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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Courts"

Henry Hill: Anger grows as devolution hinders coordinated response to the Covid-19 crisis

Growing anger as constitution handicaps coordinated response to Covid-19

As the country settles into what may be a long period of lockdown, this week saw the coronavirus crisis highlight some of the damage done to the UK’s ability to respond effectively by the wholesale devolution of health.

For starters, the Scottish Government are facing claims that their own poor testing regime is creating a ‘misleading picture’ of Covid-19 deaths north of the border, according to the Daily Record. Their official figures record only those who died after testing positive for the disease, and not those who pass away after developing symptoms but going untested.

The SNP are also under fire for their decision not to follow the ‘Nightingale’ naming convention for the new emergency hospitals. Whilst the styling will be used across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, the Nationalists have decided instead to name their first field hospital after a Scottish nurse.

But anger is more acute in Wales, where voters are growing increasingly unhappy about their exclusion from various relief and support programmes the Government has rolled out in England, such as the ability for vulnerable people to sign up for priority supermarket deliveries. This is on top of the growing outcry over the Welsh Government’s insistence on setting up (and then botching the setting up of) a separate volunteer scheme to the ‘GoodSAM’ programme, which we covered last week.

Some Welsh Conservative MPs are apparently starting to get worried by the tone of their constituency post. But any call for more intervention by the Government would almost certainly spark a furious row with the Assembly group, who will naturally oppose any move which might diminish the importance of their institution (and thus, of themselves).

Nor is this problem confined to the UK. Politico reports that the left-wing government in Spain is apparently finding it extremely difficult to corral regional leaders behind a nationwide response, with devolved governments reportedly viewing the declaration of a state of emergency as a ‘power grab’.

This should serve as a warning sign to those who believe the British constitution can be balanced by more devolution: Spain’s strategy of café para todos – “coffee for all” – was supposed to achieve precisely this outcome by devolving power equally to regional units and hasn’t got close.

Meanwhile in an interview given before the outbreak of Covid-19 Jackson Carlaw, the Scottish Conservative leader, launched a broad-spectrum assault on Sturgeon’s domestic record.

Scottish justice: SNP retreat from bid to suspend jury trials and more reading on Salmond

This week saw an important defeat for the Scottish Nationalists when opposition parties united to force them to abandon proposals to suspend trial by jury in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Ministers advanced the plan in order to help clear an apparently substantial backlog of cases. But it was attacked by senior lawyers as a “sinister attack on justice”, and the other opposition parties joined Tory MSPs in blocking the move.

Whilst we’re on the subject of courts…

Last week’s column reported on the augeries of a civil war inside the SNP on the back of Alex Salmond’s acquittal. Although coronavirus rightly dominates the headlines, this week has seen the publication of some great pieces on it for those of you who want to know more.

Top of the list must be this piece by Dani Garavelli at Tortoise Media, ‘Scotland after the Trial of Alex Salmond‘. It’s a great overview of how the trial was conducted and a cold first look at what the impact is and might be both on the women who brought the allegations and on Scotland more widely.

Next I’d recommend Ian Smart’s threepart series, ‘Grope over Fear’, examining what happened from his perspective not only as a long-time political opponent of the SNP but also as a trial lawyer. Finally, following Ian’s recommendation, this piece by Maurice Smith at the Scottish Review is worth your time too.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Victoria Hewson: The law on gender and trans rights is confused and confusing – the Government must bring clarity

Victoria Hewson is a solicitor and co-founder of Radical, a campaign for truth and freedom in the gender recognition debate. She and Rebecca Lowe, her co-founder, alternate authorship of this column on trans, sex and gender issues.

The culture wars over sex and gender are increasingly being played out in the courts. The judge in Maya Forstater’s recent employment tribunal found her belief that sex is immutable to be unworthy of protection in a democratic society. Harry Miller won a judicial review against the College of Policing over action taken against him for sharing ‘gender critical’ material on social media. Kate Scottow was found guilty of an offence for “caus[ing] annoyance, inconvenience and anxiety” during a sustained Twitter squabble with a serial litigant transwoman. And another judicial review has just begun, into the treatment of children by the NHS Gender Identity Development Service (GIDs) — brought by a nurse, a parent, and a former patient.

This growing legal focus stems from developments in UK legislation and case law, alongside the impact of activist judgments by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

The 2004 Gender Recognition Act (GRA) allows trans people (on having proven they have gender dysphoria, and having lived as their ‘acquired sex’ for two years) to obtain certificates entitling them to be treated as belonging to that sex for (almost) all legal purposes.

This Act was passed after the ECHR found in the 2002 case of Goodwin v UK (‘Goodwin’) that the UK was violating the rights of transsexuals (the then-standard term for trans people) to a private life, under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

This violation was manifested by the UK’s failure to afford full legal recognition of these people’s new gender (or sex, or even sexual identity — as the judgment uses all three terms, pretty much interchangeably). The ECHR acknowledged that its decision went against its own recent case law, but decided it should proceed with a “dynamic and evolutive approach”.

In the 1996 case, P v S and Cornwall County Council (‘Cornwall’), the ECJ decided that discrimination against a person on the grounds of gender reassignment was already prohibited, thanks to a directive covering discrimination on the grounds of sex.

The UK government was therefore required to introduce a regulation providing protection along these lines — despite the fact that the relevant directive actually referred to sex, rather than gender reassignment or gender identity. (Indeed, it was then considered necessary to update the directive itself!). In his influential advice to the court, the Advocate General acknowledged the potential controversy ahead:

“I am well aware that I am asking the Court to make a `courageous’ decision [but] what is at stake is a universal fundamental value, indelibly etched in modern legal traditions and in the constitutions of the more advanced countries: the irrelevance of a person’s sex with regard to the rules regulating relations in society.” *

The consequences of both these cases have been far-reaching. The law is now confused and confusing — and the interaction between the GRA and the Equality Act (2010) is particularly complicated. Try working out this explanation from the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC):

‘Under the [Equality ] Act, the protection from gender reassignment discrimination applies to all trans people who are proposing to go, are undergoing or have undergone (part of) a process of gender reassignment. At the same time, a trans person is protected from sex discrimination on the basis of their legal sex. This means that a trans woman who does not hold a GRC and is therefore legally male would be treated as male for the purposes of the sex discrimination provisions, and a trans woman with a GRC would be treated as female. The sex discrimination exceptions in the Equality Act therefore apply differently to a trans person with a GRC or without a GRC.’

Moreover, there are circumstances in which it’s permitted to discriminate between (natal) women and transwomen (including those holding GRCs) — when deemed necessary and proportionate to achieving a legitimate aim (regarding safety or welfare, for instance). Confusion over this has been exploited by activists, who sometimes misstate the law to suggest that excluding trans people from single-sex spaces is already illegal.

In Goodwin, the ECHR uncritically used expressions like ‘brain sex’, which would surely provoke derision — not least from feminists and medical professionals — today. And, surely, the drafters of the legal instruments the judges interpreted in these cases could not have expected the outcomes that arose.

We can certainly see that the judges themselves didn’t — and weren’t really in a position to — undertake analyses of their decisions’ policy implications. But such is the elevated and entrenched position of both human rights and EU law that Parliament could do little but introduce, and maintain, legislation bringing the UK into compliance with the findings of the European courts.

Now, amidst widespread confusion, and following variation across recent judgments in the UK courts, it’s time our Government stepped up. Trans rights activists had a head start with judgments like Goodwin and Cornwall; conservatives, feminists, and society at large have much ground to make up. The GRA’s obscure wording, and the complex and all-encompassing provisions of the Equality Act, together with public authorities’ uncritical acceptance of trans activists’ claims, have led to worrying developments.

These include current English and Scottish proposals to remove the need for medical diagnosis and proof of living in one’s “acquired gender” when obtaining legal recognition of having changed sex. This would result in so-called ‘self-ID’, and the effective loss of single-sex spaces, amongst other consequences. We have also seen startling increases in life-changing medical interventions on young people.

But recent case law has shown that this movement is now starting to collapse under its own contradictions. Perhaps the UK government was right in 2002, when it disputed that scientific research and societal change had led to “wide acceptance and consensus on transsexual issues”. And perhaps the judges were wrong when they pronounced that there were “no significant factors of public interest to weigh against the interests of [Christine Goodwin] in obtaining legal recognition of her gender reassignment”.

In light of large sections of the Labour Party demanding that anyone denying that TWAW (‘transwomen are women’) must be censured, it should also be remembered that it was the perceived movement of other countries that gave the ECHR the grounds to override the UK’s ‘margin of appreciation’ to determine the matter ourselves. We must not be swept along again without open debate and widespread understanding of the possible implications of further legal changes.

All of this also demonstrates the need to consider carefully both the role of judges, and the boundaries of human rights laws. In the cases outlined here, activist judges were able to make laws that have had serious societal consequences. In seeking to protect the rights of trans people, judges have set in train a series of legal and cultural developments that threaten the privacy and the safety of women and children. As the current government looks into taking back control from judges, these cases provide a stark illustration of what can happen when judges’ decisions have profound political impact on highly contestable issues.

*This ‘irrelevance’ may come as news to ConservativeHome readers.

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Giving power to the judges. First Heathrow – next, the NHS.

Grant Shapps, the Secretary of State for Transport, has confirmed that the Government does not intend to appeal today’s defeat for Heathrow expansion in the Court of Appeal.

His statement puts quite a bit of effort into distancing the Government from the project altogether: “We have always been clear that Heathrow expansion is a private sector project which must meet strict criteria on air quality, noise and climate change, as well as being privately financed, affordable, and delivered in the best interest of consumers.”

Yet for all that, the Heathrow plan did have the sanction of the Commons and got a green light from Theresa May. This has led to fresh complaints about judicial activism, although in this instance that’s harder to stand up as a) the Commons hadn’t legislated to expand Heathrow and b) it looks as if the Department for Transport was subject to some truly abominable legal advice regarding whether or not it needed to factor the Paris Agreement into its decision-making on the subject.

In a way, the ruling has actually done Boris Johnson a favour – he won’t be needing to lie down in front of any bulldozers anytime soon. But it does raise a couple of important questions.

The first is what to do about air capacity. This can had already been kicked a long, long way down the road before the judge sent it clattering back to the Prime Minister’s feet. He now has to choose an alternative way forward, and soon. Has the hour finally come for ‘Boris Island‘?

Less immediately, but just as significantly, this fiasco puts a spotlight on the tension between ministers’ enthusiasm for signing up to grand, abstract targets – especially if they’re about to leave office and casting about for a legacy – and the detailed consequences of such pledges on practical policy-making.

Today’s defeat arose from the decision of a previous government to enshrine various environmental targets in law. This is a habit our legislators are developing. It allows governments to sound like they’re taking decisive action without them actually having to do anything, at least immediately.

But the result is that the judges, whose proper role it is to enforce these laws, gain huge scope for intervening in policy decisions down the line.

If the Government were serious about rolling back the role of the courts in what it considers political decisions, it would urgently review such obligations and the legislative practices which give rise to them. It would certainly not proceed with plans to start introducing legally-binding targets to the NHS, which will simply open up a vast new frontier for conflict between ministers and judges.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

San Francisco Refuses To Do Business With 22 States Over Anti Abortion Laws That Protect Babies.

Westlake Legal Group AP_1602261913331116-300x192 San Francisco Refuses To Do Business With 22 States Over Anti Abortion Laws That Protect Babies. progressives pro-abortion political correctness Patriotism Liberal Elitism Hollywood healthcare Government Gender Issues Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post donald trump democrats Culture & Faith Courts Conservatives Congress California Allow Media Exception Abortion 2019

A city worker uses a power washer to clean the sidewalk by a tent city along Division Street Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, in San Francisco. Homeless people have until the end of Friday to vacate a rambling tent city along a busy San Francisco street declared a health hazard by city officials earlier this week. The mayor’s office says about 40 tents remain, down from a high of 140 tents this winter. The tents have lined both sides of a street under a freeway overpass for months, drawing complaints from residents and businesses. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

As you can see from the photo above, San Francisco and California have no other problems to deal with so this state ban does take precedence.

As it has been previously written everywhere, we all know that California and her cities are a bit of a hot mess. San Fran, home of Nancy Pelosi, always makes sure to be one of the cities leading the charge of creating havoc. That, of course, gives them the right to dictate how other cities or states should be run.

Now they want to export their craziness by refusing to spend money in states that they disagree with about abortion. That’s right, states that are moving to protect children shall not benefit from San Francisco and it’s an influence.

How sad.

According to Fox News

City employees in San Francisco are now forbidden to take work trips or do business with companies in 22 states that have “restrictive abortion laws.”

Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Vallie Brown announced the measure last week.

“Every day in this country, women’s reproductive rights are threatened, and we have to fight back. Just as we restricted spending with states that have laws that discriminate against LGBTQ people, we are standing up against states that put women’s health at risk and that are actively working to limit reproductive freedoms,” Breed said in a statement.

She added: “By limiting travel and contracting with certain states, we are sending a clear message to states that disregard the right to abortion.”

The only clear message you are sending is that you are griding an ax about states moving to protect the unborn and you look moronic doing it. Do you think the homeless person you are ignoring and letting suffer on the street gives a flying you know what about your moral preening Mayor Breed?

So what states are they planning on banning?

Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

I’m disappointed that Michigan is not on there.

With the technology of saving and improving life in all stages advancing, this is a big problem for the pro-abortion crowd. They yell CHOICE at any cost but frequently it is becoming clear that life inside the womb can also live outside the womb weeks before previously thought.

So why would you snuff out that life at 18 weeks when it can thrive at 24 weeks? This is becoming more and more obvious for people with a conscious that actually care about human life and don’t just pay it lip service like the politicians in San Francisco.

I look forward to the day where these people are only allowed to travel within California and nowhere else. What a glorious day that will be.

Check out my other posts here on Red State and my podcast Bourbon On The Rocks plus like Bourbon On The Rocks on Facebook and follow me on the twitters at IRISHDUKE2 

The post San Francisco Refuses To Do Business With 22 States Over Anti Abortion Laws That Protect Babies. appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group AP_1602261913331116-300x192 San Francisco Refuses To Do Business With 22 States Over Anti Abortion Laws That Protect Babies. progressives pro-abortion political correctness Patriotism Liberal Elitism Hollywood healthcare Government Gender Issues Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post donald trump democrats Culture & Faith Courts Conservatives Congress California Allow Media Exception Abortion 2019  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Roger Gale: Parents and doctors should be spared court when debating the best treatment for ill children

Sir Roger Gale is MP for North Thanet.

The parents of Tafida Raqeeb will be relieved that the High Court has given its consent to her being taken to Italy for specialist medical treatment for the serious brain injury the five-year-old suffered, leaving her on life support. But they, like all parents who find themselves in the traumatic situation of doctors withholding treatment or preventing access to it elsewhere, have been ill-served by the confrontational legal process that pits clinicians against families.

Such court cases are a distraction for medical and nursing teams, a costly frustration for NHS managers, and a nightmare for caring parents, all of whom quite genuinely want the best for the sick child. The only beneficiaries from these emotional and often protracted cases, sometimes heard in the full glare of the gawping media, are the lawyers.

We must find a way of striking a better balance so that where genuine disagreements arise, and they inevitably will, there are ways of resolving the situation through mediation and conciliation, avoiding the need to go to court. That is why I support the Children (Access to Medical Treatment) Bill proposed by Bambos Charalambous, the Labour MP.

The purpose of the Bill is to reduce the number of confrontational court cases that arise, and there are many more going on behind the scenes that don’t make the headlines, distressing parents and distracting doctors every day. We intend to do this by ensuring that clinicians and parents have access to mediation and conciliation services, that there is access in place to second opinions (that may or may not provide a different view), by identifying sources of practical advice on ethical challenges, and by building upon the current test of the best interests of the child so that potential treatment options can only be blocked by the courts if they present the risk of significant harm.

Easy access by parents to medical information is vital not only in the interests of openness, trust and transparency, but also so that parents are able to make informed decisions and other, alternative medical advice can be sought. We hope to provide for this access.

If there is a credible alternative medical opinion, and a reputable institution is willing to provide the treatment, then that treatment option should be available.

We are particularly encouraged that two former Presidents of the British Medical Association have already publicly supported our approach. Baroness Hollins spoke recently in the House of Lords to support the principle of the Bill and Baroness Finlay has done so on Radio 4’s Today Programme. Demonstrating cross-party support with those two crossbenchers, Baroness Jolly, the Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson, is also on the case, and many leading lawyers and medical ethicists are supportive, including Raanon Gillon, emeritus professor of medical ethics at Imperial College and currently President of the BMA.

At the heart of this issue is the relationship of trust between families and clinicians, and what we want to do is to ensure that trust is nurtured, not undermined, when differences of perspective inevitably arise in these complex and deeply distressing cases. The confrontational nature of our legal system is the antithesis of such nurturing of trust.

We are motivated in our mission by the death in 2017 of baby Charlie Gard who was cared for by Great Ormond Street Hospital, but who sadly died when the courts preventing his parents, Chris and Connie, taking him abroad for an alternative treatment option. I make no comments on the medical aspects of the case, but the way it was handled brings shame upon our existing legislation and adversarial legal system.

The law must be brought up to date, so that it is fit for the 21st Century, and so that clinicians, parents and NHS executives are spared the trauma of court proceedings. That would be a fitting legacy for Charlie.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Leftist Group is DEMANDING That Democrats Name Who They Would Appoint To Supreme Court

Westlake Legal Group SCOTUS-300x200 Leftist Group is DEMANDING That Democrats Name Who They Would Appoint To Supreme Court white house washington D.C. the washington post Supreme Court Special Counsel Social Media Social Justice SCOTUS republicans progressives President Trump Politics Policy Morning Briefing Media Liberal Elitism law Impeachment of President Trump Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post elections donald trump democrats Culture & Faith Criminal Justice Reform Courts Constitution Conservatives Congress Bipartisanship Allow Media Exception Academia Abortion 2019

The Left wants a list of who POTUS candidates would put in this building. 

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, even if it involves progressives copying Donald Trump.

Ripping a page right out of Donald Trump’s election playbook from 2016, the group Demand Justice has called for all the Democrats running for President declare publicly who that would nominate out of the handy dandy list they provided.

How convenient and very copy cat-ish of Trump 3 years ago.

According to The Washington Post

Democratic presidential contenders are coming under increased pressure from their base to take a page from Donald Trump’s 2016 playbook and release a shortlist of potential Supreme Court nominees — one part of a larger strategy from party activists to make the courts a central issue in the 2020 race.

Demand Justice, a group founded to counteract the conservative wing’s decades-long advantage over liberals in judicial fights, will release a list of 32 suggested Supreme Court nominees for any future Democratic president as they ramp up their push for the 2020 contenders to do the same.

The slate of potential high court picks includes current and former members of Congress, top litigators battling the Trump administration’s initiatives in court, professors at the nation’s top law schools and public defenders. Eight are sitting judges. They have established track records in liberal causes that Demand Justice hopes will energize the liberal base.

Seems like the progressives have FINALLY learned the lesson of paying some attention to the third branch of the government.

Now you can go ahead and take a look at that list and if you are like me, be absolutely puzzled by who all those people are. Lucky for us commoners, Carrie Severino from the Judicial Crisis Network just yesterday wrote a piece over at National Review called Demand Justice’s SCOTUS List Is Too Extreme Even for Obama that helps give us an idea of the backgrounds of these folks.

From the article…

Demand Justice’s list has 32 names on it. Only four of those are Obama-nominated judges. Shockingly, only eight have any judicial experience at all! While President Trump’s list of Supreme Court nominees currently includes 24 individuals, of whom 23 are experienced federal or state judges, the extremists at Demand Justice have clearly taken a different tack. Their list — which they are lobbying Democratic candidates to adopt — is wholly consumed by far-left activism and identity politics.

They see the courts as their ticket to implementing their radical policy agenda, which includes gutting the First and Second Amendments, establishing a right to illegal immigration and abortion on demand straight through birth, and destroying our economy by imposing burdensome regulations on everyone from Main Street to Wall Street.

When I first read this I thought, well maybe the Obama nominated judges that were confirmed don’t have enough seasoning yet. Then further on reading, I find out that 24 of them don’t have ANY JUDICIAL EXPERIENCE at all.

Did no one pay attention during the Harriet Miers fiasco under Bush 43?

So the left has put together a list of people that they want on the court that the vast majority have ZERO experience on the bench. They are straight-up activists. I actually admire Demand Justice brazen truthfulness here in trying to push this on the Dems.

Severino commented on twitter about how the candidates when finally asked ran from the subject and tried to change the subject like it was the plague.

What this tells me is that the left is organizing to do the same thing conservatives have done but the candidates are not focused on this at the stage of the game they are currently in. This might change after a nominee is picked but for now, it looks like they are more interested in impeachment than who they would put onto the court.

That works for me.

Check out my other posts here on Red State and my podcast Bourbon On The Rocks plus like Bourbon On The Rocks on Facebook and follow me on the twitters at IRISHDUKE2 

The post Leftist Group is DEMANDING That Democrats Name Who They Would Appoint To Supreme Court appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group SCOTUS-300x200 Leftist Group is DEMANDING That Democrats Name Who They Would Appoint To Supreme Court white house washington D.C. the washington post Supreme Court Special Counsel Social Media Social Justice SCOTUS republicans progressives President Trump Politics Policy Morning Briefing Media Liberal Elitism law Impeachment of President Trump Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post elections donald trump democrats Culture & Faith Criminal Justice Reform Courts Constitution Conservatives Congress Bipartisanship Allow Media Exception Academia Abortion 2019  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

V.P. Mike Pence Tells House Committees No Thanks on Impeachment Inquiry

Westlake Legal Group MikePenceAPimage-300x153 V.P. Mike Pence Tells House Committees No Thanks on Impeachment Inquiry white house washington D.C. Social Media progressives President Trump Patriotism Morning Briefing Mike Pence Media Mainstream Media Liberal Elitism journalism Internet Impeachment of President Trump Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post donald trump Courts Constitution Conservatives Congress Campaigns axios AOC Allow Media Exception 2019

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

You just know that when the Veep told the House committee people he would not cooperate he was really nice about it also.

Late Tuesday night, the Vice President of the United States, through counsel, informed the House committees that are scrounging around doing impeachment-like things that he would not play along.

According to Axios

The counsel for Vice President Mike Pence sent a letter to the chairmen of the House committees investigating President Trump and Ukraine on Tuesday informing them that he will not cooperate with a request for documents in their “self-proclaimed” impeachment inquiry.

This was fully expected, so no surprise.

However, the announcement that Nancy Pelosi blinked and will not hold an impeachment vote as of now means that the White House strategy of pressuring the House to hold a formal vote has worked. Pence and other White House officials will not face much pressure until the House holds a vote or they take this to the courts. The courts won’t take this up soon so this is looking like a suave move by the White House.

The Trump administration is still going to have its hands full dealing with other aspects of this Ukraine story but for now, the House vote on Impeachment is tabled and the Vice President of the United States can just hang out and do what V.P’s do.

Which I’m not sure of exactly.

Here is the letter sent on behalf of the Vice President…

Dear Chairmen:

The Office of the Vice President has received the Committees’ Letter to the Vice President, dated October 4, 2019, which requests a wide-ranging scope of documents, some of which are clearly not vice-presidential records, pursuant to a self-proclaimed “impeachment inquiry.” As noted in the October 8, 2019 letter from the White House Counsel to each of you and to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the purported “impeachment inquiry” has been designed and implemented in a manner that calls into question your commitment to fundamental fairness and due process rights.

The Office of the Vice President recognizes the oversight role of your respective committees in Congress. Please know that if the Committees wish to return to the regular order of legitimate legislative oversight requests, and the Committees have appropriate requests for information solely in the custody of the Office of the Vice President, we are prepared to work with you in a manner consistent with well-established bipartisan constitutional protections and a respect for the separation of powers. Until that time, the Office of the Vice President will continue to reserve all rights and privileges that may apply, including those protecting executive privileges, national security, attorney-client communications, deliberations, and communications among the President, the Vice President, and their advisors.

As detailed in the White House Counsel Letter, the House of Representatives has not authorized any “impeachment inquiry.” Specifically, the operative House rules do not delegate to any committee the authority to conduct an inquiry under the impeachment power of Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution. Instead of being accountable to the American people and casting a vote to authorize what all agree is a substantial constitutional step, you have instead attempted to avoid this fundamental requirement by invoking the Speaker’s announcement of an “official impeachment inquiry” at a press conference? Never before in history has the Speaker of the House attempted to launch an “impeachment inquiry” against a President without a majority of the House of Representatives voting to authorize a constitutionally acceptable process.

The Office of the Vice President encourages the Committees to forgo their request to the Office of the Vice President, or hold it in abeyance, pending your discussion with the White House Counsel’s Office concerning compliance with constitutionally mandated procedures. Similarly, the Office of the Vice President encourages the Committees to first seek information from primary sources that may be responsive to your broad requests.

Sincerely,
Matthew E. Morgan

Counsel to the Vice President

Check out my other posts here on Red State and my podcast Bourbon On The Rocks plus like Bourbon On The Rocks on Facebook and follow me on the twitters at IRISHDUKE2 

The post V.P. Mike Pence Tells House Committees No Thanks on Impeachment Inquiry appeared first on RedState.

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The NBA, China, the Bidens and Free Speech: The Ultimate Intellectual Property

 

Westlake Legal Group 17329344-1af8-4a1f-8631-ab65d20076a0-1-620x317 The NBA, China, the Bidens and Free Speech: The Ultimate Intellectual Property trademark Technology Science Politics Policy Patents law intellectual property theft Intellectual Property Protections Intellectual Property Government Front Page Stories Front Page Economy Courts copyright Capitalism

The China Syndrome

 

The National Basketball Association (NBA)’s ongoing, rolling self-emasculation continues apace and unabated.

One League Guy called for freedom in Hong Kong from Communist China’s totalitarianism.

And the League flashed into action – against the one League Guy.

Since, a thousand and one League Guys have groveled, prostrated, genuflected or simply played really, REALLY stupid in the face of Communist China’s totalitarianism.

Free speech isn’t just squashed by totalitarian Communist China in Communist China and Hong Kong.

Totalitarian Communist China is now squelching free speech – in the United States.  Via its good little toadies in the NBA.  Because money.

NBA China: Philadelphia 76ers Fan Kicked Out for Hong Kong Sign, Chant

Security Removes ‘Free Hong Kong’ Signs from Fans at (NBA’s Washington) Wizards Game

The League Guys get paid billions of dollars by Communist China – to be Communist China’s toadies.

The League’s Average Guy fans have to way overpay for NBA tickets – to then have the privilege of being censored by Communist China’s NBA toadies.

National Review’s Jim Geraghty astutely summed up this one-way, wrong-way cultural transfer:

We’re Not Exporting Our Values to China – We’re Importing Theirs

This fiasco is perfectly emblematic of the sort of fake “free trade” with Communist China – to which our Betters in DC have subjected us for decades.

The NBA, South Park And Communist China: The Very High Price Of Fake ‘Free Trade’

The Swamp Creature likes of Joe Biden pretend the fake “free trade” with Communist China – isn’t fake.

And the Swamp Creature likes of Joe Biden’s son Hunter – get $1.5 billion in Communist China “investment” money.  As payment for his father pretending the fake “free trade” with Communist China – isn’t fake.

Call it the Swamp’s Friends and Family Plan.

DCs Swamp Creatures trade our national interest and security – for personal and familial enrichment.

Obama, Biden Cronies Made Billions Off China Trade Deals and Regulatory Policies

Clinton Says Chinese Money Did Not Influence U.S. Policy:

“President Bill Clinton said today that reported political campaign contributions from China to the Democrats had not influenced his foreign policy….

“‘The decisions we made, we made because we thought they were in the interests of the American people,’’ Mr. Clinton said….”

I’ll pause while you laugh uproariously…….

Okay….

Almost certainly the most offensive aspect of our fake “free trade” with Communist China – is their titanic theft of our Intellectual Property (IP).

Over the decades of fake “free trade” – Communist China has stolen trillions of dollars of our IP:

“The United States Trade Representative, which led the seven-month investigation into China’s intellectual property theft and made recommendations to the Trump administration, found that ‘Chinese theft of American IP currently costs between $225 billion and $600 billion annually.’”

We’ve been fake “free trading” with China since the early 1970s.

But as a safety, let’s only calculate Chinese IP theft – since we quite stupidly granted them membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO): December 2001.

And as another safety, let’s take the lowest number in China’s annual IP theft range.

That’s $225 billion in Chinese IP theft.  Every year – for eighteen years.

That makes the most conservative estimate – more than $4 TRILLION in Chinese IP theft.

And it’s not just the money – though the money is gigantic.

Totalitarian Communist China is rapidly becoming our equal on the global stage.  A truly disconcerting concept for anyone who likes, you know, freedom and peace.

And totalitarian Communist China got here not by their own creation and invention – but by stealing ours.  For decades.

Intellectual Property isn’t just about licensing patents, trademarks and copyrights.

IP is about protecting the property of the minds of men.  So we can all have access to and use those creations and innovations – to improve our lives and advance our society.

Communist China outsourced their IP creation – to US.  Advancing their totalitarian state not by their ingenuity – but by stealing ours.

And for decades, the Swamp Creatures – did absolutely nothing about it.

Except secure mass Communist China money transfers to their families and friends.

This has been a MASSIVE, government-forced transfer of IP and its attending wealth and societal benefit.

From our IP creators – to Communist China.  And then from Communist China – to DCs Swamp Creatures.

China’s isn’t the only government forcing this ongoing, rolling titanic heist.

The US government has been forcing it too.

Because money.

The corruption is so pervasive and deep – it has polluted our nation all the way down the food chain.

To regular Americans at NBA games – simply trying to hold pro-freedom signs…for a nation on the other side of the planet.

Regular Americans’ free speech – and their signs, the products of their minds – are squelched and silenced.

By Swamp Creatures – who now exist way beyond DC.

The Communist Chinese corruption of our country – now being wholly pervasive.

Because money.

The post The NBA, China, the Bidens and Free Speech: The Ultimate Intellectual Property appeared first on RedState.

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Mark Zuckerberg Is Meeting In Secret With Conservatives Discussing Free Speech

Westlake Legal Group AP_18100671669782-300x184 Mark Zuckerberg Is Meeting In Secret With Conservatives Discussing Free Speech white house washington D.C. warren Social Media progressives President Trump Media Mainstream Media Front Page Stories facebook Elizabeth Warren donald trump democrats Cybersecurity Culture & Faith Courts Cory Booker Conservatives Congress California Bipartisanship Allow Media Exception 2019

 (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Well, what do you know?

Seems that CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has been sitting down in secret with conservative pundits, writers and even a congressperson as of late. Maybe he realizes that Elizabeth Warren and her merry bunch of zealots are worse than dealing with people he opposes politically.

According to Politico this has been going on for a short time…

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been hosting informal talks and small, off-the-record dinners with conservative journalists, commentators and at least one Republican lawmaker in recent months to discuss issues like free speech and discuss partnerships.

The dinners, which began in July, are part of Zuckerberg’s broader effort to cultivate friends on the right amid outrage by President Donald Trump and his allies over alleged “bias” against conservatives at Facebook and other major social media companies. “I’m under no illusions that he’s a conservative but I think he does care about some of our concerns,” said one person familiar with the gatherings, which multiple sources have confirmed.

Some of the people who have been rumored to have attended the meetings are Mary Katharine Ham, Ben Shapiro, Matt Continetti, Guy Benson, and Brent Bozell. Byron York confirmed he attended one of the dinners but refused to discuss what was talked about.

The article does say that this outreach was to try and ease some of the fears of those that might have some influence with the Trump administration in the hope to quiet some of the saber-rattling.

Trump is not your problem Mark.

Elizabeth Warren is on the warpath (PUN FULLY INTENDED) and she is coming for your monopoly buddy.

This is a classic example of liberals wanting to claim the higher ground while shutting down any discussion of any ground under the rules of feelings being hurt. Zuckerberg is part of this mindset no matter how many dinners he holds to try a charm offensive and act otherwise.

All you have to do is treat both sides equally.

In this case, what that means is to let the words fly. Don’t referee to any side and you will not have any issue. The notion that Facebook has been treating all sides fairly is ludicrous. Just go and google how many grievances people that are “right” leaning have been banned as opposed to “left” leaning. The complaints are numerous on the right. If you think the left doesn’t like to complain when they get axed I have a bridge to sell you in Chappaquiddick.

Hopefully, these meetings do show Mark that conservatives are not that scary and these concerns should be dealt with going from the top down.

Otherwise, you will have to deal with Elizabeth Warren and no one rational wants to do that.

Check out my other posts here on Red State and my podcast Bourbon On The Rocks plus like Bourbon On The Rocks on Facebook and follow me on the twitters at IRISHDUKE2 

The post Mark Zuckerberg Is Meeting In Secret With Conservatives Discussing Free Speech appeared first on RedState.

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Beto vs Booker, Who Will Drop Out First After Religious Bigotry Statements?

Westlake Legal Group Freedom-of-religion-stand-up-300x164 Beto vs Booker, Who Will Drop Out First After Religious Bigotry Statements? white house washington D.C. Supreme Court Social Media religion progressives polls Politics Media journalism Human Rights Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post entitlements Entertainment donald trump democrats Courts Cory Booker Constitution Conservatives collusion CNN catholic news agency Campaigns anti-semitism Allow Media Exception Academia Abuse of Power 2019

What a week in truly finding out where some of the Democrats running for President feel about the separation of Church and State.

The topic of the Beto Bomb that was dropped in a CNN forum has been covered extensively all over the interwebs by others and right here at Red State by Bonchie and Joe Cunningham.

However, something that did not garner much attention was that Sen. Corey Booker from New Jersey essentially said the same thing. He just didn’t go all SPARTACUS about it.

The Catholic News Agency picks it up…

On Thursday night, during and Equality Townhall hosted and broadcast on CNN, Robert Francis O’Rourke, a former congressman, was asked by CNN anchor Don Lemon if he thought that “religious institutions like colleges, churches, charities, should they lose their tax exempt status if they oppose same sex marriage?”

O’Rourke answered “yes,” and after applause and cheers from the crowd, added, “there can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break, for anyone or any institution, any organization in America that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us. And so, as president, we’re going to make that a priority, and we are going to stop those who are infringing upon the human rights of our fellow Americans.”

That’s the part we already know. Here is the part most people have not seen.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), another presidential candidate, was asked earlier in the night if he would strip the tax-exempt status of churches who were opposed to same-sex marriage. Booker said that such a move would entail a “long legal battle,” but signaled his sympathy with the idea.

“I’m saying I believe fundamentally that discrimination is discrimination,” he said. “And if you are using your position to try to discriminate others, there must be consequences to that. And I will make sure to hold them accountable using the DOJ or whatever investigatory [body].”

So here we have in the year 2019, two major candidates for President of the United States saying that they want the United States government to FORCE religious institutions to abide by the modern-day #WOKENESS that has gripped the Feelings over Facts crowd.

That should scare you.

Now it is no coincidence that both Beto and Booker are both circling the drain at just around 2% in the latest polling I have read. This is obviously a desperate attempt to shoot up to over 4% and steal the nomination from Biden.

Will it work? No, not for this cycle.

The way these things work though is those two candidates floated an idea and now the top tier candidates will do polling to see if it works with the base. My guess is those churches in the deep south and the mosques in Minnesota will be equally opposed to being singled out for being called bigots and losing any sort of tax-exempt status they have.

The idea though, now having been introduced will be debated among the progressive left and will gain steam. Bernie Sander candidacy in 2016 and this time around has shown that the actual ideas do not matter. Just the feelings that surround those ideas. If it makes you feel warm and fuzzy than roll with it.

We should all be about the discussion of ideas and have vigorous national debates on it. These things usually turn into a discussion on your feelings though and that is just irrelevant and that is just a damn shame.

The only thing left to do for Beto and Booker after agreeing that this horrible idea is worth exploring is to guess which one of these “serious” candidates will be the first to call it quits in their futile race.

My money is on Beto. Anyone who is scared to use their real name that DOESNT work in Hollywood is too timid to be President.

Place your bets.

Check out my other posts here on Red State and my podcast Bourbon On The Rocks plus like Bourbon On The Rocks on Facebook and follow me on the twitters at IRISHDUKE2 

The post Beto vs Booker, Who Will Drop Out First After Religious Bigotry Statements? appeared first on RedState.

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