Category: Law

Brett Kavanaugh confirmed to US supreme court after Senate votes in favour

Brett Kavanaugh

Sabrina Siddiqui and Lauren Gambino write:

The US Senate has voted to confirm judge Brett Kavanaugh to the supreme court, handing Donald Trump a major victory and America a bench expected to tilt to the right for the next generation.

The vote was almost a foregone conclusion after the dominant Republican party secured majority support during a procedural vote on Friday amid crackling tension, furious protests and high drama on Capitol Hill.

But the final vote was still a monumental development in a sharply divided America. It came down to stark political loyalties in the face of multiple accusations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh from his past, which brought up current questions about his honesty, temperament and partisanship during testimony.

Kavanaugh has strongly denied all allegations of such misconduct. Votes fell almost entirely along party lines and the nomination passed narrowly, 50-48. The vote was interrupted for a short time by protesters in the gallery.

Moments before the vote, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said “Brett Kavanaugh does not deserve to be on the bench” and said he had “repeatedly misled the Senate”.

Kavanaugh, Schumer said, is against “environmental protections, women’s rights, civil rights, LGBT rights, Native American rights, healthcare protections and workers’ rights.”

Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, said many across the political spectrum describe Kavanaugh as “a superstar and a legendary scholar” and described him as being of “excellent” temperament and judicial philosophy.

The conservative victory capped a triumphant week for the president. Trump strong-armed a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico, which the markets loved, marked the lowest unemployment rate in the US since 1969, at just 3.7%, and secured the second ultra-conservative supreme court nomination of his administration, after putting Neil Gorsuch on the bench last year. Although, in another roller coaster week for the White House, Trump was hit by a huge investigation by the New York Times that described dubious aspects of his past financial background and prompted the New York tax authorities to begin an investigation.

Judge Aquilina’s Conduct At Nassar’s Sentencing Was Disgraceful

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina

Kevin Daley writes:
Larry Nassar is a wicked man. Judge Rosemarie Aquilina did not acquit herself well in jailing him.
Dr. Nassar, the notorious USA gymnastics physician who sexually assaulted some 150 women, was sentenced to a 175-year prison term Wednesday in Ingham County Circuit Court in Michigan. In a narrow sense, justice was done. Nassar wrought incredible evil and has now received what was owed to him.
But in a more important sense, Wednesday’s proceeding was a scandal to justice, willfully inflicted by an intemperate judge who weaponized a sentencing hearing to dehumanize a convict in the service of ulterior causes.
The sentencing phase of the Nassar prosecution began on a promising note. Dozens of his victims addressed impact statements to the court and to Nassar, for them a cathartic measure, for him a reckoning.

 This lengthy procession of victim impact statements could be a useful component of restorative justice, in which the victims regain agency and power through confrontation with their abuser. In the aggregate, that process displaces stigmatizing norms attending crime and affects changes in societal power dynamics, particularly at a moment when the country is reckoning with sex crimes.Such an argument is attractive and compelling. Absent Aquilina’s subsequent conduct, it might prevail. But prevail it cannot, given the judge’s disgraceful rhetoric. Her sentencing monologue, replete with spite, permanently sullied the testimony of Nassar’s victims. Where they offered power, she offered performance art, tossing aside a letter he addressed to the court with casual disregard. It was a most useful prop.
Unseemly dramatics followed. The judge told Nassar he could not be rehabilitated, took enormous satisfaction in, as she put it, signing his death warrant, and openly mused about subjecting him to gang rape.

Encuentran restos de ketamina en el cadáver de Nisman

Alberto Nisman, ex fiscal

Alejandro Alfie escribe:
La pericia toxicológica que está realizando la Gendarmeríaencontró ketamina y clonazepam en el cadáver del ex fiscal Alberto Nisman, según adelantaron fuentes de la investigación a la cadena de noticias TN -del Grupo Clarín-.
Los peritos consideran que hay dos hipótesis en torno al hallazgo del clonazepam y la ketamina: una posibilidad es que Nisman se haya drogado, para tener un efecto alucinógeno; mientras que si otras personas le hubieran suministrado esas drogas, para anestesiarlo, “estaríamos en presencia de algo mucho más grave, ya que eso justificaría que no haya opuesto resistencia si es que lo mataron“, dijo una fuente judicial.
La causa Nisman ingresó hace un año en la órbita del juez federal Julián Ercolini y el fiscal federal Eduardo Taiano. Pero las pericias fueron encargadas a la Gendarmería por la anterior jueza, Fabiana Palmaghini.
De hecho, el estudio toxicológico hecho anteriormente, cuando la causa estaba en manos de la jueza Palmaghini y la fiscal Viviana Fein, ya había detectado el clonazepam, que es un medicamento de uso muy frecuente, que se utiliza como ansiolítico para inducir el sueño.
Pero ahora es la primera vez que surge de un informe pericial que el cuerpo de Nisman tenía ketamina. Esa droga se puede usar con fines recreativos en niveles sociales medio-altos, aspirándola como cocaína, por ejemplo en fiestas de música electrónica; aunque también tiene fines anestésicos, de uso médico y veterinario, para dormir a perros, caballos y seres humanos para forzar el sueño.

Radical preacher Anjem Choudary jailed for five-and-a-half years

Anjem Choudary
Anjem Choudary

Radical preacher Anjem Choudary has been jailed for five-and-a-half years for inviting support for the so-called Islamic State group.

The 49-year-old was convicted at the Old Bailey after backing the group in an oath of allegiance published online.
Police say Choudary’s followers carried out attacks in the UK and abroad.
The judge, who described Choudary as calculating and dangerous, passed the same sentence on his confidant Mohammed Mizanur Rahman, 33.
Both men were also sentenced to a notification order lasting 15 years, which requires them to tell police if details such as their address change.
Choudary, of Ilford, east London, and Rahman, from Palmers Green, north London, were convicted last month of inviting support for IS – an offence contrary to section 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000 – between 29 June 2014 and 6 March 2015.
The trial heard the pair also used speeches to urge support for IS, which is also known as Daesh, after it declared a caliphate in the summer of 2014.