Showing posts with label Courts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Courts. Show all posts

February 16, 2017

State SupmeCourt: Flower Shop Discriminated Against Gay Couple








A Richland florist who refused to provide flowers to a gay couple for their wedding violated anti-discrimination law, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The court ruled unanimously that Barronelle Stutzman discriminated against longtime customers Rob Ingersoll and Curt Freed when she refused to do the flowers for their 2013 wedding because of her religious opposition to same-sex marriage. Instead, Stutzman suggested several other florists in the area who would help them.


“We’re thrilled that the Washington Supreme Court has ruled in our favor. The court affirmed that we are on the right side of the law and the right side of history,” Ingersoll and Freed said in a statement.

Stutzman and her attorneys said they would appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. They also held out hope that President Donald Trump would issue an executive order protecting religious freedom, which was a campaign pledge.
Stutzman called the ruling “terrifying when you think the government is coming in and telling you what to think and what to do.”

In its decision, the state’s highest court rejected Stutzman’s claims that since other florists in the area were willing to provide flowers, no harm resulted from her refusal.

Writing for the court majority, Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud said, “We emphatically reject this argument. We agree with Ingersoll and Freed that ‘this case is no more about access to flowers than civil rights cases were about access to sandwiches.’ … As every other court to address the question has concluded, public accommodations laws do not simply guarantee access to goods or services. Instead, they serve a broader societal purpose: eradicating barriers to the equal treatment of all citizens in the commercial marketplace.”

The court also rejected Stutzman’s claims that her floral arrangements were a form of artistic expression and so protected by the First Amendment. Citing the case of a New Mexico photographer who similarly refused to take pictures at a gay marriage, the court said, “while photography may be expressive, the operation of a photography business is not.”

In December 2012, soon after the state legalized gay marriage, Ingersoll and Freed began planning a large wedding. Stutzman, who had provided flowers to the couple numerous times over the years, refused, citing her religious belief that marriage is a sacred covenant between a man and a woman.

The couple went ahead with their wedding, but they had it at home with 11 guests and flowers from another florist, instead of the larger event they had envisioned.

The couple, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson and the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington (ACLU) sued Stutzman under the state’s anti-discrimination and consumer-protection laws in what became a high-profile case that highlighted the clash between the right to be treated equally under the law and the free exercise of religion and speech.

A Benton County Superior Court judge last February ruled that Stutzman’s religious beliefs did not allow her to discriminate against the couple and that she must provide flowers for same-sex weddings, or stop doing weddings at all. The trial court also imposed a fine of $1,000 and legal fees of just $1.

Thursday’s state Supreme Court ruling upheld the lower court.

Ferguson on Thursday hailed the decision, saying, “It is a complete, unequivocal victory for equality in the state of Washington and sends a clear message around the country as well.”

Speaking with Ferguson at a news conference in Seattle, Michael Scott, the ACLU attorney for the same-sex couple, said the decision recognizes “human beings and their lives” while upholding the “core value of American law” regarding human dignity.

Scott said he would be surprised if the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case, citing a century of unbroken legal precedent. “It’s not groundbreaking law,” he said.


“If this case were about an interracial couple we wouldn’t be here today,” he added.

Scott said the fact that the state Supreme Court was unanimous carries extra weight.

“They’re sending a message that I think is loud and clear,” he said.

Ferguson, noting Stutzman’s attorneys had suffered “defeat after defeat,” said he was confident the decision would be upheld in the high court if it does hear the case.

He also said his office would closely scrutinize any executive order issued by Trump to undermine the decision.

Lambda Legal Defense, a national group protecting gay rights, also praised the court ruling.


“Businesses must not discriminate against LGBT people and religious motivation does not change that,” said Jennifer Pizer, Lambda Legal’s director of law and policy and co-author of the group’s friend-of-the-court brief filed in the case.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents Stutzman, said that it will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review Thursday’s ruling.

Stutzman acted consistently with her faith, an Alliance news release said, but state justices “concluded that the government can force her — and, by extension, other Washingtonians — to create artistic expression and participate in events with which they disagree.”

In November, the state Supreme Court heard arguments in the case, Ingersoll v. Arlene’s Flowers, during a special session at Bellevue College.

Attorneys for Stutzman argued that a floral arrangement is a form of speech deserving of protection and that government cannot compel Stutzman to create an arrangement for a gay couple against her religious beliefs.

Her attorneys argued that the Benton County Superior Court’s ruling was unlawful government coercion and that the creative expression of floral arrangement deserves the same protection as free speech.


Ferguson urged the court to uphold state anti-discrimination laws and not to create an exception for religious beliefs. He noted that many people once held strong religious beliefs against interracial marriage, but the courts struck down those laws as discriminatory.

It’s one of several lawsuits around the country — including some involving bakers — about whether businesses can refuse to provide services over causes they disagree with, or whether they must serve everyone equally.

A Colorado case involving a baker who would not make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, according to Lambda Legal. In 2014, the court declined to hear an appeal of a case out of New Mexico that went against a photographer who denied a same-sex couple service.

January 25, 2017

Trump Cracks Down on Sanctuary Cities Like NY But Their Fight is ON




Signing an executive order is one thing; enacting it may be another.
President Donald Trump signed an order Wednesday that he said would "crack down on sanctuary cities" by withholding federal grant money.
Sanctuary cities limit help to federal authorities who may be looking to arrest and deport undocumented immigrants. Forty U.S. cities and 364 counties nationwide have established themselves as sanctuary places.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said federal authorities are going to "unapologetically" enforce the law.
U.S. President Donald Trump signs an executive order at Homeland Security headquarters in Washington, D.C., Jan. 25, 2017.
U.S. President Donald Trump signs an executive order at Homeland Security headquarters in Washington, D.C., Jan. 25, 2017.
"We will strip federal grant money from sanctuary states and cities that harbor illegal immigrants. ... The American people are not going to be forced to subsidize this disregard for the law," Spicer said. Federal grants are U.S. economic aid that come from general revenue and are used to pay for various services, such as community centers, health clinics and housing for low-income people.
But New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says Trump does not have the constitutional authority to cut off funding to sanctuary cities.
At least 12 cities in New York have declared themselves safe for illegals, including New York City.
"Any attempt to bully local governments into abandoning policies that have proven to keep our cities safe is not only unconstitutional, but threatens the safety of our citizens,” Schneiderman said Wednesday. "I urge President Trump to revoke the executive order right away. If he does not, I will do everything in my power to fight it."
FILE - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman speaks in New York, June 28, 2016.
FILE - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman speaks in New York, June 28, 2016.
A top U.S. immigration lawyer says only Congress can cut federal funding to cities in the United States.
"[President Trump] cannot take away funds," said Paromita Shah, associate director at the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild. She added, however, the president can move grant money around.
"I think he is also saying that he can shift funds," she said. "So if he is threatening to take away funds, there is a distinction between whether he wants to shift how funds are used. And I think we have to watch and see how he does it."
Shah added that it will be "interesting" to see if the president tries to undo Congressional decisions. If he does, she says, "he will be on shaky grounds."
Legal status
Another view is that there is no legal definition for a sanctuary city; they are not a legal entity. This means, according to Washington immigration lawyer Mark Shmueli, the cities are not breaking federal law and cannot be penalized by the Trump administration.
 "To cut off all federal funding to the majority of the largest cities and population centers in the United States would be unprecedented, and it would certainly economically destroy those places and harm the economy of the United States," Shmueli said.
But Anand Ahuja, a lawyer and co-founder of Indian-Americans for Trump, said cities should be held accountable.
"If a mayor of a particular city protects illegal immigrants in his or her county or town ... the mayor should be liable," Ahuja said.
"If you look into the history, it was actually under [former President] Bill Clinton in 1996 that illegal-immigration reform was passed that specifically says that local governments are to cooperate with the department of homeland security and immigration and custom enforcement," he added.
Ahuja noted that while presidents have executive powers, "if you want to make long-lasting law then it has to be passed by the Congress."
Congressional action
The sanctuary movement began in the 1980s when church congregations across the United States began providing shelter to asylum-seekers fleeing civil war in Central America.
But proponents of tougher immigration laws, like Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, object to sanctuary cities.
"We confer this special privilege on, in many cases, dangerous, violent criminals because they came here illegally," Toomey said. He's proposed legislation that would strip cities of federal development assistance if they fail to cooperate with federal authorities.
The impact of his bill, called the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act, would fall mainly on low-income neighborhoods that rely on the federal aid for affordable housing and public services.
Others said if local officials follow the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, then authorities are expected to cooperate with immigration enforcement.

Aline Barro

November 19, 2016

Trump Settles on Suit for Trump University Rip-Off $25 Million



 Trump with Secretary of State Bundi who refuse at the time to bring charges on the University scam


Donald J. Trump has reversed course and agreed on Friday to pay $25 million to settle a series of lawsuits stemming from his defunct for-profit education venture, Trump University, finally putting to rest fraud allegations by former students, which have dogged him for years and hampered his presidential campaign.

The settlement was announced by the New York attorney general just 10 days before one of the cases, a federal class-action lawsuit in San Diego, was set to be heard by a jury. The deal averts a potentially embarrassing and highly unusual predicament: a president-elect on trial, and possibly even taking the stand in his own defense, while scrambling to build his incoming administration.

It was a remarkable concession from a real estate mogul who derides legal settlements and has mocked fellow businessmen who agree to them.

But the allegations in the case were highly unpleasant for Mr. Trump: Students paid up to $35,000 in tuition for a programs that, according to the testimony of former Trump University employees, used high-pressure sales tactics and employed unqualified instructors.

The agreement wraps together the outstanding Trump University litigation, including two federal class-action cases in San Diego, and a separate lawsuit by Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York attorney general. The complaints alleged that students were cheated out of thousands of dollars in tuition through deceptive claims about what they would learn and high-pressure sales tactics.

“I am pleased that under the terms of this settlement, every victim will receive restitution and that Donald Trump will pay up to $1 million in penalties to the State of New York for violating state education laws,” Mr. Schneiderman said in a statement. “The victims of Trump University have waited years for today’s result, and I am pleased that their patience — and persistence — will be rewarded by this $25 million settlement.”

The settlement is a significant reversal from Mr. Trump, who had steadfastly rejected the allegations and vowed to fight the lawsuits, asserting that students filled out evaluations showing they were mostly happy with what they had learned in seminars. When political opponents pressed him on the claims during the campaign, Mr. Trump doubled down, saying he would eventually reopen Trump University.

“It’s something I could have settled many times,” Mr. Trump said during a debate in February. “I could settle it right now for very little money, but I don’t want to do it out of principle.”

He added, “The people that took the course all signed — most — many — many signed report cards saying it was fantastic, it was wonderful, it was beautiful.”

But the position of Mr. Trump and his legal team appeared to soften soon after his election victory on Nov. 8. At a hearing last week, Daniel Petrocelli, a lawyer for Mr. Trump, expressed interest in moving toward a settlement. Meanwhile, Mr. Trump’s lawyers were seeking to delay the trial in one of the California cases until after his inauguration on Jan. 20, while also requesting that he be allowed to testify on video.

At a hearing on the case in San Diego on Friday, Mr. Petrocelli said Mr. Trump had settled the case “without an acknowledgment of fault or liability.”

The judge overseeing the two California cases, Gonzalo Curiel, was thrust into the limelight of the campaign in May when Mr. Trump spent several minutes at a rally denouncing the judge’s decisions in the case, calling him a “hater” and questioning his impartiality because of his Mexican heritage.
 
After he faced days of criticism for his remarks on the judge, Mr. Trump released a statement saying his words had been “misconstrued as a categorical attack against people of Mexican heritage.” He also asserted that he was justified in questioning the fairness of his trial, given various rulings in the case that went against him. Still, he concluded, “we will win this case!”

Judge Curiel said in court Friday that he hoped that the settlement agreement — and the end of the presidential campaign — would begin “a healing process that this country very sorely needs.”

Under the agreement, Mr. Trump will pay $21 million to settle the two California class-action suits and $4 million to settle with the New York attorney general. The lawyers for the plaintiffs waived their attorneys’ fees. The deal still has to be approved in court, which could take months.

About 7,000 students will share in the settlement, according to their lawyers. The customers will be eligible to recoup at least half of what they spent at Trump University, and some could receive a full refund, the lawyers said.

Even before he was in the throes of his presidential bid, Mr. Trump began mounting a vigorous public defense of himself and Trump University. A website, 98percentapproval.com, touted high marks it received from students. A New York Times report in March, though, showed how some students recalled being pressured to give positive reviews.

Trump University, which operated from 2004 to 2010, included free introductory seminars across the country, focusing largely on real estate investing and learning Mr. Trump’s secrets. Students could then purchase more expensive packages costing up to $35,000.

Documents made public through the litigation revealed that some former Trump University managers had given testimony about its unscrupulous and exploitative business practices. One sales executive testified that the operation was “a facade, a total lie.” Another manager called it a “fraudulent scheme.”

Other records showed how Mr. Trump had overstated the depth of his involvement in the programs. Despite claims that Mr. Trump had handpicked instructors, he acknowledged in testimony that he had not.

In addition to the financial rewards, the conclusion of the Trump University cases brings vindication to former students, mostly ordinary people across the country who felt they had been robbed of their savings by Mr. Trump, a successful businessman they respected and admired.

One student, Jeffrey Tufenkian, who enrolled with his wife to pursue a real estate career, told The New York Times in 2011 that the experience “was almost completely worthless.”

“Trump University has no interest in taking care of its customers,” said Mr. Tufenkian, who paid $35,000 for a “Gold Elite” class, which he said at the time wiped out much of his savings.
  
“While we have no doubt that Trump University would have prevailed at trial based on the merits of this case, resolution of these matters allows President-elect Trump to devote his full attention to the important issues facing our great nation,” he said in a statement.

Ciaran McEvoy contributed reporting.

November 14, 2016

“Making a Murderer” Sees Light Outside of Jail





On Monday, a judge ordered that Dassey be released immediately while an appeal is pending that seeks to keep him behind bars. Though he'll be freed from prison, the ruling comes with a number of stipulations: Dassey can only travel within the district of Wisconsin's Eastern court, he can't get a passport, and he's not allowed to possess a gun or any controlled substance. He's also been ordered not to have any contact with his uncle, Making a Murderer subject Steven Avery, or the family of Teresa Halbach, the woman he was convicted of helping to kill.
 
In August, a federal judge made the ruling that Dassey's confession to helping his uncle with the crime was coerced by police. Dassey, who was 16 years old at the time, can be seen on tape recordings on the Netflix series being promised by police that "you don't have to worry about things" and things would be "OK" if he told them about the murder, which the judge says constitutes an unfair promise of leniency.

Wisconsin's attorney general has since appealed the judge's ruling and seeks to overturn it and keep Dassey in prison, where he's been for more than a decade. He says that Dassey voluntarily answered police questions after being informed of his rights and that he supplied details about the murder in response to open-ended questions, which isn't what the documentary shows.

As the appeal works its way through the courts, Dassey has remained in prison, despite his conviction being overturned.


November 2, 2016

UK: Metro Police Sued by Gay Man for Ignoring 9 Yrs of Complaints



 Appeals Court where case is headed




A gay man has won a lengthy legal battle against the Metropolitan Police over its failure to investigate his claims that he was subjected to homophobic abuse by a neighbour.

David Cary alleged that the force discriminated against him on the grounds of his sexuality because it did not properly examine his complaint in 2007.

The case was due to be heard in the Court of Appeal, but Scotland Yard agreed to compensate Mr Cary and apologised to him ahead of a decision on Monday, admitting it could have handled his complaint "more professionally and sympathetically".
   
Mr Cary, 54, accused the Met of having "tolerated" homophobic abuse due to its failure to investigate the allegations.

"I felt belittled and treated like a second-class citizen," he told the BBC. "I felt they prolonged the case in the hope of wearing me down.

"Without the best legal representation and campaigning support that I had, they might have managed it."

Mr Cary complained to police in February 2007 that a neighbour had called him a "poof" and a "queer" as he cycled home, but he said officers decided to take no further action after initially investigating.

He complained about their report, which the Met dismissed, and after two appeals to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) were rejected he began legal action against both organisations in 2010.

The IPCC settled the case in 2012, but Scotland Yard only apologised on Monday.
 
The Met said: "This case has taken a number of years to reach a resolution, due to a number of applications and appeals lodged by Mr Cary.

"The Metropolitan Police Service is pleased that this case was finally able to reach a settlement and we have apologised to Mr Cary. 

"The way the organisation deals with homophobic crime and our internal practices and policies have changed dramatically since 2013.

"We look forward to the learning that Mr Cary can provide to ensure the positive changes we have made are long-lasting."

Jane Deighton, Mr Cary’s solicitor, called for an end to "knee-jerk reaction into defensive mode when civilians bring police misconduct to the attention of the service".

October 20, 2016

Christie to Court but Prosecutor Appointed by Him




 
Gov. Chris Christie will appear in state Superior Court in Bergen County next month regarding a citizen complaint alleging that the governor committed official misconduct and was involved in the George Washington Bridge lane closures.

The Bergen County prosecutor's office is investigating the complaint, which was initially filed in Fort Lee Municipal Court.
 

It was filed by local activist Bill Brennan after recent testimony in the federal trial of two former Christie aides who are accused of shutting local access lanes to punish the mayor of Fort Lee for not endorsing the governor’s 2013 re-election bid.

Christie has denied having any knowledge of the scheme as it was occurring.

The governor is scheduled to appear in court in Hackensack on Nov. 23 at 1:30 p.m., according to papers filed state Superior Court on Monday. The initial appearance had been scheduled for Oct. 23, but prosecutors and the governor’s attorney agreed to adjourn it until that time.

Last week, the governor's spokesman, Brian Murray, said Christie would "immediately" appeal the ruling by a municipal court judge which found probable cause to investigate the complaint. Murray did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Acting Bergen County prosecutor Gurbir Grewal was appointed by Christie in January and was nominated for a full term by the governor last month.

A spokesperson for the prosecutor's office did not immediately return a request for comment.
Christie is being represented by Craig Carpenito, co-leader of the government and internal investigations group at Alston & Bird LLP in New York City.


October 12, 2016

(’75)Hillary’Ordered/defend’rape caseTrump’sKathy Sheldon



 Hillary Clinton was the court appointed defender on the case of  The State Vs. Taylor(defendant)




“I am also here to support Trump. At 12 years old, Hillary put me through something that you would never put a 12- year-old through. And she says she is for women and children.”
— Kathy Shelton, at a news conference hosted by Donald Trump, Oct. 9, 2016
“Hillary then began to attack my character, forcing me to undergo multiple polygraph tests where I was asked explicit sexual questions I didn’t even understand. Next I was sent for a psychiatric examination. It felt like I was the one on trial.”
— Shelton, first-person account on gofundme page
Before the second debate, Donald Trump held a brief news conference with three women who claim they were abused by Bill Clinton – and one woman, Kathy Shelton, who says Hillary Clinton ruined her life when she was hired as a public defender for a man who raped Shelton in 1975.  

While the cases of three women connected to Bill Clinton have been well-litigated in the media, the Kathy Shelton case has attracted much less attention. Until a Newsday reporter informed her in 2008 that Clinton was the lawyer in the case, Shelton had no idea that Hillary Clinton had been involved.
Moreover, a central part of her story — the psychiatric exam — does not appear to have taken place, according to court records.

The Facts

In 1975, Clinton — then Hillary Rodham — was a 27-year-old law instructor running a legal aid clinic at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. After a 41-year-old factory worker was accused of raping a 12-year-old girl, he asked the judge to replace his court-appointed male attorney with a female one. The judge went through the list of a half-dozen women practicing law in the county and picked Clinton. She has said she was not thrilled with the assignment but felt she had little choice but to take the court appointment — which the prosecutor in the case confirmed to CNN.
Court records describe a sad tale. Shelton, at the time 12 years old, went out for a late-night drive with Tom Taylor, then 41, a 20-year-old cousin, and a 15-year-old boy with whom she was apparently infatuated. They bought a pint of Old Grand-Dad whisky, which was mixed with Coca-Cola for Shelton. After hanging out at a bowling alley for a few hours, they allegedly drove to a ravine where the two older men left Shelton and the 15-year-old together. The two then had sex, the boy told police. After they were finished, Taylor approached the truck and apparently attacked Shelton. The boy reported that Shelton screamed and he saw Taylor hitching up his pants.
As part of her handling of the case, Clinton filed an affidavit July 28, 1975, requesting that the girl go through a psychiatric examination. “I have been informed that the complainant is emotionally unstable with a tendency to seek out older men and to engage in fantasizing,” Clinton said. “I have also been informed that she has in the past made false accusations about persons, claiming they had attacked her body. Also that she exhibits an unusual stubbornness and temper when she does not get her way.”
 When Glenn Thrush, then a reporter for Newsday, showed the affidavit to Shelton in 2007, he wrote that she was visibly stunned. “It kind of shocks me – it’s not true,” she said. “I never said anybody attacked my body before, never in my life.”
But Shelton told Thrush at the time that she bore no ill will toward Clinton. “I have to understand that she was representing Taylor,” she said. “I’m sure Hillary was just doing her job.”
But in 2014, Shelton told the Daily Beast that she had been misquoted. “Hillary Clinton took me through hell,” she said.
Shelton’s ire had risen with the 2014 discovery of previously unpublished audio recordings of Clinton discussing the case in the mid-1980s with Arkansas reporter Roy Reed for an article that was never published.
In the recorded interview, Clinton is heard laughing or giggling four times when discussing the case with unusual candor; the reporter is also heard laughing, and sometimes Clinton is responding to him.
For instance, Clinton laughed after she said: “Of course he [the defendant] claimed he didn’t [rape]. All this stuff. He took a lie-detector test. I had him take a polygraph, which he passed, which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs.”
The Daily Beast article said:
The victim was put through several forensic procedures, including a lie detector test. At first, she failed the lie detector test; she said that was because she didn’t understand one of the specific sex-related questions. Once that question was explained to her, she passed, she said. The victim positively identified her two attackers through one-way glass and they were arrested.
In an interview with the Daily Mail that appeared Aug. 9, Shelton agreed for the first time to be identified by name. This article strongly suggested that the psychiatric examination took place:
Although Clinton’s legal maneuver would likely be prohibited today under Arkansas rape shield act, the law was not passed until two years after the case.
Shelton said one of her worst memories of the case was being questioned repeatedly by appointed experts.
“It got so bad that I told my mom I wasn’t going back, and whatever happened, happened,” said Shelton. “It’s sad that a 12-year-old had to go through what I had to go through, because for days I cried and cried and cried over it.”
The gofundme site, which was established Aug. 13 and seeks to raise $10,000, quotes Shelton as explicitly saying that the test took place: “Hillary then began to attack my character, forcing me to undergo multiple polygraph tests where I was asked explicit sexual questions I didn’t even understand. Next I was sent for a psychiatric examination. It felt like I was the one on trial.”
But the court docket, unearthed by Pittsburgh attorney Norma Chaseand for the first time made public, shows that one day after Clinton filed a request for psychiatric exam, it was denied by the judge. The court docket for July 28 says Clinton filed her motion for an exam. On July 29, it states: “Hearing on Motion for Psychiatric Examination — Motion denied. Defendant objects.” (There is also no evidence that Clinton was responsible for arranging Shelton’s polygraph test.)
Here’s the docket sheet:

For a variety of reasons, a plea agreement to a reduced charge was reached. Investigators mishandled evidence of Taylor’s bloody underwear, cutting out the stain for testing and then losing it. Newsday also quoted a retired detective on the case as saying that Shelton’s “ ‘infatuation’ with the teenage boy, which she refused to admit,” led to “serious inconsistencies in her statements about the incident.” The detective also said Shelton’s mother “was so eager to end the ordeal she coached her daughter’s statements and interrupted interviews with police.”
Shelton did not respond to requests for comment left on her phone and the gofundme site. We also sought comment from Candice E. Jackson, an attorney who represents her.

The Bottom Line

Memories are malleable over time. The record shows that Shelton’s memories of the case have changed, specifically concerning being forced to take a psychiatric exam that, it turns out, was not approved by the court. Shelton did not know about Clinton’s affidavit asking for the exam in the 41-year-old case until it was shown to her by a reporter nine years ago. There is little indication that the outcome of the case would have been much different, no matter the defense attorney, given the mishandling of the evidence and Shelton’s difficulties as a witness. Yet now the exam has become a key part of her story in order to raise funds.
Shelton is a rape victim and until recently has not been in the public eye. However, she chose to appear at Trump’s news conference, and Trump has begun to highlight her story in campaign speeches. We’re not going to assign a Pinocchio rating, but readers should be aware of the facts of her case — and how her account has changed over time.

September 29, 2016

Judge Suspended Before Pushing 10Commdts. Now for Refusing SSex Marriage






Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore should be removed from office again, this time for defying the U.S. Supreme Court on gay marriage, lawyers for a disciplinary commission argued on Wednesday.

Testifying under oath, Moore called the latest charges "ridiculous."

The ethics case involves an administrative order Moore sent six months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that gays can marry in every U.S. state. Moore said then that because the Alabama Supreme Court had not rescinded the state's gay marriage ban, the state's probate judges remained bound by it.

The outspoken Republican jurist, now 69, was removed from office in 2003 for violating judicial ethics by refusing to remove a Ten Commandments statue, but voters later re-elected him.

"We are here 13 years later because the chief justice learned nothing from that first removal. He continues to defy law," attorney John Carroll told the Court of the Judiciary as he argued on behalf of the Judicial Inquiry Commission, which is seeking Moore's removal.

Moore said his January memo simply provided a status update to judges who had questions because the Alabama Supreme Court had not acted to reverse the state ban.

"I don't encourage anyone to defy a federal court or state court order," Moore said. "I gave them a status in the case, a status of the facts that these orders exist. That is all I did."

Moore's lawyer, Mat Staver, told the court that Moore "did not order them to disobey anything."

But Moore did acknowledge in a testy cross-examination that his administrative order told probate judges to follow the very same state court ban that a federal judge specifically said they could no longer enforce.

"His order sowed confusion. It did not clear it up. He urged defiance, not compliance," another lawyer for the commission, R. Ashby Pate, told the court.

The nine-member court now has 10 days to rule on whether Moore violated judicial ethics, and what punishment he should face if so. A decision to remove him from the bench must be unanimous. The chief judge, Michael Joiner, said a decision was not lik
ely Wednesday, but will come "as soon as possible."

Moore stands accused during a season of political upheaval Alabama. The house speaker was removed from office this summer for ethics violations, and a legislative committee will decide if evidence supports impeaching Gov. Robert Bentley after he was accused of having an affair with a top staffer.

Before the hearing began, rainbow flags and Christian music competed for attention outside.

"The truth is homosexuality is wrong," said Donna Holman, who traveled 12 hours from Iowa and carried a sign saying "It's not OK to be gay.

"Equal marriage is the law. Love will always win,” countered Madison Clark of Montgomery.

KIM CHANDLER, ASSOCIATED PRESS

September 25, 2016

Follow Up} Hassidic Man Convicted of Gang Assault on Gay Man in B’klyn

 Follow up 

 Taj Patterson, Victim


 Mayer Herskovic, the Williamsburg man who participated in the brutal gang beating of a gay man in 2013 was found guilty by a judge and could face up to 15 years in prison, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson announced yesterday afternoon. 

 Mayer Herskovic, proudly walks like if he won the case when in did he was found guilty

 Herskovic was convicted of second-degree gang assault, first-degree unlawful imprisonment and menacing for his role in the gang beating of Taj Patterson, then 22, an assault that involved at least some members of the Williamsburg Safety Patrol, an ultra-Orthdox neighborhood patrol group. Paterson, who is black, came away from the attack with a broken eye socket and a torn retina, and ultimately was left permanently blind in one eye.
During the trial, Patterson testified that he was cornered by a group of almost 20 men in South Williamsburg, some of whom had Shomrim logos on their clothing, who accused him of vandalizing cars in the area. After surrounding him, Patterson told a judge presiding over the case that some members of the mob began to beat him while others surrounded the incident so passing traffic couldn't see it. Peterson also said that the crowd beating him called him "a fucking faggot"  
An NYPD detective explained to the judge how police faced stonewalling beyond anything they had ever encountered while gathering evidence for the trial. For instance, the police have to send a Jewish undercover officer posing as a victim of a robbery to get access to surveillance footage from a nearby business. Police also found one of Herskovic's shoes, with Patterson's DNA on it, on a nearby roof, where a member of the mob threw it away in an attempt to hide it.
The prosecution also played a tape of a witness' 911 call from the night of the December 2013 beating, in which she described a gang of "like 20 Jewish men" beating Patterson up. The witness, who was in a car that Peterson tried to get into in order to escape the beating, was told by the crowd to not let Peterson in her car.
 Herskovic was the only one of the five men arrested for the beating who eventually went to trial. Two men were released after witnesses changed their stories about seeing them participate in the attack, and two other men took plea bargains and received no jail time
Police had initially closed their investigation of the beating after filing it as a misdemeanor assault one day after Patterson filed his report. Only after his mother, Zahra Patterson, alerted the media to the extent of the beating, was the case reopened and more thoroughly investigated.
"Today’s verdict is a testament to our determination to fully prosecute this case based on the evidence, which clearly connected this defendant to the crime. I hope that this outcome will bring a measure of comfort to Mr. Patterson and his family,” District Attorney Ken Thompson said in a press release announcing the verdict.

Previous on this case since 2014:
http://adamfoxie.blogspot.com/2016/09/911-calls-of-gay-black-man-being-beaten.html
http://adamfoxie.blogspot.com/2016/08/guys-that-beat-up-gay-blck-man-want-to.html
http://adamfoxie.blogspot.com/2014/04/5-hasidic-jews-arrested-on-beating-of.html

September 10, 2016

Federal Judge Overturns the Dassey Case of "Making a Murderer”

September 7, 2016

Trump Trial on Rape Delayed for Pretrial Conference




The case of Trump and an alleged rape is an open case in a District court in New York. This is an update in which we see movement in the case. The main media is refused to report on this like if it was not in the docket of a court case but it is and we are not surprised at the little interest but you judge for yourselves. No one is guilty until proven so but the fact a case is in court means someone is serious about it. I think the main media could both report about this and about emails, the smashed of blackberry’s, etc. I have personally destroyed a couple of Nokia’s myself to make sure no one could retrieve my email history back in the days when cells were analogue. As we point out on Page 2 we report on what we see important but is being ignored or not reported properly.


Proceedings in a federal lawsuit filed in New York, accusing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump of repeatedly raping a 13-year-old girl over 20 years ago at several Upper East Side parties hosted by convicted sex offender and notorious billionaire investor Jeffrey Epstein, have been delayed.

According to the court docket, the date of an initial pretrial conference has been pushed back a month because the plaintiff has not yet filed affidavits of service:

An initial pretrial conference is presently scheduled for September 9, 2016 in this action. Plaintiff, however, has not yet filed affidavits of service confirming that Defendants have been served with copies of the summons and complaint. In order to allow Plaintiff the full amount of time authorized by Rule 4(m) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to serve Defendants and to allow Defendants the full amount of time authorized by Rule 12(a) to respond to the complaint in advance of the initial pretrial conference, the conference shall be adjourned until October 14, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. Initial Conference set for 10/14/2016 at 10:00 AM before Judge Ronnie Abrams.

Donald Trump has asserted that the charges referenced in the lawsuit are “not only categorically false, but disgusting at the highest level and clearly framed to solicit media attention or, perhaps, are simply politically motivated,” adding that “There is absolutely no merit to these allegations. Period.”

snopes.com

911 Calls of a Gay Black Man Being Beaten by Hassidic Jews /Heard in Court


Follow Up

 Taj Patterson looks bad but he is lucky to be alive and to New Yorkers who got involved


We have been following the incident of a gay black man being merciless beaten by a group
of coward *Hassidic’s men in a Brooklyn Street. The New York Daily News have been there from the beginning and thanks to their coverage we can keep track of the trial of the defendants that did not go into a plea agreement.

*Hassidic is a sect of more conservative jews who observe a more conservative view of the Old Testament. They dress differently, tend to live in the same neighborhoods, their own security, ambulance and they only work for each other. They tend to be quiet and mind their business 
when out and about in the city but in the neighborhood where they live they tend to behave as if the sidewalks and street belongs to them. I know because I happened to have lived by one of their neighborhoods in Boro Park, NY. and have worked among some of them.

A Brooklyn judge presiding over the gang assault trial of a Hasidic Jewish man listened to what 
may be the most compelling testimony of the case presented by prosecutors — two 911 calls.
Assistant District Attorney Timothy Gough
 introduced two emergency calls placed during the early morning of Dec. 1, 2013, when Taj Patterson was brutally beaten 
allegedly by a group of Jewish men including Mayer Herskovic — 
in Williamsburg.
“There’s a bunch of Jewish guys beating up a black kid... 
There’s like 20 Jewish men and one, one black kid,” 
said the unknown female caller.
“I didn’t see any weapons — it just didn't look good — 
he was begging for a ride, but I didn’t want to put him in my car... 
It doesn’t look safe,” she continued.
Earlier in the non-jury trial, Patterson testified to Brooklyn Supreme 
Court Justice Danny Chun that he was walking towards his 
Fort Greene home on 
Flushing Ave. when he heard the scream of a “negative slur” and 
saw someone running after him.
As the group of alleged assailants grew to almost two dozen men, Patterson desperately 
attempted to retreat into two vehicles that were driving by, 
but neither stopped.
       
 Video surveillance showed Patterson banging on the cars and running 
away from at least three people — one wearing a jacket used by Shomrim, 
a group of Jewish civilian patrols.
One of the drivers called 911. “It looked like one of the guys was using a 
phone to hit him, but I didn't see any weapons... Yeah, they (sic) looked fine, 
he was begging for a ride. They were telling us not to let him in the car 
so we didn't want to get involved,” she told the operator.
The caller also described a traffic jam near the intersection of Flushing Ave. 
and Warsaw Pl. and urged the operator to send an ambulance to help Patterson,
 who was “drooling.”
A male’s voice can be heard on the second 911 call saying, “Open the car.”

During the vicious assault, Patterson’s sneaker was ripped off his foot and thrown to 
the roof of 475 Flushing Ave. by the same person in the gang that shoved their thumb 
into his eye, according to trial testimony.
 Four co-defendants — Pinchas Braver, Aaron Hollender, Joseph Fried 
and Abraham Winkler — either had their cases dismissed or pleaded 
guilty to lesser charges on the indictment.
If Herskovic is convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison.



Security camera footage shows the chase leading up to when Patterson was attacked.

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