Mine Furor’s jackbooted lawyers at the Justice Department are trying to quash the judicial order restraining them from targeting the press. Their argument?
Federal officials responding to the long-running protests in Portland are asking that a court order protecting journalists be lifted on the grounds that some of those engaged in violence are masquerading as members of the press.
I can’t speak to the violence part, but protester Brandon Pappe for sure was doing this, openly admitting to Sergio Olmos that it was to avoid getting targeted by police when protesting.
People like Pappe are cowards and assholes, who believe they have the right to protest and demonstrate without any risk to themselves, and have endangered the working press — even if Pappe since has stopped.
It goes without saying (well, no, it can’t go without saying) that the TRO should remain in place and in force, especially with the feds compiling “intelligence reports” on members of the press.
Federal authorities are arresting protesters on minor charges and then telling them “they can’t protest anymore as a condition for release from jail”. Is this blatant violation of Constitutional rights what Billy J. Williams meant when he complained that protesters simply didn’t understand that the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse “is the solution not the problem” and “absolutely represents everything essential to our system of justice”?
It could not be learned who drafted the orders barring the protesters from joining further demonstrations. The documents reviewed by ProPublica were signed by a federal magistrate in Portland. Magistrates have broad authority to set the terms of release for anyone accused of a crime. They typically receive recommendations from U.S. Pretrial Services, an arm of the U.S. Courts, which can gather input from prosecutors and others involved in the case. ProPublica identified several instances in which the protest ban was added to the conditions of release document when it was drafted, before it was given to the judge. It remained unclear whether the limits on protesting were initiated by Justice Department officials or the magistrates hearing the cases.
Nothing suspicious about the feds sending paramilitary shock troops to Seattle so they are there “if needed” the day before they then sue Seattle to stop (pdf) a ban on the use of tear gas. The judge in the case has issued the temporary restraining order but called it “very temporary” while he hears from more parties.
I’m not intentionally copying Jack here but these things really are of a piece. First, Kyle Iboshi of KGW tweeted this incredible video of Billy Williams, the U.S. Attorney for Oregon, flat out denying that federal troops have been “out on the street”, at which point the video cuts to footage of federal troops out on the streets, which of course they have been, night after night, as Jack points out sometimes “as far as the bus mall”.
Williams previously had asked the Inspector General of the Department of Justice to look into the federal presence here in Portland, and that received its due skepticism at the time. Now that Williams is just flat out lying — and for the life of me I can’t believe it’s another other than a brazen lie, because it’s inconceivable to me that the U.S. Attorney for Oregon had seen absolutely none of the footage of federal troops in the streets — that’s pretty much a lock on the idea that there’s no help coming from the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Inextricably linked to all of this is the fact that a federal judge has denied Oregon’s request for a restraining order against these paramilitary shock troops, apparently on the basis that the State of Oregon simply has no standing to represent its citizens in the federal courts. Inexplicably, to my layman’s brain anyway, the judge further deems “an injunction against future conduct” to be “an extraordinary form of relief”, despite the fact that temporary restraining orders are legitimate tool that courts use all the time.
It’s more or less a given that no one expected any part of the federal government to rescue Portland from the jackbooted part of the federal government, and anything that does happen probably will be something of an outlier, but it’s still something of a face-smack to have their lack of concern laid out so plainly.
Bonus read: Christina Cauterucci for Slate explains (via Alex Wittenberg) that Mine Furor chose Portland for his first rollout of federal troops precisely because Portland’s own police already had been savaging protesters.
So that fence the feds built into the street around the Federal courthouse? Portland just warned them to get it out of the public right-of-way, especially the entirely-blocked bike lane. Given that the feds have suggested the fence will remain for as long as Mine Furor is in office, I imagine this, too, will end up in court.
This evening a Federal judge restrained Federal police from interfering with the legal activities of journalists and legal observers in Portland, prohibiting (pdf) them from “arresting, threatening to arrest, or using physical force” against them.
[T]he point of journalists observing and documenting government action is to record whether the “closing” of public streets (e.g. , declaring a riot) is lawfully originated and carried out. Without journalists and legal observers, there is only the government’s side of the story to explain why a “riot” was declared and the public streets were “closed” and whether law enforcement acted properly in effectuating that order.
To those three things earlier add one more: now the Feds not only are objecting to the idea that journalists and legal observers be exempt from dispersal orders, they are lying about what this even means.
“Simply put, the federal government has the legal obligation and right to protect federal property and federal officers, and the public has a compelling interest in the protection of that property and personnel,‘’ Warden wrote. “The press is free to observe and report on the destruction of that property, but it is not entitled to special, after-hours access to that property in the face of lawful order to disperse.”
This is a straw man, of course, as almost none of the actions of Federal police have been on federal property, unless we are expanding the definition of federal property to include anywhere a federal officer happens to be.
The same damned judge has denied releasing Grace, the Black teenager with ADHD who was jailed for not doing her homework despite not having been getting the accommodations she was due. So now I am angry all over again. If you read the original Pro Publica story, you actually come across impressed at her progress absent those accommodations. Can we send a busload of Portland moms to this courthouse?
David H. Gans for The Atlantic teaches me the specifics of what informed the creation of the Fourteenth Amendment, and the degree to which it directly intended to interrupt police violence against Black people — history oh-so-conveniently ignored by the “originalists” on the Supreme Court.
I’m so angry right now. I almost didn’t make it through Jodi S. Cohen’s profile of Grace, a Black 15-year-old with ADHD in Michigan who’s been jailed for not doing her homework. That’s literally not an exaggeration. Judge Mary Ellen Brennan needs to be recalled, and Grace’s caseworker, Rachel Giroux, needs to be disciplined or fired.
The initial days of remote school coincided with the start of Grace’s probation. Charisse was concerned that her daughter, who was a high school sophomore and had nearly perfect attendance, would have trouble without in-person support from teachers. Grace gets distracted easily and abandons her work, symptoms of her ADHD and a mood disorder, records show. Her Individualized Education Plan, which spelled out the school supports she should receive, required teachers to periodically check in to make sure she was on task and clarify the material, and it allowed her extra time to complete assignments and tests. When remote learning began, she did not get those supports, her mother said.
Did anyone else receive this Class Action Notice: In re Apple Inc. Device Performance Litigation email? Do people really keep track of the serial numbers of all your previous devices? I’m sure I’m probably covered under this lawsuit but I’ll be damned if I know what were my old iPhone serial numbers.
Mark Joseph Stern outlines how the Daniel Lee execution case reached the Supreme Court, which promptly demonstrated that it, too, is a charter member of the death cult that is the Republican Party.
Just after 2 a.m., however, the Supreme Court’s five conservatives reversed the D.C. Circuit, threw out Chutkan’s stay, and cleared the way for Lee’s execution. Their curt decision dismissed out of hand the prisoners’ assertion that pentobarbital would inflict needless pain. The government, they noted, “has produced competing expert testimony of its own, indicating that any pulmonary edema occurs only after the prisoner has died or been rendered fully insensate.” And apparently, the mere existence of “competing” testimony made the execution method sufficiently humane. The Supreme Court typically considers a number of factors when deciding whether to uphold a lower court’s stay, including irreparable harm and the interest of the public. Yet SCOTUS completely ignored these factors in its dash to authorize the executions.
Republicans finally have figured out the surest route to finding voter fraud in United States elections: commit it.
Critics of accountability culture love to inflate outlying errors into exemplars of excesses, but if we want to find excesses just look to those critics: Geraldo Rivera is accusing a judge of “copping out to the mob” by denying bail to Ghislaine Maxwell. That’s right, cancel culture has claimed another victim: an accused procurer of sex-trafficked children.