Posts tagged with "Supreme Court"

TPS Holders Sue Trump Administration

Six adults with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and two U.S. citizen children of TPS holders filed a class-action lawsuit today seeking to stop the unlawful termination of TPS for over 100,000 TPS holders from Honduras and Nepal and prevent the separation of tens of thousands of U.S. citizen children from their TPS-holder parents. The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Plaintiffs are represented by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California and ACLU Foundation of Northern California in the release, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, and Sidley Austin. [Read the filing here]

In October of 2018, the Court enjoined the termination of TPS for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador, finding substantial evidence that the terminations were motivated by racism and violated the Administrative Procedure Act. Plaintiffs in Bhattarai v. Nielsen allege that the terminations of TPS for Honduras and Nepal suffer from the same legal flaws and should be set aside. Plaintiffs also allege that the terminations are unconstitutional because they require the U.S. citizen children of TPS holders to choose between their country and their family.

Plaintiff Keshav Raj Bhattarai, a member of Adhikaar and Nepali TPS holder shares, “I am proud to be a part of this lawsuit, for all the other Nepali TPS holders like me. With TPS I have been able to build a new life here with my family and I have a found a stable job. When I see so many people’s lives at risk in losing TPS, I am troubled to see that this country would harm its hardworking workers and people. I wish to continue working to support this country, and also continue supporting the rebuilding of Nepal, which is still recovering from the earthquake.”

The complaint filed today alleges that, in terminating TPS for Honduras and Nepal, political appointees in the Department of Homeland Security deliberately ignored recommendations from U.S. Ambassadors and evidence of conditions on the ground. Instead, they predetermined that TPS must be terminated to further the President’s “America First” policy, which seeks to exclude non-white, non-European immigrants. The complaint recites a litany of racist statements made by President Trump in reference to Latin American and South Asian countries and immigrants, including referring to immigrants as snakes and animals, mispronouncing Nepal as “nipple,” and faking an Indian accent in imitation of Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi.

Plaintiff Donaldo Posadas Caceres, a member of the Painters’ Union (IUPAT DC21) with TPS from Honduras explains, “I’m taking part in this lawsuit not just for myself and my daughter but for everyone who would be hurt by our TPS being taken away. Forcing our children to choose between the life they have here or a country they don’t know is unfair. Sending all of us to danger and instability is unjust. I’m proud to have been a union painter for two decades in this country and it does not feel right to see all of that just cut away.”

Jessica Bansal, NDLON’s Co-Legal Director, said: “The Trump Administration is illegally trying to gut the humanitarian TPS program, but TPS holders are fighting back. They have already won a temporary reprieve for hundreds of thousands of TPS holders. With today’s filing, they seek to protect tens of thousands more.”

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are members of diverse organizations fighting to defend TPS in the courts and in Congress, including Adhikaar, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), AND the National TPS Alliance.

Jenny Zhao, Staff Attorney at Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, said: “The Trump Administration’s plan to end TPS for Honduras and Nepal must be stopped before it causes immeasurable harm to TPS holders, their families, and their communities.”

Minju Cho, Staff Attorney at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles said: “TPS holders are valued members of our communities. They are parents to tens and thousands of U.S. citizen children. TPS is vital to people’s ability to work and provide for themselves and their families. We are proud to stand alongside these communities in their fight against the Trump administration’s unconstitutional attempt to take TPS away.”

Ahilan Arulanantham, Senior Counsel at the ACLU of Southern California, said: “We are proud to represent these courageous U.S. citizen children and their parents who held Temporary Protected Status before the Trump Administration unlawfully stripped it away. They ask only that our government respect their due process rights. We hope the Court will uphold the rule of law and grant them the protection they deserve.”

TRIGGER WARNING: New Kavanaugh Video

***WARNING: This video is a dramatization of alleged events. It contains violent images that may be disturbing to some viewers. Caution is strongly advised.***

WATCH THE AGENDA PROJECT’S NEW VIDEO: TRIGGER WARNING

The Agenda Project released a new video featuring a dramatization of the alleged attempted rape several years ago by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as described by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. As the text above warns, the footage may be disturbing for some. This is a delicate subject matter for many, but with the future of our nation at stake, we felt this video was an important one to make. If you feel up to it, we encourage you to watch, then act.

The video ends by providing the number to the US Senate switchboard. If you are as outraged as we are that a man credibly accused of attempted rape is being considered for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, please take a minute to call your Senators and demand that they vote against confirming Kavanaugh.

The video was released in conjunction with a piece written by Agenda Project Founder Erica Payne explaining the rationale behind putting out such potentially disturbing footage. In it, she writes:

“Senator Dean Heller called it “a little hiccup.” For Senator Lindsay Graham, it was “a smear.” The Honorable Orrin Hatch said, “This woman, whoever she is, is mixed up.” The X chromosome knows exactly what the Y chromosome means when it says things like that. It means we are nothing. Our claims to our bodies are NOTHING. Like a little hiccup, we will pass.

So it’s come to this. To showing them – showing as many men who have and would do this, and the ones who dismiss it when it’s done – what we’re actually talking about here.”

For more information on why we felt this video was so important for us to release, you can read more in the rest of her article HERE

Assembly Bill 3080 Is Bad for Jobs

Three years ago Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation on employment arbitration, saying he wanted to wait for the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the issue. Now the Supreme Court has spoken: Businesses can ask employees to sign arbitration agreements to settle employment disputes instead of going through costly and lengthy litigation. So it’s time for the governor to follow through with another veto.

Any attempt to contradict the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing arbitration in employment contracts, as proposed in Assembly Bill 3080 by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, would, as you have warned in the past when you vetoed similar legislation, “result in years of costly litigation and legal uncertainty.” What we can guarantee is that signing this bad bill would certainly add to an already unstable and hostile environment for California employers and forcing a burden on them that does not exist in other states.

Under AB 3080, California businesses, especially in cases involving disputes over alleged sexual harassment or misconduct, would be victimized. Not only would businesses and employers face civil liabilities for any violations of AB 3080, but they could also face criminal charges as well.

Business owners must be able to operate in an environment that is fair and competitive, not one that is legally stacked against them.

It’s clear that as written, AB 3080 could be greatly misused and serve to help trial attorneys, not workers. It creates an environment where lawyers can troll for unsuspecting employees willing to sue their bosses, under the auspices of a large payday. The number of civil claims that could then result from this law would overwhelm the state’s judiciary system by, in effect, forcing all claims to be tried by a judge and jury.

For read entire story, click here.

6 Facts about Haji Ali Dargah You Didn’t Know

Haji Ali Dargah covers about 500 yards of the Arabian Sea. Mumbai city is well versed with this place and the royal structure holds immense importance in the lives of each individual. If you belong to a city of temples like Mangalore, you’d surely want to visit this famous dargah in Mumbai.

Here are some interesting facts and the history surrounding this admirable place.

  • It is named after the wealthy saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, the greatest Muslim Saint. To make a pilgrimage to Mecca, he gave all of his fortune and possessions for noble deeds. During his journey to Mecca, he died, and the body in the coffin came back floating to Mumbai. The shrine was built at the same spot. In the year 1431, the mosque was built in his loving memory. The Dargah is about than 587 years old. Due to the impact of visitors and the saline winds, the structure is constantly eroding. Renovations were carried out in the years 1960 and 1964. After which, the upgrade was again started in the year 2008.
  • The tomb is based on the Indo Islamic architecture. It is situated 5oo metres from the coast and is built on a tiny islet. It is located in the vicinity of Worli, at the centre of the Worli Bay.
  • Almost 8000 visitors come to pay respects every day, and the most interesting fact is that not everyone who comes here is a Muslim. The causeway to the Dargah is not bound by any kind of railings. So the access to the spot majorly depends on the tides. During high tides, the causeway gets completely submerged in water making it inaccessible from the city.
  • On 26th July 1949, a storm hit the Mumbai city causing a great amount of destruction, but Haji Ali Dargah stood unharmed. Every building of the city suffered harm and loads of damage. Waves kept crashing the shore, and the people inside the dargah were scared that they would drown. But with the blessings of the saint, the waves bowed the walls without harming a single person in the dargah, and people returned back to their homes without any damage.
  • There is a story called the Pothole Story, which revolves around a miracle which happens every year. During the monsoon time, the city is all covered with potholes and rough roads. But the path of the mosque has never seen any damage for people to reach and pay tribute.
  • A feminist movement called ‘Haji Ali for all’ was launched by Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan and Bhumata Brigade. The movement aimed to secure equal rights to pray. With the persistent efforts of the people, Supreme Court on 26th August ruled that women could enter the sanctum sanctorum.
  • There is lesser known tale surrounding the almighty’s dargah. Once the saint saw a poor woman holding a vessel and crying. She was crying because she had accidentally spilt the oil and was scared that the husband would beat her. To this, Haji Ali asked her to take him to that spot where she had spilt the oil. Upon reaching there, the oil came oozing out from the soil as soon as he jabbed a finger into the soil. The woman was overjoyed and filled her vessel. Later, Haji Ali Shah had a disturbing dream that he injured the Mother Earth. Soon after this, he got ill and asked his followers to put the coffin into the Arabian Sea. Miraculously, his casket just got stuck offshore of Worli where the Dargah was constructed. Haji Ali Dargah is one of the most visited mosques in Mumbai, and the history attached to the place is significant. So it’s your chance to see for real the purity of the place.

California Citizens in Support of New Petition

CALA is a nonpartisan grassroots movement of concerned citizens and businesses who are fighting against lawsuit abuse in California. CALA serves as a watchdog to challenge abuses within our civil justice system, and engages the public and the media to deliver the message that lawsuit abuse is alive and well in California – and that all Californians are paying the price. CALA members and supporters represent a broad and diverse cross section of Californians. They own small retail stores and hotels, manufacturing firms, real estate brokerages, trucking companies, and more. However, the bulk of CALA’s supporters are several thousand consumers concerned about the impacts of lawsuit abuse.

As set forth more fully below, the citizens of California face significant risks as a result of the decision of the Sixth District Court of Appeal (the “Decision”), including potential health risks from wholesale abatement of even intact lead-based paint, and a reduction in property values of all pre-1981 properties. In addition, California’s businesses and economy will suffer from the reductions in tax revenue. For these reasons, CALA urges this Court to review the Decision.

The court’s abatement plan creates unnecessary risks to the public.There is no pressing public safety issue that warrants judicial usurping of a successful legislative program. In fact, the enforcement of local building regulations and the State’s current program to minimize lead exposure have drastically reduced the number of children with elevated blood lead levels. The court’s unprecedented abatement plan, which orders the abatement of even intact lead paint, puts the health of California’s children at risk. The court’s plan would actually expose children to more lead dust, not less, as studies by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) show. The vast majority of states around the country – and HUD- favor keeping lead paint covered rather than removing it. Currently, HUD will not pay to abate windows with intact lead paint.

 The Decision will lower property values. The Decision, which labels more than 3 million homes in ten jurisdictions as public nuisances, will cause property values across California to plummet. Property owners are required to disclose the existence of a nuisance when selling a property. In addition, the trial court requires that any properties that do not participate in the abatement plan, “should be deferred for actionable lead hazard control until the property owner vacates or sells the property.” Homeowners may not be able to take out a second loan or home equity line of credit. Sellers may be forced to lower the sale price if the home appraises lower than a buyer’s offer. This phenomenon will not be restricted to the 10 jurisdictions. Under existing law, pre-1978 properties in California are presumed to contain lead-based paint. (17 Cal. Code Regs. 35043.) The trial court expanded that presumption to pre-1981 homes and held that lead-based paint — even in an intact condition on certain friction surfaces – poses an imminent risk of harm and is a nuisance. Although this ruling applies only to the 10 jurisdictions, it has placed the legal status of intact lead paint throughout the State in question, and buyers across the State will be wary of purchasing pre-1981 properties.

California’s economy will suffer from the lost property tax revenue. California lost property tax revenue from depressed home values will undoubtedly cause critical public services to be cut. The Decision is likely to impair local governments’ ability to provide education, public safety, and other services residents demand and need. K-12 spending per pupil in California is tied to the Proposition 98 funding guarantee, and

would fall dramatically should The Decision be upheld. This would force school districts in the state to cut programs such as music, physical education, and art, reduce class offerings, and lay off staff. These cuts are likely to disproportionately affect lower-income communities just when the average blood lead levels of minorities and the poor are coming in line with the average blood lead levels of the general population.

The Decision rewards slumlords at the expense of responsible property owners.

The Decision places property owners with 10 or more housing code violations at the front of the line to get their properties inspected and abated. This will create a situation in which law-abiding citizens who have maintained their properties will have to endure crashes in property values and wait in line while the bad actors get rewarded for willfully failing to maintain their properties.

For the reasons set forth above, CALA urges this Court to review the case in order to restore order and predictability for California’s property owners and tenants, and to put law making on the critical issues of housing and public health back in the hands of the legislature.

Assemblyman Travis Allen

Assemblyman Travis Allen: CA Supreme Court’s Decision to Not Hear Gas Tax Repeal a “Mockery of Justice” but Will Not Stop Repeal

Travis Allen vows to continue fight to Repeal Jerry Brown’s $52 Billion Gas Tax

Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) denounced the Supreme Court’s decision to not hear his case against Attorney General Becerra for “intentionally misleading voters” on the ballot title and summary for the Repeal of the Gas Tax.

“The California Supreme Court has made a mockery of justice and brazenly endorsed AG Xavier Becerra’s outright deception of Californians, robbing Californians of honest ballot title and summaries not only for the Gas Tax Repeal, but for every initiative that we vote on,” said Assemblyman Travis Allen. “With this decision, the Supreme Court has given the overtly political Democrat Attorney General an unrestricted license to lie to Californians, and has relinquished its duty to enforce California’s Constitution as it relates to ballot initiatives. This is a sad day for direct democracy in California, and every Californian should take this as a warning that we clearly can no longer trust the Attorney General or the California Supreme Court to be impartial or factual. Read your ballot initiatives closely – now the Attorney General is lying to you and there’s nothing the Supreme Court or anyone else in California is going to do about it.”

Assemblyman Allen filed a lawsuit in Sacramento Superior Court to have the original title and summary restored to the straightforward original version. This lawsuit resulted in the judge throwing out AG Becerra’s misleading title and summary and ordering the Attorney General to rewrite it so it clearly stated that the initiative “Repeals recently-enacted gas and diesel taxes and vehicle registration fees” and “eliminates road repair and transportation programs funded by these taxes.” Becerra, although in clear violation of the California Constitution and decades of case law, quickly had this ruling overturned in the politicized Court of Appeals. Last week, the California Supreme Court decided to not hear the case.

“The corruption of California’s political system is now on display for all to see, but his decision only strengthens our resolve to repeal Jerry Brown’s unnecessary $52 Billion gas tax that Californians never got a chance to vote on,” said Assemblyman Travis Allen. “The more Californians are finding out about this gas tax and how little it’s actually going to do for our roads, the more outraged they become. Not only will we move forward with the repeal, we will get it qualified, and we will Repeal the Gas Tax.”

Photo credit: Google Images

Supreme Court Decision to Hear U.S. v. Microsoft Creates Narrow Window For Much Needed Congressional Action

The following is an excerpt from an article by Lindsay Bembenek with Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

WASHINGTON—Last year, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in United States v. Microsoft Corp. that U.S. law enforcement cannot use search warrants to seize data stored in foreign countries. Today, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a leading think tank for science and technology policy, released the following statement from ITIF vice president Daniel Castro:

In July 2017, ITIF released a report outlining how outdated laws, court decisions, and treaties make it unnecessarily difficult for law enforcement to access data as part of lawful investigations that traverse borders. The report makes specific recommendations for how governments can use a global framework to establish policies for law enforcement to access data abroad without disadvantaging U.S. companies.

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The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is an independent, nonpartisan research and educational institute focusing on the intersection of technological innovation and public policy. Recognized as one of the world’s leading science and technology think tanks, ITIF’s mission is to formulate and promote policy solutions that accelerate innovation and boost productivity to spur growth, opportunity, and progress. Learn more at itif.org.