possibly they will have the cojones to rule against Trump … Arpaio…

clip_image002..Thank god it is the 9th district court of appeals which is hearing the case as it bodes that possibly they will have the cojones to rule against Trump … Arpaio…

 

If the court upholds Arpaio’s pardon, Trump

may get even more of a green light to

undermine Mueller

 

Gabe Ortiz  …Daily Kos Staff …Monday May 14, 2018 · 5:27 PM PDT

 

Joe Arpaio, the disgraced former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, doesn’t just belong in jail, he belongs under it. He could have spent up to six months there after a judge found him guilty of criminal contempt for violating a court order to not racially profile brown drivers, but he can thank his lucky stars that a white supremacist like Donald Trump is in the White House, and there was no way he was going to let a loyal surrogate beloved by deplorables get locked up for violating the rights of brown people.

So, Joe got his pardon and avoided jail. But, there was one more thing Joe wanted and hasn’t so far been able to get, and the ongoing litigation over it could have vast repercussions on other fronts, particularly into Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. “After his pardon, Arpaio asked the court to vacate the contempt judgement against him. The district court halted its proceedings against Arpaio but refused to clear his record. So Arpaio appealed”:

In the coming months, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will have an opportunity to review the case and potentially overturn a presidential pardon for the first time in more than a century.

The Trump presidency is already testing the outer bounds of the pardon power in ways never contemplated during past administrations. The multiple criminal investigations into Trump’s campaign, businesses associates, and perhaps the president himself have raised new questions about the scope of the pardon power. Can Trump use it to thwart investigations against him? Could he pardon himself? In Arpaio’s case, Trump has “pardoned someone specifically for flouting judicial authority,” says Lisa Kern Griffin, a professor at the Duke University School of Law, “which may be precisely what he is going to expect some of his associates to do in order to protect him.”

Just last month, Trump pardoned another disgraced hack, former Dick Cheney chief of staff Lewis “Scooter” Libby, who was convicted of lying under oath in 2007. Who else more recently have pled guilty to making false statements and agreed to cooperate with Mueller, according to Daily Kos’s Mark Sumner? Michael Flynn, Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos.

“If the courts uphold the pardon,” Pema Levy reports in Mother Jones, “they could send the message that people caught up in the Russia investigation can refuse to cooperate with court orders without penalty.” If they can get away with it, like Arpaio has done and shameless, uncooperative Trump officials like Paul Manafort probably hope to do, what’s to stop them and Trump from giving it a shot?

 

then life as we currently understand it is

…IF… our courts should decree that human beings do NOT have the right to breathe fresh (healthy) air … then life as we currently understand it is over…

The Supreme Court might decide whether humans have a constitutional right to fresh air

 

Rebecca Pilar Buckwalter Poza Daily Kos StaffTuesday May 15, 2018 · 9:59 AM PDT

 

As rumors of his retirement percolate, scrutiny is mounting on Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. He’s key to voting rights, LGBT rights, and, less prominently, prisoners’ rights, at least when it comes to solitary confinement. Now, a new case in which the Court has just requested additional briefs raises the question: Will Kennedy seize a new (and potentially final) opportunity to chip away at solitary confinement?

Over the course of multiple prison sentences, Donnie Lowe has spent 11 years in solitary confinement, including more than two years of solitary confinement in Colorado’s prison system. During that time, he was “denied all access to outdoor recreation.” He sued, succeeding in getting the district court and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals—that’s Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming—to agree that extended deprivation of outdoor activity would indeed be unconstitutional. Now, the Supreme Court may take up his case—and a companion case—with respect to prisoners’ prerogative to hold officials accountable. There’s every reason to think Kennedy’s keen to do so.

In 2015, Kennedy told a crowd at Harvard Law that solitary confinement “drives men mad.” That’s the same year he wrote a concurring opinion going further than his Supreme Court colleagues were willing to condemn solitary confinement.

“Years on end of near total isolation exact a terrible price,” he wrote, noting that “common side effects of solitary confinement include anxiety, panic, withdrawal, hallucinations, self-mutilation, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors.”

He followed that observation with an invitation, couched in legal terms:

In a case that presented the issue [of solitary confinement’s constitutionality], the judiciary may be required, within its proper jurisdiction and authority, to determine whether workable alternative systems for long-term confinement exist, and, if so, whether a correctional system should be required to adopt them.

Lowe’s appeal doesn’t squarely challenge solitary confinement as a practice. It’s limited to the narrower issue of whether inmates have a constitutional right to occasional fresh air, essentially. What’s interesting is that Kennedy addressed exactly this aspect of solitary confinement before ascending to SCOTUS.

About 40 years ago, when Kennedy was on the Ninth Circuit—hearing appeals from Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, the Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, and Washington—he wrote for a three-judge panel affirming an order directing a prison to give inmates an hour outside, five days a week. Surveying other cases, he noted, “some form of regular outdoor exercise is extremely important to the psychological and physical well being of the inmates.”

Although Kennedy & Co. described multi-year indoor confinement save “occasional court appearances, attorney interviews and hospital appointments” as cruel and unusual, they stopped short of declaring it “cruel and unusual punishment” of the type that’s barred by the Eighth Amendment. This new Supreme Court case gives him the chance to address that question and create binding precedent for the entire country, not just the Ninth Circuit states. It could be a boon for prisoners, though it’s not likely to help Lowe.

The Tenth Circuit found that prison officials are protected by qualified immunity, the legal doctrine that protects officials from liability as long as they don’t violate clearly established rights, because the unconstitutionality of a ban on outdoor exercise wasn’t clearly established, and because it wasn’t clear that two years of that deprivation was long enough to violate Lowe’s rights.

It’s dubious that Lowe can surmount the barriers to holding officials accountable, but he just might prevail in ensuring no one else has to struggle to do so in the future.

 

Fear the stealth power of dark/$$$

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Another Trump oxymoron … cheaper drugs and “big-pharma” owned

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Wanna bet…???

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Americans should expect the rest of the world to see us as barbaric and subject any captive American to harsh treatment in their country…

…Americans should expect the rest of the world to see us as barbaric and subject any captive American to harsh treatment in their country…

Game Over: Gina Haspel On Track To Be Confirmed As CIA Director​

Gina Haspel is on track to become CIA director after two key Democratic senators announced they intend to support her confirmation.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Tuesday that he will support Haspel because she had satisfied his concerns in public and behind closed doors about her views regarding the CIA’s so-called enhanced interrogation program, which she helped oversee in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.

In a letter to Warner on Monday, Haspel wrote that the agency shouldn’t have undertaken the controversial program ― in which agents used waterboarding against terror suspects during interrogations. Such methods, she said, “did damage to our officers and our standing in the world.”

Warner, a centrist whose home state of Virginia houses the CIA’s headquarters, called his decision to support Haspel “difficult,” and said he respected the views of his colleagues who disagree with him.

“I believe [Haspel] is someone who can and will stand up to the President if ordered to do something illegal or immoral—like a return to torture,” Warner said in a statement.

Shortly after Warner’s announcement, moderate Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) also said that she intended to support Haspel as CIA director.

 

Where is the justification to allow our President and military to send “drones” to KILL unarmed innocent civilians in combat zones they alone define … but choosing to end one’s life with competent medical assistance is a crime…?????

…Where is the justification to allow our President and military to send “drones” to KILL unarmed innocent civilians in combat zones they alone define … but choosing to end one’s life with competent medical assistance is a crime…?????

RIGHT-TO-DIE OVERTURNED A judge has overturned California’s right-to-die law, which allows terminally ill people to take their own lives with the aid of a physician. [HuffPost]