A Hong Kong Trial

Some of you may recall the umbrella protests in Hong Kong a few short years ago concerning the rapid erosion of freedoms there as the People’s Republic of China accelerated its walk away from its promise to Great Britain to respect Hong Kong liberties after the island city was surrendered to the PRC.

Joshua Wong, one of those protesters, sentenced to jail for participating and speaking his mind, is out of jail pending his appeal.  Hong Kong Commissioner Clement Leung had a Letter to the Editor of The Wall Street Journal earlier this week objecting to a WSJ piece decrying the whole sorry charade that is the current Hong Kong judiciary.

Another Biased Federal Judge

US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis, of the Eastern District of New York, blatantly and zealously does not like President Donald Trump, as many folks do not.  However, the judge is hearing a case concerning whether to block Trump’s withdrawal of ex-President Barack Obama’s (D) unconstitutionally applied DACA protections, and that overt bias may well feed into his ruling on what should be an open and shut question: the DACA protections were illegally applied, and apart from that, they were applied by DHS Memorandum, and so even were Obama’s DACA legal, the protections can be removed by Memorandum or by a President’s Executive Order.

The Supreme Court Gets One Wrong…Maybe

A murderous felon in Alabama was, on conviction in 1994, sentenced to life in prison by his jury, and that sentence was overridden by the presiding judge, who ordered his execution.  The man was scheduled to be executed Thursday, but the Supreme Court has stayed the execution pending its decision on whether to hear the man’s appeal of his execution.

The stay is consistent with the Court’s prior rulings striking State laws that allow judges to overrule juries and to impose death sentences where the juries decided otherwise.  In this regard, I agree: the jury is the proper sentencer where a man’s life is in the balance.

Congressional Districts and Gerrymandering

North Carolina’s Congressional districts are illegally drawn, says a special three-judge court.

A special three-judge court invalidated the North Carolina map after finding Republicans adopted it for the driving purpose of magnifying the party’s political power beyond its share of the electorate.

I’ll leave aside the disparate impact sewage that local districts must reflect the larger State’s electorate “demographics.”  The larger problem is with the underlying premise of gerrymandering: that some groups of Americans need their political power enhanced relative to other groups of Americans because some groups are, in some sense, fewer in numbers than other groups.

A Federal Judge Has Overstepped

DACA was implemented by Department of Homeland Security memorandum—not even through Rule Making—and it can be removed by the same process or by Executive Order.  There is no legislation being ignored or abused here; this is purely and solely an internal Executive Branch affair.  Alsup is nakedly insinuating himself in what is only—can only be—a political matter and not a judicial one in a blatant violation of Constitutional separation of powers.

Even ex-Progressive-Democratic President Barack Obama (D) confessed he had no Constitutional authority to order the things DACA orders—before he had his DHS Secretary issue her memorandum.

YGTBSM

Another in the annals of.

The Louisiana court system, all the way up to the State’s Supreme Court, has upheld police denial of a (black) defendant’s demand for a lawyer during a police interrogation.  At one point during the interrogation, the suspect said, quite clearly IMNSHO,

If y’all, this is how I feel, if y’all think I did it, I know that I didn’t do it so why don’t you just give me a lawyer dog ’cause this is not what’s up.

The Supreme Court said the suspect’s statement was too ambiguous to constitute a demand for a lawyer.  Justice Scott Chrichton, in concurring, actually wrote in all seriousness,

“Continuing to Cooperate”

Special Counsel Robert Mueller revealed some indictments and charges, and he “accepted” a guilty plea deal from George Papadopoulos, a volunteer associate of the Trump campaign.

I’ll leave aside the indictments (which charges are wholly unrelated to the Trump campaign or the Trump administration or anything related to them, anyway); what’s interesting is Mueller’s plea deal with Papadopoulos.

Mr Papadopoulos is continuing to cooperate in the investigation, according to his plea agreement.

And that’s what’s key:

Papadopoulos’ cooperation is central to his plea. The plea agreement provides that the government will bring his cooperation to the Court’s attention at sentencing and that sentencing will be delayed until his cooperation is complete.

Mueller’s Grand Jury

Judge Andrew Napolitano thinks the reason Special Counsel Robert Mueller has convened a grand jury as part of his “investigation” into alleged Russia collusion by members of President Donald Trump’s campaign staff is so Mueller can use the jury’s subpoena power to compel testimony and the delivery of documents.  Napolitano also said, in FoxNews insider‘s paraphrase, that the jury’s convening is

a sign that Mueller has found something from some source….

Rule of Law

The DC Circuit Court stacked by President Barack Obama (D) seems to be iffy on the thing.  In an appeal concerning whether the monies the Federal government pays to health care plan providers as subsidies so the plan providers will hold down premiums and deductibles can actually be paid—the funds never were appropriated by Congress, so the payments aren’t legitimate, ruled the trial court—the Circuit Court ruled in part:

The States have shown a substantial risk that an injunction requiring termination of the payments at issue here…would lead directly and imminently to an increase in insurance prices, which in turn will increase the number of uninsured individuals for whom the States will have to provide health care[.]

International Censorship

France wants to enforce a “right to be forgotten” law (recently enacted by the EU that allows persons to demand publicly available information about them to be erased from links in search engine results) inside other nations than the EU membership—inside the United States, for instance.  Google, et al., is demurring, and France has taken the matter to the EU’s highest administrative court, the Court of Justice.

The case will help determine how far EU regulators can go in enforcing the bloc’s strict new privacy law….