Category Archives: Courts

Abuse of power and obstruction of justice in plain sight

Russian asset and crime family boss Donald Trump just keeps digging his hole deeper with the Special Counsel’s investigation.

Yesterday he added two more counts, for abuse of power and obstruction of justice. The GOP House Freedom Caucus co-conspirators who are aiding and abetting his crimes should also be charged.

Steve Benen does a good job of breaking it down. Trump ignores security, crosses ‘red line’ with declassification gambit:

Donald Trump’s abuses have become routine, but that doesn’t make them any easier to tolerate. The president’s move yesterdayafternoon, for example, is awfully tough to defend.

In an unprecedented move that stunned current and former intelligence officials, President Donald Trump on Monday ordered the public release of highly classified documents and text messages related to the FBI investigation into whether his campaign conspired with Russia.

A statement by the White House press office said Trump had directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the Department of Justice and the FBI to declassify about 20 pages of a highly sensitive application for surveillance against Carter Page, a one-time Trump foreign policy aide.

The president suggested two weeks ago that he was considering such a move, but many hoped Trump was just blowing off steam and he’d end up in a more responsible place. That’s obviously not what happened.

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The Senate needs to get this right, and right now it is failing

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled next Monday for a hearing on Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh when they were in high school.

While there does need to be a hearing, this is yet again another example of GOP leadership steamrolling the Kavanaugh nomination without all the facts being made available to senators. GOP leadership is setting up this Monday hearing to be another public spectacle like the Anita Hill hearings were in 1991, and that is unfair to Christine Blasey Ford, Brett Kavaaugh, and the Senate. These fools have learned nothing in the intervening years.

Lat week Senator Dianne Feinstein referred the letter of Christine Blasey Ford to the FBI for further background investigation. All 10 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee signed a letter dated Monday morning urging Grassley to postpone the committee vote, urging that an FBI investigation should conclude before Kavanaugh’s nomination proceeds. Democrats call to delay Kavanaugh committee vote, after accuser comes forward.

The problem is that for judicial background checks, the client is not the Senate but the White House. And the White House Hasn’t Asked FBI to Vet Kavanaugh Allegations, Sources Say:

The White House hasn’t asked the FBI to investigate the allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted a woman when they were in high school, a request required for the bureau to take further action, according to two people familiar with the matter.

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The bogus GOP talking point about ‘timing,’ and dueling character witnesses

The Republican talking point today is “Why did Democrats wait until the eleventh hour” to bring to light this allegation of sexual assault by Judge Kavanaugh when he was in high school just days before his confirmation vote?

Seriously? Republicans are complaining about regular order and procedure after having blockaded President Obama’s nomination of Merick Garland for a year, and then rushing the nomination process for Brett Kavanaugh? That is chutzpah.

The confirmation vote has been rushed by the Septuagenarian Ninja Turtle, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, before the National Archives has even completed its review of documents related to Kavanaugh. Only about 10% of documents have been made available through an alternative source, a very non-neutral arbiter, Bill Burck, a private attorney employed by former president George W. Bush and a longtime Republican — and reportedly a longtime friend of Kavanaugh’s — overseeing the review of the documents. The fight over the release of Kavanaugh documents. A group of Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have been forced to file a lawsuit against the National Archives in an attempt to gain access to records related to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Senate Dems sue Archives to try to force release of Kavanaugh documents.

You want to talk about regular order and procedure Turtle Man? Mitch McConnell is the man who broke America. UPDATE: Charles Pierce at Esquire brings it up to date. History Will Remember Mitch McConnell as One of the Very Worst.

Then there is the fact Christine Blasey Ford did not want to come forward and be subjected to a political assault. She told this to both Senator Dianne Feinstein and reporters at the Washington Post. It was only after her letter was leaked to the Intercept and the New Yorker last week that she made the decision over the weekend that she would be willing to testify after having been outed against her will. She is now, predictably, being politically assaulted.

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The biggest test of the #MeToo movement: a Supreme Court nominee

The #MeToo movement is about believing a woman when she says that she has been sexually harassed, sexually assaulted, or raped by a man who is in a position of power:

After The New York Times published an explosive report in October 2017 detailing decades of sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein, dozens of women came forward with their own accusations against the Hollywood mogul. Within a week Weinstein had been fired from his company and expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Now, in a post-Weinstein world, legions of women have felt empowered to speak out and share their own #MeToo stories—both on social media and in news outlets. The reports against the powerful producer sparked an avalanche of accusations against high-profile men in media, politics, Silicon Valley, and Hollywood, all with varying degrees of repercussions.

Here, a list of the high-profile men who have been accused of sexual harassment, assault, and/or misconduct since the Weinstein story broke, which we’ll keep updating as new allegations surface. Post-Wtneinstein, These Are the Powerful Men Facing Sexual Harassment Allegations.

The stakes just got a lot higher for the #MeToo movement.

“Earlier this summer, Christine Blasey Ford wrote a confidential letter to a senior Democratic lawmaker alleging that Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her more than three decades ago, when they were high school students in suburban Maryland.” California professor, writer of confidential Brett Kavanaugh letter, speaks out about her allegation of sexual assault:

Now, Ford has decided that if her story is going to be told, she wants to be the one to tell it.

Speaking publicly for the first time, Ford said that one summer in the early 1980s, Kavanaugh and a friend — both “stumbling drunk,” Ford alleges — corralled her into a bedroom during a gathering of teenagers at a house in Montgomery County.

While his friend watched, she said, Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it. When she tried to scream, she said, he put his hand over her mouth.

“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” said Ford, now a 51-year-old research psychologist in northern California. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”

Ford said she was able to escape when Kavanaugh’s friend and classmate at Georgetown Preparatory School, Mark Judge, jumped on top of them, sending all three tumbling. She said she ran from the room, briefly locked herself in a bathroom and then fled the house.

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Judicial Performance Review Election 2018

Arizona follows the judicial merit selection and retention system for judges. Judges of the Arizona Supreme Court and the Arizona Court of Appeals are selected by gubernatorial appointment from a nominating commission and then face retention at the end of their terms.

Judges of the Arizona Superior Court in counties with populations over 250,000 (Maricopa, Pima and Pinal County) are appointed and then face retention at the end of their terms. Judges of the Arizona Superior Court in counties with populations under 250,000 are chosen in a partisan primary, then face nonpartisan general elections.

The Commission on Judicial Performance Review has posted information about the judges who are up for review on the November 2018 ballot:

In Arizona you have the right to decide which of our State’s judges stay on the bench and which don’t. Start by checking out our short video and then use the information on this website to learn about the judges you’ll be voting on so you can Finish The Ballot!

On the website, you can “Select your county to the left to see a list of all [Superior Court] judges that will appear on your ballot and their evaluations or select your county from the drop down menu (below).”

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