Category Archives: Courts

If you want to put a citizens initiative on the 2020 ballot, you had better file it by early 2019

Voting rights and electoral issues were on the ballot in 13 states, and voters overwhelmingly supported expanding access to the ballot box. Voting Rights Were The Biggest Winner In The Elections:

One clear winner emerged from last week’s elections: voting.

Voting rights and electoral issues were on the ballot in 13 states, and in almost all of them, voters overwhelmingly supported initiatives that expand access to the ballot box and make the right to vote easier to exercise.

In Colorado, Michigan, and Missouri, ballot initiatives aimed at replacing gerrymandering — the redrawing of legislative districts by political incumbents to strengthen their party’s electoral representation — with nonpartisan methods of redistricting all received more than 60% of the vote. Colorado’s proposal to allow independent commissions to handle redistricting garnered over 70%.

Marylanders turned out in favor of same-day voter registration. Nevadans ushered in “motor voter” automatic registration for those who visit the Department of Motor Vehicles. Floridians, meanwhile, restored the right to vote for 1.4 million released felons(excluding those convicted of murder or sex crimes).

Perhaps the most significant victory for voting rights came in Michigan, where two-thirds of voters adopted Proposal 3. Among other provisions, the new law guarantees same-day voter registration, automatic registration at the DMV, and no-excuse absentee voting. Voting has never been easier in one America’s most important swing states.

This bodes well for the millions of Americans who have expressed a newfound interest in democratic participation in recent years.

In Arizona, the “dark money” forces of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the “Kochtopus” network blocked voters from even considering the Outlaw Dirty Money initiative. Anti-‘dirty money’ initiative knocked off ballot in Arizona, Supreme Court rules.

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Sen. Jeff Flake threatens to hold up judicial nominees over protection for Mueller (Updated)

The always desperate for media attention Arizona Senator Jeff Flake Flake says he’ll oppose judicial nominees until Mueller bill gets vote:

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said on Wednesday that he will oppose any of President Trump’s judicial nominations until legislation protecting special counsel Robert Mueller gets a vote.

“I have informed the majority leader I will not vote to advance any of the 21 judicial nominees pending in the Judiciary Committee or vote to confirm the 32 judges awaiting confirmation on the Senate floor until … [the bill] is brought to the full Senate for a vote,” Flake said from the Senate floor.

Flake’s threat will block the Judiciary Committee from approving judicial nominations and sending them to the full Senate without help from Democrats. Republicans hold a 11-10 majority on the panel and many of the most controversial nominees pass along party lines, meaning they would need either Flake’s vote or a Democratic senator to flip.

On the Senate floor, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has slightly more leeway. With a 51-49 majority, Flake would need a Republican colleague to join him and every Democrat to block a judicial nominee on the Senate floor.

His decision comes after McConnell blocked Flake from bringing legislation to protect Mueller from being fired to a vote before the Senate.

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The Department of Justice bows before the madness of King Donald

It appears that Assistant Attorney General Steven Engel is willing to sacrifice his integrity and his career in service to King Donald and undermining the independence of the Department of Justice. His Justice Department memorandum, dated Wednesday, attempts to argue that Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker (right) as acting Attorney General — who has never been confirmed as a principal officer by the U.S. Senate in his previous position as chief of staff to Jeff Sessions — does not violate the Constitution.

This runs counter to the overwhelming weight of expert legal opinion from lawyers on both the left and right, as I have previously posted. Obstruction of justice in plain sight: appointment of Whitaker is unconstitutional and illegal.

The state of Maryland is taking the lead in filing a lawsuit to challenge Whitaker’s unconstitutional and illegal appointment. Whitaker’s Appointment as Acting Attorney General Faces Court Challenge:

Now, Mr. Whitaker’s appointment is facing a court challenge. The State of Maryland asked a federal judge on Tuesday for an injunction declaring that Mr. Whitaker is not the legitimate acting attorney general as a matter of law, and that the position — and all its powers — instead rightfully belongs to the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein.

Mr. Trump may not “bypass the constitutional and statutory requirements for appointing someone to that office,” the state said in a court filing.

[Read Maryland’s court filings.]

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Obstruction of justice in plain sight: appointment of Whitaker is unconstitutional and illegal

Unindicted coconspirator and Russian asset Donald Trump has appointed an ass-kissing sycophant as acting attorney general who is a grifter just like “Dear Leader.” Acting Attorney General Sat on Board of Company Accused of Bilking Customers: Matthew G. Whitaker, the acting attorney general, served on the advisory board of World Patent Marketing, which “bilked thousands of consumers out of millions of dollars” by promising inventors lucrative patent agreements, that a federal judge shut down last year and fined nearly $26 million after the government accused it of scamming customers.

When he wasn’t grifting, Whitaker was going on television acting as a Trump sycophant commentator attacking the Mueller investigation. Here’s what Trump’s acting AG Matthew Whitaker has said about the Mueller investigation.

And then there is his close relationship with a person of interest in the Russia investigation. Whitaker’s friendship with Trump aide reignites recusal debate: Whitaker, is a close friend of Trump’s 2016 election campaign co-chair, and a former government ethics chief said the friendship makes Whitaker unable to oversee impartially a politically charged investigation into the campaign, for which he should recuse himself.

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And so it begins … Attorney General Sessions resigns at Trump’s request (Updated)

Well that didn’t take long … America is still counting the votes from Tuesday’s election but “Dear Leader” has begun the “slow-motion Saturday night massacre” at the Department of Justice. Trump is just daring the Special Counsel and the new Democratic Congress to hold him accountable for his abuses of power and obstruction of justice.

The Washington Post reports, Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigns at Trump’s request (he tried to resign twice before, but was talked out of it):

[Confederate Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III] resigned on Wednesday at President Trump’s request, ending the tenure of a loyalist Trump had soured on shortly after Sessions took office in 2017 because the former senator from Alabama had recused himself from oversight of the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

In a letter to Trump, Sessions wrote he had been “honored to serve as Attorney General” and had “worked to implement the law enforcement agenda based on the rule of law that formed a central part of your campaign for the presidency.” Trump tweeted that Sessions would be replaced on an acting basis by Matthew G. Whitaker, who had been serving as Sessions’s chief of staff.

“We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well!” Trump tweeted. “A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date.”

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