Tuesday, January 28, 2020

SCOTUS rules in Trump's favor

In June 2018, following endless litigation against President Trump's "travel ban," the Supreme Court stated the obvious: The president has full authority to regulate and deny entry to foreign nationals at will. Yet the lower courts continue to come back for more and are even demanding that the Trump administration hand over more information to these same litigants who should not have standing to sue, per the Supreme Court decision.
Will Trump's victory Monday at the Supreme Court for his enforcement of public charge laws have any greater success than the travel ban has had in the courts? It's up to the president and Congress to check these rogue judges.
By a vote of 5-4, the Supreme Court agreed to stay the injunction placed on Trump's public charge law by a New York district judge. It's not a surprise that five justices understand the absurdity of a lower court enjoining a modest enforcement of a long-standing law against prospective immigrants accessing welfare and then receiving a green card.

What is more important, however, is the concurrence written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, because it gets to the heart of the judicial insanity grinding our sovereignty to a halt and hampering any effort by President Trump to enforce unambiguous statutes on the books.
No matter how many times these lower courts get slapped down by the Supreme Court, they feel they can still come back for another round, even on the same issue, and halt an entire policy, beyond legitimate litigants with standing before the court. Gorsuch wrote, "It would be delusional to think that one stay today suffices to remedy the problem." Clearly observing this illegitimate trend of nationwide injunctions issued by forum-shopped judges in numerous other cases, Gorsuch called on his colleagues to "at some point, confront these important objections to this increasingly widespread practice."
Much as in Justice Thomas' concurrence in Trump v. Hawaii, Gorsuch observed that universal injunctions, used as ad hoc judicial vetoes on broad presidential authorities or statutes, clearly violates the limited scope of judicial power.
"When a court goes further than that, ordering the government to take (or not take) some action with respect to those who are strangers to the suit, it is hard to see how the court could still be acting in the judicial role of resolving cases and controversies," wrote Gorsuch in his concurrence.
Gorsuch went even further to illustrate some of the political chaos, absurdities, and undemocratic outcomes that are resulting from this unconstitutional practice. "As the brief and furious history of the regulation before us illustrates, the routine issuance of universal injunctions is patently unworkable, sowing chaos for litigants, the government, courts, and all those affected by these conflicting decisions."
Finally, Gorsuch took it to the next step and explained, as I've been warning for two years, that once you legitimize this game of forum-shopping and judicial vetoes, there's nothing stopping the Democrats from coming back for endless rounds of this:
There are currently more than 1,000 active and senior district court judges, sitting across 94 judicial districts, and subject to review in 12 regional courts of appeal. Because plaintiffs generally are not bound by adverse decisions in cases to which they were not a party, there is a nearly boundless opportunity to shop for a friendly forum to secure a win nationwide. The risk of winning conflicting nationwide injunctions is real too.

And the stakes are asymmetric. If a single successful challenge is enough to stay the challenged rule across the country, the government's hope of implementing any new policy could face the long odds of a straight sweep, parlaying a 94-to-0 win in the district courts into a 12-to-0 victory in the courts of appeal. A single loss and the policy goes on ice—possibly for good, or just as possibly for some indeterminate period of time until another court jumps in to grant a stay. And all that can repeat, ad infinitum, until either one side gives up or this Court grants certiorari. What in this gamesmanship and chaos can we be proud of?
This is certainly refreshing. But too many supporters of the president will take this as a win and go home, simply hoping that three other justices join Gorsuch and Thomas in "overturning" the concept of universal injunctions. However, not only is that unlikely to happen, we shouldn't have to wait for the Supreme Court to "allow" us to function as a constitutional republic. The other branches of government need to put these judges in their place and refuse to give effect to their civil disobedience.
Throughout the day Monday, there were numerous headlines exclaiming how the Supreme Court "allowed" the public charge rule to go forward. Such language should give any constitutionalist heartburn. Courts do not stand above the other branches of government, and they do not veto or ratify policies. If that were the case, we would cease to have three co-equal, independent branches of government.

Bernies takers and violence

'You first have to feel it out before you get into the crazy stuff'

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has some extreme staffers in the field running his campaign, and the latest release from Project Veritas further demonstrates the radical views that underlie Sanders' candidacy.
This time, undercover video from James O'Keefe's organization showed two South Carolina field organizers for the Sanders campaign, Mason Baird and Daniel Taylor, apparently suggesting that eventually violence and force will be needed to enact the type of future that Sanders envisions.
"I've canvassed with someone who's an anarchist, and with someone who's a Marxist-Leninist," Baird said. "So, we attract radical, truly radical people in the campaign … obviously that's not outward-facing."
Like other Sanders staffers, Baird said the American understanding of Soviet gulags is not accurate and that the perception of them has been negatively exaggerated.
Right now, Taylor said, the Sanders campaign needs to keep its more radical leanings under wraps so it can attract people to the cause and ease them in gradually.

"We don't want to scare people off, you first have to feel it out before you get into the crazy stuff," Taylor said. "You know we were talking about more extreme organizations like Antifa, you were talking about, Yellow Vests, all that but we're kinda keeping that on the back burner for now."
What is it, exactly, that needs to be on the back burner? Apparently, the plan for a revolution to end capitalism in America, according to Baird.
When pressed on how the Bernie Sanders movement would convince major companies like Google, YouTube, or Facebook to cede power and wealth and be nationalized, Baird, who repeatedly expressed a hesitancy to participate in violence toward other people, suggested that the escalation would need to involve a show of force and the destruction of property to force opponents to back off their position.
"We would need a federal government and a labor movement that is working together to strip power away from capitalists and preferably directing that violence towards property," Baird said in the video.
"It would, it's gonna take, you know, it's gonna take militancy … like a militant labor movement that's willing to … strike, and if necessary, you know, just destroy property and things like that," Baird said.
Watch the full video here:
(H/T: The Daily Wire)

Arrogance combined with a tyrannical nature. The self righteous can inconvenience/disrupt you without penalty

Top UK scientist backs Extinction Rebellion protesters

by Emma Batha | @emmabatha | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Tuesday, 28 January 2020 17:56 GMT
Image Caption and Rights Information
David King says disruptive protests are playing a vital role in raising awareness of the climate crisis, as court case against activists is thrown out
By Emma Batha
LONDON, Jan 28 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A former chief scientific adviser to the British government backed the Extinction Rebellion climate change protests on Tuesday as he offered to testify in defence of a group facing trial for gluing themselves to a London airport concourse.
David King, who served as chief scientist under Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, said Extinction Rebellion - like Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg - was playing a vital role in raising visibility around the climate crisis.
"Climate change represents the greatest threat that humanity, as a whole, has ever had to manage," King said in a prepared witness statement.
Britain saw a surge in climate activism last year with the civil disobedience group occupying sites in central London, blocking roads and targeting financial institutions and government buildings.
More than 1,100 protesters have been sentenced so far, with most receiving conditional discharges.
Five activists - a businesswoman, maths student, historian, former teacher and tree surgeon - appeared at City of London Magistrates Court on Tuesday charged with aggravated trespass following a mass protest at London City Airport on Oct. 10.
King, a professor of climate change, arrived at court saying he was ready to give evidence on their behalf, but the judge threw out the case due to a prosecution administrative error.
The protesters embraced each other amid cheers from the public gallery.
King told the Thomson Reuters Foundation he would consider giving evidence in future trials of Extinction Rebellion protesters, but would assess each request on its merits.
"The public voice of climate change has made politicians in this country and around the world take note, and even take action," he said.
"Climate change is the biggest challenge humanity has ever had to face up to. The public voice has got to be heard. What Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion between them have done is exactly that."
In his witness statement, King said the world was on course for 3-4 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century, based on current policy commitments.
Britain has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, but Extinction Rebellion wants the target brought forward to 2025.
King said lives would be saved if the government committed to an earlier date.
The London City Airport protest called for the government to issue a moratorium on all airport expansion and conduct a national review.
Extinction Rebellion says the government's expansion plans are incompatible with its 2050 commitment, which is enshrined in law.
James Brown, a Paralympian cyclist who allegedly glued himself to the top of a plane during the airport protest, will stand trial in March.
(Reporting by Emma Batha @emmabatha; Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org)

EXCLUSIVE: Pelosi Jr. Oil Company Employed Russians To Influence Politicians

EXCLUSIVE: Pelosi Jr. Oil Company Employed Russians To Influence Politicians

Employee From Moscow 'Cultivated network of prominent contacts including politicians'

Nancy Pelosi’s son Paul Pelosi Jr. was a board member of the energy company Viscoil Holdings and an executive at its related company NRGLab, which did energy business in Ukraine. House speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared with her son Paul in a promotional video which was released by NRGLab in 2013 on the same day the company promoted its new deal in Ukraine.Now, newly unearthed records show that Viscoil employed Russians to establish “contacts with government officials and key players in the oil and gas industry,” and to cultivate a “network of prominent contacts including politicians, allowing company’s emergence into high-level political arena.”
Viscoil was registered to a Moscow-based Russian named Sergey Sorokin and David Strawn, a business partner of George W. Bush and Jeb Bush’s cousin John Ellis.
A spokesman for Nancy Pelosi has confirmed that Pelosi Jr. was a board member of Viscoil, and claimed in a vague statement that Viscoil folded and Pelosi Jr. was not involved with the re-constituted business entity. But actually, records reveal that Viscoil operated continuously at least from 2010-2013, and Pelosi Jr. was a well-documented executive of NRGLab, which absorbed Viscoil and its technology. The spokesman said that Viscoil was focused on U.S. business during Pelosi Jr.’s tenure, but records show Viscoil planning international business including in Brazil.
Additionally, Pelosi Jr. traveled to Ukraine in 2017 to meet with Ukraine government officials, supposedly to discuss a “youth soccer” initiative. Pelosi Jr. was representing his company the Corporate Governance Initiative and he touted an endorsement from the World Sports Alliance, an accused diamond-mining scam which was run by his friend and associate Asa Saint Clair who has been charged by the Department of Justice for wire fraud in connection to the World Sports Alliances’ cryptocurrency scam.
LinkedIn records show the extent of Viscoil political influence peddling using Russian employees. The citizen researcher who can be found on Twitter at @_IREDEEMABLES contributed research for this report.
Daria Zelenkova, who went on to receive her M.B.A. from Moscow State Institute of International Relations, worked for Viscoil Holdings from May 2012 to December 2014. During her tenure at Viscoil, Zelenkova “Established contacts with government officials and key players in the oil and gas industry.”

Anti individual nature of the Democrat Party. And, self serving as well. Unions are a can well for Democrats

House Democrats to vote to override state 'right-to-work' laws, boosting labor movement

The Democrat-led House is set next week to vote on legislation to override the 27 states that have given workers a right to work without being forced to join a union or to give it a cut of their paycheck. 
House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott, a Virginia Democrat, argued that such "right-to-work" laws are unfair to unions and the workers that back collective bargaining, necessitating his bill, the Protecting the Right to Organize Act. 
“Under current law, unions are required to negotiate on behalf of all employees, regardless if they belong to the union or not," Scott told the Washington Examiner. "The PRO Act simply allows workers to decide that all workers represented by the union should contribute to the costs associated with negotiating on their behalf."
Scrapping the state laws would force potentially millions of individual workers to give away part of their salaries, whether they wanted to or not, said Greg Mourad, vice president of the National Right to Work Committee, which represents workers in cases against unions. “The term ‘right to work' means the right to not have to pay for union so-called representation that workers don’t want, didn’t ask for, and believe actually goes against their interests," he told the Washington Examiner.
The PRO Act is a collection of far-reaching pro-union reforms intended to strengthen the movement and boost membership. It is the centerpiece of the Democrats’ labor agenda in Congress and is backed by White House contenders, including Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren. The latter three are original co-sponsors of the Senate version of the bill. 
Union support is crucial to Democrats. Labor poured $174 million into the 2018 election cycle alone, $60 million of which went to Democratic candidates versus only $10 million to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. At the same time, unions are struggling to retain members, now representing just 10.3% of the workforce, the lowest levelsince the Labor Department started tracking the figure.
Ending "right to work" has been a particular issue for Sanders, who argues the laws are pushed by business to undermine unions. The PRO Act is largely a repackaging of a bill Sanders introduced in the previous Congress, called the Workplace Democracy Act.
“When billionaires like the Koch brothers spend millions of dollars successfully lobbying for so-called right to work for less laws — they are waging a war on workers,” Sanders said in an April speech to the International Association of Machinists. 
Right-to-work laws say that employees cannot be forced to join or otherwise financially support a union as a condition of their job. Specifically, the laws prohibit union-management contracts from including so-called fair share fee provisions that require all workers to support the union financially. 
The provisions are commonly used in union contracts in non-right-to-work states, and many labor organizations depend on them. Congress in 1947 amended the National Labor Relations Act to give states the right to outlaw fair share fee provisions, and 27 have adopted laws to that effect. Unions in those states are typically much weaker, having a harder time retaining members and the funds they bring in.
Unions and their allies argue that right-to-work laws encourage economic “free riders” since unions are legally obligated to represent all workers, even nonmembers. "Repealing right to work is fair to workers, individually and collectively, and fairer than the right-to-work system," said Lynn Rhinehart, senior fellow at the Economic Policy Institute, a left-of-center nonprofit think tank. "It’s not fair to have a system where some workers pay dues or fees toward the cost of that representation while others get the benefits but pay nothing."
F. Vincent Vernuccio, a senior fellow at the conservative Mackinac Center, countered that unions never try to be relieved of the burden of representing nonmembers. “The ‘free ridership’ problem is actually a ‘forced ridership’ problem. A better solution would be to make union membership fully optional,” he said. That would mean nonmembers wouldn’t get any benefits obtained from a union’s collective bargaining. Unions don’t push for such arrangements because they would rather get the workers' dues money, Vernuccio argued.
Most states that adopted right-to-work laws did it in the 1940s and 1950s, but there was a resurgence in interest that began a decade ago. Five states have adopted the laws since 2012. The Supreme Court’s 2018 Janus v. AFSCME decision extended similar protection to public-sector workers. 
Plaintiff Mark Janus, a former Illinois state employee, told the Washington Examiner at the time of his case that he was standing up for the rights of individual workers. “It’s not about the money for me. It’s about my rights. My right to say ‘no’ is at least as important as my right to say ‘yes,’” he said.
The resurgence in right-to-work laws may now be ebbing. No other state appears poised to adopt one. Missouri would have been the 28th state, but voters last year approved a referendum stopping the measure before it went into effect.
The PRO Act would rewrite the NLRA to undo the 1947 amendment. “This bill, and others we’ve seen in various states, tries to subtly redefine ‘right to work’ to mean only the right to not have to formally be a member of the union, which is already guaranteed by the Supreme Court,” Mourad said. Nonmembers would still be obligated to support unions financially.
There has long been support for scrapping right to work on the Left, but the PRO Act enjoys unprecedented support among Democrats. The Senate version of the PRO Act was introduced with 39 original co-sponsors, comprising almost the entire Democratic caucus. The legislation is certain to pass the Democrat-majority House but is unlikely to be taken up in the Republican-led Senate.
“They’re testing the waters for the next time they are in the majority,” Vernuccio said.