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A CIVIL RIGHTS MATTER: Supreme Court to Rule On Federal Workers’ Right to Take Complaint to U.S. District Court

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by
Tanya Ward Jordan, President
The Coalition For Change, Inc. (C4C)

On Monday, April 17th, many present and former federal employees lined up to witness the Supreme Court justices open their April session with the case of Anthony Perry, a former Department of Commerce Census Bureau employee and a member of the Coalition For Change, Inc. (C4C).

The question the Supreme Court with newly appointed Judge Neil Gorsuch on the bench must answer is — Whether a Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) decision dismissing a mixed case on “jurisdictional grounds” is subject to judicial review in district court or in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

If the Perry case is allowed to proceed in district court it has a far more likely chance of being heard by a jury. For the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is known to largely “RUBBER STAMP” federal agency decisions.

Christopher Landau, who represented Perry, urged the court to rule that mixed cases like his client’s should go to the district court. But, Brian Fletcher, assistant to the U.S. solicitor general, argued on behalf of the federal government. Fletcher disagreed asserting Perry’s case should go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

If the Supreme Court were to send Perry’s case to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, rather than the U.S. District Court, it would be indeed a civil rights blow for Federal workers who challenge unlawful civil rights violations and adverse actions (i.e. wrongful demotions, suspensions, and job terminations). For “some studies report that the U.S. Courts of Appeals affirmed 90 percent of all cases they decided from 1995 to 2005.”  (See footnote 1)

Penn State Law students submitted an amicus brief to Supreme Court in support of Mr. Perry’s right to pursue his claims in U.S. District Court. The amicus brief read:
“The issue at the center of Perry v. Merit Systems Protection Board stems from a 2012 Supreme Court decision, in which the Court held that federal employees whose discrimination claims are dismissed on procedural grounds by the MSPB are entitled to have their cases heard on the merits in federal district court. The Civil Rights Appellate Clinic, along with plaintiff Anthony Perry, argued that a federal employee’s discrimination claim dismissed on jurisdictional grounds, as opposed to procedural grounds, is entitled to the same type of review.”   Read more at link http://news.psu.edu/story/456966/2017/03/21/penn-state-law-students-submit-amicus-brief-supreme-court

The upcoming Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decision on the Perry case will most likely close the loop and provide clarity for many federal workers, like Perry, who are often coerced into signing settlement agreements that require them to drop valid discrimination claims against the federal government.

Footnote 1: https://www.dcbar.org/bar-resources/publications/washington-lawyer/articles/october-2012-taking-the-stand.cfm

 

 

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SCOTUS V KKK

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The difference between the U.S. Supreme Court and the Ku Klux Klan is that the members of the Supreme Court dress in black robes and scare white people.

Will Republicans Keep the Court from Blowing Obama’s Cover?

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by Jane M. Orient, M.D.

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The Big Lie of ObamaCare is in the title: the Affordable Care Act. Administration officials invoke “affordable” over and over again.

The U.S. Supreme Court could well blow the Democrats’ cover in King v. Burwell if it rules that people in the 37 states that did not establish an Exchange cannot legally get taxpayer subsidies for health insurance.

The subsidies hide the reality. People generally look only at what they themselves have to pay. They do not care what faceless taxpayers are paying to insurance companies for their policies.

Of the 11.7 million Americans who now have private health insurance through federal and state marketplaces, 86 percent of them are receiving financial assistance from federal taxpayers to help pay premiums—or, more accurately, their insurance company is.

“More than seven million people could lose subsidies, making insurance unaffordable,” said White House officials, according to the New York Times.

These subsidies (“tax credits”) averaged $263 a month and reduced the premium by 72 percent, on average. Taxpayers who manage to earn more than a certain threshold thus have to pay 100 percent of their own premiums plus their “fair share” of 72 percent of premiums for those who earn less.

Assuming that they will be blamed for the surge in the number of uninsured, although they did not write the law, congressional Republicans are scurrying for ways to “fix” the problem of a purported “mistake” in drafting the law.

The only problem they apparently see is that people would lose coverage—not that ObamaCare drove premiums to unaffordable levels. And the only remedy they can think of is to force others to pay the unaffordable cost, at least for a time. Not having learned from vast experience, they assume that an extension of subsidies will be temporary.

One would like to see Republicans explain to the people why the whole structure of ObamaCare is a mistake, which worsens and solidifies the problems that make American medical care so costly in the first place. These are the simple, incontrovertible facts:
• Guaranteed issue/community rating always drives up premiums and leads to a “death spiral.” Unless premiums are based on risk, people have no incentive to buy insurance when they are well.
• Mandates to pay for expensive services people do not need or want help purveyors of such services but drive up premiums.
• Third-party payment itself always and everywhere drives costs far higher than people would pay if spending their own money.
• Administrative micromanagement drives up costs and limits access.
• Insurance is not the only way to buy medical care—just the most expensive way.

ObamaCare needs to be repealed. Tweaking one of the interlocking parts just makes the interconnected rest even more unworkable. If the Supreme Court exposes the true cost by removing the veil of subsidies, Republicans should not try to cover it up.

If people lose coverage, another shocking truth might be revealed, to the horror of the insurance cartel: they might be better off. The unsubsidized share of premiums—instead of being sucked into the insurer’s bank account—would be available to buy actual care, which people might now avoid because of high ObamaCare deductibles. A market might develop for true catastrophic-only insurance, with appropriately low premiums. Note that if ObamaCare insurance becomes unaffordable because of lack of subsidies, the individual mandate penalty/tax does not apply.

Of the money paid to insurers, at least 15 percent goes to administration and much more to activities like “quality assurance” that provide nothing recognizable to patients as a medical service or product. And if the insurer does pay for something, it decides exactly what, when, and how much a beneficiary might receive.

There are many alternatives to dependence on the government/insurer monolith, which the cartel would love to crush, such as health sharing ministries, direct-pay practices, and indemnity insurance. More resources are becoming available to patients (for example, medicalselfsufficiency.com and selfpaypatient.com).

Republicans should not help to suppress alternatives by propping up the ObamaCare monster and leaving the façade of subsidies intact.

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http://www.aapsonline.org/

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Keeping Government Bureaucrats Off the Backs of the Citizenry: The Supreme Court Responds

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By John W. Whitehead
June 22, 2015

This commentary is also available at www.rutherford.org.

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“No man in the wrong can stand up against a fellow that’s in the right and keeps on a-comin’.”—Texas Rangers

In one swoop, on June 22, 2015, a divided U.S. Supreme Court handed down three consecutive rulings affirming the right of raisin farmers, hotel owners and prison inmates. However, this push back against government abuse, government snooping and government theft only came about because some determined citizens stood up and took a stand against tyranny.

The three cases respectively deal with the government’s confiscation of whitehad bokagricultural crops without any guarantee or promise of payment (Horne v. U.S. Department of Agriculture); the practice of police gaining unfettered access to motel and hotel guest registries (City of Los Angeles v. Patel); and the use of tasers and excessive force by prison officials (Kingsley v. Hendrickson).

Whether these three rulings will amount to much in the long run remains to be seen. In the meantime, they sound a cautiously optimistic note at a time when police state forces continue to use advancing technologies, surveillance and militarization to weaken, sidestep and flout the Constitution at almost every turn.

In the first case, Horne v. U.S. Department of Agriculture, a 5-4 Supreme Court declared that raisin farmer Marvin Horne deserves to be compensated for the official seizure of one-third of his personal property by the government.

The case arose after independent raisin farmers in California were fined almost $700,000 for refusing to surrender about 40% of the raisins they produced to the government as part of a program purportedly aimed at maintaining a stable market for commodities.

Marvin and Laura Horne are independent farmers in California and have been growing raisins for almost half a century. During that time, the Hornes were subject to a Depression-era law promulgated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that aims to create “orderly” market conditions for raisins by regulating their supply. Supply is regulated by requiring that raisin producers surrender a certain percentage of their raisins (a so-called “reserve tonnage”) each year to an administrative committee. More

Voting…An Exersize in futility?

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strip bannernew-logo25Marti Oakley

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“Was it Snowden for revealing the insidious activity of this NSA? Or were the traitors actually those who ordered the spying? Maybe it was those who sat at their desks and did the actual spying, or those who wrote the programming that facilitated the spying. I contend that it was not Snowden who betrayed us; it was the NSA and its 55,000 employee’s (conservative estimate) who made the decision that our constitutional rights mattered not….after all, they work for the government!”

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Here we go again. If we can just get the Democrats (Republicans) out of office and putthFLBPYT2F the Republicans (Democrats) in, everything will be better. I have to wonder just how many times we will buy this same old song and dance before we admit that regardless of whom we vote for, regardless of which party they originate from, the flight plan doesn’t change.

So, what is it we expect to be different? More

Rutherford Institute Asks Supreme Court to Safeguard 6th Amendment, Prevent Judges from Ignoring ‘Not Guilty’ Jury Verdicts in Favor of Harsher Sentences

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For Immediate Release: July 15, 2014

Rutherford Institute Asks Supreme Court to Safeguard 6th Amendment,

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Committed to ensuring the continued vitality of the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee to a jury trial in criminal cases, attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case of Ball et al. v. United States. In asking the Court to hear the case in which a jury found three men not guilty of conspiracy drug charges, only to have the judge ignore their ruling and sentence them as harshly as if they had been found guilty, Institute attorneys argue for the need to restore the role of the jury from a minimal one to a central role. Moreover, Rutherford Institute attorneys point out that the Sixth Amendment requires that all persons charged with criminal offenses should only be put at risk for increased punishment and imprisonment on the basis of facts found by a jury of their peers employing the venerable “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard.
The Rutherford Institute’s amicus brief in Ball, et al. v. United States, is available at www.rutherford.org.
“This alarmingly common practice by unelected federal judges of considering charges that criminal defendants were not convicted of during sentencing usurps the role of the jury and violates the constitutional right of citizens to be judged by a jury of their peers,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State. “The very idea that judges could be allowed to discard the sound decisions of the jury in favor of their own determination of the facts runs contrary to the principles embodied in the Sixth Amendment, and to the very idea of a trial by a jury of our peers.”
In filing a brief in support of the petitioners in Ball et al. v. United States, Rutherford Institute attorneys have asked the Supreme Court to review the practice in federal courts that allows judges to consider “relevant conduct” that a defendant was found not guilty of by a jury of his peers, for the purpose of sentencing enhancements decided on by a judge. The case arises out of an incident involving three men, Ball, Jones and Thurston, who were charged in the District of Columbia with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, racketeering, firearms offenses and with selling a “street level” quantity of cocaine. After an eight-month trial involving 106 witnesses, the jury convicted the three of selling very small quantities of drugs but acquitted them of the conspiracy charge. At the urging of the government at sentencing, the judge set the defendants’ sentences as if they were involved in the criminal conspiracy as charged, resulting in a quadrupling of the defendants’ sentences, increasing one defendant’s sentence from less than 3 years to over 16 years. The defendants appealed their sentences to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, but the sentences were affirmed.
In May 2014, the defendants filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court asserting that the judge’s use of acquitted conduct in sentencing violated their Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial in a criminal case. In supporting the defendants’ petition, The Rutherford Institute’s amicus curiae brief points out that precedent allowing a sentencing judge to ignore the factual findings of the jury is contrary to the historic role and purpose of trial by jury as embodied in the Magna Carta and the Sixth Amendment.  Those documents allow imprisonment for crimes only upon the judgment and finding of a “jury of one’s peers.”
The Rutherford Institute was assisted in advancing its arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in Ball v. United States by attorneys Justin M. Sadowsky and by Paul M. Heylman and Matthew J. Antonelli of Saul Ewing LLP.

U.S. SUPREME COURT GIVES GREEN LIGHT TO INDEFINITE MILITARY DETENTION OF AMERICANS WITHOUT CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS

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U.S. SUPREME COURT GIVES GREEN LIGHT TO INDEFINITE MILITARY DETENTION OF AMERICANS WITHOUT CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS
04-30-2014 12:47 am – Bob Unruh – World Net Daily
A decision from the U.S. Supreme Court means the federal government now has an open door to “detain as a threat to national security anyone viewed as a troublemaker,” critics of the high court’s ruling said.

The high court by its own order this week refused to review an appellate-level decision that says the president and U.S. military can arrest and indefinitely detain individuals.

Officials with William J. Olson, P.C., a firm that filed an amicus brief asking the court to step in, noted that not a single justice dissented from the denial of certiorari.

“The court ducked, having no appetite to confront both political parties in order to protect the citizens from military detention,” the legal team told WND. “The government has won, creating a tragic moment for the people – and what will someday be viewed as an embarrassment for the court.”

WND reported earlier when the indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act were adopted, then later challenged in court.

The controversial provision authorizes the military, under presidential authority, to arrest, kidnap, detain without trial and hold indefinitely American citizens thought to “represent an enduring security threat to the United States.”

Journalist Chris Hedges was among the plaintiffs charging the law could be used to target journalists who report on terror-related issues.

A friend-of-the-court brief submitted in the case stated: “The central question now before this court is whether the federal judiciary will stand idly by while Congress and the president establish the legal framework for the establishment of a police state and the subjugation of the American citizenry through the threat of indefinite military arrest and detention, without the right to counsel, the right to confront one’s accusers, or the right to trial.”

The brief was submitted to the Supreme Court by attorneys with the U.S. Justice Foundation of Ramona, California; Friedman Harfenist Kraut & Perlstein of Lake Success, New York; and William J. Olson, P.C. of Vienna, Virginia.

The attorneys are Michael Connelly, Steven J. Harfenist, William J. Olson, Herbert W. Titus, John S. Miles, Jeremiah L. Morgan and Robert J. Olson.

They were adding their voices to the chorus asking the Supreme Court to overturn the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which said the plaintiffs didn’t have standing to challenge the law adopted by Congress.

The brief was on behalf of U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall, Virginia Sen. Dick Black, the U.S. Justice Foundation, Gun Owners Foundation, Gun Owners of America, Center for Media & Democracy, Downsize DC Foundation, Downsize DC.org, Free Speech Defense & Education Fund, Free Speech Coalition, Western Journalism Center, The Lincoln Institute, Institute on the Constitution, Abraham Lincoln Foundation and Conservative Legal Defense & Education Fund.

Journalist Chris Hedges, who is suing the government over a controversial provision in the National Defense Authorization Act, is seen here addressing a crowd in New York’s Zuccotti Park.
The 2014 NDAA was fast-tracked through the U.S. Senate, with no time for discussion or amendments, while most Americans were distracted by the scandal surrounding A&E’s troubles with “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson.

Eighty-five of 100 senators voted in favor of the new version of the NDAA, which had already been quietly passed by the House of Representatives.

Hedges, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and others filed a lawsuit in 2012 against the Obama administration to challenge the legality of an earlier version of the NDAA.

It is Section 1021 of the 2012 NDAA, and its successors, that drew a lawsuit by Hedges, Daniel Ellsberg, Jennifer Bolen, Noam Chomsky, Alex O’Brien, Kai Warg All, Brigitta Jonsottir and the group U.S. Day of Rage. Many of the plaintiffs are authors or reporters who stated that the threat of indefinite detention by the U.S. military already had altered their activities.

Video mania: The instruction manual on how to restore America to what it once was: “Taking America Back” on DVD. This package also includes the “Tea Party at Sea” DVD.

“It’s clearly unconstitutional,” Hedges said of the bill. “It is a huge and egregious assault against our democracy. It overturns over 200 years of law, which has kept the military out of domestic policing.”

Hedges is a former foreign correspondent for the New York Times and was part of a team of reporters awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for the paper’s coverage of global terrorism.

The friend-of-the-court brief warned the precedent “leaves American citizens vulnerable to arrest and detention, without the protection of the Bill of Rights, under either the plaintiff’s or the government’s theory of the case.

“The judiciary must not await subsequent litigation to resolve this issue, as the nature of military detention is that American citizens then would have no adequate legal remedy,” the brief explained.

“Once again, the U.S. Supreme Court has shown itself to be an advocate for the government, no matter how illegal its action, rather than a champion of the Constitution and, by extension, the American people,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute.

“No matter what the Obama administration may say to the contrary, actions speak louder than words, and history shows that the U.S. government is not averse to locking up its own citizens for its own purposes. What the NDAA does is open the door for the government to detain as a threat to national security anyone viewed as a troublemaker.

“According to government guidelines for identifying domestic extremists – a word used interchangeably with terrorists, that technically applies to anyone exercising their First Amendment rights in order to criticize the government,” he said.

It’s not like rounding up innocent U.S. citizens and stuffing them into prison camps hasn’t already happened.

In 1944, the government rounded up thousands of Japanese Americans and locked them up, under the approval of the high court in its Korematsu v. United States decision.

The newest authorizes the president to use “all necessary and appropriate force” to jail those “suspected” of helping terrorists.

The Obama administration had claimed in court that the NDAA does not apply to American citizens, but Rutherford attorneys said the language of the law “is so unconstitutionally broad and vague as to open the door to arrest and indefinite detentions for speech and political activity that might be critical of the government.”

The law specifically allows for the arrests of those who “associate” or “substantially support” terror groups.

“These terms, however, are not defined in the statute, and the government itself is unable to say who exactly is subject to indefinite detention based upon these terms, leaving them open to wide ranging interpretations which threaten those engaging in legitimate First Amendment activities,” Rutherford officials reported.

At the trial court level, on Sept. 12, 2012, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest of the Southern District Court of New York ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and placed a permanent injunction on the indefinite detention provision.

Obama then appealed, and his judges on the 2nd Circuit authorized the government detention program.

Since the fight started, multiple states have passed laws banning its enforcement inside those states. Herb Titus, a constitutional expert, previously told WND Forrest’s ruling underscored “the arrogance of the current regime, in that they will not answer questions that they ought to answer to a judge because they don’t think they have to.”

The judge explained that the plaintiffs alleged paragraph 1021 is “constitutionally infirm, violating both their free speech and associational rights guaranteed by the 1st Amendment as well due process rights guaranteed by the 5th Amendment.”

She noted the government “did not call any witnesses, submit any documentary evidence or file any declarations.”

“It must be said that it would have been a rather simple matter for the government to have stated that as to these plaintiffs and the conduct as to which they would testify, that [paragraph] 1021 did not and would not apply, if indeed it did or would not,” she wrote.

Instead, the administration only responded with, “I’m not authorized to make specific representations regarding specific people.”

“The court’s attempt to avoid having to deal with the constitutional aspects of the challenge was by providing the government with prompt notice in the form of declarations and depositions of the … conduct in which plaintiffs are involved and which they claim places them in fear of military detention,” she wrote. “To put it bluntly, to eliminate these plaintiffs’ standing simply by representing that their conduct does not fall within the scope of 1021 would have been simple. The government chose not to do so – thereby ensuring standing and requiring this court to reach the merits of the instant motion.

“Plaintiffs have stated a more than plausible claim that the statute inappropriately encroaches on their rights under the 1st Amendment,” she wrote.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/04/supreme-court-green-lights-detention-of-americans/#r3IAig6fLWioaQWy.99 – See more at: http://www.libertynewsonline.com/article_301_35369.php#sthash.uo27Loqv.dpuf

new-logo25Bob Unruh – World Net Daily

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“The Obama administration had claimed in court that the NDAA does not apply to American citizens, but Rutherford attorneys said the language of the law “is so unconstitutionally broad and vague as to open the door to arrest and indefinite detentions for speech and political activity that might be critical of the government.” 

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1459169_743562532338888_201663292_nA decision from the U.S. Supreme Court means the federal government now has an open door to “detain as a threat to national security anyone viewed as a troublemaker,” critics of the high court’s ruling said.

The high court by its own order this week refused to review an appellate-level decision that says the president and U.S. military can arrest and indefinitely detain individuals.

Officials with William J. Olson, P.C., a firm that filed an amicus brief asking the court to step in, noted that not a single justice dissented from the denial of certiorari.

“The court ducked, having no appetite to confront both political parties in order to protect the citizens from military detention,” the legal team told WND. “The government has won, creating a tragic moment for the people – and what will someday be viewed as an embarrassment for the court.”

WND reported earlier when the indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act were adopted, then later challenged in court. More

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