Archive for the ‘Courts’ Category

Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court has decided to wade back into the controversy over the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or “Obamacare” today with the granting of review of King v. Burwell, No. 14-114. I have previously written about the King case as well as the parallel case in the D.C. Circuit in Halbig. Today, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in King and there appears a rather transparent effort by the Administration to give justices sticker shock in considering the challenge, particularly Chief Justice John Roberts. [For full disclosure, I am lead counsel in the challenge filed by the United States House of Representatives to different ACA changes ordered unilaterally by President Obama in House of Representatives v. Burwell.

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Gloria Eun Hye Lee

Gloria Eun Hye Lee

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

There are crimes where a defendant’s depraved actions almost beg for a strong sentence. Torching a pet store and pouring kerosene on puppies certainly qualifies.

Just over a year ago we reported the case of Gloria Eun Hye Lee who, along with codefendant Kirk Bills were accused of conspiracy, insurance fraud, arson, and animal cruelty for an outrageous event where the two set fire to Gloria’s Las Vegas Prince and Princess Pet Botique.

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Bruce_Rauner_August_2014

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

I have to give Governor Bruce Rauner credit for not taking long to show his hand and publicly attack the Higher Education system in Illinois.  It has only been a few weeks since he was inaugurated and he recently unveiled his budget.  A budget plan that slashes over $200 million just from the University of Illinois alone.

At the very time Gov. Rauner announced he wants to slash the Higher Education budget for all universities in the State of Illinois by almost a third, he claimed that his budget makes education a priority!  (more…)

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Baronelle Stutzman

Baronelle Stutzman

We previously wrote HERE of Richland, Washington Florist Baronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers, who caused a row when she refused to provide her floral services for a gay wedding. Now, a Benton County Superior Court Judge ruled that she violated the state’s consumer protection act that bars discrimination against a protected class.

The legal action was brought by customer Robert Ingersoll and the Washington Attorney General’s Office.

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635595197608427362-WeisenbergerJustice Court Judge Bill Weisenberger of Madison County has been indicted on a charge of simple assault involving a confrontation that he allegedly had with a mentally disabled man in which the judge was accused of striking Eric Rivers, a 20-year-old African American, and yelling “Run, nigger, run.” The alleged assault occurred at the Canton Flea Market on May 8 of last year where Weisenberger was working as either a security guard or a traffic monitor (accounts differ).

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President_Barack_ObamaU.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen delivered a major blow to President Barack Obama’s unilateral executive action on immigration with a preliminary injunction in Brownsville, Texas. The case involves a challenge by 26 states and, to succeed, the states had to meet a high standard that they were likely to prevail on the merits in the case. Hanen found that, absent an order, the states will “suffer irreparable harm in this case.” The ruling sets up an appeal that could move the case more rapidly through the system in yet another challenge to the President’s unilateral actions. [For the purposes of full disclosure, I have previously testified against the President’s unilateral actions and I am currently serving as lead counsel to the House of Representatives in its challenge to such actions taken with regard to the Affordable Care Act.]

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220px-HK_HSBC_Main_Building_2008

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

British banking giant, HSBC reached an agreement in 2012 with the Department of Justice that kept it from being hauled in to court on criminal charges due to its systemic assistance in laundering money for drug cartels and allegedly terrorists.  HSBC, with its Hong Kong headquarters shown above, is now in trouble again for alleged problems prior to the settlement agreement in 2012.

“The US Department of Justice is considering bringing criminal charges against HSBC and its executives as part of its investigation into whether the bank’s Swiss subsidiary helped US clients evade taxes.

Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren called on prosecutors to “come down hard” on HSBC if the bank is found to have colluded with tax evaders on Tuesday.

Her intervention came as US government officials with knowledge of the DoJ’s investigation provided the Guardian with new details about the inquiry.

Renewed focus has been placed on the long-running investigation into HSBC Switzerland by the department, after a huge leak of secret bank data – passed to the DOJ’s tax division almost five years ago – was obtained by the Guardian and other media.

It shows that HSBC Switzerland helped some clients conceal millions of undeclared assets, and has immediately raised questions on Capitol Hill about the response from prosecutors and tax authorities.  US government officials said the investigation is not merely looking at HSBC’s US clients, and could also result in criminal indictments against the bank itself. “That has not been ruled out,” one official said, when asked if HSBC or its executives could be criminally indicted. “It is certainly something that is under consideration.” ‘ Reader Supported News  (more…)

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