Jordanian Writer, On Trial For Insulting Islam, Murdered At Courthouse

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor.

nahed-hattarFree-speech claimed another victim in the Middle-East after Jordanian Journalist Nahed Hattar, who is accused of sharing online an “anti-Islamic” cartoon, was assassinated outside a courthouse where he was facing trial for insulting Islam.

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State Lawsuit Against Police Officer Allegedly Assaulting 15 Year Old Girl Removed To Federal Court

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor.

monique-tillman-tacoma-mall-cameraIn May of this year, we reported a disturbing allegation of an unlawful use of force against a then fifteen-year-old girl by a Tacoma Police Officer working an off-duty assignment at a large shopping mall.

Originally filed in with the Pierce County Washington Superior Court, on September 19th the case was removed to the U.S. District Court of Western Washington.

Surveillance video shows what appears to be disturbing actions by a professional police officer used against a petite fifteen year old for alleged criminal acts against her that were later dismissed. Plaintiff alleges in her tort claim that race discrimination was a factor in the incident.

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Public Defender Refuses To Remove “Black Lives Matter” Pin Despite Judicial Order

black-lives-matter-button-225Deputy PD, Erika Ballou, has refused to comply with a judicial order to remove a Black Lives Matter pin from her blouse — a clear violation of court rules. As we recently discussed with regard to such pins, judges maintain basic rules of decorum and dress in their courtrooms, particularly in barring political symbols that may influence a jury or witnesses. What is astonishing is not just that Ballou defied the court but that Clark County Public Defender Phil Kohn was standing next to her and a dozen defense lawyers stood behind her in support.

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Supreme Court Lifts Stay On Senate Enforcement Of Subpoena In Backpage.com

senate_large_sealYesterday, I testified about the subpoena power of Congress under Article I and briefly discussed the recent free speech challenge to the Senate subpoena issued against Backpage.com. I mentioned in the hearing that the district court had issued a sweeping reaffirmation of congressional subpoena authority, but that Chief Justice John Roberts had issued a stay. Now, the Supreme Court denied the appeal. The decision further strengthens the case of the House Science Committee.

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TURLEY TESTIFIES IN HOUSE SCIENCE COMMITTEE ON CLIMATE CHANGE CONTROVERSY

800px-Capitol_Building_Full_ViewI will testify this morning before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on the controversy over dueling state and federal investigations involving the climate change debate. After various state attorneys general announced investigations of Exxon Company over its opposition to climate change theories (including subpoenas either to or concerning conservation public interest groups), the Committee issued its own subpoenas to the prosecutors and environmental public interest groups involved in the campaign. That has triggered a confrontation as the prosecutors and environmental groups raised constitutional objections to the House subpoenas. The full committee hearing will start at 10 am in 2318 Rayburn House Office Building.

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Former Clinton Aide Defies House Subpoena While Other Former Aides Invoke The Fifth Amendment Right To Remain Silent

logo-mainjason_chaffetz_official_portrait_111th_congressI recently discussed the questions raised over the Justice Department giving the two former aides to Hillary Clinton immunity — and thereby removing any serious threat of prosecution while seeking information on their superiors. As part of that discussion, I posed the question of whether these previously immunized witnesses would defy Congress. That confrontation appears to be brewing after the former State Department IT specialist who set up Hillary Clinton’s private server Bryan Pagliano simply ignored a subpoena to appear this week before the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Ironically, I will be testifying this morning on the congressional authority to enforce subpoenas in the House of Representatives. House oversight committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (right) will now have to decide whether to move to hold Pagliano and other defiant former Clinton aides in contempt for refusing to appear or respond to the Committee.

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BROWN FAMILY FILES APPEAL WITH SUPREME COURT IN SISTER WIVES CASE

Supreme CourtThis afternoon, the Brown family filed its appeal with the United States Supreme Court in the “Sister Wives” case. The case is Brown v. Buhman, No. 14-4117. As lead counsel for the Browns, I am joined on the petition by co-counsel Thomas Huff and we benefited from the input of our long-time co-counsel in Utah, Adam Alba. The petition asks the Court to resolve a longstanding conflict among the courts of appeals concerning the extent to which the government can strategically moot a constitutional challenge to a statute by announcing a new non-enforcement policy during the pendency of litigation. The petition is attached below.

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