Tag Archives: appeals

Ohio ban on Down syndrome abortion blocked by U.S. appeals court

Ohio ban on Down syndrome abortion blocked by U.S. appeals courtUpholding a preliminary injunction, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati said the law was invalid under Supreme Court precedents because it had the purpose and effect of preventing some women from obtaining pre-viability abortions. The law known as House Bill 214 subjected doctors to as much as 18 months in prison for performing abortions when they knew a pregnant woman based her decision to abort at least in part on a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome in the fetus, or other reason to believe that condition was present. John Kasich, then Ohio’s Republican governor, signed the law in December 2017, following passage by the Republican-controlled legislature.



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Mom of U.K. Teen Killed in Crash With U.S. Diplomat’s Wife Appeals to Trump

Mom of U.K. Teen Killed in Crash With U.S. Diplomat’s Wife Appeals to TrumpJustice4Harry FacebookHarry Dunn was an outgoing 19-year-old and skilled motorcyclist with a twin brother and four other siblings who happened to be driving through the valley just outside the Royal Air Force base in Croughton, England, on the evening of Aug. 27, when Anne Sacoolas crested the hill with her Volvo XC90 luxury SUV. Sacoolas, the 42-year-old wife of an American who worked at the important intelligence gathering facility, had only been in the U.K. for three weeks. She pulled out of the base on the wrong side of the road, apparently forgetting for a moment the rules of left-lane British driving. The Second Oldest Profession is Here to StayDunn had no time to react when Sacoolas came straight at him, the Dunn family spokesman told The Daily Beast. The impact sent him flying over the top of the heavy SUV, causing multiple injuries. He died a few hours later in a local hospital. At the scene of the accident, Sacoolas, whose 12-year-old son was reportedly a passenger in the Volvo, was hysterical over what she had done. The car had diplomatic plates, but witnesses who rushed to the crash site told Northamptonshire police that Sacoolas immediately took the blame and gave all her details, including her British and American cellphone numbers.DMV records in Virginia, where Sacoolas previously was resident, show she had been cited for failing to pay attention while driving in 2006 but had paid the fine with no other penalty. Because Dunn was still alive when he was taken away by ambulance after the accident, Sacoolas was not arrested at the scene—nor was she checked for alcohol or drug use, according to a Northamptonshire Police spokesperson. When police went to the Croughton base the next day to tell Sacoolas that Dunn had died, she was understandably upset and assured them she had no plans to leave the country. When they came back a second time to get more information, she was lawyered up and assisted by officials from the U.S. Embassy to the U.K. The police went back again Sept. 15 to place Sacoolas under formal questioning in a wrongful death inquiry but she, her husband, Jonathan, and their three children had left the country, claiming diplomatic immunity. The U.S. Embassy in London said they did so on the advice of the U.S. State Department. The Sacoolas family has a home outside Washington, D.C., but they have so far not been spotted there. Calls to the home by The Daily Beast were met with a busy signal. The State Department issued a statement confirming they had left the U.K. but would not confirm where the family is. “We express our deepest sympathies and offer condolences to the family of the deceased in the tragic Aug. 27 traffic accident involving a vehicle driven by the spouse of a U.S. diplomat assigned to the United Kingdom,” the State Department statement reads. “We can confirm the family has left the U.K.”Edward Snowden Is Exposing His Own Secrets This TimeOn Tuesday, Mark Stephens, described as an expert in diplomatic law, told The Guardian newspaper that Jonathan Sacoolas was not listed in London as a diplomat and questioned whether his family indeed had full immunity. U.S. personnel working at Croughton, reportedly a major listening post for the Americans' CIA and National Security Agency, have been granted special diplomatic immunity.The British Foreign Office did not respond to a call for confirmation of Sacoolas’ status and whether it should be waived. But the U.S. State Department was quite clear on the matter. “Any questions regarding a waiver of immunity with regard to our diplomats and their family members overseas in a case like this receive intense attention at senior levels and are considered carefully given the global impact such decisions carry,” it said in a statement, adding, “immunity is rarely waived.”Dunn’s mother, Charlotte Charles, was only told last week that Sacoolas had left Britain. She is now pleading that Sacoolas come back to the U.K. to meet with her of her own accord. She isn’t even asking that the supposed spy’s wife be punished for accidentally killing her son. “We just don’t understand from one human to another, one mom to another, how you could just get on a plane and leave behind the devastation she has without even speaking to us, without an apology of any kind?” Charles told Sky TV on Tuesday. “We’re not a horrible family, we’re a usual U.K. family that just need to put a face to—what we have now is a name… without knowing who this person is properly we can’t begin to try and start our grieving process.”The case has rattled the United Kingdom and of course has had a huge impact on the small community where the death took place and where the locals all refer to RAF Croughton as the “spy base.” They are used to mingling with families stationed inside. In fact, the Sacoolas children had just started attending a private school called Winchester House nearby, where Dunn’s father works as head of maintenance. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also involved, promising to take the matter up with President Donald Trump if the American diplomatic process won’t compel Sacoolas to return. “I do not think that it can be right to use the process of diplomatic immunity for this type of purpose,” Johnson told reporters Monday. “I hope that Anne Sacoolas will come back and will engage properly with the processes of law as they are carried out in this country… If we can’t resolve it then of course I will be raising it myself personally with the White House.”For the record, Sacoolas and her husband are both registered Republicans. If she does come back, it will likely be of her own free will. It is highly unlikely the American government would force her to return. Normally, diplomatic immunity is granted only to those working out of the embassy in London under the 1961 Vienna Convention, which is meant to protect families of those working for foreign governments from politically motivated prosecution. But in 1994, a special arrangement was reached to extend it to those at RAF Croughton, which is a “listening” post that handles a third of the U.S. intelligence surveillance in the region. Britain’s Independent newspaper reported in 2013, based on documents supplied by whistleblower Edward Snowden, that Croughton is one of two centers for “tech support activity” run by the Special Collection Service (SCS)—a joint CIA/NSA unit that operates a network of about 100 listening posts. Among its reported accomplishments: tapping into the cellphone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.That neither Trump nor his State Department have seen fit to waive Sacoolas’ immunity has not stopped Dunn’s family from campaigning for Sacoolas to do the right thing. The family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to fight for justice for their son, even if that means traveling to the U.S. to petition Trump in Washington or even to find Sacoolas in person. “This funding page is being set up to help the family and his twin brother Niall through these traumatic times,” the campaign note says. “And to build up a fund as the family embark on a campaign to search for Justice for Harry as the legal process unfolds.” They have also set up Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages under the justice4harry hashtag where they post articles and information from the family. In one message, the family thank well-wishers for showing the respect for Harry they would like from Sacoolas. “His love for his family and friends outshone everything and made him the caring and loving young man he was,” they write. “It’s not until now, with all the messages we have received, that we have come to realize how many people’s lives he has touched.”RAF Croughton would not comment on the matter, but the Dunn family spokesman, Radd Seiger, whose own son was Harry Dunn’s best friend, told The Daily Beast that the family will not stop fighting for justice until Sacoolas is back in the U.K. “President Trump, please listen,” Dunn’s mother said in her interview with Sky TV. “We’re a family in ruin. We’re broken. We can’t grieve. Please, please, let her get back on a plane, come back to the U.K. We could understand how she’s feeling, but more importantly, she needs to face justice, see what she’s done.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Stranded Asylum Seekers Ask Appeals Court to Let Them In

Stranded Asylum Seekers Ask Appeals Court to Let Them In(Bloomberg) — Central Americans seeking asylum in the U.S. said they’ve waited long enough in Mexico for their applications to be assessed under a Trump administration policy they call unlawful.On Tuesday, their advocates asked the federal appeals court in San Francisco to rule that the policy is illegal. Such a ruling would open the border gates to about 45,000 people, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.The three-judge panel didn’t decide whether to uphold a judge’s ruling to block the “forced return” policy, as the ACLU asked, but it expressed concern why the government doesn’t ask immigrants whether they had any fears about being sent back to Mexico. It’s standard practice for asylum seekers to be asked if they are fearful of returning to their home countries.The appeals court previously has allowed the policy to remain in effect during the litigation — which the ACLU says is endangering the tens of thousands of people.“Individuals returned to Mexico are sent to areas with some of the highest murder rates in the world,” the ACLU said in a court filing. “They face extreme dangers — killings, kidnappings, sexual assault, robbery, and other forms of violence — from cartels, the gangs they fled their home countries to escape, corrupt government officials, and an anti-migrant sentiment.”The lawsuit is one of the many fronts on which immigrant rights’ advocates have been battling the administration’s efforts to block entry to the swelling number of migrants from Central American countries.The government also is trying to stop people from applying for asylum in the U.S. if they didn’t make such an application in another country on their way to the U.S. — so a person from El Salvador should have applied for asylum in Guatemala, or Mexico, according to the U.S.In another case the appeals court heard Tuesday, the U.S. is seeking to overturn a judge’s decision that found it was illegal to require asylum seekers to apply only at official border crossings.An appeals panel in December rejected the government’s request to put the judge’s ruling on hold while the case was tried. The panel said it was likely the rule was “arbitrary and capricious.”The cases are: East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Trump, 18-17274, and Innovation Law Lab v. McAleenan, 19-15716, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth District (San Francisco).(Updates with hearing in second paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Peter Blumberg, Steve StrothFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Stranded Asylum Seekers Ask Appeals Court to Let Them In

Stranded Asylum Seekers Ask Appeals Court to Let Them In(Bloomberg) — Central Americans seeking asylum in the U.S. said they’ve waited long enough in Mexico for their applications to be assessed under a Trump administration policy they call unlawful.On Tuesday, their advocates asked the federal appeals court in San Francisco to rule that the policy is illegal. Such a ruling would open the border gates to about 45,000 people, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.The three-judge panel didn’t decide whether to uphold a judge’s ruling to block the “forced return” policy, as the ACLU asked, but it expressed concern why the government doesn’t ask immigrants whether they had any fears about being sent back to Mexico. It’s standard practice for asylum seekers to be asked if they are fearful of returning to their home countries.The appeals court previously has allowed the policy to remain in effect during the litigation — which the ACLU says is endangering the tens of thousands of people.“Individuals returned to Mexico are sent to areas with some of the highest murder rates in the world,” the ACLU said in a court filing. “They face extreme dangers — killings, kidnappings, sexual assault, robbery, and other forms of violence — from cartels, the gangs they fled their home countries to escape, corrupt government officials, and an anti-migrant sentiment.”The lawsuit is one of the many fronts on which immigrant rights’ advocates have been battling the administration’s efforts to block entry to the swelling number of migrants from Central American countries.The government also is trying to stop people from applying for asylum in the U.S. if they didn’t make such an application in another country on their way to the U.S. — so a person from El Salvador should have applied for asylum in Guatemala, or Mexico, according to the U.S.In another case the appeals court heard Tuesday, the U.S. is seeking to overturn a judge’s decision that found it was illegal to require asylum seekers to apply only at official border crossings.An appeals panel in December rejected the government’s request to put the judge’s ruling on hold while the case was tried. The panel said it was likely the rule was “arbitrary and capricious.”The cases are: East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Trump, 18-17274, and Innovation Law Lab v. McAleenan, 19-15716, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth District (San Francisco).(Updates with hearing in second paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Peter Blumberg, Steve StrothFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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ICC prosecutor appeals acquittal of I.Coast's Gbagbo

ICC prosecutor appeals acquittal of I.Coast's GbagboThe chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court appealed on Monday against the shock acquittal of former Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo over post-electoral violence that killed around 3,000 people. Gbagbo, the first head of state to stand trial in The Hague, and his deputy Charles Ble Goude, were both cleared of crimes against humanity in January and released the following month. “The appeal will demonstrate that the trial chamber committed legal and procedural errors which led to the acquittals of Mr Gbagbo and Mr Ble Goude on all counts,” Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s office said.



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Appeals court reinstates lawsuit in SC church shooting case

Appeals court reinstates lawsuit in SC church shooting caseA lawsuit over a faulty background check that allowed a South Carolina man to buy the gun he used to kill nine people in a racist attack at a Charleston church was reinstated Friday by a federal appeals court. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a ruling from a lower court judge who threw out the claims brought by relatives of people killed by Dylann Roof in the 2015 massacre, and by survivors. The FBI has acknowledged that Roof’s drug possession arrest in Columbia, South Carolina, weeks before the shooting at AME Emanuel Church should have prevented him from buying a gun.



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Federal appeals court rules Colorado was 'wrong' to force electors to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016

Federal appeals court rules Colorado was 'wrong' to force electors to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016Bradley Moss and John Yoo weigh in on a federal court ruling in Colorado on the Electoral College that could make its way to the Supreme Court.



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Federal appeals court grants Texas inmate stay of execution

Federal appeals court grants Texas inmate stay of executionA federal appeals court granted a stay of execution Wednesday to a Texas inmate just one day before he was scheduled to die for the fatal shooting of a 23-year-old woman during a carjacking in Houston. In an 18-page opinion filed Thursday, a three-judge panel of the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that under recent case law and intellectual disability standards, Dexter Johnson is sufficiently impaired intellectually to disqualify him for Thursday’s execution. The Supreme Court in 2002 barred execution of mentally disabled people but has given states some discretion to decide how to determine intellectual disability.



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Drug kingpin 'El Chapo' appeals life sentence

Drug kingpin 'El Chapo' appeals life sentenceFallen Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, once one of the world’s most powerful and notorious criminals, has appealed his life sentence, court documents published on Monday showed. Guzman, the 62-year-old former co-leader of Mexico’s feared Sinaloa drug cartel, was convicted in February of smuggling hundreds of tons of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana into the United States. A symbolic 30 years was also added to the sentence and he was also ordered to pay $ 12.6 billion in forfeiture — a sum based on a conservative estimate of revenues from his cartel’s sales in the United States.



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Trump faces uphill battle to keep financial records from Congress after lawyers clash in appeals court

Trump faces uphill battle to keep financial records from Congress after lawyers clash in appeals courtJudges on a federal appeals court appeared skeptical of President Donald Trump's demand that it block a House subpoena for his financial records.



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