Law

Judges question constitutionality of felony charge against Jan. 6 defendants

Featured image If Code Pink demonstrators start screaming during a congressional hearing, should they be charged with a felony and sentenced to 20 years in prison? They have not been, and as much as I dislike Code Pink, they should not be. Thirty days in the hole seems like a sufficient sentence. But the federal statute that criminalizes “obstructing an official proceeding” of Congress makes such obstruction a felony punishable by up »

Reinstatement of teacher who objected to pronoun policing is upheld

Featured image Tanner Cross teaches physical education at an elementary school in Loudoun County. He is a devout Christian. Loudoun County has enacted a wide-ranging policy in favor of students who claim to be of a gender other than their biological sex. The policy permits students to use restrooms and locker rooms, as well as to compete in sports, on the basis of the gender with which they identify, rather than their »

Breaking: A glimpse into the Blue Grand Jury Investigation

Featured image It has been a nearly impossible task to report on the inquiry conducted by Judge Patrick Schiltz in In Re Blue Grand Jury Investigation. Judge Schiltz was assigned to the grand jury that handed up federal indictments of Derek Chauvin et al. When he had reason to believe that leaks of grand jury information resulted in a February New York Times story and a late April Star Tribune story, Judge »

Roofies or Ceilings?

Featured image President Biden’s lawless decision to extend the eviction moratorium is even too much for the Washington Post‘s editorial board: The CDC’s eviction moratorium is almost certainly illegal The CDC’s action was almost certainly illegal. Under pressure from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and progressive Democrats, President Biden and the CDC may have muted accusations that they failed to stick up for desperate renters. The administration also may succeed in giving »

From the Saborit file: What we know so far

Featured image I have been trying to advance our understanding of the beheading of America Thayer by Alexis Saborit in Shakopee, Minnesota last week incrementally in several posts. My previous posts can all be accessed here. I want to summarize what I have learned — facts and inferences and tentative conclusions — working on the story so far. My summary in bullet point form is below with the criminal complaint in the »

From the Saborit file: His immigration status

Featured image I have been digging on the confused question of Alexis Saborit’s immigration status over the past several days. He is an illegal alien originally from Cuba who cannot be deported from the United States. Just to give the issue a timely twist, he entered the United States from Mexico. Saborit knows the United States is unable to deport him. When he asked at the hearing this past Friday to be »

From the Saborit file: His lawyer returns my call

Featured image I wrote the adjacent post on the arson case pending against Alexis Saborit and then went for a walk. During my review of the arson case file yesterday afternoon, I picked up the office telephone number of Saborit counsel Michael W. McDonald in the file. I called him to answer some of the questions I raised in the post and left a voicemail message with his office. To my great »

From the Saborit file

Featured image There doesn’t seem to be much local media interest in the murder of America Thayer on the streets of Shakopee, Minnesota last week. Last week Thayer was beheaded in broad daylight by her boyfriend, Alexis Saborit. Media interest outside Minnesota continues. Most recently, the New York Post reported “Beheaded Minnesota woman begged court to lift no-contact order for her alleged killer” (New York Post, July 31) and “Alex Saborit ‘dangerous »

WaPo reporter sues paper for not assigning her to cover Kavanaugh matter

Featured image Felicia Sommez is a reporter for the Washington Post — part of the Post’s stable of lefty journalists. She has contributed to some of the dishonest anti-Trump stories we’ve critiqued on Power Line. See here, for example. Sommez has sued the Post and some of its editors for alleged discrimination and retaliation. Her core complaint is that she has not been assigned to cover stories about alleged sexual assault and »

Capitol protester sentenced to eight months

Featured image Paul Allard Hodgkins, one of the protesters who stormed the Capitol on January 6, received his sentence today. Judge Randolph Moss, an Obama appointee, sentenced Hodgkins to eight months. This is the first felony sentence handed down in connection with the events of January 6. The felony, to which Hodgkins entered a guilty plea, is obstructing a congressional proceeding. He carried a large “Trump 2020” flag onto the floor of »

Judicial newspeak on immigration

Featured image A dispute has been brewing in federal courts about what to call people who are in this country unlawfully. In the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Judge Beverly Martin, an Obama appointee, has taken to writing concurring opinions in which says these people should be called “non-citizens” rather than “illegal aliens.” See here, here, and here. Judge Lisa Branch, a Trump appointee, has pushed back. She notes »

Judge declares DACA unlawful

Featured image A federal district court judge in Texas has ruled that DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is invalid. The judge is Andrew Hanen. In 2015, he barred President Obama from carrying out DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans) and his decision was eventually upheld by the Supreme Court, 4-4. Now, in one of those nationwide injunctions everyone hates except when it favors one’s side on an important matter, Hanen »

Notes on the Chauvin leaks (5)

Featured image Minnesota federal district court judge Patrick Schiltz has undertaken an investigation into the leak of grand jury information bearing on the civil rights charges against Derek Chauvin and his fellow officers. I first wrote about it in “The Chauvin leaks: Judge Schiltz’s order” and subsequently in the series of which this is part 5. I have been particularly interested in the leak that formed the basis Star Tribune reporter Andy »

Chauvin trial footnotes (8)

Featured image This continues and supplements part 7 of this series, mostly with respect to Chauvin’s sentencing this afternoon. I’m writing from the court’s Media Business Center across the street from the courthouse. I will add to this post until sentence is imposed. • More than 100 pages of briefs were filed supporting and opposing Chauvin’s post-trial motions. After I posted part 7 this morning, Judge Cahill summarily denied all of Chauvin’s »

Chauvin trial footnotes (7)

Featured image I have posted six previous editions of footnotes to our coverage of the trial of Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd. Readers who think they know all they need to know about these cases are invited to pass them by. I post these footnotes in the form of bullet points and differentiate facts and law from (my) opinion. I posted my fifth set on June 3 and my »

Florida Supreme Court tosses a quota

Featured image The Business Law Section of the Florida Bar adopted a policy regulating the composition of faculty at section-sponsored continuing legal education programs. Subject to certain exceptions, the policy imposed quotas requiring a minimum number of “diverse” faculty, depending on the number of faculty teaching the course. The policy defined diversity in terms of membership in “groups based upon race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and multiculturalism.” I’m happy »

Kristen Clarke attacks law barring boys from participating in girls’ sports

Featured image Kristen Clarke, now the head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, has filed a brief on behalf of the United States arguing that a West Virginia law barring boys from participating on girls’ sports teams violates Title VI and the Equal Protection Clause. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia cast a key vote confirming Clarke. Ed Whelan aptly calls this a case of no naïve deed going unpunished. Clarke’s »