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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 193)

‘America’s Got Talent’ producers say they’re ‘working with’ Gabrielle Union

Westlake Legal Group gab-union 'America's Got Talent' producers say they're 'working with' Gabrielle Union Nate Day fox-news/person/debra-messing fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 912fad3a-6db6-5e1b-9a35-ee5adb80ca01

NBC and the producers of “America’s Got Talent” have released a joint statement in response to the recent backlash following Gabrielle Union’s alleged firing from the show.

“We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture,” the joint statement said. “We are working with Ms. Union through her representatives to hear more about her concerns, following which we will take whatever next steps may be appropriate.”

DWYANE WADE SAYS GABRIELLE UNION WAS FIRED FROM ‘AGT,’ PRAISES WIFE FOR ‘STANDING UP FOR WHAT SHE STANDS FOR’

The message comes just days after Variety broke the news that Union was let go from the show after submitting complaints about the series reportedly fostering a toxic workplace.

Sources also told the outlet that Union was told that her rotating hairstyles were “too black” for the show’s audience.

Union, 47, reportedly complained to NBC’s human resources department about a joke made by “AGT” guest star Jay Leno that she found insensitive toward Asian communities.

After the news broke, Union took to Twitter to thank her fans for their support, saying: “So many tears, so much gratitude. THANK YOU! Just when you feel lost, adrift, alone… you got me up off the ground. Humbled and thankful, forever.”

Fellow actresses Ellen Pompeo of “Grey’s Anatomy” and Debra Messing from “Will & Grace” shared their support for Union on Twitter.

“It’s unfortunate that @nbc the same network that protected disgusting men like Matt Lauer and punished women for speaking out or not putting up with it… has not changed their practices or culture. I support @itsgabrielleu commitment to speaking up to injustice,” said Pompeo, 50. “It takes courage.”

KALEY CUOCO CELEBRATES BIRTHDAY OVERSEAS: THIS IS ‘THE COOLEST BIRTHDAY TO DATE’

Messing, 51, also put NBC on blast, saying: “Thank you for this @EllenPompeo. This is disgusting behavior from a network that has been my professional home for decades. Yes, women become ‘difficult,’ when their insistence on a respectful and professional working environment, is ignored.”

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“Addressing a hostile work environment is inconvenient when there is a huge money-making machine that is involved,” she added. “It is cowardice, greed, and protection of the status quo revealed. Being ‘hands off,’ is inexcusable and reflects a laissez-faire attitude toward systemic racism and sexism.”

Westlake Legal Group gab-union 'America's Got Talent' producers say they're 'working with' Gabrielle Union Nate Day fox-news/person/debra-messing fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 912fad3a-6db6-5e1b-9a35-ee5adb80ca01   Westlake Legal Group gab-union 'America's Got Talent' producers say they're 'working with' Gabrielle Union Nate Day fox-news/person/debra-messing fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 912fad3a-6db6-5e1b-9a35-ee5adb80ca01

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Sidelined for Months, Judiciary Panel Will Reclaim Impeachment Drive It Once Led

Westlake Legal Group 00dc-impeach1-facebookJumbo Sidelined for Months, Judiciary Panel Will Reclaim Impeachment Drive It Once Led United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Presidential Election of 2020 House Committee on the Judiciary

This spring, as President Trump defiantly rejected congressional attempts to investigate his conduct and policies, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, asked his Democratic colleagues on his famously voluble panel a loaded question: When all is said and done, given the facts before us, are we heading toward impeaching this president?

The answer came back mixed, said people familiar with the private discussion in an office building opposite the Capitol, with many of the panel’s progressive firebrands saying impeachment was inevitable, while some of its more senior members held back, wary of embracing a process likely to unleash forces well beyond their control.

Half a year later, after several twists and turns and the near-death of the prospect of impeaching Mr. Trump in the House, the answer to Mr. Nadler’s question has become clear, even as the divisions that were evident on that spring day remain.

After being unceremoniously sidelined for two months while the Intelligence Committee assembled a case that the president pressured Ukraine to help him in the 2020 election, the judiciary panel is poised to retake the national stage this week to swiftly draft and debate articles of impeachment and almost certainly vote to make Mr. Trump only the third president in history to be impeached.

“News of the Judiciary Committee’s demise has been greatly exaggerated,” said Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, a top Democratic leader and member of the panel.

What comes next is likely to be a messy and raucous process. And there were already signs late Sunday that the panel, the arbiter of presidential impeachment proceedings past, was again at the center of the maelstrom its Democratic members have been expecting, one way or another, for months.

In a five-page letter packed with complaints about an “unfair process,” Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, turned down an offer from Mr. Nadler for Mr. Trump or his lawyers to participate on Wednesday when the committee summons yet-unnamed legal experts to help inform its debate over whether Mr. Trump’s conduct warrants impeachment.

But Mr. Cipollone said Mr. Trump’s team reserved the right to change course once more information about the hearing became available, and might consider taking part in future Judiciary Committee proceedings “if you afford the administration the ability to do so meaningfully.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders have conspicuously avoided locking in a timeline for the inquiry, but privately they are said to be aiming for a full House vote on impeachment articles before the Christmas recess, barring unexpected developments. That would leave the Judiciary Committee with as little as two weeks to do its work.

“Even at this late date,” Mr. Cipollone wrote, “it is not yet clear whether you will afford the president at least these basic, fundamental rights, or continue to deny them.”

Mr. Nadler, in consultation with Ms. Pelosi and his members, will have to decide how to handle requests like Mr. Cipollone’s, weighing a desire to demonstrate fairness to Mr. Trump against a determination to maintain forward momentum in the proceedings. It is one of the many delicate tasks, fraught with political risks and legal intricacies, that have fallen to the judiciary panel as the impeachment inquiry enters a critical phase.

The first milestone will come in the form of a written report from the Intelligence Committee, which is to be approved on Tuesday. The handoff of the report, which will most likely form much of the basis for articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump, will be a stylistic and substantive turning point for the inquiry that will almost certainly inflame a debate that has already roiled Congress and divided the country.

Large, disorderly and stacked with some of Congress’s most outspoken progressives and conservatives, the Judiciary Committee is the polar opposite of the small and staid intelligence panel, where rules drafted to facilitate the handling of government secrets allowed Democrats to tightly control every aspect of the impeachment inquiry.

The judiciary rules, instead, are fundamentally democratic, intended to provide wide latitude for divisive debates over the nation’s most pressing policy issues, many of the them cultural hot buttons that fuel each party’s activist base. Barring some momentous new evidence, not a single lawmaker on either side is expected to budge.

And while the Intelligence Committee conducted much of its investigative work behind closed doors, the judiciary panel will work entirely in the public glare.

The stakes are high. For party leaders, who have warily eyed recent national polling that shows public opinion essentially unmoved by weeks of fact-finding laying out how Mr. Trump twisted the foreign policy process to meet his own domestic political interests, the debate offers perhaps a final chance to move independent voters behind them before putting Mr. Trump on trial in the Senate.

Democrats, led by Mr. Nadler, intend to try to rein in their more fiery progressives and infuse the proceedings with gravitas, mindful of their role in history. But the freewheeling nature of the panel, with its hyperpartisan members, does not easily lend itself to that task. And their handling of the report by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel who investigated Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign, earned Mr. Nadler and his committee a reputation for being unable to fully control their own proceedings.

Republicans instead want to mire Democrats in a sloppy fight, making the hearings into such a confusing mishmash of competing information that even Republicans troubled by Mr. Trump’s actions see no upside in breaking with him. They plan to take advantage of early impeachment advocacy by Mr. Nadler and Democrats on the panel to portray the Ukraine matter as simply another attempt by Mr. Trump’s critics to take him down.

“Any article to come out of this? There is no world in which a Republican, especially on the Judiciary Committee, will accept this,” Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the panel’s top Republican, said in an interview. “We have seen this sideshow up close all year.”

Joining Mr. Collins on Republicans’ side of the dais are some of the most ardent culture warriors and defenders of Mr. Trump: Louie Gohmert of Texas, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Jim Jordan of Ohio, who led the president’s defense in the Intelligence Committee. They have already shown a flair for the dramatic, organizing conservative lawmakers to storm the Intelligence Committee’s secure chambers in a stunt to stall the proceedings, which they called a “kangaroo court.”

Mr. Collins, a Georgia lawyer with an auctioneer’s cadence and a lawyer’s knack for tripping up committee business with time-consuming parliamentary tactics, is ready to make the proceedings as painful as possible for Democrats. He warned that if Mr. Nadler intended to jam articles of impeachment through the committee, he would go down in history as “a giant rubber stamp” for Ms. Pelosi and Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the Intelligence Committee chairman.

It will be up to Mr. Nadler, a loquacious progressive from Manhattan’s Upper West Side who is now one of the House’s leaders, to maintain order and inject gravity and fairness into the proceedings.

Democrats have spent weeks speculating that his relationship with Ms. Pelosi had been badly strained by his earlier push for impeachment, which she publicly opposed, believing the process was too divisive and unlikely, in any event, to result in the president’s removal. Both sides deny it, but privately lawmakers around him conceded that they were wary of comparisons to Mr. Schiff, who oversaw hearings in the Intelligence Committee with an iron fist and tight lips.

Republicans have been quick to weaponize Mr. Nadler’s patience against him in the past, taking advantage of his reticence to simply gavel them into silence.

“We will bend over backward to be fair,” said Representative Pramila Jayapal, Democrat of Washington. “Let’s see if he stands straight instead of standing corrupt. Let’s put the onus on the president to for once perhaps behave.”

The clash will begin during Wednesday’s hearing. But the panel is expected to convene another session in the coming days for Mr. Schiff or his staff members to formally present the Intelligence Committee’s findings for consideration, a spectacle akin to the presentation of evidence by Ken Starr, the independent counsel, during President Bill Clinton’s impeachment.

Articles of impeachment themselves will be drafted in private, but debated, edited and amended out in the open — a process that could take two to three days of public work.

Privately, Democrats believe they could end up with three to four articles of impeachment: one or two focused on the president’s alleged abuse of power related to Ukraine, another chronicling his obstruction of congressional requests for witnesses and documents, and potentially an article focused on findings by Mr. Mueller charging Mr. Trump with obstructing justice when he tried to thwart the Russia investigation.

That last potential charge is the subject of a lively private debate among Democrats about how broad of a case to make against the president. At least one senior member of the committee, Representative Zoe Lofgren, Democrat of California, said in an interview that she remained unconvinced that Mr. Mueller’s case united House Democrats in the same way the Ukraine affair has.

“As you will recall, I did not step forward urging movement for impeachment based on the Mueller report,” said Ms. Lofgren, who worked for the committee during impeachment proceedings against President Richard M. Nixon and served on it during Mr. Clinton’s impeachment. “What we have got before us, which has been explored factually by the Intelligence Committee, is clear and serious.”

Mr. Nadler and other members of the Judiciary Committee spent months this summer aggressively pushing within their caucus for impeachment based on Mr. Mueller’s findings, making only limited headway amid historic White House stonewalling and drawing public criticism for seeming to fumble a case many Democrats once thought would be an ironclad shot at impeaching Mr. Trump. That was the state of play in September when they were thrust to the side by Ms. Pelosi after an anonymous whistle-blower complaint related to Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine found its way to the Intelligence Committee.

Democrats on the judiciary panel have spent the interim preparing out of public view to close whatever case the caucus can agree on. A small army of staff lawyers has spent weeks exhaustively researching House rules and precedents from the Clinton and Nixon impeachments to help Mr. Nadler navigate the coming hearings. And like millions of other Americans, they have had their televisions tuned to the intelligence hearings and the evidence that will soon be in their hands.

“The Judiciary Committee has been very closely watching the testimony,” said Representative David Cicilline, Democrat of Rhode Island.

Michael D. Shear and Emily Cochrane contributed reporting.

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Utah boy, 6, dies after falling off snow blower

A 6-year-old boy in Utah died after he fell from a snow blower, according to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.

Fox 13 reported that Herman Slaughter was helping his father and 9-year-old brother at Aspen Grove Family Camp in Provo Canyon when he fell from a Kubota Skid Steer loader.

He sustained critical injuries after a piece of equipment struck his head, according to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.

UIC STUDENT FOUND STRANGLED IN CAR WAS KILLED BECAUSE SHE IGNORED MAN’S CATCALLS: PROSECUTORS

The sheriff’s office said the snow remover “bounced or lurched,” and the boy fell forward out of the seating area “into the path” of the machine.

The boy’s father began administering CPR until paramedics arrived, authorities said.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Herman was pronounced dead at the scene, the sheriff’s office said.

Frank Miles is a reporter and editor covering geopolitics, military, crime, technology and sports for FoxNews.com. His email is Frank.Miles@foxnews.com.

Westlake Legal Group Herman-Slaughter-1 Utah boy, 6, dies after falling off snow blower Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/west/utah fox news fnc/us fnc article 811e454f-f936-57b4-9d1a-097c0616f3b3   Westlake Legal Group Herman-Slaughter-1 Utah boy, 6, dies after falling off snow blower Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/west/utah fox news fnc/us fnc article 811e454f-f936-57b4-9d1a-097c0616f3b3

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Joe Sestak is latest Democrat to drop out of presidential race

Westlake Legal Group 071311_fndcl_sestak_640 Joe Sestak is latest Democrat to drop out of presidential race Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox news fnc/politics fnc d6f003b4-118d-5c6d-8a48-4272d1c99579 article

Joe Sestak has ended his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, he announced Sunday.

“I want to thank you for the honor of running for President of the United States of America,” Sestak, the retired three-star U.S. Navy admiral and former two-term congressman from Pennsylvania, said in a tweet Sunday night.

“It has been an endeavor filled with immeasurable wisdom, passions, humor and insights to, and from, the people of America,” he said.

“I deeply appreciate the support so many of you offered — whether by volunteering, offering financial contributions or coming to our campaign events,” Sestak said.

He continued: “It’s a marvelous fabric we Americans have woven together throughout the centuries. I know there is a tear in that fabric right now; but it can be repaired by someone who can lead, and therefore unite, all Americans.”

“A moral compass for our great ship of state is the beacon most needed today. And it is for the Captain of State who offers it that all Americans will provide the fair winds and following seas to advance us,” Sestak added. “That is necessary for us both at home and abroad, to convene the world to advance our policies and commitment to democratic values for our collective good.”

When he announced his candidacy in June, Sestak laid out two main objectives he wanted to tackle: battling climate change and “putting an end to an illiberal world order’s injustices, from China’s control of the 5G network to Russian interference in democratic elections.”

“The president is not the problem: he is the symptom of the problem people see in a system that is not fair and accountable to the people,” Sestak said in his campaign launch video.

He said he delayed his entry into the presidential race while his daughter battled brain cancer, which returned after she first beat it at age 4.

Sestak had run a barebones campaign mostly in Iowa and New Hampshire.

In October, he went across the width of New Hampshire, from the Vermont border to the Atlantic Ocean, to make himself more visible to voters in the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House.

“This is an independent-minded state, the Granite State. It’s wide open, according to some. And I find that as I go around,” Sestak told Fox News in October. “I just need to get in front of them physically and on the air, and that’s why we’re doing the walk and that’s why the ad [is] up.”

He previously trekked across Pennsylvania in 2014 during his second unsuccessful Senate bid.

He shared that the “original idea” came from the Pulitzer Prize-winning, decades-old book “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP 

The Democratic field for president now has 17 candidates left.

Westlake Legal Group 071311_fndcl_sestak_640 Joe Sestak is latest Democrat to drop out of presidential race Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox news fnc/politics fnc d6f003b4-118d-5c6d-8a48-4272d1c99579 article   Westlake Legal Group 071311_fndcl_sestak_640 Joe Sestak is latest Democrat to drop out of presidential race Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox news fnc/politics fnc d6f003b4-118d-5c6d-8a48-4272d1c99579 article

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300+ Trump ads taken down by Google, YouTube

Westlake Legal Group g_8H-1zzOanxMk3JoXpbfnJ0EdP0NRIEHrfgxHrK6OU 300+ Trump ads taken down by Google, YouTube r/politics

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White House Won’t Participate In Judiciary Committee’s First Impeachment Hearing

Westlake Legal Group 5de4601e1f0000201edf011b White House Won’t Participate In Judiciary Committee’s First Impeachment Hearing

The White House said Sunday it would not take part in the first impeachment hearings held by the House Judiciary Committee in the coming days, claiming the effort “does not begin to provide the president with any semblance of a fair process.”

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone wrote to Democratic leaders to lambaste an upcoming hearing as “highly partisan,” saying the process would be unfair to President Donald Trump and violate “all past historical precedent.”

“We cannot fairly be expected to participate in a hearing while the witnesses are yet to be named and while it remains unclear whether the Judiciary Committee will afford the president a fair process through additional hearings,” Cipollone wrote in a five-page letter sent to the panel’s chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.). “Under the current circumstances, we do not intend to participate in your Wednesday hearing.”

Lawmakers on the committee plan to hold their first hearing on Wednesday, which will largely consist of discussions with constitutional scholars and professors who specialize in the impeachment process.

The White House did not rule out participation in future hearings and said it would respond separately about the matter later this week.

Nadler had offered Trump or his attorneys the chance to participate in the hearings on Friday, saying it was the president’s right to review the evidence leveled against him and request his own witnesses to appear.

“At base, the president has a choice to make: he can take this opportunity to be represented in the impeachment hearings, or he can stop complaining about the process,” Nadler wrote at the time.

Trump has largely moved to stonewall the inquiry, and the White House has so far refused to participate.

The Judiciary Committee is set to take a leading role in the impeachment hearings this week after the Intelligence Committee largely took the reins over the past month, interviewing a parade of current and former administration officials to determine if Trump acted improperly when he pressured the leader of Ukraine to investigate his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter.

The officials testified both privately and publicly that Trump waged an explicit campaign for a quid pro quo, demanding Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky open the probes into the Bidens in exchange for the release of nearly $400 million in military aid and a prestigious visit to the White House.

The president has largely denied that he did anything improper, referring to the call as “perfect” and accusing Democrats of attempting to overthrow the 2016 election. His Republican allies have largely defended him throughout the ordeal

Politico notes the White House’s refusal to take part this week may indicate Trump has listened to allies who worried any participation could validate the impeachment process that they have largely moved to undermine. The president’s allies in Congress who sit on the Judiciary Committee will likely use this week’s hearings to defend Trump once more.

Read the full letter below.

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White House says Trump won’t participate in House Judiciary impeachment hearing

Westlake Legal Group Trump112619 White House says Trump won’t participate in House Judiciary impeachment hearing fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 4d0c6b16-0ad3-5de5-ab1b-504e13cabc4e

The White House on Sunday said that President Trump would not participate in the House Judiciary Committee’s first impeachment hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

The response came in a five-page letter sent to the committee’s chairman, Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

Republicans had urged President Trump not to attend the hearings, arguing that his presence would validate a process they have repeatedly derided as partisan.

This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates. 

Westlake Legal Group Trump112619 White House says Trump won’t participate in House Judiciary impeachment hearing fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 4d0c6b16-0ad3-5de5-ab1b-504e13cabc4e   Westlake Legal Group Trump112619 White House says Trump won’t participate in House Judiciary impeachment hearing fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 4d0c6b16-0ad3-5de5-ab1b-504e13cabc4e

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Comparing the Virginia Right to Bear Arms with the Federal

Westlake Legal Group decrights_sm Comparing the Virginia Right to Bear Arms with the Federal

Both the US Constitution and the Virginia Constitution have the right to bear arms baked in.

Virginia:

That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

Art. I, Sec. 13.

 The highlighted section was added in 1971. Prior to that, it was a reflection of the belief of our founding leaders that a standing army is dangerous and that the citizens could and should stand to the defense of their nation as a militia instead. This belief is also reflected in the preamble section of the right recognized in the Federal Constitution.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amend. II.

Inherent in the militia concept is the idea that each person in the militia will possess and bring with him a firearm. In fact, it was a requirement under law. Don’t believe it? Here are a few muster notices for various militias.

Westlake Legal Group Eber%2BMiller Comparing the Virginia Right to Bear Arms with the Federal

Westlake Legal Group New%2BHampshire Comparing the Virginia Right to Bear Arms with the Federal
Westlake Legal Group Amherst Comparing the Virginia Right to Bear Arms with the Federal


Notice that they all require the militiaman to report with his weapon. The last one even specifically lays out what weapon and accoutrements the militiaman is required to bring with him.

The federal amendment is notorious for its vagueness. Is the part left of the second comma a condition that controls the language right of that comma? Does it refer to the National Guard and limit the right to guardsmen? Or, does the language right of the second comma recognize a pre-existing right and perhaps specifically, by reference to militia, give a sense of what sorts of “arms” a citizenry has the right keep and bear? Does it guarantee that citizens have a right to weapons which could make them an effective military force if mustered? Or perhaps the language right of the second comma recognizes a right and the language before that comma is just surplusage not relevant in the modern world? It’s a quagmire.

The Virginia Declaration of Rights, as modified and included as Article I section 13 of the Virginia Constitution, is in some ways much clearer. There is no doubt that it is referring to everyone in Virginia. It defines “militia” as “the body of the people.” That’s me, you, and every other permanent resident of Virginia. More specifically, most of us are in the unorganized militia which is a legalistic way of saying that the Commonwealth of Virginia has been failing to train us to arms as it seems required to per this constitutional provision.  BTW, for those of you who don’t know, if you’re between the ages of 16 to 55 you are subject to activation at the behest of the governor. Of course, the statutes are an overlay and limitations they place on “the body of the people” reflect choices in using the militia; they don’t actually limit the composition. In other words, the fact that a statute limits ages of those serving within the militia doesn’t mean that the age is actually limited – it just means the Commonwealth will only use those within the given age range.

The conscious decision to place the right to keep and bear arms in the militia section of the Virginia Constitution and adding “therefore” as a connector makes this far less ambiguous than the federal amendment. It applies to members of the militia. However, it makes it clear that we are all members of the militia so that’s not a limitation.

The ambiguity is what “arms” means. As this right is specifically tied to militia service it seems to be those types of weapons which would be used by a militia. Note the third call to muster above. The arms for a militia are those which are minimally acceptable for military usage. In other words, if the governor were to call up companies from the unorganized militia and every person showed up with their pistols that unit would be almost completely useless. So, pistols wouldn’t be covered by “arms” under the Virginia constitution. On the other hand, were the entire company show up with “assault” rifles the “arms” would be appropriate. This seems to indicate that under the Virginia Constitution pistols would have few protections while assault style rifles would have much more.

———————

Caveat: Yes, we all know the militia concept is outdated and exists now only as a vestige of an unrealistic – one might even say quaint and romanticized – belief of our forefathers that our country could be adequately defended by citizen militias. Nobody believes in this system anymore except for some folks out there forming independent militias which are not what our forefathers meant when they wrote militias into our constitutions. “Who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers.George Mason (debating Virginia’s acceptance of the Federal Constitution). The militias foreseen by our constitutions consist of you and me and everybody in our county called together to serve under an officer or two appointed by the government.

And yet, the militia section is still in the Virginia Constitution and the militia statutes are still on the books. This means that the militia still exists constitutionally and legally  and the constitutional protection pursuant it is still extant.

———————

Caveat 2:  OMG. I’m still subject to recall for military service. Hopefully, the governor of Virginia won’t need to call me into militia service for just a couple more years so that I can age out. Of course, the level of desperation that a governor would need to call a overly rotund, terribly out of shape, old guy like me into militia service would probably require a simultaneous invasion by Canada, Mexico, China, Bulgaria, and Species 8472. Even then, a guy whose main job when he was in the Army was to speak Arabic probably wouldn’t be of much use. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that it never comes to that.

Westlake Legal Group decrights_sm Comparing the Virginia Right to Bear Arms with the Federal

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Canadian mall fires ‘Santa’ for posting ‘dirty’ and ‘inappropriate’ photos online

A mall in British Columbia, Canada, kicked off the Christmas season by firing Santa Claus.

After working as a mall Santa last year, Gary Haupt was ready to step back into Saint Nick’s shoes for the holidays. But after sharing some personal photos of himself as Santa fooling around with a friend on Facebook, Haupt found himself on the naughty list.

Westlake Legal Group inappropriate-santa Canadian mall fires 'Santa' for posting 'dirty' and 'inappropriate' photos online Michael Hollan fox-news/world/world-regions/canada fox-news/special/occasions/holiday fox-news/lifestyle/occasions/christmas fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 21a8688f-2430-5f52-8b91-a5cd6869e6b4

“My photographer and I developed a reputation,” Gary Haupt told Fox News. “I went into the job wanting to be the best Santa that community had seen.” (Gary Haupt/Facebook)

“They brought me into the [mall’s management] office,” Haupt told Fox News. “That never happens. It was clear to me that something was afoot. They were not there to discuss it with me, they were there to give me the word.”

Haupt isn’t entirely sure what happened, he said. He doesn’t know if somebody complained to the mall or if management saw the photos online. All he knows is that the photos had been deemed inappropriate and the mall fired him as Santa.

Several days prior, Haupt had a friend over to his house and they decided to take some “silly” photos in the Santa suit. One of those pictures showed Haupt, dressed as Santa, appearing to grab his female friend’s chest.

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“They call the pictures dirty or inappropriate,” Haupt told CTV News. “They’re none of those things. It’s just hard for me to swallow that part.”

“We have lots of laughs,” he explained to Fox News. “I wasn’t actually touching her, that wasn’t in the game plan at all.”

Haupt also explained that while working as Santa, he had taken a lot of other photos that were “all in good fun.”

“My photographer and I developed a reputation,” he explained. “I went into the job wanting to be the best Santa that community had seen.”

He said that people often came up to Santa with silly requests or wearing costumes of their own. One of those photos included Santa drinking from a flask.

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While the mall won’t be bringing Haupt back, his days as Santa are far from over, he said.

“I’ve been doing Santa for 12 to 15 years,” he said. Since losing the mall gig, Haupt said the support from the community has been “overwhelming,” and he’s picked up several other gigs in the community.

“I’m a great Santa, I do well with children, adults and people that are challenged. We work with children that are on the spectrum who can’t go to the mall,” he said.

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Haupt also explained that being Santa isn’t just a job — it’s a state of mind. When he’s not working and children come up to him to ask if he’s Santa, he says, “Yes, I am.”

He also said that he doesn’t endorse any boycotts of the mall that fired him.

“That’s just bad behavior,” he said.

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Still, he wishes the mall had handled the situation differently.

“I support the person that complained, no one should ever have their complaints invalidated,” Haupt added. “My problem is with the mall’s management and how they handled it.”

Westlake Legal Group inappropriate-santa Canadian mall fires 'Santa' for posting 'dirty' and 'inappropriate' photos online Michael Hollan fox-news/world/world-regions/canada fox-news/special/occasions/holiday fox-news/lifestyle/occasions/christmas fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 21a8688f-2430-5f52-8b91-a5cd6869e6b4   Westlake Legal Group inappropriate-santa Canadian mall fires 'Santa' for posting 'dirty' and 'inappropriate' photos online Michael Hollan fox-news/world/world-regions/canada fox-news/special/occasions/holiday fox-news/lifestyle/occasions/christmas fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 21a8688f-2430-5f52-8b91-a5cd6869e6b4

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J.J. Watt might return to Texans for playoffs: reports

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, who has been out on the injured list, may come back just in time for the end of the football season, according to reports.

There’s “real optimism” that the Texans star could come back for Week 17 or if the team, right now with a record of 7-4, qualifies for the playoffs, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Westlake Legal Group JJ-Watt-Reuters J.J. Watt might return to Texans for playoffs: reports Frank Miles fox-news/sports/nfl/houston-texans fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/j-j-watt fox news fnc/sports fnc article 27fc4f32-48bf-59a6-9833-4de3a7d61366

The Houston Texans have one injured reserve/designated to return spot; reports said the spot is being held for defensive end J.J. Watt. (Kevin Jairaj, USA TODAY Sports, File)

The Texans have one injured reserve/designated to return spot, and Sports Illustrated said the spot is being held for Watt.

The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year has been in recovery since a season-ending torn pectoral in October.

After his last game, he tweeted: “This game can be beautiful and it can also be brutal. Absolutely gutted that I won’t be able to finish the season with my guys and give the fans what they deserve. I truly love this game and can’t stand letting you guys down. Thank you for all of the thoughts & well-wishes.”

He took his injury in stride, adding: “Shoulda told my pec to look out lol.”

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Watt had four sacks in eight games this season, The New York Post reported.

Frank Miles is a reporter and editor covering geopolitics, military, crime, technology and sports for FoxNews.com. His email is Frank.Miles@foxnews.com.

Westlake Legal Group JJ-Watt-Reuters J.J. Watt might return to Texans for playoffs: reports Frank Miles fox-news/sports/nfl/houston-texans fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/j-j-watt fox news fnc/sports fnc article 27fc4f32-48bf-59a6-9833-4de3a7d61366   Westlake Legal Group JJ-Watt-Reuters J.J. Watt might return to Texans for playoffs: reports Frank Miles fox-news/sports/nfl/houston-texans fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/j-j-watt fox news fnc/sports fnc article 27fc4f32-48bf-59a6-9833-4de3a7d61366

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