Patterico's Pontifications

8/22/2019

Epstein News

Filed under: Law — DRJ @ 7:13 am



[Headlines from DRJ]

At least 8 jail workers knew Jeffrey Epstein shouldn’t have been left alone in cell:

At least eight jail staffers were aware that strict instructions had been given not to leave Jeffrey Epstein alone in his cell — but the order apparently was ignored in the 24 hours before he hanged himself, according to a report.

Investigators looking into the apparent failure to follow instructions were shocked that so many Federal Bureau of Prisons staffers — including supervisors and managers — were aware of the directive, people familiar with the matter told the Washington Post.

Epstein managed to settle his financial affairs, which people often do before committing suicide:

The will that disgraced financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein signed just two days before his jailhouse suicide puts more than $577m in assets into a trust fund that could make it more difficult for his dozens of accusers to collect damages.

Estate lawyers and other experts say prying open the trust and dividing up the financier’s riches is not going to be easy and could take years.

[…]

By putting his fortune in a trust, he shrouded from public view the identities of the beneficiaries, whether they be individuals, organizations or other entities. For the women trying to collect from his estate, the first order of business will be persuading a judge to pierce that veil and release the details.

From there, the women will have to follow the course they would have had to pursue even if Epstein had not created a trust: convince the judge that they are entitled to compensation as victims of sex crimes. The judge would have to decide how much they should get and whether to reduce the amounts given to Epstein’s named beneficiaries, who would also be given their say in court.

The Will is also being probated in the US Virgin Islands, where Epstein owned two islands, which adds another layer of complexity and difficulty for claimants. I wonder if Epstein left bequests to friends or faithful employees living there. If so, challenging the Will might require asking a local judge to set aside or limit those bequests.

— DRJ

8/17/2019

Colorado deals with Two Police Shootings

Filed under: Crime,Law — DRJ @ 8:13 pm



[Headlines from DRJ]

There have been two recent police shootings in Colorado:

Colorado Springs, CO:

Video shows Colorado Springs police shoot De’Von Bailey in the back as he runs away

Police yelled “Hands up! Hands up!” before shooting multiple timesColorado Springs police have released body camera video that shows two officers shooting 19-year-old De’Von Bailey in the back as he ran from them, ignoring their commands to put his hands up.

The graphic footage from two officers’ body cameras shows Bailey fall to the pavement, weakly attempt to raise his right hand up above his head as blood poured from gunshot wounds on his back and pooled on the street.

Bailey soon collapsed and moaned as officers handcuffed him. He died later after being transported to a hospital.

Rifle, CO:

Video raises possibility police shot Rifle man in the back

A cell phone video appears to show the Aug. 5 fatal shooting of Allan George in Rifle by police and seems to indicate he was shot in the back as he was moving away from officers.

The footage was taken across the river from the bridge where George was stopped, then shot by Rifle Police, who were attempting to arrest George on charges of child exploitation.

Legal experts weigh in on both cases: Colorado law tends to favor police who shoot “fleeing felons”.

— DRJ

8/16/2019

9th Circuit lifts Asylum Injunction in Texas and New Mexico

Filed under: Immigration,Law — DRJ @ 5:07 pm



[Headlines from DRJ]

9th Circuit lifts nationwide injunction against Trump plan to limit asylum.

Court: US can reject asylum along parts of Mexico border:

A federal appeals court on Friday cleared the way for the U.S. government to forbid Central American immigrants from seeking asylum at the two busiest stretches of the southern border in a partial legal victory for the Trump administration.

The ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allows President Donald Trump to enforce the policy in New Mexico and Texas, rejecting asylum seekers who cross from Mexico into either state. Under Friday’s ruling, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar’s July 24 order stopping the policy would apply only in California and Arizona, which are covered by the 9th Circuit.

The two busiest areas for unauthorized border crossings are in South Texas’ Rio Grande Valley and the region around El Paso, Texas, which includes New Mexico. Nearly 50,000 people in July crossed the U.S. border without permission in those two regions, according to the U.S. Border Patrol.

In theory and maybe in reality, this will cause asylum-seekers to travel to Arizona and California.

— DRJ

8/9/2019

Missouri Walmart Incident (5 days after El Paso Walmart shooting) — UPDATED

Filed under: Crime,Law,Second Amendment — DRJ @ 12:02 pm



[Headline from DRJ]

Yesterday afternoon: Police: Man with rifle, bulletproof vest arrested at Walmart store:

[Springfield Police Lt.] Lucas said the man showed up to the business with body armor and military-style clothing and then walked inside carrying a “tactical rifle” and another gun. 

As shoppers were panicking and fleeing the store, Lucas said the man was taking video on his phone and making comments to people while pushing a shopping cart. 

Lucas said the suspect then walked out of the store, where an off-duty firefighter held the suspect at gunpoint until police arrived moments later.

Today: Police ID man arrested with rifle at Springfield Walmart:

Dmitriy N. Andreychenko, 20, was booked into the jail on suspicion of first-degree making a terrorist threat.

Kudos to police that arrived in 3 minutes and especially to the armed off-duty firefighter who detained the departing young man. A bystander added her appreciation for the police and firefighter, and this:

Within seconds after she pulled into the lot, Belew said, police arrived.

Someone shouted at the man, “Why are you walking around in a tactical jacket carrying a rifle?” Belew said. “I did not hear what he said back.

“The guy told police he was keeping his phone on for his own safety,” she said.

“He did not seem surprised. He did not seem angry. He looked like he had accomplished whatever he wanted to accomplish.”

The local paper interviewed a Springfield defense lawyer and former prosecutor about the legal issues involved. Please click the links and help out the local newspaper. It did an excellent job covering this story.

Was this young man considering whether to shoot, making a political point about guns, seeking a little copycat fame, or does he have a cruel sense of humor?

HT urbanleftbehind.

UPDATE 8/10/2019: Armed man at Walmart says he was testing right to bear arms.

— DRJ

8/6/2019

Appeals court reinstates Sarah Palin’s Defamation Lawsuit against the NYT

Filed under: Law,Politics — DRJ @ 10:05 am



[Headline from DRJ]

Law & Crime:

In 2017, United States District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff held an evidentiary hearing to determine whether Palin’s complaint against the Timesproperly alleged all the required elements of a defamation claim. Rakoff then relied on the evidence adduced at that hearing to dismiss Palin’s complaint under the Federal Rules of Procedure 12(b)(6), meaning Palin failed to state a claim upon which relief can legally be granted.

“Nowhere is political journalism so free, so robust, or perhaps so rowdy as in the United States,” Rakoff wrote in the ruling. “In the exercise of that freedom, mistakes will be made, some of which will be hurtful to others.”

However, according to the Second Circuit’s ruling Tuesday, Rakoff’s reliance on any facts outside of Palin’s original complaint was improper and grounds for reinstating Palin’s claim.

— DRJ

8/4/2019

Mexico announces Intention to Sue US over El Paso Shooting

Filed under: International,Law — DRJ @ 1:48 pm



[Headline from DRJ]

Mexican government says it will sue U.S. over mass shooting in El Paso:

Ebrard referred to the mass shooting as a “barbarous” act, and said the Mexican government would be taking action to protect its citizens living in the United States.

“The president of the Republic has instructed me so that this posture and indignation from Mexico is translated, first in protecting affected families, and then in legal actions, efficient and prompt, quick and convincing so that Mexico can demand the conditions to protect to the Mexican-American community and Mexicans in the United States,” he said.

I am not sure what Mexico has in mind. Normally a country with concerns about its citizens’ safety in another country will advise its citizens to return home.

— DRJ

8/2/2019

NY Post: NYPD judge recommends Daniel Pantaleo be fired over Eric Garner’s chokehold death

Filed under: Crime,Law — DRJ @ 12:45 pm



[Headline from DRJ]

NY POST:

Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo should be fired for the chokehold incident involving Eric Garner, an NYPD judge ruled. NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Trials Rosemarie Maldonado had been weighing whether Pantaleo, who a grand jury declined to indict and who the feds chose not to hit with civil rights charges, should face department discipline.

***

Under NYPD rules, the verdict will now go to the Civilian Complaint Review Board, which prosecuted the case, according to Stuart London, Pantaleo’s lawyer. Each side will have two weeks to submit responses to NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill, who can go along with or overrule Maldonado’s verdict.

“This decision is pure political insanity. If it is allowed to stand, it will paralyze the NYPD for years to come,” Police Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch said. “This judge ignored the evidence and trampled P.O. Pantaleo’s due process rights in order to deliver the result that the grandstanding politicians and protesters demanded.

— DRJ

7/31/2019

California Law requires Presidential Primary Candidates to release Tax Returns

Filed under: Government,Law,Politics — DRJ @ 7:19 am



[Headline from DRJ]

California Requires Trump to Release Tax Returns for Spot on Primary Ballot

President’s lawyer threatens court challenge, calling new law unconstitutional

California will require presidential candidates to hand over their tax returns in order to appear on the state’s primary-election ballot, setting up a likely legal conflict with President Trump over his continued refusal to disclose any tax documents.

Under a law signed Tuesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, candidates must turn over five years of tax returns at least 98 days before the March 3 primary. The state would then release a redacted version of the documents.

The Constitution sets forth the requirements to be President that are based on age, citizenship and residency but laws do allow states to establish rules to limit ballot access, such as requiring filing fees and gathering signatures. In addition, this law only applies to the primary election, not the general election.

— DRJ

7/29/2019

Preclearance under the Voting Rights Act

Filed under: Government,Law — DRJ @ 7:00 pm



[Headlines from DRJ]

Ten years ago, I wrote about preclearance under the Voting Rights Act:

The Obama Justice Department has rejected Georgia’s voter ID system that requires voters provide Social Security numbers and driver’s license data in order to vote. The rejection letter cites the law’s disproportionate impact on “African-American, Asian and/or Hispanic voters” that burdens their right to vote.

The rejection resulted from a requirement that Georgia obtain “preclearance” of voting changes under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Georgia and 16 predominantly Southern states, including Texas, are required to get “federal approval before changing election rules because of a history of discriminatory Jim Crow-era voting practices.” Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 requires that the local government prove to federal authorities that the voting change is not discriminatory and will not adversely affect minorities.

Then, in 2013:

On June 25, 2013, the United States Supreme Court held that it is unconstitutional to use the coverage formula in Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act to determine which jurisdictions are subject to the preclearance requirement of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, Shelby County v. Holder, 133 S. Ct. 2612 (2013). The Supreme Court did not rule on the constitutionality of Section 5 itself. The effect of the Shelby County decision is that the jurisdictions identified by the coverage formula in Section 4(b) no longer need to seek preclearance for the new voting changes, unless they are covered by a separate court order entered under Section 3(c) of the Voting Rights Act.

Since then, the only way for a state to be put under federal preclearance was through litigation, i.e., a “separate court order.” Texas had already been sued for discrimination in redistricting, and the litigation continued after the Shelby County decision. In early May 2019, a Texas federal court heard arguments regarding whether Texas would still be subject to preclearance because of past attempted discriminatory redistricting:

A federal judge in San Antonio will hear arguments Thursday over whether Texas should have to clear its political maps with the federal government in 2021.

Any ruling on this question would be a test of a little-known part of the Voting Rights Act, sweeping legislation passed during the civil rights movement.

“This is pretty uncharted territory,” said Michael Li, senior counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program. “Texas will be the first big test of this, and so it’s something that certainly people around the country are watching closely.”

***

“The Texas case will be a big test of whether the Voting Rights Act has any teeth after the gutting of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act,” Li said.

Now a federal court panel has decided Texas is no longer subject to preclearance, at least not because of this pending litigation:

After a yearslong fight over Texas’ political maps, a panel of federal judges on Wednesday denied the requests of voters of color, civil rights groups and Democratic lawmakers to put Texas back under federal supervision of its redistricting.

Although they noted “grave concerns” about Texas’ past conduct, the judges who have overseen the long-winding case against the state ruled that the drastic intervention was not warranted despite previously ruling that state lawmakers discriminated against voters of color when they first drew up new maps in 2011.

***

Although findings of intentional discrimination against the 2011 maps, which were never used, remained intact, the panel of federal judges said they were bound by the Supreme Court’s opinion that “nothing further remains to be remedied.”

The outcome is a massive loss for those who had hoped that Texas — a repeat offender when it comes to undermining the voting rights of people of color — would be back under federal oversight of its map-drawing ahead of 2021, when lawmakers will have to redraw maps to account for population growth.

Without an appeal to the Supreme Court, the 2021 redistricting cycle could mark the first time in nearly half a century that Texas will be able to implement new legislative and congressional districts without first proving they don’t undercut the electoral power of voters of color.

This may be appealed but it seems the preclearance requirement may be gone unless a court finds a state has engaged in current discriminatory intent or actions.

— DRJ

7/26/2019

SCOTUS agrees with Government’s use of Military Funds for Border Wall during Appeal

Filed under: Immigration,Law — DRJ @ 7:06 pm



[Headline from DRJ]

U.S. Supreme Court lets Trump use disputed funds for border wall:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday handed President Donald Trump a victory by letting his administration redirect $2.5 billion in money approved by Congress for the Pentagon to help build his promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border even though lawmakers refused to provide funding.

The conservative-majority court on a 5-4 vote with the court’s liberals in dissent blocked in full a ruling by a federal judge in California barring the Republican president from spending the money on the basis that Congress did not specifically authorize the funds to be spent on the wall project fiercely opposed by Democrats and Mexico’s government.
***
A brief order explaining the court’s decision said the government “made a sufficient showing” that the groups challenging the decision did not have grounds to bring a lawsuit.

Trump celebrated on Twitter.

RELATED: “Trump announces ‘safe third country’ plan with Guatemala in deal that will keep asylum-seeking migrants from trekking north through Mexico to the United States; Deal will allow the U.S. to refuse asylum to Hondurans and Salvadorans unless they first apply in Guatemala.”

OR NOT: “Guatemala’s Constitutional Court had ruled that a safe third country deal could not be signed without prior approval from the country’s Congress, which is on a summer recess.”

— DRJ

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