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Hometown: Atlanta
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Member since: Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:19 AM
Number of posts: 4,327

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More than 80% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Georgia last month were black, CDC study finds

Source: CBS News

A CDC study released Wednesday found that over 80% of the COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Georgia last month were black. It's the latest analysis showing that communities of color are being hit disproportionately hard by the coronavirus.

The study comes just days after Georgia Governor Brian Kemp started reopening some of the state's businesses — a move condemned as premature and dangerous by local black leaders as well as public health officials and even President Trump.

The study from the CDC, which is headquartered in Atlanta, surveyed eight hospitals in the state — seven in the Atlanta metro area and one southern Georgia. In the sample of 305 COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized in March, 247 — or 83.2% — were black. By comparison, 32 patients (10.8%) were white, 10 (3.4%) were Hispanic and eight (2.7%) were Asian or Pacific Islander.

"The proportion of hospitalized patients who were black was higher than expected based on overall hospital admissions," the study says.

Read more: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/georgia-coronavirus-patients-black-covid-19/

Justices ask for more briefing in Trump tax-returns cases

Source: SCOTUS blog

This morning the Supreme Court issued orders from the justices’ private conference last week. The justices did not act on two cases that have been repeatedly relisted in recent weeks, a death-penalty case from Texas and the federal government’s challenge to one of California’s “sanctuary state” laws, which prohibit state and local law-enforcement officials from cooperating with federal immigration officials. The most noteworthy order came instead in a set of cases scheduled for argument in the justices’ upcoming argument session and could potentially derail congressional efforts to obtain President Donald Trump’s financial records.

The justices have scheduled oral argument for May 12 in a trio of cases involving efforts by the U.S. House of Representatives and a Manhattan district attorney to obtain Trump’s financial records from his long-time accountant and his lenders. In the two cases involving Congress, which are consolidated for one hour of argument, the question is whether the committees can subpoena Trump’s records, while in the New York case the question is whether a state grand-jury subpoena can be enforced while the president is in office.

Today the justices asked the parties to the congressional-subpoena cases and the federal government, which filed a “friend of the court” brief supporting Trump, to file supplemental briefs addressing whether the political-question doctrine applies to the cases – that is, whether courts should stay out of the fight over the subpoenas because it is fundamentally a political dispute between the branches of government. If the justices were to conclude that the doctrine applies, they could dismiss the cases without ruling on the merits of the dispute – which might be a particularly appealing outcome for some justices in the lead-up to the presidential election. Such a decision could have mixed results for Trump: Without a ruling in his favor, he might not be able to block the accountant or lenders from turning over the records, but on the other hand Congress would not be able to enforce a subpoena if the companies holding the records opted not to comply.

The justices will meet again for their next conference on Friday, May 1. We expect orders from that conference on Monday, May 4, at 9:30 a.m. EDT.

Read more: https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/04/justices-ask-for-more-briefing-in-trump-tax-returns-cases/#more-293381

BREAKING: Georgia Democratic lawmaker who endorsed Trump abandons plans to resign

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A day after announcing his resignation from the Georgia House, state Rep. Vernon Jones said he will serve the remainder of his term.

The Lithonia Democrat, who made national headlines last week when he endorsed Republican President Donald Trump’s bid for re-election, said in a video posted Thursday on Twitter that he received an “overwhelming amount of support” from his constituents after announcing his plan to resign.

“That was emotional and that was motivational,” he said. “Because of what you did for me, I’m going to remain on the battlefield. I’m going to complete my term. I’m going to continue to put my country before my party. And I’m going to do everything I can to get Donald J. Trump elected.”

Read more: https://www.ajc.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/georgia-democratic-lawmaker-who-endorsed-trump-abandons-plans-resign/hBFiqiOpQ9K2jd42zELoCL/


Kavanaugh and Roberts Side with Liberals to Hand Environmentalists Huge Win; Alito Is Not Amused

Source: Law & Crime

Environmentalists scored a significant victory in the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday with help from some unusual suspects.

In a 6-3 opinion authored by Justice Stephen Breyer, two of the court’s conservatives–Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh–joined with the four-member liberal minority in order to strengthen a key provision of the Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972.

Stylized as County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, the case stems from a lawsuit filed by “several environmental groups” in 2012 which alleged that Maui’s use of a wastewater reclamation facility ran afoul of the CWA by pumping roughly four million gallons of treated wastewater into the Pacific Ocean every day without a permit.

Under the CWA, a permit is required for the “discharge of any pollutant” into U.S. waters–which is defined as “any addition of any pollutant to navigable waters from any point source [or] any addition of any pollutant to the waters of the contiguous zone or the ocean from any point source other than a vessel or other floating craft.”

The term “pollutant” is defined broadly by the nation’s longstanding environmental statute and also specifically includes “solid” and municipal…waste discharged into water.”

Read more: https://lawandcrime.com/supreme-court/kavanaugh-and-roberts-side-with-liberals-to-hand-environmentalists-huge-win-alito-is-not-amused/

Georgia Democratic lawmaker announces resignation week after endorsing Trump

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A little more than a week after he announced that he was endorsing President Donald Trump, Democratic state Rep. Vernon Jones announced Wednesday morning that he would not complete his term.

“Turn the lights off, I have left the plantation,” Jones said in a statement. “Someone else can occupy that suite. Therefore, I intend not to complete my term effective April 22, 2020.”His spokesman said the Lithonia Democrat would not be seeking re-election.

“I don’t plan to leave the Democratic Party because somebody’s got to be in there to hold them accountable —hold them accountable to how they are treating black people (and) root out the bigotry,” Jones said on The Rashad Richey Morning Show shortly after announcing his resignation.


“I’m sick and tired of me and my family being attacked and harassed by the Democrat Party for putting my country before my party,” Jones said.

Read more: https://www.ajc.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/georgia-democratic-lawmaker-announces-resignation-week-after-endorsing-trump/vOcyL9hiN7DnfI1G3K3A1J/

Liberal Justice Slammed for Joining Conservative Dissent That 'Ignores Racist History' of Jury Issue

Source: Law & Crime

When the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its ruling in Ramos v. Louisiana on Monday, many were unprepared to see liberal Justice Elena Kagan side with Justice Samuel Alito’s dissent along with Chief Justice John Roberts.

At issue in the case was a Louisiana criminal procedure rule (as well as a similar one in Oregon) that allows criminal defendants to be convicted by a jury vote of 10 to 2 – instead of the usual requirement for unanimity. Part of the majority’s lengthy analysis centered around the rules’ history, which had been rooted in racism

Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for the majority, called out non-unanimous jury rules for being engineered to nullify the votes of black jurors. Gorsuch wrote that the origins of the rules were clearly tied to white supremacy, and included many trappings of Jim Crow. Gorsuch explained that the rule was adopted “with a careful eye on racial demographics.” Gorsuch said it was designed to appear facially-neutral in an effort “to ensure that African-American juror service would be meaningless.”

The dissenting trio, however, wouldn’t hear any of these accusations. Alito accused the majority of raising racism as nothing more than an ad hominem attack on Louisiana: “If Louisiana and Oregon originally adopted their laws allowing non-unanimous verdicts for these reasons, that is deplorable, but what does that have to do with the broad constitutional question before us? The answer is: nothing.”

Read more: https://lawandcrime.com/supreme-court/liberal-justice-slammed-for-joining-conservative-dissent-that-ignores-racist-history/

Delta Air reaches deal for $5.4 billion in federal relief funding

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines has reached an agreement for $5.4 billion in federal relief funding.

It’s among several deals Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Tuesday as part of $25 billion in rescue financing for passenger airlines amid plunging traffic due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The funding conditions restrict airlines from cutting workers’ pay rates or benefits or conducting involuntary furloughs through Sept. 30. They also require airlines to maintain a minimum level of flights for essential travel.


The $5.4 billion for Delta, the dominant airline at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, includes a $1.6 billion unsecured, low-interest, 10-year loan. It also calls for Delta to provide the federal government with warrants to acquire about 1% of Delta stock at $24.39 per share over five years.

The stock warrants open the door to the government owning stakes in airlines. Mnuchin said the airline funding will support workers and “help preserve the strategic importance of the airline industry while allowing appropriate compensation to the taxpayers.”

Read more: https://www.ajc.com/news/breaking-news/delta-air-reaches-deal-for-billion-federal-relief-funding/JyJEeun6gNexCxZqTQd7cJ/

My girlfriend works for Delta, and has had her hours reduced from 40 hours / week to 25 hours / week. She's been there 5 years as a full time, salaried employee, but her offer letter tied her salary to a 40 hour work week. It's interesting how companies can get around the rules of no pay cuts / furloughs with these types of bailouts.

The Conditions of Michael Avenatti's Temporary Prison Release Are Extremely Restrictive

Source: Law & Crime

A federal judge on Friday granted former attorney-turned-convicted-felon Michael Avenatti’s request for temporary conditional release from federal prison in Manhattan due to concerns stemming from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Avenatti is currently housed in New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he has been awaiting sentencing after being convicted in the Nike extortion case in February. But the worst may still yet be to come in California, where a tax evasion, fraud, and embezzlement case looms large against Avenatti.

In a seven-page order outlining bail conditions on Friday, U.S. District Judge James V. Selna of the Central District of California granted Avenatti’s release for 90 days, subject to a 14-day quarantine period to ensure that he does not develop symptoms of the virus, and a $1,000,000 bond, half of which must be secured by real property or a cash deposit.

Upon completing quarantine, Avenatti will be released into the custody of third-party custodian Jay Manheimer, whose home Avenatti is not permitted to leave during the 90-day period.

Judge Selna also added some pretty wild conditions to Avenatti’s release. For example, the disgraced lawyer is not permitted to use any device that allows access to the internet for the duration of his release. This is, perhaps, the most painful condition for Avenatti.

Read more: https://lawandcrime.com/covid-19-pandemic/the-conditions-of-michael-avenattis-temporary-prison-release-are-extremely-restrictive/

In Lone Dissent, Justice Sotomayor Blasts Majority Opinion: 'No Foundation in Fact or Logic'

Source: Law & Crime

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor authored the lone and blistering dissent in an opinion which increased the power of police officers to conduct vehicle stops while diminishing the protections of the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures.

“The majority’s justifications for [the opinion’s] new approach have no foundation in fact or logic,” the left-leaning justice notes.

Stylized as Kansas v. Glover, the 8-1 opinion concerns a man, Charles Glover Jr., whose license plate was run by a Douglas County Sheriff’s deputy for no discernible law enforcement purpose. Running the plate determined that the owner of the vehicle had his driver’s license revoked, so the deputy then pulled Glover over on the assumption that he was the driver.

Glover was ultimately charged with “driving as a habitual violator.”

Read more: https://lawandcrime.com/supreme-court/in-lone-dissent-justice-sotomayor-blasts-majority-opinion-no-foundation-in-fact-or-logic/
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