Full Text: Merrick Garland Sues TX Over Abortion Ban

September 9, 2021

Accusing Texas of acting in “open defiance of the Constitution,” the DOJ filed suit against Texas over its six-week abortion ban.

The DOJ’s complaint was fiercely direct, opening with the statement: “It is settled constitutional law that ‘a State may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability.’” Thus, concluded the DOJ, “Texas enacted S.B. 8 in open defiance of the Constitution.”

The DOJ further asserted that “Because S.B. 8 clearly violates the Constitution, Texas adopted an unprecedented scheme ‘to insulate the State from responsibility,’ . . . by making the statute harder to challenge in court.” The DOJ found the political motive behind the Texas anti-abortion statute transparent, noting that Texas’s goal is “to make it too risky for an abortion clinic to operate in the State, thereby preventing women throughout Texas from exercising their constitutional rights, while simultaneously thwarting judicial review.”

The DOJ made clear its determination to prevent Texas from evading its Constitutional obligations, writing forcefully: “The United States has the authority and responsibility to ensure that Texas cannot evade its obligations under the Constitution and deprive individuals of their constitutional rights by adopting a statutory scheme designed specifically to evade traditional mechanisms of federal judicial review. The federal government therefore brings this suit directly against the State of Texas to obtain a declaration that S.B. 8 is invalid, to enjoin its enforcement, and to protect the rights that Texas has violated.”

Putting an even finer point on Texas’s sneak attack on the constitutional rights of its citizens, the DOJ wrote: “In a transparent effort to evade constitutional scrutiny, Texas has outsourced the authority to enforce S.B. 8 to ordinary citizens.”

In its prayer for relief the DOJ seeks “a declaratory judgment stating that S.B. 8 is invalid, null, and void” as well as “a preliminary and permanent injunction against the State of Texas—including all of its officers, employees, and agents, including private parties who would bring suit under S.B. 8—prohibiting any and all enforcement of S.B 8.”

To read the DOJ complaint, open the PDF file for “U.S. v. Texas” in your browser at the link below, or click the “Download” button to download the file to your device.

Full Text: Federal Judge Blocks DeSantis’s “Anti-Riot” Law

September 9, 2021

In a powerful 90-page order citing the racist history behind anti-riot laws and quoting Shakespeare, Chief Federal District Judge Mark Walker eviscerated Florida’s “Anti-Riot” law enacted to quell the wave of protests following the murder of George Floyd by police officers.

Quoting the AP article appearing on the MSN website on September 9, 2021:

“Florida’s new “anti-riot” law championed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis as a way to quell violent protests is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

The 90-page decision by U.S. District Judge Mark Walker in Tallahassee found the recently-enacted law “vague and overbroad” and amounted to an assault on First Amendment rights of free speech and assembly as well as the Constitution’s due process protections.

People engaged in peaceful protest or innocently in the same area when a demonstration turned violent could face criminal charges and stiff penalties under the law, the judge said.

A key issue is defining what the word “riot” means in the statute. Walker noted that past Florida laws sought to prevent demonstrations that could threaten segregationist Jim Crow-era practices.

“If this court does not enjoin the statute’s enforcement, the lawless actions of a few rogue individuals could effectively criminalize the protected speech of hundreds, if not thousands, of law-abiding Floridians,” Walker wrote.

“It unfortunately takes only a handful of bad actors to transform a peaceful protest into a violent public disturbance,” the judge added.”

Quoting the final paragraph of the court order issued by Chief United States District Judge Mark E. Walker:

“Though what’s past is prologue, this Court need not give it any power beyond providing context for the case now before it. A critical part of that context, which has not yet been discussed, is that following Ms. Jakes’s, Ms. Patterson’s, and the 1961 Freedom Riders’ arrests under Florida’s anti-riot laws, the rule of law ultimately prevailed. Katzenbach v. McClung, 379 U.S. 294 (1964); Browder v. Gayle, 142 F. Supp. 707 (M.D. Al. 1956), aff’d 352 U.S. 903 (1956); see also Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986); Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967); Harper v. Va. State Bd. of Elections, 383 U.S. 663 (1966); Verdict, Minnesota v. Chauvin, No. 27-CR-20-12646 (Minn. Dist. Ct. April 20, 2021). And so too, with this Court, the rule of law prevails.”

Open the PDF file for “The Dream Defenders v. DeSantis” in your browser at the link below or click the “Download” button to download the file to your device.

Full Text: Supreme Court Lets Stand TX Abortion Ban

(Blistering Dissents by Kagan & Sotomayor)

September 2, 2021

Quoting Axios on September 2, 2021: “The Supreme Court voted 5-4 to leave the Texas ban on most abortions in place, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the three liberal judges in the dissent.

Why it matters: The Texas law is the most restrictive abortion ban allowed to be enforced since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision enshrined abortion as a constitutional right. The Supreme Court decision will likely prompt other states to pass similar laws, reproductive rights groups say.

Catch up quick: The Texas law bans all abortions, including in cases of rape and incest, after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which is usually around six weeks —before many people know they are pregnant.

  • It also allows individuals to sue anyone suspected of helping a woman obtain an abortion — and awards at least $10,000 to people who do so successfully.
  • The law is difficult to challenge partly because it’s unclear who can be sued since it deputizes private citizens to enforce it.

What they’re saying:

Roberts in his dissent calls the “statutory scheme” of the law “not only unusual, but unprecedented.”

  • “The legislature has imposed a prohibition on abortions after roughly six weeks, and then essentially delegated enforcement of that prohibition to the populace at large. The desired consequence appears to be to insulate the State from responsibility for implementing and enforcing the regulatory regime,” he continues in a dissent joined by Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan.
  • “I would grant preliminary relief to preserve the status quo ante—before the law went into effect—so that the courts may consider whether a state can avoid responsibility for its laws in such a manner,” he adds.
  • “[T]he consequences of approving the state action, both in this particular case and as a model for action in other areas, counsel at least preliminary judicial consideration before the program devised by the State takes effect.”
  • “We are also asked to do so without ordinary merits briefing and without oral argument. These questions are particularly difficult.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor in her dissent calls the majority’s decision “stunning.”

  • “Presented with an application to enjoin a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny, a majority of Justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand,” she continues in a dissent joined by Justices Breyer and Kagan.
  • “Because the Court’s failure to act rewards tactics designed to avoid judicial review and inflicts significant harm on the applicants and on women seeking abortions in Texas, I dissent,” she writes, adding the law “is clearly unconstitutional under existing precedents.”
  • “In effect, the Texas Legislature has deputized the State’s citizens as bounty hunters, offering them cash prizes for civilly prosecuting their neighbors’ medical procedures.”
  • “Taken together, the Act is a breathtaking act of defiance—of the Constitution, of this Court’s precedents, and of the rights of women seeking abortions throughout Texas.”
  • “Today, the Court finally tells the Nation that it declined to act because, in short, the State’s gambit worked. … It cannot be the case that a State can evade federal judicial scrutiny by outsourcing the enforcement of unconstitutional laws to its citizenry.”
  • Of note: Justices Kagan and Breyer also wrote separate opinions.

The other side: In a brief, unsigned order, the majority — Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito Jr., Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett — say that while they are denying the application for injunctive relief, the decision is not an indication of whether they believe the law is constitutional or not.

  • “The applicants now before us have raised serious questions regarding the constitutionality of the Texas law at issue. But their application also presents complex and novel antecedent procedural questions on which they have not carried their burden,” the opinion reads.
  • “In reaching this conclusion, we stress that we do not purport to resolve definitively any jurisdictional or substantive claim in the applicants’ lawsuit,” it adds.
  • “In particular, this order is not based on any conclusion about the constitutionality of Texas’s law, and in no way limits other procedurally proper challenges to the Texas law, including in Texas state courts.””

Read the order “Whole Women’s Health v. Austin Reeve (Supreme Court) (9.1.21)” in the scrollable reader below or click on the link below that for a larger view. Click the “Download” button to download the file to your device.

Full Text: Judge Parker Orders Sanctions Against Eight Big Lie Lawyers

August 25, 2021

In a scathing 110-page order Federal Judge Linda V. Parker orders sanctions, including suspension & disbarment, against Sidney Powell & eight other lawyers for using the court system to advance Trump’s Big Lie.

Open the PDF file for “Judge Parker Sanctions Attorneys” in your browser at the link below or click the “Download” button to download the file to your device.

Afghanistan – An Analysis

August 17, 2021

A superb analysis of the twenty-year war in Afghanistan written by Oregon Representative Marty Wilde based on his deployment in Afghanistan as a member of the International Security Assistance Force.

Access Representative Wilde’s essay “Afghanistan – An Analysis” by clicking on the link “Afghanistan – An Analysis” below. Additionally, clicking on the “Download” button will download the document as a pdf file to your device. You can also share this document on social media using the share buttons below.

Full Text: Federal Judge Scathingly Rebukes A.G. Barr & Demands Unredacted Mueller Report

March 5, 2020

Quoting an article posted by ABC News on March 5, 2020:

“U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton issued an extraordinary rebuke of Attorney General William Barr Thursday in an order to the Department of Justice demanding he be able to review an unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Walton, who was appointed to the D.C. District Court by former President George W. Bush, admonished Barr’s handling of Mueller’s report and questioned whether his framing of it in his so-called ‘principal conclusions’ letter prior to the full report’s release was ‘calculated’ to help President Donald Trump politically.

‘The inconsistencies between Attorney General Barr’s statements, made at a time when the public did not have access to the redacted version of the Mueller Report to assess the veracity of his statements, and portions of the redacted version of the Mueller Report that conflict with those statements cause the Court to seriously question whether Attorney General Barr made a calculated attempt to influence public discourse about the Mueller Report in favor of President Trump despite certain findings in the redacted version of the Mueller Report to the contrary,’ Walton wrote.

He added: ‘The speed by which Attorney General Barr released to the public the summary of Special Counsel Mueller’s principal conclusions, coupled with the fact that Attorney General Barr failed to provide a thorough representation of the findings set forth in the Mueller Report, causes the Court to question whether Attorney General Barr’s intent was to create a one-sided narrative about the Mueller Report—a narrative that is clearly in some respects substantively at odds with the redacted version of the Mueller Report.'”

Open the PDF file for “Electronic Privacy Information Center v. DOJ (Memorandum Order)” in your browser at the link below or click the “Download” button to download the file to your device.

Full Text: Court Of Appeals Opinion Allowing Donald McGahn To Defy House Subpeona

February 28, 2020

Quoting an article by Charlie Savage appearing in the New York Times on February 28, 2020.

“WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court ruled on Friday [February 28, 2019] that Congress could not sue to enforce its subpoenas of executive branch officials, handing a major victory to President Trump and dealing a severe blow to the power of Congress to conduct oversight.

In a ruling that could have far-reaching consequences for executive branch secrecy powers long after Mr. Trump leaves office, a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed a lawsuit brought by the House Judiciary Committee against Mr. Trump’s former White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II.

On Mr. Trump’s instructions, Mr. McGahn defied a House subpoena seeking to force him to testify about Mr. Trump’s efforts to obstruct the Russia investigation. The House sued him, seeking a judicial order that he show up to testify, and won in district court in November.

But two of the three appeals court judges ruled on Friday that the Constitution gave the House no standing to file any such lawsuit in what they characterized as a political dispute with the executive branch. If their decision stands, its reasoning would shut the door to judicial recourse whenever a president directs a subordinate not to cooperate with congressional oversight investigations.”

Open the PDF file for “House Judiciary v. Donald F. McGahn (U.S. Court of Appeals)” in your browser at the link below or click the “Download” button to download the file to your device.

Senate Resolution 483: Impeachment Trial Procedures (With McConnell Edits)

January 21, 2020

Read Senate Resolution 483 containing the GOP proposed procedures for the Senate Impeachment Trial with Mitch McConnel’s hand written revisions. This resolution is being discussed in the Senate today, 1/21/20.

Open the PDF file for “Senate Resolution 483 (McConnell Revisions (1.21.20)” in your browser at the link below or click the “Download” button to download the file to your device.

House Reply Memorandum To Senate Filed January 21, 2020

January 21, 2020

House managers submitted a final written brief — a 34-page document that included a point-by-point rebuttal of arguments put forward by Mr. Trump’s lawyers on Monday, and an appeal to senators to convict him.

Open the PDF file for “House Reply Memo To Senate 1.21.20” in your browser at the link below or click the “Download” button to download the file to your device.

Trump Trial Memorandum To Senate Filed January 20, 2020

January 20, 2020

Trump’s Trial Memorandum is the primary document thus far filed by Trump in the Senate Trial. Trump’s lawyers released their Senate Trial Memorandum on January 20, 2020, two days after the House filed their Trial Memorandum. Among other purely partisan statements in Trump’s 171-page Memorandum, it disingenuously calls the articles of impeachment passed by the House “an affront to the Constitution and to our democratic institutions.”

Open the PDF file for “Trump Memo To Senate 1.20.20” in your browser at the link below or click the “Download” button to download the file to your device.