Archive for the ‘Constitutional Law’ Category

singleton_colorAssemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Mount Laurel) has introduced a controversial measure that would change the law in New Jersey to criminalize lies used to get someone to have sex. While such lies are notorious but common elements in many pickup situations, Singleton calls such acts as “rape by fraud.”

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Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 9.27.01 AMThere was an unscripted moment for President Barack Obama yesterday that might make Justice Department lawyers defending the recent unilateral changes to immigration laws a bit uneasy. The President was faced with an understandably annoying problem of hecklers who interrupted his speech demanding an end to deportations of anyone. The President responded with a clearly justified admonishment that they should let him speak, but he added in obvious frustration “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law.” That is what the Administration lawyers have striven to deny. They are insisting that this was not a change in law (which is a legislative act) but the exercise of discretion allowed under the law.

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1408390089660_Image_galleryImage_Officer_DARREN_WILSON_picstlouis13n-14-webThe Grand Jury in Missouri appears to have rendered its decision in the shooting investigation Michael Brown. It is expected to be announced shortly. Below is my column in USA Today.

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640px-Coat_of_arms_of_Senegal.svg900px-Flag_of_Senegal.svgWe have been watching with alarm as African nations pass more draconian anti-homosexual laws. Senegal has added its name to his ignoble list. President Yahya Jammeh signed a new law that establishes life imprisonment for some homosexual acts. Jammeh is a vehemently and vocal anti-gay leader who told gays and lesbians in 2008 to leave the country or risk decapitation. Five women have now been arrested as accused lesbians in what human rights groups are calling a national campaign of terror and torture by the police.

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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor

Since the Great Recession officially started in December of 2007, millions of people have lost their homes to foreclosures.  It turns out that many of those foreclosures may have been fraudulent or in violation of foreclosure laws. According to the Southern Essex County, Massachusetts Register of Deeds, John O’Brien, a forensic audit of his recording files suggests that at least 75% of the mortgage assignments were invalid.

“My registry is a crime scene as evidenced by this forensic examination. The Audit makes the finding that this was not only a MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems) problem, but a scheme also perpetuated by MERS shareholder banks such Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan and others. I am stunned and appalled by the fact that America’s biggest banks have played fast and loose with people’s biggest asset – their homes. This is disgusting, and this is criminal.” Nation of Change (more…)

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

artur-masPresident of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Artur Mas i Gavarró, his deputy, and his education minister face prosecution by the Spanish Government for alleged civil disobedience, abuse of power, usurpation of duties, and embezzlement of public funds according to a statement released by the public prosecutor’s office of the Spanish Government.

In what many see as clearly dubious prosecution by Spanish authorities, President Mas remarked: “It is sad to see that when the Catalan people want to express their opinion … the reaction of the state comes from the courts and prosecutors.”

The action comes several weeks after Catalonia held a non-binding vote on independence from Spain, buoyed by what many Catalonians hailed as a close race with the Scottish Independence referendum, a worrisome event to the Spanish government.

The matter brings into the discussion of Parliamentary Immunity and Executive authority held by other nations, and the chilling effect the threat of prosecution can have for representative government of constituents.

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

200px-US-CourtOfAppeals-9thCircuit-Seal.svgPlaintiffs representing unnamed registered sex offenders and sponsors of the non-profit California Reform Sex Offender Laws won a victory in their quest to declare unconstitutional the Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act on free speech grounds.

The act, among other matters, requires registered sex offenders to within twenty four hours submit the “internet identities” and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) they use to engage in conversation and participation in the experience of the Internet, amending California Penal Code § 290.015(a)(4)–(5).

The court upheld a district court judgment granting an injunction against the State of California enforcing the statute which was filed by plaintiffs the day the law was effective.

The Ninth Circuit cited curtailment to free speech rights after the offenders were released from prison who were then afforded the full protection of the first amendment and that such provisions of the law would amount to a chilling effect of the free speech rights of this class of individuals.

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