Archive for the ‘Lawyers’ Category

Now that the first ruling is in on SCERAC’s lawsuit is in, it’s time for St. Cloud Educational Rights Advocacy Council (SCERAC) to lick its wounds, then regroup. The arguments put forth by the Rinke-Noonan Law Firm on SCERAC’s behalf were deemed insufficient.

Specifically, “Stearns County District Court Judge Kris Davick-Halfen on Wednesday denied the advocacy group’s motion for a preliminary injunction and granted the state’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit”, writing “Throughout its filings, (the plaintiff) has made a passionate and thoughtful argument as to why the governor and legislature should provide the St. Cloud school district with the additional funding it requests. Nevertheless, this court cannot grant the relief (the plaintiff) requests and must grant (the defendant’s) motion.”

Later in the opinion, it states “(The plaintiff) does not allege that the St. Cloud District receives less funding per pupil than other school districts. Instead, the … complaint alleges that St. Cloud School District would be able to do more with additional funds. This does not constitute a violation of the Education Clause.”

Later, Davick-Halfen notes this:

When discussing the denial of the preliminary injunction, Davick-Halfen cited a Minnesota Supreme Court case where “a court should examine whether granting the (plaintiff’s) request would ‘maintain the status quo until the case can be decided on its merits.'” “The relief that (the plaintiff) is requesting in this temporary injunction would be a substantial change from what has been occurring,” Davick-Halfen states.

What SCERAC was asking the court to do is order the legislative and executive branches to do something that they chose not to do. This is prohibited by the separation of powers clause. Simply put, Minnesota’s Constitution doesn’t give the Judicial Branch the authority to intervene in the appropriations process. That’s left to the political branches. It isn’t left to the judicial branch.

After reading this article, there’s no doubt that Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford had a sinister motive in stepping forward and making her wild accusations. At the time, I thought that it was highly possible Dr. Blasey-Ford wasn’t telling the truth. When Dr. Ford’s best friend said that she’d never met Brett Kavanaugh, I thought it was almost certain that Dr. Blasey-Ford hadn’t told the truth.

It’s worth noting that Debra Katz, a “high-powered progressive lawyer” who represented Dr. Blasey-Ford, said “In the aftermath of these hearings, I believe that Christine’s testimony brought about more good than the harm misogynist Republicans caused by allowing Kavanaugh on the court. He will always have an asterisk next to his name. When he takes a scalpel to Roe v. Wade, we will know who he is, we know his character, and we know what motivates him, and that is important.”

The assault against Kavanaugh has been exposed, especially in the fantastic new book Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court, written by Mollie Hemingway of the Federalist and Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network. There will be an asterisk associated with the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings but it will be attached to the far-left activists who tried derailing Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Here’s the video proof of Katz’s statements:

What’s now known is that Dr. Ford came forward for partisan political reasons, not because she had proof that Brett Kavanaugh had done the things she’d accused him of doing. Lots of accusations were thrown at Justice Kavanaugh. The most discredited accusations were made by Julie Swetnick, then represented by Michael Avenatti, aka CPL, aka Creepy Porn Lawyer. In September, 2018, Swetnick swore out a statement under penalty of perjury, stating “I witnessed Brett Kavanaugh consistently engage in excessive drinking and inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with women during the early 1980s.”

In October, 2018, then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley referred both Avenatti and Swetnick for criminal prosecution to the DOJ. The Democrats’ attempt to derail the confirmation of a judge who happened to be Catholic should frighten people who think that we shouldn’t hold a person’s religious beliefs against them if they’re applying for a position within the federal government. The Constitution forbids religious tests:

but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

That text is found in Article VI, Clause 3. This is just the start. If/when Ruth Bader Ginsburg retires and President Trump still occupies the Oval Office and Republicans hold a majority in the Senate, all hell will break loose. It doesn’t take Nostradamus to figure that out. Joe Biden could even figure that out.

When it comes to constitutional chicanery, California can’t be beat. Let me rephrase that. When it comes to constitutional chicanery, California can’t be beat, except in court. In this instance, it’ll get beaten like a drum.

Harmeet Dhillon lays out what’s happening when she writes “No one, not Congress, not the president, and certainly not a state government, may unilaterally change the requirements to be president of the United States without first amending the U.S. Constitution.” Then she writes “The U.S. Constitution is very clear as to the requirements to run for president: one must be a “natural born Citizen,” 35 years old, resident in the United States for 14 years. That’s it.”

That didn’t prevent California’s Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom from signing a bill that attempts to add additional criteria to the Constitution through making new state law. It’s nothing but a PR stunt. That doesn’t mean action shouldn’t be taken. That’s where Harmeet’s law firm comes in:

On behalf of the Republican National Committee, the California GOP, and three Trump-supporting Republican voters in California, my law firm filed for a preliminary injunction in federal court to block this unconstitutional law before it can interfere with the 2020 presidential election. The president and his campaign have done the same.

Good for her. Good for them. It’s what I’d expect from California Democrats. It’s what I demand from Republicans.

When it comes to stupidity, liberal legal stupidity is pretty stunning. Writing in the comments section of this LTE, John Ellenbecker, St. Cloud’s former mayor, wrote some insulting drivel. That’s actually a step up from his usual foolishness. But I digress.

The LTE stops short of accusing Dr. John Palmer of being a racist only because the writer didn’t mention Dr. Palmer. Dr. Palmer was interviewed by the NY Times a little less than a month ago about his activism related to the refugee resettlement crisis that’s crippling St. Cloud. Other liberals, however, aren’t being that nice. This cartoon is downright disgusting:

FULL DISCLOSURE: I’ve known Dr. Palmer for 15 years. Accusing John of being a hater is sloppy and hurtful. Then again, the First Amendment gives idiots like this cartoonist the right to be sloppy and dishonest. But I digress again.

Mayor Ellenbecker left this comment:

Intolerance isn’t and shouldn’t be the issue. I am intolerant to many things – drivers who camp out in the left lane of I-94 leading the list. The issue is whether we respect the rights of others. I don’t have to tolerate you – but I do have to respect your rights. John Palmer has every right to be a bigot and engage in bigoted speech – he does not have the right to violate the rights of people who live in this community. His moratorium on refugee settlement in St. Cloud was a blantant volation of the rights of people – including refugees – to determine for themselves where they will live. I have no tolerance for John Palmer and his followers, I don’t expect them to tolerate me. I will insist, however, that he not violate the rights of people residing in this community.

Before going into the substance, or lack thereof, of Ellenbecker’s comment, it isn’t too much to ask Mr. Ellenbecker to use his spell-checker. (Blantant volation? Seriously?)

Ellenbecker said that Dr. Palmer has the right to be a bigot. It isn’t difficult to figure out where that came from:

It’s part of the liberals’ standardized playbook to accuse decent people of being racists. It’s frequently used to stifle debate. There’s no more proof that Dr. Palmer is a racist than there’s proof that Ellenbecker is honest or smart. Next, Ellenbecker’s statement on the refugee resettlement program is dishonest. He said that Dr. Palmer’s “moratorium on refugee settlement in St. Cloud was a blatant violation of the rights of people, including refugees, to determine for themselves where they will live.” Actually, the Refugee Act of 1980 gives communities the right to have significant input into where and when refugees in the primary resettlement happen. Check this out:

It says “Whereas the Refugee Act of 1980 states that 8 U.S. Code 1522(b),” quote, “‘The director’” – I’m talking about the Minnesota Office of Refugee Resettlement director – “‘shall develop and implement in consultation with representatives of voluntary agencies and state and local governments’” – that’s me, OK? – “‘policies and strategies for the placement and resettlement of refugees within the United States.’”

The St. Cloud City government, including the City Council, is ignoring its responsibilities. According to this law, state and local government shall “develop and implement” “policies and strategies for the placement and resettlement of refugees within the United States.”

At no point in his comment did Mr. Ellenbecker cite any proof that Dr. Palmer had violated anyone’s civil rights.” Having known Mr. Ellenbecker since high school, I’m confident that that’s because he doesn’t have any proof to sustain his accusation. He’s always been long on accusations and short on intelligence.

The McSally-Sinema race is definitely heating up. If it wasn’t, Mitt Romney wouldn’t be taking time away from his campaign to campaign for Martha McSally. That isn’t the only proof that the race is heating up, either.

Over the past 2-3 weeks, Sinema has gotten caught in some fairly major lies. First, she was caught lying about being homeless as a child. She took a hit when a reporter found electric bills that her family paid while they were supposed homeless. It’s difficult to picture a homeless family paying electric bills while they’re homeless. Further, Sinema was exposed as supporting a lawyer for a famous terrorist:

The first, from Fox News, delineated how Sinema promoted events at Arizona State University that featured attorney Lynn Stewart, who was convicted for aiding Omar Abdel Rahman, who himself was charged and sentenced to life for scheming to blow up the United Nations, an FBI building, two tunnels, and a bridge in New York City.

Then there’s this:

The second story was reported by The Washington Free Beacon, which wrote of a group email from 2006 in which Sinema equated the deaths of American soldiers with illegal immigrants entering the United States.

Perhaps, those stories started circulating while this poll was in the field:

A month ago, the MSM were all but writing Arizona off for the Republicans. If that ABC poll is right, reports of McSally’s demise were definitely premature.

Progressives often get lumped in with liberals. That shouldn’t happen. Progressives frequently resemble fascists. They frequently ‘win’ their arguments by accusing people of lying. That’s the case with Maria Cardona’s op-ed. Ms. Cardona wrote “Trump claims several untruths: that nothing has been found thus far in this investigation; that they have found absolutely no collusion; that the whole thing is a partisan witch hunt; and that the sacrosanct attorney-client privilege is dead.”

What BS. I’d love hearing Ms. Cardona list the things Robert Mueller has found thus far that proves collusion. After all, that’s what President Trump has consistently complained about. As for President Trump’s statement that Mueller’s probe being a partisan witch hunt, that isn’t a lie. It’s President Trump’s opinion. It’s virtually impossible to lie when stating an opinion. As for whether “the sacrosanct attorney-client privilege is dead,” I’ll leave that to Harvard Professor Emeritus Dershowitz, who wrote “Clients should be able to rely on confidentiality when they disclose their most intimate secrets in an effort to secure their legal rights. A highly publicized raid on the president’s lawyer will surely shake the confidence of many clients in promises of confidentiality by their lawyers. They will not necessarily understand the nuances of the confidentiality rules and their exceptions. They will see a lawyer’s office being raided and all his files seized.”

Professor Dershowitz is a principled, old-fashioned liberal. Old-fashioned liberals frequently displayed a commitment to civil liberties. They frequently had a libertarian streak in them, too. The point is that old-fashioned liberalism isn’t compatible with hardline progressivism. Often, they’re opposites.

I’m happy that President Trump won but I’m not a win-at-all-costs person. I’ve seen enough of Professor Dershowitz to say the same thing of him. Watch his principles in this interview:

I can’t say that about Ms. Cardona.

In this post, I wrote about Douglas Kelley’s filing with the Minnesota Supreme Court. First, I’ll admit that I’m not a lawyer. That being said, I’m capable of connecting dots, which is what this lawsuit is about. It’s important to remember what the Court said in their initial ruling. They said that a) the line-item veto was constitutional, b) Minnesotans had the constitutional right to 3 fully-functioning branches of government and c) constitutional provisions can’t be used to accomplish an unconstitutional result.

The Legislature’s attorney, Douglas Kelley, wrote in his filing that “most of the LCC’s funds are encumbered or are needed for other purposes. If the House and the Senate use the LCC’s money for their operations, the LCC will not meet its obligations. Second, procedural requirements must be met to access the funds. Third, the LCC maintains discretion over whether to transfer the LCC’s funds to the House and the Senate.” Using the Supreme Court’s own benchmark that Minnesotans have the right to 3 fully-functioning branches of government, stripping money from LCC operations to the Legislature’s operations necessarily means that the LCC’s operations won’t function as required by Minnesota statutes.

Hypothetically speaking, if the Court rules in Gov. Dayton’s favor, the Office of Legislative Auditor, aka OLA, might get shut down, thereby meaning that there wouldn’t be anyone conducting oversight on the Executive Branch. It’s also true, hypothetically speaking, that if Gov. Dayton decides that he won’t sign a bill funding legislative operations, the office of Revisor of Statutes would close.

If the Court rules in Gov. Dayton’s favor this time, they will have given the executive branch a tool that the governor could use each budget session to get everything they want. All the governor has to do is line-item veto the operational budget for the Legislature and they’d be put into a compromised negotiating position.

Mr. Kelley also notes this in his filing:

By statute, the LCC may transfer a portion of its appropriation to the House and Senate. However, that authority is limited to transfers of “unobligated balances among general fund appropriations to the Legislature.”

That’s important because of this information:

The executive director originally designated $14,072,000 of the LCC’s general fund appropriation of $17,383,000 for fiscal year 2018 as “encumbered,” because it is anticipated to be needed for compensation in fiscal year 2018. A significant portion of the appropriations to the LCC for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 have a dedicated purpose in law:

  1. Office of the Legislative Auditor: $6,744,000 the first year and $6,564,000 the second year, with $130,000 the first year being for a transit financial activity review;
  2. Revisor of Statutes: $6,430,000 the first year, and $6,093,000 the second year, with $250,000 of this amount the first year for upgrades and repairs to the information technology data center; and
  3. Legislative Reference Library: $1,622,000 the first year and $1,445,000 the second year, with $177,000 in the first year being for a digital preservation project.

It’s difficult imagining the Supreme Court essentially wiping out these specific appropriations. Anything’s possible because Gov. Dayton has done his best to stack the Supreme Court with DFL political operatives. Still, the Court painted itself into a corner with its initial ruling.

Finally, it’s important to remember that this Court hasn’t been a portrait in courage. They’ve tap-danced on the head of a pin to avoid making a ruling on the constitutionality of Gov. Dayton’s actions. Let’s hope I’m right in saying that the DFL will always do the right thing … when it’s the only option left.

According to this article, Minnesota State AG Lori Swanson “plans to join suit against Trump over ending DACA.” If she joins that lawsuit, she’s guaranteed to lose. That isn’t just my opinion. It’s Eric Columbus’ opinion, too.

Columbus worked in the Obama/Holder Justice Department. Further, he’s told his Twitter followers that “But on 6/29, ten state AGs wrote DOJ threatening to sue to kill DACA unless Trump agrees by 9/5 to phase it out. Sad to say, I agree with the Trump administration that such a challenge to DACA is very likely to succeed.”

That’s because the arguments against DACA are identical to the arguments against DAPA. In the Supreme Court’s ruling on DAPA, the Court finished in a 4-4 tie. With Justice Gorsuch now filling that 9th spot, it’s difficult to picture him ruling in President Obama’s favor. Simply put, the evidence in this case isn’t in dispute. President Obama’s EO included new benefits for illegal immigrants. I quoted Greg Jarrett in this post as saying “At the end of the 19th century, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that congress has ‘plenary power’ (meaning full and complete) to regulate immigration. Derived from Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, the doctrine is based on the concept that immigration is a question of national sovereignty, relating to a nation’s right to define its own borders and restrict entrance therein. As the high court observed, ‘Over no conceivable subject is the legislative power of Congress more complete.'”

But I digress.

MPR’s article says “The lawsuit filed Wednesday says rescinding DACA will injure state-run colleges and universities, upset workplaces and damage companies and economies that include immigrants covered under the program.” It’s worth noting that isn’t a legal argument. It’s a political argument. That should tell people everything they need to know about Swanson’s motivation in joining the lawsuit. Further, the argument is irrelevant. Even if everything they say is accurate, it’s irrelevant because President Obama overstepped his authority in implementing DACA. That’s the only thing of any importance.

More than anything else, this lawsuit is an attempt by Democrats to make a political case and score political points. It fails on both counts. Does anyone think that voters will walk into a voting booth in November, 2018 and say ‘I can’t vote for the Republican because these attorneys general filed a lawsuit’?

It’s time for Ms. Swanson to admit what Minnesota voters know — that she isn’t a primetime player.

In his lawyers’ briefs, Gov. Dayton’s arrogance shines through in stunning, repulsive fashion. This article highlights both sides’ arguments.

Let’s start with the arguments that Gov. Dayton’s attorneys made. In their filing, Gov. Dayton’s attorneys said “The Governor has explicit and unqualified authority under the Minnesota Constitution to veto any line item of appropriation. The Minnesota Constitution authorizes the Governor’s line-item vetoes, without any qualification as to the Governor’s subjective intent or purpose.”

Technically, that’s true. Then again, no right is absolute. Each right must pass a balancing test. That’s why rights don’t come “without any qualification.” It’s arrogant for Gov. Dayton’s attorneys essentially argue that a governor’s right to shape appropriations through the governor’s line-item authority is more important than the people’s right to representation. The line-item veto is a budget tool, nothing more. If the line-item veto disappeared, governors would have one less tool to shape budgets. If the legislature disappeared, the people would lose their representation. It isn’t difficult to argue that the people Losing their right to representation is infinitely more important than giving governors an additional budget tool.

The Legislature’s argument is that “Without injunctive relief, Plaintiffs are unable to fulfill their constitutional obligations, will not be able to represent their constituents, and the People of the State of Minnesota are deprived of their constitutionally-mandated voice in the administration of their government.”

If Minnesota governors lost the line-item veto, they’d lose a budget-shaping tool. If the people lost their right to representation, democracy would immediately disappear. In filing their brief, Gov. Dayton’s attorneys are arguing against democracy. In filing their brief, the Legislature’s attorneys argue for full-throated democracy.

If the court get this one wrong, the judges that sided with Gov. Dayton should be immediately impeached and removed from office.

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During his testimony, Jim Comey admitted that President Trump had the right to fire Comey. Comey also admitted that President Trump had the right to instruct the then-FBI Director to stop his investigation into Gen. Flynn. We know from this transcript, during Sen. Rubio’s cross-examination that Sen. Rubio said “He said, ‘If one of my satellites’ — I imagine, by that, he meant some of the other people surrounding his campaign — ‘did something wrong, it would be great to know that, as well”?

At that point in Mr. Comey’s testimony, it’s pretty clear that President Trump wasn’t interrupting the FBI investigation. Later in Mr. Comey’s testimony, Mr. Comey admitted that he’d sent some information to friend of his so his friend could leak the information to the NYTimes and trigger the appointing of a special counsel.

Here’s what I’m questioning. President Trump wasn’t attempting to hinder Mr. Comey’s investigation. Further, Comey’s a skilled litigator so he knows that many elements of obstruction of justice aren’t present. Gregg Jarett wrote comprehensively about the required elements of obstruction in this article. Specifically, Jarrett wrote “Felony obstruction requires that the person seeking to obstruct a law enforcement investigation act ‘corruptly.’ The statute specifically defines what that includes: threats, lies, bribes, destruction of documents, and altering or concealing evidence. None of that is alleged by Comey.”

I’m questioning Mr. Comey’s integrity because he’s testified that President Trump acted within his authority when the president terminated Comey and because the required elements of obstruction don’t exist.

If that’s true, then what’s Mr. Comey motivation for pushing for a special counsel? President Trump acted lawfully. He certainly didn’t threaten or bribe investigators. He certainly didn’t destroy documents or conceal evidence. At some point, shouldn’t people admit that there’s nothing here? Alan Dershowitz seems to think that we’ve reached that point:

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