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Archive for the ‘Law’ Category

Jussie Smollett refuses to pay Chicago

with 28 comments

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-met-jussie-smollett-responds-to-city-lawsuit-threat-20190404-story.html

This seems like a really boneheaded move. He could have paid the $130,000, then complained that he was forced to settle because of the racist homophobic powers-that-be working against him.

Now, all of the facts will be aired in court, and being a civil proceeding, the burden of proof as well as the rules of evidence will be a lot more favorable to the city of Chicago than would be the case in a criminal trial.

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CORRECTION

I erroneously stated that the jury verdict wouldn’t have to unanimous. That’s the majority rule for civil trials, but Illinois is in the minority and requires a unanimous 12-man jury even in civil trials.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 5, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Law

Jussie Smollett update

with 3 comments

According to TMZ, sources connected to Rahm Emanuel say that the city is definitely going to sue Smollett for the $130,000, and Smollett insists he’s innocent and refuses to settle, so it looks like a courtroom showdown is going to happen!

The great thing here is that, as correctly pointed out by TMZ, a civil trial means that the trier of fact only has to find Smollett liable based on a preponderance of the evidence, and not beyond a reasonable doubt.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 29, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Law

Released details of Michael Cohen warrant show bogusness of it

According to the NY Times:

The April 8, 2018, search warrant said that the F.B.I. and Manhattan federal prosecutors were investigating Mr. Cohen for a range of crimes, including defrauding several banks dating back to 2016 and a scheme “to make an illegal campaign contribution in October 2016 to then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.” The warrant also indicated they were investigating him for wire fraud and conspiracy.

“Wire fraud” and “conspiracy” mean nothing, they are just ways to add more jail time for underlying crimes.

And the alleged underlying crimes are bogus.

The “illegal campaign contribution” is based on the assertion that Michael Cohen paying Stormi Daniels with his own money is actually a contribution to Donald Trump’s campaign. The purpose of campaign finance laws is to prevent rich donors from owning politicians and influencing legislation. But Michael Cohen is Trump’s employee and not a rich donor. His apparent goal was to keep his number one client happy, and Cohen doing this sort of stuff appears to be his business-as-usually working relationship with Trump that predates Trump’s campaign for President.

“Defrauding several banks” is based on the assertion that Cohen used money borrowed from home equity loans to pay Stormi Daniels, and that when Cohen opened the home equity lines of credit, he never told the banks he would use the money to pay hush money to porn stars, and therefore it’s bank fraud. But no banks actually lost any money or complained to the FBI about Cohen. It’s generally expected that people can use home equity lines of credit for whatever they want (because the loans are guaranteed by the value of a home). And this is actually a legitimate business expense for Cohen. As I’ve pointed out before, it’s not illegal to pay hush money. There was no intent by Cohen not to pay back the loan, nor any evidence that Cohen was under financial distress at the time (he might be now because of the Mueller investigation financially ruining him), he was just using the home equity lines of credit for liquidity purposes.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 19, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Law

Reminder: it’s NOT illegal to pay hush money

The biased fakestream media continues to imply that because Trump paid hush money (before he became President), that means he’s a criminal. I found this article that was written in 2009, long before this topic became politicized.

Giving “hush money” certainly sounds shady, but attorneys say it’s not illegal to give someone cash to keep quiet about an affair.

“It’s very common, and not just for sexual things but anything embarrassing,” said Robert Langford, a criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor.

Confidentiality agreements are common, involving anything from medical malpractice cases to adultery, he noted.

On the other hand, the person RECEIVING the hush money could be guilty of blackmail if they were proactive about demanding the money in return for keeping quiet.

According to an internet legal resource:

Blackmail is the crime of threatening to reveal embarrassing, disgraceful or damaging information about a person to the public, family, spouse or associates unless money is paid to purchase silence.

So Trump may be the VICTIM of a blackmail crime.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 13, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Law

Prostitution

Back when I was a libertarian, it was obvious what I was supposed to think about prostitution. But now that I am an HBD realist and a social conservative, I realize that the state has a place in protecting people from impulses that aren’t good for them or for society.

Legal framework

That said, criminalizing prostitution doesn’t make sense under the current legal and sexual framework. Once upon a time, sex was considered sacred and something that only should be done within marriage. Adultery was illegal. Pornography was illegal. Sodomy was certainly illegal! Strip clubs were illegal. Where once upon a time, people were expected to be virgins until they married (even though it may not have been true a lot of the time), today people are considered LOSERS if they reach a certain age and still haven’t had sex.

Today, almost anything goes between two consenting adults. But, apparently, not if one adult is paying the other adult. Unless we are filming porn, in which case, then it’s OK to pay the participants for having sex on camera.

In the dissent to Bowers v. Hardwick (1986), Justice Stevens wrote, “[T]he fact that the governing majority in a State has traditionally viewed a particular practice as immoral is not a sufficient reason for upholding a law prohibiting the practice.” As you know, Bowers was overruled by Lawrence v. Texas (2003).

In the recent case of Perez v. Roseville (9th Cir. 2018), the court writes, “Lawrence makes clear that the State may not stigmatize private sexual conduct simply because the majority has “traditionally viewed a particular practice,” such as extramarital sex, “as immoral.”

So I don’t see how prostitution can constitutionally be punished as a crime given what Courts have said about other types of sex.

Sex slaves in Florida

With respect to the news story from Florida, I find the sex-slave angle pretty dubious. How can anyone be “slave” in this day and age? Were there armed guards preventing these women from running away?

And if they really were “slaves,” how were the male clients supposed to know that? The New York Times did a series of article about how the workers at nail salons were slaves, but no one said that the women who went to nail salons were “monsters” because of that.

Despite that NY Times article, nail-salon slavery continues. It’s clear that we need to crack down on illegal immigration. We need entry-exit visa tracking. We need more immigration raids of businesses that employ foreign workers like nail salons, massage parlors and restaurants (where slavery also exists but no one accuses people who buy food of being “monsters”). Illegal immigration isn’t just bad for American workers, it’s also bad for the illegal immigrants.

They couldn’t afford better prostitutes?

The weirdest part of the story is that extremely rich people were going to this seedy-looking massage parlor in a strip mall.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 25, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Law, Males and Females

Supreme Court’s recent abortion decision

The Supreme Court has previously held that women have a right to an abortion before fetal “viability” and that the states can’t place an “undue burden” on that right.

Now we all know that the real purpose of the Louisiana law is to create so many bureaucratic requirements for abortion doctors that the practical effect is that women can’t obtain abortions.

Chief Justice Roberts has shown that he’s going to uphold stare decisis on the abortion issue, and he’s not going to let anti-abortion Republicans get away with legislative bullshit like the Louisiana law.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 8, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Law

Roger Stone indictment

There’s absolutely nothing in this indictment about real crimes committed with respect to Donald Trump’s campaign. This is all about Mueller punishing anyone who is perceived as having helped Trump become President, and creating the perception for the public and the mainstream media and the Democrats in Congress that Trump is surrounded with criminals and thus Trump, by association, must be a criminal himself and should be impeached.

How the Mueller scam works is that people are made to FEEL guilty even though they didn’t commit any prosecutable crimes, so they spin things or tell what they think of as little white lies to put themselves in a better light, and then Mueller interprets that as lying or obstruction of justice.

Stone never should have voluntarily testified before Congress, and if he was subpoenaed then he never should have said anything besides “I invoke my Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.” And of course he should have lawyered up, because once you have a lawyer then all communications between you and investigators have to go through the lawyer, and the lawyer won’t be suckered into feeling guilty because lawyers assume all of their clients are guilty anyway. All lawyers know that their clients’ most dangerous enemies are not prosecutors or police, but rather their clients’ own loose lips.

I urge Trump to pardon Stone ASAP. If anyone is deserving of a pardon, it’s Roger Stone. But I predict that Trump won’t do that because Trump has continuously demonstrated that he’s afraid to use his veto power to help victims of the witch hunt. Liberals call Trump “authoritarian,” but actually he’s the most powerless president of my lifetime.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 25, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Law, Politics

Washington state divorce law

Washington is a no-fault divorce community property state. Which means that the Bezos divorce is going to be pretty boring, except for the dollar amounts involved. It doesn’t matter who cheated on whom, the state courts will just equally distribute any property acquired during the marriage. It should be noted that Bezos got married one year before he started Amazon.com, so all of the stock in Amazon.com is community property. 50/50 split. No theatrics. Shares in a publicly traded company are pretty easy to split 50/50. The two parties could argue about the values of Bezos’ various mansions, but they probably won’t. When you’re getting almost 70 billion dollars worth of stock, why worry about whether one mansion is worth a few million more than the other?

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By the way, Jeff Bezos graduated from Princeton (electrical engineering and computer science), and then worked in banking and hedge funds, before founding Amazon. He met his wife at the hedge fund where she was a research associate and he was a vice president.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 14, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Law, Males and Females

FARA before Trump

This is from a law review article written in 2010, before anyone cared about FARA because it had nothing to do with President Trump:

Perhaps the Act’s greatest setback is the lack of spirited enforcement from the Justice Department. As noted, the Justice Department is charged with ensuring timely, adequate, and correct disclosure, and prosecuting non-disclosures.89 However, as the 1963 Senate investigation shows, lack of enforcement dates almost from the point the DOJ first took control of FARA registration in 1942.90 Furthermore, as GAO has pointed out, little action has been taken since.91 To put it simply—the DOJ’s enforcement of FARA has been abysmal—”[a]ccording to [the Department of] Justice, it has prosecuted one violation of FARA since 1990.”92 There are several causes for this problem. The first is that the Foreign Agent Registration Unit at the DOJ plainly does not have the resources to undergo any investigations of fraudulent filings, let alone noncompliance altogether.93 Similarly, the unit only has eight staff members (six professional and two administrative), which is clearly not enough to even register and file the thousands of applications that they currently have.94

Another cause for lax enforcement is the lack of a clear legal mandate for the DOJ.95 As previously noted, FARA is intended to be self-policing. Therefore, agents do not have to notify the DOJ when they are claiming an exemption. This effectively makes it harder for the DOJ to find violators because the unit is charged with not only prosecuting the violators, but also with actively monitoring all lobbying activities.96 This, when coupled with the small staff due to lack of funding, creates a disastrous lack of legal enforcement.97

Finally, early political embarrassments from failed FARA enforcements have effectively stopped prosecutions since the 1980s. “Between 1944 and the 1963 [Senate] hearings, there were ten indictments and five convictions,”98 however, by 1974 “FARA’s full potential criminal sanctions were accurately portrayed as ‘rarely pursued.’”99 Much of the stigma against prosecutions came from a rash of failures by the DOJ to effectively prosecute FARA violations.100 Due to a string of case dismissals, the DOJ effectively saw criminal enforcement of FARA as a waste of the unit’s limited resources.101 As with all criminal prosecutions, violators are only deterred if there is an adequate threat of prosecution.102 “Enforcement malaise causes entities in many sectors, from business to nonprofits to individuals, to question whether they are suckers for paying their fair share, playing by the rules, or disclosing relevant information that being a citizen of the United States demands.”103

Thus we see, enforcement of the law has been ignored, only a single prosecution in 20 years, we get the impression that there are thousands, maybe tens of thousands of people theoretically violating the law.

This law has only been resurrected because it’s seen as a way to punish people for associating with Trump, and to make Trump look like someone who associated with a bunch of criminals.

I am writing this because, in the news today, a business associate of Michael Flynn was arrested and charged with violating FARA.

And last week I wrote about the Russian girl who was prosecuting for “conspiring” to violate a statute similar to FARA.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 17, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Law

Maria Butina prosecution, not what this country is about

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/13/politics/butina-plea-agreement/index.html

She was forced to plead guilty to a “conspiracy” to violate FARA, FARA itself being a law of dubious constitutionality that punishes people for their free speech and their associations, even though they have done nothing to endanger national security.

Additionally, there are tens of thousands of people in the country who could be considered guilty of the same “crimes.” Selective prosecution based on one particular country being out of favor is also not what this country is supposed to be about. We expect repressive countries like China to do stuff like that, we’re supposed to be above that.

This is not what our country is supposed to be about.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 13, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Law

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