Tag Archives: USA

Venezuela/USA: Persecuted Venezuelan Judges Flee to US to Serve as Supreme Court in Exile

October 11, 2017

magistrados - tsj exilio

The five Venezuelan judges living under the protection of the Chilean embassy in Caracas escaped to the United States through Colombia, Chilean officials announced.

The judges, persecuted by the regime of dictator Nicolás Maduro, reportedly decided to leave the safety of the embassy in order to form a Supreme Court of Justice in exile.

“The Chilean government reports that on October 9 of this year, the Venezuelan citizens to whom our country granted political asylum, left the residence of the Ambassador of our country in Caracas,” the Chilean Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Sources close to the judges said they escaped to Colombia by crossing the border city of Cúcuta and from there traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with members of the Organization of American States (OAS) and other Venezuelan exiles.

https://panampost.com/sabrina-martin/2017/10/11/persecuted-venezuelan-judges-flee-to-us-to-serve-as-supreme-court-in-exile/

https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/13438

https://www.voanews.com/a/venezuelan-opposition-courts-attention-with-event-at-oas/4069064.html

https://www.thecipherbrief.com/column_article/venezuelan-government-in-exile-sets-up-shop-in-d-c

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China/Hong Kong/USA: Human Rights in China Worsen as Beijing Extends Reach to Hong Kong: Report

October 6, 2017

US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) (standing, center-R), chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, tells journalists that the commission will nominate jailed Hong Kong activists and the 2014 'Umbrella Movement' for the Nobel Peace Prize, in Washington, Oct. 5, 2017.

Freedoms of speech and religion, the rule of law, and individual rights and freedoms have worsened during the past year under the ruling Chinese Communist Party, an annual congressional-executive report has found, calling on the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump to do more to halt the decline in basic freedoms.

“As President Trump heads to China next month, he must press China to uphold international human rights norms, respect the rule of law, and adhere to universal standards,” Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) chairman Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) told journalists on Thursday as the report was published.

The report found that the Chinese Communist Party continues to “use the law as an instrument of repression to expand control over Chinese society,” and that “the criminalization of China’s human rights lawyers and advocates is ongoing, including credible reports of torture in detention.”

Meanwhile, in the former British colony of Hong Kong, “the long-term viability of the ‘one country, two systems’ model … is increasingly uncertain given central government interference,” it said.

Wang Yanfang, wife of jailed rights lawyer Tang Jingling, called on Trump to raise the issue of political prisoners on his forthcoming visit to China.

“I hope that Trump will raise the issue of Tang Jingling and many other prisoners of conscience,” Wang said. “They are in a dire situation.”

http://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/human-rights-in-china-worsen-as-beijing-extends-reach-to-hong-kong-report-10062017121023.html

https://www.theepochtimes.com/commission-seeks-to-shine-spotlight-on-deteriorating-human-rights-in-china_2329275.html

USA: Republican Congressman Warns Black Attorney She ‘May Go Missing’ if She Tries Removing a Confederate Statue

August 30, 2017

Republican member of the Georgia House of Representatives issued a veiled threat of lynching to a black former colleague who expressed anti-Confederate memorial sentiments on his Facebook.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia State Rep. Jason Spencer (R) did exactly that on a Facebook post when former state representative LaDawn Jones expressed a distaste for a photo he took with a Confederate monument.

“This is Georgia’s history,” Spencer wrote on a post accompanied by a selfie he took with a South Georgia monument to Confederate president Jefferson Davis.

Jones, who formerly served in the state legislature until last year, questioned whether state tax dollars help pay for the upkeep of the memorial, which includes the house Davis fled to after the Civil War ended. A few comments in, Spencer began making threatening allusions.

“Continue your quixotic journey into South Georgia and it will not be pleasant,” Spencer replied. “The truth. Not a warning. Those folks won’t put up with it like they do in Atlanta.”

“I can guarantee you won’t be met with torches but something a lot more definitive,” he continued, responding to Jones’ comment about the store-bought tiki torches used by the white supremacists at the Charlottesville rally earlier this month.

http://www.alternet.org/republican-congressman-warns-black-attorney-she-may-go-missing-if-she-attempts-remove-confederate

https://theintercept.com/2017/08/29/georgia-gop-rep-tells-former-colleague-she-may-go-missing-over-criticism-of-confederate-monuments/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ladawn-jones-jason-spencer-race_us_59a6e0dee4b00795c2a33a51

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/08/30/white-lawmaker-warns-black-attorney-she-may-go-missing-if-confederate-statues-are-threatened/

Georgia lawmaker: Talk of ditching Confederate statues could cause Democrat to ‘go missing’

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/republican-black-woman-georgia-threat-confederate-statues-monuments-jason-spencer-ladawn-jones-a7920751.html

http://www.newsweek.com/republican-says-black-democrat-will-go-missing-over-georgia-civil-war-statue-656984

http://www.11alive.com/news/politics/civil-rights-leaders-call-on-south-georgia-lawmaker-to-apologize-or-resign/469638840

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/republican-legislator-missouri-vandal-lynched

Black lawmakers ask GBI to investigate Georgia Republican’s ‘go missing’ comment

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/group-says-lawmaker-made-threatening-comments-in-debate-about-confederate-mounments/602328820

USA: Gagging Attorneys: A Critical Look at the ABA “Anti-Discrimination” Rule

July 31, 2017

FranklinSpeech

The new ABA Model Rule 8.4(g) prohibits attorneys from engaging in “harmful,” “derogatory,” or “demeaning” speech in any activity “related to the practice of law,” including “bar association, business or social activities.”

Proponents of the rule have advanced several arguments in its favor and raised several defenses in answer to its critics. But these arguments and defenses are unconvincing because they’re based on factual misrepresentations or on mischaracterizations of the rule.

Proponents of the rule summarily dismiss the many claims that it is unconstitutional

Many legal authorities point out that the new rule is unconstitutional. Proponents of the rule simply ignore this ever-increasing chorus of constitutional criticism.

The Texas and South Carolina attorneys general – the only attorneys general to have thus far opined on the rule – have both issued official opinions that it would likely violate the free speech, free association, and free exercise rights of attorneys. Indeed, the South Carolina Supreme Court recently rejected the rule after the South Carolina attorney general issued his opinion against it.

The ABA’s own Standing Committee on Attorney Discipline, as well as the Professional Responsibility Committee of the ABA Business Law Section, warned the ABA that the new Rule may violate attorneys’ First Amendment speech rights.

And prominent legal scholars – such as UCLA constitutional law professor Eugene Volokh, Chapman University constitutional law and legal ethics professor Ronald Rotunda [By Subscription], and former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, III – have all opined that the new rule is constitutionally infirm.

http://www.jurist.org/forum/2017/07/bradley-abramson-aba-rule.php

USA: Chief Justice Roberts says criticism won’t stop judges

July 29, 2017

US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, once dubbed “disgraceful” by President Donald Trump, said on Thursday that criticism from politicians won’t dissuade judges from doing their jobs.

In a question-and-answer session at the University of Melbourne’s law school, Roberts was asked about political criticism of the courts — a particularly relevant question for the justice, given that he was the target of a withering critique from Trump during the presidential campaign.

“We’re certainly not above criticism — it’s a free country,” Roberts replied. “It certainly doesn’t affect how we go about our job.”

In 2015, then-candidate Trump said in a speech to supporters that Roberts was “disgraceful” and a “disappointment” to conservatives, largely because the justice had voted to uphold key provisions of President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care law.

Roberts has not commented on Trump’s criticisms of him, or on the president’s disparaging remarks about other judges whose decisions have irked him. In February, Trump called US District Judge James Robart a “so-called judge” after Robart imposed a temporary halt on Trump’s executive order barring people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from coming to the United States.

Asked later to elaborate on the reasons behind the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Obama’s health care law, Roberts demurred, saying that the court’s written opinions are intended to speak for themselves.

http://www.philstar.com/world/2017/07/29/1722671/chief-justice-roberts-says-criticism-wont-stop-judges

Mexico/USA: Lawyer opposing U.S. resort developer in Baja Mexico jailed 62 days

July 20, 2017

Lawyer opposing U.S. resort developer in Baja Mexico jailed 62 days

Lawyer John Moreno Rutowski’s incarceration 62 days ago spurred outcry against Black Creek Group, an American development company that plans to convert beaches, mangroves, and dunes in a tranquil fishing town near the popular destination Todos Santos on the Mexican Pacific into two hotels and 4,000+ housing units based upon the concept of ‘wellbeing.’

Every morning at dawn, the fishermen of Punta Lobos take their boats out to the high seas to find shrimp boats and give bread, cookies, and soft drinks to the crew members in exchange for shrimp heads to use as bait.

They do this out of necessity. Deep down, they surely would prefer not to have to depend on this. The boats usually arrive at the beaches of Todos Santos, in Baja California Sur, from the neighboring state of Sinaloa. The fishermen practice trawling — taking in tons of shrimp and young sole, a species that artisanal fishermen work with and protect.

The shrimp heads are for the fishermen, and the small sole go back into the sea dead. For decades, the members of the Punta Lobos Fishing Cooperative have seen tons of dead fish thrown overboard and have spoken out about it with anger as they take their afternoon breaks.

But nowadays, this is the least of their problems: in 2013, the Mexican government approved the construction of a hotel on Punta Lobos Beach and the lawyer who defended the members of the cooperative, John Moreno Rutowski, has been incarcerated in the height of a full legal battle against the company developing the project.

https://news.mongabay.com/2017/07/lawyer-opposing-u-s-resort-developer-in-baja-mexico-jailed-62-days/

http://thefulano.space/forum/showthread.php?tid=25248

https://justiceforjoella.wordpress.com/about/

https://freejohnmoreno.com/

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UK/USA: New York Bar chief writes to Theresa May over ‘climate of intimidation’ for NI lawyers

July 14, 2017

Irish Legal News - Legal News, Events & Jobs across Ireland

The New York Bar has expressed its concern over the “climate of intimidation” that lawyers in Northern Ireland face.

The Bar represents 24,000 attorneys as well as judges, government officials and legal academics in New York City.

John Kiernan, president of the Bar, has written to British Prime Minister Theresa May and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire to ask that the UK government “refrain from the use of inflammatory rhetoric” in discussions over ongoing cases.

Plans to prosecute former British soldiers over alleged offences committed during the Troubles has causes a backlash in Britain.

Mr Kiernan said in his letter to Mrs May: “We urge you and other government officials to refrain from the use of inflammatory rhetoric against lawyers involved in the reconciliation process and to identify and implement steps to support lawyers working on reconciliation and legacy issues, and to publicly commit to safeguarding lawyers who have been harassed or threatened as a result of performing their professional duties.”

He added that the NYC Bar was “particularly troubled by reports that lawyers in Northern Ireland once again are facing threats, harassment, and media attacks while engaging in their professional responsibilities related to addressing the legacy of the past”.

http://www.irishlegal.com/7889/new-york-bar-chief-writes-to-theresa-may-over-climate-of-intimidation-for-ni-lawyers/

http://www.nycbar.org/media-listing/media/detail/new-york-bar-chief-writes-to-theresa-may-over-climate-of-intimidation-for-ni-lawyers-irish-legal-news

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/nyc-bar-association-urges-theresa-may-to-protect-northern_us_5969d77de4b09e26b6d76828