Trump Faces Hispanic Judges In Several Federal Courts

Trump Faces Hispanic Judges In Several Federal Courts

 McClatchy Washington Bureau | JUSTCE SOTOMAYER


WASHINGTON — Donald Trump’s far-flung business operations might come before myriad Hispanic judges even as he raises claims that at least one might be biased against him because of his tough posture against Mexico.

In Nevada, U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro is overseeing a case in which Trump Organization lawyers and their opponents insulted one another.

In Florida, U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga is overseeing a settlement reached with aggrieved employees of the Trump National Doral resort.

And just last week, Justice Sonia Sotomayor joined her Supreme Court colleagues in considering a case brought against Trump Entertainment Resorts.

The results, in these and other cases, have varied. But taken together, the intersection of frequent Trump-related litigation with a federal judiciary in which more than 100 Hispanic or Latino judges serve makes the comments by the presumptive GOP presidential nominee even more significant.

“If you accept his proposition that no Mexican-American judge could ever hear a lawsuit against the Trump administration and then he said Muslim judges, there’s no stopping point,” Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California, Irvine, School of Law, said in an interview Monday.

Trump put the ethnicity of judges into play with his assertion, repeated several times, that Southern California-based U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel has an “absolute conflict” in a Trump University lawsuit because he is “of Mexican heritage.”

“I’m building a wall,” Trump said in a Wall Street Journal interview. “It’s an inherent conflict of interest.”

Curiel, a former federal prosecutor who was born in Indiana, has ruled against Trump’s interests several times in the class action lawsuit brought by disgruntled former clients of the now-closed Trump University. Curiel, among other actions, ordered the release of internal university documents that shed embarrassing light on Trump’s business.

“If he was giving me a fair ruling, I wouldn’t say that,” Trump told CNN’s Jake Tapper, again citing Curiel’s background. “I think that’s why he’s doing it.”

Trump followed up by commenting Sunday that “it’s possible” a Muslim judge also might be biased against him because of his political call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States.

The persistent litigation that has accompanied Trump’s various businesses has, in fact, brought both favorable and unfavorable rulings by Hispanic or Latino judges. The judges include those of Cuban and Puerto Rican descent, among others; their rulings involve many cases that are now closed, as well as some that remain active.

Last Tuesday, for instance, the Supreme Court declined to grant a petition by UNITE HERE Local 54 challenging a lower court’s ruling in favor of Trump Entertainment Resorts. Neither Sotomayor, the first Supreme Court justice of Hispanic heritage, nor any of her colleagues publicly disagreed with the decision.

Sotomayor, born in New York City to Puerto Rican-born parents, is one of 124 Hispanic or Latino federal judges serving, according to the most recent tally by the Federal Judicial Center. A total of 857 appellate and district court judges have been authorized by Congress.

On occasion, judges are challenged on the basis of personal identity. These challenges fall short. Same-sex marriage opponents, for instance, failed to replace a gay San Francisco-based federal district judge who struck down California’s Proposition 8 banning gay marriage.

“Legally, he is absolutely wrong in saying that it’s a conflict of interest,” Chemerinsky said, referring to Trump’s rationale. “African-American judges hear challenges to discrimination suits. Women judges can hear challenges to sex discrimination suits.”

One Hispanic federal jurist, New York-based Judge Analisa Torres, heard a lawsuit brought by women who claimed the Trump Model Management agency had lured foreign models to the United States with false promises of a glamorous life.

Last March, Torres, a New York native who is of Puerto Rican descent, sided with Trump and dismissed the case.

Navarro, a Las Vegas native of Cuban descent, has served as a Nevada-based judge since 2010, giving her multiple opportunities to adjudicate Trump-related litigation.

One lawsuit, for instance, was brought by family members who claimed they were injured when an elevator at the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas fell more than 20 stories. Trump’s lawyers first succeeded in moving the complaint into federal court, where it was assigned to Navarro.

Her subsequent rulings have struck a balance. She rejected Trump’s attorneys’ claims that their legal opponents’ behavior was “vexatious” and “annoying,” and also rejected the other attorneys’ claims that the defendants’ behavior was “criminal” and “contemptuous.”

The Trump businesses, moreover, were ultimately dropped from the family’s lawsuit, with an appellate court ruling last December that Navarro was correct that there was “no direct evidence of negligence by Trump.”

In the case brought by Trump’s employees in Florida, by contrast, Altonaga last March rejected the Trump attorneys’ bid to summarily dismiss the lawsuit. The decision by Altonaga, the first Cuban-American appointed to the federal bench, prompted an eventual settlement.

“The parties amicably resolved all disputed claims in this matter,” attorneys advised Altonaga last month.

Trump, in a conference call with reporters Monday, ordered his supporters to continue questioning Curiel’s credibility and to malign reporters, Bloomberg News reported.

The news agency said a “clearly irritated Trump” told his supporters to attack journalists who ask questions about the lawsuit and his comments about the judge.

“The people asking the questions — those are the racists,” Trump said. “I would go at ’em.”

Michael Doyle and Marisa Taylor
McClatchy Washington Bureau


Journalists Arrested In Ferguson Barred From Talking About Settlement



But St. Louis County police will be trained on freedom of the press and constitutional rights.

ST. LOUIS – Four journalists have settled a lawsuit against the St. Louis County Police Department over their arrests in Ferguson, Missouri, during the unrest that followed Michael Brown’s death – but they won’t be allowed to talk about it.

Under the deal, Ryan Devereaux, Lukas Hermsmeier, Ansgar Graw and Frank Herrmann cannot “take any steps to publicize any of the terms” of the settlement. The agreement requires St. Louis County to pay $75,000 to resolve the federal civil rights lawsuit from the reporters, but like many settlements does not require the county to admit liability.

The agreement, a copy of which was obtained by The Huffington Post through a public records request, will also require all officers with the police department to undergo mandatory in-service training on media access and the right to record police activity.

A “qualified legal instructor with significant experience” in freedom of the press and constitutional rights will lead the training, according to the settlement. St. Louis County police have 60 days within the agreement’s effective date to begin the training. The settlement was announced Wednesday.

As part of the department’s new media policy, officers “shall not unreasonably interfere with media access to incidents or intentionally prevent or obstruct the photographing or videotaping of news in public places. Intentional interference such as blocking or obstructing cameras or harassing a photographer constitutes censorship.” Members of the press on private property “will not be arrested, or threatened with arrest for criminal trespass or otherwise, unless an owner or representative expressly indicates that the press is not permitted to enter or remain on the property.”

Under new general orders on recording police, officers “may not threaten, intimidate or otherwise discourage or interfere with the recording of police activities.” But those recording must maintain a “reasonable distance” and “may not obstruct police action.” Officers are required to inform individuals who may be violating those policies of “acceptable alternatives” before they are arrested.

The four journalists filed their lawsuit in March 2015, accusing police of battery, false arrest and unreasonable search and seizure.

Devereaux, who works for The Intercept, and Hermsmeier, a freelance journalist, said that despite having their hands in the air, identifying themselves as press and wearing their press credentials, they were shot at with nonlethal projectiles before they were taken into custody.

“No reasonable officer would have believed that the force used in detaining and arresting Devereaux and Hermsmeier was necessary and/or justified,” the lawsuit said.

Graw, a correspondent with German daily Die Welt, alleged that a St. Louis County officer told him he should be ashamed of being a journalist and said reporters were “telling lies about Ferguson.” Later, one of the officers who arrested him — allegedly Marcial Amaro — identified himself as “Donald Duck,” according to the lawsuit.

Herrmann, who writes for German regional newspapers, said he was arrested while wearing his press credentials and carrying a camera.

The journalists agreed to issue a joint public statement with St. Louis County that said the resolution would “ensure that the County’s policing activities are consistent with the County’s expressed commitment to keeping the public informed” and would not interfere with the police’s ability to protect the community.

While the reporters agreed to keep the terms of the settlement private, confidential agreements with government entities in Missouri can be obtained through public records requests.

Police operating in Ferguson have been widely criticized for their treatment of journalists and civilians during the unrest following the death of Michael Brown in August 2014. A federal investigation found that “inappropriate” and “provocative” police tactics inflamed tension in the St. Louis suburb.

St. Louis County previously settled with journalists who were arrested and had faced charges, including a case in which a St. Louis County Police lieutenant falsely claimed in a police report that a journalist had refused to leave the street.

Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post and Ryan Reilly of The Huffington Post are currently facing charges in connection with their arrests in Ferguson on Aug. 13, 2014.

Mariah Stewart

Sex abuse victim to file lawsuit against Josh Duggar: report

Josh Duggar (CNS News)
Josh Duggar (CNS News)

Finally, this cretin will go before a court of law…


One of Josh Duggar’s molestation victims is planning to file a lawsuit against the reality show star and former anti-LGBT activist.

The suit will be filed by a victim who is not a family member, reported InTouch Weekly– which first broke the news about the molestation case.

The new report is based on anonymous sources.

Two of the 27-year-old Duggar’s sisters appeared last month on Fox News and admitted their brother had molested them more than a decade ago at their family’s home.

He molested two other sisters as they slept, according to investigators, along with a babysitter who was staying at the Duggar home.

Duggar admitted to sexually abusing the girls but was never prosecuted because police did not learn about the claims until the statute of limitations had run out.

A legal expert quoted by InTouch said victims would still be able to file a civil suit against the “19 Kids and Counting” star under Arkansas Code Annotated Section 16-56-130 – which allows civil action when a sexual abuse victim starts to experience the effects of the abuse years later.

A lawsuit would almost certainly force Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar to reveal what they knew about their son’s pattern of sexual abuse and any actions they took to cover up his actions.

“All the church elders who knew about this will have to be named,” a source told the magazine.

The legal expert told the magazine that the couple would not be able to invoke the Fifth Amendment because the criminal statute of limitations has expired for any crimes related to the alleged cover-up.

TLC has shelved their long-running popular reality show in the wake of the revelations but has made no long-term decision about the program.

Bystanders wrongly pegged by New York Post as Boston ‘Bag Men’ file suit

New York Post fingers 17 year old kid as bombing suspect

Here’s hoping the two get a large pile of Murdoch money in exchange for this mess. A very, very large pile of money ~ Daily Kos on Facebook

Daily Kos

Here’s hoping the two get a large pile of Murdoch money in exchange for this mess. A very, very large pile of money.

I’m only surprised it took this long:

A Massachusetts teenager and his 24-year-old friend filed a defamation lawsuit against the New York Post Wednesday in Boston, accusing the tabloid of falsely portraying them as suspects in the deadly Marathon bombings by plastering their photograph on the front page under the headline, “Bag Men.”

As the picture above demonstrates, the Post wasn’t shy about it, calling them the “bag men” in large type even while their own story admitted that it wasn’t actually clear if the two pictured were the ones law enforcement were actually investigating. As it turns out, they weren’t—it was a picture that some online sleuths found suspicious, and that was all it took to make the Post front page, and to therefore make the two a conspicuous public target:

When Zaimi arrived at work that day, a company vice president called him into his office. Zaimi did not understand why until the office manager showed him a copy of the Post.“He immediately started shaking, his mouth went dry, and he felt as though he was having a panic attack,” the complaint said. […]

That night, the complaint said, as he waited for the train home, someone pointed him out as the person in the New York Post. Zaimi fled.

Given that we’re living in an age when would-be public heroes even fire shots at fleeing shoplifters, I’d say hightailing it out of a crowd that thinks you might be a terrorist based a front-page picture saying so was probably a very good idea. The Post should count themselves lucky no worse harm came to the two.

Here’s hoping the two get a large pile of Murdoch money in exchange for this mess. A very, very large pile of money. The crooked, reckless sensationalism of the Post was demonstratedthroughout the Boston story, but in this instance it could have gotten someone killed.

Donald Trump Withdraws Lawsuit Against Bill Maher

Score another win for the good guys…

TPM LiveWire

Donald Trump has withdrawn his sensational lawsuit against Bill Maher — at least for the moment.

Trump filed a lawsuit against Maher in February, arguing that the political satirist did not fulfill his end of a very public bet. While appearing on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” in January, Maher joked that he would donate $5 million to a charity of Trump’s choice — “Hair Club for Men” and “the Institute for Incorrigible Douchebaggery” were among Maher’s suggestions — if the real estate mogul and prominent birther could prove that he’s not the “spawn of his mother having sex with an orangutan.”

Trump’s lawyers evidently filed a request with the L.A. County Superior Court on March 29 to dismiss the $5 million lawsuit. But Michael Cohen, special counsel and executive vice president for Trump, told TMZ that the legal fight is not over and the withdrawal of the case was only temporary.

“The lawsuit was temporarily withdrawn to be amended and refiled at a later date,” Cohen said.

Maher, for his part, never seemed to take the case too seriously. During an interview with late night host Conan O’Brien in February, Maher compared his dispute with Trump to “having a spat with J.R. Ewing.” 

“He’s not even a real person,” Maher said of Trump. “It’s just like a pop reference from the 80′s.”


Tea Party Nation sued for dodging Las Vegas hotel bill

So, the teabaggers’  true colors are starting to emerge.  They are not about fiscal responsibility in this instance…

Raw Story

The Venetian Casino Resort in Las Vegas has filed a lawsuit against Tennessee-based Tea Party Nation for allegedly failing to pay a more than $600,000 bill.

The Las Vegas Review Journal reported that the hotel claims the tea party group owes money for a five-day convention it canceled at the hotel last summer.

The Tea Party Nation reserved 1,637 room nights in the Palazzo hotel, according to court documents. The tea party group cancelled two weeks before the event.

The group agreed to pay the hotel $579,148 in the event of a cancellation and $87,996 in interest has since been added to that amount.

The Venetian’s lawyers claim the Tea Party Nation “has refused, and continues to refuse, to make payment,” despite being contacted numerous times, LA Weekly reported.

Tea Party Nation Founder Judson Phillips told Las Vegas Review Journal that hasn’t seen the lawsuit yet

University of Kentucky Police Investigating Sign That Called the POTUS A Racial Epithet

Lexington Herald Leader

University of Kentucky officials are investigating two incidents in which someone hung signs that called President Barack Obama a racial epithet.

On March 15, a professor noticed one such sign hanging on a door to the UK School of Law on South Limestone. He turned it in to campus police, who are investigating, said spokesman Jay Blanton.

Early Thursday morning, third year law student Ches Clark said he found a sign affixed to a bus shelter on South Lime near Maxwelton Court. The sign said “How Do You Spell Nigger? OBAMA.”

The letters looked to be cut out of a menu, glued to another piece of paper and photocopied, Clark said.    Read More…


TSA sued over ‘pat downs’

It was just a matter of time…

America Blog

There are surely many more like this underway or about to be filed. Some people really can be funny when it comes to privacy.

A Colorado attorney has asked a federal judge to order the Transportation Security Administration to abandon its airport screening procedures for United States citizens.

Gary Fielder filed his lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Denver last week, more than a month after he, his two daughters, ages 9 and 15, and a family friend underwent a TSA pat-down in San Diego.

Fielder’s lawsuit claimed the pat-downs were “disgusting, unconscionable, sexual in nature” and in violation of the Constitution’s protections against unreasonable searches.

Eddie Long, Atlanta Bishop Accused Of Sexually Abusing Young Men, Says He’s Not Going Anywhere

Huffington Post

A megachurch pastor accused of luring four young men into sexual relationships said Sunday that he won’t be pulled into a street fight over the allegations and vowed that his faith has been strengthened.

Bishop Eddie Long did not directly mention the accusations to thousands of cheering supporters during services at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in suburban Lithonia. But his remarks seemed directly addressed to his accusers.

“In times of challenge, there are several things that come out. Your faith will be strengthened or weakened,” he said, to growing applause. “My faith is being strengthened.”

Long told supporters at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church that he is “not going to be pulled into a street fight” and that he doesn’t hate anyone. But he directed his listeners to turn to a passage in the Book of Job that read: “Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, and the tent of the wicked will be no more.”

As his devoted flock cheered, Long joked that he accidentally led them to the wrong page. “That was the Holy Ghost,” he said, flashing a smile as the sanctuary echoed with laughter.

Long’s more than hour-long sermon was greeted with thunderous applause and adoration. Several thousand parishioners flocked to the suburban Atlanta complex for the 8 a.m. service, and cars snaked in traffic for miles after it was over.

Long became one of the nation’s most powerful church leaders over the past two decades, transforming a suburban Atlanta congregation of 150 into a powerhouse of 25,000 members that includes high-profile athletes, entertainers and politicians.

The bishop is a father of four who has been an outspoken opponent of gay marriage and whose church has counseled gay members to become straight. But the TV preacher’s empire was threatened last month when the four men filed a civil lawsuit claiming Long abused his spiritual authority to lure them into a sexual relationship.

Two of the young men say he targeted them after they enrolled in the church’s LongFellows Youth Academy, a program that taught teens about sexual, physical and financial discipline. The other two – one of whom attended a satellite church in Charlotte, N.C. – have made similar claims.

The men say they were 17 or 18 when the relationships began. Local and state authorities have declined to investigate because Georgia’s age of consent is 16.

Long has not addressed the accusations directly, but promised Sunday that he would not let his legal troubles prevent him or his church from doing its work.

“I ain’t going to stop living,” he said amid more applause.

Georgia pastor to address lawsuit allegations

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  • Pastor Eddie Long will address his congregation Sunday morning
  • He has denied allegations he coerced men into sexual contact
  • Four lawsuits were filed in DeKalb County, Georgia, this week

The four men who brought lawsuits this week in DeKalb County, Georgia, State Court claim that Long took them on overnight trips to various locations within the United States and beyond, sharing a room and engaging in sexual contact with them, including massaging, masturbation or oral sex.

The lawsuit filed Friday by a Charlotte, North Carolina, man says Long uses church money and other accounts to entice young men with cars, clothing, jewelry and electronics.

Long’s spokesman and church members say it is appropriate he first speak in detail about the civil lawsuits with his church family.

“I stand behind the bishop because of the leader that he is. He is a true leader. The word that he gives is so rich, it is so life-changing,” New Birth member Gary Foster Jr. told CNN Saturday night.

He and two other young church members said Long is family-oriented, a mentor and a respected leader who has helped families and individuals.

Gabrielle Richards, who has attended New Birth for nearly eight years, said she has seen no evidence that Long is a sexual predator.

A former New Birth employee said he hopes the allegations are not true, but he wants to hear from Long so that the “cloud of suspicion over him can be dispersed.”

“The information is certainly damaging,” Kevin Bond said. “The evidence … all of that is very troubling to many of us in the gospel community, the Christian community.”

A Facebook page in support of Long had more than 6,000 members Saturday night.