Civil asset forfeiture is big government at its worst.
Tonya Smith and her husband, Dimitrios Patlias, went to a casino in Maryland a few years ago and struck luck. They took their winnings and headed for dinner at another casino in West Virginia, but they never made it. On their ride over, they were stopped by police and forced to exit their car. Smith, who was 34 weeks pregnant at the time, was placed in handcuffs along with her husband as cops searched their car with dogs. Officers then questioned them about a slew of illegal activities: drugs, guns, smuggling untaxed cigarettes, gift-card fraud.
Ultimately, nothing illegal was found in the vehicle and they were allowed to leave with just a warning citation for crossing into another lane—but not before cops robbed them of the gift cards, an iPhone, and the $10,478 cash in their possession.
Victory: Court rules U.S. Food and Drug Administration failed to analyze the risk escaped engineered salmon pose to endangered wild salmon
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Today, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) violated core environmental laws in approving the genetically engineered (GE) salmon. The Court ruled that FDA ignored the serious environmental consequences of approving genetically engineered salmon and the full extent of plans to grow and commercialize the salmon in the U.S. and around the world, violating the National Environmental Policy Act.
The Court also ruled that FDA’s unilateral decision that genetically engineered salmon could have no possible effect on highly-endangered, wild Atlantic salmon was wrong, in violation of the Endangered Species Act. The Court ordered FDA to go back to the drawing board and FDA must now thoroughly analyze the environmental consequences of an escape of genetically engineered salmon into the wild.
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President Donald Trump’s legal team repeated its vow Sunday to bring a wave of new lawsuits contesting Joe Biden’s win of the presidency, starting with a federal suit to be filed Monday alleging that Philadelphia and Pittsburgh were awash in vote fraud.
Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, elaborated on the pending suits in an interview on Fox News in which he leveled allegations that, in several cases, the GOP had already argued without success in previous court challenges.
However, the Trump legal team did cite at least one case from Pennsylvania in which it appears the vote of a dead woman from the Pittsburgh area was received and marked as “recorded” by election officials.
In his Sunday remarks, Giuliani contended the suits could reverse the electionoutcome, at least in Pennsylvania.
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)– The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin is calling for evictions to be temporarily banned in the state as many residents face financial turmoil caused by the pandemic.
The Wisconsin chapter is joining affiliates in 19 other states to push lawmakers to issue or expand “statewide moratoria against evictions and commit to preventing mass evictions after these moratoria end,” according to a statement Thursday.
ACLU said people of color and women especially are in need of such protections.
“The disproportionate toll that the COVID-19 crisis has taken on communities of color has already been devastating enough, and the burden will only become more severe if action isn’t taken to prevent evictions and utility shut-offs,” said Asma Kadri Keeler, staff attorney with the ACLU of Wisconsin.
“Homelessness and housing instability cause a myriad of lasting financial, emotional, and health problems which victimize women of color and their families most acutely. In the pandemic context, it also poses a serious health risk to the public writ large,” Asma Kadri Keeler adds.
A Miami federal judge has denied an early release from prison for one of the kingpins of the Cali drug cartel, ruling that his health and the threat of the COVID-19 coronavirus are not sufficient grounds to end his incarceration. The decision from U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno means that Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela, an 81-year-old former leader of the Cali cartel, will continue to serve his 30-year sentence at a federal penitentiary in North Carolina.
Rodriguez Orejuela and his brother Miguel, former leaders of the infamous Cali drug cartel, pleaded guilty in 2006 to trafficking more than 200 tons of cocaine from Colombia to the United States during the 1980s and ‘90s. The brothers reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors in Miami that allowed dozens of family members to avoid prosecution for money laundering and obstruction of justice charges as part of the agreement.
Rodriquez Orejuela’s attorney had filed a petition with the court requesting early release for his client on compassionate grounds. Attorney David O. Markus argued that Rodriquez Orejuela’s medical history, which includes colon cancer, prostate cancer, two heart attacks, high blood pressure, skin cancer, gout, chronic anxiety and depression, qualified him for compassionate release. Markus also cited media accounts of the threat that the COVID-19 poses to prison inmates as cause to let him out of prison.
“Because there were already sufficient reasons to release him, this crisis gives the court further reasons to grant his motion,” he said.