Category Archives: Law

Please, don’t confuse me with the facts…

WSJ 10/24/2016 By Heather Mac Donald

FBI Director James Comey has again defied the official White House line on policing and the Black Lives Matter movement. The “narrative that policing is biased and violent and unfair” is resulting in “more dead young black men,” Mr. Comey warned in an Oct. 16 address to the International Association of Chiefs of Police in San Diego. That narrative, he added, also “threatens the future of policing.”

Mr. Comey has spoken out before. In October 2015, after he observed that rising violent crime was likely the result of officers backing off proactive policing, President Obama obliquely accused the FBI director of “cherry-pick[ing] data” and “feed[ing] political agendas.”

But as much as Mr. Obama has tried to dismiss the violent crime increase that began after the 2014 fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., the data are clear.

Last year’s 12% increase in homicides reported to the FBI is the largest one-year homicide increase in nearly half a century. The primary victims have been black. An additional 900 black males were killed last year compared with the previous year, resulting in a homicide victimization rate that is now nine times greater for black males than for white males, according to a Guardian study. The brutality of these killings can be shocking. Over the weekend of Sept. 16, a 15-year-old boy in Chicago was burned alive in a dumpster.

More police are being killed this year too. Gun murders of police officers are up 47% nationally through Oct. 21, compared with the same period the previous year. In Chicago gun assaults on officers are up 100%. In New York City attacks on officers are up 23%. In the last two weeks, four California officers have been deliberately murdered.

Gangbanger John Felix prepared for his lethal attack on two Palm Springs officers on Oct. 8 by setting a trap and ambushing them as they stood outside his door. Two days earlier, parolee Trenton Trevon Lovell shot Los Angeles Sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Owen in the face as he investigated a burglary call. Lovell then stood over Sgt. Owen and fired four additional rounds into his body. A planned assassination of two officers on coffee break in Vallejo, Calif., on Oct. 17 failed only when the assault rifle used in the attack jammed. In Indianapolis on Oct. 13, police headquarters were sprayed with bullets by a car that then fled, echoing a similar attack on Oct. 4 against the same police station.

Officers are second-guessing their own justified use of force for fear of being labeled racist and losing their jobs, if not their freedom. On Oct. 5 a female officer in Chicago was beaten unconscious by a suspect in a car crash, who repeatedly bashed her face into the concrete and tore out chunks of her hair. She refrained from using her gun, she said, because she didn’t want to become the next viral video in the Black Lives Matter narrative.

The Chicago Police Department now wants to institutionalize such dangerous second-guessing. Its proposed guidelines for using force would require cops to consider the “impact that even a reasonable use of force may have on those who observe” it.

A Los Angeles police officer recently described to me his current thought process in deciding whether to intervene in suspicious or criminal behavior. A man high on meth was violently accosting pedestrians around a Santa Monica bike path. The cops were “very hesitant to arrest,” the officer said, because “we knew we would be on YouTube before we could get back to the station.” That reluctance to make contact intensifies when the suspect is black, he added.

The Black Lives Matter narrative about an epidemic of racially biased police shootings is false: Four studies published this year showed that if there is a bias in police shootings, it works in favor of blacks and against whites. Officers’ use of lethal force following an arrest for a violent felony is more than twice the rate for white as for black arrestees, according to one study. Another study showed that officers were three times less likely to shoot unarmed black suspects than unarmed whites.

We are at a crucial juncture on law and order. Police officers unquestionably need more hands-on tactical training that will help them make splitsecond shoot-don’t shoot decisions. Some officers develop obnoxious attitudes toward civilians that must be eradicated. But as Mr. Comey said in San Diego, “Police officers are overwhelmingly good people . . . who took exhausting, dangerous jobs because they want to help people.”

No government agency is more dedicated to the proposition that black lives matter than the police. If the next administration continues to disregard that truth in favor of a false narrative about systemic law-enforcement racism, the next four years will see more urban violence and race riots, and more dead cops.

Ms. Mac Donald, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, is the author of “The War on Cops” (Encounter Books, 2016).


Regulation: Meeting Its Match in Idaho

WSJ 10/14/2016
Boise, Idaho

In the capital of the potato state, lawmakers have a power that few of their peers enjoy: They can review, and reject, new regulations coming out of executive-branch agencies. This has saved Idahoans from a slew of laughable and businessunfriendly restrictions.

At the start of each legislative session, lawmakers spend weeks examining every proposed new regulation. They have the power to unilaterally veto, without needing the governor’s signature, any rule they dislike. Last winter they nixed a proposal from the Idaho State Police requiring bars to sell at least 20 drinks a week to keep their liquor licenses. Legislative oversight last year also helped kill a rule from the Transportation Department mandating that auto dealers be open 20 hours a week. In 2013, lawmakers rejected regulations from the Department of Administration to restrict public protests and events at the capitol and surrounding grounds.

The trick is that there’s nothing in the state constitution that specifically gives the legislature this power to review new regulations. Though the process is routine by this point, it hangs by the thread of a divided 1990 ruling of the state Supreme Court, which held 3-2 that lawmakers have the authority to veto executive branch proposals. Lawmakers worry that at any time the precedent could be flipped.

Idaho voters may fix that on Nov. 8. This year’s ballot includes a constitutional amendment that would enshrine lawmakers’ right to review regulations and second guess agencies that misinterpret duly enacted statutes.

A similar proposal on the 2014 ballot was defeated by only 1% of the vote. But that year, backers of the idea took public support for granted. They didn’t mount a campaign on its behalf, and the amendment received little media attention. This time, lawmakers are actively trying to win at the ballot box.

Few states have anything close to Idaho’s regulatory-review process or legislative veto. Rarely do lawmakers have any authority to stop bad regulations without the support of the governor, whose administration is usually responsible for the rules in the first place.

The problem in Washington, D.C., is similar. Under the Congressional Review Act of 1996, Congress can pass a resolution to block the implementation of a particular set of regulations. But the resolution requires the president’s signature—which is unlikely, since his agencies came up with the rules in the first place.

Idaho’s solution is one that other states and the federal government should consider as the regulatory tangle Americans must fight through grows by the day. Last year the Federal Register, which publishes agency rules, proposals and notices, exceeded 80,260 pages—the third highest in its history, according to a report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Even something as simple as a scoop of your favorite ice cream is regulated by the federal government— from the moment the milk comes out of the cow to the way it appears in your bowl. If that seems like an exaggeration, examine the rules on “physical requirements for ice cream,” which specify: “The flavor of the finished ice cream shall be pleasing and desirable, and characteristic of the fresh milk and cream and the particular flavoring used . . . The body shall be firm, have substance and readily melt to a creamy consistency when exposed to room temperatures.”

Federal regulations govern, in excruciating detail, what’s served in the cafeteria of your town’s public school. There are rules that govern caloric intake, saturated fat and sodium, as well as which individual items are permitted on each school kid’s lunch tray. Take mac and cheese, which was a regular fixture at the cafeteria in my school days. Imagine a lunch lady today trying to figure out if it’s still part of a balanced, federally approved meal: “An enriched macaroni product with fortified protein as defined in Appendix A to Part 210 may be used to meet part of the meats/meat alternates component or the grains component but may not meet both food components in the same lunch.”

In some respects the Code of Federal Regulations is a catalog of the absurd. It’s actually unlawful to sell soup and call it “chicken noodle soup” if it contains less than 2% chicken. Or to sell marbles intended for young children without an explicit written warning with the words “this toy is a marble.” As silly as this sounds, it’s also economically stifling. For small businesses, navigating the sea of regulation can mean the difference between staying in business and going under.

This is precisely the problem that Idaho is trying to solve by revising the state constitution. It’s the sort of medicine other states and Washington, D.C., could use as well. So keep an eye on Boise this Nov. 8—and if the constitutional amendment passes, maybe celebrate with a bowl of ice cream: pleasing, firm and ready to melt to a creamy consistency when exposed to room temperatures.

Mr. Hoffman is the president of the Idaho Freedom Foundation in Boise, Idaho.

If only Washington, D.C., would learn from Boise, where lawmakers can veto onerous new regulations.


The FBI Clinton File

If the Left wants to simply ignore what Hillary Clinton has done and give her a ‘hall pass’, then they truly are of a different mind set than what I understand the America to stand for.
More reason why it should not be difficult to vote for Donald Trump; I mean how will you explain to your children that you voted for someone as reckless and distainful of the law as Hillary Clinton?
WSJ 9/3/2016

The Federal Bureau of Investigation waited until the Friday afternoon before Labor Day weekend to release its investigation summary and interview notes with Hillary Clinton about her private email server, and no wonder. The new information makes a hash of what’s left of the former Secretary of State’s credibility.

Mrs. Clinton is running for President as an experienced statesman, but her handling of classified material was even more reckless about state secrets and disdainful of public records laws than even we had thought. Start with her convenient memory lapses.

For example, Mrs. Clinton told the FBI that she “did not know” that the “(C)” marks on classified material meant classified and “speculated it was referencing paragraphs marked in alphabetical order.” Yet in her famous—and last— press conference about the emails in March 2015 she said, “I’m certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.” To the public she claims to be a sharp professional who knows the score; to the FBI she presents herself as a clueless grandee who left the details to her minions.

Mrs. Clinton even told FBI agents she “never had a concern” with how discussions of potential drone strikes were handled and classified and “could not recall a specific process for nominating a target for a drone strike.” In all, she told the FBI 27 times that she “could not recall” or “did not remember specifically” key details and events.

Mrs. Clinton also said in March 2015 that she used private email so she could use only one digital device, and her legal team turned two Blackberries over to the FBI. But the FBI identified 13 other mobile devices and five iPads that had potentially processed classified material. The Clintons were “unable to locate any of these devices” and only three of the iPads, says the FBI.

This also turned out to be convenient because it means the FBI couldn’t determine if those devices were hacked. The FBI summary explains that the loss of the 13 at-large devices and the “inability to recover all server equipment and the lack of complete server log data” during her tenure “limited the FBI’s forensic analysis of the server systems.”

Mrs. Clinton knew the risks of being hacked by foreign spies. Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Eric Boswell sent a 2011 memo directly to Mrs. Clinton that warned of a surge in hackers breaking into State personal email accounts. An all-points bulletin to State personnel sent under Mrs. Clinton’s name recommended against conducting State business over personal email “due to information security concerns.” She told the FBI she “did not recall” this episode, but she “understood the email system used by her husband’s personal staff had an excellent track record with respect to security and had never been breached.”

Yet the FBI reveals that the account of a Bill Clinton personal aide on the server was hacked in 2013 and the intruder “browsed e-mail folders and files.” The FBI also discovered she sent or received “hundreds of emails” marked classified or confidential outside of U.S. territory, where the danger of hacking is highest.

Mrs. Clinton also kept up a clandestine correspondence with her political Svengali and Clinton Foundation retainer Sidney Blumenthal, whose AOL account was hacked by the Romanian known as Guccifer in 2013. Though President Obama had barred Mr. Blumenthal from government, Mr. Blumenthal sent Mrs. Clinton at least 179 memos, some of which she then forwarded through the bureaucracy after having his name excised. Twenty-four of these dispatches were so sensitive that State later classified them.

In other words, Mrs. Clinton kept a man banned by her boss on the family foundation payroll, then used Mr. Blumenthal as an off-theofficial- books counselor whose memos she spread around State after disguising their provenance. She conned Mr. Obama too.

The FBI documents also suggest Mrs. Clinton’s server was a deliberate effort to evade accountability. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell told Mrs. Clinton in 2009 that her communications were “official record[s] and subject to the law.” State Executive Secretary Stephen Mull also informed Cheryl Mills that a State-issued Blackberry “would be subject to FOIA requests.”

Mrs. Clinton went ahead anyway. She was almost surely trying to protect from public exposure the intimate ties between State and the Clinton Foundation—the commingling of her political operation with her official business. The FBI uncovered “approximately 17,448 unique work-related and personal emails” that were never produced, and whose revelations in recent weeks are proving so damaging to her public image.

What a record. The FBI documents should be seen as a preview of how Mrs. Clinton would govern as President, with the same get-awaywith- anything entitlement that always follows the Clintons. She’s lucky she’s running for President because anyone else would have been indicted.

Vanishing digital devices, memory lapses and withheld emails.


Private Email Servers?

Well? What say ye?
Word-for-word from the Cornell Law Library

Former United States Attorney General Michael Mukasey tells MSNBC that not only is Hillary Clinton’s private email server illegal, it “disqualifies” her from holding any federal office.

Such as, say, President of the United States . Very specifically points to one federal law, Title 18. Section 2071.

For those of us who do not have United States Code committed to memory, here’s what it says:
“(a) Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

(b) Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. As used in this subsection, the term “office” does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States .”

Yes, it explicitly states”. . . shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States .”

Shouldn’t voters know that? Do you wonder why the Left leaning media isn’t researching the H… out of this?