Obama Judge Rules Marijuana Dangerous, May be Regulated by Feds

Photo Credit: matthew kenwrick

Photo Credit: matthew kenwrick

Efforts to legalize marijuana suffered a defeat in court Wednesday when a judge upheld the constitutionality of a 1970 federal law that classifies cannabis as a dangerous drug akin to LSD and heroin.

U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller, announcing her decision at a hearing in Sacramento, said she could not lightly overturn a law passed by Congress.

Mueller agreed last year to hold an extensive fact-finding hearing on the issue, raising the hopes of activists seeking to legalize marijuana and worrying opponents who consider the drug a threat to health and public safety. The hearing marked the first time in decades that a judge was willing to examine the classification of marijuana under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act.

The Schedule 1 classification is for drugs that have no medicinal purpose, are unsafe even under medical supervision and contain a high potential for abuse. In addition to marijuana, heroin and LSD, other Schedule 1 drugs include Ecstasy and mescaline.

Mueller, an Obama appointee, announced her decision before issuing a written ruling, which is still pending. She considered the constitutionality of the classification in response to a pretrial motion brought by lawyers defending accused marijuana growers. (Read more from “Judge Rules Marijuana Dangerous” HERE)

EPA Can't Regulate Lead Bullets, Says Federal Court

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan

Hunters, hold your fire — the Environmental Protection Agency won’t regulate your bullets.

A federal appeals court denied a lawsuit Tuesday by environmental groups that the EPA must use the Toxic Substances Control Act regulate lead used in shells and cartridges.

“We agree with EPA that it lacks statutory authority to regulate the type of spent bullets and shot identified in the environmental groups’ petition,” Judge David Tatel wrote for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Environmental groups had sued the agency to do so, saying spent lead ammunition posed an “unreasonable risk of injury” to wildlife and humans who would eat the animals they kill. The groups rejected the EPA’s assertion that it lacked the authority to do so.

Read more from this story HERE.

Bombshell: Federal Judge Suddenly Green-Lights Lawsuit that Could Stop Obamacare in its Tracks

Photo Credit: Corbis A federal judge on Tuesday refused to dismiss a case that could fatally cripple the Obamacare health insurance law.

The Affordable Care Act forbids the federal government from enforcing the law in any state that opted out of setting up its own health care exchange, according to a group of small businesses whose lawsuit got a key hearing Monday in federal court.

The Obama administration, according to their lawsuit, has ignored that language in the law, enforcing all of its provisions even in states where the federal government is operating the insurance marketplaces on the error-plagued website.

Thirty-six states chose not to set up their exchanges, a move that effectively froze Washington, D.C. out of the authority to pay subsidies and other pot-sweeteners to convince citizens in those states to buy medical insurance.

But the IRS overstepped its authority by paying subsidies in those states anyway, say the businesses and their lawyers.

Read more from this story HERE.

Twisted Justice: Obama’s Out-of-Control Prosecutors Target Messy Diarrhea Case

diarrheaRecently, a little-reported yet extraordinary decision was rendered by a U.S. appeals court. The meager media mention given the case was laced with levity due to its subject matter. But it was anything but funny, for it shed immense light on the prosecutorial priorities of the Obama administration and on liberal values regarding crime.

President Obama frequently has been criticized for not enforcing the law. Attorney General Holder has been likewise criticized.

Well, we can take comfort. Obama’s judges and prosecutors are on the job.

Yes, it is true that on November 5, 2009, Nidal Hasan was captured red-handed in the act of committing multiple murders, leaving absolutely no doubt about his guilt. And yes, it took nearly four years to commence his trial, with a prospect of many more years’ delay yet to come.

And yes, we are unlikely to see the Obama administration prosecute any of its own appointees involved in numerous serious scandals.

However, the conscientious diligence of Obama appointees cannot be doubted. Just ask Robert S. Strong. On May 24, 2011, this 50-year-old, as a result of taking 13 medications for heart and kidney problems, had a sudden attack of uncontrollable diarrhea in the Portland, Maine federal courthouse. In trying to clean himself, he left a mess on the floor of a small bathroom that was cleaned by personnel paid to — clean bathrooms. There was no damage to the facility (if “damage” refers to anything that diminishes property value or requires repair rather than cleaning with bleach).

Nevertheless, within three days — three days! — Strong was charged with three separate offenses: willfully damaging federal property, creating a nuisance, and creating a hazard. With a speed rarely, if ever, seen in cases involving premeditated brutality, this prematurely sick man was tried, convicted 113 days after the incident, and sentenced to seven days in jail for a “crime” committed 18 months after the massacre by Hasan. Not only that, but on July 19, just two years later, with the Hasan trial not yet started and as convicted murderers were routinely protracting cases for decades with repeated dilatory tactics, a 2-1 First Circuit opinion upheld Strong’s conviction. (On August 5, after 36 years — that’s not a misprint! — John Ferguson was finally executed for eight murders in the 1970s, including two after he was let loose while awaiting trial for the first six.)

The essence of the dissent, which must be read to understand fully the gross injustice, was that the government had violated the very law it used to prosecute Strong, and he lacked the required criminal intent in dealing with what was, after all, a wholly unexpected accident.

Moreover, even if prosecutors had proved their case, they spurned the profound wisdom of then-Attorney General (and later Justice) Robert H. Jackson’s classic 1940 address to U.S. Attorneys:

While the prosecutor at his best is one of the most beneficent forces in our society, when he acts from … base motives, he is one of the worst … One of the [prosecutor’s] greatest difficulties … is that he must pick his cases, because no prosecutor can even investigate all of the cases in which he receives complaints … What every prosecutor is practically required to do is to select the cases for prosecution and to select those in which the offense is the most flagrant, the public harm the greatest, and the proof the most certain.

Because diarrhea was involved, the few media reports that covered Strong’s case treated it as something of a joke. In fact, after the Supreme Court has concocted for the most depraved criminals a right to commit murder and rape without any punishment because they are the most depraved, it is no laughing matter when a law-abiding citizen in poor health is zealously dogged by a prosecutor lacking common sense at best and having “base motives” at worst.

A seven-day jail sentence might not seem like much. But it is not the same for everyone. For career criminals and prostitutes, routine jail time is part of their “job,” to be shrugged off. But even a short jail sentence can be tremendously traumatic for a decent law-abiding individual who has never been inside a jail, and aggravated when he has serious medical problems. A week in jail for such an individual is likely to take a far greater toll than six months in jail for a career criminal. And add to that the emotional cost of being charged and put on trial for the result of being in poor health by age 50.

Last year, first-time offender Thomas Pruisik Parkin received a harsh 14- to 42-year sentence for defrauding the government. This sentence for that non-violent crime was far harsher than many sentences for the most barbaric violence. But Parkin did commit a serious crime. Defrauding the government is not a minor offense. It was certainly legitimate to prosecute him, even if his sentence could be considered excessive in light of many sentences for far more serious violent crimes.

By contrast, Strong did not commit a serious crime, and, according to the devastating dissent, he committed no crime at all. A sick man who had an embarrassing and humiliating accident, he caused no injury to another person and no diminished property value or repair expense. The only “damage” was that the mess he left behind had to be cleaned by employees hired by the government to do just that. Yet this man taking multiple medications was subjected to the further trauma of being criminally tried and sentenced to jail, while some rapists and murderers receive no punishment at all.

This is not prosecutorial discretion; it is prosecutorial abuse. And not merely prosecutorial abuse, but also judicial abuse highlighting the different standards of proof liberal judges require for the violent and the non-violent.

The majority judges were clearly out to get Strong. To declare that he had been “willful,” they resorted to rank speculation rather than proof. Without demonstrating any causal connections, the Clinton-Obama majority (1) asserted that he had received “implied notice” of the regulation the government itself was required, but failed, to observe to assure actual notice; (2) cited his loss of a Social Security case; and (3) if that were not enough, found that he “may have” — “may have”?! — acted willfully because of the delay in his being given access to the bathroom.

Can any honest person believe that liberal judges would ever accept “may have” as proof in a murder case? Pro-murderer fanatics will say that, where the death penalty is involved, the system must bend over backwards to be “fair.” Of course, that is precisely the difference between pro-criminal and pro-victim values. One side focuses upon violent crimes; the other is fixated on protecting violent criminals and persecuting non-violent, often decent, individuals. For the fanatics, it is “unfair” to punish the usually poor violent while not going after non-violent cushy “white-collar” offenders. When the fanatics say the death penalty requires special treatment, what they really mean is that “fairness” is not as important in non-capital cases, and even less important where there is no violence at all. For them, fairness is not a matter of guilt or innocence; it is a matter of protecting those guilty of violence. And the more depraved the violence, the more “fairness” required.

While the Clinton-Obama majority in Strong’s appeal bent over backwards to sustain conviction of a non-violent “crime” that few normal people would view as a crime, the Hasan massacre case has been stretched out for years, with more years to come — all in the name of “fairness” imposing complete and shabby contempt upon victims where guilt is beyond any doubt, let alone reasonable doubt.

The Strong case is the reductio ad absurdum of abuse of good people by prosecutors and judges who do a very inadequate job of protecting the law-abiding from the violent. (For many other shocking examples, see here and here.) Meanwhile, the Hasan farce continues.

One final point. It is illuminating that the office hounding Strong was and is headed by U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II, appointed by President Obama to a second term 30 years after being appointed to a first term by President Carter. The two judges in the majority were appointed by Presidents Clinton and Obama. The withering dissent was written by a Reagan appointee, Judge Juan R. Torruella.

Once again, there is something scandalously wrong with what is mislabeled our criminal “justice” system — and little basis for public confidence in the judges and prosecutors who administer it.

And it all starts with the presidents who appoint them!


Lester Jackson, Ph.D., a former college political science teacher, views mainstream media suppression of the truth as essential to harmful judicial activism. His recent articles are collected here.

Court of Appeals: CIA Was Right to Withhold Photo’s of Dead Bin Laden

Photo Credit: APA federal appeals court Tuesday backed the U.S. government’s decision not to release photos and video taken of Osama bin Laden during and after a raid in which the terrorist leader was killed by U.S. commandos.

The three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia turned down an appeal from Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, which had filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the images.

The Defense Department said it didn’t turn up anything pertinent to the FOIA. The CIA had found 52 such records, but withheld all of them, citing exemptions for classified materials and information specifically exempted by other laws.

In Tuesday’s ruling, the appeals court said that the CIA properly withheld publication of the images of the al Qaeda leader. The court concluded that the photos used to conduct facial recognition analysis of bin Laden could reveal classified intelligence methods, and that images of bin Laden’s burial at sea could trigger violence against American citizens.

Read more from this story HERE.

Federal Court Strikes Down Arizona’s 20-Week Abortion Ban

Photo Credit: APA federal court Tuesday struck down Arizona’s ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy absent a medical emergency.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the law violated a woman’s constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy before a fetus is able to survive outside the womb. “Viability” of a fetus is generally considered to start at 24 weeks. Normal pregnancies run about 40 weeks.

Nine other states have enacted similar bans starting at 20 weeks or even earlier. Several of those bans had previously been placed on hold or struck down by other courts.

Judge Marsha Berzon, writing for the unanimous three-judge panel on the San Francisco-based court, said such bans before viability violate a long string of U.S. Supreme Court rulings starting with the seminal Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.

The judge wrote that “a woman has a constitutional right to choose to terminate her pregnancy before the fetus is viable.”

Read more from this story HERE.

Federal Court Slams Obama’s Use of Recess Appointment Power

It’s been a bad week for Barack Obama, and things just got worse. On top of the growing scandals over the I.R.S. targeting conservative groups and the Justice Department snooping on journalists, the president has just received a major constitutional reprimand from the federal courts over his dubious exercise of executive power.

According to the Constitution, the president must seek the “advice and consent” of the Senate when filling certain government positions. The president may only bypass this confirmation requirement in those rare cases where a temporary appointment is needed to “fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate.” This is known as the president’s recess appointment power.

In a decision handed down Thursday morning, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit ruled that Obama violated the Constitution by making a recess appointment to the National Labor Relations Board when the Senate was not actually in recess, but was instead holding pro forma sessions for the precise purpose of denying him the lawful ability to make a recess appointment. In an unprecedented move in January 2012, Obama simply ignored this legal impediment and made four purported recess appointments anyway, including the addition of three members to the NLRB.

In its decision, the 3rd Circuit strongly rejected Obama’s unilateral action. “Nothing in the text of the Clause or the historical record suggests that it is intended to be a type of pressure valve for when the president cannot obtain the Senate‘s consent, whether that be because it has become dysfunctional or because it rejects a president‘s nominations,” the court held. Indeed, the opinion continued, under the government’s interpretation, “If the Senate refused to confirm a president‘s nominees, then the president could circumvent the Senate‘s constitutional role simply by waiting until senators go home for the evening.” So much for the separation of powers.

Read more from this story HERE.

Federal Court Blocks Fla. Law Requiring Drug Testing For Welfare Recipients

Photo Credit: LYNNE SLADKYA federal appeals court Tuesday agreed to block enforcement of a Florida law that requires people who apply for welfare to submit to drug testing, calling it an unreasonable search.

The U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta unanimously upheld a lower court’s injunction, which stops drug testing for applicants of the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

“The simple act of seeking public assistance does not deprive a TANF applicant of the same constitutional protection from unreasonable searches that all other citizens enjoy,” the judges said.

The ACLU of Florida, with the Florida Justice Institute, challenged the 2011 law on behalf of Luis Lebron, a Navy veteran and single father who applied for welfare to support his 4-year-old son.

“I am thrilled for Luis and his family, and for the thousands of class members he represents, that yet another court has affirmed that all of us are protected from unreasonable, invasive, suspicion-less searches,” Maria Kayanan, associate legal director for the ACLU of Florida, said in a statement. “The state of Florida can’t treat an entire segment of our community like suspected criminals simply because they are poor and are trying to get temporary assistance from the government to support their families.”

Read more from this story HERE.

Obama Overstepped Constitutional Authority, Federal Court Rules

Photo Credit: BreitbartPresident Obama exceeded his constitutional authority by making appointments when the Senate was on a break last year, a federal appeals court ruled Friday. The court’s broad ruling would sharply limit the power that presidents throughout history have used to make recess appointments in the face of Senate opposition and inaction.

A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit flatly rejected the Obama administration’s rationale for appointing three members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) while the Senate was on a holiday break.

Chief Judge David B. Sentelle sharply criticized the administration’s interpretation of when recess appointments may be made, saying it would give the president “free rein to appoint his desired nominees at any time he pleases, whether that time be a weekend, lunch, or even when the Senate is in session and he is merely displeased with its inaction.” He added, “This cannot be the law.”

The Post notes that, due to a number of other similar lawsuits winding their way through the courts, this case is likely to end up in the U.S. Supreme Court. But for now, the court has ruled that the appointments are illicit. You can review the full decision here.

The ruling is an extraordinary slap down of President Obama’s power grab. Next time you hear a liberal tell you that President Obama is a moderate or “pragmatic,” recall the appellate panel’s analysis of Obama’s legal justification for appointing these czars without the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate – Obama’s legal arguments “would demolish the checks and balances inherent in the advice-and-consent requirement.”

Read more from this story HERE.

Cops to Answer in Court for US ‘Stoning’ of Christians

Hundreds of angry Muslims threw chunks of concrete and eggs at a team of Christians, spraying them with urine and cursing at them – all while police stood by and then threatened the victims with “disorderly conduct.”

Egypt? Saudi Arabia? Somalia? No. Dearborn, Michigan.

So now a team of attorneys from the American Freedom Law Center is going to court on behalf of the victims of the violent Muslim mob at the Arab International Festival last June, an attack that was captured on video.

The federal civil rights complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan names as defendants officials from the Wayne County sheriff’s office who “sided with the Muslim mob intent on suppressing the Christians’ speech.”

The complaint explains authorities not only failed to protect the Christians, they ordered them to leave the Arab Festival under threat of arrest for “disorderly conduct.”

Read more from this story HERE.