Appeals Court Denies Qualified Immunity To Cop Who Argued Citizens Have No Right To Defend Themselves Against Armed Intruders

Remember, I’ve said more than once, I’m not anti-cop. I’m anti-stupid cop. This is one that qualifies.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied immunity to a cop involved in a no-knock raid that left the raided house’s resident, Julian Betton, paralyzed. This case was touched on briefly in a previous post discussing legal arguments made by law enforcement officers that attempt to portray people in their own homes as dangerous aggressors when police crash through their doors unannounced.

In this case, South Carolina police officer David Belue’s legal rep tried to tell the court Betton’s response to a bunch of heavily-armed men rushing through his door — grabbing a gun and moving into the hallway from the bathroom — created a situation where Betton deserved every bullet fired at him by officers. In other words, if Betton didn’t want to get shot, he shouldn’t have been in his own house when it was invaded by officers who never informed him they were police officers.

Here’s a recap of the events leading to the lawsuit, from the Fourth Circuit’s decision [PDF]:

In the afternoon of April 16, 2015, a team of plain-clothed law enforcement officers armed with “assault style rifles” used a battering ram to enter Julian Ray Betton’s dwelling to execute a warrant authorizing a search for marijuana and other illegal substances. The officers did not identify themselves as “police” or otherwise announce their presence before employing the battering ram. From the rear of his home, Betton heard a commotion but did not hear any verbal commands. Responding to the tumult, Betton pulled a gun from his waistband and held it down at his hip.

Three officers, including Myrtle Beach, South Carolina police officer David Belue, fired a total of 29 shots at Betton, striking him nine times. Betton suffered permanent paralysis resulting from his gunshot wounds.

This shooting was immediately followed by a bunch of lies. Officer Belue first claimed Betton fired his gun at officers. The ensuing investigation showed Betton’s weapon was never fired. Faced with this direct contradiction of his statement, Officer Belue revised his, claiming Betton pointed his gun at officers. According to Betton, he never got the chance to point a gun at anyone. The moment he appeared with his gun, officers opened fire.

Officers also lied about their entrance to Betton’s home. They claimed they knocked and announced their presence. Betton’s surveillance camera told the real story. Nine seconds elapsed between the officers’ arrival on Betton’s lawn and their entrance into his house. None of the officers present appeared to announce anything before bashing down his door and swarming inside.

Officer Belue also initially had asserted that the agents had knocked on Betton’s door and announced their presence, and had waited before forcibly entering the home. However, footage from the video cameras on Betton’s front porch showed that the officers had not knocked on the door or announced their presence, and had not waited any length of time before using the battering ram to gain entry.

To the contrary, the video recordings showed that the officers ran up the front steps and immediately began using the battering ram. Moreover, Garcia confirmed that the officers did not announce that they were law enforcement personnel before entering the home. The record before us also contains a statement from a former DEU agent, who related that the DEU agents “almost always forcibly entered [residences] without knocking and announcing” their presence.

Despite this — and despite inverting the Castle Doctrine to say its the invaders of a home who need protection from the home’s occupants — Officer Belue still sought qualified immunity. The district court denied his request, pointing to the facts still in dispute, as well as the officer’s actions.

Regarding Betton’s unlawful entry claim, the magistrate judge found that the officers had not knocked or announced their presence before entering, and that there were no exigent circumstances warranting abandonment of the “knock and announce” procedure. The district court adopted the magistrate judge’s recommendation to deny qualified immunity on the unlawful entry claim, and Officer Belue has not challenged this ruling in the present appeal.

With respect to Betton’s excessive force claim, the magistrate judge found that there were material facts in dispute regarding whether Betton had pointed a gun at the officers before Officer Belue fired his weapon. Thus, the magistrate judge concluded that a jury could find that Betton did not pose an immediate deadly threat to Officer Belue or others justifying the use of deadly force.

The Appeals Court sees no reason to upend this finding, especially when there’s precedent on point saying actions like this clearly violate Constitutional rights.

[A]s of 2015, the law in this Circuit was clearly established that a person is entitled to be free from excessive force when the person “is on his property or in his residence, is in possession of a gun that he is not pointing at police officers, and is not given a warning or command to drop the gun before he is shot.”

Officer Belue also argued Julian Betton was so inherently dangerous it didn’t matter whether officers announced themselves or ordered him to put his weapon down before opening fire. This claim basically turns Betton’s mere existence into an exigent circumstance where Constitutional rights no longer apply. The Appeals Court isn’t interested in advancing this terrible legal theory.

[N]o information in Betton’s criminal history suggested that he was inherently violent to a degree that the officers would have been justified in storming into his home unannounced and in firing their weapons at him when he did not present a current threat. Notably, the search warrant was based on Betton’s conduct of selling small amounts of marijuana on two occasions. And, although the informant observed security cameras and two firearms in Betton’s home, there was no evidence indicating that Betton had engaged in threatening or violent conduct toward the confidential informant.

Betton’s case goes back to the district court and Officer Belue will have to face a jury if he doesn’t attempt to settle this lawsuit first. Denying immunity preserves the rights of homeowners to defend themselves from unexpected intruders in their homes. Officer Belue’s attempt to separate one action (his shooting of Julian Betton) from another of his actions (entering a home unannounced) is soundly rejected. Even when an officer subjectively “fears for his safety,” context matters. If officers want to use the element of surprise to their advantage in no-knock raids, they can’t turn around and claim residents have no right to react with alarm to armed intruders.

Colorado Supreme Court considers gun magazine limit

DENVER (AP) — Gun rights groups are urging the Colorado Supreme Court to follow guidance from the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out the state’s ban on gun magazines that hold more than 15 rounds.

In arguments before the state court Wednesday, the groups’ lawyer, Barry Arrington, said that since the U.S. Supreme Court has found that the right to bear arms is a fundamental right, the state has a heavier burden to prove that the magazine limit is needed. He said they cannot meet that standard.

The law was passed in 2013, a year after the Aurora theater shooting, in an effort to limit the number of deaths in mass shootings. While large capacity magazines were used in the Columbine and Aurora shootings, Arrington said that have also been widely used by gun owners, with millions of them in existence when the law was passed.

\The legal challenge brought by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and the National Association for Gun Rights is based on the gun rights’ provision in the Colorado Constitution, which expressly protects the right of people to be armed to defend their homes, property and themselves. Given that, Colorado Solicitor General Eric Olson told the justices they have the right to interpret the state’s constitution on their own, noting that U.S. Supreme Court guidance changes over time.

Olson argued the state Supreme Court should instead stick with the approach it established in 1994 in a challenge to an assault weapons ban passed by Denver — deciding whether a law furthers a legitimate government interest without being too broad.

The case that Arrington wants the state court to look to came later. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Americans have a constitutional right to keep handguns and commonly used firearms in their homes for self-defense. The ruling struck down the District of Columbia’s 32-year handgun ban as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment.

This just in:

The Supreme Court has denied cert. for the Remington v Soto case in Connecticut where the state is allowing a suit against Remington to proceed under their  Unfair Trade Practice law.

The orders list is here:

CERTIORARI DENIED

19-168 REMINGTON ARMS CO., LLC, ET AL. V. SOTO, DONNA L., ET AL

SCOTUS Gun Watch, Episode 4

More surprising to me than the fact that the Court denied review was the fact that there was no noted dissent from the denial.

Since January 2017, President Trump has appointed, and the Senate has confirmed,158 life-tenured federal judges, including 20 who today serve in Texas. Taken together, the president’s nominees over the last three years have filled one-quarter of the seats on our nation’s circuit courts of appeals, and two of the nine seats on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Few legacies will be longer lasting than this judicial one. These new judges are principled constitutionalists who have demonstrated excellence and professionalism throughout their legal careers.

These are judges we can rightly expect will remain faithful to the law. This is good news for all of us who care about the Constitution, individual liberty, and democracy. I’ll be joining the president Wednesday at the White House to recognize this historic achievement.

Supreme Court to Weigh Taking Bellwether Case Against Gun Industry

Here’s another suit that will give us a pretty good look at how our new justices feel about business and RKBA. It only takes 4 justices to grant certiori and the court hear the case. I definitely figure Thomas will vote for it and Alito too. We’ll see if Kavanaugh and Gorsuch have the will as well. I might even get surprised and there be more because if the Connecticut Supreme Court isn’t slapped down and hard, you see not just suits against gun manufacturers, but enterprising lawyers filing suit against any other business that makes things that people might misuse, like cars.

Another interesting point is that Bushmaster, the manufacturer of the rifle used at Newtown, wasn’t even owned by Remington at that time.
If the justices can’t see that this is nothing more than ‘lawfare’ and the anti-gun forces are simply out to play the old ‘the process is the punishment game, we’ve got more than a lack of judicial fortitude to deal with.

A suit by Sandy Hook families against Remington, the maker of the AR-15-style rifle used in the massacre, tries to test a law shielding the firearms industry from liability.

The Supreme Court will consider this week whether to hear a case seeking to pierce firearm manufacturers’ legal immunity in the aftermath of shootings.

The case, Remington Arms Co. v. Soto, pits relatives of those killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting against Remington, the maker of the AR-15-style rifle used in the Dec. 14, 2012, massacre in Newtown, Conn. Twenty first graders and six educators died.

The lawsuit challenges a 2005 law protecting gun makers from legal liability when their weapons are used in crimes. The families argue that Remington violated Connecticut’s Unfair Trade Practices Act by recklessly marketing the rifle to disturbed young men like the Sandy Hook gunman through product placement in violent video games and advertising pitches like “consider your man card reissued.”

Most attention in the current Supreme Court term has been on whether the justices will expand Second Amendment rights. But should they allow the case to move forward to trial, either by refusing to hear Remington’s appeal or by hearing the case and ruling in the families’ favor, the lawsuit could provide a legal road map for victims and survivors seeking to hold gun makers accountable for gun violence.

The justices will meet on Friday to discuss whether to take the case. The court may grant or deny review shortly afterward, or continue considering the matter.

The appeal was brought by Remington after the Connecticut Supreme Court allowed the lawsuit to proceed to trial. Remington says the families’ case, if successful, would “eviscerate” the 2005 federal law.

The National Rifle Association, the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, Second Amendment law professors, nine states and 22 members of the House are among the signatories of a half-dozen legal briefs supporting Remington. The N.R.A. argued that the families’ challenge to the 2005 law could open the door to other lawsuits, potentially putting the firearm industry “out of business by unlimited and uncertain liability for criminal misuse of their products.”

Remington said in a legal filing that the Connecticut lawsuit was “widely recognized as a bellwether for the future of firearms litigation nationwide.”

The Connecticut Supreme Court agreed with a lower court judge that one element of the case cannot be tried, saying that the federal shield law precluded the families’ argument that Remington had “negligently entrusted” a weapon of war to an untrained civilian population.

 

Indiana Supreme Court Applies Eighth Amendment to Curb “Oppressive” Asset Forfeitures.
The ruling is a continuation of the same case in which the federal Supreme Court ruled that the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment is “incorporated” against state governments and applies to asset forfeitures.

In February, in the case of Timbs v. Indiana, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled that the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment applies to state and local governments (as well as the federal government) and that it constrains civil asset forfeitures. Civil asset forfeiture policies enable law enforcement agencies to seize property that they suspect might have been used in a crime—including in many cases where the owner has never been convicted of anything, or even charged. Abusive forfeitures are a a widespread problem that often victimizes innocent people and particularly harms the poor. The scale of this legalized robbery is staggering. In some years, federal law enforcement alone seizes more property through asset forfeiture than burglars steal throughout the nation.

The Timbs decision could potentially lead to tighter constraints on asset forfeiture. But the Supreme Court left one key issue unaddressed: what qualifies as an “excessive” fine in the asset forfeiture context? The federal Supreme Court remanded that question to the Indiana Supreme Court, from which the case had been appealed to the federal Supreme Court in the first place. Earlier this week, the Indiana court issued a decision laying criteria for what qualifies as “excessive.” Nick Sibilla of the Institute for Justice (the public interest law firm that represented the property owner before both the federal and state supreme courts), has a helpful summary in an article in Forbes:

To determine if a forfeiture would be “grossly disproportional” and unconstitutional under the Excessive Fines Clause, the Indiana Supreme Court devised a three-factor test. First, Hoosier courts will now have to consider the “harshness of the punishment,” which may include considering if the forfeiture would remedy the harm cause by the offense and to what extent, as well as property’s value and role in the offense.

Judges will also need to determine what effect forfeiting the property would have on the owner. After all, courts already consider a person’s economic resources when it comes to levying court costs and civil punitive damages.

“The owner’s economic means—relative to the property’s value—is an appropriate consideration,” Chief Justice Rush wrote. “To hold the opposite would generate a new fiction: that taking away the same piece of property from a billionaire and from someone who owns nothing else punishes each person equally.”

Second, courts in Indiana must determine the “severity of the offense,” which includes examining statutory penalties, the sentence imposed, and the harm cause by the crime. Finally, judges will also be required to consider an owner’s culpability and “blameworthiness for the property’s use as an instrumentality of the underlying offenses.” A forfeiture may be unconstitutionally excessive “if a claimant is entirely innocent of the property’s misuse.”

This test is likely to significantly curb abusive forfeitures in the state of Indiana, particularly in cases where the owner is in fact innocent of any crime, but merely had the misfortune of owning a car or other property that someone else allegedly used in the commission of some offense. The court emphasized that “if a claimant is entirely innocent of the property’s misuse, that fact alone may render a use-based… fine excessive.”

The court points out that “in recent decades, the absence of certain shields against the oppressive use of civil forfeiture has encouraged the widened use of aggressive in rem for forfeiture practices.” This decision will help change that.

At least for the moment, the new test will only apply in Indiana courts. But, as  the first state supreme court ruling on the subject to follow the federal Supreme Court’s decision in this same case, it could influence future decisions on the subject in other state and federal courts.

CCRKBA DECLARES DEMOCRATS HAVE ‘HIDDEN AGENDA BEHIND IMPEACHMENT’

I don’t think it’s that ‘hidden’. Ever since the courts grabbed power, way back in Marbury v Madison, and everyone let them get away with it (almost like it was a plan) who was selected as judges has been of major concern to all parties involved.

BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today declared there is a “hidden agenda” behind the impeachment efforts of House Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi and it is designed to tie up the U.S. Senate and derail efforts to confirm more pro-Second Amendment judges to the federal courts.

“It is clear to us that Capitol Hill anti-gunners are doing everything in their power to prevent confirmation of conservative judges who will adhere to the Constitution,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “By burdening the Senate with this nonsense, Democrats believe they can prevent confirmation of pro-Second Amendment judicial nominees during the final year of President Donald Trump’s first term.”

Gottlieb noted that the president is fulfilling perhaps his most important campaign pledge, which was to bring balance back to the federal courts. Restoring that balance could be the president’s greatest legacy, he said.

“The same people pushing impeachment have been staunch allies of the gun prohibition lobby,” Gottlieb observed. “Anti-gunners have been horrified since Day One of Donald Trump’s presidency that he was actually determined to rein in the activist federal court system by nominating judges who understand there are ten amendments in the Bill of Rights, and that the Second Amendment really means what it says.

“More than eleven years after the landmark 2008 Heller ruling and more than nine years after the 2010 McDonald decision,” he continued, “some courts still act as though neither of those Supreme Court rulings existed. But the president has been filling court vacancies with solid, intelligent jurists who understand the difference between regulated privileges and constitutionally-enumerated, fundamental rights. Capitol Hill anti-gunners and their gun prohibitionist friends can’t stand it, and they’re using the impeachment crusade as a smoke screen to distract the Senate from doing its duty.

“This isn’t about impeaching the president,” Gottlieb stated. “This is about impeaching our Second Amendment rights. I guarantee that American gun owners are going to remember this in 2020.”

Armed man at Missouri Walmart pleads guilty to lesser charge

Young man is lucky he got off that easy. Probation and a  weekend in the Greene County jail.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A man who caused panic at a Missouri Walmart when he walked inside wearing body armor and carrying loaded weapons in what he described as an effort to test his right to bear arms pleaded guilty to making a false report Friday after initially being charged with a more serious terrorist-related felony.

Dmitriy Andreychenko, 21, pleaded guilty to an amended misdemeanor charge after originally being charged with making a terrorist threat.

Police arrested Andreychenko on Aug. 8 after he filmed himself walking through the store with the weapons, prompting shoppers and employees to leave. The incident came just days after 22 people were killed during an attack at another Walmart in El Paso, Texas. An off-duty firefighter held Andreychenko at gunpoint until officers arrived…………

Under the terms of the plea, he was ordered to serve 48 hours of shock incarceration and two years of probation. He also must receive firearm training, Patterson said (in) the release. The making a terrorist threat (charge) carried a sentence of up to four years in prison.

Gun Owners of America filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit, defending standard capacity magazines in the Duncan v. Becerra case.

California state law bans any magazine that can hold over ten rounds. But in March, a district court judge blocked the law from going into effect. Not long after, California appealed the decision to the full Ninth Circuit Court. Now the 9th circuit has long been called the ‘9th Circus’ due to its many wacko rulings that were later overturned by the Supreme Court and also its noted anti-gun rulings, but things have changed. Almost 1/2 the court has been replaced during President Trumps first term in office and the new justices are noted by the Federalist Society as being a lot more attuned to citizen’s rights protected by the Bill of Rights.

We refute several anti-gun arguments in our brief, including the idea that the Second Amendment does not apply to so-called “military-style” firearms. For example:

The Second Amendment protects first and foremost the right to self-defense — not just against petty criminals, but against governments, both foreign and domestic. In order to combat foreign aggression or domestic tyranny, military-grade arms are, as the framers understood, “necessary to the security of a free State.”

GOA Amicus Brief-Duncan v Becerra

 

Judge Tosses Pittsburgh Gun Laws Passed After Massacre

There’s a reason state legislatures passed preemption laws about guns and some other things. They had had enough of cities creating a patchwork of laws that were designed for nothing more than to harass people the politicians didn’t like.

A judge on Tuesday struck down gun restrictions that the Pittsburgh City Council imposed after last year’s synagogue massacre, noting that Pennsylvania state law forbids municipalities from regulating firearms.

Pittsburgh’s trio of gun ordinances violate state law and are therefore “void and unenforceable,” Allegheny County Judge Joseph James ruled.

State law has long prohibited municipalities from regulating the ownership or possession of guns or ammunition, and Pennsylvania courts have thrown out previous municipal attempts at regulation.

“We are extremely pleased with Judge James’ decision today striking down the City of Pittsburgh’s unlawful firearm ordinances and signage, which only sought to eviscerate the inviolate right of the residents of the Commonwealth to keep and bear arms and ensnare law-abiding citizens through a patchwork of laws,” said attorney Joshua Prince, who represents Firearms Owners Against Crime and other groups that sued to overturn the measures.

City officials vowed an appeal.

Pittsburgh “will continue to fight for the right to take commonsense steps to prevent future gun violence,” said Timothy McNulty, a spokesman for Democratic Mayor Bill Peduto.

The gun restrictions were passed in April after a mass shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue that killed 11 worshippers. The ordinances would have restricted military-style assault weapons like the AR-15 rifle authorities say was used in the attack. It also banned most uses of armor-piercing ammunition and high-capacity magazines, and allowed the temporary seizure of guns from people who are determined to be a danger to themselves or others.

The overwhelmingly Democratic council passed the legislation, and Peduto signed off. Council members who voted no called the legislation a waste of time and money, given the uncertainty over whether it would ever go into effect. Supporters said it was worth the effort.

The city “expended a large amount of energy” arguing that its new laws did not run afoul of state law, the judge noted, but city officials “are not able to avoid the obvious intent of the Legislature” to prevent municipalities from enforcing their own gun laws.

Pittsburgh tried enforcing an assault-weapons ban in 1993, but the state Legislature quickly took action to invalidate the measure, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that city officials had overstepped.

MORE BOMBSHELLS FROM THE FLYNN PROSECUTION

General Michael Flynn still awaits sentencing. Meanwhile his new lawyer, Sidney Powell, is tormenting the prosecutors and the FBI, uncovering corruption in the FBI and the Department of Justice that, she credibly alleges, included the framing of General Flynn.

Is that too strong? I don’t think so. Yesterday Powell filed a reply brief in support of her motion to compel the production of more exculpating material by the prosecution, and to hold the prosecutors in contempt of court. Her recitation, which relies in part on text messages that I take it have come to light recently, makes a compelling case of FBI and prosecutorial misconduct. The reply brief is embedded below; I encourage you to read it in its entirety.

Powell’s most explosive charge is that the FBI falsified the Form 302 that recorded the content of its agents’ interview with Flynn in order to set him up for prosecution:

On February 10, 2017, the news broke—attributed to “senior intelligence officials”—that Mr. Flynn had discussed sanctions with Ambassador Kislyak, contrary to what Vice President Pence had said on television previously. Overnight, the most important substantive changes were made to the Flynn 302. Those changes added an unequivocal statement that “FLYNN stated he did not”—in response to whether Mr. Flynn had asked Kislyak to vote in a certain manner or slow down the UN vote. This is a deceptive manipulation because, as the notes of the agents show, Mr. Flynn was not even sure he had spoken to Russia/Kislyak on this issue. He had talked to dozens of countries. Exs. 9, 10, 11.

Second, they added: “or if KISLYAK described any Russian response to a request by FLYNN.” That question and answer do not appear in the notes, yet it was made into a criminal offense. The typed version of the highly unusual “deliberative” 302 by that date already included an entire section from whole cloth that also serves as a criminal charge in the Information and purported factual basis regarding “Russia’s response” to any request by Flynn. The draft also shows that the agents moved a sentence to make it seem to be an answer to a question it was not.

If this is correct, the criminal complaint against Flynn should indeed be dismissed, and various people now or formerly at the FBI should face criminal prosecution.

Many of the juicy tidbits come from texts between Peter Strzok and his illicit lover, Andrew McCabe’s Special Counsel Lisa Page. These texts have dribbled out over a considerable period of time, and I take it that at least some of the ones quoted here are new. For example:

As news of the “salacious and unverified” allegations of the “Steele dossier” dominated the media, Strzok wrote to Page: “Sitting with Bill watching CNN. A TON more out. . . We’re discussing whether, now that this is out, we can use it as a pretext to go interview some people.

So Hillary Clinton’s fictitious campaign “dossier” was explicitly viewed by the FBI as a “pretext to go interview some people.” Including General Flynn, apparently. The rot at Obama’s FBI went very deep.

Supreme Court rejects case of Christian teen forced to write Islamic conversion prayer

So, parents, do you know what’s being taught at the schools your children attend?

islam teaches that reciting what the class was assigned: There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet is the central basic profession of faith. that is the first of the ‘Five Pillars’ of moslems. Proclaim that, as Mr Jasser notes in the article below,  and moslems will consider you a moslem.
Granted that the Supreme Court can’t take all cases, but what do you suppose would have been the ruling from the lower court and the SC reaction if a teacher had assigned that everyone recite or write out ‘the sinner’s prayer’?

One of the religious liberty cases the Supreme Court Justices won’t be hearing this term is the issue of Maryland High School student Caleigh Wood, who refused to take part in a school assignment to write the Islamic conversion prayer that states “… there is no god but Allah,” because she believed it directly contradicted her Christian faith.

The High Court denied a petition filed on behalf of the 11th grader, angering one conservative commentator who saw it as caving in to the indoctrination in schools and on college campuses.

“This is not just a violation of the First Amendment but an ongoing, albeit subtle, diffusion of Islam in our Western society,” the Rev. Mario Alex Protello wrote.

Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of Thomas More Law Center, which filed the petition on Wood’s behalf said, “The schools are promoting Islam over Christianity or any other religion, and you have a double standard, which we think is a violation of the establishment clause.” Thompson also said in the firm’s press release, “Under the pretext of teaching history or social studies, public schools across America are promoting the religion of Islam in ways that would never be tolerated for Christianity or any other religion.”

Thompson said that on top of getting an F in the class, Wood was also made to watch a pro-Islam “PowerPoint presentation that denigrated her religion and basically said that Christians are not as faithful as Muslims. So we strongly believed that this was a violation.”

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in February that the assignment to write the Islamic conversion prayer … did not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Charles County Public Schools released a statement after the Supreme Court’s denial saying, “The decision reaffirms a favorable U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruling earlier this year that the school did not “impermissibly endorse any religion and did not compel Wood to profess any belief.”

One Muslim scholar strongly disagrees. Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, said: “They made this the student recite the Islamic call to call of witness a prayer, which makes her a Muslim. That’s absurd.”

Former national-security adviser Michael Flynn’s lawyer claims in a new bombshell court filing that the FBI tampered with notes from his 2017 interview, during which Flynn pleaded guilty to lying.

In a 37-page motion, attorney Sidney Powell called on the court to “dismiss the entire prosecution for outrageous government misconduct” over allegations that FBI agents manipulated a form summarizing Flynn’s statements to investigators.

The interview dealt with Flynn’s contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. In December 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to charges that he lied to the FBI about his Russia contacts during his brief stint as national-security adviser. He is expected to be sentenced in December.

“Those changes added an unequivocal statement that ‘Flynn stated he did not’ — in response to whether Mr. Flynn had asked Kislyak to vote in a certain manner or slow down the UN vote [on sanctions],” Powell wrote. “This is a deceptive manipulation because, as the notes of the agents show, Mr. Flynn was not even sure he had spoken to Russia/Kislyak on the issue. He had talked to dozens of countries.”

“That question and answer does not appear in the notes, yet it was made into a criminal offense,” Powell wrote in the motion. “The draft also shows that the agents moved a sentence to make it seem to be an answer to a question it was not.”

One of the FBI agents involved in the interview was Peter Strzok, who was fired from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team when text messages disparaging President Trump were discovered between him and FBI colleague Lisa Page, with whom he was having an affair.

FBI brass sent Strzok and another agent to conduct an “ambush-interview” of Flynn explicitly to trap him into making statements they could claim were false, Flynn’s defense team alleged.

“This amounts to conduct so shocking to the conscience and so inimical to our system of justice that it requires the dismissal of the charges for outrageous government conduct,” Powell said

Texas Judge Rules Father Has a Say in Seven-Year-Old Son’s Gender Transition

There is no way that a 7 year old child has the intellectual capacity to even understand ‘trans’ as anything more than playacting much less make a life changing decision about it. This is mommy so hating her ex that she’ll destroy her own child just because he shares half his father’s DNA. Even more disgusting is that a jury was so stupid as to sign off on this crap-for-brains idiocy.

A Texas judge ruled on Thursday that Jeff Younger is entitled to a say in his seven-year-old son James’s gender-transition process.

Judge Kim Cooks awarded Younger joint conservatorship over his son with mother Anne Georgulas, according to Life Site News.

Georgulas had previously insisted on pursuing James’s gender transition, and was backed by counselors and therapists who testified on her behalf that he is transgender.


Texas Governor Announces Investigation Into Case of Mom’s Transitioning Child Against Dad’s Wishes

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced an investigation into the case of a 7-year-old boy whose mother plans to transition him to a girl against his father’s wishes.

Abbott, a Republican, tweeted that the Texas Attorney General’s Office and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is looking into details of James Younger’s case. A judge was expected to make a final verdict in the court case Thursday.


WATCH – James Younger at 3 Years: ‘Mommy Tells Me I’m a Girl’

The Real Coup

Everyone who isn’t a Democrat is talking about the coup attempts against Trump; first the fake Russian collusion story and now the fake “whistleblower” story.  But the real coup is proceeding apace and has already stolen the freedom guaranteed by the Constitution to we the people.

Starting in the 1930s, politicians began stealthily transferring power from themselves, the elected representatives of we the people, to unelected bureaucrats and judges.

We the people can’t get rid of bureaucrats or judges via elections, so they can operate without our consent with impunity.  To get rid of them requires a significant majority of honest politicians in Congress, which hasn’t been manifest for quite some time.

The politicians say the depredations of the administrators and the dishonest judges are not their, the politicians’, fault, so they mislead voters into re-electing the very politicians who refuse to punish administrators and judges who violate their oath of office.

Much has been written about the rise of the administrative state, but the simple reality is that most of the rules and edicts from Washington that we the people have to follow aren’t voted on or approved by the people we elect.  Rather, they’re ushered in by nameless and faceless government employees.

SAF SEEKS SCOTUS REVIEW OF IMPORTANT ILLINOIS CARRY CASE

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation has petitioned the Supreme Court of the United States to review a case challenging the State of Illinois’ ban on concealed carry by non-residents, asserting that without high court review, “virtually all Americans will be deprived of their full Second Amendment rights while in the State of Illinois, based on nothing more than their state of residence.”

Joining SAF in this legal action are the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA), Illinois Carry and nine private citizens. They are represented by attorney David Sigale of Glen Ellyn, Ill., a veteran of Second Amendment cases in Illinois and elsewhere.

“This is a case that literally begs for Supreme Court attention,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “When the Court ruled in the 2008 Heller case that the Second Amendment protected a fundamental right, it was clear that this right belongs to everyone, not just the residents of an individual state. The Seventh Circuit held in Moore v. Madigan that the carrying of firearms in public for self-defense is a fundamental right, but under existing Illinois restrictions, that right has been limited to Illinois residents and citizens from only four other states.

“All the plaintiffs in this case are asking for is to be treated equally to Illinois residents,” he added. “They’re not asking for special treatment. They will take the training required by state law and abide by all the other rules.”

ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson added, “It is unfair that people from out of state cannot get an Illinois concealed carry license. We intend to remedy that.”