Archive for the ‘Constitutional Law’ Category

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Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson indicated this week that they are “pursuing” an investigation into whether comments made by Michael Brown’s stepfather Louis Head (shown here in the white cap) should be charged for his inciting a riot for his response to the news that there would be no indictment of Officer Darren White. While I certainly do not condone the language, I have long been a critic of such “violent speech” prosecutions and I believe that such charges would violate his free speech rights and ignore the mitigating factor of a family member in a highly emotional position that night. Warning: profane words are contained in the story below and the videotape.

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220px-Washington_Post_buildingPresident_Barack_ObamaThe Washington Post has published a hard-hitting editorial that not only accuses the Obama Administration of fudging the figures on its unilateral immigration changes but calls the action “unprecedented” and “indefensible.” The stinging editorial from a generally favorable newspaper amplifies the criticism of others, including myself, that President Obama is doing considerable damage to the separation of powers and, more generally, our constitutional system in these actions.

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2014121174435504580_20If you guessed a woman driving, you are ready to visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Loujain Hathloul has continued to defy the Saudi ban on female drivers. She was stopped at the border with the United Arab Emirates when she tried to drive back into the country. Our erstwhile ally is the only country to prevent women from driving in the name of Islam — making such medieval neighbors in the region like Iran look positively advanced in comparison.

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religious-symbols-on-vanThere is a truly bizarre cases at the intersection of religious beliefs and the criminal code in Canada. Peter Wald’s family truly believed he would rise from the dead. Kaling Wald, 50, has pleaded guilty to leaving her husband in their home for six months after his death because she and their family believed that he would be resurrected. They prayed over the corpse for months as it decayed until it was discovered. Notably, the husband died of an untreated illness because the family believed that he would also be healed by prayer.

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1415900687791_wps_28_steven_hayes_2014_photo_jYou may recall the case seven years ago of the horrific rape, murder, and arson case out of Connecticut involving Steven Hayes. He and a friend raped and murdered a mother and two daughters in a savage home invasion. He is now on death row but Hayes is not happy with his meals. He is an Orthodox Jew and insisted that his kosher meals were not being prepared with sufficient attention to religious rules and thereby forcing him to “choose between following God and starving or choosing sin to survive.” A court has rejected the motion for preliminary injunctive relief.

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HT_when_pigs_fly_sk_141127_16x9_992A woman on a USAIR flight to Washington at Bradley International Airport was ordered off a flight after she carried on her 70-pound pig service animal. The woman said that the pig was needed to deal with her anxiety issues.

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department of treasury

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

Now that we have celebrated Thanksgiving, I was struck by the news that Congress is considering legislation that would grant large tax breaks to corporate citizens and actually remove tax breaks for the poor and the middle class.

‘ “This Congress seems willing to give huge tax cuts to big businesses—who are already doing better than ever—but somehow can’t prevent tax increases on 50 million working Americans that will occur when expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit expire,” Harry Stein, the Associate Director for Fiscal Policy at American Progress Action Fund, told ThinkProgress. “This is a great deal for CEOs and a terrible deal for struggling families.”’ Nation of Change  (more…)

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