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Keyword: activistcourts

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  • In Maine, It Doesn't Pay to be a Man

    02/01/2010 9:08:35 AM PST · by FreeManDC · 27 replies · 1,790+ views
    Renew America ^ | February 1, 2010 | Carey Roberts
    Practically everyone in town knows Amy Dugas is a serial batterer. But the Maine criminal justice system keeps finding ways to keep her from facing the music. In 2004 Amy assaulted her husband Mark in their home in Waldoboro. When the police officer came to arrest her, she kicked him in the groin. The judge released her on bail, ordering her to refrain from using weapons. Four months later she stabbed Mark with a foot-long kitchen knife, fatally severing his pulmonary artery. At the trial, she got away with the trusty I-feared-for-my-life alibi. Two years later Dugas spent 125 days...
  • State Rules in Favor of Young Transgender

    01/27/2010 8:50:15 AM PST · by OneVike · 44 replies · 1,001+ views
    Bangor Daily News ^ | 7/1/09 | Abigail Curtis
    I searched but did not see this ever posted, so here it is. The Bangor Daily News reported back on July of 2009, about the ruling by the Maine Human Rights Commission that the Orono School Department discriminated against a transgender child by denying her access to the girls bathroom. While the school department’s lawyer warned that schools around the state may not be ready to manage the practical fallout from the decision, civil liberties advocates hailed the ruling as an advancement of human rights. “This ruling is a huge step forward for a vulnerable population that is entitled to...
  • Vt. judge: Birth mom must transfer custody of 7-year-old daughter to former lesbian partner

    12/30/2009 7:39:32 AM PST · by walford · 42 replies · 1,568+ views
    The Associated Press ^ | Dec. 30, 2009 | Wilson Ring
    ...Miller and Jenkins were joined in a Vermont civil union in 2000. Isabella was born to Miller through artificial insemination in 2002. The couple broke up in 2003, and Miller moved to Virginia, renounced homosexuality and became an evangelical Christian. Cohen awarded custody of the girl to Jenkins on Nov. 20 after finding Miller in contempt of court for denying Jenkins access to the girl. The judge said the only way to ensure equal access to the child was to switch custody. He also said the benefits to the child of having access to both parents would be worth the...
  • Judge upholds ruling against photographers who declined work at homosexual ceremony

    12/18/2009 10:11:50 AM PST · by NYer · 70 replies · 2,064+ views
    cna ^ | December 18, 2009
    Albuquerque, N.M., Dec 18, 2009 / 04:12 am (CNA).- Attorneys for a small photography company charged with violating anti-discrimination laws for declining to photograph a same-sex “commitment ceremony” are planning to appeal a New Mexico judge’s decision to uphold the New Mexico Civil Rights Commission’s ruling against them.The Albuquerque company, Elane Photography, is co-owned by Elaine Huguenin and her husband Jon. They are being represented by attorneys from the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF).In 2006 a woman named Vanessa Willock asked them to photograph a “commitment ceremony” that she and another woman wanted to hold in Taos, N.M. State law does...
  • Court tosses Prop. 8 ruling on strategy papers (CA against gay marriage)

    12/11/2009 7:03:00 PM PST · by XHogPilot · 16 replies · 1,192+ views
    San Francisco Chronical ^ | 11 Dec, 2008 | The Chronical staff
    SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal appeals court in San Francisco has reversed a judge's order that backers of Proposition 8, the state initiative that banned same-sex marriage, give their campaign strategy documents to opponents trying to overturn the measure. In a unanimous ruling today, the Ninth U.S. Circuit of Appeals tossed out the order that Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker issued in October against backers of Prop. 8, which state voters approved in November 2008. Walker had said lawyers for two same-sex couples and a gay-rights group were entitled to see internal memos and e-mails between Yes on 8...
  • Judge Blocks U.S. Ban on Funding for Acorn

    12/11/2009 6:47:08 PM PST · by GOP_Lady · 27 replies · 1,397+ views
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | 12-12-09 | NOMAAN MERCHANT
    A federal judge blocked U.S. officials from enforcing a funding ban on Acorn, the beleaguered community organizer. Congress cut off funding for Acorn -- the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now -- in September after Web sites and TV news outlets played secretly recorded videos in which employees of an affiliated organization offered advice on how to set up brothels and avoid paying taxes. Acorn sued the federal government in November, arguing Congress had violated the Constitution by singling out the group. It says it has fired employees suspected of wrongdoing. U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon in New York...
  • Gay Adoptive Father Faces Arraignment in Abuse Case

    12/09/2009 3:50:00 PM PST · by jonatron · 46 replies · 1,991+ views
    Edge (gay pride mag from Boston) ^ | Tuesday Dec 1, 2009 | Kilian Melloy
    A former Duke University employee and adoptive gay father charged with molesting his five-year-old son--and offering the boy as a sex object to pedophiles online--is expected to make a plea bargain, according to a Dec. 1 article in local newspaper the Durham Herald Sun. Frank Lombard faces charges stemming from alleged instances in which he molested his young adopted son and chatted about the deeds online even as he carried them out. It’s thought that the U.S, Attorney’s Office is positioning the case for a plea arrangement because the Office is set to file an "information," which allows the prosecution...
  • Did Texas just de-recognize marriage ?

    11/19/2009 9:51:32 AM PST · by MetaThought · 42 replies · 2,236+ views
    Fort Worth Star-Telegram ^ | Wednesday, November 18, 2009 | Dave Montgomery
    Texas' gay marriage ban may have banned all marriages AUSTIN — Texans: Are you really married? Maybe not. Barbara Ann Radnofsky, a Houston lawyer and Democratic candidate for attorney general, says that a 22-word clause in a 2005 constitutional amendment designed to ban gay marriages erroneously endangers the legal status of all marriages in the state. The amendment, approved by the Legislature and overwhelmingly ratified by voters, declares that "marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman." But the troublemaking phrase, as Radnofsky sees it, is Subsection B, which declares: "This state...
  • D.C. board turns away ballot initiative (gay "marriage")

    11/18/2009 12:50:05 PM PST · by markomalley · 3 replies · 555+ views
    Washington Post ^ | 11/18/2009 | Tim Craig
    The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics ruled Tuesday that a proposed ballot initiative defining marriage as between a man and a woman cannot go forward, reaffirming an earlier ruling that such a vote would be discriminatory. The board cited the city Human Rights Act, which bans discrimination against gay men and lesbians. The board decision, which will probably be challenged in court, means the D.C. Council can move forward with its plans to vote on a bill next month to legalize same-sex marriage. The council on Tuesday scheduled a vote for Dec. 1. "We have considered all of the...
  • Plea deal in abortion scuffle

    11/04/2009 1:53:52 PM PST · by markomalley · 4 replies · 500+ views
    Arizona Daily Sun ^ | 11/3/2009 | LARRY HENDRICKS
    One of two women accused of scrapping with an anti-abortion protester in front of Flagstaff City Hall has decided to accept six months of unsupervised probation to make the charges go away. Denise Redsteer, 48, accepted a "deferred prosecution" Friday in Flagstaff Municipal Court, said City Prosecutor Lisa Stankovich. Deferred prosecution does not admit guilt, and if Redsteer successfully completes the terms of her probation, the charges against her will be dismissed. Stankovich said that Redsteer has also agreed to pay a $150 prosecution fee and not commit any criminal offenses during the probationary period. Flagstaff attorney, Mik Jordhal, who...
  • Torture-slaying: more expensive to execute someone than to sentence them to life in prison

    10/29/2009 8:35:18 AM PDT · by fujimoh · 62 replies · 1,565+ views
    KNOXVILLE - For the first time in Knox County judicial history, a judge will instruct the jury in the trial of convicted torture-slaying ringleader Lemaricus Davidson that it is more expensive to execute someone than to sentence them to spend the rest of their life in prison. At the request of defense attorney Doug Trant, Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner said this morning that he will tell jurors that a 2004 study by the state Comptroller's Office concluded that execution is a more expensive form of punishment than life without parole
  • Interracial couple denied marriage license in La.

    10/15/2009 4:49:51 PM PDT · by Justaham · 41 replies · 2,141+ views
    HAMMOND, La. (AP) - A Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern for any children the couple might have. Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, says it is his experience that most interracial marriages do not last long. Neither Bardwell nor the couple immediately returned phone calls from The Associated Press. But Bardwell told the Daily Star of Hammond that he was not a racist.
  • Judge fines attorney $20,000, mocks eligibility challenge

    10/13/2009 12:26:51 PM PDT · by RobinMasters · 73 replies · 3,235+ views
    WorldNetDaily ^ | October 13, 2009 | Bob Unruh
    A Georgia judge has blasted attorney Orly Taitz, who has handled a number of court challenges to President Barack Obama's eligibility under the constitutional demand the Oval Office be occupied only by a "natural born" citizen, fining her $20,000 for what he called "frivolous" court actions, and he then mocked the concern over Obama's background. "Although counsel's present concern is the location of the president's birth, it does not take much imagination to extend the theory to his birthday," wrote U.S. District Judge Clay Land in an order released today. "Perhaps, he looks 'too young' to be president, and he...
  • FYI, The Latest In "As The Birthers Turn"

    10/06/2009 7:02:16 AM PDT · by steve-b · 35 replies · 2,433+ views
    Atlanta Journal-Constitution ^ | 10/5/09 | Jay Bookman
    Down in Columbus, I’d say that birther attorney Orly Taitz has guaranteed herself a $10,000 fine at the hands of U.S. District Judge Clay Land. According to the Columbus Ledger Enquirer, Taitz’ most recent filing accuses Land of having met secretly in Columbus with Attorney General Eric Holder to conspire about ways to hide evidence of Obama’s true birthplace. For that and other reasons, she demands that Land recuse himself from the case. Her evidence for that rather stunning charge? An affidavit from a fellow birther claiming to have seen someone resembling Holder in a Columbus cafe across the street...
  • Taitz Alleges Judge Secretly Met With Holder -- And Cites Coffee Shop Sighting To Prove It

    10/05/2009 10:14:30 AM PDT · by Beloved Levinite · 21 replies · 2,976+ views
    TPMMuckraker ^ | Oct 5, 2009 | Justin Elliot
    In a 24-page filing littered with all-caps, bold, and underlined text, Birther attorney Orly Taitz is demanding that a federal judge recuse himself in a case that has morphed from a soldier's attempt to resist Barack Obama's orders to what Taitz sees as a prosecution of herself. Taitz alleges that Judge Clay Land met with Attorney General Eric Holder, who was allegedly spotted at a small coffee shop across from Land's courtroom in Columbus, Georgia, on the day of a Birther hearing. A strange affidavit by one Robert Douglas describes the putative sighting of Holder, sans entourage, who "probably thought...
  • Christian Girl Ordered To Attend Public School: Mom's Religious Views Ripped By Court

    09/03/2009 9:03:31 PM PDT · by Steelfish · 41 replies · 2,523+ views
    The Washington Times ^ | September 03, 2009
    Christian girl ordered to attend public schoolMom's religious views ripped by court By Julia Duin A New Hampshire court ordered a home-schooled Christian girl to attend a public school this week after a judge criticized the "rigidity" of her mother's religious views and said the 10-year-old needed to consider other worldviews as she matures. Ever since the judge's ruling came out in July, the case has aroused the interest of home-schooling groups nationwide, whohave asked why a court has the power to decide whether someone's religious views are too extreme. The girl's mother, Brenda Voydatch, has engaged the Alliance Defense...
  • Voter intimidation ok with Obama-Holder Justice Department if done by its side

    07/31/2009 11:11:28 AM PDT · by OldDeckHand · 9 replies · 788+ views ^ | July 31, 2009 | Paul Mirengoff
    We wrote here and here about the Justice Department's dismissal of a voter intimidation case against a group of armed Black Panthers who threatened would-be voters outside a polling place in Philadelphia. The Justice Department won the case after the defendants defaulted (a wise move by them, it turns out), but decided to give the victory away. This struck us as another instance in which the Obama-Holder Justice Department made its decision based on political considerations, rather than considerations of justice. This was a case in which members of a political organization showed up at a polling place in uniform...
  • Judge tentatively acquits woman in MySpace case [Lori Drew]

    07/02/2009 12:41:54 PM PDT · by freespirited · 51 replies · 3,443+ views
    Guardian ^ | 07/02/09 | Linda Deutsch
    A Los Angeles federal judge has tentatively thrown out the convictions of a Missouri mother for her role in a MySpace hoax directed at a 13-year-old neighbor girl who ended up committing suicide. In his ruling Thursday, U.S. District Judge George Wu has acquitted Lori Drew of misdemeanor counts of accessing computers without authorization. Wu says his ruling will become final when he issues it in writing. Drew was convicted in a trial, but the judge says that if she is to be found guilty of illegally accessing computers, anyone who has ever violated the social networking site's terms of...
  • LA judge signs dismissal of Dole banana case

    06/18/2009 8:37:04 AM PDT · by Signalman · 4 replies · 372+ views
    Ventura Co. Star ^ | 6/18/2009 | Linda Deutsch
    <p>LOS ANGELES — LOS ANGELES (AP) - A California judge signed a dismissal order Wednesday detailing the massive fraud perpetrated against U.S. food giant Dole designed to collect billions of dollars through false claims of harm to Nicaraguan banana plantation workers.</p>
  • Angry Neighbors Won't Be Charged in Beating of Suspect in 11-Year-Old Girl's Rape

    06/04/2009 8:58:51 AM PDT · by Kartographer · 94 replies · 2,021+ views
    Fox News ^ | 6/4/09
    A mob of furious neighbors of an 11-year-old girl raped on her way to school in Philadelphia won't be charged for beating a man wanted for questioning in the case.
  • Charges Against Black Panthers Dropped by Obama....They are just cats right?

    05/29/2009 4:59:28 AM PDT · by faced · 167 replies · 10,991+ views
    Fox News ^ | 5/29/09 | Ericw Shaw <> The charges stemmed from an incident at a Philadelphia polling place on Election Day when three members of the party were accused of trying to threaten voters and block poll and campaign workers by the threat of force - one even brandishing what prosecutors call a deadly weapon. The three black panthers, Minister King Samir Shabazz, Malik Zulu Shabazz and Jerry Jackson were charged in a civil complaint in the last days of the Bush administration with violating the voter rights act by using coercion, threats and intimidation. Shabazz allegedly held a nightstick or baton that prosecutors said...
  • Judge sets bail of pharmacist in fatal Oklahoma City shooting at $100,000

    05/28/2009 10:21:06 AM PDT · by byrony · 286 replies · 4,802+ views
    NewsOK ^ | 5/28/2009 | Nolan Clay
    The hearing today turned contentious when District Attorney David Prater asked the judge not to bar Ersland from access to a gun while at the store. He argued Ersland still has a right to defend himself and pharmacy employees if the store is robbed again. He said the restriction either meant Ersland would be fired from his job or crooks now know it is "open season" at the pharmacy if Ersland is there. The district attorney said his position sounds crazy but under the law Ersland has the right to protect himself. At one point, spectators clapped. Defense attorney Irven...
  • Obama's Supreme Court Candidate Sonia Sotomayor Joking About Judicial Activism In 2005 (Video)

    05/03/2009 8:02:29 PM PDT · by Talkradio03 · 7 replies · 550+ views
    hotairpundit ^ | 5/3/09 | Talkradio03
    Look for someone to the left of Darth Vader Ginsberg, Sonia Sotomayor in her own words saying "the Court of Appeals (where she is) is where policy is made" Jay Sekulow said this woman believes in a "living" constitution and this video proves it...get ready, this is gonna be a long 4 years...
  • Feds (Lawyers) Say Murtha Immune From Pa. Haditha Suit, Too (Haditha)

    04/23/2009 9:20:20 AM PDT · by xzins · 58 replies · 1,706+ views
    WTAE-TV ^ | 23 Apr 09
    JOHNSTOWN, Pa. -- A Justice Department attorney said U.S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., should be immune from a defamation lawsuit filed by a former Marine from western Pennsylvania. Murtha Essentially, Murtha's attorney said the lawsuit filed in September by Justin Sharratt, of Canonsburg, should be dismissed for the same reasons that a federal appeals court struck down a similar suit by Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, of Meriden, Conn., last week. The court ruled that Murtha couldn't be sued because he was acting within the scope of his employment when he accused Wuterich's squad of killing innocent civilians "in cold blood"...
  • Appeals Court: Marine can't sue Murtha

    04/14/2009 8:02:43 AM PDT · by earlJam · 167 replies · 6,864+ views
    Yahoo ^ | 4/14/09
    By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer Nedra Pickler, Associated Press Writer – 2 mins ago WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court has ruled that a Marine cannot sue Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha for defamation. Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich of Meriden, Conn., claimed Murtha damaged his reputation by saying he and his comrades killed women and children "in cold blood" in Haditha, Iraq, in November 2005. Murtha argued he has immunity from the lawsuit because he was acting in his official role as a lawmaker...
  • JUDGES: Franken winner of Senate race

    04/13/2009 4:37:37 PM PDT · by ButThreeLeftsDo · 235 replies · 11,279+ views ^ | 4/13/09 | Nicole Muehlhausen
    Over five months after the election, a three-judge panel has declared Democrat Al Franken the winner of the Minnesota U.S. Senate race. The judges issued their final ruling late Monday, stating "Franken received the highest number of lawfully cast ballots in the Nov. 4, 2008 general election." They also have determined that Franken is entitled to receive the certificate of election. Last week, Republican Norm Coleman suffered a blow after a few hundred previously rejected absentee ballots were opened and counted at the tail end of Coleman's lawsuit contesting his loss in a statewide recount. They broke almost 2-to-1 for...
  • Muslim Girl Gets $400G From Nevada School District in Head Scarf Bully Case

    04/08/2009 12:24:05 PM PDT · by Mind Freed · 10 replies · 682+ views
    A Nevada school district agreed to pay $400,000 to a Muslim girl and her friend over allegations that other students threatened to kill her in the stairwell for wearing a religious head scarf and the staff did nothing to stop it.
  • Franken puts Pawlenty in a jam

    04/02/2009 6:43:59 AM PDT · by MinnesotaLibertarian · 54 replies · 1,882+ views
    Politico ^ | 4/2/09 | MANU RAJU
    The legal fight between Al Franken and Norm Coleman is headed to the desk of Gov. Tim Pawlenty — a no-win predicament for a Minnesota Republican with his eye on a White House run in 2012. Franken won big Tuesday when a three-judge panel allowed the review of no more than 400 absentee ballots in a race he currently leads by 225 votes. Coleman’s camp says an appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court is coming; once that’s done, the dispute lands in Pawlenty’s lap. If Franken’s ahead at that point, Pawlenty will have a choice: sign the election certificate that...
  • Senate recount trial: Judges' ruling is boon to Franken

    04/01/2009 12:37:56 AM PDT · by flattorney · 44 replies · 5,179+ views
    Star Tribune ^ | March 31, 2009 - 11:01 PM | Pat Doyle, Kevin Duchschere
    - - Absentee ballots to be counted will be far fewer than Coleman sought in effort to close the U.S. Senate gap. Abstract: Norm Coleman's lawyers all but conceded defeat Tuesday and promised to appeal after a panel of three judges ordered no more than 400 new absentee ballots opened and counted, far fewer than the Republican had sought to overcome the lead held by DFLer Al Franken. The ballots include many that Franken had identified as wrongly rejected as well as ballots that Coleman wanted opened in his quest to overcome the 225-vote lead that Franken gained after a...
  • U.S. to drop charges against former Sen. Ted Stevens

    04/01/2009 4:43:58 AM PDT · by navysealdad · 129 replies · 7,409+ views
    Reuters ^ | Wed Apr 1, 2009
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department has decided to drop all charges against former Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens amid charges of prosecutorial misconduct, NPR reported on Wednesday, citing Justice officials.
  • Obama DOJ Sides With RIAA

    03/23/2009 6:02:54 PM PDT · by Free ThinkerNY · 23 replies · 1,285+ views ^ | March 22, 2009 | timothy
    NewYorkCountryLawyer writes"The Obama Administration's Department of Justice, with former RIAA lawyers occupying the 2nd and 3rd highest positions in the department, has shown its colors, intervening on behalf of the RIAA in the case against a Boston University graduate student, SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, accused of file sharing when he was 17 years old. Its oversized, 39-page brief (PDF) relies upon a United States Supreme Court decision from 1919 which upheld a statutory damages award, in a case involving overpriced railway tickets, equal to 116 times the actual damages sustained, and a 2007 Circuit Court decision which held...
  • Department of Justice Withdraws “Enemy Combatant” Definition for Guantanamo Detainees

    03/13/2009 12:43:57 PM PDT · by Tucsonican · 149 replies · 7,733+ views
    USDOJ ^ | 12/13/09 | US Department of Justice
    Department of Justice Withdraws “Enemy Combatant” Definition for Guantanamo Detainees In a filing today with the federal District Court for the District of Columbia, the Department of Justice submitted a new standard for the government’s authority to hold detainees at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility. The definition does not rely on the President’s authority as Commander-in-Chief independent of Congress’s specific authorization. It draws on the international laws of war to inform the statutory authority conferred by Congress. It provides that individuals who supported al Qaeda or the Taliban are detainable only if the support was substantial. And it does not...
  • Mom will fight order against home schooling

    03/13/2009 8:15:42 AM PDT · by Between the Lines · 278 replies · 9,529+ views
    Raleigh News and Observer ^ | Mar. 13, 2009 | T. Keung Hui
    RALEIGH -- Home-school groups and conservatives across the country are infuriated by a Wake County judge's declaration that he will make a North Raleigh mother stop teaching her children at home and send them to public schools. As part of a continuing divorce case, Wake District Court Judge Ned Mangum said last Friday that it would be in the "best interests" of Venessa Mills' three children to go to public school this fall. Mangum said at the hearing that while the children are "thriving," they need to be exposed to the "real world." "It will do them a great benefit...
  • NC Judge Orders Homeschool Mom to Put Kids in Public School (to challenge the ideas she taught them)

    03/12/2009 10:40:35 AM PDT · by Between the Lines · 54 replies · 3,567+ views
    Christian NewsWire ^ | Mar. 12, 2009 | Adam Cothes
    RALEIGH, NC -- Venessa Mills is fighting a legal battle for the heart and soul of homeschooling in North Carolina. As reported on World Net Daily, on Friday, March 6, Judge Ned W. Mangum stripped her of the right to homeschool, and ordered her three children to enter public school. Mills was forced to defend her right to homeschool during divorce proceedings brought on by her husband's unfaithfulness. Mr. Mills admitted, under oath, to repeatedly committing adultery. Even with abundant evidence showing the Mills children are well adjusted and well educated, Judge Mangum ruled overwhelmingly against Mrs. Mills on...
  • Same-sex marriage initiative put to test

    03/04/2009 8:33:27 AM PST · by BAW · 14 replies · 712+ views
    San Diego Union Tribune ^ | March 4, 2009 | Greg Moran
    Calif. high court to hear challenge. There is little common ground between those on either side of the charged debate over marriage in California. But on the eve of the state Supreme Court hearing in San Francisco on Proposition 8, which prohibits same-sex marriage, advocates on both sides describe the issue in similar high-stakes rhetoric. “History swings on very small hinges sometimes,” said Jim Garlow, pastor at Skyline Church in La Mesa and one of the state's highest-profile supporters of Proposition 8. “On a broader scale, beyond the scope of the definition of marriage, this is about whether the social...
  • Homosexual activists file suit, challenge DOMA

    03/04/2009 8:43:52 AM PST · by GonzoII · 3 replies · 378+ views
    One News Now ^ | 3/4/2009 | Charlie Butts
    The lawsuit -- filed in Boston by the group Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) on behalf of several homosexual "couples" and three individuals -- asks a federal judge to declare unconstitutional portions of the measure which places the traditional view of marriage into law.
  • 41 Senate Republicans Send Letter To President Obama Urging Consultation On Judicial Nominees

    41 Senate Republicans Send Letter To President Obama Urging Consultation On Judicial Nominees March 2, 2009 President Barack H. Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C.  20500 Dear Mr. President: We look forward to working with you as you consider nominees for the federal judiciary.  Unfortunately, the judicial appointments process has become needlessly acrimonious.  We would very much like to improve this process, and we know you would as well.  It is in that spirit that we write early on to suggest two steps your Administration can take to achieve that shared goal.   First, in the beginning...
  • FEDS CALL SHARKEY ON SCHEME (another one down in judicial corruption case)

    02/04/2009 6:21:34 AM PST · by Born Conservative · 3 replies · 485+ views
    Citizen's Voice (Wilkes-Barre, PA) ^ | 2/4/09 | Dave Janoski
    WILKES-BARRE — Luzerne County Court Administrator William T. Sharkey Sr., the highest-paid non-judicial employee in the county court system, has agreed to plead guilty to pocketing more than $70,000 seized in illegal gambling cases over 10 years, federal prosecutors said Tuesday. WILKES-BARRE — Luzerne County Court Administrator William T. Sharkey Sr., the highest-paid non-judicial employee in the county court system, has agreed to plead guilty to pocketing more than $70,000 seized in illegal gambling cases over 10 years, federal prosecutors said Tuesday. Sharkey is the third high-ranking court official snared in a wide-ranging, ongoing federal probe of the county court...
  • Artist draws gays' ire for same-sex nups ban support (hypocrite paints gays, opposes gay marriage)

    02/03/2009 10:44:06 AM PST · by presidio9 · 16 replies · 868+ views
    New York Daily News ^ | Tuesday, February 3rd 2009 | NANCY DILLON
    A New York artist known for her colorful canvases of drag queens and gay pride parades gave $1,000 to help pass California's ban on same-sex marriage. Maureen Mullarkey, 66, made her sizable contribution to the National Organization for Marriage's "Yes on 8" fund in June, a Daily News review of campaign records found. The Westchester County woman was one of tens of thousands who poured a total of more than $83 million into the coffers of Proposition 8 support groups - money that helped convince California voters to overturn an earlier court decision granting gays the right to marry in...
  • Washington Court: Teachers Can Have Sex With 18-Year-Old Students

    01/13/2009 3:59:22 PM PST · by Sopater · 89 replies · 3,097+ views
    Fox News ^ | Tuesday, January 13, 2009
    SEATTLE — Washington state law does not bar teachers from having sex with 18-year-old students. That's the decision of a three-judge panel of the Washington Court of Appeals, which on Tuesday ordered the dismissal of a case brought against Hoquiam High School's former choir teacher. The teacher, Matthew Hirschfelder, was charged with first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor. He challenged a judge's refusal to dismiss his case. The appeals court unanimously agreed that the state law is vague, and that the Legislature only intended to forbid sexual contact between school employees and students who are 16 or 17.
  • Court overturns father's grounding of 12-year-old

    01/12/2009 12:01:24 PM PST · by Publius6961 · 49 replies · 2,164+ views
    AFP ^ | June 18, 2008 | AFP
    (paraphrasing) Girl takes father to court over grounding for breaking family rules, including insisting on visiting forbidden web sites, and posting inappropriate images of herself. Separated mother helps girl take father to court. Female judge overules father's parental authority.
  • Former Gov. Carlson Urges Coleman To Concede

    01/06/2009 11:44:38 AM PST · by steve-b · 58 replies · 2,083+ views
    MPR ^ | 1/6/09
    Former Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson says Republican Norm Coleman should concede to Democrat Al Franken in the U.S. Senate race. Carlson says Coleman shouldn't sue over the results of the recount. Carlson was a Republican governor who now considers himself an independent....
  • Court rejects Coleman argument; state board poised to declare Franken winner

    01/05/2009 9:45:55 AM PST · by ButThreeLeftsDo · 89 replies · 4,201+ views ^ | 1/5/09 | AP
    The Minnesota Supreme Court has rejected Republican Norm Coleman's request to count an additional 650 rejected absentee ballots in the state's U.S. Senate recount. The court's ruling Monday likely paves the way for the state Canvassing Board to certify results showing Democrat Al Franken won the race. But Coleman's attorneys have said they are likely to sue if he loses the recount, meaning it could be weeks more before the outcome is final.
  • Chief Justice John Roberts Decries Congress' Inaction On Judicial Pay Raise

    01/01/2009 4:39:29 PM PST · by Diana in Wisconsin · 62 replies · 1,823+ views
    All Headline News ^ | January 1, 2009 | Kris Alingod
    Washington, D.C. (AHN) - Making his annual year-end report, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Wednesday renewed his call for an increase in judicial pay. "Our country wisely preserves and maintains its national symbols. As citizens, we should strive with no less determination and vigor to preserve and maintain what our flag signifies and our anthem celebrates," Roberts wrote. "The Judiciary depends on such people, who have made American courts the envy of the world and the model for new democracies. As I have previously pointed out, however, widespread esteem is no reason for complacency." "I suspect many...
  • Atheist will attempt to boot God from inauguration

    12/30/2008 11:54:38 AM PST · by nickcarraway · 65 replies · 1,747+ views
    D.C. Examiner ^ | 12/29/08 | Kathleen Miller
    A well-known California atheist says he and 17 others, plus atheist and humanist organizations, will file suit Tuesday in D.C.'s District Court to strip all references to God and religion from President-elect Barack Obama's January inauguration ceremony. Michael Newdow, of Sacramento, Calif., says he wants to remove the phrase "so help me God" from the oath of office, plus axe the invocation prayer from Pastor Rick Warren, already under fire from the left for his opposition to gay marriage. According to Newdow, any reference to God or religion violates the Constitution. "Equality is important to me," Newdow told The Examiner....
  • Minn. Court Denies Coleman Suit on 'Duplicate' Votes

    12/24/2008 12:24:16 PM PST · by Sub-Driver · 86 replies · 5,027+ views
    Minn. Court Denies Coleman Suit on 'Duplicate' Votes @ 3:15 pm by Michael O'Brien The Minnesota Supreme Court unanimously rejected a suit by Sen. Norm Coleman (R) on Wednesday that sought to prevent a state board from certifying election results Coleman had alleged includes errors. In a 5-0 decision, the court ruled that the state's Board of Canvassers had the authority to certify election results that might have included so-called “duplicate ballots.” The Coleman campaign had claimed that such ballots, created by local election officials to mirror original ballots that were somehow damaged, were sometimes counted twice by accident, and...
  • US judge who gave to Obama won't be disciplined

    11/24/2008 7:27:10 AM PST · by george76 · 32 replies · 1,562+ views
    Associated Press ^ | Nov. 20, 2008 | PAUL FOY
    Utah's chief federal judge will not be disciplined for donating money to Barack Obama's campaign. Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Robert Henry cleared U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell in a decision posted last week. He did say the donation was unethical but noted that Campbell had promised no similar donations in the future.
  • Obama and Biden bode well for Constitution

    11/20/2008 4:27:30 PM PST · by SJackson · 73 replies · 1,573+ views
    Capital Times ^ | 11/20/2008 | John Nichols
    President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden are supposedly very different pieces of the Democratic puzzle. Obama is the relative newcomer to Washington, the change agent. Biden is the senior "man of Washington," the old hand who can make change a reality. But Obama and Biden have one thing in common: They've both done stints as constitutional law professors. Obama taught at the University of Chicago Law School -- along with brilliant former jurist and liberal Congressman Abner Mikva -- while Biden has for many years taught at Widener Law School in Delaware. This unique pairing intrigues New York...
  • Spitzer Cleared of Charges

    11/10/2008 7:46:26 AM PST · by John Semmens · 20 replies · 380+ views
    Former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer who resigned in the midst of an interstate prostitution scandal, will not face criminal charges. The announcement came from U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia. “Even though our investigation has shown that on multiple occasions, Mr. Spitzer arranged for women to travel from one state to another state to engage in illegal acts of prostitution, in the opinion of this Office this does not constitute misuse of public or campaign funds,” Garcia said. “Screwing around with the voters’ money is a common practice for elected officials. If everyone who did it had to go to jail,...
  • Vermont Student's Killer Won't Be Charged With Raping, Drugging Other Women

    11/04/2008 7:53:03 AM PST · by Red in Blue PA · 13 replies · 1,370+ views
    Fox ^ | 11/4/2008 | Fox
    BURLINGTON, Vt. — The man convicted of raping and murdering a University of Vermont student will not face charges that he drugged and sexually assaulted other women before the 2006 attack. The state has dropped the charges, which will not affect Brian Rooney's prison term. Rooney was sentenced in September to life without parole for the aggravated murder of 21-year-old Michelle Gardner-Quinn of Arlington, Va., in October 2006. On Friday, prosecutors in Caledonia and Chittenden counties dismissed four charges against Rooney, including sexual assault on a person younger than 16; lewd and lascivious conduct with a child and repeated sexual...