Tag Archives: Supreme Court

“Disgraceful”: Supreme Court Sides With Hiding CIA Torture

By Jessica Corbett

This is a breaking story… Please check back for possible updates…

Human rights advocates on Thursday sharply condemned the Supreme Court’s decision that the U.S. government can block the testimony of two former Central Intelligence Agency contractors for a Polish criminal investigation into the torture of a Guantánamo Bay detainee.

“Basically, the Supreme Court has allowed the CIA to decide what can be said in court about the torture of prisoners in CIA black sites,” tweeted Jameel Jaffer, director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. “It’s really a disgraceful abdication of responsibility.”

Abu Zubaydah was captured in Pakistan and has been in U.S. custody since 2002. His attorneys are trying to hold Polish officials accountable for the torture he endured at a CIA facility in Stare Kiejkuty, Poland before being transferred in 2006 to Guantánamo Bay, where he remains.

In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. government can use the “state secrets privilege” to prevent the questioning of the contractors, James Elmer Mitchell and John Bruce Jessen.

In a pretty extraordinary dissent, Gorsuch, joined by Sotomayor, says the government wants to dismiss this suit to conceal evidence that it “brutally” tortured Zubaydah (which is true).

“We should not let shame obscure our vision.” https://t.co/wNnUjjHoLZ pic.twitter.com/wSZvGCv9CV

— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) March 3, 2022

“Today’s ruling will make it much harder, going forward, for victims of government misconduct that occurs in secret to obtain evidence helping to prove that the conduct was unlawful,” said Steve Vladeck, CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law.

“Although this case, specifically, is a narrow dispute about specific evidence concerning the CIA’s alleged torture of Abu Zubaydah in Poland,” Vladeck explained, “it’s likely to have far broader and more troubling ramifications going forward.”

Michigan Supreme Court Rules Against Overreaching County Tax Collector

MATTHEW VADUM  
July 21, 2020

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled that counties may not keep for themselves as a windfall funds left over from the sale of real property for unpaid taxes, an unconstitutional practice the property owner’s lawyers denounce, calling it “home equity theft.”

According to the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), a public interest law firm headquartered in Sacramento, California, that represented the property owner, the decision may be good news for property owners in Michigan, but there are still 12 other states in the country that allow similar practices, including Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Nebraska.

The U.S. Constitution forbids excessive fines and the unauthorized taking of property.

Michigan “twisted the foreclosure process into nothing more than government-sanctioned theft, allowing officials to seize and sell the property of delinquent taxpayers—and keep all proceeds above what’s needed to pay off the debt,” according to a PLF summary.

“Michigan law allows bureaucrats to kick people out of their homes and steal their life savings to collect on debts as small as $8. This is neither fair nor constitutional. Predatory government foreclosure particularly threatens the elderly, sick, and people in economic distress.”

“No one in Michigan should lose the entire equity in their home or land for falling behind on their property taxes,” said Christina M. Martin, a PLF staff attorney.

“We will continue the fight to help other vast numbers of people whose nest eggs have been robbed by this abuse of tax foreclosure law. [The] decision sends a message across the country that this kind of abuse should not be tolerated in the United States any longer.

“This decision will protect people across Michigan by prohibiting county governments from stealing from struggling property owners.”

According to the Michigan Supreme Court’s ruling July 17, in the case cited as Rafaeli LLC v. Oakland County, the plaintiff Rafaeli LLC owed $8.41 in unpaid property taxes from 2011, which grew to $285.81 after interest, penalties, and fees. Oakland County foreclosed on Rafaeli’s property for the delinquency, selling it at auction for $24,500, and keeping all the sale proceeds in excess of the taxes, interest, penalties, and fees.

Rafaeli had bought a rental property in Southfield for $60,000 in August 2011, but failed to remit the 2011 taxes due on the property in the amount of $536.24. Rafaeli sent a payment to the county in August 2012, but the payment fell short of the amount owed. He sent another payment in January 2013 but still owed $8.41, plus $2.26 in interest, penalties, and fees. The delinquency was never paid, and on March 1 that year, the property was forfeited to the county.

A second plaintiff, Andre Ohanessian, owed about $6,000 in unpaid taxes, interest, penalties, and fees from 2011. His property was auctioned off for $82,000, and the county retained the entire sale price.

The issue in this case, the court stated, is whether the county has “committed an unconstitutional taking by retaining the surplus proceeds from the tax-foreclosure sale of Rafaeli’s and Ohanessian’s … properties that exceed the amount plaintiffs owed in unpaid delinquent taxes, interest, penalties, and fees under the General Property Tax Act.”

The court held that “defendants’ retention of those surplus proceeds is an unconstitutional taking without just compensation” under the Michigan state constitution, and remanded the case “to the Oakland Circuit Court for proceedings consistent with this opinion.”

“There is, in fact, a traditional right for a debtor that traces all the way back to England and colonial days … and fortunately, the Michigan Supreme Court recognized that,” Martin told The Epoch Times in an interview.

“The government can seize your property to pay a debt, but it does so subject to the traditional requirement that it sell the property and that it refund the extra profits to the former owner.

“This decision will end the practice in Michigan, perhaps the worst state in the country on the topic until now, and it will hopefully also send a message to those dozen other states, because if they don’t [change their ways], Pacific Legal Foundation is coming for them. We want to end this practice in the United States.”

REVEALED: By Refusing DOJ Decision to Drop Flynn Case Judge Sullivan Ignored UNANIMOUS Supreme Court Decision from LAST WEEK!

 Jim Hoft,
May 15th, 2020

The Barr Justice Department dropped its case against General Mike Flynn last Thursday after bombshell documents were released that proved he was framed by Comey’s FBI.

This was a major win for justice in America after General Flynn was targeted and destroyed by the Obama deep state for daring to speak out against the former failed president.

But on Tuesday the Clinton-appointed Judge Emmet Sullivan made a dirty, political move to delay justice for General Mike Flynn.

Judge Sullivan extended the case by soliciting amicus briefs to allow for public comment on Flynn’s criminal case.

Judge Sullivan also appointed retired Clinton appointee judge John Gleeson to argue against the government’s motion to dismiss the charge against Flynn!
This is unheard of!

First the attorneys for the Mueller team withheld Brady evidence from General Flynn for over a year and now this crooked judge won’t acquit!

Also Sullivan asked the retired judge to look at whether Flynn could be held in criminal contempt for perjury — which was NEVER the charge against the 3-Star General.

The criminal case against General Flynn is over. Judge Sullivan just does not want to admit it.

And Sullivan really looks foolish for his outlandish antics considering the US Supreme Court just one week ago ruled that rogue judges CANNOT do what Judge Sullivan is wanting to do.
The Supreme Court ruled 9-0 to prevent judges like Emmet Sullivan from becoming tyrants on the bench.

Viva Frei did an excellent job explaining this on his Twitter feed.

Mark Chenoweth at Forbes reported:

U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan disregarded two controlling precedents from higher courts with his decision to appoint John Gleeson as amicus curiae in the U.S. v. Michael Flynn case this week. Judicial conduct similar to J. Sullivan’s in these prior, far less politically charged cases was roundly and unanimously condemned by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, D.C. Circuit Judge Sri Srinivasan, and their colleagues across the ideological spectrum. So, whether or not one agrees with the Department of Justice’s call to drop its charges against President Trump’s former National Security Advisor, Gen. Michael Flynn, there should be widespread agreement that J. Sullivan has veered way out of line.

One week ago, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 9-0 decision, authored by Justice Ginsburg, that took judges to task for similar amicus antics. Her opinion for the Court in U.S. v. Sineneng-Smith upbraided the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for violating a basic aspect of legal proceedings called the “party presentation principle.” In a nutshell, this concept dictates that judges must decide the case as presented by the parties before them. They are not to go out questing for dragons to slay (or issues to tackle) that the parties have not brought before them. As J. Ginsburg put it: “[C]ourts are essentially passive instruments of government … They ‘do not, or should not, sally forth each day looking for wrongs to right. [They] wait for cases to come to [them], and when [cases arise, courts] normally decide only questions presented by the parties.”

Original Source: https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/05/revealed-refusing-doj-decision-drop-flynn-case-judge-sullivan-ignored-unanimous-supreme-court-decision-last-week/