Archive for the ‘Justice’ Category

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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800px-Capitol_Building_Full_ViewAs many on this blog are aware, I have previously testified, written, and litigated in opposition to the rise of executive power and the countervailing decline in congressional power in our tripartite system. I have also spent years encouraging Congress, under both Democratic and Republican presidents, to more actively defend its authority, including seeking judicial review in separation of powers conflicts. For that reason, it may come as little surprise this morning that I have agreed to represent the United States House of Representatives in its challenge of unilateral, unconstitutional actions taken by the Obama Administration with respect to implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It is an honor to represent the institution in this historic lawsuit and to work with the talented staff of the House General Counsel’s Office. As in the past, this posting is meant to be transparent about my representation as well as my need to be circumspect about my comments in the future on related stories. (more…)

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US Trustee Program

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

In the past, I have written about the Big Banks continued unlawful actions that only result in “slap on the wrist fines” that in many cases are passed on to the shareholders and/or used as a tax deduction. It seems that Wall Street and the Banksters have not learned a thing.  Or have they?

The latest wrinkle in Banksters taking advantage of American citizens is noted in a Crooks and Liars report which detailed an investigation into several Big Banks and their alleged refusal to honor the orders of Bankruptcy judges across the country. Of course, the “usual suspects” have been named in the latest investigations.  (more…)

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

Did you know that somewhere in America, it is illegal to feed the homeless in public?  It can’t be true can it?  It is true in Fort Lauderdale, Florida after the recent passage of an ordinance by the city council.  The real scary part of that news is that Fort Lauderdale is not alone in taking this anti-compassionate stance!

“Over 30 cities across the nation have outlawed or are considering criminalizing the provision of food to homeless people. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, over 20 cities have devised laws against giving food to homeless people since January 2013.” Nation of Change

While I can understand this stance if these cities are adding health guidelines to make such feeding attempts safer, I am shocked that over 30 cities have outlawed it or are considering outlawing the practice of giving food to the hungry and homeless.  Are public picnics next on the hit list? (more…)

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

scales_of_justiceThe Washington Supreme Court ruled it is a violation of Due Process to require a rape defendant to prove lack of consent in rape trials, shifting the burden to the state. The opinion reverses decades old practices of the courts and by extensions investigators of such crimes to include elements showing lack of consent that were previously assumed based on the statements and evidence of alleged victims.

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

We have written on multiple occasions about the illegal activities of Big Banks and Wall Street financial firms as well as their penchant to repeat their offenses.  It now seems that a State regulator and two Federal prosecutors may have finally come to the conclusion that many Big Banks are not only continuing their illegal practices, but that they may have hid information during prior investigations into their allegedly shady dealings.

While I am glad that at least two Federal prosecutors may be putting the heat on some of the repeat offenders by extending their deferred prosecution agreements and opening new investigations and taking a second look at past investigations, my first response is what took them so long?

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

It never ceases to amaze me that the heads of major corporations and officers of those companies just never seem to go to jail when the corporation’s fingers are caught in the cookie jar.  We saw two separate examples of that concept this week.  One example is simply a case of corporate greed at employees expense and the other is a brutal and deadly tragedy that caught up the corporate employees, but not their bosses.

In the past, I have written about banks getting away with fines and financial penalties for committing crimes, but today the focus is on two corporations in two different areas of endeavor.  I am referring to the corporation formerly known as Blackwater and Electronics for Imaging (EFI).  Blackwater as you may recall was in the private security and intelligence gathering business with many government clients, while EFI is a Silicon Valley tech firm with earnings of over $100 million in 2013.  They both have one thing in common.  They broke the law and one got a slap on the wrist and the CEO and founder of the other and his fellow corporate officers avoided any culpability in a brutal murder case. (more…)

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