Archive for federal judge

How Pres. Obama could be forced to put tea party judge on federal bench

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justice tea party judge

If the notion of a tea party judge being nominated to a seat on the federal bench makes you sick to your stomach, raise your hand.

raise hand pick me smaller

The thought of yet another ultra-conservative judge-- a right wing extremist tea party judge at that-- making decisions that affect all of us, is disturbing. What's even more disturbing is that Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), can do something about it... and he may choose not to. Which means, President Obama may be forced to put such a tea party judge on the bench in Pennsylvania, in this case David J. Porter, Rick Santorum’s former lawyer.

I repeat: Rick Santorum's former lawyer. Worried yet?

I sure am. Think Progress has the story:

The reason why a Democratic president would even consider nominating Porter to a seat on the federal bench is a Senate tradition known as the “blue slip.” A relic of a patronage system largely dismantled during the Carter and Reagan Administrations, the blue slip tradition allows home-state senators to effectively veto any judicial nominee to a federal judgeship in their state. [...]

As Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has the unilateral ability to eliminate the blue slip today if he chose to, though he has thus far refused to do so. Indeed, one of Leahy’s Republican predecessors, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), largely did just that when he was Judiciary Chair and George W. Bush was president.

Follow the link for more. It's up to you, Sen. Leahy. You alone have the power to do the right thing.

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"We're done with your phony War on Christmas." #WarOnFundies

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cross memorial Mt.SoledadMt. Soledad cross, which sits on public land located on a San Diego hilltop.

Merry War on Christmas, boys and girls! Only four more corporate shopping days left, so it's time to focus on what Christianity and the celebration of the birth of their savior is all about.

If you're a regular reader of The Political Carnival, then Queen of Church v. State Oversight and author of Being Christian, K.C. Boyd, needs no introduction. If you are unfamiliar with her work, just go here to see all of my posts of her humor-imbued brilliance.

Yesterday she sent me something on the so-called War on Christmas that was share-worthy, and it goes a little something like this:

War on Christmas, fundies via KC Boyd religion

K.C. created that, wrote it, and thought, correctly, that I'd appreciate it. Oh, I do, I do.

war on christmas smaller

And because I value her perspective, allow me to also share today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter. They are responding to a Times editorial and a news item about efforts to preserve the Mt. Soledad cross, a war memorial in the vicinity of San Diego, California that was constructed on publicly owned land as a tribute to American soldiers killed in battle. A federal judge recently ordered the cross's removal, a decision I strongly support:

I'm disappointed in the Christian community for making no effort to understand the opposition to the Latin cross that sits on top of Mt. Soledad. They only offer criticism to those who find the cross offensive and unwelcome on public property.

Nonreligious Americans are not opposed to Christianity or religious symbols; they just don't appreciate any religious demonstrations on public property — be they Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or any other faith.

It's offensive to hear the Christian community imply that non-Christians are somehow not as patriotic or worthy of military honors because they don't support the Christian faith.

Rob Macfarlane

Newport Beach

***

The letters printed on this subject reflect the breadth of views held by our citizenry of widely varying beliefs. But none addresses the enduring root of religious symbol controversies.

Keeping crosses prominently positioned has become one means by which the Christian majority validates — some would say struts — its bullying of religious and nonreligious minorities. The same principle motivates that majority to insist on prayers to its God during meetings convened by public entities; nonbelievers are thereby marginalized.

The Supreme Court should put an end to institutionalized oppression of this country's growing non-Christian minority. A sweeping decision on the order of Brown vs. Board of Education — which in 1954 reversed the 'separate but equal' doctrine by which blacks were systematically oppressed — is past due.

Such a decision would ratify separation of church and state and help liberate nonbelievers from majority oppression. It would also serve to free the court from endless haggling over prickly religious freedom disputes.

Solano Beach

Aaron Mills

***

The saying, 'I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you,' comes immediately to mind after reading the letters wondering why someone would want the cross removed. But here's one more attempt:

The cross represents a powerful group that has been, for centuries, trying to obliterate me and mine from this planet. How can anyone seriously say that this honors us in any way?

Mary Ann Steinberger

Tujunga

By the way, of all the letters the L.A. Times received on this topic, only two were in favor of preserving the cross.

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If GOP wins lawsuit, #Obamacare falls apart in 36 states

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up up and oy vey

Heavy sigh:

Los Angeles Times: The Affordable Care Act proposes to make health insurance affordable to millions of low-income Americans by offering them tax credits to help cover the cost. To receive the credit, the law twice says they must buy insurance "through an exchange established by the state."

But 36 states have decided against opening exchanges for now. Although the law permits the federal government to open exchanges instead, it does not say tax credits may be given to those who buy insurance through a federally run exchange.

Apparently no one noticed this when the long and complicated bill worked its way through the House and Senate. Last year, however, the Internal Revenue Service tried to remedy it by putting out a regulation that redefined "exchange" to include a "federally facilitated exchange." This is "consistent with the language, purpose and structure … of the act as a whole," the Treasury Department said.

oy

Of course, the president's usual opponents are all over this and have filed four lawsuits. They salivate over anything that so much as hints at the demise of Obamacare and insist that the Obama administration abide by the strict wording of the law, "even if doing so dismantles it in nearly two-thirds of the states." Of course they do.

And as long as the House is under Republicans control, no way can the Obama administration fix this by suggesting that Congress legislate, well, anything.

And just as worrisome, one U.S. District Judge, a Clinton appointee, won't dismiss the suit and said he'd issue a written ruling.

oy oy

No judge has ruled directly on whether the IRS rule is illegal and contradicted by the health care law. Other judges in other states are considering similar suits, and if any of them rule in favor of the Obama(care) haters, the ACA could be put on hold until all the legal issues are ironed out. In fact, it could eventually end up in the Supreme Court.

oy oy oy

Stay tuned.

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Take that! Judge's ruling keeps all four Wisconsin abortion clinics open despite new state law

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curses foiled again

On August 1st I posted: Federal judge extends– for 3rd time– hold on WI law requiring abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges.

In that post I reminded you of the many GOP-run states trying to eliminate women’s privacy and reproductive rights: WI GOP lawmakers pursuing change to state constitution to give fetuses a right to life.

And I also reminded you of Rachel Maddow’s astute and eye-opening segment: Bye-bye women’s rights: “If you live where the Republican party is in control now, right now, this is your life.”

Of course, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker signed an abortion bill requiring women to undergo unnecessary ultrasounds. Plus it “requires doctors to have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of where they perform the procedure.” See how he's reaching out to women voters?

Well, Scotty, you've had another setback. Per The Cap Times:

The state’s four abortion clinics — two of which were slated to close — will remain open following a preliminary injunction issued late Friday by a federal judge in a case involving hospital admitting privileges for abortion doctors.

U.S. Judge William Conley’s ruling will keep Planned Parenthood’s Appleton abortion clinic and the Affiliated Medical Services clinic in Milwaukee open to perform abortions.

Conley wrote, “On this record, the admitting privileges requirement is a solution in search of a problem. Devoid of any documentation of a medical need or purpose in Wisconsin, the governor nevertheless signed the act on July 5, 2013.”

Oh snap.

The trial begins at the end of November, and the clinics will remain open until the case is resolved.

Kansas, Tennessee, Utah, Arizona, North Dakota all have similar laws, but the court blocked Alabama's efforts. Please watch Rachel Maddow's segment on the growing number of states trying to deny women their rights.

So, GOP, how’s that extreme makeover thing workin’ for ya?

abortion GOP elephant hangers

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What's that smell? Why, it's the smell of Obama victory: US judge dismisses suit against Dodd-Frank Wall St. reform law

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go away palms hands

Note to Republicans: Cordray was confirmed, so any questions about the legality of his appointment went bye-bye. Time to...

stfu shut your pie hole

To rub salt into that GOP wound, a U.S. district judge has now granted the Obama administration's motion to dismiss a  lawsuit filed by Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, Texas, and others who did not have standing to challenge the Dodd-Frank law.

Judge, short version: No harm, no foul. Now get outta here.

Take that, attorneys general of all eleven states.

Via the L.A. Times:

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by a Texas bank, two free-market advocacy groups and 11 states against the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, saying they did not show the likelihood of financial harm from the new government authority.

The suit specifically targeted the centerpiece of the law, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, charging the agency was granted too much power and that its director, Richard Cordray, was installed unconstitutionally with a recess appointment in 2012.

If Republicans would stop wasting everyone's time and money going after Dem-supported laws, maybe we could get a few things done around here.

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Federal judge extends-- for 3rd time-- hold on WI law requiring abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges

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abortion GOP elephant hangers

So many GOP-run states trying to eliminate women's privacy and reproductive rights, so little time: WI GOP lawmakers pursuing change to state constitution to give fetuses a right to life.

And then there was Rachel Maddow's astute and eye-opening segment: Bye-bye women’s rights: “If you live where the Republican party is in control now, right now, this is your life.”

Of course, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker signed an abortion bill requiring women to undergo unnecessary ultrasounds.

Hey GOP, how’s that reachy-outy, makeovery, reinventiony thing workin’ for ya?

So much for "small government."

For the third time, a federal judge is highlighting the failure of the Republican party to rebrand itself. Via JSOnline:

Madison A federal judge Wednesday extended for another week a hold on a state law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges.

This is the third time U.S. District Judge William Conley has temporarily blocked the law from going into effect. He now has placed it on hold until Aug. 8, or until he decides whether to issue a preliminary injunction that would be in place for a longer period.

Conley said he expected to rule on the injunction by the end of the week. If approved, that injunction would likely remain in effect until at least November, when Conley will preside over a trial on the constitutionality of the requirement for doctors who perform abortions.

The law in question "requires doctors to have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of where they perform the procedure. It also requires women seeking abortions to get ultrasounds, but that provision has not been challenged in court and has gone into effect."

So Wisconsin women... you ready for a change yet?

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Conservative Buffoons: Special Comment by my 72-year-old friend

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guns cartoon US map smaller

My impassioned 72-year-old  friend (who is now 75, but who’s counting?), who goes by the Twitter name @42bkdodgr, would like to share his feelings about a few Republican gun-revering buffoons and their response to the Newtown massacre. I am more than happy to oblige.

But first, a personal note from 42bkdodgr:

Many of you may wonder why I chose to use the “72 year old friend” as the introduction to my Special Comments. I selected the moniker so readers could see that from my age and life experiences I give a different perspective to the issues of today.

Buffoons

Last Friday, an horrific event occurred in our country, where 26 human beings, 20 of them young children, were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut, by a deranged individual.

Like many of you, I shed tears over the weekend as we learned more and more of the facts as to what actually took place at the school. When I think about what took place and the horror those children, teachers and school official went through, I still tear up, even as I write this special comment.

But I get extremely upset, mad, angry, irate or whatever word that describes outrage, when I read and hear the remarks coming from the religious right and the right wing of the Republican Party regarding what took place at the school.

Consider the following remarks and statements:

  • James Dobson, Focus on the Family Founder, linked the shooting to turning back on God with regard to abortions and the institution of marriage. In effect linking Sandy Hook shooting to abortions and gay marriage.
  • The National Review in an editorial written by Charlotte Allen, suggested the shooting occurred because the school was totally run by women, suggesting if a man or men were teachers or administrators at the school, the killings would not have happened.
  • Then we have birther Orly Taitz blaming President Obama for the Sandy Hook massacre. Read this article and it will make your head spin. Why the media still covers her is beyond me. Her 15 minutes of fame should be over.

Huckabee in his remarks about God being removed from schools, forgets there is such a thing as the separation of church and state.

As far as Gohmert and Perry, I wonder what they would say if a student overpowered a teacher and took a gun and used it. Who would they blame? The teacher for not be strong enough? Would they expect a 100-pound female teacher to take on a male high school student?

Will getting a teaching degree or certification require taking Hand Gun 101 and Shot Gun 102?

No one seems to have taken into consideration the possible ramification of an armed school. It's like they want to take us back to the wild, wild, west.

The fact that Ms. Allen could make such a remark when six women gave their lives trying protect the students in their schools is disgusting and outrageous.

All of the above statements, were from buffoons pushing their own agendas and not really trying to address the issues that confront the nation. I hope the task force being headed by Vice Pres. Joe Biden can come up with the solutions that will prevent such tragedy from ever happening again.

Many thanks again for another thorough, relevant piece, @42bkdodgr. You often say what many of us are thinking and feeling, and we thank you for your unique perspective.

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