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U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Uphold Ban on Double Jeopardy & Protect Citizens From Successive Prosecutions

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For Immediate Release: June 18, 2019

The Rutherford Institute

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to protect citizens from being prosecuted for the same crime by federal and state governments, a fundamental right enshrined in the Fifth Amendment’s Double Jeopardy Clause.

In a 7-2 ruling in Gamble v. United States, the Supreme Court affirmed the “separate sovereigns” rule, an exception to the Double Jeopardy doctrine that allows states and the federal government to prosecute a person successive times for the same act, even if the person is found not guilty in the first trial. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Neil Gorsuch dissented, warning that the Court’s majority had failed to recognize that the people—not the government—should be the ultimate sovereigns of power. The Rutherford Institute filed an amicus brief in Gamble, arguing that the “separate sovereigns” doctrine exception—which recognizes federal and state governments as separate sovereigns with distinct prosecutorial powers—violates the Fifth Amendment by enabling the government to abuse its power to prosecute, which is reflected the nation’s harsh and overly-punitive criminal justice system.

“As Justice Gorsuch recognized in his dissent, ‘A free society does not allow its government to try the same individual for the same crime until it’s happy with the result,’” said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People. “Despite the Constitution’s clear mandate against double jeopardy, the Supreme Court has given the state and federal governments the green light to continue to subject the citizenry to these prosecutorial abuses.”

MAKE THE GOVERNMENT PLAY BY THE RULES OF THE CONSTITUTION: SUPPORT THE FIGHT FOR FREEDOM
The Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that no person shall “be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb[.]” This prohibition embodies the fundamental principle that it is unfair and an abuse of power for the government to seek to put a person on trial for a criminal offense after that person has already been tried and acquitted (or convicted) of that same offense. However, in a series of cases dating back to the 1850’s, the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized that, because the states and the federal government are “separate sovereigns,” a person can be put on trial for an offense by the federal government even though the person was tried for the same offense in a state court.

In 2015, Terence Gamble was stopped by police while driving with a faulty headlight, and a subsequent search of the vehicle turned up a handgun. Because Gamble had previously been convicted of a felony, his possession of the gun was illegal. He was tried and convicted in state court for illegal possession of a firearm and sentenced to one year imprisonment. While his state conviction was pending, the federal government also charged Gamble with being a felon in possession of a firearm based on the same event that was the basis for his state conviction. Gamble raised the Fifth Amendment’s Double Jeopardy Clause as a defense to the federal charge, but the federal trial court ruled it was forced to reject the defense because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s “separate sovereigns” decisions. The federal court then sentenced Gamble to 46 months’ imprisonment, meaning that Gamble would be imprisoned for nearly three years more than if only the state sentence had been imposed.

In its amicus brief in support of Gamble, The Rutherford Institute urged the Supreme Court to overrule the “separate sovereigns” doctrine because it enables a system where federal and state prosecutors and law enforcement officers can work together against a defendant to apply overbearing institutional pressure.

The Supreme Court’s opinion and The Rutherford Institute’s amicus brief in Gamble v. United States are available at www.rutherford.org. Attorney Elliott Harding assisted the Institute in presenting the arguments in Gamble.

This press release is also available at: https://bit.ly/2wZj9cb

The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties organization, provides legal assistance at no charge to individuals whose constitutional rights have been threatened or viola

SCOTUS, the Constitution, Freedom and Your Health

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by Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D.

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We stand at the crossroads of liberty or despotism. Each day the news brings examples of assaults on life and liberty. These include:

The multifaceted assault on individual freedom is by design, as outlined in the teachings of Karl Marx, Saul Alinsky, and other radical leftists whose goal is to tear down the principles and institutions that made America the quantum leap in the history of humankind, based on the exceptional idea that Life and Liberty are natural rights that come from our Creator, not from government. More

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

 

 

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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new logoorient

 

 

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/

About the author/contributor: More

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

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