Archive for the ‘Lawyering’ Category
USA Today ran my column on the Ferguson shooting and expected Grand Jury ruling last night. The grand jury is reportedly resuming its deliberations today. It has a number of choices if it were to bring down a charge, though (as I note in the column) the currently known facts present a very strong defense case in favor of Officer Darren Wilson.
Posted in Congress, Constitutional Law, Courts, Criminal law, Justice, Lawyering, Politics, Society, Uncategorized, tagged Bank of America, Banksters, Foreclosure, John O'Brien, Joint State-Federal National Mortgage Servicing Settlement, JP Morgan Chase, MERS, robo-signings, Wells Fargo on 1, November 23, 2014 | 47 Comments »
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…)
Today, we filed our complaint United States House of Representatives v. Burwell (Case 1:14-cv-01967), in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The House’s complaint contains eight counts concerning constitutional and statutory violations of law related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). There are a myriad of unilateral amendments to this Act, ordered by President Obama’s Administration, which could be the subject of a challenge, and there are a number of changes that are already being litigated, including King v. Burwell, which has been accepted by the Supreme Court for review. The House’s complaint, however, focuses on the Administration’s usurpation not only of the House’s Article I legislative authority, but also of the defining “power of purse.” Both of these powers were placed exclusively in Article I by the Framers of our Constitution. These constitutional and statutory claims are highly illustrative of the current conflict between the branches over the basic principles of the separation of powers. The House’s complaint seeks to reaffirm the clear constitutional lines of separation between the branches – a doctrine that is the very foundation of our constitutional system of government. To put it simply, the complaint focuses on the means rather than ends. The complaint is posted below.
The Florida State University community is still in shock over the killing of three people and wounding of others on campus. The bar was rocked today with the news that the alleged killer was one of our own, FSU graduate and attorney Myron May. May’s final post on Facebook was the biblical verse, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
As 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…)