying to the FBI in 2016, called Special counsel John Durham's investigation "prosecutorial overreach" in a new court filing on Thursday, seeking to have his charge thrown out.Durham has charged Sussmann with lying to then-FBI General Counsel James Baker about representing Hillary Clinton and a tech company. In the meeting with Baker, Sussmann shared suspicious computer data that seemed to suggest Donald Trump and his associates had contact with a Russian bank.Unspooling the latest twists in special counsel John Durhams investigation Sussmann, formerly a lawyer with the Democratic Party-tied law firm Perkins Coie, has maintained that he didn't lie to Baker about who he represented. Thursday, Sussmann argued that ultimately didn't matter to the FBI's Russia investigation, which at the time was in its infancy."He met with the FBI, in other words, to provide a tip. There is no allegation in the indictment that the tip he provided was false. And there is no allegation that he believed that the tip he provided was false," Sussmann's legal team wrote.Durham has been...
    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s state Supreme Court will consider a new map of congressional districts recommended Monday by a lower court judge who picked a proposal favored by top Republican lawmakers but opposed by Democrats in a presidential battleground state. The map recommended by Commonwealth Court Judge Patricia McCullough, a Republican, came from a pool of more than a dozen submitted to the court and sides with Republicans on prominent areas of disagreement between partisans. READ MORE: 18 Rescued After Being Stranded On Ice Floe In Lake ErieThe map passed the Republican-controlled Legislature last month without support from a single Democratic lawmaker. Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, vetoed it. Democrats view it as a partisan map, producing 10 Republican seats, and maybe up to 12, in a state where Pennsylvania’s delegation is currently split evenly, nine Democrats and nine Republicans, and registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by 4 million to 3.4 million. A political scientist who testified on the plan for Republicans projected that it had nine Democratic-leaning districts and eight GOP-leaning districts based on all statewide election results from...
    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s Democratic-majority Supreme Court wrested control Wednesday of choosing new district lines for the state’s shrinking congressional delegation, a process that deadlocked the governor and Legislature. The five Democratic justices issued an order directing a lower judge to give them a report by Monday that recommends a new map, along with her legal and factual findings that support it. Commonwealth Court Judge Patricia McCullough, a Republican, will serve as a “special master.” Parties in the redistricting case she has been handling who object to her report can do so before the Supreme Court by Feb. 14. Oral arguments will occur Feb. 18. Signature-gathering for petitions to get on the May 17 primary ballot is scheduled to begin Feb. 15 but may be delayed. Both Republicans on the Supreme Court dissented. Chief Justice Max Baer, a Democrat, said the court was stepping in to move the process more quickly. “The threat of any appeal period from the Commonwealth Court decision to this court reduces the scant days available for this court to obtain briefs, study this...
    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania judge on Thursday launched a review of competing proposals to redraw the boundaries of the state’s congressional districts, the morning after Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed a plan sent to him by Republican lawmakers. Commonwealth Court Judge Patricia McCullough warned the parties the hearing could go into the weekend, reflecting the pressure to draw new boundaries for 17 congressional districts in time for the May 17 primary election. READ MORE: Lawmakers Stalemated On Pennsylvania Congressional Map, Top Senator SaysWith gridlock in the statehouse, McCullough has to consider at least a dozen different proposed maps that must account for demographic shifts over the past decade in the politically divided state. Complicating the matter is Pennsylvania’s loss of a congressional seat because the state grew more slowly than the rest of the country since 2010, according to U.S. Census findings. The hearing began with brief arguments from parties backing their own proposals, including Wolf, Democratic and Republican lawmakers and others. Wolf on Wednesday evening announced he vetoed the plan that passed the Republican-controlled Legislature with every...
    Wyoming is arguably the nation's most Republican state. Former President Donald Trump won his highest state percentage there, beating President Joe Biden 70% to 27%. Both of Wyoming's senators and its lone House members are Republican. So is the governor, and the GOP dominates the Legislature. But there's one realm in which Democratic presidents, at least by extension, have continued to leave their mark in the Equality State: federal judgeships. Through a quirk of timing and conveniently timed retirements when Democrats have held the White House, no Republican has nominated a federal judge for Wyoming since 1985. That year, President Ronald Reagan nominated and the Senate confirmed U.S. District Court Judge Alan Bond Johnson, who is still in that position. The Republican-appointee federal judge drought is now set to continue. Biden's administration is in a position to nominate a judge to replace U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal for the District of Wyoming. Freudenthal, the wife of former Democratic Gov. Dave Freudenthal, announced in June she would assume senior status, opening a spot on the three-person district panel when...
    FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A Broward judge has rejected Democrat Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick’s emergency motion in the Democratic Primary race for District 20. McCormick wanted to take the Broward Canvassing Board to court and block three vote-by-mall ballots from being counted over signature issues. READ MORE: South Florida Court Rejects Quick Handling Of School Mask CaseREAD: Emergency Motion Filed By Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick The race between McCormick and former Broward Commissioner Dale Holness is separated by just five votes after a machine and hand recount. READ MORE: 'Dolphin Tale' Star Winter Has Died At Clearwater AquariumJudge Fabienne Fahnestock ordered that the three ballots in question be be kept separate from the other ballots that had already been counted, according to the Sun-Sentinel. The canvassing board is scheduled to meet on Friday for the final counting of the three disputed ballots, along with several overseas ballots, and finalize the results of the race. The winner of the Democratic Primary will face Jason Mariner in the January General Election, he was the top vote-getter in the Republican contest. MORE NEWS:...
    LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A former Kentucky Democratic Party chair must report to prison next month on campaign finance charges, a federal judge ruled. U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove ordered Jerry Lundergan to go to prison on Nov. 30 after the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the 74-year-old’s conviction and rejected a motion to suspend the judgment, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported Wednesday. He was allowed to remain free while appealing. A jury convicted Lundergan and political consultant Dale Emmons in September 2019 of conspiring to illegally contribute more than $200,000 from one of Lundergan’s companies to the 2014 U.S. Senate campaign of his daughter. Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Kentucky secretary of state from 2012 to 2020, lost the race to Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell. Van Tatenhove sentenced Lundergan in July 2020 to spend 21 months in prison and to pay a $150,000 fine. The businessman and former state representative’s attorney, J. Guthrie True, told the Herald-Leader his client will report to prison next month but will also continue his appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. ...
    The incident immediately caused an uproar in the community, as police claimed the atrocity could easily have been avoided if the justice system had done its job. In short, Ledet should never have been out on the streets. According to court records, Ledet had been arrested a whopping 18 times since 2008. In lieu of his criminal record, prosecutors were adamant that Ledet be denied bond and placed behind bars pending trial for two 2020 felony drug charges. But Glass evidently disagreed. First, he chose to set bond. Then, in Nov. 2020, when the district attorney's office requested that the twice-convicted felon's bond be revoked, Glass responded by cutting the bond amounts in half, from $20,000 and $40,000 to $10,000 and $20,000. Additionally, Ledet was supposed to be administered a GPS ankle monitor, but he never showed up for his appointment. Suspect who killed Houston police officer, injured another has lengthy criminal history youtu.be What has been the reaction?Union president Griffith and multiple local news reporters have attempted to reach out to Glass for comment or explanation...
    A federal judge ruled against Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s recent mask mandate Thursday, likening the passing of the order to “tyranny.” U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman granted a temporary restraining order against Beshear’s mask mandate after a group of Catholic school parents sued the governor over the order. The order, which is in effect for the next 30 days and subject to renewal, requires all students over the age of two, as well as teachers, visitors and staff, to wear a mask. Beshear’s order did differentiate between vaccinated and unvaccinated. The age of vaccination recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is 12 years of age. Bertelsman ruled, however, the order violated state law because the state’s general assembly voted in the spring to curb Beshear’s power to issue executive orders. (RELATED: 6 Governors Stripped Of Power Because Of Overreach During The COVID-19 Pandemic) LOUISVILLE, KY – APRIL 26: Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear gestures while giving a brief press conference during Pfizer COVID-19 shot during a vaccination event at Lynn Family Stadium on April 26, 2021...
    Green had previously led the Catawba County Democratic Party, as well as serving as a judge in the Catawba County Superior Court. He was arrested in 2019 after police were called to a hotel where a 14-year-old claimed that Green had given him alcohol, showed him pornography, and then committed an act of sexual assault on the boy. The boy said he got away from Green when he pretended to go out to get ice from the hotel's ice machine. The Asheville Police Department said that the victim had known Green before the incident. In addition to being the head of the Catawba County Democratic Party, Green was actively involved in his community. He was the president of the Western Piedmont Symphony and was named "Citizen Lawyer of 2018" by the North Carolina Bar. "The outcome of this case demonstrates that Judge Daniel Ray Green was not protected by his privilege," said District Attorney Todd Williams. "He is being held accountable for his acts thanks foremost to the courage of the survivor in...
    What did the Texas Supreme Court rule? The Texas Supreme Court overturned on Tuesday a ruling by Travis County State District Judge Brad Urrutia (D) that blocked the Texas Legislature from "detaining, confining or otherwise restricting" the House Democrats who fled to Washington, D.C., last month. Urrutia claimed that Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Phelan wrongly interpreted laws they claimed permitted the arrest and forced return of the absent lawmakers. However, the Texas Supreme Court disagreed and voided Urrutia's temporary restraining order that blocked the arrests of state House Democrats.What did Phelan do?After the high court's ruling, the Texas House overwhelmingly approved — by a vote of 80-12 — to authorize the Texas House sergeant-at-arms to track down the missing Democratic members, arrest them, and force their return in order to regain a quorum. Following the vote, Phelan signed 52 civil arrest warrants for the Democratic lawmakers who remain at-large, the Texas Tribune reported. The speaker's spokesman said the warrants would be delivered to the sergeant-at-arms Wednesday morning "for service." The 52 warrants represent the majority of the Texas House...
    Share this: The seven judicial nominees for open bench seats on the Kings County Supreme Court that were chosen Thursday at the Kings County Democratic Party’s judicial convention are the most diverse slate of judicial candidates to date in Brooklyn — with an unprecedented number of women candidates. The nominees are: Consuelo “Connie” Mallafre-Melendez, Gina Levy Abadi, Dena Douglas, Carolyn Walker Diallo, Richard Montelione, Joy Campanelli and Lillian Wan. Hon. Mallafre-Melendez is the first Cuban-born immigrant to run for the Kings County Supreme Court bench. Hon. Levy Abadi, who is currently serving as a Civil Court judge, is the first Orthodox Sephardic woman to run for the bench. Hon. Walker Diallo is the first Muslim judge to ever serve in Kings county.
    Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a 35-page ruling on Monday rebuking former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr for the way he handled the conclusion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into allegations of collusion between the Russian government and the 2016 presidential campaign of President Donald Trump. Mueller found no evidence of collusion but added an investigation for obstruction of justice. Barr announced in March 2019 that Mueller had found no conclusion, and that the Department of Justice (DOJ) had found  there were insufficient grounds to recommend prosecution of the president — presumably, once out of office — for obstruction because he had “non-corrupt” motives. A year later, Barr would criticize Judge Jackson’s sentence in the Stone case, one of the most prominent prosecutions stemming from the Mueller investigation as unduly harsh (Trump would commute it). Democrats were upset at the way Barr presented Mueller’s report, as were prosecutors on Mueller’s team, who had hoped to shape public reception of the report toward encouraging an impeachment investigation for obstruction...
    A new judge was assigned to oversee a Democratic-backed legal challenge to the Arizona GOP state Senate-led election audit after the judge who initially heard the case withdrew himself. The case was reassigned to Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Daniel Martin soon after Judge Christopher Coury issued an order Sunday afternoon recusing himself from the case due to the involvement of an attorney who had worked as an extern in his office within the last five years. BREAKING New judge assigned to Arizona Senate GOP audit challenge. Both sides get 10 days to tell judge what they think needs to happen next. Meantime, audit continues at Veterans Memorial Coliseum. pic.twitter.com/rJgV2EtS1q— Brahm Resnik (@brahmresnik) April 26, 2021 Coury's recusal came after the court received filings Sunday at 4 p.m. mentioning new attorneys for the first time, including Chris Viskovic, who was the former extern. MARICOPA COUNTY JUDGE RECUSES HIMSELF FROM LAWSUIT OVER SENATE REPUBLICANS' ELECTION AUDIT Democrats argued the audit violates state election security laws and sued to stop the review one day before it was set to begin but...
    (CNN)Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida has died, his chief of staff Lale M. Morrison told CNN on Tuesday. He was 84. Hastings death was first reported Tuesday by the South Florida Sun Sentinel. In January 2019, he announced that he was being treated for pancreatic cancer and that planned to remain in Congress during the treatment, calling it "a battle worth fighting." That same month he became the longest-serving member of Florida's congressional delegation.Hastings first began serving in the US House of Representatives in 1993 and is a member of the House Rules Committee. Hastings was appointed to the Florida federal bench by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 and became the state's first African American federal judge.Read MoreHastings was impeached by the House and removed from office as a federal judge by the Senate in 1989. The House adopted a number of articles of impeachment against Hastings that included charges of conspiracy and perjury -- of which the Senate voted by the necessary two-thirds vote to convict him on eight articles.According to the biography on his congressional website, Hastings...
    Alcee Hastings, an impeached federal judge who went on to be a Florida congressman for 28 years, died Tuesday at age 84 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. The Fort Lauderdale-area lawmaker's career had been marked by high-profile highs and lows. Before joining Congress, Hastings was a federal judge who was impeached by the House in 1988 after being accused of accepting a $150,000 bribe. The Senate convicted Hastings and removed him from office the next year. This is a developing story and will be updated. News Congress House of Representatives House Democrats Obituaries
    A federal judge has ruled that Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies acted properly when they seized drugs and other evidence from the West Hollywood home of Democratic donor Ed Buck after a man was found dead there in 2017. The ruling raises new questions about why L.A. County prosecutors initially declined to charge Buck with a crime and then belatedly did so two years later after federal prosecutors built a case against him. Buck, who is awaiting trial on federal drug charges stemming in part from the man’s drug overdose, asked U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder to bar prosecutors from using as evidence syringes, drug paraphernalia and nearly two grams of methamphetamine deputies discovered in what Buck called an illegal search of his apartment. Snyder denied the request. In a ruling Wednesday, she wrote that Buck effectively invited law enforcement into his home when he called 911 to report the overdose of 26-year-old Gemmel Moore during a “party and play” sexual encounter. The deputies’ presence was lawful and the drug evidence was “in plain view,” she found, so...
    Judge Laurence Silberman at a press conference in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on March 31, 2005. Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images A federal judge condemned legacy news outlets in a wide-ranging dissent issued on Friday.  Federal appeals court Judge Laurence Silberman took issue with top US news outlets and Silicon Valley.  Silberman dismissed legacy media outlets as "Democratic Party broadsheets." Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. A federal judge issued a fiery dissent in a defamation case that condemned legacy US media outlets and attack a landmark legal precedent that strengthened defamation law and protection of the press as "a threat to American Democracy." In his dissent, Judge Laurence Silberman accused several of the country's top news outlets of acting as "Democratic Party broadsheets" and operating with bias against the GOP.  The case between Global Witness, a human rights organization, and two Liberian officials, came after a report from the group said the officials could have taken bribes from Exxon while processing oil contracts. Silberman wrote in part that Global Witness made unfair...
    The Wisconsin Republican Party criticized Democratic state leaders to address "horrifying allegations" surrounding Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Brett Blomme, who was recently charged with seven counts of child pornography. "Despite the horrifying allegations against Blomme, his various Democrat buddies have been silent. It would appear that the Democrats’ constant virtue signaling ends when one of their own is revealed to be a child predator," Anna Kelly, communications director for the Republican Party of Wisconsin, said in a statement emailed to the Washington Examiner. The 38-year-old Wisconsin judge was arrested last week on seven charges of possession of child pornography, each of which carries a maximum fine of $100,000 or sentence of up to 25 years in prison. He allegedly uploaded several images of child pornography through a messaging app in October and November 2020, including videos of male children being raped, according to the criminal complaint. COURT JUDGE LINKED TO 'DRAG QUEEN STORY HOUR' CHARGED WITH CHILD PORNOGRAPHY POSSESSION Blomme, who is the former president of Cream City Foundation, which hosts a children's event in which drag queens...
    Judge Laurence Silberman accused the New York Times and Washington Post of being “Democratic Party broadsheets” in a dissenting opinion on Friday. Washington, DC, federal appellate judge Laurence Silberman accused the New York Times and Washington Post, and to some extent the Wall Street Journal, of being mouthpieces for “rather shocking” bias against the Republican Party in a written opinion on Friday. “The orientation of these three papers is followed by The Associated Press and most large papers across the country (such as the Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, and Boston Globe),” he said in the opinion. “Nearly all television—network and cable—is a Democratic Party trumpet. Even the government-supported National Public Radio follows along.” Further, Judge Silberman wrote that Silicon Valley “also has an enormous influence over the distribution of news,” which “similarly filters news delivery in ways favorable to the Democratic Party.” He called Fox News, The New York Post, and the Wall Street Journal‘s editorial page “notable exceptions to Democratic Party ideological control,” though he admitted “a number of Fox’s commentators lean as far to the right as...
    A federal appeals court judge in his dissenting opinion in a defamation case on Friday accused The New York Times and The Washington Post of being “Democratic Party broadsheets.”  Washington, D.C. Circuit Senior Judge Laurence Silberman, who was appointed by former President Reagan, argued in his opinion that the news industry at large is dominated with a “bias against the Republican Party” that he wrote was “rather shocking.” While the case did not specifically relate to either paper, the judge used his opinion to argue that the Times and Post served largely as mouthpieces for the Democratic Party, adding “the news section of The Wall Street Journal leans in the same direction.” “The orientation of these three papers is followed by The Associated Press and most large papers across the country (such as the Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, and Boston Globe),” he continued. “Nearly all television—network and cable—is a Democratic Party trumpet. Even the government-supported National Public Radio follows along.”  He added that Silicon Valley “also has an enormous influence over the distribution of news” and said "it similarly...
    A federal appeals court judge has offered a blistering dissent in an obscure libel case that takes the measure of the mainstream media's bias. The case centers on a 2018 report from Global Witness Publishing that accused Liberian government officials Christiana Tah and Randolph McClain of accepting bribes from Exxon. Tah and McClain sued Global Witness alleging defamation and their claims were dismissed in Friday's ruling.  However, in the course of his partial dissent, D.C. Circuit Court Judge Laurence Silberman went on an unprecedented written tirade against the press, in which he argued that the Supreme Court should revisit the landmark 1964 New York Times v. Sullivan ruling that granted the media broad First Amendment protections from being sued by public officials. "The increased power of the press is so dangerous today because we are very close to one-party control of these institutions," said Silberman, who was nominated to the federal bench by Ronald Reagan and has been a senior judge on the D.C. Circuit Court since 2000. CNN 'FACT-CHECKER' PRAISES BIDEN AS 'GENERALLY FACTUAL,' CALLS INACCURACIES 'SLIPS RATHER PURPOSEFUL LIES' "Although the bias against the Republican Party—not just...
    Karen Bleier/Getty Images This story originally appeared on Law&Crime. A Washington, D.C. federal appeals court judge spent a considerable number of pages in a Friday dissent rubbishing a U.S. Supreme Court case that is the pillar of the modern press press: New York Times v. Sullivan. While so doing, he slammed The New York Times itself, The Washington Post, and other major publications in the current media age for becoming “virtual[] Democratic Party broadsheets.” He also praised Fox News and The New York Post as “a lone holdout” that is “controlled by a single man and his son.” The harsh words had absolutely nothing to do with the underlying opinion the judge, Laurence Silberman, was called upon to decide. Rather, they were part of a verbose dictum asserting that the press had become so powerful that its “bias[]” was “distort[ing] the marketplace” of ideas necessary for American democracy to function. Implicit in Silberman’s logic is the idea that the press should be legally forced to pay increased economic damages in defamation actions because, in the judge’s view, the Supreme Court artificially and unconstitutionally gave the press too much...
    A federal appeals court judge in Washington, D.C. has penned a scathing dissent accusing the media of being a 'trumpet' for the Democratic Party, while calling on his colleagues to overturn a Supreme Court landmark decision protecting the press.   Senior Circuit Judge Laurence Silberman lamented that conservatives are being oppressed by overwhelmingly liberal news media, academia and tech companies creating 'a frighteningly orthodox media culture.' The judge responded to a decision on Friday to toss a libel suit filed by two former Liberian officials against human rights group Global Witness, over a report implying they had accepted bribes from an oil company.  Silberman, who was appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1985, was the only judge to dissent in the case, which found the plaintiffs could not prove 'actual malice', under New York Times v. Sullivan 1964. D.C. Circuit Senior Judge Laurence Silberman (pictured receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W Bush in 2008) penned a scathing dissent Friday accusing the media of liberal bias  Silberman, who was appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan...
    President George W. Bush presents a Presidential Medal of Freedom to Laurence H. Silberman on June 19, 2008 at the White House.Alex Wong/Getty Images Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.For four years, former President Donald Trump told Americans that the media was the enemy of the people. Millions believed him, and journalists increasingly felt in danger when among his supporters. Last summer, reporters were pepper sprayed and arrested while covering protests against police violence. In shocking disregard for press freedom, one such reporter was actually tried in state court (and thankfully acquitted). But through all this, the judiciary’s firm commitment to the First Amendment and the freedom of the press were supposed to be bulletproof—immune from Trump’s political narrative. Apparently, that’s not the case. On Friday, Judge Laurence Silberman, a senior judge on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, attacked the media as a dangerous organ of the Democratic Party that should no longer enjoy legal protections once thought necessary to protect...
    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Coming off a narrow election defeat in 2020, North Carolina’s first Black woman to serve as chief justice on the state Supreme Court will soon enter the 2022 U.S. Senate race, two advisers familiar with her deliberations said Thursday. Democrat Cheri Beasley, who lost her chief justice election bid by just 401 votes out of nearly 5.4 million ballots cast in the statewide contest, will be announcing her intentions to run in early April, the advisers said. Beasley will join a growing field of Democratic candidates looking to fill an open seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Richard Burr. Beasley began considering the Senate bid after her November loss and has since assembled a small team to assess her chances. Kara Hollingsworth, a close friend of Beasley’s who works as a North Carolina-based political consultant and managed Beasley’s first statewide campaign in 2008, said she spoke with Beasley on the phone Wednesday. She said Beasley will declare her candidacy next month. “She’s in the process of putting together a team, and I feel comfortable confirming that...
    What happens when a simple litmus test collides with a more complicated reality? Colorado attorney Regina Rodriguez checks a lot of boxes that Democrats value. She’s the daughter of a Mexican American father and a Japanese American mother whose family was interred during World War II. She was also nominated to the federal bench in 2016 by Barack Obama—and denied a hearing by Mitch McConnell. It’s a personal story that once would have trumped everything in Democratic politics. But today, progressives are fighting hard to stop Joe Biden from re-nominating her. Why? Because she’s now a partner in a major corporate law firm, Wilmer Hale, that on its website cites its close relationship with regulated industries. And in 2006 she represented McDonald’s in an anti-discrimination lawsuit. So now, in the battle for the soul of the judiciary after four years of Donald Trump, Rodriguez, even with her compelling story and stellar pro bono community work, is an early example of the new litmus-test politics of the left. No corporate lawyers need apply. But are they all bad? Colorado Democratic Senator...
    A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed by three Democratic state attorneys general that had sought to force the federal government to recognize Virginia’s vote last year to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and add it to the Constitution. Shortly after Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the amendment that supporters say will guarantee women equal rights under the law, the archivist of the United States declared he would take no action to certify the amendment’s adoption, citing an opinion from the Department of Justice under the Trump administration. Constitutional amendments must be ratified by three-quarters of the states, or 38, but Congress enacted a ratification deadline for the ERA that passed decades ago. In a ruling Friday evening, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras said that Nevada, Illinois and Virginia’s motives were “laudable” but that they came too late because the U.S. Congress set deadlines for ratifying the ERA long ago. Contreras also said the Archivist’s publication and certification of an amendment are “formalities with no legal effect” so the archivist’s failure to do that doesn’t cause...
    By MICHELLE L. PRICE, Associated Press A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed by three Democratic state attorneys general that had sought to force the federal government to recognize Virginia's vote last year to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and add it to the Constitution. Shortly after Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the amendment that supporters say will guarantee women equal rights under the law, the archivist of the United States declared he would take no action to certify the amendment's adoption, citing an opinion from the Department of Justice under the Trump administration. Constitutional amendments must be ratified by three-quarters of the states, or 38, but Congress enacted a ratification deadline for the ERA that passed decades ago. In a ruling Friday evening, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras said that Nevada, Illinois and Virginia's motives were “laudable” but that they came too late because the U.S. Congress set deadlines for ratifying the ERA long ago. Contreras also said the Archivist's publication and certification of an amendment are “formalities with no legal effect” so the archivist's...
    By Tarek Amara TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisian police took Ahmed Gam from the shop where he worked, accused him of looting during recent protests, and beat him so badly during his detention last month that he lost a testicle, he said. Lying in bed in his parents' home in Bennane, near the coastal city of Monastir, Gam, 21, could not stand without help and cried as he described police beating and burning his genitals. His account was supported, in part, by a hospital report viewed by Reuters. Tunisia is widely seen as the sole relative success story of the 2011 "Arab spring" revolts for its democratic advances. It holds regular elections and has a press that criticises the state. But Gam's case is one of at least 100 in which, a Tunisian and international rights group says, security forces recently used violent abuse after people engaged in protest and dissent, freedoms won during the revolution 10 years ago.  The protests, which began on Jan. 15, the day after the 10th anniversary of the revolution, have increasingly focused on abusive tactics...
    A police car at a crime scene. Angel Zayas/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images FBI agents arrested Brendan Hunt, a 37-year-old assistant court analyst of Queens, on Monday. Hunt used Facebook, Parler, and a personal website to promote extremist rants, which included threats to Biden's inauguration. A federal magistrate judge denied Hunt bail on Tuesday due to the "seriousness of danger to the community." Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. A federal magistrate judge denied bail to a New York man accused of threatening to kill Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other Democratic leaders in "chilling" social media posts, according to The Queens Daily Eagle. On Monday, FBI agents arrested Brendan Hunt, a 37-year-old assistant court analyst from Ridgewood, Queens, in his home and charged him with making threats against elected officials. According to a criminal complaint, Hunt called for "the public execution" of Congressional Democrats on his Facebook page. "Trump, we want actual revenge on Democrats. Meaning, we want you to hold a public execution of Pelosi, AOC, Schumer, etc. And if you don't do it, the citizenry...
    Parler on Thursday urged a US judge to order Amazon to restore the company’s account, saying Amazon had no evidence the social media platform was used to incite last week’s storming of the Capitol. At a hearing in Seattle federal court, Parler’s lawyer David Groesbeck said the company would suffer irreparable harm if forced to close and that keeping it alive served the public interest. He also downplayed Parler’s role in the riots in Washington. “Millions of law-abiding Americans have had their voices silenced,” Groesbeck told US District Judge Barbara Rothstein. “There is no evidence, other than some anecdotal press references, that Parler was involved in inciting the riots.” Parler is favored by many supporters of President Trump and claimed more than 12 million users. Amazon Web Services cut off Parler on Sunday night, saying Parler had shrugged off repeated warnings to remove violent content. It said this content included calls to assassinate Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and the media. Ambika Doran, a lawyer for Amazon, said Parler violated its contract by allowing such content and had not...
    (Reuters) - A federal judge on Monday ordered two Georgia counties to reverse a decision removing thousands of voters from the rolls ahead of Jan. 5 runoff elections that will determine which political party controls the U.S. Senate. The counties seemed to have improperly relied on unverified change-of-address data to invalidate registrations, the judge, Leslie Abrams Gardner, said in her order filed late on Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. "Defendants are enjoined from removing any challenged voters in Ben Hill and Muscogee Counties from the registration lists on the basis of National Change of Address data", Gardner wrote in the order. The judge is the sister of Democratic activist Stacey Abrams, who lost a race for Georgia governor in 2018. The bulk of the registrations that the counties sought to rescind, more than 4,000 of them, were in Muscogee County, which U.S. President-elect Joe Biden won handily in November, Politico reported https://politi.co/2L3MGf6. An additional 150 were from Ben Hill County, which President Donald Trump won by a wide margin, the report added. Nearly...
    More On: brooklyn supreme court Ex-NYPD cop held on bail for alleged sex assault of 11-year-old MTA ‘scam artist’ collected $114K in disability while working in other states NYC livery driver charged with raping 12-year-old girl beat her unconscious first: DA 100-year-old World War II vet James Been fighting eviction A judge ripped leaders of the Brooklyn Democratic Party for illegally filling 2,400 vacant party positions without input from other members of the organization’s county committee. Brooklyn state Justice Edgar Walker ruled that party chairwoman Rodneyse Bichotte and the executive board violated election law by unilaterally appointing Democrats to newly created positions as well as other existing committee vacancies. He nullified the 2,400 appointments. There are 2,100 elected members on the county committee whose views were ignored, the judge said. Election law “unambiguously” states that the County Committee is authorized to fill vacancies, not just the leaders, the judge said. The executive committee passed new rules to create four new at large, non-binary positions in Brooklyn’s 18 Assembly Districts. The leaders then appointed Democrats to 2,400 vacant positions,...
    New York Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D) The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, and David Beard. Leading Off ● NY-22: In a scathing ruling, a state judge excoriated seven local boards of election for botching the administration of last month's election in New York's 22nd Congressional District and ordered officials to fix their many errors, which could result in more than a thousand untallied ballots getting counted. Last week, Judge Scott DelConte ordered all eight county boards to produce official tallies in the race between Democratic Rep. Anthony Brindisi and Republican Claudia Tenney, which showed Tenney up by just 12 votes. However, that result is now almost certain to change in one direction or another. DelConte's lengthy opinion details officials' astonishing series of lapses by election officials, which most notoriously included failing to properly record objections to disputed ballots on the ballots themselves, as required by state law. Instead, in multiple counties, objections were recorded on sticky notes affixed...
    SAN FRANCISCO —  For the last four years, some federal judges postponed retirement plans rather than give President Trump the opportunity to name more conservatives to the nation’s powerful appeals courts. When Joe Biden assumes office, many of those judges are expected to step aside to allow the new Democratic president to appoint their successors, especially if Democrats regain the U.S. Senate. The stakes are considerable, especially in the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which decides federal law for nine Western states. Trump’s 10 appointments to the court, more than a third of its active judges, have moved the 9th Circuit to the right. Biden could tilt it back again if his appointments win confirmation, affecting decisions on immigration, the environment, criminal justice and other issues. All eyes are now on nine active 9th Circuit judges appointed by President Clinton. They are in their 60s or 70s, and some have been waiting for a Democratic president so they can take senior status. Senior status, given according to a formula based on age and length of service, allows qualified judges...
    By KEN RITTER, Associated Press LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada judge declined Friday to order a new election in Clark County and Las Vegas for a Republican congressional candidate who lost by nearly 5% to an incumbent Democrat. Clark County District Court Judge Gloria Sturman pointed to a 33,000-vote margin that Jim Marchant would have to make up to overtake U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford in the state’s most populous and Democratic-leaning county, and said she lacked jurisdiction to order do-overs in six other counties in what she called the “geographically enormous” congressional district. “How is it fair to just revote in Clark County?” she asked. Marchant and his attorney, Craig Mueller, didn’t immediately respond to messages about whether they will appeal. The same judge is due on Monday to hear a similar request by Mueller for a revote on behalf of Dan Rodimer, a Republican candidate who lost his bid for Congress by nearly 3% to Democratic U.S. Rep. Susie Lee in a district wholly including Clark County. In both cases, Mueller alleges misconduct by election officials, an inability...
    A Nevada judge denied a state Republican Party’s request to amend the signature verification procedure on ballots Friday, as the battleground state has yet to release their full voting totals. District Court Judge Andrew Gordon denied the motion set forth by two GOP candidates in the state and said the change in the process would disrupt “the counting of the ballots,” according to Fox News. “I don’t find plaintiffs have demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of the plaintiffs’ claims,” Gordon said, according to Fox. “The public interest is not in disrupting the counting of the ballots.” Nevada Republicans sought a recount of only mail-in ballots, but Democratic lawmakers insisted the move would cause “chaos and confusion,” Fox reported. ????????BREAKING: Nevada Federal Court REJECTS Republican lawsuit to halt Nevada vote counting or alter rules for signature matching or observation! https://t.co/AOs9bVxy4W — Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) November 7, 2020 “The whole country is looking at Nevada and Clark County for election results,” a Democratic lawyer said, according to Fox. President Donald Trump’s administration filed a separate lawsuit...
    By KIMBERLEE KRUESI, Associated Press NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Democratic officials improperly filed a public records request while seeking last-minute information on voters who have requested an absentee ballot but haven't returned them yet, a Tennessee judge ruled Monday. Tennessee's Democratic Party and the campaign of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Marquita Bradshaw had filed a lawsuit over the weekend accusing state election officials of refusing to release the ballot information as required by state law. However, Chancellor Patricia Head Moskal in her eight-page ruling found that there was not enough evidence that Democratic officials sent a proper public records requests to the state's elections office — where Secretary of State Tre Hargett, a Republican, and elections coordinator Mark Goins were named as defendants. Furthermore, Moskal ruled that the state likely didn't have the information the Democrats sought. “There is nothing in the record to demonstrate that the specific voter information requested — regarding absentee voters’ requests for ballots who have not yet submitted their ballots — is compiled by county election commissions and transmitted to the (state's) Division of Elections,”...
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