United States District Judge Andrew Hanen issued a remarkable opinion yesterday that found that Justice Department lawyers not only lied to him and opposing counsel but “it is hard to imagine a more serious, more calculated plan of unethical conduct.” What is even more remarkable however is that, after finding such calculated and unethical conduct, Hanen ordered the lawyers to simply take ethics classes rather than refer them to the bar for suspension or disbarment. Many attorneys object that government lawyers routinely escape serious punishment for false or misleading statements. In this case, the judge found that the Justice Department misled him and opposing counsel in a case by Texas and 25 other states that sought to block President Barack Obama’s controversial immigration programs. Hansen blocked the program. Notably, the Justice Department is even opposing ethical classes as a sanction.
I have been critical of the continuing refusal of the D.C. city council to adhere to the rulings of the United States Supreme Court on the Second Amendment. Nevertheless, the city continues to fund unsuccessful litigation that seems entirely detached from the controlling constitutional standard in cases like Heller. We previously discussed the prior defeat of the D.C. law curtailing guns rights. Now for the second time in two years, a federal court has enjoined the enforcement of the city’s concealed-carry law. In this case, the city imposes a standard that applicants must state “good reason” to carry a weapon in order to obtain a permit from police. In a 46-page ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon, the court declared the District’s gun-permitting system is likely unconstitutional. This law was the response to the court striking down the prior law in 2014.
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
The family of a then fifteen year old girl filed a lawsuit against a Tacoma, Washington mall and its security contractor alleging a Tacoma Police Officer used excessive force during what plaintiff’s claim is an unjustified stop and arrest. Newly released security video shows in the opinion of your author a disturbing example of a law enforcement officer utilizing not only unjustified and unreasonable force, but disregard for even common decency and showing clear conduct unbecoming of a professional.
The incident was captured on surveillance video and shows what I believe is self-evident conduct likely to garner strong liability on behalf of defendants.
This afternoon, Judge Rosemary Collyer issued a final ruling in United States House of Representatives v. Burwell, the challenge to unilateral actions taken by the Administration under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Judge Collyer ruled in favor of the House of Representatives and found that the Administration violated the Constitution in committing billions of dollars from the United States Treasury without the approval of Congress. The historic ruling reaffirms the foundational “power of the purse” that was given to the legislative branch by the Framers.
Arkansas judge O. Joseph Boeckmann Jr. has resigned in a truly bizarre scandal where he was accused of ordering male defendants to be spanked, engage in sex acts and bend over for thousands of photographs to fulfill their “community service.” What is interesting is that he was under investigation by the State Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, which began an inquiry in 2014 over a possible conflict of interest in an unrelated case on elder care. When they started to investigate, they were shocked by accounts of these other parties. He has not however faced criminal charges, which is curious given his alleged abuse of office.
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor.
In September of 2014 we featured an article describing how a squad of uniformed, self appointed “Sharia Police”. Several young adults wearing orange reflective jackets embossed with the words “Shariah Police” began foot patrols of the central district of the German city Wuppertal, harassing who they perceived to be Muslim who were frequenting discos and gambling establishments.
The group held that they were promoting their Salafist beliefs and chastising others who deviated from the tenets of the religion–by consuming alcohol and engaging in gambling entertainment.
The state sought to bring criminal charges against a group of Sharia Police for violating statutes relating to the patrols. Now, the Düsseldorf State Court ruled that eight of the nine accused men can face trial for “violating laws against wearing uniforms with political messages.”
It will be my distinct pleasure to serve as the keynote speaker today at the conference of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) in New Orleans. I will be addressing the society tonight in New Orleans on the rise of the Fourth Branch and how it relates to the practice of medicine in the 21st Century. It is always fun to return to New Orleans where I started my teaching career at Tulane University, though this will regrettably have to be a short visit due to a speech in Michigan. Since today is my birthday, I will have to at least get out to a couple of my favorite haunts for some good food and drinks with the Napoleon House at the top of the list for a Pimm’s Cup . . . or two.