Posts Tagged ‘Courts’

Supreme Court to Rod Blagojevich: Stay In the Slammer

April 18, 2018

Supreme Court to Rod Blagojevich: Stay In the Slammer

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, the incarcerated Chicago Democrat who tried to sell Barack Obama’s vacant senate seat after the 2004 election. “Blago,” a devoted Elvis fan, is probably all shook up. He’s serving a 14-year sentence, and won’t be sprung until May 2024.

More:

“U.S. Supreme Court again rejects hearing Rod Blagojevich’s appeal,” Jason Meisner, Chicago Tribune

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Client Number Three

April 18, 2018

Client Number Three

After the FBI seized documents from his office, home, and hotel room, Trump fixer Michael Cohen is on trial in New York for as-yet unspecified federal crimes, most likely bank fraud and campaign law violations relating to his hush money payoffs to women on behalf of his adulterous clients Donald Trump and Elliott Broidy. Mr. Cohen isn’t much of a lawyer, but he’s had one more client, whose identity he tried to withholdJudge Kimba Wood wasn’t having it, and “client number three” turned out to be Sean Hannity, the vociferous defender of Donald Trump and Michael Cohen on Fox News. Hilarity ensued.

More:

“Yes, Sean Hannity was a legal client of Michael Cohen’s,” Philip Bump, Washington Post

“No Disclosure? No Problem. Sean Hannity Gets a Pass at Fox News.” Michael M. Grynbaum and John Koblin, New York Times

“Sean Hannity’s idea of ‘attorney-client privilege’ was right out of ‘Breaking Bad,’”  Kyle Swenson, Washington Post

“Sean Hannity’s Ties to Two More Trump-Connected Lawyers,” Rosie Gray, The Atlantic

“Michael Cohen and the Busting of the Trump Crime Family,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

“Trump Should Be Worried by Cohen Probe. Really Worried.” Noah Feldman,  Bloomberg View

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Michael Cohen Goes to Court Today

April 16, 2018

Michael Cohen, personal lawyer of Donald Trump, will be in U.S. District Court in New York this afternoon, trying to exclude thousands of documents seized by the FBI from the federal case against him. Mr. Cohen has been charged by Deputy U.S. Attorney Robert Khuzami, not (as in the SNL skit above) Robert Mueller. Since Mr. Cohen has only one client, Donald Trump, the case against Michael Cohen is more of a present threat to Mr. Trump than the Mueller investigation. And since Michael Cohen serves Donald Trump in the capacity of bagman and fixer, not as a lawyer, attorney-client privilege does not apply. In any case, a lawyer abetting a client in criminal acts cannot hide behind privilege.

More:

“Trump advisers see Cohen probe as greater threat to Trump than Mueller: report,” Max Greenwood, The Hill

“What Exactly Was Michael Cohen Doing for Donald Trump?” David A. Graham, The Atlantic

“Trump Wants to Review Seized Michael Cohen Materials Before Federal Prosecutors,” Margaret Hartmann, New York Magazine

“Michael Cohen and the End Stage of the Trump Presidency,” Adam Davidson, The New Yorker

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Soccer Trial In Brooklyn: Guilty

December 23, 2017

Soccer Trial In Brooklyn: Guilty

Two former officials of the South American soccer association were found guilty in U.S. Federal Court on Friday of accepting millions of dollars in bribes. The jury will deliberate on a third defendant next week. 24 other people tied to FIFA, the governing body of international soccer, have pleaded guilty, and 15 more charged in the racketeering  and money-laundering probe are fighting extradition to the U.S.

More:

“2 Top Soccer Officials Found Guilty in FIFA Case,” Rebecca R. Ruiz, New York Times

“Fifa trial: two ex-soccer officials found guilty on multiple charges of corruption,” Oliver Laughland, The Guardian

Update:

“Fifa trial: ex-president of Peru soccer acquitted of corruption charge,” AP via The Guardian

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Kim Davis: Resurrection?

November 15, 2017

Kim Davis: Resurrection?

Intolerant Kentucky County Clerk Kimberly Jean Bailey Davis will be running for reelection in 2018. Ms. Davis was imprisoned in 2015 for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. She was sprung after a federal judge determined that her deputy clerks were doing the work she shirked, providing equal justice under the law by issuing civil marriage licenses to all couples. Ms. Davis’s unconstitutional stunt cost the State of Kentucky $224,000 in court costs.

Kim Davis believes in marriage so strongly she’s had four of them. Her twins, born five months after her divorce from her first husband, were sired by her third husband and adopted by her fourth husband, who was also her second husband.

And family values are what the Rowan County Clerk’s Office is all about. When she was elected in 2014, Kim Davis hired her son to work in her county government office, just like her own mother, Rowan County Clerk for 37 years, had hired her. If Mrs. Davis ever decides to abdicate, surely her son will inherit the family business.

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Judge Ends Trump’s Granny Ban

July 14, 2017

Judge Ends Trump's Granny Ban
On Thursday evening Federal District Court Judge Derrick Watson exempted grandparents and grandchildren from the latest version of President Trump’s travel ban. The revised “Muslim Ban” had a definition of “close family” that excluded many relatives.

Judge Watson wrote that “the Government’s definition represents the antithesis of common sense. Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents. Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members. The Government’s definition excludes them. That simply cannot be.”

So if Granny lives in any of six majority-Muslim countries, she can now visit you. Put clean sheets on the guest bed!

More:

“Judge in Hawaii rules grandparents are exempt from Trump travel ban,” Samantha Schmidt, Washington Post

“U.S. judge narrows travel ban in defeat for Trump,” Dan Levine and Mica Rosenberg, Reuters

Update:

“Appeals Court: Grandparents Not Part of Trump’s Travel Ban,” Gene Johnson, AP via New York Times

“Supreme Court won’t let Trump travel ban hit grandparents,” Josh Gerstein, Politico

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Judge Orders Bottled Water Delivery To Flint Residents

November 11, 2016

Judge Orders Bottled Water Delivery To Flint Residents

Federal Court Judge David M. Lawson has ordered Michigan state and local governments to provide home delivery of at least four cases of water a week to each resident of Flint, unless officials verify that the household has a properly installed and maintained water filter. Deliveries must continue until the city’s water lead hazard ends.

Bottled water had previously been available for pick-up at various locations throughout the city, but restrictive access hours and limits per family placed the burden on residents, 40 percent of whom live below the poverty line. Many do not own cars, and had to walk to and from the water supply centers.

As Judge Lawson observed:

“In modern society, when we turn on a faucet, we expect safe drinking water to flow out. As the evidence shows, this is no longer the case in Flint. The Flint water crisis has in effect turned back the clock to a time when people traveled to central water sources to fill their buckets and carry the water home.”

The water became tainted with lead in 2014 when the Republican state government privatized Flint’s water utility, which then instituted cost-cutting measure while charging residents some of the highest rates in the nation.

More:

“Federal judge orders delivery of bottled water in Flint,” Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press

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Court Upholds Net Neutrality

June 15, 2016

Court Upholds Net Neutrality

In a 2-to-1 ruling,  the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has upheld new FCC rules prohibiting Internet service providers from selectively blocking or slowing some sites and services and speeding up favored ones, observing:

“Given the tremendous impact third-party internet content has had on our society, it would be hard to deny its dominance in the broadband experience. Over the past two decades, this content has transformed nearly every aspect of our lives, from profound actions like choosing a leader, building a career, and falling in love to more quotidian ones like hailing a cab and watching a movie.”

ISPs had argued that they provide luxury “information services” and should be lightly regulated, but the court upheld the FCC’s new rules classifying them as “telecommunications services” or utilities, which are more strictly regulated. Expect this matter to be appealed to the Supreme Court.

More:

“Cable and telecom companies just lost a huge court battle on net neutrality,” Brian Fung, Washington Post

“Tom Wheeler defeats the broadband industry: Net neutrality wins in court,” Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

“Net Neutrality Ruling Finally Rights a Terrible Wrong,” Micharl Copps, BillMoyer.com

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You have the right to this birthday. Do you understand this birthday?

June 13, 2016

You have the right to this birthday. Do you understand this birthday?
On June 13, 1966, fifty years ago, the Supreme Court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona and established guidelines safeguarding the rights of suspects in criminal cases, embodied in the “Miranda Warning.”

More:

“The Miranda warning is born 50 years ago today,” National Constitution Center

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Trump University: The Hammer Is Coming Down

June 9, 2016

Trump University: The Hammer Is Coming Down

Woodrow Wilson was the president of Princeton. Dwight D. Eisenhower was president of Columbia. Donald J. Trump was … hey, what ever happened to Trump University?

Oh, right, it was a scam. It’s in the courts in New York and California. The Donald apparently bought off similar lawsuits in Texas and Florida by donating to the campaigns of state Attorneys General.

Spoiled rich kid, mob associate, and tax cheat Donald Trump failed at selling vodka, beauty pageant tickets, and steaks, but it’s his failed Trump University scam that has him in court as a defendant. Mr. Trump is incensed — he likes to be the plaintiff. Trump has sued or threatened to sue nearly everyone who’s crossed his path and, according to USA Today, he is the plaintiff in 1900 current lawsuits.

And he’s being sued just for taking money from poor single mothers and the elderly. Those losers had it coming. And since that sleazy Washington Post sued to have that biased judge unseal the Trump U salesmen’s playbook and testimony, valuable trade secrets are now worthless — and there are still plenty of gullible marks out there just waiting for the next Trump con job.

Trump University’s founder is scheduled for his own oral exam sometime after the general election. American voters will be tested on November 8th.

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