ChrisWeigant.com

Judicial Jottings

[ Posted Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 – 18:56 PST ]

I had fully intended to write another column postulating that our president and a few of his advisors are nothing short of blithering idiots (you know, the usual thing), but then I got hooked into the modern world of technology and instead sat through the entire hour-long oral arguments hearing in Washington v. Trump, which turned out to be fascinating. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals helpfully live-streamed the audio of a conference call where the lawyers from the Trump administration and the state of Washington made their case to a three-judge panel, on the merits of the temporary restraining order that a district judge in Washington issued that shut down President Trump's executive order banning people from seven countries from entering the United States. So any citizen could, in effect, sit in the courtroom and hear the cases made. I have to admit a certain level of wonky awe that this is the world we live in -- where such things are not just possible, but are now routine.

I am personally not a lawyer (nor do I play one on the internet), so this isn't going to be an expert legal analysis of the arguments made and the judges' reactions and questions. Just to let everyone know, up front. Instead I only have my own snap reactions to hearing the arguments made, in a few "judicial jottings" (cue: critics of my love of alliteration... heh).

The hearing was sort of a mirror image of the actual case at hand, due to the way these things are handled. The timeline started when President Trump signed the executive order. Then, chaos ensued. Washington state (and Minnesota) then quickly filed a case, and a federal judge issued a "temporary restraining order" -- an emergency injunction which halted all implementation of the entire executive order, everywhere. Temporary restraining orders are supposed to be, well, temporary (it's right there in the name). What is supposed to follow is a hearing by the original judge on whether he should issue an injunction that is a lot less temporary. Then the original case is supposed to go to trial, be ruled upon, and then (if necessary) appealed to the appellate court level before (possibly) ultimately winding up before the Supreme Court.

So there are three steps to the process. Step one is the plaintiff asks for an immediate "stay" of the law in question, to provide immediate relief for the legal harms being imposed. Then both sides argue whether this stay should be permanent, or lifted. The judge rules on this, then the case proceeds to trial, where the merits of the two legal arguments are ruled upon. Washington, in this case, won a temporary restraining order (or "T.R.O." as the legal folks say) that was pretty sweeping in nature (it halted the entire executive order everywhere in the country). So what was being argued today was an appeal of the T.R.O., by the government, whose position was that the T.R.O. itself was causing irreparable harm and should be immediately lifted. This, as I said, is kind of a mirror image, or "cart before the horse" argument, forcing the Trump administration to argue that chaos at the airports is actually the desired situation -- and that removing this chaos is actually what is causing irreparable harm. But the government was the one who appealed the case, so that's the argument that had to be made.

As for today's hearing, it was interesting to hear not only both sides make their case, but also both sides being forced to defend their case to tough questioning as well. The Trump administration lawyer went first, and spoke for about a half an hour, followed by the solicitor general of Washington for another half-hour, with a short period of rebuttal at the end given to the Trump lawyer.

Much of the time was taken up on the question of standing. To bring a case to a federal court, the plaintiff has to prove they have standing to do so. Attacking standing is a common defense (especially in cases which raise constitutional questions), which the Trump lawyer tried to do. At the heart of this argument is the fact that constitutional rights are conditional. An American citizen has constitutional rights (or is supposed to) anywhere in the world, for the federal court system's purposes. If the federal government tried to, say, abduct a person in a foreign country and then send them to Guantanamo Bay for questioning, they would have standing to file a federal lawsuit in a federal court -- even though they were not on United States soil when abducted. A non-U.S. citizen would not have the same rights, or the same standing to sue in federal court. That's the basic theory, although in practice it's more complicated.

Rights hinge on your legal status with America, and with where you geographically are. A non-citizen who was in America (inside an American state or territory) also has many constitutional rights -- the Constitution differentiates between "citizens" and "people" in many parts, but mostly "people" are the ones given constitutional rights, meaning anyone in America of any legal status can claim them in federal court.

One final consideration is the immigration status of the individual. A legal permanent resident (or "green-card holder") is, with very few exceptions, granted the same rights and duties as citizens. The only exceptions I am aware of are: the ability to hold certain sensitive government jobs which for security or constitutional reasons (such as the presidency itself) are limited to citizens; being able (and required) to serve on juries; and the right to cast a vote. Other than those three, if you've got a green card, you get the same rights as citizens. Including the right to travel freely beyond America's borders, knowing you will be able to freely re-enter.

A strange loophole to all of these basic definitions exists, though, at border crossings. U.S. citizens have constitutional rights worldwide. So do green-card holders, for the most part. Non-residents usually only have these rights when physically on American soil. But border crossings are technically a no-man's land in international law, and always have been (indeed, this is how the "man without a country" problem happens). Even though a person who is on the ground at J.F.K. airport is obviously on U.S. soil, controlled by the American government with not even a question of another country's sovereignty regulating that ground, technically they are not legally in America until they pass through the border and customs gates. For instance, this means they can be refused entry and turned around to return from wherever they just arrived from -- without actually being deported. "Deported" means sent from America to another country. But technically, you don't enter America until you clear customs and immigration -- if they want to remove you, they can do so without any possible intervention by an immigration judge.

So the Trump administration's standing argument started from "it doesn't affect anyone within America, therefore the constitutional question doesn't even exist, since these people have no constitutional rights." But this quickly devolved into an argument over whether others that did have standing could sue on their behalf. Would a citizen who is married to a man who is denied entry have standing to sue in federal court? Apparently, she does. Would a university who wanted to bring in a visiting scholar who was denied entry have standing to sue in order to win entry? Turns out they do, too. [Note: Legal readers will already know the cases referenced in the arguments, but I must forget I didn't jot down the precedents by name, sorry.]

Washington state has their own university system. And there are plenty of citizens in Washington who have family members from the seven countries affected. When the Washington lawyer got his time, he expounded at length on how the state was claiming standing, in multiple ways. Standing is an important issue, because if the government can prove standing doesn't properly exist, then that's the end of the whole case, right there.

The Washington solicitor general got some pointed questions on his assertion that the Trump administration is targeting Muslims by its order. This is just one of the many arguments Washington put forward in its case, it bears mentioning. The judge essentially made the Trump administration's case that the president was allowed to ban people based on their nationality, given the fact that we've (in just one example) treated people from Cuba differently than any other foreigners, based solely on the fact that they were from Cuba. He pointed out that the ban, by his own admittedly back-of-the-envelope estimate, only affected something like 15 percent of Muslims worldwide and could therefore not be a "Muslim ban."

The Washington lawyer argued back that that was not the correct legal test to use, since discrimination cases (religious or otherwise) have never had to prove that every single person in any affected class is impacted by an unconstitutional law. Also, that an unconstitutional law, by definition, adversely affects every single American. He also pointed out there was plenty of evidence already that the Trump administration was acting in bad faith, from Trump's own unveiling of the plan on the campaign trail to recent comments by Rudy Giuliani, who was tasked with drafting the measure. At one point the Washington lawyer pointed out that it was very unusual to have such extensive evidence on the intent behind a law or rule before discovery even happens. This case was filed very quickly (the Monday after the Friday when Trump signed the order), and the discovery phase hasn't even begun yet. That's when Washington will be able to depose people involved with drawing up the order (like Giuliani) and dig out any other evidence they can. This is the normal place where discrimination claims are proven, but with the public statements already made by the Trump team, it's pretty obvious what their intent was.

As I said at the start, I'm no lawyer, so I certainly wasn't taking legal notes while raptly listening to the arguments. There were plenty of other issues brought up, some of which you could figure out from the context of the question and some of which were nothing short of legal arcana.

The tilt of the judges seemed as obvious as it usually seems at the Supreme Court during oral arguments. Two of the three judges seemed ready to rule in Washington's favor, and continue the temporary restraining order. They can always review it later, if the district court does issue a more-permanent injunction, after all -- which would give both sides the opportunity to flesh out their own arguments to include much more detail. One of the judges seemed to be leaning pretty heavily towards the Trump interpretation, but even he didn't sound fully convinced on all the positions taken by the Trump administration.

I realize that predicting how judges will rule is the most dicey of any political prognostications (there's that penchant for alliteration, again), but it wouldn't surprise me in the least if this three-judge panel ruled in favor of Washington by 2-to-1 or even unanimously. The interesting thing -- and I do caution that this entire process only deals with the temporary restraining order, and not the actual core arguments of the case -- is that with the Supreme Court stuck at eight members (there's simply no way a ninth justice will be confirmed before this decision happens, if it does make it to the Supreme Court), if they reach a 4-4 tie, this means that the appellate court ruling will stand. If the appellate court rules against Trump, that would mean the temporary restraining order will likely continue throughout the entire legal process the meat of the case will follow. Which would probably mean months and months (at least) before Trump could ever see his executive order go back into effect.

CORRECTION: When first published, this article referred to the "attorney general of Washington state." This has been corrected to the "solicitor general," and we apologize for the error.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

70 Comments on “Judicial Jottings”

  1. [1] 
    altohone wrote:

    Listen
    response to comment 103 from Immoral Equivalence

    I find it very interesting that you know the motivations of those who passed the ordinances in Ferguson.
    Please share your source.

    You never responded to the earlier comment about the poll of the vast majority of police officers who agreed that bad cops weren't being held accountable, or the lack of action on the issue of white supremacists in law enforcement, where we now know there is a problem and literally nothing is being done about it.

    But if police agree that bad cops aren't being held accountable, it means that the claims of shootings reported as "justifiable" may not be, right?
    Claims of resisting arrest may be trumped up, right?
    That arrests may actually be unlawful, right?
    (the DOJ report on Baltimore found 10,000 unlawful arrests in a five year period... in other words, the "few bad apples" excuse can't possibly account for that many)

    "I do not deny that systemic institutional racism has played a major part in the collection of those fines"

    Collections agents are notorious, but the systemic racism originates from those who pass the ordinances and the selective enforcement of the ordinances.

    Are you familiar with John Ehrlichman's comments about how Nixon launched the war on drugs with the specific intent to target black people?

    Are you familiar with the efforts to disenfranchise black voters by making felons ineligible to vote?

    Are you familiar with redlining to limit where black people could purchase homes?
    Discrimination in hiring?
    Business loans?

    Are you familiar with what amounts to local gerrymandering to limit representation in elected office?

    Are you familiar with the hurdles designed to limit voting, ballot measures and running for office?

    How about disparities in education funding?

    These are just some of the well documented, factual tactics that have been and continue to be used regardless of "multiple perspectives" that seemingly ignores what has actually occurred and continues to occur.

    But going back to your comment, are you ruling out the possibility that racism played a role when the tax burden was shifted from white people onto black people?

    A

  2. [2] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    altohone,

    Very familiar with Nixon's reasons for the drug war, which were not solely aimed at the black community but also towards white liberal war protesters as well. Did you know that Nixon chose not to inform all those that were to enforce the drug laws the reasons behind them? Did you know that white people also got arrested for drug possession and distribution?

    As for the police being part of white supremacy groups, I think that is horrible -- but I also think that it would be tough to do anything about it thanks to our Constitution. Unless you can show that the officer has discriminated against a person in an investigation or trial, they have done nothing to warrant discipline actions being taken.

    As for the survey of the police officers regarding those that break the rules not being properly punished, I did not see that and would love to review that if you have a link for it.

    One of Devon's former chiefs was hired by Chicago PD as part of the new administration that was supposed to clean it up. She left after a few months saying that they'll need to completely gut the entire department to rid it of the mindset that has been put in place for decades.

    You make lots of wonderful points that demonstrate how the system has been against the black community in so many instances, and I cannot, nor would I try to dispute. But I never claimed that the black community wasn't the victim of institutional racism, either. You asked how I knew that the white community didn't shift the tax burden onto the black community... Because property taxes usually require a vote of the people and the white community makes up less than 25% of the population.

    And your comment on the 10,000 unlawful arrests...that was based on the determination that the laws on the books were at fault, not that the police were intentionally arresting people without cause. BIG difference!

    One thing that you mentioned in an earlier post was that you did not know whether or not the officer in the Michael Brown shooting could have been done things better or differently. That isn't for you or anyone else to decide. The sole legal question that must be determined in these cases is whether the officer was justified to use deadly force at the moment that he fired his gun. That is it! The moment that Michael Brown attempted to take Officer Wilson's gun, Wilson was cleared to use deadly force. And once that threshold is cleared that authorizes deadly force to be used, it is always the correct response. While Officer Wilson could have chosen other actions, that does not change the fact that his use of deadly force was a correct response.

    As for cops lying to protect other cops... If you think this argument thru, it becomes obvious how ridiculous it really is. Would you lie, risk your career and possible jail time to help a co-worker break the law if you would not benefit from their actions in any way? Especially in this day and age where there are cameras everywhere, are you going to risk everything for someone you might not even like simply because of some "blue line"?

    Police work today is the most transparent that it has ever been in the history of our country. People always say, "the good cops need to turn in the bad cops", but that makes the assumption that the bad cops are flagrantly doing whatever it is that earns them their "bad" title out in the open. Shocker: they hide it from everyone! If you can look at a group of cops and tell the good from the bad, please let someone know that you have that ability. Fact is, the vast majority of police take great pride in their jobs.

  3. [3] 
    michale wrote:

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/02/06/gregg-jarrett-why-law-is-on-trumps-side-with-his-immigration-ban.html

    There is a guy who not only plays a lawyer on the Internet, he IS a lawyer in real life..

    The case against President Trump's EO is solely a political case based on partisanship and has no legal merit..

  4. [4] 
    michale wrote:

    And another sad day for Sci Fi fans..

    Captain Apollo, Richard Hatch, has passed away...

    This is becoming really REALLY depressing...

  5. [5] 
    michale wrote:

    Police work today is the most transparent that it has ever been in the history of our country.

    Amen to frakin' THAT!!

    And your comment on the 10,000 unlawful arrests...that was based on the determination that the laws on the books were at fault, not that the police were intentionally arresting people without cause. BIG difference!

    Yep... Cops get the flak because they are enforcing the laws the CITY creates..

    It's like the Garner incident in Staten Island.. The entirety of the Left Wingery was castigating and denigrating the cops because they tried to arrest Garner for loose cigarettes... But what those whiney Wingery types don't realize is that it was their Lefty hero, DeBlasio whose administration CREATED the loose cigarette laws to boost the city coffers...

    But, of course, it's the grunts on the ground who get the blame.. The Democrat City government is totally and completely blameless...

    THAT is the "logic" of the anti-cop types... :^/

    As for the police being part of white supremacy groups, I think that is horrible -- but I also think that it would be tough to do anything about it thanks to our Constitution. Unless you can show that the officer has discriminated against a person in an investigation or trial, they have done nothing to warrant discipline actions being taken.

    EXACTLY once again..

    That's ANOTHER point that the Left always seems to forget..

    This is America.. An American has a RIGHT to be racist, bigoted, mean, nasty and a total shitbag if they so choose...

    One thing that you mentioned in an earlier post was that you did not know whether or not the officer in the Michael Brown shooting could have been done things better or differently. That isn't for you or anyone else to decide. The sole legal question that must be determined in these cases is whether the officer was justified to use deadly force at the moment that he fired his gun. That is it! The moment that Michael Brown attempted to take Officer Wilson's gun, Wilson was cleared to use deadly force. And once that threshold is cleared that authorizes deadly force to be used, it is always the correct response. While Officer Wilson could have chosen other actions, that does not change the fact that his use of deadly force was a correct response.

    Word.....

    This bears repeating..

    you did not know whether or not the officer in the Michael Brown shooting could have been done things better or differently. That isn't for you or anyone else to decide.

    Well said comment, Russ....

    "Stuart. Don't agree with me. It just makes me doubt myself.."
    -Michael J. Fox, SPIN CITY

    :D

  6. [6] 
    michale wrote:

    http://nypost.com/2017/02/06/sorry-trumps-immigration-order-is-totally-legal/

    More legal precedent that proves Judge Robart is nothing but a political hack...

  7. [7] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Michale,

    Judge Robart is a well known Republican Party supporter in WA. He was appointed by Bush, so if he were to be a political hack, as you put It, then it is safe to bet it is not going to be for the Left!

  8. [8] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Very sad to hear that Richard Hatch died. He was the REAL Capt. Apollo!

  9. [9] 
    michale wrote:

    you did not know whether or not the officer in the Michael Brown shooting could have been done things better or differently. That isn't for you or anyone else to decide.

    Although I would amend that to say that it isn't for anyone who is ignorant of the facts to decide..

    A cop involved in an Officer Involved Shooting must justify his actions to the SRB and they DO have review status over a cop's actions..

    I do get what you are saying and the spirit of what you say is dead on ballz accurate.. But a cop must always be prepared to justify his actions to *PROPER* review boards...

    Not to some willy-nilly hystericals who don't know police work from their arseholes...

  10. [10] 
    michale wrote:

    Judge Robart is a well known Republican Party supporter in WA. He was appointed by Bush, so if he were to be a political hack, as you put It, then it is safe to bet it is not going to be for the Left!

    Judge Robart was appointed by President Bush but that is where his conservative bona fides end..

    He has been nurtured and supported by Democrats...

    He is also WAY wrong, legally wise, in this case.. Unfortunately, his faulty analysis will likely be confirmed by the 9th Circuit, the most over-turned circuit court in the country...

    Very sad to hear that Richard Hatch died. He was the REAL Capt. Apollo!

    Troo dat...

  11. [11] 
    neilm wrote:

    45 is doing everything he can to get ISIS to kill American citizens on American soil, including lining up a scapegoat to blame.

    Needless to say the fanboys will participate in a frenzy of self righteousness.

    If there is an attack 45 should be impeached for inciting it.

  12. [12] 
    neilm wrote:

    Let's hope 45 signs an EO to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices before his terrorist attack on American happens. Let's get some good from this clown.

  13. [13] 
    michale wrote:

    If there is an attack 45 should be impeached for inciting it.

    But, of course, Odumbo *NEVER* incited ANYTHING when he was killing thousands/tens of thousands of innocents, right?? :D

    Well, I am surely glad to see you have adopted the ways of transparency, my friend.. :D

  14. [14] 
    neilm wrote:

    # of comments before Michale tried to blame Obama for 45's screw ups:

    Date:
    2/8/17: 0

  15. [15] 
    neilm wrote:

    Oh- wait a minute - I missed the earlier ones:

    # of comments before Michale tried to blame Obama for 45's screw ups:

    Date:
    2/8/17: 2

  16. [16] 
    neilm wrote:

    45 just can't help himself. Despite it being demonstrated to him repeatedly that the murder rate is near its all time low, he still lies about it being near a historic high.

    What is wrong with this man?

    http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/02/07/513952870/in-meeting-with-sheriffs-trump-repeats-false-murder-rate-statistic

  17. [17] 
    neilm wrote:

    If 45 targets "sanctuary cities" and removes their funding, I think when Democrats get back into power they should target "parasite counties" - counties that have greater than average welfare benefits but still voted for 45.

  18. [18] 
    neilm wrote:

    So, moral dilemma from NYC. A financial firm convinced victims of 9/11 to sell them their compensation for below market value.

    e.g.

    Firefighter gets $50,000 compensation award, but it will take an indefinite amount of time to be paid out.

    Company X offers firefighter $25,000 now for the award.

    Firefighter takes Company X's $25,000.

    Six months later $50,000 award is sent to the firefighter who sends it to Company X.

    Company X made 100% in six months.

    1. Is this 100% profit, or
    2. Is this a loan at an annual rate of ~200% (100% over half a year)?

    The above is a simple example of a lawsuit in NY at the moment. The city think their firefighters are being ripped off by high rate lenders, the lenders are claiming it was a purchase not a loan.

    I'll let the Weigantian Jury decide: 1 or 2?

  19. [19] 
    neilm wrote:

    Here is the legal complaint if you want more details before you decide:

    http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/201702_cfpb_RD-Legal-complaint.pdf

  20. [20] 
    neilm wrote:

    Trolling as a short strategy.

    This is kind of genius:

    Pick a company.

    Sell its stock short.

    Craft an argument that the company is somehow being mean
    to Donald Trump.

    Try to get Trump's attention so he'll tweet mean things about it.

    Profit.

    See this and more about the lawsuit above at Matt Levine's excellent blog:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-02-08/loans-sales-and-ipo-advisers

  21. [21] 
    michale wrote:

    A group of prominent Republicans and business leaders backing a tax on carbon dioxide were taking their case Wednesday to top White House aides, including chief economic adviser Gary Cohn.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-02-08/prominent-republicans-begin-push-to-tax-carbon-cut-regulations

    MORONS.. Absolute MORONS...

  22. [22] 
    michale wrote:

    Oh- wait a minute - I missed the earlier ones:

    # of comments before Michale tried to blame Obama for 45's screw ups:

    Date:
    2/8/17: 2

    Once again, you create a straw-man argument because you cannot logically and rationally counter MY argument..

    The point is NOT that Odumbo killed thousands/tens of thousands of innocent people..

    The point is your hypocrisy for blaming President Trump for fantasy deaths that haven't even happened yet and giving Odumbo a pass for the people who have ACTUALLY been killed by Odumbo's actions...

  23. [23] 
    michale wrote:

    If 45 targets "sanctuary cities" and removes their funding, I think when Democrats get back into power they should target "parasite counties" - counties that have greater than average welfare benefits but still voted for 45.

    Fair enough... *IF* Democrats ever get back into power and do that, I won't say a word if YOU promise to quit whining about President Trump now.....

    Deal?? :D

  24. [24] 
    neilm wrote:

    Deal?? :D

    No way, laughing at 45 is far too entertaining.

    If he only wasn't going to kill 44,000 Americans every year through his incompetence I'd really be enjoying myself

  25. [25] 
    michale wrote:

    No way, laughing at 45 is far too entertaining.

    Yea, I thought as much..

    If he only wasn't going to kill 44,000 Americans every year through his incompetence I'd really be enjoying myself

    And you STILL fail to comprehend how LOUSY yer anti-President Trump and anti-America predictions have NEVER come to pass.. :D

  26. [26] 
    neilm wrote:

    And you STILL fail to comprehend how LOUSY yer anti-President Trump and anti-America predictions have NEVER come to pass.. :D

    Oh I am well aware of my weakness in predictions - we even had a chat about that six or seven months ago - I'll admit to that.

    However you have to explain to me how you can take away healthcare coverage from 20 million people and not expect some deaths. My estimate (not prediction) is 44,000 based on the information I presented to you.

    What is your mortality estimate? What is 45's? If it is zero, why does anybody care about getting healthcare?

    Simple questions ... care to answer?

  27. [27] 
    neilm wrote:

    "We know we have an uphill slog to get Republicans interested in this [CO2 tax]," Baker said before heading to the White House. But "a conservative, free-market approach is a very Republican way of approaching the problem."

    Oh, and it is also the solution in place in Democratic California, and left wing Europe. But if they want to paint it as a Republican/Market approach good luck to them.

    I doubt 45 will be interested. He doesn't understand science.

  28. [28] 
    michale wrote:

    Oh I am well aware of my weakness in predictions - we even had a chat about that six or seven months ago - I'll admit to that.

    I am glad to hear it.. But as long as you keep making partisan-based predictions with nothing but fear-mongering, I'll keep pointing out, with the utmost due respect, yer track record at such...

    But that doesn't mean we can't treat you and yours to dinner whenever yer in town.. :D

    However you have to explain to me how you can take away healthcare coverage from 20 million people and not expect some deaths. My estimate (not prediction) is 44,000 based on the information I presented to you.

    Your PREDICTION is based on a faulty and incomplete information..

    Your PREDICTION is based on the idea, once TrainWreckCare is repealed, there will be NOTHING to replace it..

    That is a partisan based assumption....

    What's yer prediction if TrainWreckCare collapses on it's own and who will you blame for that???

    I can assure you that you won't be blaming Odumbo or the Democrats....

    What is your mortality estimate? What is 45's? If it is zero, why does anybody care about getting healthcare?

    There isn't enough information to make an INFORMED estimate..

    THAT's what you don't understand...

    Oh, and it is also the solution in place in Democratic California, and left wing Europe. But if they want to paint it as a Republican/Market approach good luck to them.

    And it's STILL a moron plan, no matter WHO comes up with it..

    Basically, it's the slippery slope that leads to charging people a tax for exhaling....

    Total and complete moronic-ness, whether it's the Right OR the Left pushing it...

  29. [29] 
    altohone wrote:

    Listen
    2

    Thanks for the response.

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/01/11/police-key-findings/

    72% of police agree that bad cops aren't held accountable.

    Most of the rest of the findings are what you'd expect... but-
    - black officers and white officers view protests differently
    - white officers think efforts to treat minorities equally have mostly been achieved while black officers and the public do not
    - more white officers think "physical confrontation in certain neighborhoods is necessary"

    Yes, I was aware of Nixon's other motivation... but relevant to the discussion?

    "Did you know that Nixon chose not to inform all those that were to enforce the drug laws the reasons behind them"

    Yes, and I'm sure that you aren't saying that secret racism is acceptable... but neither am I saying that those tasked with implementing policies motivated by racism are themselves racist.

    "Did you know that white people also got arrested for drug possession and distribution?"

    Yes, and I would again refer back to my comment about selective enforcement as evidenced by the far higher arrest, prosecution, and incarceration rates for drug offences of minorities.

    "Because property taxes usually require a vote of the people and the white community makes up less than 25% of the population."

    The city ordinances we were discussing are not just property taxes... many could just be enacted by the city council, however, the percentage of the white population changed from when the laws began to be changed, and it's fair to say that voter registration and participation rates and how they are discouraged, how issues are sold relative to how they are implemented, voter suppression and disenfranchisement all played a part in how the post Jim Crow tactics were implemented across the country.

    "they'll need to completely gut the entire department to rid it of the mindset that has been put in place for decades."

    Referring back to the article on the FBI report on white supremacists in law enforcement, one of the problems noted was the shared beliefs by leadership.
    Again, no action on the issue is being taken.

    "it would be tough to do anything about it thanks to our Constitution. Unless you can show that the officer has discriminated against a person in an investigation or trial, they have done nothing to warrant discipline actions being taken."

    The article on the FBI report... and I don't believe I provided an excerpt for this... mentioned how the US military has taken active measures to eliminate white supremacists from the ranks.

    If Americans decided that it is inherently unsuitable to have white supremacists in law enforcement since the job requires dealing with a diverse populace and such personal biases pose a risk to equal treatment, it would absolutely be constitutional to exclude them.

    If you haven't, I would recommend reading that whole article... there is a section about how a previous report faced blowback from conservatives when KKK members in a law enforcement agency were exposed. You are making the same arguments as conservatives, but I think reasonable people would agree that a daycare could refuse to hire someone who talks about their attraction to children even if they've never been caught molesting one.

    "that you did not know whether or not the officer in the Michael Brown shooting could have been done things better or differently. That isn't for you or anyone else to decide. The sole legal question that must be determined in these cases is whether the officer was justified to use deadly force at the moment that he fired his gun."

    I acknowledge your point, but you missed mine.
    It's not about legal accountability for the officer. It's about how we as a society want law enforcement to interact with the public.

    I'm going to lay it on thick here to make the point, but if the officer had said-
    "Pardon me sir, but I would greatly appreciate it if you didn't jaywalk next time you crossed the street because I'm concerned that a little kid may follow you and get hit by a car"
    it's entirely possible that the confrontation would not have occurred.
    It's also possible that Brown was itching for a fight and would have initiated conflict no matter how the officer approached him.

    But it is absolutely our right as citizens to decide the standards for how police approach situations where public safety isn't imminently at risk.

    That takes the discussion into the debate around stop and frisk, the community policing approach, and comparisons even with tactics employed in other countries... what is necessary, what is justifiable, does it have positive results, what are the negative consequences in comparison, etc.

    Going back to the Pew study above, when cops believe "a physical approach is necessary in certain neighborhoods", it would sure seem like there is a need for research on this matter. A scientifically valid look into best practices... rather than leaving it up to those tasked with doing the job.

    "As for cops lying to protect other cops... If you think this argument thru, it becomes obvious how ridiculous it really is. Would you lie, risk your career and possible jail time to help a co-worker break the law if you would not benefit from their actions in any way? Especially in this day and age where there are cameras everywhere, are you going to risk everything for someone you might not even like simply because of some "blue line"?"

    I would again refer you to the Code of Silence series of articles about corrupt cops in Chicago.
    And we dang well know Chicago isn't alone in the problem.
    You mentioned Devon faced harassment from his fellow officers and superiors when he came out... did he file charges or lodge complaints against them or suck it up?

    "If you can look at a group of cops and tell the good from the bad, please let someone know"

    Come on. This is where truly independent review boards come into play.
    And if you followed my discussion with neil, law enforcement opposes this reform even though it has been proven effective. And, yes, it also involves breaking the code of silence "to rid it of the mindset that has been put in place for decades".

    A

  30. [30] 
    neilm wrote:

    Chris Ladd focuses on how 45 has denigrated the value of an American passport with his stupidity. We need this orange clown gone sooner rather than later. He is trashing America, planning to kill us by removing our healthcare, and provoking ISIS into an attack on our soil because they know he will react just as they want him to.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisladd/2017/02/08/immigration-fight-demonstrates-the-value-of-a-corporate-passport/#50806e5f5568

  31. [31] 
    michale wrote:

    We need this orange clown gone sooner rather than later.

    Impeachment or assassination..

    Take your pick....

    But keep in mind that even by ENTERTAINING the choice you are acting EXACTLY as you accused the Right Wingery of acting about Obama...

    Not a pleasant role model ya have there, my friend.. :D

  32. [32] 
    michale wrote:

    GREAT AGAIN: INTEL TO INVEST $7B IN AZ; 3,000 JOBS
    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/08/trump-meets-intel-ceo-brian-krzanich.html

    Go President Trump!!!! :D

  33. [33] 
    neilm wrote:

    Your PREDICTION is based on the idea, once TrainWreckCare is repealed, there will be NOTHING to replace it..

    You are right. But it has been six years and we still haven't seen a bill. What do you expect me to think - that the replacement bill will appear, be haggled over, voted on, the new infrastructure put in place and the roll out completed in an afternoon? A week? A month?

    Point me to the text of a bill that the insurance company and big pharma accept as well as 45 and congress and I'll adjust my 20 million number accordingly.

    Until then, repeal will throw 20 million off healthcare and kill 44,000 people per year.

  34. [34] 
    neilm wrote:

    Go President Trump!!!! :D

    Hmm, the unemployment rate went up from 4.7% to 4.8% in January - care to cheer that?

  35. [35] 
    neilm wrote:

    Impeachment or assassination..

    Take your pick....

    I was thinking resignation.

  36. [36] 
    altohone wrote:

    Listen
    oops
    final paragraph to 29

    If 72% of officers think bad cops aren't being held accountable, then 72% of officers are aware of bad behavior by their fellow officers. So, the bad cops aren't hiding it very well. And since these officers are aware of the bad cops, and the processes in place aren't dealing with the problem, then the processes in place (review boards, internal affairs) are insufficient. "More transparent than ever" is relative. The Hudson River is more transparent than it's been in 100 years, but it's still not transparent.

    A

  37. [37] 
    michale wrote:

    You are right. But it has been six years and we still haven't seen a bill.

    You've seen LOTs of bills..

    You just didn't like any of them...

    I was thinking resignation.

    Keep thinking. :D

    Hmm, the unemployment rate went up from 4.7% to 4.8% in January - care to cheer that?

    The number of Americans who are out of work has dropped considerably..

    Care to denigrate that? :D

    Point me to the text of a bill that the insurance company and big pharma accept as well as 45 and congress and I'll adjust my 20 million number accordingly.

    Frak big pharma and insurance companies..

    They will do what their told.. As opposed to Odumbo and the Democrats who just dropped to their knees and offered hand jobs to go around...

    Until then, repeal will throw 20 million off healthcare and kill 44,000 people per year.

    That's a prediction from a group REPLETE with WRONG predictions...

    What's yer prediction when TrainWreckCare collapses on it's own??

    Who will you blame for THAT??

  38. [38] 
    altohone wrote:

    neil
    16

    The truly sad thing was that Trump lied about the murder rate in a room full of sheriffs and not one of them had the balls to correct him... or they were ignorant too... or they support the lying... or they wanted him to look like a fool...

    ... other possibilities?

    A

  39. [39] 
    neilm wrote:

    You've seen LOTs of bills..

    You just didn't like any of them...

    Please point me to them.

    Frak big pharma and insurance companies..

    They will do what their told..

    Like they did when they stopped us bringing in drugs from Canada?

  40. [40] 
    neilm wrote:

    ... other possibilities?

    They are used to keeping their mouth shut when a superior makes a statement.

    I'm surprised - he basically told them that they were the most incompetent la enforcement establishment in 50 years. I mean, if they agree with his lies, then they must accept they are responsible for this.

    Frankly, I think they see him as a supporter - not too bright, and definitely a clown, but his heart is in the right place from their perspective because Fox News has brainwashed most of them.

    A lot of his supporters look at him like that for the same reason. The fanboys worship him and truly believe it all, but there are always the extremely gullible.

  41. [41] 
    michale wrote:

    They are used to keeping their mouth shut when a superior makes a statement.

    OR....

    President Trump DIDN'T lie and your "alternate" "facts"
    are skewed by partisan bigotry...

    You keep saying that the fan boys are brainwashed..

    But, like a TRUE brainwashed subject, you can't comprehend that it's YOU who could be brainwashed... :D

    That's what's so entertaining about all of this..

    A True Believer castigating political opponents for being True Believers :D

    It's a hoot.... :D

  42. [42] 
    neilm wrote:

    Frankie Boyle - one of Glasgow's most Glaswegian comedians (a night out to the pub in Glasgow is like going to a comedy club in America - it is a funny place), gives his opinion on 45 so far:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/08/donald-trump-obnoxious-karma-reincarnated-as-himself-frankie-boyle

    Some jewels:

    Trapped inside, Melania Trump has a look that I’ve never seen before, the eyes of someone waiting with increasing impatience for Stockholm syndrome to set in. The look of a woman frantically trying to unlearn English, appalled to find that this only makes her understand her husband more clearly.

    ---

    His children look like a teen movie about Wall Street vampires directed by Uday Hussein.

    ---

    He looks like aliens came to Earth and made a human costume after seeing one commercial for a car dealership.

  43. [43] 
    michale wrote:

    They will do what their told..

    Like they did when they stopped us bringing in drugs from Canada?

    That was BPT....

    Of course Pharma and Insurance companies run roughshod over Odumbo and his band of merry enablers..

    THEY were pussies.. :D

    So, WHO are you going to blame when TrainWreckCare collapses under the weight of it's own ineptitude???

  44. [44] 
    michale wrote:

    Trapped inside, Melania Trump has a look that I’ve never seen before, the eyes of someone waiting with increasing impatience for Stockholm syndrome to set in. The look of a woman frantically trying to unlearn English, appalled to find that this only makes her understand her husband more clearly.

    ---

    His children look like a teen movie about Wall Street vampires directed by Uday Hussein.

    ---

    He looks like aliens came to Earth and made a human costume after seeing one commercial for a car dealership.

    Under Odumbo, children were off limits..

    I guess Democrats don't believe that anymore...

    Sad.....

  45. [45] 
    neilm wrote:

    Under Odumbo, children were off limits..

    So Chelsea is off limits?

  46. [46] 
    neilm wrote:

    So, WHO are you going to blame when TrainWreckCare collapses under the weight of it's own ineptitude???

    The people who call for its repeal and are undermining it and boast that they are going to repeal it.

  47. [47] 
    michale wrote:

    So Chelsea is off limits?

    She was until she entered politics...

    I was referring more to Barron.. We have already seen Left Wingers attack him and he is only 10....

    Funny how no one here condemned that???

    Pretty sad, wouldn't you agree...

    The people who call for its repeal and are undermining it and boast that they are going to repeal it.

    Of course.. You won't blame ANY of the people who designed this crappy law.. A law that was untenable from the start...

    It's called OBAMAcare and for you, Odumbo is blameless....

    Color me shocked.. :D

  48. [48] 
    michale wrote:

    I was referring more to Barron.. We have already seen Left Wingers attack him and he is only 10....

    Funny how no one here condemned that???

    Pretty sad, wouldn't you agree...

    But Barron is a Trump so he deserves all the attacks.. :^/

    I really have to wonder if ya'all realize how far ya'all and your Democrats have fallen....

  49. [49] 
    michale wrote:

    So, if President Trumnp delays repeal and tries to make TrainWreckCare work as it should..

    You'll applaud President Trump and give him your full support, right??

    Of course not.. You'll laugh and ridicule him and still denigrate all his actions..

    You see how far gone you are???

    If President Trump does EVERYTHING you want, you STILL will attack him..

    Because *ALL* that matters is the '-R' after his name...

    That's ALL you are concerned about...

  50. [50] 
    neilm wrote:

    I was referring more to Barron.. We have already seen Left Wingers attack him and he is only 10

    Yeah, that's out of line - it was the adult children Boyle was talking about - but what sort of mind immediately wants to take this as an attack on a kid?

    It's called OBAMAcare and for you, Odumbo is blameless....

    It is called the ACA and it has taken 20+ million people off the uninsured rolls. Plus it is turning out to be so popular that the Republicans are wetting their diapers now they need to act on their rhetoric.

    So, if President Trumnp delays repeal and tries to make TrainWreckCare work as it should..

    He canceled the key enrollment program, so he is trying to break it. Sadly for him, most people already think it has been repealed because he boasted so many times about how he was going to so on day one.

    He broke it, he owns it.

    If President Trump does EVERYTHING you want, you STILL will attack him..

    That is a good one. No, I didn't want DeVos to destroy our public education system. I don't want climate deniers to make America the most backward OECD country when it comes to responding to global warming.

    I also don't want to pointlessly insult the Muslim community worldwide and help recruit terrorists that will target our people on our soil.

    Talking about killing Americans, I'd like to see sensible gun laws that 90% of Americans support to save lives, or even better a personal responsibility law.

    Plus the ACA needs to be strengthened by 45 saying that this is a very good program that he will work to further improve so 44,000 Americans don't die needlessly every year after he destroys it.

    I'd like him to apologize for his comments about grabbing women, stop lying constantly about homicide rates, crowd sizes, and his excuse for losing the election by 3 million votes.

    I'd like him to accept that Putin is not looking out for America's best interests.

    Then I'd like him to resign and in his exit speech admit that he is totally unqualified for the job and apologize for thinking he could perform a serious role in such an insulting manner.

    And I'm only getting started.

  51. [51] 
    michale wrote:

    Yeah, that's out of line - it was the adult children Boyle was talking about - but what sort of mind immediately wants to take this as an attack on a kid?

    Because of the Left Wingery's attack on a 10 year old kid that no one here seemed fit to condemn..

  52. [52] 
    michale wrote:

    It is called the ACA and it has taken 20+ million people off the uninsured rolls. Plus it is turning out to be so popular that the Republicans are wetting their diapers now they need to act on their rhetoric.

    And also kicked millions of Americans off of plans they were PROMISED they could keep..

    Also has forced millions of Americans into plans that they can't afford to use..

    TrainWreckCare is a piece of shit and BECAUSE it's a piece of shit, Democrats have lost over 1000 political seats in the last 6 years...

    This is fact....

  53. [53] 
    michale wrote:

    And I'm only getting started.

    Of course you are..

    It's going to be a LONG 8 years for you... :D

  54. [54] 
    michale wrote:

    Talking about killing Americans, I'd like to see sensible gun laws that 90% of Americans support to save lives, or even better a personal responsibility law.

    Get rid of the 2nd Amendment and you can have your gun ban...

    Because that's what you really want...

  55. [55] 
    michale wrote:

    But, when one considers that the SCOTUS may end up 7-2 in favor of conservatives, I think ya'all can kiss the annulment of the 2nd Amendment goodbye... :D

  56. [56] 
    michale wrote:

    https://www.city-journal.org/html/schumers-nuclear-showdown-15008.html

    It remains to be seen whether or not the Democrats will act smart with regards to Judge Gorsuch..

  57. [57] 
    michale wrote:

    https://www.city-journal.org/html/schumers-nuclear-showdown-15008.html

    It remains to be seen whether or not the Democrats will act smart with regards to Judge Gorsuch..

  58. [58] 
    michale wrote:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2017/02/08/trump_judges_biased_if_his_order_is_blocked_133024.html

    President Trump is going to have a lot of egg on his face if the 9th Circuit upholds his Executive Order... :D

    But, it's the 9th, so the chances of that are virtually nil... heh

  59. [59] 
    neilm wrote:

    It's going to be a LONG 8 years for you... :D

    I sincerely hope not ;)

  60. [60] 
    michale wrote:

    I sincerely hope not ;)

    I know you do... But, for the Left, hoping hasn't been much help as of late... :D

    I'm just sayin'....

  61. [61] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    neilm- (18)-
    The answer is 1. No wait, the answer is 2.
    Let's just hope the courts find it's illegal.
    If not, I'm in the wrong business.

  62. [62] 
    michale wrote:

    Don,

    Why would the courts find it illegal..

    What law has been broken???

  63. [63] 
    neilm wrote:

    What law has been broken???

    There are usury limits in NYC - 100% over 6 months breaks the law - it is regarded as loan sharking.

    Should have explained that ahead of time. My bad.

  64. [64] 
    michale wrote:

    There are usury limits in NYC - 100% over 6 months breaks the law - it is regarded as loan sharking.

    I am not being facetious here, I am sincerely curious..

    Wouldn't this come under the heading of annuity loans, which as far as I know are 100% legal...???

    In this particular case, I could see if it was KNOWN that the payout time frame was 6 months... The gist I got was that the payout time was expected to be years.. It was just happenstance that it took such a short time..

    As I said, this is one of the few times I am NOT trying to be a pain in the arse.. :D

  65. [65] 
    neilm wrote:

    Wouldn't this come under the heading of annuity loans, which as far as I know are 100% legal...???

    I'm not sure - but I think that the City feels that their 9/11 injured firefighters, cops, etc. were taken advantage of and they are very touchy about anybody messing with them.

    The usury laws limit the interest rates that can be charged so if they can prove it was a loan instead of a purchase then it falls foul of the law and thus they can be fined - the firefighters and cops getting the money from the fines I assume.

    I also suspect it might be a warning to other firms not to mess with the 9/11 victims or expect the City to come after you with everything they have.

  66. [66] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    altohone,

    72% of police agree that bad cops aren't held accountable

    I am not finding that statement anywhere in the article you provided. What I did find was this:

    When asked about the extent to which underperforming officers are held accountable, only 27% of officers agree that in their department those who consistently do a poor job are held accountable.

    Please note that an "underperforming officer" and a "bad cop" are NOT the same things! No officer that knowingly violates the rules and law would ever be referred to as "underperforming"!

    There are a few other things with this article that I wanted to point out.


    And a substantial share of officers (44%) agree that some people can only be brought to reason the hard, physical way.

    I would guess that the officers who answered this question were thinking of a 350lbs man on PCP and bath salts, for instance. Or a drunk person physically attacking their spouse. Not someone who has the ability to act rationally.

    Only 14% of officers say that the public understands these risks very or somewhat well, while 86% say the public doesn’t understand them too well or at all. But in a separate Pew Research Center survey of the general public, an overwhelming majority of U.S. adults (83%) say they do understand the risks and challenges that police officers face.

    These are the ones that I always get pissed at reading. The questions being answered are not asking the same things!!! The police are asked how well they think the public understands the risks and challenges they face. The public isn't asked HOW WELL they understand the risks and challenges; only IF they understand them. The problem is also that there is no way of determining how well the public actually understands the challenges police face. I know from talking to people after they do a ride along with the police that most say afterwards that they did not realize just what all the police have to put up with prior to doing the ride along.

    And if you followed my discussion with neil, law enforcement opposes this reform even though it has been proven effective. And, yes, it also involves breaking the code of silence "to rid it of the mindset that has been put in place for decades".

    I would feel very safe if we were to bet on the main reason given by police as to why they oppose having members of the public on review boards that the majority would say,

    "BECAUSE THEY DO NOT KNOW/UNDERSTAND THE LAWS ASSOCIATED WITH POLICE WORK!"

    Seriously, this is a no brainer of a bet! This is also where I feel journalists could be doing a much better job at helping the public understand how our legal system work. Explain what the prosecutor has to prove in order to get a guilty verdict for a particular charge.

    One of the things that got very little press after the Trayvon Martin verdict that found George Zimmerman "not guilty" was an interview with the Hispanic juror named Madie. She told how at the start of the trial that she wanted so badly to find GZ guilty for Trayvon's mother. Then she describes how after all the testimony was given and both sides rested, the judge gave the jury their instructions and informed them what the law required of them in order to find GZ guilty. She said the moment the jury was given the legal definitions that she realized that the trial should have NEVER happened and even suggested that the prosecution simply did it to create a spectacle! She made it very clear that based on the law, there was no way to find GZ guilty.

    I just wanted to thank you for having this discussion with me. I appreciate your willingness to debate points and the respect I feel that you have shown to Devon with your choice of wording during our conversation. I have truly enjoyed it.

    Russ

  67. [67] 
    michale wrote:

    One of the things that got very little press after the Trayvon Martin verdict that found George Zimmerman "not guilty" was an interview with the Hispanic juror named Madie. She told how at the start of the trial that she wanted so badly to find GZ guilty for Trayvon's mother. Then she describes how after all the testimony was given and both sides rested, the judge gave the jury their instructions and informed them what the law required of them in order to find GZ guilty. She said the moment the jury was given the legal definitions that she realized that the trial should have NEVER happened and even suggested that the prosecution simply did it to create a spectacle! She made it very clear that based on the law, there was no way to find GZ guilty.

    Again, this bears repeating...

    Mainly because it's the EXACT same thing I was saying at the time of the incident...

    Putting George Zimmerman on trial was SOLELY and COMPLETELY to appease the black rioters, thugs and scumbags...

    NO OTHER REASON exists...

  68. [68] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    altohone,

    Devon wanted me to also point out that many would consider new hires as "underperformers" who officers may think are too green to be released, but the administration releases them anyway. Devon is quick to note that these folks aren't training supervisors, typically, and that their concerns aren't based on any real evidence.

  69. [69] 
    michale wrote:

    And Senator Sessions has been confirmed as Attorney General....

    So far, the Democrat Party is batting **ZERO** in stopping President Trump's nominees..

    Harry Reid, take a bow!!! President Trump couldna have done it without you!!! :D

    I think this is the FIRST time in quite a while that a POTUS has gotten each and every one of his nominees confirmed.... :D

  70. [70] 
    altohone wrote:

    Listen
    66

    Well, underperforming isn't good, but I see your point.
    The headlines from numerous other outlets reporting on the Pew study used the "bad cop" terminology, and it does indeed have a different meaning in common usage... generally as a euphemism.

    I suppose we will have to hope that Pew is more direct in their next survey, because I suspect that in the context of the statement in the Pew article, that "underperforming" is actually a euphemism as well.
    But not knowing that to be true, the literal meaning should prevail and I'm glad you pointed it out.

    I think I would have to disagree about obese men on bath salts or drunk wife beaters being behind the "certain neighborhoods" generalization though.
    It seems plausible for a subset, but not probable in general.
    I tend towards the cynical though.

    As for independent review boards, independent doesn't mean ignorant.
    I think objectivity is necessary in the process, and the current system does not provide for enough.
    If I were a police officer, I would probably agree with your position... and that's the issue in a nutshell. The public deserves oversight from people who are not comfortable with "the way things are done" because the public isn't happy with the way things have been done.
    Setting aside the headline stories, truly staggering sums of public money are going to settle lawsuits stemming from police misconduct.
    Spending a little bit more on oversight to prevent that makes sense.
    You mentioned the impact of the transparency from all the incidents caught on video. And the Pew study mentioned the deterioration of trust by the public and the belief by officers that the public has a lack of understanding... and independent review boards would help address both of those problems.

    Nobody who already has supervisors wants yet another person or group looking over their shoulder, but the unique nature of law enforcement and the life altering and sometimes life ending consequences means that police officers should understand and put up with the extra hassle even though the job is already difficult enough.

    I've enjoyed our discussion as well.
    If you have the time and desire, I was hoping to hear your response on a couple of other issues I raised in my earlier comment.
    It's curiosity not necessity, so no worries if you don't.

    A

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