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Category: Law

The Supreme Court has made the current crisis of American democracy perpetual

The Supreme Court has made the current crisis of American democracy perpetual

Adam Serwer writes: The Trumpist justices on the Supreme Court had a very serious problem: They needed to keep their guy out of prison for trying to overthrow the government. The right-wing justices had to do this while still attempting to maintain at least a pretense of having ruled on the basis of the law and the Constitution rather than mere partisan instincts. So they settled on what they thought was a very clever solution: They would grant the presidency…

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What impact could the latest ICJ ruling on Israel have?

What impact could the latest ICJ ruling on Israel have?

  Illegal Israeli settlements have been steadily expanding in Palestinian territories for years. Now the UN’s top court says it’s time for Israel to stop, reverse course, and repair the damages. The International Court of Justice has ruled Israel’s occupation is unlawful and is fueling a surge in violence. However, the court’s findings are not legally binding — and the Israeli government has ignored previous decisions. So, will the ICJ’s advisory opinion have any practical implications?

Israel’s settlement policies break international law, International Court of Justice finds

Israel’s settlement policies break international law, International Court of Justice finds

The Guardian reports: The top United Nations court has ruled that Israel’s settlement policies and use of natural resources in the occupied Palestinian territories violate international law. The international court of justice said “the transfer by Israel of settlers to the West Bank and Jerusalem as well as Israel’s maintenance of their presence, is contrary to article 49 of the fourth geneva convention”. The panel of 15 judges from around the world also said the use of natural resources was…

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Biden set to announce support for major Supreme Court changes

Biden set to announce support for major Supreme Court changes

The Washington Post reports: President Biden is finalizing plans to endorse major changes to the Supreme Court in the coming weeks, including proposals for legislation to establish term limits for the justices and an enforceable ethics code, according to two people briefed on the plans. He is also weighing whether to call for a constitutional amendment to eliminate broad immunity for presidents and other constitutional officeholders, the people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations. The…

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Aileen Cannon follows Clarence Thomas’ lead by dismissing classified documents case

Aileen Cannon follows Clarence Thomas’ lead by dismissing classified documents case

Slate reports: In a nearly 100-page order issued Monday morning, [Judge Aileen] Cannon states that special counsel Jack Smith’s appointment by the attorney general violates the appointments clause of the Constitution, which she says mandates that “officers of the United States—whether inferior or principal—must be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.” Cannon concluded that there isn’t any statute in the United States Code that authorizes Smith’s appointment, so he therefore cannot legally conduct his classified documents prosecution….

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Inside Ziklag, the secret organization of wealthy Christians trying to sway the election and change the country

Inside Ziklag, the secret organization of wealthy Christians trying to sway the election and change the country

By Andy Kroll, ProPublica, and Nick Surgey, Documented This story was originally published by ProPublica. A network of ultrawealthy Christian donors is spending nearly $12 million to mobilize Republican-leaning voters and purge more than a million people from the rolls in key swing states, aiming to tilt the 2024 election in favor of former President Donald Trump. These previously unreported plans are the work of a group named Ziklag, a little-known charity whose donors have included some of the wealthiest…

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Mustafa Barghouti: Israel’s goal is total ethnic cleansing

Mustafa Barghouti: Israel’s goal is total ethnic cleansing

  A panel of United Nations independent experts has accused Israel of engaging in a campaign of starvation and genocide in Gaza as the effects of the famine are being felt across Gaza. Palestinian physician and activist Mustafa Barghouti says “what we see today is a purposeful act of starvation” and that the real intention of the Israeli government has never changed. “Their main goal is the total ethnic cleansing of all of Gaza people and all of the Gaza…

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‘I’m bored, so I shoot’: The Israeli army’s approval of free-for-all violence in Gaza

‘I’m bored, so I shoot’: The Israeli army’s approval of free-for-all violence in Gaza

+972 magazine reports: In early June, Al Jazeera aired a series of disturbing videos revealing what it described as “summary executions”: Israeli soldiers shooting dead several Palestinians walking near the coastal road in the Gaza Strip, on three separate occasions. In each case, the Palestinians appeared unarmed and did not pose any imminent threat to the soldiers. Such footage is rare, due to the severe constraints faced by journalists in the besieged enclave and the constant danger to their lives….

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The destruction of the regulatory state is already happening

The destruction of the regulatory state is already happening

Lisa Needham writes: It’s been barely a week since conservatives on the US Supreme Court radically upended the balance of power between the branches of government, giving the federal courts the exclusive power to interpret statutes rather than deferring to agency experts. And we’re already seeing impacts on the ground. Right-wingers have been in the habit of running to their preferred courts to get regulations overturned, but the decision in Loper Bright v. Raimondo, which officially destroyed agency deference, will…

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Akhil Reed Amar: ‘Incoherent’ immunity decision renders ‘Constitution itself unconstitutional’

Akhil Reed Amar: ‘Incoherent’ immunity decision renders ‘Constitution itself unconstitutional’

  The Supreme Court this week severely undermined the principle that no one is above the law – a bedrock of our nation’s system of government – with its historic ruling declaring that presidents have absolute immunity for their official acts. In her fierce dissent, Justice Sotomayor accused the conservative majority of making the president a “king above the law.” Eminent legal scholar and one of the most cited by SCOTUS, Yale’s Akhil Reed Amar, joins Ali Velshi to discuss…

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UK appoints new attorney general critical of Israeli rights violations

UK appoints new attorney general critical of Israeli rights violations

Middle East Eye reports: The new British government has appointed Richard Hermer, an experienced lawyer who has often spoken out against Israeli breaches of international law, as the country’s attorney general. Prime Minister Keir Starmer, whose Labour Party won a landslide majority in this week’s election, selected Hermer as the chief legal adviser to the government on Friday. The attorney general oversees the Government Legal Department, the Serious Fraud Office and the Crown Prosecution Service (which Starmer led between 2008…

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The Insurrection Act: The most dangerous law in America

The Insurrection Act: The most dangerous law in America

Joseph Nunn writes: The Insurrection Act is a nuclear bomb hidden in the United States Code. Enacted in the early years of this country’s existence, it was subsequently modified several times, as Congress greatly expanded the President’s powers under the law during the bloody tumult of the Civil War and Reconstruction. It has largely been ignored ever since. But today, the law has garnered renewed attention and raised concerns in many quarters for a reason that should echo ominously this…

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The Supreme Court decision on presidential immunity beggars belief

The Supreme Court decision on presidential immunity beggars belief

Don Moynihan writes: [Trump’s] impeachment for fomenting an insurrection was derailed by Mitch McConnell and other Republican Senators who insisted that the legal system would hold him accountable: “We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation. And former presidents are not immune from being held accountable by either one.” Almost four years on, the legal system has failed to hold Trump accountable, and will not before he would gain authority to pardon himself. The only…

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The Supreme Court is making decisions that flatly contradict the Constitution’s text and ideals

The Supreme Court is making decisions that flatly contradict the Constitution’s text and ideals

Akhil Reed Amar writes: In a quid-pro-quo bribery case—money for a pardon—[Chief Justice John] Roberts apparently would allow evidence of the quid (the money transfer) and evidence of the quo (the fact of a later pardon) but not evidence of the pro: evidence that the pardon was given because of the money, that the pardon was motivated by the money. This is absurd. In the oral argument this past April, one of the Court’s best jurists posed the issue well:…

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Trump may face a fact-finding hearing — a mini-trial of sorts — shortly before the election

Trump may face a fact-finding hearing — a mini-trial of sorts — shortly before the election

The New York Times reports: The Supreme Court’s decision on Monday about executive immunity makes it all but certain that former President Donald J. Trump will not stand trial on charges of seeking to overturn the last election before voters decide whether to send him back to the White House in the next one. But the ruling also opened the door for prosecutors to detail much of their evidence against Mr. Trump in front of a federal judge — and…

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How the Supreme Court’s Chevron decision benefits the fossil fuel industry

How the Supreme Court’s Chevron decision benefits the fossil fuel industry

L. Delta Merner writes: Last Friday, the Supreme Court overruled the 40-year-old Chevron doctrine, fundamentally changing the landscape of federal regulatory power. This decision, reached with a 6-3 majority led by Chief Justice John Roberts, marks a significant shift in administrative law and has profound implications for environmental regulations and climate accountability. Ironically, the downfall of the Chevron doctrine will give Chevron and other major oil and gas corporations more latitude to slow down and block regulations, allowing them to…

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