Monday, Mar 08, 2021 - 01:43:36
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a federal judge ruled:

    SAN FRANCISCO — For the third time since last June, a federal judge has ruled that San Francisco police officers violated the Fourth Amendment rights of a Bay Area man when they searched a car and ultimately found a pistol equipped with a laser sight, court records show. The Feb. 4 ruling by U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria likely means that prosecutors will be forced to drop federal gun charges against 37-year-old Clifford Stokes, who was indicted in December 2019 and facing up to 10 years in federal prison. Stokes was arrested by San Francisco officers during an October 2019 traffic stop, in which they justified their search of a Mercedes he was riding in by saying they could smell marijuana smoke coming from the car. But Chhabria ruled the officers’ reasoning was bogus in a state where marijuana is legal for 21-year-olds an up. “The upshot is that the...
    A federal judge in New York ruled Saturday that Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, could not suspend a program that shields from deportation people who were brought to the country illegally as children because he was not lawfully appointed. Last July, Wolf wrote a memo launching a review of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In addition to rejecting new applications during that time, his agency would allow current participants to renew their status and work permits for only one year instead of the previous two-year periods. However, U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis ruled Saturday that "DHS failed to follow the order of succession as it was lawfully designated. Therefore, the actions taken by purported Acting Secretaries, who were not properly in their roles according to the lawful order of succession, were taken without legal authority." FILE - Acting Secretary of...
    WASHINGTON -- A federal judge on Tuesday denied President Donald Trump's request that he be replaced as the defendant in a defamation lawsuit alleging he raped a woman in a Manhattan department store in the 1990s.The decision by U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan came after the Justice Department argued that the United States - and by extension U.S. taxpayers - should replace Trump as the defendant in a lawsuit filed by the columnist E. Jean Carroll.The government's lawyers contended that the United States could step in as the defendant because Trump was forced to respond to her lawsuit to prove he was physically and mentally fit for the job.The judge ruled that a law protecting federal employees from being sued individually for things they do within the scope of their employment didn't apply to a president. But even if it did, Kaplan ruled, Trump's public denials of the rape...
    Jerry Harris attends the Build Series to discuss "Cheer" at Build Studio on January 29, 2020 in New York City. Jim Spellman/Getty Images A federal judge on Friday ruled that "Cheer" star Jerry Harris will not be released from federal custody ahead of his trial on charges of child pornography. Harris, 21, was arrested in September and was charged with producing child pornography. He has been in federal custody since his arrest. US Magistrate Judge Heather McShain said in a phone hearing on Friday that Harris' release would pose a "danger to the community," according to the Chicago Tribune. Harris' attorneys had asked McShain to let Harris serve home detention, and a group of "cheer moms" had reportedly volunteered to monitor him, the Chicago Tribune reported. In McShain's decision, she said it "would be virtually impossible" to monitor Harris at home, saying that she has "found that the...
    Participants brought signs with various sayings written on them such as “We Are Not Ovary-Acting” to the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. One marcher wearing a Biden/Harris shirt held a sign that read “Pussy Power,” while another sign read “GOP Hates Democracy.” Another participant held a sign reading, “If I wanted a Republican in my vagina, I’d sleep with one! Pro-Choice Pro-Freedom.” In what appeared to be a reference to Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Catholic faith, one marcher brought a sign with the words “Keep Your Rosaries Off My Ovaries” written on it. However, Judge Barrett ruled against the tenets of her faith in the past when the law and the Constitution required, retired federal appellate judge Thomas Griffith told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. “In Price versus City of Chicago, She ruled against pro-life litigants who challenged an ordinance that barred them from approaching women near abortion clinics for the purpose of...
    An appeals court ruled that Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf can restore pandemic restrictions after a federal judge determined that the state’s orders were unconstitutional, WPXI reported. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that Wolf’s administration may enforce the size limit on gatherings, putting U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV’s ruling on hold, according to WPXI. Stickman ruled in favor of multiple plaintiffs who alleged that the governor and Secretary of Health Rachel Levine’s restrictions were arbitrary and violated constitutional rights Sept. 22. Various businesses including hair salons and drive-in theaters won the favorable ruling. Multiple counties and Republican lawmakers were also plaintiffs, although the judge dismissed the county governments from the case. The state may once again enforce size limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings while it appeals the lower court order. The limit is 25 people for indoor events and 250 people for outdoor events. “It’s...
    By MATTHEW BROWN, Associated Press BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Federal courts have delivered a string of rebukes to the Trump administration over what they found were failures to protect the environment and address climate change as it promotes fossil fuel interests and the extraction of natural resources from public lands. Judges have ruled administration officials ignored or downplayed potential environmental damage in lawsuits over oil and gas leases, coal mining and pipelines to transport fuels across the U.S., according to an Associated Press review of more than a dozen major environmental cases. The latest ruling against the administration came Thursday when an appeals court refused to revive a permitting program for oil and gas pipelines that a lower court had canceled. Actions taken by the courts have ranged from orders for more environmental analysis to the unprecedented cancellation of oil and gas leases across hundreds of thousands of acres in...
    BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Federal courts have delivered a string of rebukes to the Trump administration over what they found were failures to protect the environment and address climate change as it promotes fossil fuel interests and the extraction of natural resources from public lands. Judges have ruled administration officials ignored or downplayed potential environmental damage in lawsuits over oil and gas leases, coal mining and pipelines to transport fuels across the U.S., according to an Associated Press review of more than a dozen major environmental cases. The latest ruling against the administration came Thursday when an appeals court refused to revive a permitting program for oil and gas pipelines that a lower court had canceled. Actions taken by the courts have ranged from orders for more environmental analysis to the unprecedented cancellation of oil and gas leases across hundreds of thousands of acres in Western states. “Many of the...
    BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Federal courts have delivered a string of rebukes to the Trump administration over what they found were failures to protect the environment and address climate change as it promotes fossil fuel interests and the extraction of natural resources from public lands. Judges have ruled administration officials ignored or downplayed potential environmental damage in lawsuits over oil and gas leases, coal mining and pipelines to transport fuels across the U.S., according to an Associated Press review of more than a dozen major environmental cases. The latest ruling against the administration came Thursday when an appeals court refused to revive a permitting program for oil and gas pipelines that a lower court had canceled. Actions taken by the courts have ranged from orders for more environmental analysis to the unprecedented cancellation of oil and gas leases across hundreds of thousands of acres in Western states. “Many of the...
    A federal judge in Texas ruled Tuesday that the state’s system of verifying signatures on mail-in ballots was unconstitutional and should be immediately corrected in advance of Election Day in November. Judge Orlando Garcia, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, ruled that the existing procedure involving verifying whether a signature on a mail-in ballot matches the one required across the flap of the carrier-envelope “plainly violates certain voters’ constitutional rights.” “In light of the fundamental importance of the right to vote, Texas’ existing process for rejecting mail-in ballots due to alleged signature mismatching fails to guarantee basic fairness,” Garcia wrote, adding that the procedure is “inherently fraught with error with no recourse for voters.” DEMOCRATS DOMINATE MAIL-IN BALLOT REQUESTS IN KEY SWING STATES  Two Texas voters, George Richardson of Brazos County and Rosalie Weisfeld of McAllen, joined by organizations representing Texans with disabilities, veterans and young...
    By Jonathan Allen and Peter Szekely | Associated Press A federal judge ruled on Thursday that the Justice Department’s new lethal injection protocol violated drug safety laws and ordered a planned execution for Friday to be halted. Since resuming federal executions after a 17-year hiatus in July, the Department of Justice has been injecting condemned inmates with lethal doses of pentobarbital, a highly regulated barbiturate. The department executed three murderers in July and a fourth on Thursday and had planned to execute Keith Nelson on Friday. Judge Tanya Chutkan of the U.S. District Court in Washington ruled that the department was breaking the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) by administering pentobarbital without a medical practitioner’s prescription, agreeing with death row inmates who sued the government. “Where the government argues that a lethal injection drug is legally and constitutionally permissible because it will ensure a ‘humane’ death, it cannot...
    A federal appeals court on Wednesday reversed a judge's prior order that had shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline pending a full environmental review. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sided with pipeline owner Energy Transfer to keep the oil flowing, saying a lower-court judge 'did not make the findings necessary for injunctive relief.' But the appellate court declined to grant Energy Transfer's motion to block the review, saying the company had 'failed to make a strong showing of likely success.' The ruling comes as a blow to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which was at the center of massive protests against the pipeline in 2016 and 2017, based on concerns about the pipeline's impact on drinking water in the region.  The image above shows construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline in Morton County, North Dakota. A federal appeals court on Wednesday reversed a...
    A federal court in New York City on Thursday ruled that several documents related to dead pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, his alleged global sex trafficking empire, and his high-profile accomplices will be unsealed and made available to the public — with some redactions. Senior U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska was wholly unconvinced by arguments made by alleged sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell and her attorneys. During a teleconference hearing, the court determined that Maxwell’s opposition to releasing those files had little legal weight. “Ms. Maxwell proffers little more than her ipse dixit,” the judge said, employing a Latin term meaning an unproven assertion. While the hearing itself was concerned with five specific files, the judge recited a long list of documents that would be made public — far in excess of the documents at originally at issue. Before today’s ruling, Judge Preska indicated that these files would be the subject of her...
    The Justice Department's attempt to block the release of John Bolton's tell-all book has been denied.  Judge Royce Lamberth denied the request to block the sale of the former national security adviser's memoir, 'The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir' in a ruling Saturday.   Lamberth, a Reagan appointee, heard arguments Friday over Zoom from Bolton's lawyer Charles Cooper and Deputy Assistant Attorney General David Morrell, representing the government.  This came after the Trump administration sued Bolton on Tuesday in order to postpone the release of his book because of concerns that classified information could be exposed The book was leaked to the media the next day.  It contains a number of explosive claims about President Trump, including that he asked China for help with his re-election bid - a move similar to how Trump interacted with Ukraine, which led to him being impeached.   The Justice Department's attempt to...
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