Washington State Governor Sued For Removal Of Leonard Peltier Art Display

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Leonard Peltier

I featured three articles in November, 2015 (HERE, HERE, and HERE) depicting a controversy caused by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries’ promotion of artwork made by Leonard Peltier, who was convicted for the June, 1975 murders of FBI Special Agents Jack Coler and Ron Williams. The display furthered the controversy in that it marked the 40thanniversary year of the agents’ murder. After considerable outcry on both sides of the issue, the dispay was taken down two weeks prior to its scheduled conclusion date.

Now, a lawsuit has been filed in U.S. District Court by Leonard Peltier and his son Chauncey against the state naming L&I Director Joel Sacks, Governor Jay Inslee, the L&I spokesman, retired FBI Special Agents, and two hundred John Does as defendants, claiming that the Peltiers were denied their First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated by the state’s removal of the artwork.

The lawsuit indicates strongly how controversies such as these can be avoided and that allowing state employees to promote controversial issues often leads to disaster.

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Federal Court Rejects Challenge To Trump Immigration Order

Virginia-easternIn a 32-page opinion, United States District Judge Anthony Trenga has rejected the challenge to the second immigration order of the Trump Administration.  Trenga in the Eastern District of Virginia found that the challengers in Linda Sarsour v. Donald Trump — were not likely to succeed in their challenge to the March 6 executive order.  The ruling is similar to the rejection of a Boston court in the first immigration order.  It is also very different in tone and analysis from the decision of Judge Brinkema in this same Virginia district, granting a temporary restraining order in the review of the first immigration order.

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RES IPSA REACHES 31,000,000

This morning, our blog hit 31,000,000 views. We have had an increase in visitors and our new voices are heartily welcomed to our little band of commentators.  We try to offer a place for civil but passionate discourse on legal and policy issues  of our time (and perhaps a few wacky stories).  We continue to rank in the top legal blogs in the world and we are continuing to see a growing international readership. We often use these milestones to look at the current profile of the blog and its supporters around the world.

As always, I want to offer special thanks for our weekend contributors: Mike Appleton, Larry Rafferty, Darren Smith, Kimberly Dienes, and Cara Gallagher. I particularly want to thank Darren who has continued to help manage the blog and help out folks who encounter posting problems.

I also want to thank our regular commentators and readers.  We try to keep this blog as an open forum with as little interference or monitoring of the comments as possible.  Given our free speech orientation, we try not to delete comments and, for that reason, we are deeply appreciative of how most people avoid personal or offensive comments in debating these issues.  The success of this blog is due to the fact that we offer something more than the all-too-common troll-driven, angry, and insulting commentary of the Internet.  Thank you for voluntarily assuming restraint over the tenor and content of your comments. Continue reading

California Legislators Move To Punish Companies Working On Border Wall

440px-Algodones_sand-dune-fenceThere is an interesting proposal in California where legislators are moving to punishing any companies who work with the federal government in the construction of the wall pledged by President Donald Trump between the United States and Mexico.  The bill would force pension funds to divest from participating companies.  It is a bill that would significantly raise the level of conflict between the Trump Administration and certain states.  The Trump Administration is already moving to withdraw grants from cities and states barring assistance to federal immigration officials.  To now have states retaliate against companies for simply contracting with the federal government would push the already bad situation to Def Con 1 over federal/state conflict.  There is no way that the federal government could sit ideally by as states retaliated against federal contractors.

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Happy National Women’s Day: Iranian Religious Leader Declares Gender Equality To Be Western Plot and “Zionist Conspiracy”

Seyyed_Ali_Khamenei440px-Group_of_Women_Wearing_BurkasIran this week celebrated its National Women’s and Mothers’ Day and Ayatollah Khamenei held forth on his demented view of the ideal Islamic women.  Khamenei  denounced the very concept of  women’s rights and gender equality as a Western plot against all women.

After Months of False Denials, Brazile Admits That She Broke Campaign Rules In Revealing Questions To The Clinton Campaign

220px-donna_brazile_1We discussed earlier how Donna Brazile, the former chair of the Democratic National Committee and CNN commentator, denied the legitimacy of emails that showed her leaking a question to Hillary Clinton that would be asked verbatim at the CNN downhill event. I was highly critical of the failure of the media to investigate the claim, including confirming the receipt of the earlier emails from Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri. Brazile stuck by her false statements even after additional emails allegedly showed Brazile secretly feeding information to the Clinton campaign. Again, there was relatively little media attention to the story and CNN initially issued a remarkably weak response that it was “uncomfortable” with the new disclosures on Brazile’s actions while a CNN commentator. While CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker later called Brazile’s actions “disgusting” and others have denounced her actions and later contradictions, the DNC stuck with Brazile — even praising her post-scandal appearance before staffers (with one notable exception). Then, the declassified intelligence report directly disputed what Brazile has said.  Yet media remained relatively passive and again failed to press Palmieri on the issue.  Now, Brazile has admitted that she gave the questions to the Clinton campaign in a Time magazine essay.  She simply says it was a “mistake” but does not address her lying to the media.  Again, the coverage is quite limited and no one has asked Palmieri how she remained silent despite knowing that Brazile was lying and misleading the public. Palmieri is now a regular guest on various news outlets.

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