As Mitt Romney continues to avoid expressing a clear position on immigration policy, one Republican Congressman is tiring of the Romney campaign’s vagueness on the issue. Rep. David Rivera (R-FL) told BuzzFeed this week that presidential candidates should “put out your proposals and let voters judge them on their merits.”
He said he will not act as a surrogate unless the campaign provides some specifics on how to protect undocumented immigrants who came to to the country as children:
I’m not willing to participate in any Hispanic outreach efforts without seeing more details on a permanent solution for these kids … Right now, his Hispanic supporters and Hispanic surrogates don’t have the ammunition to combat the Obama attacks on him.
Last week, Romney reportedly told supporters that he will not moderate the hard-line anti-immigrant positions he took in the primaries as he does not want to be viewed as a “flip-flopper.” But his current path seems likely to risk the support of Hispanic Republicans like Rivera.
DNAinfo reports that Matthew Swaye, 35, and his partner Christina Gonzalez, 25, came across the poster, complete with mugshots and the official seal of the NYPD’s intelligence division, taped to a podium in the 30th precinct’s public hearing room while attending a precinct council meeting. The flyer listed the home address of the couple and warned:
Be aware that the subjects are known professional agitators that live at [home address]. Above subjects mo is that they video tape officers performing routine stops and post on youtube. Subjects purpose is to portray officers in a negative way and too deter officers from conducting there responsibilities. Above subjects also deter officers from being safe and tactical by causing unnecessary distractions. Do not feed into subjects propaganda.
Swaye and Gonzalez have been arrested several times in the past year for civil disobedience. Swaye was detained at a stop-and-frisk protest in Harlem, along with a a group of advocates including Cornel West. Gonzalez was arrested at a Father’s Day stop-and-frisk march and, on a separate occasion, spent a few days at Rikers on a contempt charge after refusing to apologize for calling conservative Brooklyn Judge John H. Wilson a “white racist pig.”
The couple post videos on a YouTube channel showing NYPD officers conducting stop-and-frisks and assaulting demonstrators. Swaye explained, “We see ourselves as peace activists. The mug shots were for civil disobedience. They have us here like we robbed a bank.”
Another person attending the meeting told DNAinfo, “I thought: ‘Why isn’t anyone arresting them? When you see something like that, you think there’s a reward out for the person on the flyer.”
According to DNAinfo, the New York Civil Liberties Union recorded 7,550 total stops in the 30th precinct last year, 3,987 which involved a frisk, ranking it 38th in total number of frisks city-wide. On June 20, the NYPD invited reporters to a press conference and demo of an updated stop-and-frisk program after coming under fire for the racially-skewed practice.
Last week, a federal judge permanently blocked Florida from enforcing a law that banned doctors from discussing gun ownership with their patients. The law, the Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act, signed last year by Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL), prohibited “inquiries regarding firearm ownership or possession…by licensed health care practitioners” and “discrimination…based solely on upon a patient’s firearm ownership or possession.”
Because the law’s exceptions, which allow inquiries about guns if a doctor believes in “good faith” that it is relevant to a patient’s care or safety, fail to provide standards for physicians to follow, the law violates the First Amendment rights of doctors:
In her ruling, Cooke clearly sided with the physicians, saying evidence showed that physicians began “self-censoring” because of the “chilling” effect of the legislation.
“What is curious about this law — and what makes it different from so many other laws involving practitioners’ speech — is that it aims to restrict a practitioner’s ability to provide truthful, non-misleading information to a patient, whether relevant or not at the time of the consult with the patient,” Cooke wrote, citing the benefit of such “preventive medicine.” [...]
Cooke, the judge, said the legislation was based on anecdotal information and unfounded conjecture. Her decision was praised by the groups of plaintiffs, which included the Florida Pediatric Society and Florida Academy of Family Physicians.
Not only did the NRA-backed Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act violate doctors’ First Amendment rights, it interfered with routine, meaningful discussion between a doctor and a patient. Questions concerning safety and the home environment are a key part of preventative medicine, and the American Academy of Pediatrics believes that guns constitute a public health issue and that doctors have a duty to ask about ownership.
One of the heroes of the fight to save the Affordable Care Act from conservatives on the Supreme Court was Charles Fried, a former Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court justice and former Solicitor General of the United States under President Reagan. Fried did not simply condemn the legal attacks on health reform in the strongest possible terms, he was one of the few prominent Republicans who filed a brief defending the law in the Supreme Court.
In a brief post on SCOTUSBlog yesterday, the former Reagan official had harsh words for Chief Justice Roberts’ decision to include several gratuitous sops to the Tea Party in his opinion before eventually concluding that the Affordable Care Act is largely constitutional:
The fact is that not since 1937 has the Court turned down the use of the Commerce Clause as a basis for Congressional intervention in a major national economic concern — which of course neither the Gun-Free School Zones Act nor the Violence Against Women Act were. Activity/inactivity is a new basis for limitation and has no anchor in our jurisprudence. That is why Roberts’s opinion was not conservative but radical. I have my doubts about the political and economic virtues of the ACA, but am appalled at this radically reactionary new doctrine.
Fried’s reaction to this law is exactly the right response from a conservative who objects to it. Conservatives have every right to oppose the Affordable Care Act. They likewise are free to vote in November for candidates who object to the law — but the remedy for Americans who simply disagree with a law is elections and not lawsuits which have no basis in the Constitution or longstanding precedents.
[T]he possibility that conservatives had victory within reach only to lose it seemed to infuriate some of them. The CBS News report, attributed to two sources with “specific knowledge of the deliberations,” appeared to give voice to the frustrations of people associated with the court’s conservative wing. It was written by Jan Crawford, whose 2007 book, “Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court,” was warmly received by conservatives.
In a 2009 interview on C-Span, Justice Thomas singled her out as a favorite reporter. “There are wonderful people out here who do a good job — do a fantastic job — like Jan Greenburg,” Justice Thomas said, referring to Ms. Crawford by her married name at the time.
None of this, of course, proves conclusively that Thomas is one of Crawford’s two sources. But it does demonstrate that the two of them have a strong working relationship based on mutual admiration for each other. If Thomas were looking to leak confidential information to a member of the Supreme Court press, it is likely that he would choose the one reporter he has publicly revealed to be his favorite. The fact that that reporter is a well-regarded conservative journalist who also works for a high profile outlet is gravy.
If Thomas is the leak, that would be a shocking escalation from the justices normal tactics — and one which could have lasting consequences for the future. Appellate courts function because of the assumption that their members can openly discuss their thoughts and misgivings about individual cases without fear that those discussions will later be used to embarrass them. If that assumption no longer prevails in Supreme Court conferences, the Court will morph into a far less deliberative, more factional institution.
If Thomas did leak the Court’s deliberations, that still leaves open who the second leaker is (Noam Scheiber makes a strong case that the second leak could be Justice Kennedy). At the moment, however, we know that Thomas is the justice who is most likely to cast long-established practices aside due to a personal crusade. And we know that he already has a good relationship with the reporter who received the Supreme leak.
Man Released On Wrongful Conviction After Serving 17 Years |
A man in North Carolina spent 17 years in prison before a judge recognized that he was wrongly convicted. LaMonte Armstrong was convicted of killing his former professor in 1995. But the man was released from a North Carolina jail Friday after “authorities linked the killing to another suspect and discovered evidence that law officers and prosecutors hid key details from defense lawyers.” Armstrong is now 62 years old.
Mississippi’s only abortion clinic continues to operate thanks to a court ruling blocking a state law.
The hospital industry puts the squeeze on governors tempted to reject billions in new Medicaid funding their states are entitled to under Obamacare — but which they can now more easily turn down thanks to the Supreme Court.