Tag Archives: Judiciary

Alan Dershowitz says Texas lawsuit tossed by Supreme Court should tell Trump’s allies that they ‘can’t count on the judiciary’ to invalidate election results


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Chuck Schumer had to tell Dianne Feinstein that she should step down as the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee twice because she forgot the first conversation they had, new report alleges


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Feinstein says she’s stepping down as top Democrat on Senate Judiciary Committee


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Judiciary Committee says more impeachment charges possible

Judiciary Committee says more impeachment charges possibleHouse Judiciary Committee lawyers on Monday told a federal appeals court that the panel might consider recommending "new articles of impeachment" against President Trump if former White House counsel Don McGahn testifies and provides fresh evidence, The Washington Post reports.Democrats who lead the committee have been fighting in court to enforce a subpoena for McGahn to provide testimony. They say he has information "central" to parts of their impeachment investigation.The inquiry is ongoing even though the Democratic-led House approved two articles of impeachment accusing Trump of abusing his power to pressure Ukraine into investigating Democrats and obstruction of Congress. The Democrats' filing came after Justice Department lawyers told the court the House's approval of two articles of impeachment left no justification for enforcing McGahn's subpoena quickly.More stories from theweek.com How a 'legislative terrorist' conquered the Republican Party The West was profoundly wrong about Modi 19 references and callbacks you may have missed in The Rise of Skywalker



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How the GOP broke ObamaCare — and the federal judiciary

How the GOP broke ObamaCare — and the federal judiciaryJust hours after ObamaCare's open enrollment ended for the year, a federal court of appeals threw the law into legal jeopardy based on a far-fetched lawsuit. Once again, the wellbeing of millions of people has been imperiled by the caucus of conservative federal judges intent on working hand-in-glove with Republican politicians to roll back universal health care in America.The latest lawsuit, Texas v. United States, is a bizarre posthumous attack on ObamaCare's individual mandate, which congressional Republicans effectively repealed in their 2017 tax bill. Yet on Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit declared the post-repeal husk of the mandate unconstitutional because it no longer functions as a tax. (Chief Justice John Roberts upheld the mandate as a tax in 2012.) More ominously, the court suggested that much of the rest of the law — its protections for people with pre-existing conditions, its health exchanges, the Medicaid expansion, and more — could fall with it. The court punted the work of figuring out just which provisions can be spared to district court judge Reed O'Connor, a conservative activist judge who already ruled that all of ObamaCare should be wiped out.It's a stunning judicial power grab. To reach its conclusion, the court had to conjure a sort of Schrodinger's mandate, both dead and alive at the same time: too dead to generate any government revenue (and thus no longer technically a tax), but alive enough to still compel people to buy insurance (and thus allowing them to sue at all).And the idea that courts have the power to invalidate any of the rest of ObamaCare is willfully blind to what actually played out in Congress in 2017. After trying and failing to repeal ObamaCare, congressional Republicans gave up, moved on to tax cuts, and sacked just the individual mandate for its cost savings. Congress itself already determined that the rest of ObamaCare could stand even without a functioning individual mandate, and Congress certainly did not hide full ObamaCare repeal in a tax bill.Nevertheless, one of the country's most conservative judges has just been tasked by one of its most conservative appellate courts with picking through the carcass of ObamaCare to determine what — if anything — can be salvaged.It's the third time this decade that an off-the-wall legal claim against ObamaCare quickly became on-the-wall after being rubber-stamped by conservative judges. Legal scholar Brian Highsmith — who warned a year ago that the Texas case could take down ObamaCare — attributes this pattern to the GOP's adept use of what he calls "partisan constitutionalism." Republicans, he wrote, "us[e] courts to relitigate battles that they can't win through the democratic process." The party's entire apparatus is mobilized: Republican state attorneys general bring lawsuits, and national Republicans in Washington endorse those lawsuits through conservative media and legal briefs filed in courts, which lends Republican-appointed federal judges sufficient institutional cover to validate the legal arguments. In Texas, the 18 Republican attorneys general behind the lawsuit even had the support of Trump's Department of Justice, which refused to defend ObamaCare in court.The predictable advancement of ObamaCare lawsuits stems from the fact that conservatives across government feel in their bones that universal health care is illegitimate and un-American. The legal arguments are just formalistic dressing for ideological belief. For example, in the first round of individual mandate litigation in 2010, what really bugged conservative judges wasn't whether the individual mandate actually pertained to interstate commerce or not — the technical legal claim at issue — but rather the sense that it was anathema to individual liberty.The same is true in Texas, where political ideology is hardly submerged in the court's opinion. In one footnote, the appeals court needlessly speculates that the ACA was perhaps "enacted as part of a fraud on the American people, designed to ultimately lead to a federal, single-payer health-care system." To support this wild theory, the court cites a statement by a one-term Republican congressman who was not even in Congress when ObamaCare was passed.In another gratuitous footnote, the court felt compelled to point out that "[o]pponents of the ACA … argue that the act goes too far in limiting individuals' freedom to choose health-care coverage." For that, the court relies on a statement by former GOP Rep. Darrell Issa criticizing the Obama administration's "if you like your plan, you can keep it" pledge.There are also career incentives for judges at work. President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have packed the courts with conservative judges. And by attacking Chief Justice Roberts over his votes upholding ObamaCare, Trump has sent a clear signal to aspiring judges: to win appointments — or just be invited to the right Federalist Society engagements — they must maintain their anti-ObamaCare bonafides.The perpetual legal assault on ObamaCare is the leading edge of the GOP's growing takeover of the federal judiciary. Millions of people who depend on the law for their health care could be the ones who pay the price.More stories from theweek.com Porn is evil. Don't ban it. Elizabeth Warren's attack on Buttigieg's wine cave fundraiser 'plays into hands' of GOP, former Obama campaign aide says A democracy in peril



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Lindsey Graham Calls on Giuliani to Testify on Corruption before Senate Judiciary Committee

Lindsey Graham Calls on Giuliani to Testify on Corruption before Senate Judiciary CommitteeSenate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) told reporters on Wednesday that he wants Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani to testify before the panel regarding allegations that Joe Biden leveraged his position as vice president to secure a lucrative position for his son on the board of a Ukrainian gas company."I’m going to be reaching out to Rudy, writing a letter saying you’re welcome to come to this committee, if you have something you’d like to share about corruption," Graham told reporters. Giuliani would not be compelled to make an appearance, the Senator added.Giuliani's actions have been scrutinized during the impeachment inquiry into President Trump's conduct regarding Ukraine. Democrats suspect Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine to pressure the country to investigate corruption allegations against political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who sat on the board of the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma while Joe Biden was handling Ukraine policy as vice president.Giuliani repeatedly travelled to Ukraine in 2019 to meet with contacts and push for an investigation into the Bidens. Those contacts include former head prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko, who Giuliani considered taking on as a client at the same time he was urging Lutsenko to investigate the Bidens, and a KGB-trained pro-Russian lawmaker Andriy Derkach, whose father was a KGB operative and one-time head of Ukrainian intelligence.Graham would like Giuliani to testify to his committee before the Senate impeachment trial is expected to begin.The House will vote Wednesday on two articles of impeachment against President Trump, one for abuse of power and another for obstruction of Congress. The articles are expected to pass along party lines, with most Democrats in favor and every Republican House member opposed.



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Lindsey Graham invites Rudy Giuliani to Judiciary panel to discuss recent Ukraine visit

Lindsey Graham invites Rudy Giuliani to Judiciary panel to discuss recent Ukraine visit"Rudy, if you want to come and tell us what you found, I'll be glad to talk to you,” Lindsey Graham says.



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Rep. Adam Schiff turns over Pence aide's classified letter to Judiciary Committee

Rep. Adam Schiff turns over Pence aide's classified letter to Judiciary CommitteeHouse Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has submitted to the Judiciary Committee a classified letter from an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, according to multiple reports on Wednesday.



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Trump impeachment: judiciary hearing could bring Mueller into play

Trump impeachment: judiciary hearing could bring Mueller into playBipartisan lawyers to testify on findings by the special counsel and intelligence committee in second public session * Opinion: Pelosi is bungling the impeachment inquiryMarching ahead toward the impeachment of Donald Trump, Democrats on Monday prepared to hear testimony that could result in material from the special counsel Robert Mueller’s report being folded into articles of impeachment.The House judiciary committee was scheduled on Monday to hold its second public impeachment hearing. The committee could draft and vote on articles of impeachment as early as the end of the week, leading to a House vote on whether to impeach Trump before the 20 December holiday break.A trial in the Republican-controlled Senate would follow in the new year A Senate trial is widely expected to acquit Trump.Scheduled to testify on Monday was a bipartisan group of lawyers from two House committees: the intelligence committee, which investigated Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden; and the judiciary committee itself, which investigated Mueller’s findings.The lawyers were to testify on the results of each investigation as the judiciary committee weighs how to draft articles of impeachment.The decision of whether to include evidence gathered by Mueller in the impeachment of Trump has been a matter for debate among Democrats. Any article of impeachment built on Mueller’s findings could risk losing the support of centrists who fear feeding Republican arguments that the impeachment process is a catchall for anti-Trump grievances.But many Democrats and others see the 10 distinct episodes of potential obstruction of justice by Trump laid out in the second half of the Mueller report as evidence of egregious misconduct deserving of prosecution.Trump will be impeached if any one article of impeachment is approved by a majority vote in the House. Democrats have signaled they are weighing three grounds for Trump’s impeachment: abuse of power, obstruction of Congress and obstruction of justice. They may settle on those or different articles.Monday’s hearing was expected to be contentious as Republicans confront lawyers describing the contents of the Mueller report, which Trump has claimed was exculpatory and which Republicans argue vindicated the president.But in fact Mueller’s report presents evidence of obstruction of justice by Trump for activity including the firing of FBI director James Comey; ordering the White House counsel to fire Mueller; trying to have the attorney general take over the special counsel investigation; and ordering the White House counsel to deny the earlier order that he fire Mueller.In both prior impeachment proceedings against a US president in the modern era, obstruction of justice was among the articles of impeachment.The White House signaled on Friday that it would not send lawyers to the hearing Monday or seek to call witnesses in Trump’s defense, continuing its unprecedented policy of total non-participation with the inquiry.



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Judiciary Committee releases report on grounds for impeachment

Judiciary Committee releases report on grounds for impeachmentThe release of the report comes ahead of the second Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing on Monday.



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