Archive for the ‘Law’ Category
A legal immigrant living in California was denied U.S. citizenship after she identified herself as a “conscientious objector” who will not bear arms for the United States because of her religious beliefs, or lack thereof, in her application.
The application was rejected by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services on the grounds that Adriana Ramiez’s unwillingness to bear arms “is not based on religious training or belief…”
The American Humanist Association has taken up Ramirez’s cause and will represent her in the appeal…
The AHA is seeking that the decision immediately be reversed.
“There is no legal basis to deny a citizenship application because one’s ethical values are secular,” said AHA attorney Monica Miller. “The letter is meant to clarify the mistake being made by officials at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’s San Diego office so that the application process can move forward.”
The ignoranuses in Immigration are like a lot of bureaucrats who never thought of looking outside the cubicle of their tiny little minds to see if this has already been sorted out by another government agency.
Bill Morico sued United States Selective Service during the VietNam War and won status as a non-religious conscientious objector in a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court – setting the operative precedent.
A helluva union organizer for Hospital Workers Local 1199 – I might add.
The funeral procession of Russell King Jr. winds through Chardon streets in March 2012
The father of a boy killed in the Chardon High School shooting died Thursday morning at his home on the second anniversary of the rampage.
Russell King, 48, was found in his bed by a family member at his home in Chardon Township, said Lt. John Hiscox of the Geauga County Sheriff’s Department. He said there were no signs of foul play. He said Coroner Robert Coleman is investigating.
Geauga County Prosecutor James Flaiz said Thursday that he could not comment on the case, saying it “was an ongoing criminal investigation, although we believe foul play was not involved.”
King’s son, Russell, was one of three students killed Feb. 27, 2012, at Chardon High School. T.J. Lane opened fire in the school’s cafeteria with a .22-Ruger before classes began. He also killed Daniel Parmertor, 16, and Demetrius Hewlin, 16. Russell was 17. Three other students were wounded…
Lane pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder and one count of felonious assault for a shooting that shined an unwanted spotlight on a suburban school district and plunged it into the political donnybrook of gun control…
Russell King Sr. went to all of the court hearings involving Lane. He was a tall, strong man who seemed deeply hurt by the senseless loss of his son. He and other family members of the victims struggled last March, when a Geauga County judge sentenced Lane to three life sentences in prison.
Lane mocked his victims during that hearing, wearing a T-shirt with the word “Killer” on it, swearing and flipping his middle finger to their parents and families.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said he was saddened and stunned by the news.
“That’s just horrible,” he said. “Anyone who loses a child never gets over it. Anything anyone says to you has no relevance.”
The NRA gives the finger to every sensible American who wants to support the 2nd Amendment with strict regulations against criminals and disturbed individuals having access to deadly weapons.
I’ve been a gun owner and hunter most of my life. I own guns, right now. I also support the efforts of gun owners to manage access to firearms by strict regulation, licensing and record-keeping. I consider fools who dedicate time and money to maintaining easy access for criminals to be no better than the thugs they aid.
It doesn’t take a whole boatload of logic and reasoning to increase the safety of our populace without infringing on anything more than individual ignorance and fear.
Sooner or later, we have to grow into a society where children and their parents are less likely to fear death on a daily basis.
Kimberly Haman is not dead and would like everyone to know it — most of all her bank and a major credit bureau accused of reporting otherwise and failing to fix the mistake.
Haman, 46, of unincorporated St. Louis County, filed suit Monday in federal court here against Heartland Bank, of St. Louis, and Equifax. The complaint says she was “shocked” to find that the bank declared her dead almost a year ago and that the credit reporting giant passed word along.
The suit alleges that she repeatedly complained to both, with no result.
“She’s contacting them, and saying, ‘Excuse me, I’m not dead.’ And even through that process, they continue to report her as deceased,” the plaintiff’s lawyer, Sylvia Goldsmith, said in an interview.
Twice, Haman has been blocked from refinancing her mortgage to a lower rate. She also has been refused a credit card, after potential lenders spotted her “deceased” status, the suit says.
“At this point, (Haman) is at a complete loss as to what else she can do,” the suit says. “The entire experience has imposed upon (Haman) significant distrust, frustration and distress, and has rendered Plaintiff hopeless as to her ability to regain her good name and the credit rating that she deserves and has worked hard to earn,” it continues…
Which is lawyerese for saying her credit rating is screwed. She’s unable to use any of the credit and commerce protocols generally available in our economy – if you have credit and if you’re not dead.
A Federal Trade Commission study of the credit reporting industry, released a year ago, found that 26 percent of the 1,001 consumers surveyed found at least one “potentially material” error on at least one of the three major credit bureaus’ reports, and 5 percent had an error that could make insurance and loans more expensive.
The Consumer Data Industry Association pointed out that only 2.2 percent of reports had an error that would increase consumer prices, and 88 percent of the errors were the result of inaccurate information provided by lenders and others to the credit bureaus.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires credit reporting agencies to conduct “reasonable investigations into claims that information is inaccurate, correct the information and report back to consumers.
It allows consumers to seek compensatory and punitive damages, as well as lawsuit costs and statutory penalties that can range from $100 to $1,000 per violation.
Goldsmith said that last summer, an Oregon woman won $18.6 million in a federal lawsuit against Equifax.
“Juries are starting to get pretty annoyed with the cavalier attitude that these bureaus are taking to their responsibilities,” she said.
RTFA for the history with her bank. No one seems able to discover the source of the error. More to the point, the bank seems to be unable to check the appropriate box and report her as alive!
Some banks and just about every credit agency I ever dealt with was significantly less than competent. I say some because there are beaucoup banks staffed with IT folks able to navigate regulatory red tape to maintain accurate records. Big and small. I deal mostly with a community bank; but, maintain a relationship with one of the biggies going to BITD when I was involved in a small way with international commerce. Nowadays, even my local community bank can handle transfer of funds internationally.
And they know I’m alive.
In an assertion of same-sex marriage rights the US attorney general, Eric Holder, announced on Saturday that he will apply a landmark supreme court ruling to the Justice Department.
In prepared remarks delivered in New York to the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group which works on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, Holder said same-sex spouses could not now be compelled to testify against each other, should be eligible to file for bankruptcy jointly and are entitled to the same rights and privileges as federal prison inmates in opposite-sex marriages.
The Justice Department runs a number of benefits programmes, and Holder said same-sex couples will now qualify for them. They include the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and benefits to surviving spouses of public safety officers who suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries in the line of duty.
“In every courthouse, in every proceeding and in every place where a member of the Department of Justice stands on behalf of the United States, they will strive to ensure that same-sex marriages receive the same privileges, protections and rights as opposite-sex marriages under federal law,” Holder said.
Just as in the civil rights struggles of the 1960s, Holder said, the stakes in the current generation over same-sex marriage rights “could not be higher”.
“The Justice Department’s role in confronting discrimination must be as aggressive today as it was in Robert Kennedy’s time,” Holder said of the attorney general who played a leadership role in advancing civil rights.
Our nation confronts exactly the same kind of ignorance and bigotry we did with the civil rights advances of the 1960′s. Nice to see official Washington ready to join in, again. Excepting Congress and the Confederates, of course.
A Tennessee judge who ordered a baby’s name changed from Messiah to Martin, saying the former was reserved for Jesus Christ, has been fired…
Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew of Cocke County in eastern Tennessee last August ordered a boy’s first name changed over the objections of his parents when they appeared before her seeking to settle other issues.
O. Duane Slone, presiding judge of the state’s fourth judicial district, terminated Ballew’s appointment, effective last Friday, according to court documents.
Slone did not give a reason in his order, but Ballew had previously been cited by the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct for an inappropriate religious bias. A hearing is scheduled for March 3…
Craft wrote that it is the duty of the board to inquire into the “commission of any act calculated to reflect unfavorably upon the judiciary of the state.”
“The word ‘messiah’ is a title, and it’s a title that has only been earned by one person, and that one person is Jesus Christ,” the magistrate told Tennessee television station WBIR at the time.
The parents appealed, and another judge held that Ballew’s ruling was unconstitutional.
…based on applications for Social Security cards…there were 762 applications for boys named Messiah in 2012, more than double the 368 applications made in 2011.
Lots of optimistic Christians out there.
Police in London have dealt with over a hundred incidents involving ‘clowns’ in the past year – and crime statistics show it is no laughing matter.
The Metropolitan Police responded to 117 incidents featuring the word ‘clown’, a Freedom of Information request by regular contributor to the Independent on Sunday Richard Osley has revealed.
The incidents include once case of assault where the suspect had “clown like” shoes on, another assault where the suspect was dressed as a clown with a painted face and a burglary where the suspect’s hair is described “like Krusty’ the Clown.”
A “malicious communication” incident saw someone be threatened with a visit from henchmen in ‘clown’ masks…
And in 39 incidents the victim was called a clown as an insult. In one instance the victim was wearing a Pierrot suit when he was robbed, according to the FoI…
In November last year, police in Norfolk vowed to track down pranksters dressing up as clowns and offer them “strong words of advice” after two “alarming” reports of people being chased – but added that dressing up as a clown is not actually illegal.
How did they ever manage to keep Parliament off the clown-crime roster?
The Supreme Court declined Monday to revive an Arizona law that prohibited most abortions after a pregnancy had reached 20 weeks.
The court, as is its custom, gave no reason for declining to review a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit that the law was unconstitutional because it violated standards established by the justices 40 years ago in Roe v. Wade.
About a dozen other states have passed laws similar to Arizona’s, hoping they would provide a way to challenge the court’s ruling that abortion must be generally available to women before a fetus reaches viability, which is generally considered to be around 24 weeks. Pregnancies last about 40 weeks.
It is the third time this term that the court has decided not to review a lower court decision that struck down a restrictive state abortion law. The other two came from Oklahoma, where new rules would have practically eliminated drug-induced abortions and required what opponents said would be unnecessary ultrasound tests…
About the only critter dumber than a fundamentalist politician committed to the War on Women – is the equally committed voter who doesn’t mind wasting taxpayer dollars on defending patently unconstitutional laws restricting women’s reproductive rights. Guess they’d rather spend money on 18th Century bible beliefs instead of education for their kids.
Come to think of it – the last thing they want is educated children.
“The Supreme Court soundly declined to review the Ninth Circuit’s sound decision that Arizona’s abortion ban is clearly unconstitutional under long-standing precedent,” Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement. “. . . But women should not be forced to run to court, year after year, in state after state, to protect their constitutional rights and access to critical health care…”
Not all of the state laws imposing the 20-week limit have been challenged, because the procedure is so uncommon, she said. But laws in Georgia and Idaho have been blocked.
After Michael Eisenga, a wealthy GOP donor and Wisconsin business owner, failed to convince several courts to lower his child support payments, he came up with an inventive plan B — he recruited a Republican state legislator to rewrite Wisconsin law in his favor.
A set of documents unearthed Saturday by the Wisconsin State Journal shows Eisenga and his lawyer, William Smiley, supplying detailed instructions to Republican state Rep. Joel Kleefisch on how to word legislation capping child support payments from the wealthy. Kleefisch began work on the legislation last fall, weeks after an appeals court rejected Eisenga’s attempts to lower his child support payments.
In 2010, Eisenga donated $10,000 to Kleefisch and his wife, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, according to the Journal Sentinel. Eisenga also donated $15,000 to Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
The drafting documents, available on the Wisconsin legislature’s website, leave little not doubt that the bill was written to Eisenga’s specifications. According to the documents, on September 5, Eisenga’s lawyer briefed him on changes he was suggesting to a draft of Kleefisch’s bill. “We focused only on the portion that would require the court to modify your child support order based solely on the passage of the bill,” Smiley wrote. Eisenga then forwarded that letter to Kleefisch and one of his aides, saying, “Please have the drafter make these SPECIFIC changes to the bill.” The next day, Kleefisch’s aide forwarded the letter to the legislative lawyer drafting the bill.
Eisenga and Smiley wouldn’t speak to the press about the revelations. The flunky, Kleefisch, said contributions don’t affect his legislative efforts.
I know, I know. Put your Wellies on. The bullshit is getting deep!
A District Court judge ruled today that it’s legal for doctors in New Mexico to prescribe medication so patients with terminal illnesses can end their own lives.
Judge Nan Nash wrote: “If decisions made in the shadow of one’s imminent death regarding how they and their loved ones will face that death are not fundamental and at the core of these constitutional guarantees, then what decisions are?”
It’s called “aid in dying”—not “assisted suicide.” One distinction being that patients would administer the life-ending medicine themselves.
Though New Mexico had an Assisted Suicide Statute on the books, advocates argued the law does not encompass aid in dying. “If it does does indeed cover this practice, we believe the statute is unconstitutional,” said Laura Schauer-Ives, legal director with the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which argued the case.
There are several key differences, she said. First, motivation—in aid-in-dying cases, the person wants to live but is facing imminent death and looks to avoid a loss of autonomy and increased pain. Second, the nature of the act—patients aren’t typically alone, and go through a collaborative process with their families and physicians. Finally, she said, the effect on survivors is different, and these situations don’t typically bring on immense regret and guilt.
The New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops has led the charge opposing aid in dying. I’m not wasting time and space here to repeat their objections. They have sufficient power over press and politicians to be heard everywhere.
Executive Director Allen Sanchez [has what he calls] logical and ethical issues at play as well. None of them offer sufficient concern for dignity or individual choice. The accurate description is sophistry but most folks don’t pay much attention to what that describes philosophically.
It will be interesting to see what happens to official Catholic opposition to an individual’s right to die with dignity in the era of Francis. I live in a more-or-less Catholic state. That means the same in New Mexico as it did in southern New England. Bishops and priests have beaucoup political power – and a flock that turns their back on outdated crap ideology sufficiently to be called “American Catholics” in my catechism.
I’d presumed the Bishops of New Mexico would cause their usual uproar when the state Supreme Court agreed that same-sex marriage must be the law of the state on the basis of our national Constitution. They didn’t. They even made noises like my old acquaintance Willard Uphaus during his years as a defrocked Methodist – “Ain’t nothing wrong with old-time religion if it’s old-time enough!” He forgave his church’s cowardice, blindness. Who knows – maybe the Catholic church will someday earn the same forgiveness.
Perhaps the Bishops will reconsider individual freedom and choice on this question, too?
There are a couple of asides from religious opposition. The local DA’s office can appeal and, of course, the state’s attorney general has the same authority. Action from either of these is more likely to concern nothing more than whenever and whatever is the next election they confront. I don’t know squat about what the DA may do. Our attorney general is the scion of one of New Mexico’s ranching/politics families associated with the core Democrat Party machine. Gary King is a creepy sort of politician, seemingly governed most of all by his feelings of inherited power. Not that he has any sense of what to do with that power, how to lead or guide change in the state.
Opportunism rules his political life especially when prompted by pressures that range from dynamic changes in the electorate – to the money boys that float his electoral boat. The latter providing the motivation typical of most American politics.
Sirgiorgiro Clardy claims Nike should have placed a label in his Jordan shoes warning consumers that they could be used as a dangerous weapon. He was wearing a pair when he repeatedly stomped the face of a john who was trying to leave a Portland hotel without paying Clardy’s prostitute in June 2012.
Jurors early in 2013 found him guilty of second-degree assault for using his Jordans — a dangerous weapon — to beat the john’s face to a pulp. The man required stitches and plastic surgery on his nose.
The jury also found him guilty of robbing the john and beating the 18-year-old woman he forced to work as his prostitute. She was injured so badly that she bled from her ears.
In his three-page complaint handwritten from the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton, Clardy claims that Nike, Chairman Phil Knight and other executives failed to warn consumers that the shoes could be used as a weapon to cause serious injury or death…
He asks a Multnomah County judge to order Nike to affix warning labels to all their “potentially dangerous Nike and Jordan merchandise.”
In the past, Oregon defendants have been convicted of using a wide array of items or substances as dangerous weapons. The list includes boots, rope, a phone receiver, scalding hot water and HIV-infected blood. The “dangerous weapon” classification can spur longer prison sentences.
As disaffected and criminal as Clardy obviously is – it’s worth noting he’s trying his best to maintain American leadership over the rest of the world in frivolous lawsuits.
Having a substantial number of lawyers and judges willing to participate in such crap probably gives us an unfair advantage over every other nation.