Posts Tagged ‘judge

17
Jun
14

America Under President Obama Means Progress

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White House: A Historic Day For Our Judiciary

This morning, the Senate confirmed three federal judges. On the one hand, they are not unique; like all of the President’s judges and judicial nominees, they have the necessary intellect, experience, integrity, and temperament. But they are special in that each of them is a trailblazer on their courts:

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Judge Darrin Gayles, confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, is the first openly gay African American man to be confirmed as a lifetime-appointed federal judge in our nation’s history.

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Judge Salvador Mendoza, confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, is the first Hispanic judge to serve on his court.

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Staci Yandle, confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, is the first African American to serve on her court and the first openly gay lifetime-appointed federal judge in Illinois.

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Today’s confirmations also set historic milestones: For the first time in history, the Senate has confirmed two openly gay judges on the same day. President Obama has now appointed more female judges than any other President, breaking the record previously set by President Clinton. President Obama also has now appointed more Hispanic judges than any other President, breaking the record previously held by President George W. Bush. As we’ve said before, these “firsts” — and these milestones — are important, not because these judges will consider cases differently, but because a judiciary that better resembles our nation instills even greater confidence in our justice system, and because these judges will serve as role models for generations of lawyers to come. Congratulations to our newest federal judges, who we are confident will serve with honor, distinction, and fidelity to the rule of law.

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17
Jan
14

Rise and Shine

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Happy Birthday to the best First Lady, America has been fortunate to have at the White House. Wishing First Lady Michelle Obama long life, happiness, love, laughter, and prosperity.

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Presidential Daily Schedule (All Times Eastern):

11:0 AM EST: President Obama delivers remarks on signals intelligence programs, Department of Justice

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Brian Beutler: Desperate, Last-Ditch Effort For Obamacare Haters Fails

After the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare in 2012, most reasonable people assumed the right had missed its one big shot at using the courts to destroy the law. But Obamacare mania isn’t an ailment that afflicts reasonable people, and so conservatives turned their attention to an even more far-fetched legal challenge.  The short version is that if you take one phrase of the Affordable Care Act statute out of context,

it appears as if the law does not provide for premium tax credits on federally facilitate exchanges. Conservatives are thus asking the courts to invalidate and prohibit Obamacare subsidies in all Healthcare.gov states.

Well, a D.C. District Court judge has looked at this argument, and concluded that it’s total nonsense. I obviously agree. And if you agree, too then you also must conclude that the challengers and their supporters are either dishonest or so blinded by Obamacare hatred that they’ve lost the ability to read. There are no other interpretations.

More here

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Edward-Isaac Dovere: Obama To Nominate First Black Lesbian Judge In 20 Years

President Barack Obama has already nominated more African-American judges and more LGBT judges than any previous president. On Thursday, he’ll announce the nomination of Staci Michelle Yandle, the first African-American lesbian federal judge he’s picked. Yandle, who’s in private practice, will be Obama’s pick for the district court for the Southern District of his home state of Illinois.

If confirmed, that would make her the first African-American judge ever on that court, and the first openly gay judge in the 7th Circuit, which covers Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. There’s another first among the four new nominees Obama will announce Thursday: Salvador Mendoza, Jr., currently a county Superior Court judge in Washington state, will be Obama’s pick for the district court for the Eastern District of his state, where he would be the first Hispanic judge in that position.

More here

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The Republic: Superior Court Judge Salvador Mendoza Jr. Of Tri-Cities Nominated To Become Federal Judge

A state judge from the Tri-Cities has been nominated by President Obama to become a federal judge for Eastern Washington. Salvador Mendoza Jr. was nominated on Thursday, and would be the first Hispanic to serve as a federal judge in Eastern Washington.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., says Mendoza has an inspiring life story, including working as a migrant farm worker in the Yakima Valley. Mendoza has been a Superior Court judge for Benton and Franklin counties since last year.

More here

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USA Today: OFA Sponsors Spring Fellowships

Organizing for Action, the political group set up to push President Obama’s political agenda, is looking to expand its roster.

OFA is launching what it calls a “Spring Fellowship program,” assigning more than 60 veteran organizers to train more than 1,400 new volunteers to promote items such as an immigration bill and Obama’s health care law.

“It’s about making sure that voices on our side are heard, and people are held accountable,” said Jon Carson, executive director of OFA.

The trainers — which include OFA alumni, long-time volunteers, and former fellows — will be located in 22 states. They will train fellows who hail from at least 29 states (plus Washington, D.C.), and range from college students to adults making their first foray into politics.

The program, which includes data and digital training, runs from Feb. 8 to April 15.

More here

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Reuters: Senate Approves $1.1 Trillion Bill To End Government Funding Battle

Washington’s battles over government funding ended with a whimper on Thursday as the U.S. Senate approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill that quells for nearly nine months the threat of another federal agency shutdown.

The measure, which funds thousands of government programs from the military to national parks through the September 30 fiscal year-end, passed by a strong, 72-26 majority. President Barack Obama is expected to sign it into law.

The vote came exactly three months after the end of a 16-day government shutdown in October that was waged over disputed funding of “Obamacare,” the president’s signature health care law.

More here

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Jonathan Cohn: Obamacare’s A “Bailout” Now? Conservative Critics Are Getting Desperate

Conservatives used to say Obamacare is socialized medicine. Now they say it is a “government bailout” of insurers. The new claim is just as misleading and cynical as the old one.

The latest conservative plaything is a pair of previously obscure Obamacare features: “reinsurance” and “risk corridors.” ….

…. Conservatives might object to reinsurance and risk corridors on principle, regardless of amounts involved. That would be a perfectly legitimate argument, except for one thing: Reinsurance and risk corridors are already a feature of some government programs, most prominent among them Medicare Part D…

What’s that? You haven’t heard Republicans attacking Medicare Part D an insurer bailout? Maybe that’s because of one other, obvious difference between Part D and the Affordable Care Act. Only one of them was signed into law by a guy named Barack Obama.

More here

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Julie Pace: AP Source: NSA Phone Data Control To Come To End

President Barack Obama on Friday will call for ending the government’s control of phone data from millions of Americans, but will not offer a plan for where the information should be held, a senior administration official said. While the move would mark a significant shift for the National Security Agency’s controversial bulk phone record collection program, it’s unclear how quickly the plan could be carried out or whether it will ultimately need congressional approval. The government will continue to hold the data for now, though Obama is ordering that, effective immediately, a judicial finding will be required to access the information.

Obama will announce the decisions in a highly anticipated speech at the Justice Department. The official said the president will call on the attorney general and intelligence community to recommend where to move the data before March 28, when the collection program comes up for reauthorization. The official says the administration will also consult with Congress on the data transfer. Privacy advocates say moving the data outside the government’s control could minimize the risk of unauthorized or overly broad searches by the NSA.

A presidential review panel proposed moving the data to the telephone companies or a third party. However, the phone providers have balked at changes that would put them back in control of the records, citing liability concerns if hackers or others were able to gain unauthorized access to the records. The moves are more sweeping than what many U.S. officials had been anticipating about the president’s surveillance decisions.

More here

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USA Today: 20 subpoenas Issued In N.J. Bridge Scandal

A newly formed special state committee investigating the George Washington Bridge scandal issued 20 subpoenas Thursday, including several to key staff members of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. The legislative committee sent subpoenas to 17 individuals and three institutions. None was immediately named.

Assemblyman John Wisinewski, who is leading the investigation, said no names would be revealed until the recipients were officially served. That could happen Friday. A New Jersey Senate committee is also investigating whether Christie’s top advisers orchestrated or covered up lane closures near the bridge for political purposes.

More here

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The Hill: AP Gives Award To Reporters Of Untruthful ‘Spanglish’ Story

The Associated Press’s recent error-filled article concerning the ObamaCare Spanish-language site apparently is the best story published by the AP over the last month.

The story claimed that the site was written in “Spanglish,” but the site is actually written in proper Spanish, a fact easily discerned by any fluent Spanish-language reader.

Michael Oreskes, AP’s senior managing editor, yesterday gave a “Best of the States” award to the reporters and editors involved in the ObamaCare Spanish-language hatchet job. In an email, Oreskes exalted the high-quality reporting that created this story — above and beyond other stories produced by the AP in the last month.

…. Not only did the AP story suffer from errors of the “Spanish as a second language” variety, but also it badly stumbled on factual mistakes that could have been fact-checked on Google in seconds.

More here

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Bill Quigley: Ten Examples Of Welfare For Corporations And The Ultra-Rich

There are thousands of tax breaks and subsidies for the rich and corporations provided by federal, state and local governments, but these 10 will give a taste. 1. State and local subsidies to corporations: An excellent New York Times study by Louise Story calculated that state and local government provide at least $80 billion in subsidies to corporations. Over 48 big corporations received over $100 million each. GM was the biggest, at a total of $1.7 billion extracted from 16 different states, but Shell, Ford and Chrysler all received over $1 billion each. Amazon, Microsoft, Prudential, Boeing and casino companies in Colorado and New Jersey received well over $200 million each.

2. Direct federal subsidies to corporations: The Cato Institute estimates that federal subsidies to corporations cost taxpayers almost $100 billion every year. 3. Federal tax breaks for corporations: The tax code gives corporations special tax breaks that have reduced what is supposed to be a 35-percent tax rate to an actual tax rate of 13 percent, saving these corporations an additional $200 billion annually, according to the US Government Accountability Office.

More here

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NYT: A First Lady At 50, Finding Her Own Path

Michelle Obama is in many ways the embodiment of the contemporary, urban, well-heeled middle-aged American woman. On Saturday night, Mrs. Obama will celebrate her 50th birthday with dancing and sweets throughout the state floor of the White House, drawing the nation’s attention away from her husband, at least for an evening. Guests will sip fine American wines, consume delicate macarons and be entertained — the expectation is by Beyoncé.

Marc Howard, whose daughter Zoe once played on the soccer team with Sasha, recalled how his daughter drained the tiny water bottle he had brought for her one hot Washington day on the field. Mrs. Obama lightheartedly chided him. “She said, ‘What kind of water bottle is that?’ and gave Zoe hers,” Mr. Howard said. “Those are things far away from the cameras.”

While Mrs. Obama has been careful not to define herself or her role strictly through race, she has paid steadfast attention to her role as a model and mentor to minority children from poor backgrounds like her own, and has built much of her policy agenda around them. “She is more self-determinative than prior first ladies because she very rarely allows herself to be drawn into distracting conversations,” said Carl Anthony, a historian of first ladies. In addition, he said, “She speaks to a demographic pretty much ignored by the White House by all first ladies except for Eleanor Roosevelt.” He cited trips Mrs. Obama has made to the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington and White House invitations she has extended to local working-class African-Americans.

More here

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On This Day:

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President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama talk with St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman in the Red Room after welcoming the team to the White House to honor their 2011 World Series victory, Jan. 17, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

First Lady Michelle Obama greets David Hall, one of eight Citizen Co-Chairs for the Inauguration, in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Jan. 17, 2013 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

06
Oct
11

wrap-up

President Barack Obama talks with staff in Senior Advisor David Plouffe’s West Wing office at the White House, Oct. 6, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Jonathan Cohn (The New Republic): Remember when President Obama wouldn’t even utter the word “Republican”? Those days are long gone. And maybe, just maybe, the change in rhetoric is starting to pay off.

We’re now into week four of the administration’s campaign to promote its jobs proposal. And instead of dialing down the pressure, Obama has been dialing it up….

…. A new ABC-Washington Post poll suggests that, so far, Obama’s campaign is working …. public support for the elements of his jobs bill is high. And, more important, Obama has opened up a substantial gap with the Republicans over which party voters trust more to handle “job creation.”

… whether or not the Democrats have every single member in line is less important than whether they have 50 votes to pass it – because if they have the 50 votes, then the obstacle to enactment won’t be Democrats. It will be Republicans….

And that ought to matter to the voters. Everybody assumes Obama is campaigning hard for his jobs plan primarily to make a point to the voters about who stands for what, in advance of the 2012 elections. That’s probably true. But he’s adopted this posture because Republicans refuse to compromise. And if Republicans start to pay a political price for holding up popular legislation, there’s still a chance they will relent – and pass legislation before the year is done….

Full post here

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Based on Symmetry’s brilliant twitpic here (Thanks Meta)

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Business Week: Railroads shipments are the highest in almost three years, helping to defy concerns about a double-dip recession.

Total rail volumes averaged 381,831 carloads in August, the most since October 2008 … these shipments represent the bulk of materials for industrial production, so rising volumes show the economy is still growing…

… since reporting quarterly earnings in July, the three largest U.S. railroads haven’t given any indication of a sharp decline in demand similar to 2008 and 2009, when volumes fell as much as 24 percent on an annual basis.

…. Earlier this month, CSX’s Chief Financial Officer Oscar Munoz said he isn’t concerned about “any kind of overarching sort of dire circumstances around the corner,” as there is still a “general level of optimism” among customers and suppliers.

“Sure, things have moderated, but there is no one in that near state of panic that we saw certainly in late ‘08 and ‘09,” Munoz said….

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Greg Sargent (Washington Post): John Boehner has a new line he’s trying out to justify the Republican House’s rejection of Barack Obama’s jobs bill: “We’re legislating. He’s campaigning. It’s very disappointing.”

Huh? Really?

… legislating? The House of Representatives? The 112th Congress? Hard to believe that Boehner could say that one without bursting out laughing. The current House has done hardly any legislating at all. They could barely pass a bill to keep the government’s lights on back in the spring, and they almost send the nation into default in the summer…..

And outside of that there’s … well, almost nothing. As Obama pointed out today, there is no Republican initiative that can meaningfully be called a jobs bill…

…. The key here is that real legislating requires compromise, especially during times of divided government. And House Republicans have no intention of compromising with either the Senate or with Barack Obama … Even now, if Boehner really offered to deal on jobs, I don’t think anyone doubts that Obama would hop off the campaign trail and try to work something out. But there will be no legislating, because the House isn’t going to do it.

No matter what talking points John Boehner might trot out.

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About one thousand people gather and form a large ‘99%’ in the middle of Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC, October 6

Thanks nintendowii10

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Perry and Bachmann finally talk some, err, sense:

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GOPolitico’s race-baiter supreme, Julie Mason – get over it Julie, your President is black ;-) – had yet another pitiful dig at the President today for not mentioning, when he hosted the Texas A&M University women’s championship basketball team at the White House, that her beloved Rick Perry attended the college. Maybe Julie missed her buddy Knoller’s tweet…..

The President invited Perry to the White House?! See, that’s what you call class, Julie – you should try and acquire some one day ;-)

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Captain Mark Kelly hugs his wife, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, after receiving the Legion of Merit from Vice President Joe Biden during a retirement ceremony in the Secretary of War Suite in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, in Washington, D.C., Oct. 6, 2011. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

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The photo I love more than any:

Forty years after their silent protest at the 1968 Olympics, Gold Medalist Tommie Smith hugs Bronze Medalist John Carlos, and their wives Delois Smith and Charlene Carlos after Barack Obama is officially sworn in as the President of the United States. (Boston Globe/Stan Grossfeld)

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Night everyone ;-)

08
Apr
11

‘as if wisconsin dems weren’t angry enough’

Steve Benen: … it looked as if JoAnne Kloppenburg had pulled off a miracle in the the state Supreme Court election in Wisconsin, narrowly defeating conservative Justice David Prosser. Yesterday, an expected discovery of thousands of votes quickly tilted the race in the other direction:

“The tally of a close Wisconsin Supreme Court election, which had come to be a referendum on Republican leadership in the state, turned upside down on Thursday evening: the incumbent justice, viewed as a conservative, took a lead of more than 7,000 votes after a clerk in one Republican-leaning county announced she had initially failed to report some 14,000 votes.”

The discovered votes came from Waukesha County, a suburban GOP stronghold, where county clerk Kathy Nickolaus cited a computer mishap for the error.

… it’s worth noting that Kathy Nickolaus is a Republican donor who’s been involved in a series of controversial elections, including a ballot mix-up in 2004, sample ballots in 2005 that accidentally told voters who to vote for, a 2007 incident involving touch-screen voting, and perhaps most importantly, a 2002 controversy in which Nickolaus was granted immunity as part of a criminal investigation into Republican misdeeds in the State Assembly.

This is the same Nickolaus who yesterday uncovered a net gain of 7,000 votes for the Republican candidate who was trailing in a closely-watched judicial race … Hmm.

Now, before anyone jumps to conclusions, Nate Silver noted that it’s likely nothing nefarious has transpired ..  But just for the sake of conversation, I’d love to know what the reaction would be – from Republicans, on Fox News, etc. – if the situation were reversed…

Full article here

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Even if there’s nothing fraudulent going on here, how on earth is a woman with Kathy Nickolaus’s track record allowed to be county clerk?

07
Apr
11

supreme justice

Thank you TeamObama2012 for this video

From last night’s post (here): ….Call it the miracle of Wisconsin … With 100 percent of precincts reporting, the liberal candidate for state Supreme Court justice, JoAnne Kloppenburg, boasts a whopping 204 vote lead over the longtime incumbent and conservative Wisconsin fixture David Prosser…

…That there will be a recount appears inevitable … but this is a fairly amazing result. In February, Kloppenburg managed to get only 25 percent of the vote in a primary contested by four parties. Prosser was considered a shoo-in …  just six months later, the Tea Party tide, at least in Wisconsin, has been matched by a wave in the opposite direction.

28
Mar
11

muppet show update

Steve Benen: In case it seemed the freak-show qualities of the GOP field couldn’t get worse, also note that disgraced former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, kicked off the bench for refusing to acknowledge federal law, is also interested in launching a presidential exploratory committee.

WSJ: Remember Judge Roy Moore? He was the Alabama Supreme Court chief justice removed from office over the Ten Commandments monument he erected outside the state courthouse. Now, he’s about to jump into the presidential election in Iowa…

Eight years after a state panel removed him from the bench over the commandments spat, and five years after he lost in the Republican primary in the Alabama governor’s race, the 64-year-old judge is preparing to launch a presidential exploratory committee and enter the Iowa fray, according to multiple Iowa GOP officials.

Judge Moore’s entry in Iowa will only intensify the feverish competition among GOP hopefuls for the state’s large bloc of evangelical voters … the pack this time is likely to include former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain. Judge Moore could bring the field to six…

18
Mar
11

the fightback

Chicago Tribune: A Wisconsin judge has temporarily blocked the state’s new and contentious collective bargaining law from taking effect. The ruling was handed down this morning by Judge Maryann Sumi in a lawsuit filed by Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne.

Ozanne contended a legislative committee that broke a stalemate that had kept the law in limbo for weeks met without the proper 24-hour notice required by Wisconsin’s open meetings law. A separate lawsuit that Sumi will also consider alleges full Senate’s vote on the law was improper.

The Republican-controlled Legislature passed the measure last week and Gov. Scott Walker signed it into law on Friday. Both Walker and Republican leaders insist it was enacted properly.

The law can’t take effect until it’s formally published by Secretary of State Doug La Follette, a Democrat. He has 10 days after the governor signs a law to publish it, and he has said he plans to use all the time allotted to him before doing so on March 25.

Ozanne, also a Democrat, wants Sumi to grant an emergency order blocking La Follette from publishing the law while a judge weighs the merits of his case.

Democratic Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk filed a similar lawsuit last Friday. Falk also sought an emergency order blocking publication, but Judge Amy Smith denied it and said Falk’s attorneys had failed to prove the law’s implementation would cause irreparable harm as the lawsuit works its way through the courts. Falk later asked the law be blocked on a non-emergency basis.




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