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Supreme Court gives Trump win by allowing ‘remain in Mexico’ policy to continue


Reported By Ronn Blitzer | Fox News | March 11, 2020

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had said a week earlier that it would block the policy in Arizona and California, the two border states where its authority extends. The Trump administration then turned to the Supreme Court for relief.

“The application for stay presented to Justice Kagan and by her referred to the Court is granted, and the district court’s April 8, 2019 order granting a preliminary injunction is stayed pending the timely filing and disposition of a petition for a writ of certiorari,” the Supreme Court said in an order, which noted that Justice Sonia Sotomayor opposed the Trump administration’s stay application.

The high court action came a day before the lower court order was to have taken effect. Instead, the “Remain in Mexico” policy will remain in force while a lawsuit challenging it plays out in the courts.

The Justice Department responded Wednesday by saying the high court’s order restores “the government’s ability to manage the Southwest border and to work cooperatively with the Mexican government to address illegal immigration.”

“We are gratified that the Supreme Court granted a stay, which prevents a district court injunction from impairing the security of our borders and the integrity of our immigration system,” a DOJ spokesman said.

The policy, officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) requires individuals seeking asylum at the southern border to stay in Mexico while the U.S. considers their cases. Several organizations sued the administration, claiming that MPP is in violation of federal law that sets standards for how asylum applicants are treated.

“The Court of Appeals unequivocally declared this policy to be illegal. The Supreme Court should as well,” said Judy Rabinovitz, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who represents asylum-seekers and immigrant advocacy groups in the case. “Asylum-seekers face grave danger and irreversible harm every day this depraved policy remains in effect.”

The administration had argued that thousands of immigrants would rush the border if the high court didn’t step in.

The Supreme Court’s order noted that the stay only applies while the administration files a petition for the Supreme Court to review the Ninth Circuit’s decision. Should the court decline, the stay will be lifted and the policy will go back to being blocked. Should the court decide to hear the case, the stay will remain in effect until the court hands down a decision.

About 60,000 asylum-seekers have been returned to Mexico to wait for their cases to wind through clogged U.S. immigration courts since the policy was introduced in January 2019 in San Diego and later expanded across the border.

Fox News’ Shannon Bream and Morgan Phillips and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Abortion case before Supreme Court could deal serious blow to Roe v. Wade and give pro-lifers a huge win


The United States Supreme Court will hear a case out of Louisiana on Tuesday that could significantly increase states’ ability to enact laws restricting abortion and make it harder for doctors or clinics to challenge them in court, CBS News reported.

What’s the case?

June Medical Services v. Russo is a case that challenges a 2014 Louisiana law known as the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act. That law requires doctors and abortion clinics to have admitting privileges to a nearby hospital in order to operate. Pro-abortion advocates view the law as a backdoor way to severely restrict abortion access, while the stated intent of the law is to ensure the safety of patients at abortion clinics.

A federal judge struck down the law based on a 2016 Supreme Court ruling that blocked an allegedly similar law in Texas. But an appeals court reversed that decision, saying the Louisiana law was different enough from the Texas law that it could stand, with one of the reasons being that driving distances in Louisiana were not as great in Texas, so the impact of potentially fewer abortion clinics in the state was less significant.

A question at the heart of this case is whether doctors or clinics have legal standing to challenge state regulations. If it is determined that they don’t, it could become more difficult for abortion advocates to oppose pro-life laws.

What could the impact be?

Opponents of the admitting privileges law say that hospitals often only extend admitting privileges to clinics that will regularly send patients. Since abortions are generally safe, they argue, it is difficult for them to get admitting privileges. Additionally, some medical institutions in a place like Louisiana don’t want to be associated with abortion. So an admitting privileges requirement would effectively eliminate most abortion clinics in the state.

While bans on abortion procedures are often struck down due to Roe v. Wade, bans on abortion access are another way states could limit abortion. Louisiana is certainly a state that would seek to eliminate abortion to any extent possible under the law, and a win in this case would be a huge step toward that.

“If the court allows the Louisiana law to stand, we will probably look back on this case as the acceleration of the total demise of the right to abortion in this country,”said Gretchen Borchelt, vice president for reproductive rights at the National Women’s Law Center, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Without overruling Roe, the court could gut what is left of the constitutional right to abortion.”

Where do the justices stand?

This case takes on additional interest due to the current makeup of the Supreme Court, including the most recent additions of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberal justices to put the Louisiana law on hold until a full appeal, but the conservative lean of the court presents a real chance of a legal win for pro-life advocates after arguments have been heard.

Supreme Court Rules Illegal Aliens CAN Be Prosecuted For Identity Theft


Posted  |

In a 5-4 decision, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled that foreigners who are in America illegally can be prosecuted for the crime of identity theft. While the ruling seems like a no brainer, the court was divided because the case involved the Immigration Control and Reform Act, which says any information provided on an I-9 work form can’t be used by law enforcement in any way — and that includes as evidence in a criminal case.

“The Immigration Control and Reform Act (IRCA) makes it a federal crime to lie on the I-9 work authorization form, while limiting how the false information can be used,” Fox News reported. “Federal law also says information “contained in” the I-9 cannot be used for law enforcement other than specified exceptions — but the Supreme Court ruled that if workers use the same information in tax documents, they can face charges.”

“Although IRCA expressly regulates the use of I–9’s and documents appended to that form, no provision of IRCA directly addresses the use of other documents, such as federal and state tax-withholding forms, that an employee may complete upon beginning a new job,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the court’s majority opinion. He was joined by fellow conservatives Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh.

The IRCA also forbids state charges or civil cases against “those who employ, or recruit or refer for a fee for employment, unauthorized aliens,” but Alito noted that this “makes no mention of state or local laws that impose criminal or civil sanctions on employees or applicants for employment.”

The Kansas Supreme Court had ruled in a case that charges were improper because “[t]he fact that this information was included in the W–4 and K–4 did not alter the fact that it was also part of the I–9.”

Alito said that was a incorrect ruling.

“Taken at face value, this theory would mean that no information placed on an I–9 — including an employee’s name, residence address, date of birth, telephone number, and e-mail address — could ever be used by any entity or person for any reason,” he wrote.

Here’s What The Lead Roger Stone Juror Wrote In Her Jury Questionnaire


Reported by Chuck Ross |  Investigative Reporter |

URL of the original posting site: https://dailycaller.com/2020/02/24/tomeka-hart-roger-stone-juror-questionnaire/

The lead juror at Roger Stone’s trial said in a written questionnaire for prospective jurors that she was “not sure” whether she posted online about the Russia investigation or Stone, and that she “may have shared an article” on social media on the topics, according to a portion of the document reviewed by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

But Tomeka Hart’s Twitter feed shows that she indeed posted multiple times about the Russia probe and at least once about Stone, who was sentenced on Thursday to 40 months in prison in a case that stemmed from the special counsel’s investigation. Stone’s lawyers filed a motion on Feb. 14 alleging that Hart’s social media activity shows that she was biased against President Donald Trump and Stone. Trump also criticized Hart during a press conference after Stone was sentenced.

Trump called Hart an “anti-Trump activist,” and suggested that she “tainted” Stone’s jury.

Hart, who ran for Congress as a Democrat in 2012, commented negatively about Trump on Twitter and circulated news stories about the Russia probe. In one Aug. 2, 2019 post, she called all of Trump’s supporters racist.

Stone, 67, has been one of Trump’s most longstanding supporters, and is sometimes credited with convincing the real estate mogul to run for president.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who presided over Stone’s case, said last Tuesday that she would decide after Stone’s sentencing whether to grant a retrial. Jackson did not comment directly on reports about Hart during Stone’s sentencing on Thursday, but did say that the jury in Stone’s case acted with “integrity.” Jackson on Sunday rejected Stone’s request, filed Friday, that she recuse herself from the retrial decision because of her praise of the jury. Stone is arguing that Hart gave misleading answers during the jury selection process. Jackson’s rulings suggest that Stone faces an uphill battle in getting a retrial granted. And judges are generally reluctant to toss out a jury’s verdict without strong evidence of jury or prosecutorial misconduct. In order for a retrial to be granted, Stone will have to convince Jackson that he has met two requirements for a retrial set by the Supreme Court, according to Leslie McAdoo Gordon, a criminal defense and security clearance attorney who practices in Washington, D.C.

“I think he could satisfy the Supreme Court’s test for requesting a new trial,” McAdoo Gordon told The DCNF.

She said that it appeared that Hart downplayed her awareness of the Russia probe in her written questionnaire. That alone would not be enough to merit a retrial, McAdoo Gordon said. But Hart’s comments about Trump supporters and her failure to disclose those views during voir dire are enough to satisfy the Supreme Court’s requirement, according to the lawyer.

“If that information had been presented to the judge that she thought all supporters of the president were racist, the judge would have excluded her,” McAdoo Gordon said.

“She minimized her answers to the voir dire and she was not honest in answering that question about whether she could be impartial.”

Hart came under scrutiny earlier this month after she revealed herself to have been the foreperson on Stone’s jury in a social media post in which she defended four prosecutors who withdrew from the case in protest over a sentencing recommendation.

Right-wing blogger Michael Cernovich tracked down some of Hart’s social media posts which showed that she was highly critical of President Trump and his supporters.

Trump weighed in on Stone’s sentence on Thursday, and said that he will decide on whether to pardon Stone after Jackson rules on whether to have another trial.

“I want the process to play out,” Trump said at a press conference in Las Vegas. “I think that’s the best thing to do, because I’d love to see Roger exonerated, and I’d love to see it happen because I personally think he was treated very unfairly.”

In one Aug. 19, 2017 post, Hart referred to Trump as the “#KlanPresident,” an apparent reference to the Ku Klux Klan.

“Co-signing and defending a racist and his racist rhetoric makes you racist. Point blank,” she wrote on Aug. 2, 2019.

The DCNF obtained one page of Hart’s written jury questionnaire on the condition that the document not be published in full.

WATCH:

Hart’s responses on the questionnaire and during the voir dire process on Nov. 5 show that she acknowledged having Democratic leanings. But she also appears to have downplayed her awareness of developments in the Trump-Russia investigation.

During her voie dire interview, Hart said that her political views would “absolutely not” influence her opinion about Stone at trial, and that she “didn’t pay that close” attention the Russia investigation.

Hart and other prospective jurors filled out a 20-page, 56-question form in September 2019 during the jury selection process. The questionnaire asked prospective jurors about their awareness of the Stone investigation, the Russia investigation, and their opinions about various people involved in the case. The page viewed by The DCNF includes questions 21, 22, and 23 about Hart’s social media activity and awareness of news coverage about the Russia investigation.

In response to a question about whether she watches the news, Hart said “not regularly” but said that she followed CNN’s Anderson Cooper and MSNBC hosts Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes.

Hart offered a vague response regarding her awareness of the multiple investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

One question asked Hart whether she had written or posted anything regarding Stone, or the special counsel and House Intelligence Committee’s investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“I can’t remember if I did,” wrote Hart, who was identified as Juror 1261, “but I may have shared an article on Facebook.”

“Honestly not sure.”

Hart’s Twitter feed shows that she made far more than the single social media post that she indicated making in her jury questionnaire.

On Jan. 30, 2019, she retweeted a comment from CNN contributor Bakari Sellers criticizing conservatives who decried the circumstances of Stone’s arrest days earlier. Sellers admonished conservatives for complaining about Stone’s arrest by pointing to several high-profile cases of African-Americans who were killed by police.

Hart referred to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe in several posts, and appeared to support the notion that Trump associates colluded with Russia.

“Fox News keeps pushing excuses for Trump Jr.’s collusion with Russia that are just really, really bad,” reads a tweet she reposted on July 14, 2017.

In a May 29, 2019 tweet of an article at The Hill, Hart emphasized remarks that Mueller made at a press conference he held that same day.

“After that investigation, if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that,” Hart quoted Mueller saying.

She also commented about the special counsel’s investigation on Facebook, though the post has now been deleted. She linked to the post in a March 24, 2019 tweet.

“Ignoring the numerous indictments, guilty pleas, and convictions of people in 45’s inner-circle, some Republicans are asserting that the Mueller investigation was a waste of time because he hasn’t found evidence of…,”the tweet begins. 

In a Feb. 28, 2019 tweet linking to a now-deleted Facebook post, Hart wrote: “In his press conference 45 said M Cohen lied a lot during his testimony, but told the truth when he said he had no knowledge/evidence that 45 colluded with Russia. Then 45 said since Cohen lied about everything…”

It is still unclear if Stone’s legal team was aware of Hart’s social media activity before selecting a jury.

Grant Smith, Stone’s lead attorney, declined to talk about the case. Stone and his lawyers remain under a gag order issued by Judge Jackson.

Hart did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Supreme Court to hear Louisiana abortion case in 2020


Written The Washington Times | Thursday, December 26, 2019

URL of the original posting site: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/dec/26/supreme-court-to-hear-louisiana-abortion-case-in-2/

In this June 17, 2019 photo, The U.S. Supreme Court is shown in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

In this June 17, 2019 photo, The U.S. Supreme Court is shown in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) more >
A case testing abortion access in Louisiana will come before the Supreme Court early next year, giving President Trump’s two appointees their first chance to leave a mark on the topic.

Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh were not on the court in 2016 when its justices last grappled with hospital admitting privileges and requirements for medical professionals administering abortions in Texas.

This time, the pair of Trump appointees help create a conservative majority on the high court for its second go at those types of restrictions imposed by a Louisiana law.

Penny Nance, president of the pro-life Concerned Women for America, said her side welcomes the opportunity for the Supreme Court to weigh in again.

“It’s definitely the biggest abortion case that has been in front of Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh, and this will be very telling on their judicial philosophy on these kinds of cases,”Ms. Nance said.

The legal battle scheduled for oral arguments on March 4 will give the full bench a chance to take a look at a Louisiana law requiring doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital no farther than 30 miles from the women’s clinic.

The high court, in a 5-4 decision, halted the law from taking effect this year. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. sided with the four Democrat-appointed justices on the court in that case.

Abortion providers have challenged the legislation, saying it resembles a Texas law that the high court struck down in a 5-3 ruling three years ago. That time, it was Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who has since retired, siding with the more liberal wing. The late Justice Antonin Scalia had died, leaving an eight-member court.

Josh Blackman, a professor at South Texas College of Law, said only Justice Clarence Thomas openly disagreed with Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision legalizing abortion nationwide, in a 2016 ruling striking down the Texas requirements.

It is unknown at this point how Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh will decide — noting Justice Kennedy’s fifth vote is now gone since his retirement last year, he said.

“I think there is a chance the court changes the standing doctrine, such that only pregnant women can bring suits, not abortion clinics. This shift would radically alter the way abortion cases are litigated,”Mr. Blackman said.

Ed Goldman, a law professor at the University of Michigan, said that unless Chief Justice Roberts opts to uphold precedent since he was originally a vote in support of the Texas law back in 2016, the court likely will reverse course with the Louisiana requirements, potentially upholding the law.

“This would, of course, be a significant loss for abortion providers,” Mr. Goldman said. “This plus the current administration conscience law that has defunded Planned Parenthood would be a very significant blow leaving Roe as a right without a remedy. And it may be a way to overturn Roe.”

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also filed a brief in the case that was signed on by more than 170 lawmakers. They argued the Louisiana law runs afoul of the Supreme Court’s precedent on a pregnant person’s right to privacy.

“Such defiance undermines our nation’s confidence in the legislative process and violates the rule of law,” they said in court papers.

Butt-hurt Dems Watch Trump Get ANOTHER Big Win


Written By Kevin Jackson |

Democrats get another loss. How many is that so far? Who cares, as it’s too many to count at this point.

Democrats learn a painful lesson these days: Trump wins in the end. So whatever victories Democrats believe they have are only short-lived.

And Trump got another victory, this one related to his first campaign promise: build that wall!

As Yahoo News reported:

The Supreme Court cleared the way Friday for the Trump administration to tap billions of dollars in Pentagon funds to build sections of a border wall with Mexico.

The court’s five conservative justices gave the administration the greenlight to begin work on four contracts it has awarded using Defense Department money. Funding for the projects had been frozen by lower courts while a lawsuit over the money proceeded. The court’s four liberal justices wouldn’t have allowed construction to start.

The justices’ decision to lift the freeze on the money allows President Donald Trump to make progress on a major 2016 campaign promise heading into his race for a second term. Trump tweeted after the announcement: “Wow! Big VICTORY on the Wall. The United States Supreme Court overturns lower court injunction, allows Southern Border Wall to proceed. Big WIN for Border Security and the Rule of Law!”

I’ve written many times on the importance of a president with the courts. Trump exemplifies that more than any.

Understand that almost every Obama-era judge has ruled against President Trump. But he persists, and ultimately gets his victory. This time is no different.

The Supreme Court’s action reverses the decision of a trial court, which initially froze the funds in May, and an appeals court, which kept that freeze in place earlier this month. The freeze had prevented the government from tapping approximately $2.5 billion in Defense Department money to replace existing sections of barrier in Arizona, California and New Mexico with more robust fencing.

Though getting what almost all politicians on both sides of the aisles have wanted for decades, Chuck Schumer and other Democrats immediately complained.

Democrats blasted the move Friday night, with Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (D-Calif.) calling it “a deeply regrettable and nonsensical decision.”

Schumer argued the ruling flies in the face of the will of Congress and the Congress’s exclusive power of the purse, which our founders established in the Constitution.”

“It’s a sad day when the president is cheering a decision that may allow him to steal funds from our military to pay for an ineffective and expensive wall for which he promised Mexico would foot the bill,” Schumer added in a statement.

Yet, here is Chuck Schumer in 2008 discussing protecting the border:

Next, here are Schumer and other Democrats discussing protecting America’s border and building the wall.

Fun to watch Democrats learn lessons the hard way.

When you bet against the country, you lose every time.

After Schools, Leftists Try To Remove God, Atheism Becomes Largest Religion in US


Reported By Joe Saunders | Published April 7, 2019 at 3:50pm

URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournal.com/ct/schools-leftists-try-remove-god-atheism-becomes-largest-religion-us/

More than 50 years after the Supreme Court ruled prayer in public schools was unconstitutional, the percentage of Americans who claim no religion is slightly higher than the two largest religious faiths. (Anna Nahabed / Shutterstock)

The Freedom from Religion Foundation and the ACLU must be high-fiving each other.

In a development that can’t be heartening to the millions of America’s faithful, new survey data shows the percentage of Americans who profess no religious belief is actually higher those who are part of the country’s largest faith traditions. The trends might not be looking good right now, but there’s a reason to hope.

According to the General Social Survey, which has been tracking American social trends since 1972, Americans who claim no religion — or “nones” — now outnumber Roman Catholics and evangelicals.

“’Nones’ have been on the march for a long time now,” Ryan P. Burge, a professor at Eastern Illinois University, told the National Catholic Reporter.

“It’s been a constant, steady increase for 20 years now. If the trend line kept up, we knew this was going to happen.”

According to the NCR, the percentage of American “nones” is now 23.1, up from 21.6 percent in 2016. That’s only slightly ahead of Catholics, at 23 percent, and evangelicals, which were 22.5, down from 23.9 percent in 2016. The percentage is so small, considering the millions of individuals involved, it’s probably statistically insignificant. The NCR calls the results “statistically tied.”

But there’s no denying it represents a change in American life — and the kind that could have a direct result on the country’s politics.

NCR cited exit polls from the 2016 elections that white evangelicals made up 26 percent of the voters even if their share of the voting population wasn’t that large.

“Evangelicals punch way above their weight,” Burge said told NCR. “They turn out a bunch at the ballot box. That’s largely a function of the fact that they’re white and they’re old.”

That’s one way to put it. One could also look at it like they’re patriotic, committed, intelligent and aware that — as Americans — they’re part of the rich history of a nation that’s truly exceptional in world history. In other words, they’re pretty much the opposite of the millennial America that is embodied by progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow Democrat freshmen representatives.

So let’s just stipulate that a future where the American electorate is made up of a lot fewer people like the voters who pushed Donald Trump over the top early on Nov. 9, 2016, and a lot more fans of AOC is likely to be a trying one for the country overall. But this has been coming for a long time. The General Social Survey numbers are almost to be expected if several factors are taken into account.

First and foremost, public schools have for decades been in the hands of an education establishment and leftist teachers unions that scorn traditional morality.

Secondly, our nation is saturated with an entertainment culture that celebrates individual narcissism and immorality while mocking virtually every expression of religious belief.

Finally, America’s political culture is such that one of its two major political parties has been virtually a religion-free zone.

Combine these factors with the lawfare practiced by the likes of the ACLU and the cranky atheists of the Freedom from Religion Foundation — which target even the most innocent endearing expressions of religious faith in public life – and it’s a wonder that numbers like this didn’t show up ages ago.

And as Michael Knowles pointed out at The Daily Wire, it’s probably no coincidence that the country is experiencing a level of social ills that it hasn’t seen before.

“As religiosity has declined, social ills have abounded. Nearly one in five American adults suffers from anxiety disorders, which now constitute the most common mental illness in the country,” Knowles wrote.

“One in six Americans takes antidepressant drugs, a 65% surge over just 15 years. The problem is particularly acute among younger Americans. While depression diagnoses have increased 33% since 2013, that number is up 47% among Millennials and 63% among teenagers. Coincidentally, suicide rates among American teenagers have increased by 70% since 2006. American life expectancy declined again last year, as Americans continue to drug and kill themselves at record rates.”

Does anyone think it’s just a coincidence that that happens when religious faith is failing? (And does anyone think it’s a coincidence that all of this happening less than 60 years after the Supreme Court ruled that prayer in public schools was unconstitutional. Three generations of Americans have grown up in the world that helped create.) Now, no one can believe the members of the American Civil Liberties Union wake up in the morning wondering how they can contribute to more American suicides than they did yesterday. And no one thinks the Freedom from Religion wackos in Wisconsin are consciously setting out to increase the mental and spiritual health of their fellow citizens. (Though at Christmas time, it can be hard to tell.) And one might even be able to give the benefit of the doubt to the American education establishment (though Hollywood and the teachers unions will never deserve it).

But even the most willfully obtuse, deliberately blind individual member of the cultural elite has to see the wreckage that’s being strewn across society by the large-scale abandonment of faith. And that might be a reason for hope.

The numbers might not be looking good at the moment, but it’s the job of conservatives to try to turn that trend around. The election of President Donald Trump was a start in that process — and the developments it made possible, like the gradual return of sanity to the United States court system, will help.

But this is the long fight — the longest fight there is — and conservatives have to be willing to get into it. If they are in the fight — heart and soul — a setback or two in the numbers of the faithful are largely irrelevant in the long run. Conservatives have taken on long odds before and won — the news out of the White House every day proves it. They can do it again.

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