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Saturday, April 05, 2014

A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit against Obama administration officials for the 2011 drone-strike killings of three U.S. citizens in Yemen, including regional al-Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki. The suit was filed by al-Awlaki's father the mother of al-Qaida propagandist Samir Khan. U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer said that U.S. government moved against al-Awlaki in accordance with the Authorization for Use of Military Force, which was enacted by Congress after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Collyer ruled that the defendants, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, then-CIA Director David Petraeus and two special forces commanders, "cannot be held personally responsible in monetary damages for conducting war."


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The federal government loses its control of land that's granted to railroad companies after the track has been abandoned, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday. The court sided with a private landowner in Wyoming who is fighting efforts to convert disused tracks into a bike path near his house.

Holding: When a railroad abandons the right of way granted under the General Railroad Right-of-Way Act of 1875, the private party who acquired the land underlying the right of way obtains full rights over the right of way, which was an easement terminated by the railroad's abandonment. read more


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A federal judge has struck down Texas' ban on same-sex marriage, ruling Wednesday it has no "rational relation to a legitimate government purpose." Judge Orlando Garcia, based in San Antonio, stayed enforcement of his decision pending appeal, meaning homosexual couples in Texas for the time being cannot get married. "One of the court's main responsibilities is to ensure that individuals are treated equally under the law. Equal treatment of all individuals under the law is not merely an aspiration it is a constitutional mandate," said Garcia.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

An Intelligence Squared debate pits the ACLU's Ben Wizner and Daniel Ellsberg vs. former CIA Director James Woolsey and Andrew McCarthy: "Has Edward Snowden done the U.S. a great service? There is no doubt that his release of highly classified stolen documents has sparked an important public debate, even forcing what could be a major presidential overhaul of the NSA's surveillance programs. But have his actions -- which include the downloading of an estimated 1.7 million files -- tipped off our enemies and endangered national security? Is Snowden a whistleblower, or is he a criminal?" read more


Thursday, February 13, 2014

We learned last week that the court -- and to my eye quite unsurprisingly -- had granted the Department of Justice's request to tweak minimization procedures applicable to the 215 program, among other things by having the FISC pre-approve the NSA's determinations of "reasonable and articulable suspicion" ("RAS"). That's the standard required, in order for the NSA to query the trove of metadata it has received from various companies subject to 215 orders. And the decision to seek advance FISC sign-off before querying was, of course, one of several policy shifts announced in the President's speech last month on intelligence matters. read more


Comments

Mexico's gun control laws: A model for the United States? By David Kopel www.washingtonpost.comWhatever the exact percentage, it is incorrect to assert that purchases from American gun stores for the purposes of smuggling into Mexico are the prime source of American guns in Mexico. To the contrary, of the Mexican guns that are successfully traced to the U.S., the average firearms age is fifteen years, according to data compiled by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives. The age of these guns is strong evidence that they were legal American guns that were stolen and then sold into the black market–and not guns which were bought at a gun store as part of a plan for them to be immediately transported to Mexico.Download the paper at the link. Import of guns to Mexico has a long history. Recent ventures began with President Bush I, Section IV D, p. 54.

Bottom line, strict gun control such as Mexico's doesn't work. No reason to think it would work here.

Congress has already held Eric Holder in Contempt of Court. A Federal Judge has already denied the Attorney General's appeals.

This kind of crap reporting infuriates me. Congress held Holder in contempt. They must and did file a suit to enforce the contempt. Holder filed a motion to dismiss (a common federal procedural device). The court denied the motion. Holder then moved for permission to appeal, interlocutory appeals are not favored and rarely granted. The court denied the interlocutory appeal. That's it.

Both the Legislative and Judicial Branches have ruled that the administration must hand over Fast and Furious documents.

Legislative yes, judicial wrong. There has been no ruling on the merits. The court has not ordered any such thing.

Never, never rely on the media, crap internet media, to accurately report on legal matters. Never believe what some jagoff journalist or pundit says a court did or said, read the original document yourself, always.

in 1993 cost were raised and made it very difficult to raise cattle there.

The base grazing fee was set by Congress at $1.35 AUM, the last two years used that rate. www.blm.gov In '92-'93 a rate increase to $3.96 AUM was proposed, it failed. www.biologicaldiversity.org The paper also says that in 2002, the grazing fee was set at $1.43 AUM, while the average market rate in the sixteen western states was reported to be $13.10 AUM. So, the US treasury subsidizes grazing cattle.

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