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Exclusive: The Most Conservative Court In 90 Years –



Compelling Television

#Conservative #Court #Years

“In 2018 just after he announced his retirement, Justice Anthony Kennedy, who sat at the ideological center of the court for much of his 30-year tenure, met with a groups of reporters. Was he worried that some of the precedents he helped establish–the right to abortion and LGBT rights, for instance–might now be in jeopardy? No, he replied. He was confident that constitutional rights, once established would remain in place,” NPR reports.

“It took just four years, and the addition of one more Trump appointee to the Supreme Court, to prove him wrong.”

FiveThirtyEight: “The data emphasizes that the court is deeply polarized along partisan lines — perhaps more than it’s ever been. There have always been ideological disagreements among the justices, and those have often pitted liberals against conservatives, but those divides weren’t consistently linked to the justice’s appointing party.”

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Exclusive: Today’s Primary Results –




Today’s Primary Results

#Todays #Primary #Results

Voters in Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont and Wisconsin headed to the polls to vote in primaries today.

There’s also a special election in Minnesota’s 1st congressional district.

Leave your reactions in the comments as results come in.

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Exclusive: Judicial Rubber-Stamping of Search Warrants Can Be Deadly –




Judicial Rubber-Stamping of Search Warrants Can Be Deadly

#Judicial #RubberStamping #Search #Warrants #Deadly

According to a federal indictment unsealed last week, Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT and aspiring nurse who was killed during a 2020 drug raid in Louisville, Kentucky, died because a cop lied. According to a 2019 federal indictment, the same is true of Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas, a middle-aged couple killed during a drug raid in Houston that year.

When police officers invent facts to obtain search warrants, they are committing crimes, violating the Fourth Amendment, and instigating potentially lethal confrontations without a legal basis. Although outright lies may be difficult to detect in advance, more rigorous judicial review of police affidavits could have made a crucial difference in both of these cases.

When Louisville Detective Joshua Jaynes sought a warrant to search Taylor’s apartment in March 2020, he claimed he had “verified through a U.S. Postal Inspector” that suspected drug dealer Jamarcus Glover, Taylor’s former boyfriend, had been “receiving packages” at her apartment. After the raid that killed Taylor, Jaynes told investigators that information actually came from a colleague, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, who supposedly told Jaynes “nonchalantly” that Glover “just gets Amazon or mail packages there.”

According to the indictment against Jaynes, both claims were false. Furthermore, Jaynes’ suggestion that the packages might contain drugs or drug money was inconsistent with the reference to Amazon shipments. Glover, who was arrested elsewhere the same night that police killed Taylor, told the Louisville Courier-Journal that “nothing illegal” was delivered to her apartment—just “shoes and clothes”—and that Taylor was not involved in his drug dealing.

Even with the ambiguous reference to “packages,” the evidence implicating Taylor in her ex-boyfriend’s criminal activities was thin. Jaynes reported that he had seen Glover outside Taylor’s apartment and that he had seen Taylor’s car parked in front of a house used by Glover “on different occasions,” although he did not specify when or in what circumstances.

Although Jefferson County Circuit Judge Mary Shaw may not have realized that Jaynes invented a conversation with a postal inspector, it should have been obvious that the evidence against Taylor, based entirely on guilt by association, was much weaker than the evidence against Glover. Yet Shaw approved a warrant for a no-knock, middle-of-the-night search of Taylor’s apartment along with four other warrants for houses linked to Glover, all within 12 minutes.

After the Houston raid that killed Tuttle and Nicholas, it turned out that a veteran narcotics officer, Gerald Goines, had fabricated a heroin sale to falsely implicate them in drug dealing. While Municipal Court Judge Gordon Marcum, who approved the no-knock warrant for the couple’s home, may never have imagined that Goines was making the whole thing up, there were clues that the officer’s affidavit was fishy.

Although Goines claimed he had been investigating drug activity at Tuttle and Nicholas’ home for two weeks, he had not bothered to find out who lived there. Goines said he had “advised” a confidential informant that “narcotics were being sold and stored” at the house, but he cited no evidence of that, notwithstanding his two-week investigation.

Goines claimed another narcotics officer, Steven Bryant, had recognized the “brown powder” that the informant supposedly bought at the house as heroin, a detail that Bryant later contradicted. One wonders what Bryant would have said if Marcum had asked him to verify Goines’ account.


Local prosecutors discovered that Goines, who was employed by the Houston Police Department for 34 years, had been similarly creative in other cases, citing drug purchases that never happened to justify searches and arrests. He also had a history of justifying no-knock warrants by citing firearms they were never recovered—a suspicious pattern that no one noticed until it was too late for Tuttle and Nicholas.

When judges rubber-stamp warrants without asking basic questions or pausing to consider whether police have established probable cause, they forsake their responsibility to protect our constitutional rights. The result is unjustified home invasions that can have deadly consequences.

© Copyright 2022 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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Exclusive: 3 winners and 1 loser from the Minnesota, Wisconsin, Vermont, and Connecticut primaries –




3 winners and 1 loser from the Minnesota, Wisconsin, Vermont, and Connecticut primaries

#winners #loser #Minnesota #Wisconsin #Vermont #Connecticut #primaries

Primary elections continued on Tuesday. In Vermont, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, progressives — as incumbents and in open races — had a solid night, either clearing the field before primary day or beating back challengers.

Republicans in Wisconsin and Connecticut, the fourth state to hold primaries Tuesday, split between supporting establishment-backed candidates and Trump-boosted challengers to take on Democratic incumbents in the governor’s office (Wisconsin) and the US Senate (Connecticut). Still, just one day after the FBI raided his residence in Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s influence over the party remained certain, with successful endorsements in both states — and a concession by an incumbent Republican who voted to impeach the then-president.

Here are three winners and one loser from the day’s races.

Winner: Progressives

Progressives cruised to victory in their primaries in Vermont and Wisconsin; in Minnesota, Squad member Rep. Ilhan Omar had a close primary, however, just eking out a win. It was a surprising turn of events given the advantage incumbents typically enjoy. In most cases, all the progressives who won their races did so in deep blue territory and are widely expected to go on to win their seats.

Vermont Senate President Pro Tempore Becca Balint, who was backed by Sen. Bernie Sanders and a slate of other progressive leaders, prevailed over Lt. Gov. Molly Gray in the state’s first wide-open US House race since 2006. Gray has earned endorsements from moderates — including former Govs. Madeline Kunin and Howard Dean as well as retiring Sen. Patrick Leahy — and was portrayed by Balint as a “corporatist and a catastrophe for the left.” The seat is rated “solid Democrat” by the Cook Political Report, meaning that Balint will likely become the first woman and first openly gay person to represent Vermont in Congress.

Rep. Peter Welch, a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus who was also backed by Sanders, cleared the field early in his bid to replace Leahy in the Senate after 15 years serving as Vermont’s only House member. His Democratic opponents, Dr. Niki Thran and Isaac Evans-Franz, never came within striking distance. He’s also heading into November as the clear favorite and would be only the second Democrat ever elected to the US Senate from Vermont. Leahy, the first, has served since 1975; the state’s other senator, Bernie Sanders, caucuses with the Democrats, but is an independent.

In Minnesota’s Fifth District, which is also rated “solid Democrat,” progressive Squad member Rep. Ilhan Omar narrowly fended off a challenger from her right, Don Samuels, leading by just over 2 percentage points as of Tuesday night. She faced a similar challenge in 2020, and won by a nearly 20 percentage point margin.


Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) attends a July rally in support of abortion access at the US Capitol.
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Samuels, a former Minneapolis City Council member, promised to be a more moderate representative, and ran heavily on public safety. He helped defeat a proposed ballot measure to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a new Department of Public Safety after a city police officer killed George Floyd in May 2020. Omar, a proponent of the progressive movement to “defund the police,” had supported the proposal. Clearly, Samuels’s message resonated in the district, and his near-win will likely encourage future challenges to Omar.

Rep. Betty McCollum, who represents Minnesota’s neighboring Fourth District, successfully defended her progressive record against Amane Badhasso, who came to the US as a refugee from Ethiopia and sought to portray herself as a new generation of progressive. It’s also considered a safe Democratic seat.

Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes effectively won the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Sen. Ron Johnson before Election Day even began. The Democratic primary was initially crowded, but Barnes’s three main rivals — Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry, Wisconsin state treasurer Sarah Godlewski, and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson — dropped out of the race weeks ahead of the primary to coalesce behind him, hoping that doing so would boost Democrats’ chances of winning what is shaping up to be one of 2022’s most competitive Senate races. —Nicole Narea

Loser: Jaime Herrera Beutler

The Washington state Republican, one of 10 GOP House members who voted to impeach Trump after the January 6 Capitol attack, didn’t have her primary on Tuesday. But she did concede defeat Tuesday night after a Trump-backed challenger solidified a narrow lead in last week’s primary.

Herrera Beutler was starting a sixth term as a member of Congress when she voted to impeach Trump, inciting the former president’s fury and a primary challenge from Joe Kent, a Trump-endorsed former Army Green Beret. He will now be the GOP’s candidate in the state’s Third Congressional District, just north of Portland, Oregon.

With her primary loss, only one Republican who voted to impeach Trump appears likely to return to Congress, Rep. Dan Newhouse, of Washington’s Fourth Congressional District. Four decided not to run for reelection; four others, including Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer last Tuesday, lost their primaries. —Christian Paz


Herrera Beutler, in a black sweater and grey slacks, speaks with Meijer, in a black corduroy suit jacket and black jeans, as they descend the Capitol steps on an overcast day.

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) confers with Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI) on the steps of the US Capitol in November 2021.
Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Winner: Donald Trump

Just a day after the FBI raided his Florida home, Donald Trump’s bets in an array of primary contests Tuesday night seem to have paid off. Unlike on other primary days, the former president’s picks weren’t necessarily clear winners — this time, Trump took some risks in order to pursue grudges and boost candidates who more fully embraced his election lies.

His pick in Wisconsin’s Republican primary for governor, the businessman and political outsider Tim Michels, was on track to defeat the establishment-backed former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch — whom former Vice President Mike Pence endorsed. That win follows a similar one for Trump in Arizona, where his gubernatorial candidate, Kari Lake, defeated Pence’s pick, Karrin Taylor Robson (as well as a Pence victory over Trump in Georgia back in May).

At the state government level, Robin Vos, the powerful Republican speaker of the Wisconsin assembly and perennial antagonist to the state’s Democratic governor, came out less that 2 percentage points ahead of Adam Steen, a Trump-endorsed challenger, on Tuesday night. Steen lost, but he did surprisingly well for a political newcomer with a small operation whom Trump seemed to back out of spite for Vos not trying harder to overturn the state’s 2020 election results. Trump-backed candidates in another Wisconsin state assembly race and a US House race, Janel Brandtjen and Derrick Van Orden respectively, both ran uncontested.

In Connecticut’s GOP Senate race, Leora Levy, a Republican fundraiser whom Trump endorsed just last week, beat the party’s former state House leader, Themis Klarides, who until recently was seen as the moderate frontrunner in the race. —CP

Winner: Election lies

Herrera Buetler’s loss was one of several signals Tuesday night that the GOP has gone all-in on Trump’s 2020 election lies.


In the Republican primary for governor in Wisconsin, the Trump-endorsed victor, businessman Tim Michels, has said that he agrees with Trump that there was election fraud in 2020 and that, as governor, he would consider signing a bill that would decertify the 2020 election results, even though there is no legal mechanism to do so. He has also said that he supports dismantling the Wisconsin Elections Commission, a bipartisan organization that presides over elections in the state. His rival, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, took similar stances.

A man with his back to the camera wears a large white cowboy hat with a sticker reading “Michels for governor.” A blonde woman in white beside him smiles; above their heads, a black and red sign reading “Michels for Governor” looms large.

Businessman Tim Michels’s supporters await the election night results in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

In Connecticut, Dominic Rapini, the former board chair of a group that has advanced claims of voter fraud, won the GOP nomination for secretary of state. He has said that his first act in office would be to eliminate the position of Connecticut’s elections misinformation officer, who will be hired this year to monitor the internet and defend against foreign and domestic interference in elections conducted in the state.

Trump-backed Adam Steen, who ran on a platform of decertifying the 2020 election results in Wisconsin, quickly came within striking distance of incumbent Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, who has been in the assembly since 2005. As of Tuesday night, Steen lost by less than 2 percentage points — a much smaller margin than anticipated, given his lack of a large campaign.

Other GOP candidates who prevailed on Tuesday, including Levy in Connecticut, have gestured more broadly at the importance of “election integrity” in the wake of 2020 and accused Democrats of making elections less secure.

It wasn’t just Trump’s election lies that saw success Tuesday, but his penchant for downplaying Covid-19 as well. Scott Jensen, a physician and former Minnesota state senator, won the Republican primary for governor after falsely claiming that Covid-19 death tolls were inflated. He argued that they were “skewed” because they accounted for elderly people who would have died within a few years anyway, and has also criticized incumbent Democratic Gov. Tim Walz’s vaccine mandates. —NN


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