Tag: Andrew

Seahawks’ Damien Lewis honors Andrew Sledd, his ‘future father-in-law’ and a police-brutality victim

The chef flew in from Chicago the day before the Seahawks’ first home game against the New England Patriots, landing in Seattle around 6 that Saturday night. About 28 hours later, Andrew Sledd completed his latest culinary masterwork: four pounds of Cajun fried chicken, a pot of collard greens, an overflowing pan of macaroni and cheese, Cajun cornbread stuffing and, for desert, peach cobbler.

Sledd and his wife Marie had come to Seattle for the first time at the behest of Seahawks rookie offensive lineman Damien Lewis, who grew accustomed to Sledd’s cooking after his college games the past couple years at LSU. Lewis wanted that tradition to continue in Seattle. The Sledds were happy to oblige — and happy for an excuse to visit their 4-month-old grandson, Damien Lewis Jr., the first child for Savannah Sledd and Damien Lewis.

The family watched on a 70-inch TV as the Seahawks pulled off a last-second victory over New England, then waited for Lewis to get home. Then they feasted.

“Oh, it was nice,” Lewis said of the spread. “We had to do it the South way — ain’t too much soul food around here.”

For the Seahawks’ next game, Lewis came up with a way to show his appreciation for his future father-in-law, “Mr. Sledd,” as Lewis has insisted on calling him. The NFL gave formal approval of the gesture, and there it was on the back of Lewis’ helmet Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys:


The NFL has granted players permission to honor victims of police brutality and racial injustice this season. Many Seahawks players, Lewis included, began the season with Breonna Taylor’s name on their helmets. Lewis has a personal connection with someone he wanted to share, and he’s offering a hand — and a helmet — to help spread the message.

Sledd, a Chicago native whose mother is Black and father is white, was a 24-year-old basketball player at St. Xavier College when in 1989 he became a victim of police brutality. He is sharing his story in detail now, for the first time publicly, in hopes of continuing the conversation around racial injustices. He said he feels an obligation to speak for those victims — for Breonna Taylor, for George Floyd, for Jacob Blake and for the many Black victims before him — who cannot speak for themselves.

“I’m one of the lucky ones,” Sledd said.


The first bullet grazed the top of Sledd’s head. The next one almost killed him.

Officer Elroy Baker was firing his 9 mm gun over his shoulder, blindly shooting as he ran down a flight of 20 stairs. Baker, who was African-American, was one of seven Chicago police officers executing a search warrant at Sledd’s family residence around 10:30 p.m. on March 31, 1989, court records show. The narcotics team was looking for a man who didn’t live there and had no association with Sledd or his family. Officers were not wearing uniforms, they did not announce who they

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Judge Andrew P. Napolitano: ObamaCare and the Supreme Court — can the government force us to eat broccoli?

“The Constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take the government off the backs of the people.”
— Justice William O. Douglas (1898-1980)

With President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on Saturday, the Affordable Care Act — ObamaCare — is back in the news.

Barrett expressed constitutional misgivings about ObamaCare 10 years ago when she was a professor at Notre Dame Law School, and some folks who oppose her nomination have argued that should she be confirmed in the next month, she should not hear the Nov. 10 arguments on ObamaCare.

Wait a minute. Didn’t the Supreme Court already uphold ObamaCare in 2012? Yes, it did. So why is the constitutionality of this legislation back before the Supreme Court?

Here is the backstory.


The ACA of 2010 marked the complete federal takeover of regulating health care delivery in America. It eliminated personal choices and mandated rules and regulations on almost all aspects of health care and health care insurance. It created a complex structure that, at the back end, directed the expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars on health care and, at the front end, received health insurance premiums from or on behalf of every adult in America.

To assure that every adult obtained and paid for health care coverage, the ACA authorized the IRS to assess those who failed to have health insurance about $8,800 a year and use that money to purchase a bare-bones insurance policy for them.

The requirement of all adults to maintain health care coverage, and the power of the IRS to assess them if they don’t, is known as the individual mandate.

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When the ACA was challenged in 2012, the challengers argued that Congress lacked the constitutional power to micromanage health care and to enforce the individual mandate. The feds argued that this was all “interstate commerce” and Congress’ reach in this area is broad and deep.

Yet, both the challengers and the government agreed that the IRS assessment was not a tax. The challengers argued that it was a penalty for failure to comply with a government regulation, and thus those not complying with the individual mandate were entitled to a hearing before they could be punished.


The government argued that the assessment was triggered by people choosing freely to have the feds purchase their insurance for them. The feds could not argue that this assessment was a tax because President Barack Obama had promised that his health care programs would not increase anyone’s taxes.

In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that the individual mandate was a tax and since, under big government constitutional jurisprudence, Congress can tax anything it wants, the ACA was constitutional.

This logic was deeply disconcerting to those of us who believe that the Constitution doesn’t unleash the federal government but restrains it. The Constitution

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