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Tag: supreme court

Supreme Court to Tackle Thorny Case of U.S.-Mexico Border Shooting

Border marker, via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When Mexican teenagers are shot at the American border, can American families sue in U.S. courts?

The U.S. Supreme Court will try to answer that question, it announced Thursday in deciding to take a case involving a Border Patrol agent who was in Texas when he shot across the border and killed a 15-year-old boy in Mexico, The Associated Press reports.

The family of Sergio Adrián Hernández Güereca said the teenager was playing a game with friends when he was shot in the head by Agent Jesus Mesa Jr.

Mesa said he pulled the trigger because he was under attack by rock throwers.
The Supreme Court took the case in February 2017 but sent it back to a lower court for more proceedings.

At the time, the Trump administration argued the right to sue in U.S. courts “should not be extended to aliens injured abroad.”

Supreme Court Intervenes in Mueller investigation of mysterious foreign firm

U.S. Supreme Court

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Supreme Court has intervened for the first time in Robert Mueller’s 19-month special counsel investigation into Russian election interference and President Trump’s former and current aides.

Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative appointed by President George W. Bush, on Sunday issued an order to temporarily put the breaks on a contempt citation against an undisclosed foreign-owned firm.

Roberts granted the request a day after the company petitioned the Supreme Court to intervene arguing it is immune from grand jury subpoenas because it’s an extension of a foreign government. Roberts also temporarily halted a financial penalty imposed by a judge for failing to comply with the subpoena.

The federal government has until Dec. 31 to respond to the firm’s petition.

The circumstances surrounding the case remain a mystery because the case has not been made public.

What is certain that the case involves Mueller, who since he was appointed in May 2017 has charged 133 people and convicted three senior Trump associates.

White House Is ‘Fully Confident’ of Kavanugh’s Confirmation After FBI Finishes Brief Review

Brett Kavanaugh during the Senate confirmation hearings.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The White House said it is “fully confident” the Senate will confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after the FBI completed its investigation following at least three sexual assault allegations against the judge.

The Judiciary Committee said it received the bureau’s report early Thursday, setting the stage for what could be a contentious day on Capitol Hill.

Senators are being given access to the report at a secure facility at the Capitol. 

An official briefed on the FBI investigation told the New York Times that nine of the 10 people whom the FBI had contacted agreed to interviews. The identities of those people were not immediately clear.

Democrats said the FBI did not conduct a thorough investigation into three allegations that Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted women in high school and college.

FBI to Wrap Up Kavanaugh Investigation As Early As Today

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at his Senate confirmation hearing.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI investigation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanugh may wrap up as early as today, even though the accusers have not been interviewed as of this morning.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the report will be finished in time for the Senate to vote this week on Kavanugh’s nomination to the highest court.

“We’ll have an FBI report this week, and we’ll have a vote this week,” McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters.

An unnamed Trump administration official told the USA Today that the report will be in the hands of lawmakers soon, if not today. 

Trump also expressed confidence that the vote will be this week.

“And I think the process – I must say, I think – hopefully, as Mitch said, they’ll have a vote by the end of the week, and it will be a positive vote. But it will be dependent on what comes back from the FBI,” Trump said Tuesday. “The FBI – the FBI is working. They’re working very hard. And let’s see what happens.”

The FBI investigation was aimed at instilling confidence in the confirmation process, but Democrats are not happy with how quickly the bureau plans to wrap up the investigation.

Senators called for a one-week investigation on Friday.

“A Supreme Court nominee must, whatever their politics, be a shining example of someone who tells the truth,” Schumer tweeted. “Every Senator now must assess these serious allegations, and consider whether Judge Kavanaugh has the temperament, independence, and credibility to serve.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., urged his colleagues not to rush a vote.

“A Supreme Court nominee must, whatever their politics, be a shining example of someone who tells the truth,” Schumer tweeted. “Every Senator now must assess these serious allegations, and consider whether Judge Kavanaugh has the temperament, independence, and credibility to serve.”

What to Expect from Weeklong FBI Probe into Supreme Court Nominee Kavanaugh

Christine Blasey Ford testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Friday.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Whether Judge Brett Kavanaugh makes it to the nation’s highest court may come down to a one-week FBI investigation.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., called for an FBI investigation on Friday following an intense and emotional nomination hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“I think that we ought to do what we can to make sure that we do all due diligence with a nomination this important,” Flake said just hours after he said he would vote to confirm Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

So what would a week-long FBI investigation entail?

The Republican-led committee called for the probe to be “limited to current credible allegations against the nominee.”

Three women have come forward to claim Kavanaugh sexually assaulted them.

But one of those women’s accusations aren’t being treated seriously, said Michael Avenatti, a lawyer for Julie Swetnick, who said Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her and that she was gang-raped at a party decades ago.

“This investigation is only as good as the scope,” Michael Avenatti, a lawyer for Swetnick, told USA TODAY. “If the scope doesn’t include my client and the others who have accused Mr. Kavanaugh, how can it be a credible investigation?” 

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, tweeted that the “FBI’s hands must not be tied in this investigation.”

“We need the facts,” she wrote.

But on Friday, President Trump said the investigation “must be limited in scope.”

Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway said the FBI must determine what “limited scope” means but indicated the probe cannot “be a fishing expedition.”

Following a rally in West Virginia on Saturday, Trump said the FBI has “free rein.”

“Whatever it is they do, they’ll be doing things that we’ve never even thought of,” the president said.

The FBI declined to comment.

Most likely, FBI agents will try to determine the veracity of the claims by Christine Blasey Ford, who said Kavanaugh pulled her into a room, held her down, fondled her and cupped his hand over her mouth to prevent her from screaming. That means interviewing everyone who attended the party, including Mark Judge, whom Ford said stood watch outside the locked room while Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her.

According to the USA Today, the FBI has contacted Deborah Ramirez, a former Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s, who said he exposed himself during a drunken party.

The FBI has the resources to handle special investigations, former bureau officials said.

“They could knock this thing out in a couple of days,” said Jim Davis, a former agent who participated in at least 50 such background inquiries.

The investigation’s findings will be turned over to the White House, which then must share them with the Senate committee.

A full Senate vote could happen later this week or next week.

With a 51-seat majority, all but one Republican must approve the nomination if every Democrat opposes it, as long as Vice President Mike Pence casts the tie-breaking vote in Kavanaugh’s favor.

Dem Senator Says Confirmation Vote on Kavanaugh Should Be Delayed Pending Outcome of FBI Probe Into Sexual Assault Allegations

Brett Kavanaugh during the Senate confirmation hearings.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Senate should wait on voting for the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court until the FBI conducts an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations.

That’s according to Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Feinstein’s statement follows a Washington Post report that detailed a first-hand account of sexual abuse by California professor Christine Blasey Ford. 

In a written statement, Feinstein said the professor’s allegations, which include being pinned down, groped and forced into silence at a high school party, were “extremely serious and bear heavily on Judge Kavanaugh’s character.”

Whether Feinstein gets his way is another story. At least three Democrats said Sunday that the confirmation hearings should continue, despite the allegations.

FBI Reviews Sexual Assault Allegations Against Supreme Court Nominee Kavanaugh

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at his Senate confirmation hearing.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have been forwarded to the FBI by the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

The accusations, which the FBI had not known previously, involved “a vague sexual misconduct allegation against Kavanaugh dating back to his high school days,” two sources familiar with the allegations told NBC News

“I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court,” Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., said. “That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities.”

Sources said the allegation was “sexual in nature” and came in a letter, but details were murky.

The FBI has not opened an investigation.

Supreme Court Will Hear Data Privacy Issue Between DOJ and Microsoft

depositphotos_61179679_m-2015

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department continues to do battle  over privacy.

Kate Conger of GIZMODO writes:

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in a critical case over data privacy, the outcome of which will likely determine how easily law enforcement can gain access to information stored in tech companies’ overseas data centers. Microsoft will go head-to-head with the Justice Department, arguing that the agency cannot use a warrant to collect emails held in Microsoft’s Ireland data center.

In 2016, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Microsoft, asserting that a 1986 law, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), was not intended to grant law enforcement access to internationally-stored data. The Justice Department says that this ruling has hampered its investigative abilities in the digital age. In asking the Supreme Court to consider the case, the Justice Department argued that “hundreds if not thousands” of investigations into terrorism and child pornography “are being or will be hampered by the government’s inability to obtain electronic evidence.”

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