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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "court"

Amazing Grace: Brandt Jean Forgives His Brother’s Murderer and Gives Us All a Lesson in Grace in the Process

Westlake Legal Group guyger-hugging-abc-jt-191002_hpMain_4x3_992-620x465 Amazing Grace: Brandt Jean Forgives His Brother’s Murderer and Gives Us All a Lesson in Grace in the Process sentencing God is so good Front Page Stories forgiveness Featured Story Culture & Faith crime court Brandt Jean botham jean Amber Guyger amazing grace

The recent case of a white Texas police officer who fatally shot and killed her black neighbor – Botham Jean – when she allegedly mistook his apartment for hers ended in a controversial sentencing Wednesday. Amber Guyger was convicted of murder by a jury after just one hour of deliberation. The judge declined to impose the full sentence of 99 years, instead opting to give Guyger a 10 year sentence. She may be eligible for parole after serving half that time.

While that has raised all kinds of ire, what happened next was no only shocking but…well, world-changing.

Botham Jean’s young brother took to the stand to deliver a victim impact statement and took America’s breath away when he did not offer the expected (and understandable) rage and anger, but instead offered Guyger forgiveness.

“I know if you go to God and ask him, he will forgive you.”

“I love you just like anyone else and I’m not going to hope you rot and die,” Brandt Jean told Guyger. “I personally want the best for you. I wasn’t going to say this in front of my family, I don’t even want you to go to jail. I want the best for you because I know that’s exactly what Botham would want for you. Give your life to Christ. I think giving your life to Christ is the best thing Botham would want for you.”

Brandt Jean then exited the witness stand and asked if he could give his brother’s killer a hug. Guyger said yes and broke down in tears as the two embraced.

The greater public has been reacting to the video with a perplexed awe. Those who are familiar with the Christian faith understand what Jean was doing. He did the same thing the victims of the church shooting in Charleston did. He followed the commandments of his faith in the belief that God has something greater in store for us when we hand over our rage and our grievances to Him. Jean said so himself. He offereded Guyger Christ.

I’ve been a Christian for 30 years and I can tell you that this is probably the most stunningly clear example of how to share the Gospel and why we share the Gospel. This is the Grace that changed the world over 2000 years ago, the one it that is so clearly defined in our Good Book. Grace is a revolutionary idea and when applied it changes everything.

Even Jean’s mother said her son’s move changed her.

Jean’s mother, Allison, said at a post-sentencing news conference that while the death of her son “changed my life, changed my family’s life,” she will accept the jury’s decision and try to move on.

She did take a moment to admonish the Dallas Police Department’s handling of the investigation and called for change.

But it wasn’t just Jean’s mother who was changed. Word came from reporters standing outside the hearing that the entire mood of the crowd outside changed upon hearing young Jean’s words.

Life changing grace is what God offers us. I speak about it often. Some might say my “race and grace” commentary is a drumbeat, but really its just a love letter…a love letter to a God whom I know to be faithful, who saved me from my wretched bitterness.

In the Christian tradition in the end, what has saved humanity was not war, not rage, not revenge.  A poor, undernourished carpenter didn’t slay those society said was wicked but instead dined with them, debated with them, served them…loved them. It set a precedent the world had never seen and is still struggling to emulate. What saved humanity was amazing grace.

What young Brandt gave us all today was amazing grace. Let us all do our best to remember the enormity of the task such a young man took on, and let us all endeavor to be more like that.

It will only make us better.

The post Amazing Grace: Brandt Jean Forgives His Brother’s Murderer and Gives Us All a Lesson in Grace in the Process appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group guyger-hugging-abc-jt-191002_hpMain_4x3_992-300x225 Amazing Grace: Brandt Jean Forgives His Brother’s Murderer and Gives Us All a Lesson in Grace in the Process sentencing God is so good Front Page Stories forgiveness Featured Story Culture & Faith crime court Brandt Jean botham jean Amber Guyger amazing grace   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

CNN’s Brian Karem Finally Suspended From the White House After Altercation

Brian Karem, who is inexplicably described as a journalist by CNN, is back in the news again. Let’s recap some of his latest antics.

A few months ago, he got himself into trouble by spreading a fake news story that Trump had a “blank” piece of paper in his hand. This came while the President was announcing an immigration deal with Mexico. Later, photos would show the paper not only contained the language of the agreement, but also the signatures. Karem had pushed a completely false story without even bothering to confirm any details beforehand.

Unfortunately, Karem is not one to ever learn the lesson of humility, especially when none of his media colleagues ever hold him accountable. That led to one of the most ridiculous things you’ll ever see a reporter do on White House property.

In the video, you can see Karem has crossed the barrier and is instigating a confrontation with the crowd. You can hear him say the attendees (who were social media personalities there for a summit) that they are “eager for demonic possession.” He’s also reported to have called them “clowns” because Trump was answering their questions and not his. Things escalate further when he tells Sebastian Gorka to “come on over here brother, we can go outside and have a long conversation,” clearly a reference to having a physical fight. Of course, the media selectively edited the video and pushed a false narrative for much of the lifespan of the story because that’s what they do.

Now, he’s being suspended from White House grounds for 30 days for that incident.

Despite what amounts to a relative slap on the wrist given behavior that should have elicited a life-time ban, Karem is naturally claiming persecution and will sue to contest the suspension.

The most ridiculous part of this isn’t that Karem is who he is. We’ve known for a long time that he’s a loud mouth that has no business being anywhere near the objective news business. No, what’s most ridiculous is that absolutely no one in his profession has the guts to call him out. Perhaps they feel they must maintain a unified front at all times, but you’d think heckling a crowd and challenging someone to a fight might cross the line? I guess not.

No doubt, CNN will continue to misrepresent this story (just as Jim Acosta did the day it happened) but you’d think there’s noway a judge could rule in Karem’s favor given how he conducted himself. White House entry is not an enumerated right. Yet, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if that’s exactly what happened. We live in an era where some judges will rule based singularly on whether it hurts Donald Trump or not, no matter how tortured the decision.

 

 

 

The post CNN’s Brian Karem Finally Suspended From the White House After Altercation appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-07-12-at-9.58.29-AM-300x145 CNN’s Brian Karem Finally Suspended From the White House After Altercation suspended sue Sebastian Gorka reporter Politics Playboy journalism jim acosta Front Page Stories Front Page fight Featured Story democrats court CNN Brian Stelter brian karem   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Notorious RBG to Dems: Court-packing is a bad idea

Westlake Legal Group r-2 Notorious RBG to Dems: Court-packing is a bad idea The Blog Supreme Court ruth bader ginsburg roosevelt packing nine Merrick Garland Justice gorsuch Filibuster court

Is there a Democrat anywhere who’s more likely to influence progressive opinion on this subject than Ginsburg? Maybe Obama, but he’d be attacked as weak for opposing Court-packing considering that the proposal is aimed at righting the alleged wrong done by Mitch McConnell in roadblocking Merrick Garland’s nomination. O would be siding with the GOP on a policy matter triggered by his own supposed victimization by them. And besides, thanks to Biden, the left is more skeptical of Obama today than it’s been at any point since early in the 2008 primaries. O’s dim view of Court-packing now wouldn’t have the sort of talismanic effect it might have had five years ago when he was still in office.

Due to her authority as a member of the Court and her iconic status as the dean of the liberal wing and a feminist trailblazer, literally no one’s opinion is apt to carry as much weight in lefty thinking as Ginsburg’s.

Which is not to say it’s apt to carry *much* weight. They seem pretty hyped to add a few justices when next they control the presidency and the Senate, if only for the visceral pleasure of avenging Garland.

But let’s be real. Once they’re in a position to confirm their own Supreme Court nominees again, how much of the appetite for Court-packing will remain? They’re starving right now because it’s been nearly 10 years since a Democrat joined the Court and around 50 years since they’ve had a reliable Democratic majority. Once Schumer and a Dem president are in charge and they can start filling vacancies again without needing to worry about a Republican filibuster, they’ll be (mostly) sated. Even if they wanted to accelerate a new Democratic SCOTUS majority by packing the Court, they’d need to shatter two separate taboos to do it — increasing the number of justices from nine, of course, but also ending the legislative filibuster so that a simple Dem majority in the Senate could join with the House in amending the statute that sets the number of justices. Either one of those moves in isolation would be thermonuclear politically. In tandem they’d be like an asteroid hitting the Earth.

And imagine what the polling would be like. Republicans would oppose it unanimously, independents would likely oppose it on balance, and Dems would support it but with a substantial minority expressing misgivings. Result: A solid majority of the public against the idea. A Rasmussen poll from earlier this year confirmed that guesswork, in fact:

As Fix The Court notes, a recent Rasmussen poll finds that only 27 percent of respondents favor adding justices to the Supreme Court — and presumably the lower courts — while 55 percent opposed. Meanwhile, in the same poll, 54 percent of respondents support a term limits proposal. Even Justice Breyer is on board with an 18-year term limit.

The public is more narrowly divided on impeaching Trump than they are on Court-packing and yet Pelosi so fears the backlash impeachment might generate for centrist Dems in purple districts that she won’t go near it. Imagine lefties trying to convince her to blow up the Supreme Court, knowing that the election of a Democratic president would be likely to turbo-charge Republican turnout for the following midterm elections anyway. If they want to pack the Court, their first step would necessarily have to be replacing Pelosi as Speaker with a progressive firebrand. And then, when they’re done with that, they’d need to convince the new Dem president that it’s worth triggering a mammoth Republican electoral backlash to add two new justices to the Court, knowing that GOPers would surely use the precedent to add two more of their own just as soon as they’re back in power. How is it worth it?

The post Notorious RBG to Dems: Court-packing is a bad idea appeared first on Hot Air.

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Nigel Farage Gets Sweet Reward After Milkshake Thrower Loses In Court

Westlake Legal Group NigelFarageMilkshake-1-620x336 Nigel Farage Gets Sweet Reward After Milkshake Thrower Loses In Court UK Politics Nigel Farage Milkshakes International Affairs Front Page Stories Featured Story court Brexit assault Allow Media Exception

British politician Nigel Farage, in the aftermath of a milkshake attack in Newcastle. Screen grab via The AP.

The latest trend from the UK left is to assault politicians they don’t like by throwing milkshakes on them. One of the victims of said milkshake throwing is Nigel Farage, the leader of the Brexit party which has taken the UK by storm both in popularity and in the elections.

Nigel Farage noted that the “remainers,” or those who wish to remain in the European Union, have become radicalized and have made normal campaigning impossible.

Paul Crowther thought he was doing something brave and good when he threw his milkshake on Farage, but according to the Daily Caller, the UK courts disagreed. He’s now being forced to cough up some cash to Farage for his crime:

After he pleaded guilty, Judge Bernard Begley ruled that the defendant would pay Farage £350($438) to cover damages to Farage’s suit and a lapel microphone. Crowther will also have to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.

Begley told Crowther, “This was an act of crass stupidity.”

“While members of the public have the democratic right to engage in peaceful protest, it is wholly appropriate to bring charges in any case where such protests cross the line into criminal behavior,” said Chris Atkinson of the crown prosecution service. “In an open democracy, people should be free to conduct legitimate political campaigns without fear of physical assault.”

Crowther’s monetary fines may a bit more difficult to pay thanks tot he fact that he was also fired from his tech adviser job at telecom company Sky.

Despite Crowther’s best attempts at stopping a wave of anti-EU sentiment by wasting a perfectly good milkshake, the Brexit party cleaned house at the elections, garnering more votes than any other party despite being only weeks old.

Apparently, the milkshake throwing trend has become worldwide. Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican, had a milkshake thrown on him after a town hall in Pensacola, Florida, according to the Daily Caller.

It should be noted that this is a completely infantile move and does nothing to change the ideas of those who have them, nor does it change the ideas of those who agree. In fact, I’d argue it only strengthens ideological standpoints and causes people to laugh at the person throwing the milkshake over the infantile way of expressing disagreement.

Children throw things when they’re upset and having a tantrum. The grown-up thing to do argue your points, and if your points fail to overcome another person’s points then maybe that’s a sign your points just aren’t that good and you should go work on them.

 

The post Nigel Farage Gets Sweet Reward After Milkshake Thrower Loses In Court appeared first on RedState.

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Gillibrand: Appointing a judge who’s anti-Roe is like appointing a judge who’s racist

Westlake Legal Group kg Gillibrand: Appointing a judge who’s anti-Roe is like appointing a judge who’s racist The Blog roe racism Kirsten Gillibrand judge court Abortion

Via the Free Beacon. Without exaggeration, one of the worst answers to a question about abortion I’ve ever heard. Imagine deflecting a question about the legality of killing a child in the womb by insisting that “moral clarity” allows for no other position. Racism is self-evidently bad, anti-semitism is self-evidently bad, prohibiting the liquidation of a human being for the sake of convenience is … self-evidently bad?

If there’s any American cultural issue in which there isn’t moral clarity — certainly not for the pro-choice side — it’s this one, and that really is needless to say. However highly one values a woman’s right to make decisions about her body and the child growing inside her, even most Democrats (I think?) would acknowledge some misgivings about exercising that right to terminate. It’s a test of competing moral interests, with pro-choicers concluding that the interest of an unformed human being ultimately must bow to that of an adult. Only the farthest reaches of the left, though, tend to treat that competition as a no-brainer on the level of “racism is bad.” Look how the issue is typically handled by the entertainment industry, which is thoroughly liberal but seldom given to balls-out cymbal-smashing celebrations of abortion even in dramas that defend the practice. The lack of moral clarity gives them pause.

Even the majority opinion in Roe itself didn’t claim moral clarity, for cripes sake. Remember the trimester framework? That existed because Harry Blackmun recognized that as a child develops in the womb, its moral interest in being born alive grows with it. The Roe Court tried to legally, ah, split the baby because it had misgivings too.

But Gillibrand’s running an overtly feminist campaign, the only way she can think to distinguish herself in a field of 20 candidates and several better-known women, so she feels compelled to voice this glib Orwellian horsesh*t. How do you get the attention of progressive voters who seemingly have no use for you? Tell ’em that not only are they right about Roe, they’re as right as opponents of the Klan and the Nazis were. What a rodent.

Maybe she’s tired of the lame default answer that Roe must be defended because, well, it’s Supreme Court precedent and precedent shouldn’t be overturned lightly. That’d be a hard argument to pull off while analogizing to racism, since it was the Warren Court’s willingness to dump bad precedent that made school desegregation possible. So Gillibrand’s going to dispense with all of it. It’s not about precedent to her, and it’s not about a delicate balance of moral interests. Her side, the side of liquidating untold millions of unborn children, possesses absolute moral clarity. It’s a lasting disgrace to this country that this person is a member of the U.S. Senate.

The post Gillibrand: Appointing a judge who’s anti-Roe is like appointing a judge who’s racist appeared first on Hot Air.

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Comey on Barr’s comments: I’ve never thought of court-ordered surveillance by the FBI as “spying”

Westlake Legal Group comey-on-barrs-comments-ive-never-thought-of-court-ordered-surveillance-by-the-fbi-as-spying Comey on Barr’s comments: I’ve never thought of court-ordered surveillance by the FBI as “spying” The Blog surveillance russiagate Russia ordered Justice doj department court comey barr

Westlake Legal Group jc Comey on Barr’s comments: I’ve never thought of court-ordered surveillance by the FBI as “spying” The Blog surveillance russiagate Russia ordered Justice doj department court comey barr

People are dragging him for this because (a) dragging Comey has become one of America’s most enjoyable (and bipartisan) political pastimes and (b) it’s almost self-parody that a former FBI director wouldn’t regard his own agency’s surveillance tactics as “spying.” Spying is what the bad guys do, see. Go figure that a successor to J. Edgar Hoover is more sanguine about his own outfit’s intrusions into people’s privacy.

But he has a point about the weirdness of Barr’s testimony a few days ago. The term “spying” does come loaded with certain assumptions, foremost that the surveillance to which it refers is unlawful. Espionage is a crime punishable by death, after all. To accuse the feds of “spying,” as Barr did, was to imply that the investigation into Team Trump’s connections with Russia was illicit — which was strange because in the same breath Barr made a point of saying that he had no reason to believe that.

I think spying did occur. But the question is whether it was predicated — adequately predicated,” Barr testified. “I’m not suggesting it wasn’t adequately predicated, but I need to explore that. I think it’s my obligation. Congress is usually very concerned about intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies staying in their proper lane.”

“I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. It’s a big deal,” Barr added, an apparent reference to GOP allegations that the FBI misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor former Trump 2016 campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

However, later in the hearing, Barr clarified he hasn’t proven there was any wrongdoing. “I am not saying that improper surveillance occurred, I’m saying that I am concerned about it and looking into it, that’s all,” he said.

The Russiagate probe was improper, he suggests, before scrambling to make clear that he has no firm reason to believe that. No wonder Russiagate true believers thought he was pandering to his boss there, trying to casually delegitimize the investigation while covering his ass by clarifying that he wasn’t doing that. “A person who has discussed the matter with Mr. Barr said that he did not mean to imply that the [surveillance] measures had been improper,” notes the Times, but that’s hard to believe given his emphasis during testimony that “spying” on the campaign was a “big deal.” Clearly he meant to insinuate that misconduct had occurred. And then he chickened out.

Maybe he knows what the IG’s investigation has uncovered about of Russiagate’s origins and isn’t prepared to talk about it yet. Ed was right to note earlier how surprising it is in hindsight that the feds had enough on Carter Page to get a FISA warrant but ultimately not enough to indict him for anything. Between that and the many dubious elements of the Steele dossier, Barr can make a case that the probe was, if not quite unlawful, at least ill-advised and poorly founded. Although you know what Comey will say: The reason we have FISA (in theory at least) is to empower the judiciary to prevent the feds from launching ill-advised, poorly founded counterintelligence investigations. In this case a FISA judge reviewed the FBI’s application and signed off on a warrant. If Barr wants to blow up Russiagate retroactively, it won’t be enough to nuke Comey and Strzok and even Rod Rosenstein, who approved applications for surveillance. He’ll need to nuke the judgment of the FISA court, too.

And he’ll need to contend with this point:

Comey’s point at its most basic is that we allow police to conduct surveillance with court oversight because sometimes there really are bad guys — spies, even — who need to be stopped. That’s what he claims happened with Russiagate. Barr seems to think, although he won’t clearly say so, that this was more of a partisan operation by Obama’s administration to keep tabs on Trump’s campaign. That’s the difference between “surveillance” and “spying.” We’ll see what the IG says.

The post Comey on Barr’s comments: I’ve never thought of court-ordered surveillance by the FBI as “spying” appeared first on Hot Air.

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Prosecutors drop charges against Md. man accused of setting pregnant woman on fire

WASHINGTON — WTOP has learned that prosecutors in Maryland’s Prince George’s County dropped charges against the second man who was charged with attempted murder after a pregnant woman was set on fire.

Online court records show prosecutors dropped charges against Jonathan Edward Miller of Temple Hills Friday.

Miller’s attorney Andrew Jezic confirms to WTOP’s Neal Augenstein that charges were dropped.

Prince George’s County prosecution spokeswoman Denise Roberts has not responded to requests for comment.

A jury last week acquitted Laquinn Phillips, who had been charged with attacking Andrea Grinage.

Source

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Life Insurance Beneficiaries and Divorce

Guest post by Makeda Fikremariam

Commonly the Supreme Court doesn’t hear cases regarding domestic relations, but Sveen v. Melinchanged that pattern. Mark Sveen had been married to Kaye Melin for 10 years when they divorced in 2007. During their marriage, Sveen had made Melin his primary beneficiary on his life insurance. Also during that time, in 2002, Minnesota passed the Revocation-upon-divorce statute which automatically removes an ex-spouse from the insurance once the owner has passed. The complication arose because Sveen had passed in 2011, but his insurance was signed before the statute was in order and Melin was still listed. The argument became, does applying the statue after the contract was signed violate the Contract Clause?

 

This was passed to the Supreme Court as the lower courts disagreed on who should remain listed on the policy. The District Court sided in favor with the children, naming them the primary beneficiaries,while the 8th Circuit agreed with Melin. There’s a two step process in determining the constitutionality of this application. However, the Supreme Court felt that it didn’t violate the first step as the statute did not impair the pre-existing contractual goal and expectations. They also noted that the statute serves as a default, as the policyholder could submit a form to retain their ex-spouse. Justice Gorsuch, in his dissenting opinion, was against this point as he found that the law should redirect owners to ensure attentiveness in regards to their policy. He also noted that there are people who wish to keep their ex-spouses listed for a variety of reasons. For more information, please read Naomi Cahn’s piece in the George Washington’s Law Review: https://www.gwlr.org/sveen-v-melin/.

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New Tax Law Eliminates Alimony Deduction

For divorcing couples, alimony was a deduction that the payor could deduct from his/her taxes.  However, with the new tax bill, starting in 2019, alimony will no longer be deductible.

The result of this change may make spouses reluctant to pay, and will hurt those spouses who depended on the income of the wage earning spouse. Another side effect will be timing – one side may want to rush the divorce before 2019 and the other side may want to delay.

 

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New Surrogacy Law in DC

In April, a new law for surrogacy became law in the District of Columbia.

Prior to the passing of this new law, all parties to surrogacy agreements were subject to a fine up to $10,000 and a one year prison term. This ban had been in place for 25 years, and D.C. was the only jurisdiction making surrogacy a criminal offense.

Opponents of surrogacy argue that the practice is unnatural and exploits women.  Concerns in some western European countries have made compensation for surrogacy illegal. Supporters of surrogacy say that it represents a rare chance for to make families for some people.

The new D.C. law streamlines the process for would be parents, and allows them to be named on the birth certificate, so they can avoid filing for adoption after the birth. The law applies to any would-be parent, regardless of sexual orientation and biological relation.

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