Tag: Seek

Supreme Court: Democrats and Republicans seek hints for how Barrett will rule on health care law

For the second day of Barrett’s questioning in the Senate Judiciary Committee, the health care law was a dominant topic on both sides of the aisle thanks to the looming November case the Supreme Court will hear on a Republican effort to strike down the law.

Both Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the panel’s top Democrat, asked President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee about the legal doctrine of “severability,” or whether the entire law can stand if one part of it is deemed unconstitutional, during Barrett’s second day of questions before the committee on Wednesday.

It’s a concept that could play a key factor in the case from Republican attorneys general and the Trump administration that seeks to strike down the Affordable Care Act case next month. They argue the entire law, commonly known as Obamacare, should be struck down because the law’s individual coverage mandate is unconstitutional.

Barrett explained to Feinstein, a California Democrat, that severability was like a game of “Jenga.”

“If you picture severability being like a Jenga game, it’s kind of like, if you pull one out, can you pull it out while it all stands? If you pull two out, will it all stand?” Barrett asked. “Severability is designed to say well would Congress still want the statute to stand even with the provision gone?”

Graham, during his questioning of Barrett, seemed to suggest he thought that the Affordable Care Act could be saved because of severability, saying the doctrine’s “goal is to preserve the statute if that is possible.”

“From a conservative point of view, generally speaking, we want legislative bodies to make laws, not judges,” Graham said, before asking Barrett, “Would it be further true, if you can preserve a statue you try to, if possible?”

“That is true,” Barrett said.

“That’s the law folks,” Graham responded.

The challenge to President Barack Obama’s health care law from Republican state attorneys general and the Trump administration has become a central issue in this year’s election in part due to Barrett’s confirmation. Democrats have focused their arguments during Barrett’s confirmation hearings on the way the law has provided care for individuals.

But Senate Republicans, who back the lawsuit to kill the law, have backed away from that implication in the lead-up to Election Day. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is also up for reelection, said during his debate Monday that “no one believes” the Supreme Court will strike down the entire law.
Graham, who is facing a tough reelection fight this year, raised the severability argument but also launched into another attack on the health care law, “Obamacare is on the ballot.”
How Jaime Harrison's campaign could spend $57 million before Election Day

The South Carolina Republican praised Barrett’s record, comparing her to Obama’s nominees Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, calling Barrett the first woman nominated to the high court who is “unashamedly pro-life.”

Just as they did during Tuesday’s lengthy questioning, Democrats sought to pin down Barrett on a number of topics she could hear in the future, including voting

Continue reading

Ian Mulgrew: Law Society of B.C. to seek more appropriate icon

Article content continued

Three years ago, the law society removed Begbie’s statue from the foyer of its Vancouver building and eliminated other hallmarks such as the little bronze “Begbies” that honour a “lifetime contribution of the truly exceptional in the legal profession” and changing “Begbie” as the code word used to trigger safety procedures.

Berger and Foster said the original decision was based on a flawed report about the colonial judge.

Retired Chief Justice Lance Finch has written a paper questioning the report’s findings and calling for a renewed assessment of Begbie’s work.

The benchers did not consult the membership before making the 2017 decision but recognized many lawyers would disagree with it.

New Westminster last year removed a statue of Begbie from outside the city’s courthouse but three mountains, two lakes, a creek, an elementary school, streets and other sites across B.C. still bear his name.

“The bencher’s decision was made without regard to the simple facts of the case,” Berger said in proposing the resolution.

“The removal of Begbie’s statue was a dramatic gesture by the benchers that was understood to be a considered rejection of Begbie and all that he stood for. This is regrettable.”

Foster added: “As is the case with all of us, he made mistakes. But he was not the man portrayed in the (society’s) report.”

They emphasized a colonial judge was “not the right symbol for B.C.’s legal profession in the 21st century,” but his memory should be set right.

Source Article

Continue reading

Battleground state lawmakers seek law changes to avoid ‘man-made disaster’ of mail-in ballot delays

Despite efforts in many states to expand early voting both in person and through mail-in ballots, the results of November’s election may still be delayed because a number of key states do not allow those votes to be processed until Election Day.

Lawmakers in swing states including Pennsylvania and Michigan have pushed to change state laws to enable pre-canvassing — which includes opening ballot envelopes and verifying them, readying them for eventual counting — before Nov. 3, but with varying success.


“Regardless of what your political affiliation might be, no one wants to have a situation where the results of the election are not determined until weeks or even months later,” Bucks County, Pa., Commissioner Gene DiGirolamo wrote in a September op-ed for the Courier Times. “We need legislation to be passed into law which allows counties to conduct pre-canvassing.”

DiGirolamo, a Republican, warned that pre-canvassing is the only way to prevent a delay. In Pennsylvania’s primary, more people voted by mail than in person.

“If we are not given the authority to do this, we’ll be forced to contend with a man-made disaster — one that easily could be avoided if our legislature and governor would work together,” he wrote.


The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) has asked lawmakers in Harrisburg to allow pre-canvassing three days before the election, according to local Fox43. Current law does not allow the process to begin until the morning of Election Day.

A Republican-backed bill would allow pre-canvassing in advance, but Democrats are resisting it as it includes other measures such as restrictions on drop boxes for mailed ballots.

The CCAP is hoping that the state legislature will consider a bill that only deals with pre-canvassing.

“Without the ability to pre-canvas prior to Election Day it may take days or even weeks until final election results are known,” CCAP president Jeff Snyder told Fox43.

Michigan has seen greater progress with pre-canvassing, as the Republican-led state legislature approved a bill that calls for allowing the state to begin pre-canvassing the day before Election Day, with Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer expected to sign it, the Detroit Free Press reported.


Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said in September that she supports the bill, but that she wishes it gave more time for pre-canvassing. Benson said in a statement that while one recommendation called for seven days for pre-canvassing, the bill only gives workers ten hours.

“Senate Bill 757 is a step in the right direction but does not go nearly far enough

Continue reading

European Green Law Risks Delay as Leaders Seek to Defer Decision

(Bloomberg) —

a close up of a windmill: Wind turbines operated by Vattenfall AB sit on a wind farm in Aggersund, Denmark.

© Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
Wind turbines operated by Vattenfall AB sit on a wind farm in Aggersund, Denmark.

A landmark law to strengthen European Union climate policies and make the 2050 goal of climate-neutrality irreversible risks falling off a fast-track approval process, as the bloc’s leaders take time to consider the economic impact of the unprecedented overhaul in the midst of the deepest recession on record.


Load Error

EU heads of government plan to discuss the draft measure at their two-day gathering next week but may stop short of supporting a more ambitious intermediate target for 2030, according to a draft of their joint communique seen by Bloomberg News. Their political endorsement, key for ministers to reach an agreement on the technical details of the law, and a stricter emissions-reduction goal for the next decade may come only in December.

“The European Council considers that the updated target should be delivered collectively by the EU in the most cost-effective manner possible, and that all member states will participate in this effort, balancing considerations of fairness and solidarity,” according to the draft of the statement to be adopted by the leaders after their Oct. 15-16 summit in Brussels. The wording is subject to changes before leaders meet.

At stake is the pace of a green revolution that will affect everything from transport to farming, putting the 27-nation EU in sync with the goals of the Paris Agreement to fight climate change. The European Climate Law will pave the way for a torrent of regulations that will impose stricter emissions standards, strengthen the region’s carbon market and further stimulate clean energy production.

2030 Goal

The European Commission, the bloc’s regulatory arm, proposed last month that as part of the Green Deal the bloc deepen its 2030 emissions-cut goal to at least 55%. The current target target, agreed only 6 years ago, is a reduction of at least 40% from 1990 levels.

To become binding, the climate law needs support from national governments and the European Parliament in negotiations that are yet to begin. To enter the talks, ministers from member states need to agree on a common stance, a move that traditionally needs political guidance from the leaders on climate issues.

The challenge is that, unlike ministers, leaders make decisions by unanimity and Poland, which relies on coal for some 70% of power generation, has said it needs to carefully assess the economic impact of the tighter climate goals before making a decision. The government in Warsaw declined to commit to climate neutrality at a national level at an EU summit last year while stopping short of blocking a deal on a Europe-wide objective to eliminate emissions by 2050.

Germany, which chairs the talks as the holder of the EU’s rotating presidency, wants to reach a deal on the climate law before the end of this year. While it has already secured the required majority support for the 55% emissions-reduction goal, according to two diplomats with knowledge of the talks,

Continue reading