WJI daily reads for Oct. 15, 2021
WAOW: New bill would fine, jail the homeless for living temporarily on public property.
Under the proposal, anyone living on public property could face a $500 fine and 30 days in jail. The rule is drawing the concern of area homeless advocates. They are saying they hope people won't go into hiding and instead seek them out for help.
"We have a shelter facility that can serve 32 people including a family room where it can accommodate six. So hopefully the people will come to our door and the door of other agencies in the community that can serve people," said Ann Chrudinsky, Salvation Army Development Director.
Salon: This U.S. Supreme Court was built on dark money.
During Chief Justice John Roberts' tenure, the Court has issued more than 80 partisan decisions, by either a 5-4 or 6-3 vote, involving big interests important to Republican Party major donors. Republican-appointed justices have handed wins to the donor interests in every single case. The decisions greenlit rampant voter suppression and bulk gerrymandering (Shelby County v. Holder and Husted v. Randolph Institute); closed courthouse doors to workers wronged by their employers (Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis); unleashed floods of dark money to corrupt our politics and foul our democracy (Citizens United v. FEC and Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta); and more. Eighty to zero is a pattern so strong that it could serve as compelling evidence in a trial alleging bias and discrimination.
This pattern did not just happen. It is the fruit of a half-century-long operation by right-wing donors to win through the Supreme Court what they can't win through elected branches of government. In 1971, a corporate attorney from Virginia named Lewis Powell wrote a memo for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce laying out a game plan for corporations and right-wing ideologues to use "an activist-minded Supreme Court" as an "instrument for social, economic, and political change." (Within months, Powell himself would be appointed by Richard Nixon to the court to advance the plan from within. His memo was never disclosed to the Senate.)
ABA Journal: Judge's blatant anti-Semitism leads to recommendation for new trial for Jewish death row inmate.
NPR: Fired FBI official Andrew McCabe wins back pay, reinstatement of retirement benefits in lawsuit settlement.
The settlement will resolve a civil lawsuit filed by McCabe, who argued that his ouster was the result of a "years-long public vendetta" driven by the former president (Trump).
The Justice Department demoted and then dismissed him on the eve of his 50th birthday in March 2018, when his FBI annuity would have vested.
"I think the message that you get loud and clear from the terms of the settlement is that this never should have happened," McCabe said. "It feels like complete vindication, because that's what it is."
The agreement follows a scathing online campaign by the former president to tarnish McCabe, who spent 21 years in service at the bureau.
BuzzFeed News: 100 defendants in the Jan. 6 riot have pleaded guilty so far.
Most of the 100 rioters to take a deal have pleaded guilty to the least serious crime they were charged with: parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the Capitol, a class B misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail. Defendants pleading guilty to that crime or disorderly conduct in the Capitol (also a class B misdemeanor) are getting a few benefits: avoiding a trial on multiple charges, some of which carried more potential prison time; a chance to argue to a judge for credit for accepting responsibility early; and, in some cases, an agreement from prosecutors to advocate for a light sentence.
The US attorney’s office in Washington, DC, is clearing some of the least complicated prosecutions — nonviolent offenders who in many instances documented their trek into the Capitol online — from its ever-growing caseload. The government has required some defendants to give the FBI access to their cellphones and social media accounts as investigators continue to search for more evidence from that day. In the smaller pool of felony plea deals, the government has been lining up cooperators in connection with a conspiracy they’ve alleged involving the far-right extremist group the Oath Keepers.
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