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    Spokesman for the Department of Defense John Kirby refuted claims from Senate Democrats on Friday that they were not consulted concerning the Thursday airstrikes against targets in Iraq and Syria. Kirby appeared on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” and discussed with host Andrea Mitchell the complaints by some Democratic senators about the strikes, as well as the legal authority that President Joe Biden’s administration operated under when carrying them out. Mitchell began by detailing specific complaints from Democratic Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine and Democratic Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy regarding the airstrikes, and stated that “there was no notification, no prior consultation with Congress to my knowledge” before they took place. Kaine and Murphy both released released statements on Friday, with Kaine’s reading, “Offensive military action without congressional approval is not constitutional absent extraordinary circumstances. Congress must be fully briefed on this matter expeditiously.” (RELATED: Old Tweets From Democrats Slamming...
    The Conversation Spain What things say about us Sketch for _The Bedroom at Arles_ by Vincent van Gogh (October 1888). Wikimedia Commons / Gogh Museum, Amsterdam In the days following the death of a beloved relative, we re-enter his house, now empty of his laughter and caresses, more full of everything that his life developed between. Photographs, books, her favorite mugs, the jewelry she adorned herself with, the chair she used to watch TV. Tears invade us on our way through the rooms that were so familiar to us and have now suddenly become strange. What was a common space is now nothing but a place of sadness and memory. When the rooms are emptied, a whole world of memories will leave with the things that were so close. The anthropologist and theorist of science Bruno Latour has insisted on the hybridization between things, spaces and identity. Collections, samplings, furnishings,...
    The Conversation Spain What things say about us Sketch for _The Bedroom at Arles_ by Vincent van Gogh (October 1888). Wikimedia Commons / Gogh Museum, Amsterdam In the days following the death of a beloved relative, we re-enter his house, now empty of his laughter and caresses, more full of everything that his life developed between. Photographs, books, her favorite mugs, the jewelry she adorned herself with, the chair she used to watch TV. Tears invade us on our way through the rooms that were so familiar to us and have now suddenly become strange. What was a common space is now nothing but a place of sadness and memory. When the rooms are emptied, a whole world of memories will leave with the things that were so close. The anthropologist and theorist of science Bruno Latour has insisted on the hybridization between things, spaces and identity. Collections, samplings, furnishings,...
    ON THIS DAY IN 1919, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle published an ad for Frederick Loeser & Co. department store, which said, “One of the most notable effects of the recent epidemic of influenza has been the impairment of the hair, its loss of luster and color, its rapid falling. Scores of women have been compelled to have their hair cut, even shaved, and in the instances when they have decided to retain it, find the need of a temporary aid that will hide its bad condition. For this purpose we have invented a new transformation that is proving very effective at a much less cost than a wig. If you have any need of such an aid, come in and investigate this very attractive and efficient device.”  *** ON THIS DAY IN 1937, the Eagle reported, “WASHINGTON — Compromises filled the air in the Supreme Court fight today as Senator...
    By STEPHEN GROVES, Associated Press PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota lawmakers on Tuesday advanced a pair of proposals aimed at increasing scrutiny on voter-backed ballot initiatives like a recently-passed constitutional amendment that would have legalized marijuana, but was struck down by a circuit court. Republican legislators argued that a series of proposals would test the initiatives before they make it on the ballot and help make sure that voter-passed laws are not gutted. They pointed to the legal battle over the constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana in which the state was, in essence, suing itself as an example of how messy such measures can become. In a state that became the first in the nation to allow citizens to propose and vote on laws, the process in recent years has often resulted in lawsuits and tussles between voters and legislators. “It needs to be done in a healthy way to...
    Tuesday, MSNBC “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough addressed the comparisons of violent Black Lives Matter protests to last month’s riot at the U.S. Capitol by a group supporting former President Donald Trump. Scarborough said anybody making the argument that the examples are similar “have to be really stupid.” He argued that “taco stands” are vastly different than the “insurrection” at the Capitol. “We need to make sure that the center of American democracy is never, never as compromised as it was on January the 6,” Scarborough emphasized. “I know there are idiots on other cable news channels that will say, ‘Well, this mom-and-pop store was vandalized during the summer riots, and that’s just as bad as the United States Capitol being vandalized.’ No. No, actually no, jackasses, it’s not.” He continued, “The Capitol of the United States is the center of American democracy. And while I am a fierce believer...
    Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) is dead wrong when he says that former President Donald Trump can be impeached for political speech that is protected by the First Amendment, and it speaks volumes about this unconstitutional sham of a Senate impeachment trial. The Democrat House impeachment managers concluded their arguments regarding the former president on Thursday. Knowing the main points the Trump team’s arguments are about to make to the Senate, lead manager Raskin included in his remarks that even if Trump’s words on January 6 were protected by the First Amendment, he can still be impeached and convicted for them.  This is an outrage that would have been unthinkable just a few short years ago. I have already opined on why trying the impeachment of a former president is unconstitutional and what advice I would give Trump.  But Raskin took this sham to a new low of unconstitutionality when he...
    Paul Butler is a Professor at the Georgetown University Law Center and considered a leading criminal law scholar, particularly in the area of race and jury nullification. He appeared on Morning Joe Friday morning and gave an emotional tribute to former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, a pioneer in racial justice and constitutional law. At issue, of course, is the ongoing, and second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, and the constitutionality of impeaching an elected official after they have left office. Trump’s defense team is likely to focus on an academic and procedural interpretation of the Constitution, which effectively makes moot the entirety of the House Managers’ compelling argument that Trump did in fact incite the deadly insurrection on Jan. 6 by his supporters. Butler argued in a Washington Post column published Thursday why Republican Senators can—and should—vote to convict Trump, which he opined on during his Friday appearance. But it was his...
    In just a few short weeks, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has become one of the most talked about Republicans on Capitol Hill. Never before has a freshman member made such an impact in such a short amount of time. While the Fake News Media has been focused on personality, Congresswoman Greene has been focused on policy. Below is a list of Congresswoman Greene’s legislative action in her first weeks of the 117th Congress: 1.  Sponsored H.Res 57: Articles of Impeachment Against President Joe Biden 2.  Cosponsored H.R. 24: Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2021 3.  Cosponsored H.R. 38: Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act 4.  Cosponsored H.R. 85: Old Glory Act 5.  Cosponsored H.R. 95: Hearing Protection Act 6.  Cosponsored H.R. 426: Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act 7.  Cosponsored H.R. 471: Protecting Americans from Unnecessary Spread...
    Tuesday ahead of the Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) called on senators to “rise to the occasion to defeat authoritarianism.” Jeffries wondered on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” if 12 more senators will “stand up or step back and fail in their constitutional responsibilities” to help convict Trump. “It’s my hope that if the senators on both sides of the aisle follow the facts, apply the law guided by the Constitution, and let the chips fall where they may, it should lead 67 or more of them to conviction,” Jeffries stated. “Now, I recognize that that’s a challenge. I’m not going to be pollyannish about it.” Jeffries continued, “And there is still an opportunity to find 12 other senators based on the evidence that is presented, which is going to be very compelling, who might see their way toward conviction. However, let’s see what takes...
    The White House continued to try to disassociate President Joe Biden from the impeachment trial of his predecessor, saying Biden't won't weigh in on whether the procedure is even legitimate and won't tune in for much of it. 'He will not spend too much time watching the proceedings at any time over the course of this week,' White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday when asked whether Biden would tune in.   'He will remain closely in touch with Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi, Leader [Charles] Schumer – a range of officials on the Hill about his plan, and that's exactly what they want to do is to remain focused on that,' she said. On a day when House Democratic impeachment managers and Trump's legal team were trading accusations in filings – with Trump's team calling the process 'political theater' – Psaki repeatedly steered questions about impeachment to the coronavirus at her...
    Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) offered a frank assessment of how Donald Trump’s impeachment is likely to go when the Senate begins the trial on the former president’s incitement of insurrection. In a broad-range interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Toomey was asked whether he intends to hold Trump accountable for egging on his supporters who violently stormed the U.S. Capitol in an unlawful attempt to overturn the 2020 election. Tapper also asked Toomey whether he sees any real possibility that the Senate will see enough votes to successfully impeach Trump. Toomey answered by rejecting the argument many his GOP colleagues have put forward: that it is unconstitutional to impeach Trump now that he’s out of office (even though the proceedings against him began while he was still president). However, he prefaced this by saying conviction is “very unlikely,” judging by the layout of the Senate’s previous vote on whether to dismiss...
    By KEITH RIDLER, Associated Press BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A proposed constitutional amendment that would prevent the legalization of pot and other psychoactive drugs cleared the Idaho Senate on Wednesday and is headed to the House. The Senate mustered the two-thirds needed with a 24-11 vote to approve a joint resolution that bans all psychoactive drugs not already legal in the state. Backers said it’s needed because surrounding states have legalized pot and other drugs, and it could happen in Idaho. Senators argued those states have seen a decline in health and an increase in crime. Those opposed to the constitutional amendment say, if approved by voters, it would permanently ban medical marijuana patients with terminal illnesses or chronic pain. If the House approves the legislation, it would go before voters in 2022 where it would need a simple majority. Idaho is one of only three states without some sort...
    By EVENS SANON and DÁNICA COTO, Associated Press PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti has unveiled multiple proposed changes to overhaul the country’s Constitution that officials plan to present to voters starting this week for an upcoming referendum that looms amid growing unrest. The public meetings are scheduled to be held across Haiti for the next three weeks, ahead of the April 25 constitutional referendum, which would be the first one held in more than 30 years. One of the biggest changes is an omission in the draft issued by an independent commission tasked with creating the constitutional changes that have generated heated debates. Haiti’s current Constitution bars presidents from serving two consecutive terms, but the draft only states that a president cannot serve for more than two terms; it says nothing about whether they can be served consecutively. Human rights attorney Bill O’Neill told The Associated Press that his interpretation...
    PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti has unveiled multiple proposed changes to overhaul the country’s Constitution that officials plan to present to voters starting this week for an upcoming referendum that looms amid growing unrest. The public meetings are scheduled to be held across Haiti for the next three weeks, ahead of the April 25 constitutional referendum, which would be the first one held in more than 30 years. One of the biggest changes is an omission in the draft issued by an independent commission tasked with creating the constitutional changes that have generated heated debates. Haiti’s current Constitution bars presidents from serving two consecutive terms, but the draft only states that a president cannot serve for more than two terms; it says nothing about whether they can be served consecutively. Human rights attorney Bill O’Neill told The Associated Press that his interpretation is that the omission would allow a president...
    BOISE, Idaho -- As legal weed becomes a reality in every corner of the U.S., Idaho is putting up a fight.State lawmakers on Friday moved forward with a proposed constitutional amendment that would bar the legalization of marijuana in Idaho in an attempt to keep the growing nationwide acceptance of the drug from seeping across its borders.Idaho is one of only three states without some sort of policy allowing residents to possess products with even low amounts of THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana. Residents can cross the state border in nearly every direction and find themselves in a place where marijuana can be bought for recreational or medicinal purposes. Support for medicinal marijuana use is growing among some residents - with legalization activists trying to get an initiative on the state ballot in 2022.It's made some lawmakers in the deep-red state nervous, particularly after voters in the neighboring state...
    Idaho state lawmakers on Friday advanced a constitutional amendment seeking to prevent the legalization of marijuana and other psychoactive drugs not already legal in the state.  The Associated Press reported that the proposed resolution won approval in a 6-2 decision by the Senate State Affairs Committee, with members voting along party lines.  While the constitutional amendment seeks to address a range of psychoactive drugs, debate on the amendment centered largely around marijuana as surrounding states have already legalized pot as part of a growing nationwide acceptance of the drug.  Idaho is currently one of only three states that does not allow possessions of even low amounts of THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana.  Recreational and medical marijuana has been legalized in Washington, Oregon, Montana and Nevada, while Utah allows medical marijuana. Wyoming allows CBD products containing less than 0.3 percent of THC.  Idaho currently allows the sale of CBD products in...
    BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A proposed constitutional amendment that would prevent the legalization of marijuana in Idaho moved forward Friday as lawmakers in the conservative state try to halt the increasing acceptance of the drug nationwide. The Senate State Affairs Committee voted to send the joint resolution that bans all psychoactive drugs not already legal in Idaho to the full Senate. That list would change for drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration. But the target over the two days of testimony on Monday and Friday was primarily marijuana as Idaho finds itself surrounded by states that have legalized pot. Washington, Oregon, Montana and Nevada have legalized recreational and medical marijuana, while Utah allows medical marijuana. Wyoming allows CBD products containing less than .3% of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis. CBD products can be purchased in Idaho, but they must contain no THC. Backers said the Idaho...
    The outcome of former President TrumpDonald TrumpBlinken holds first calls as Biden's secretary of State Senators discussing Trump censure resolution Dobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' MORE’s second impeachment trial has largely been determined after 45 Republican senators voted in support of a resolution declaring it unconstitutional and the impeachment of a private citizen illegal. The vote boxes in the overwhelming majority of the Senate Republican conference into supporting Trump’s acquittal on a single article of impeachment before the House managers and Trump’s lawyers have even filed their pre-trial briefs. Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenate GOP signals it's likely to acquit Trump for second time Just five GOP senators vote Trump impeachment trial is constitutional Portman's exit underscores Republican identity crisis MORE (R-Alaska), one of only a handful of GOP senators actively considering whether to vote to convict Trump, on Tuesday said it’s...
    Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., doubled down Tuesday on statements he made over the weekend calling next month's impeachment trial of former President Trump "stupid". "It's not even constitutional," Rubio told "Your World" host Neil Cavuto. "Logic tells you that." "The automatic consequence of impeachment and trial, if you're convicted, the automatic consequence of it is you're removed from office," Rubio added. "That's the automatic consequence of this process. "How can you put someone through a process where the automatic consequence is impossible?" Rubio asked. "You cannot remove Donald Trump from office [because] he's not in office." TRUMP IMPEACHMENT TRIAL 'STUPID,' 'BAD FOR THE COUTRY': RUBIO Cavuto suggested that Trump expressed approval of the riot when he tweeted on the evening of Jan. 6 that "[t]hese are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly...
    Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday afternoon is expected to force a vote on whether the Senate impeachment trial of former President Trump is unconstitutional now that he is out of office.  Paul, R-Ky., told reporters he will make a point of order alleging that the trial is contrary to the Constitution -- an argument that multiple Republican senators have made. That will force a vote on the point of order, requiring senators to go on-the-record about whether they believe the trial is constitutional.  "I think there will be enough support on it to show there’s no chance they can impeach the president," Paul told reporters Tuesday. "If 34 people support my resolution that this is an unconstitutional proceeding it shows they don’t have the votes and we’re basically wasting our time." The Senate has held impeachment trial proceedings for lower office holders that were no longer in office in the past, including in for...
    Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneySunday shows preview: All eyes on Biden administration to tackle coronavirus The Hill's Morning Report - Biden's crisis agenda hits headwinds GOP senators say only a few Republicans will vote to convict Trump MORE (R-Utah) would not say during an interview on Sunday whether he will again vote to convict former President TrumpDonald TrumpNYT: Rep. Perry played role in alleged Trump plan to oust acting AG Arizona GOP censures top state Republicans McCain, Flake and Ducey Biden and UK prime minister discuss NATO, multilateralism during call MORE in his second Senate impeachment trial, but said the proceedings are likely constitutionally sound. “I think there will be a trial and I hope it goes as quickly as possible but that’s up to the counsel on both sides,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.” “There’s no question that the article of impeachment that was sent over by the House describes impeachable...
    Friday on FNC’s “Hannity,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) challenged the premise of an impeachment effort led by congressional Democrats against former President Donald Trump. Cotton said because Democrats were pursuing the effort, it was as if Trump were “living rent-free” inside their heads. “Shortly after the House passed its article of impeachment against the president last week, I said it’s beyond the Senate’s constitutional authority to have a trial for a former president,” he said. “It just doesn’t make any sense. And I think most Americans are going to look at the Senate wasting our time on a trial to convict and remove from office a man who left office last week.” “I mean, Donald Trump moved out of the White House on Wednesday, but he is still living rent-free in the Democrats’ heads because they’re pursuing this impeachment after he’s already left office when the Constitution plainly says impeachment...
    TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — Honduran lawmakers are moving to lock in the country’s ban on abortions by making it explicit in the constitution. The charter already states that “those who are yet to be born will be considered born, for the purposes of the law.” An amendment adopted Thursday by a large majority in the congress adds that an abortion “by the mother or any other third party” is prohibited. Further, legislators want to make it difficult to end the ban. The amendment adds that the article could be changed only by a three-quarters majority of the congress, and decrees that “any laws passed subsequently that contradict this article will be null and void.” It will go up for a second vote later this month. Honduras is one of three Central American countries that have total bans on abortion, along with El Salvador and Nicaragua. Women in these countries...
    A Tennessee mayor lowered his town’s flag to half-staff to mourn for the country on the day President Biden was sworn into office. “The Town of Bruceton grieves for our Republic and our loss of freedoms,” Bruceton Mayor Robert Keeton III wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday. “We mourn the victims of the Chinese plague and those that have suffered its depredations. We pray that God delivers and restores us and that we do not fall to the clutches of communism.” The post drew criticism from many followers on Facebook, including one person who wrote, “This is one of the most unpatriotic things I have ever seen. As friends and neighbors die from COVID and our nation hurts, you use the town page to air your personal grievances? This is not the way to promote Bruceton as a nice place to live. Shame on you.” The mayor defended...
    By Aidan Johnston Since Capitol Security failed on January 6th, Speaker Nancy Pelosi began her latest attempt to ban Members of Congress from carrying firearms on Capitol Hill. Her proposals arguably violate Article I Section 6 of the Constitution as well as the Second and Twenty-Seventh Amendments. If Nancy Pelosi will ransack any Article or Amendment to the Constitution to ban Members of Congress from exercising their constitutional rights, imagine how much worse she will treat the American people’s right to keep and bear arms! When Representative Thomas Massie and his staff’s lives were in jeopardy on January 6th, he was equipped with the tools to protect himself and those he cares about. Rep. Massie remarked that, “Several of us were glad to be armed while barricaded for hours in our offices with our staff.” One newly elected Representative, Lauren Boebert, had only just moved to D.C. and was still...
    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Proposed changes to the Pennsylvania Constitution to temporarily permit lawsuits over child sexual abuse that occurred many years ago and to elect state appeals court judges by zone rather than statewide will be taken up Wednesday by a state House committee. The Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on whether to allow a two-year “window” during which people could file civil lawsuits outside the statute of limitations that existed at the time they were victimized. Both measures passed both legislative chambers in the 2019-2020 session, so if the full House and the state Senate pass them this year or next they will go on the ballot for voters to consider. Also, Republicans on the State Government Committee on Wednesday pushed through constitutional amendments regarding how a budget surplus is handled, capping how much the state budget can grow from year to year and limiting the governor’s...
    MOSCOW – Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Thursday the country would hold referendum on constitutional changes, the Belta state news agency reported. Lukashenko, who has faced weekly protests since claiming victory in an Aug. 9 election his opponents say was rigged, did not say when such a referendum would be held. Filed under belarus ,  elections ,  protests ,  12/31/20
    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Thursday the country would hold referendum on constitutional changes, the Belta state news agency reported. Lukashenko, who has faced weekly protests since claiming victory in an Aug. 9 election his opponents say was rigged, did not say when such a referendum would be held. (Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Alison Williams) Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters. Tags: Belarus, Europe
    GOP Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyGovernment used Patriot Act to gather website visitor logs in 2019 Appeals court rules NSA's bulk phone data collection illegal Dunford withdraws from consideration to chair coronavirus oversight panel MORE (Pa.) said Sunday that President TrumpDonald TrumpPost office to be named after oldest Pearl Harbor veteran Federal agents search residence in Antioch in connection with Nashville explosion Sunday shows preview: COVID-19 relief waiting on Trump's signature; government continues vaccine roll out MORE's pardons for Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneTrump's final weeks create chaos for Congress Trump pardons include former officer who released police dog on man Paul Manafort: Handmaiden to dictators MORE, Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortTrump's final weeks create chaos for Congress Trump pardons include former officer who released police dog on man Paul Manafort: Handmaiden to dictators MORE and other loyalists convicted of various crimes were legal and constitutional, but a "misuse" of power. Speaking...
    TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday he and legislative leaders have reached a deal on legislation to set up the new recreational marijuana marketplace. Despite announcing the agreement, the governor and lawmakers did not disclose details. “We’re proud to announce today that we’ve reached an agreement on legislation providing the framework for legalization, which is a critical step in reducing racial disparities and social inequities that have long plagued our criminal justice system," the governor's office said in an emailed statement. Voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment on Election Day to legalize recreational marijuana, but legislators must still pass a measure to set up the marketplace. They had been at an impasse on whether to cap the number of licenses and over how much of the tax proceeds should go to towns and cities whose residents were disproportionately likely to face marijuana-related charges. The constitutional...
    TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday he and legislative leaders have reached a deal on legislation to set up the new recreational marijuana marketplace. Despite announcing the agreement, the governor and lawmakers did not disclose details. “We’re proud to announce today that we’ve reached an agreement on legislation providing the framework for legalization, which is a critical step in reducing racial disparities and social inequities that have long plagued our criminal justice system,” the governor’s office said in an emailed statement. Voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment on Election Day to legalize recreational marijuana, but legislators must still pass a measure to set up the marketplace. They had been at an impasse on whether to cap the number of licenses and over how much of the tax proceeds should go to towns and cities whose residents were disproportionately likely to face marijuana-related charges. The constitutional...
    PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Those in the restaurant industry feel like they’re being bullied by the city and are upset the city wouldn’t work on a compromise to keep their indoor dining rooms open. Many restaurant employees believe they’re being singled out with no plan in place for them to put food on their tables. A local attorney representing a group of restaurants spoke with Eyewitness News on Friday night explaining why he thinks they’ve got a chance to win in court. “It’s our position, you should have by now a body of evidence or science to determine or to show us as to why you’re making certain decisions,” said Brian Fritz, managing partner of Fritz and Bianculli. On Thursday afternoon, a federal lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Philadelphia Restaurant Owners Group Against Lockdowns. The group believes the closure of indoor dining has a potential impact on their constitutional...
    (CNN)Thailand's parliament was voting on motions seeking constitutional reform on Wednesday, a day after the worst night of violence in the country's five-month protest movement saw live ammunition used for the first time and left more than 50 people injured. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who seized power in a coup in 2014, and his supporters have a majority in parliament and so any vote for real constitutional change -- which could limit the powers of the military and monarchy -- are unlikely to pass. The process is expected to take several hours. As lawmakers debated charter amendments on Tuesday, protesters calling for constitutional reform rallied outside the parliament building in Bangkok, where they clashed with police and pro-monarchy groups in pitched street battles. Police used tear gas and water cannons with chemical-laced water to disperse protesters who had cut through wire barricades that separated them from police lines outside parliament....
    By Panarat Thepgumpanat and Petra Mahira BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai members of parliament voted on Wednesday on options for changing the constitution, with most of them opposed to a demand from protesters for a proposal that could mean changes to the role of the powerful monarchy. The vote comes after the most violent day since July of youth-led protests that seek to rewrite the constitution, to remove Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha - a former junta leader - and to reform King Maha Vajiralongkorn's monarchy. Prayuth's supporters have a majority in the parliament, where the entire upper house Senate was appointed by the junta he led after a 2014 coup. Only one of seven proposals for constitutional reform would potentially allow amending the role of the monarchy, which protesters say has enabled decades of military domination in the Southeast Asian country. The government has said it is ready to amend the...
    ABC Updated: 11/16/2020 5:25 PM Save Related News The Constitutional Court of Peru, in charge of reviewing whether the removal of the former president of the country Martin Vizcarra whether or not he respected the law, he has suspended the session that he planned to hold today for later, to a date not yet specified, as reported in an official statement. ???? Statement from the Constitutional Court on the remote public hearing of the First Chamber. pic.twitter.com/OLfvwRBcRj – Constitutional Court of Peru (@TC_Peru) November 15, 2020 After Vizcarra’s removal, Peru is mired in a serious political crisis, which has set the streets on fire. Precisely, this weekend two young protesters died in clashes with the Police, an incident that caused Vizcarra’s successor, the controversial Manuel Merino, to resign. See them Comments Topics
    Reuters November 13, 2020 0 Comments U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said the COVID-19 pandemic had led to “previously unimaginable” curbs on individual liberty, singling our restrictions on religious events. The justice, who is seen as a conservative, told a meeting of the Federalist Society late on Thursday he was not underplaying the severity of the crisis or criticizing any officials for their response. But he added: “We have never before seen restrictions as severe, extensive and prolonged as those experienced for most of 2020.” “The COVID crisis has served as sort of a constitutional stress test,” he said during his address over a video link for the conservative organization’s annual conference. Alito, who was appointed by Republican President George W. Bush in 2006, referred to restrictions on gatherings that had affected religious events. “Think of worship services! Churches closed on Easter Sunday, synagogues closed for Passover in...
              The majority of Virginia voters approved a constitutional amendment this week aimed to prevent and stop political gerrymandering by changing the Commonwealth’s redistricting process. Sixty six percent of Virginians answered yes to constitutional amendment question #1 on ballots and, overall, voters in every locality were in support except for Arlington, while 34 percent voted no to the question, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. “This is the most comprehensive redistricting reform to ever get through a state legislature and we were absolutely thrilled,” Brian Cannon, executive director of Fair Maps VA, a nonprofit that pushed for the amendment, told The Virginia Star. “Not only did Virginians understand what they were doing, but they did it in such an overwhelming fashion with two out of every three voters saying they wanted this amendment in the constitution.” Redistricting is constitutionally mandated to take place...
    MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Four out of six Florida constitutional amendments had been decided by late Tuesday night. The amendments which were approved by voters were: Amendment – 1 – Require Citizenship To Vote – Ballot Issue: This amendment changes the Florida constitution from declaring that “every citizen” can register to vote to “only citizens” can vote. Amendment – 2 – Raise Minimum Wage – Ballot Issue: Voters agreed to raise the minimum wage to $15 hourly by 2026. Amendment – 5 – Extend Save Our Homes – Ballot Issue: It allows homeowners three years for property tax benefits to be transferred to a new home. Currently, the limit is two years. Amendment – 6 – Extend Vet Prop Tax Discount – Ballot Issue: It allows the property tax discount currently available to combat disabled veterans to be transferred to surviving spouses. More from CBSMiami.com ‘We Love What They Did’:...
    By Hamid Ould Ahmed ALGIERS (Reuters) - Polls opened in Algeria on Sunday in a referendum on changes to the constitution pushed by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and the powerful military as a way to turn the page on last year's popular unrest. The referendum is seen as a test of strength for both Tebboune and the leaderless opposition "Hirak" protest movement that brought thousands of people onto the streets weekly to demand radical change, and which rejects the vote. Tebboune, who has been in hospital in Germany since last week after saying aides had tested positive for COVID-19, has pushed for a big turnout that would demonstrate popular support for his strategy of moving on from the demonstrations. (Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed, writing by Angus McDowall; Editing by Toby Chopra) Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters. Tags: Africa, Algeria, Middle East
    Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” host Joe Scarborough again called for Democrats to pack the Supreme Court in response to the GOP nominating and confirming a justice in the final year of President Donald Trump’s first term in office. Scarborough earlier this month called on Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to pack the Supreme Court “in response to Republican radicalism.” The MSNBC host, a former GOP congressman, noted how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) “lied,” made up new rules” and “then broken those rules” to get Judge Amy Coney Barrett confirmed to the Supreme Court, which he said is in their “constitutional right.” He then argued Democrats also “have the constitutional right to add a couple more justices next year.” “The Democrats are going to expand the court unless they just want to be run over the way they were run over the past...
    Joe Biden’s plan to form a commission to “reform” the court system meant that he was “open to” court packing, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., argued on Thursday. “Court packing ought to be completely unacceptable,” the Kentucky Republican told Fox News’ Dana Perino on “The Daily Briefing.” “It was when Joe was chairman of the Judiciary Committee,” McConnell continued. “Now when he's hedging, the answer is yes, he's open to it.” McConnell called the practice the "perfect way to destabilize the judiciary." "Ginsburg had it right last year she said that nine is the right number," the Senate leader said.  BIDEN'S COURT PACKING 180, SAYS HE WILL NOW TELL VOTERS HIS STANCE BEFORE ELECTION  The Democratic nominee told CBS’ “60 Minutes” he is going to form a commission to examine "how to reform the court system" after playing coy with the media about his stance on court packing. After repeatedly saying voters...
    John Malcolm, the director of the Meese Center for Legal & Judicial Studies at the Heritage Foundation, spoke with the Daily Caller’s Samantha Renck about Amy Coney Barrett, the confirmation hearings and more. After nearly a week of confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, the Senate will vote on Barrett’s confirmation on Thursday, Oct. 22. (RELATED: What Does The Future Of Supreme Court Hold? Amy Coney Barrett’s Confirmation Hearings And More) The Democrats “had procedural objections that it was unfair so close to an election to go forward with this nomination,” Malcolm said. “They had substantive objections to her. Not to her qualifications — there’s no way to attack her qualifications. She’s superbly qualified.” “She is exceptionally bright and thoughtful,” he said. “She’s made that clear throughout her entire legal career clear frankly from the time she was in law school.” Malcolm also discussed Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s comments, the future...
    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Belarus has put opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya on its wanted list for allegedly making calls to overthrow the constitutional order, the interior ministry of close ally Russia said on Friday. Tsikhanouskaya fled to neighbouring Lithuania shortly after a disputed Aug. 9 election and has since met European political leaders and called for her country's longtime president Alexander Lukashenko, to leave power. She later appeared on Russia's wanted list, something Russia's Interior Ministry said had happened through a mechanism outlined in a regional bloc that both Russia and Belarus are members of. The exiled opposition politician could face up to 5 years in jail in Belarus if detained and found guilty, Russia's RIA news agency said. The Belarusian interior ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment. Security forces have detained more than 13,000 people during a post-election crackdown, some of whom have been later freed....
    The state of Utah is set to vote on seven proposed Constitutional ballot amendments in November, on issues including how education is funded and modernizing language around gender. Here is a breakdown of each one by the Utah Foundation, a non-profit organization, as part of its "On the Ballot" analysis project. Four of the following seven amendments were the result of resolutions supported unanimously on the state house and senate floors, the Foundation's webpage reads. "One was unanimous when it was heard in the Senate, but when it went to the House it faced nearly enough opposition to kill the resolution," the message continued. "The final two amendments faced more opposition." AMENDMENT A: CHANGE LANGUAGE THAT APPLIES TO A SINGLE GENDER This amendment would change the language that applies to a single gender, meaning it would replace “men” with “persons” in the state Constitution and make other similar changes to reflect the measure if passed. ...
    During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield repeatedly dodged questions from host Jake Tapper about Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s position on adding justices to the Supreme Court. Bedingfield and Tapper sparred over the definitional “constitutional” with regards to appointing and confirming appointments to the federal bench, with Bedingfield ultimately calling the topic a “distraction” and “Donald Trump’s game.” Partial transcript as follows: TAPPER: So, Kate, Vice President Biden yesterday again refused to say where he stands on this question of adding justices to the Supreme Court. I want to play what he said. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOSEPH BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It’s not constitutional what they’re doing. We should be focused on what’s happening right now. This court is being packed now by the Republicans, after the vote has already begun. I’m going to stay focused on it, so...
    Jake Tapper pushed back on Biden campaign communications director Kate Bedingfield, saying that Democratic presidential was wrong when he said that the Republican plan to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was “unconstitutional.” The CNN anchor challenged Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager and communications director, pushing back on the former vice president’s claim that it was “unconstitutional” for President Donald Trump to nominate — and for the Senate to consider confirmation of — a new justice so close to an election. (RELATED: ‘Has The Science Changed That Dramatically In One Week?’: Chris Wallace Pushes Back On Biden Campaign) WATCH: Tapper played a clip of Biden, who argued that the Republicans’ move to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett was “unconstitutional” in response to a question about whether or not he would pack the Supreme Court. “I want to get the idea of adding justices to the court in a...
    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A proposed Utah state constitution amendment to expand an income tax earmark to include children's programs does not fix the existing problem of underfunded programs, an advocacy group said. Voices for Utah Children announced its opposition to constitutional Amendment G Monday, The Deseret News reports. “A major question we have to ask is, if the current constitutional earmark has failed to help Utah invest more in education, how will getting rid of it improve matters?” CEO Maurice Hickey said. Utah residents voted in 1946 to earmark income tax for K-12 education, and in 1996 passed a state constitutional amendment expanding the earmark to include higher education. The new amendment would further expand the earmark to include programs for children and residents with disabilities. Constitutional amendments are approved by a majority of Utah voters. “We have multiple unmet early education investment obligations right now," Voices for...
    Former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama have been publicly silent on the news of President Donald Trump's COVID diagnosis. A number of lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle have offered messages of support to the president and Melania Trump after they tested positive for the disease. Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, tweeted his best wishes to the couple. 'I’m happy to report that Jill and I have tested negative for COVID. Thank you to everyone for your messages of concern. I hope this serves as a reminder: wear a mask, keep social distance, and wash your hands,' Biden wrote.  And Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is praying for the Trumps. 'We all received that news with great sadness. I always pray for the President’s family that they're safe. I continue to do so more intensified, and I know that he’ll have the best...
    President Donald Trump's positive test for the coronavirus set off cascading effects through the chain of government – and raises a raft of constitutional issues should he endure a difficult illness or lose his battle with the disease. The Constitution and laws enacted by Congress provide for a line of succession, as well as provisions for how to proceed if the president becomes incapacitated. A web of party and state election laws make provisions for how to proceed if a candidate must be replaced on the ballot.  The Election Day itself is fixed by law, and can be moved only by an act of Congress.  But there are ambiguities in all areas – from national party rules to state election law and even the line of succession – providing multiple avenues for chaos just 32 days before the Nov. 3 election.    Who is in charge of the country now?...
    Ilya Shapiro, director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute, spoke with the Daily Caller’s Samantha Renck about President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nomination, the future of the court and more. President Trump recently nominated Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court of the United States following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “Barrett was the frontrunner all the way through. She was apparently a finalist or one of the runner-ups for the Kavanaugh seat a couple of years ago,” Shapiro said. “No surprise that she ended up being picked.” (RELATED: Here Are 7 Things You Need To Know About Amy Coney Barrett) He continued, “she was the favorite of the conservative legal elite. I’d say [she] has made a solid name for herself. She was a judge for three years on the seventh circuit and before that for 20 years as a law...
    The veteran journalist said Trump's attacks on voting are destabilizing the electoral process. Veteran journalist Bob Woodward said on Wednesday that Donald Trump "cannot stabilize the electoral process" and is in fact making it unstable through his rhetoric and actions, including his performance in the first presidential debate. Woodward called on Congress to "step up" and solve what he described as a "constitutional problem." "It's reached a boiling point," Woodward said. "I mean we are teetering here. The Congress needs to step up."
    Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said it would be a good idea to pass a constitutional amendment that would secure nine justices on the Supreme Court. In an interview with the Washington Examiner, the Texas Republican and author of One Vote Away: How a Single Supreme Court Seat Can Change History, blasted Democratic threats to expand the Supreme Court and end the filibuster. Cruz said he would support either a legislative effort or a constitutional amendment solidifying the number of justices on the high court. "I think that's a good idea. The number of justices is not set in the Constitution. It's set by Congress," Cruz said, noting that the number of justices has varied over time. "We've had the number nine for 150 years. It is a number that works well, that provides stability and helps insulate the court from being overly politicized." Senate Republicans are pushing...
    MIAMI (CBSMiami) — There are six constitutional amendments on the November 3 ballot. An amendment passes when it receives 60-percent approval from voters. Here’s a breakdown of each one. AMENDMENT 1: Citizenship Requirement to Vote in Florida Elections This amendment changes one word of the state constitution regarding who can vote in the state. ✅A “yes” vote supports amending the Florida Constitution to state that “only a citizen” of the U.S. who is 18 years old or older can vote in Florida. ❌A “no’ vote opposes amending the Florida Constitution, which would keep the existing language that says “every citizen” of the U.S. who is 18 years old or older can vote in Florida. This change doesn’t have any legal impact because it is already the law in Florida that only U.S. citizens can vote. AMENDMENT 2: Raising Florida’s Minimum Wage This amendment would gradually raise the minimum wage...
    Ilya Shapiro, the director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute, spoke with the Daily Caller’s Samantha Renck about potential Supreme Court nominees, Joe Biden and more. Following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last Friday, questions about who would replace the late justice began. President Donald Trump is set to announce his choice on Saturday. Democratic nominee Joe Biden, however, has shown some resistance to releasing a list of potential nominees. “Well, [Biden] wants the election to still be about Donald Trump’s character, the economy, [COVID-19] — those sorts of things,” Shapiro said, “and does not want to be talking about the Supreme Court and judicial appointments.” Shapiro is also the author of “Supreme Disorder: Judicial Nominations and The Politics of America’s Highest Court.” “This is an issue that historically benefits Republicans, including four years ago. I don’t think Donald Trump would have...
    An anti-gerrymandering constitutional amendment that would change the way legislative districts are drawn in Virginia will be decided on the ballot. The amendment is intended to prevent gerrymandering by establishing a 16-person bipartisan redistricting commission that would propose redistricting plans to the General Assembly. The General Assembly would be allowed to approve or decline the proposals, but would not be allowed to offer any amendments. Eight members of the commission would be lawmakers: two House Democrats, two House Republicans, two Senate Democrats and two Senate Republicans. The other eight members would be chosen by a selection committee of five retired judges based on lists submitted by Democrat and Republican leadership in both chambers. The commission would be required to submit state House and Senate proposals within 45 days of receiving census data and U.S. congressional plans within 60 days or by July 1, whichever is later. If...
    BANGKOK – Scheduled voting by Thai lawmakers on six proposed amendments to the country’s military-backed constitution was canceled at the last minute Thursday as Parliament voted instead to set up a committee to further consider such proposals. The action, taken after two days of debate, means any vote on constitutional amendments is likely to be postponed for at least a month, and likely longer. At least 1,000 protesters pushing for charter reform gathered outside the Parliament building, and were angered when they heard that the voting might be postponed. They issued three demands for changes to the charter, including reform of the monarchy, limits to the powers of the unelected senators, and the election, not appointment, of any constitutional drafting committee’s members. Protest leaders threatened that they would hold another rally in October if their demands are not met by Sept. 30. “The people have come here to show their...
    BANGKOK (AP) — Thai lawmakers met Thursday to vote on six proposed amendments to the country’s military-backed constitution, as protesters pushing for charter reform gathered outside the Parliament building. Changes to the constitution are one of three core demands that a coalition of protest groups has been seeking in recent months. The groups, which on Sunday held one of the biggest protest rallies in years, also want new elections and an end to intimidation of political activists, saying they are needed to strengthen democracy. The protests, spearheaded by students, come as Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s government faces broader criticism that it is ineffective and without direction as the economy sputters due to the knock-on effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The government is also under pressure from some influential Thai royalists chagrined that the protesters are seeking unprecedented reforms to the monarchy, a sacrosanct institution to conservatives. The current...
    A Republican congressman running for U.S. Senate in Georgia says he has a proposal that will end the political war that erupted after Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday. Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) plans to introduce a constitutional amendment that he says will "take the heat of the moment out of" Supreme Court nomination fights as Democrats threaten to pack the court should President Donald Trump and the Senate GOP majority move forward with a new Supreme Court nominee before the inauguration of the next president. "Any time the Democrats don't get their way, they want to change the rules," Collins, the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, said on "Fox & Friends" Tuesday. "So what we're gonna say is this, if you want to pack the court, like Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said and others have said, then we want...
    Democrats “just want to change the rules if they don't get what they want,” Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., told “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday as he discussed his plans to introduce a constitutional amendment against packing the Supreme Court. He went on to stress the need to “take the heat of the moment out of” the current situation as President Trump moves to nominate a candidate to fill the Supreme Court vacancy after the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday, ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Democrats have threatened to implement a radical strategy and pack the Supreme Court if President Trump nominates a pick to fill the vacancy left by Ginsburg before the election. Collins warned that packing the Supreme Court could diminish the integrity of the court and said he plans to roll out legislation this week which would prohibit a change to the size of the high court until 10...
    Joe Biden is accused of hypocrisy after a 2016 op-ed emerged in which he slammed Republicans for holding up a Supreme Court appointment, stating that it is the 'constitutional duty' of a president to nominate if a vacancy becomes available.   He made the comments in a March 2016 op-ed with the New York Times, in which he added that he was 'surprised and saddened' to hear Republican senators say they would not longer accept a nomination because it was an election year.   His words resurfaced this week after he blasted President Donald Trump for moving to nominate a candidate to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday.  Biden claimed that the nomination should wait until after the election in 44 days.  Trump hit back at Biden Saturday night, calling on the former Vice President to release his own list of potential Supreme Court picks...
              When Virginians submit their ballots for the November elections they will not just be voting for the president or members of Congress, they will also be deciding how the state’s redistricting system will work going forward. Redistricting is constitutionally mandated to occur every ten years after the completion of the most recent U.S. Census. If Amendment 1 is approved, a 16-member redistricting commission consisting of eight General Assembly members and eight citizens would be created. The legislative members would include two Senate Republicans, two Senate Democrats, two House Republicans and Two House Democrats.  The legislative commissioners are appointed by party leaders of the Senate and House, and the citizen commissioners are selected by a group of five retired circuit court judges from lists created by the party leaders of the General Assembly. The party leaders from the House and Senate are also responsible...
    © Eli Imadali/TNS via ZUMA Wire For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.Within a few hours of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, an argument was beginning to crystallize on the right: the Senate needed to fill her vacancy on the Supreme Court, so as to prevent a constitutional crisis if a contested election went to the Supreme Court. The main driver of this thinking was, naturally, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, a member of the judiciary committee who Presidential Donald Trump has floated as a potential nominee for the court. “Democrats and Joe Biden have made clear they intend to challenge this election,” he said in a Friday night interview on Fox News. “They intend to fight the legitimacy of the election. As you know, Hillary Clinton has told Joe Biden, ‘Under no circumstances should you concede, you should...
    Sen. Ted Cruz on Friday urged his fellow lawmakers to nominate and confirm a Supreme Court justice before the Nov. 3 presidential election following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, warning of a looming "constitutional crisis" if the seat remains vacant. "We cannot have Election Day come and go with a four-four court," Cruz said during an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity. "A four-four court that is equally divided cannot decide anything. And I think we risk a constitutional crisis if we do not have a nine-justice Supreme Court, particularly when there is such a risk of a contested election." The Texas Republican -- one of President Trump's 20 potential nominees to the court, according to a list issued last week by the White House -- called on Trump to nominate Ginsburg's successor next week. Ginsburg died Friday due to complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer. She was 87. Cruz has said that he would...
    (CNN)The office of Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement Monday that his administration plans to appeal a federal court ruling that declared some prohibitions on certain types of large gatherings unconstitutional.The state government's coronavirus shutdown measures "were mirrored by governors across the country and saved, and continue to save lives in the absence of federal action" said Lyndsay Kensinger, Wolf's press secretary. Kensinger added that the decision is "especially worrying as Pennsylvania and the rest of the country are likely to face a challenging time with the possible resurgence of COVID-19 and the flu in the fall and winter."The ruling by Judge William Stickman IV of the Western District of Pennsylvania will lift restrictions on nonessential businesses that prevent gatherings above certain numbers of people. The state can still restrict some businesses from operating at full capacity with proportionate attendance limits, Stickman decided."The imposition of a cap...
    TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania’s president has set April 25 as the date for the country’s next parliamentary election, a key condition for starting negotiations to join the European Union. President Ilir Meta on Sunday announced the date to elect 140 new lawmakers following talks with the political parties earlier this week and constitutional amendments earlier this year aimed at holding better elections. All seats in parliament will be up for grabs in the election. Post-communist Albania’s elections have always been contested and marred by irregularities, including vote-buying and the manipulation of ballot counts. In July, lawmakers passed constitutional amendments to hold elections with open lists of candidates, pre-formed party coalitions and voters who are electronically identified. The moves seek to depoliticize Albania’s national electoral commission and follow other recommendations from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which has monitored the country’s elections. The amendments were passed...
              NASHVILLE, Tennessee – In Thursday’s meeting of the Joint Ad Hoc Committee to Study Emergency Powers, two experts on constitutional law said, that with the deference the courts afford the executive branch, it is up to the Tennessee General Assembly to put checks on the broad powers of the governor during an emergency. In the second of three meetings, committee members heard testimony from seven individuals:  Glenn Reynolds, Professor of Law, University of Tennessee; Larry L. Crain, Crain Law Group; Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General of the State of Tennessee; Patrick Sheehan, Director TEMA; Dr. Lisa Piercey, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Health; Clark Milner, Deputy Counsel to Governor Bill Lee; Brent Easley, Legislative Director to Governor Bill Lee. In opening the meeting, House co-chair Rep. Jason Zachary (R-Knoxville) reminded committee members by reading the committee’s charge:  Study the current authority granted to...
    GENEVA (Reuters) - The Syrian Constitutional Committee, which opened its first session in nine months in Geneva on Monday, is "currently on hold" after three members tested positive for COVID-19, a U.N. statement said. The office of U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen did not identify which three of the 45 members of the so-called small body of the Constitutional Committee were infected. One third is nominated by the Syrian government, one third by the opposition, and one third is from civil society. "Following a constructive first meeting, the Third Session of the Constitutional Committee is currently on hold. The Office of the Special Envoy will make a further announcement in due course," it said, adding that Swiss authorities had been informed and contact-tracing was under way. (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Alison Williams) Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.
    Moscow — Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko said he would consider a referendum on constitutional changes Monday after thousands of people across the country went on strike, calling for his resignation. Major factories, mines, and broadcasters were left empty as people skipped work and crowds gathered on the streets to demand the president step down.  Monday marked the ninth consecutive day of mass protests over the official results of the Aug. 9 presidential election that demonstrators say was rigged  Lukashenko said he would only consider the changes if protests stopped. "We'll put the changes to a referendum, and I'll hand over my constitutional powers, but not under pressure or because of the street," he told a crowd at a tractor factory in Minsk, where hundreds of demonstrators chanted "Resign!", according to the Belta news agency. Lukashenko, who has held power for 26 years, said another election could take place only after a...
    By Catarina Demony and Patricia Vicente  Rua LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal's Azores Islands, some 1,400 km from the Portuguese coast, breached the national constitution by forcing air passengers to the popular tourist destination to quarantine for 14 days, the country's Constitutional Court has ruled. The court said authorities on the islands had treated people as if they were serving a short prison sentence by confining them in hotels, regardless of whether they had symptoms. "The competence to legislate on rights, freedom and guarantees lies with the parliament, or the (national) government - and only with those two sovereign bodies," the court ruled. The regional government of the Azores had decided in March that all arriving air passengers had to stay in confinement for two weeks in a hotel. Authorities initially paid for the hotel but those arriving from May 8 onwards were told they had to pay for their own...
    WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland's Constitutional Tribunal will examine a European treaty on violence against women, the prime minister said on Thursday, after the justice minister said Poland should leave the treaty. "I've decided to ask the Constitutional Tribunal to examine whether the convention is in line with the Polish constitution," Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told a news conference. Earlier this week, Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro asked the Labour Ministry to begin the process of withdrawing Poland from the treaty, arguing it imposes certain ideologies on the country. (Reporting by Joanna Plucinska; Editing by Alison Williams) Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.
    Justice Neil Gorsuch recently infuriated far-right social conservatives when he wrote the U.S. Supreme Court’s majority opinion in Bostock v. Clayton County and ruled that LGBTQ residents of the U.S. were protected against workplace discrimination. Fundamentalist evangelicals felt betrayed, but Gorsuch’s defenders argued that he arrived at his decision because he is a “textualist.” Josh Blackman, a constitutional law professor at the South Texas College of Law in Houston, examines Gorsuch’s judicial philosophy in an article published in The Atlantic — and poses the question: how should a textualist deal with problematic case law? “Justice Neil Gorsuch is a proud textualist,” Blackman writes. “According to this approach, what Congress intended or expected when it passed a law doesn’t matter. What matters are the words printed on paper. In practice, Justice Gorsuch will strictly follow the text of statutes, no matter what result it yields. Last month, he decided that the...
    WASHINGTON - A U.S. federal district court has ruled that California's coordination with Canada's Quebec province in a cap and trade carbon emissions market is constitutional, a blow to the Trump administration made public in a filing late on Friday.  In October, the Trump administration sued California for entering a climate agreement with Quebec, saying the state had veered out of its lane in linking with a market in another country and had no right to conduct foreign policy.  The decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California this week said the Trump administration had "failed to identify a clear and express foreign policy that directly conflicts with California’s cap-and-trade program."  President Donald Trump, a Republican, has pursued a policy of maximizing fossil fuel output while slashing environmental regulations. He intends to pull the United States out of the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change. ...
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. federal district court ruled this week that California's coordination with Canada's Quebec province in a cap and trade carbon emissions market is constitutional, in a filing made public late on Friday, and in a blow to the Trump administration. Last October, the Trump administration sued California for entering a climate agreement with Quebec, saying the state had no right to conduct foreign policy. The decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California said the Trump administration had "failed to identify a clear and express foreign policy that directly conflicts with California’s cap-and-trade program." (Reporting by Timothy Gardner and Sebastien Malo; Editing by Chris Reese) Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.
    WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland's President Andrzej Duda on Monday proposed changing the constitution to ban LGBT couples from adopting children ahead of Sunday's presidential run-off in which the candidates are polling neck-and-neck. The opposition centrist Civic Platform (PO) candidate, Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, said this weekend that he is also against the adoption of children by LGBT couples. Duda is an ally of the ruling nationalist Law and Justice Party (PiS), which dismisses LGBT rights as an invasive foreign influence undermining Poland's traditional values. A majority amounting to two-thirds of the lower house of parliament is needed to change the constitution. After an election in October, PiS rules with a slim majority and does not hold enough seats to carry out such changes. Duda said he hoped he could garner broader support for his proposal from some members of PO, the agrarian PSL grouping and from the far-right Confederation party....
    A woman dubbed 'Costco Karen' was filmed throwing a furious tantrum in the superstore after she was asked to put on a face mask, where she on the floor declaring, 'I have constitutional rights'.   Shocking video of the confrontation, believed to have unfolded at the returns desk of a Costco in Hillsboro, Oregon, shows an employee asking an older woman to wear a mask in the store to follow its coronavirus policy. The older woman had a face mask dangling from one ear but refused to put it on completely to cover her mouth.   'You just have to tell me that you have one. Well, then you have to wear it. You have to wear your mask in public. This is private property,' the female employee said in the video posted on June 30. 'I am not a member of Costco,' the woman is heard snapping back.  A woman...
    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Changes to the Russian constitution, including an amendment that could pave the way for President Vladimir Putin to rule the country until 2036, will come into force on July 4, the Kremlin said on Friday. The electorate overwhelmingly supported the changes, which were approved after a nationwide week of voting that came to an end on Wednesday, with almost 78% of people casting their ballot in favour. The Kremlin hailed the vote as a triumph, while critics decried it as illegal and illegitimate. An independent monitoring group said the vote was deeply flawed. Other key reforms include an amendment granting former Russian presidents automatic immunity from criminal prosecution, as well as reforms enshrining a reference to "belief in God" and a statement about marriage being only the union of a man and a woman. (Reporting by Polina Ivanova and Alexander Marrow; Editing by Alison Williams) Copyright 2020...
    MOSCOW, July 3 (Reuters) – Changes to the Russian constitution, including an amendment that could pave the way for President Vladimir Putin to rule the country until 2036, will come into force on July 4, the Kremlin said on Friday. The electorate overwhelmingly supported the changes, which were approved after a nationwide week of voting that came to an end on Wednesday, with almost 78% of people casting their ballot in favour. The Kremlin hailed the vote as a triumph, while critics decried it as illegal and illegitimate. An independent monitoring group said the vote was deeply flawed. Other key reforms include an amendment granting former Russian presidents automatic immunity from criminal prosecution, as well as reforms enshrining a reference to “belief in God” and a statement about marriage being only the union of a man and a woman. (Reporting by Polina Ivanova and Alexander Marrow; Editing by Alison Williams)
    The latest chapter in a sustained campaign to undo Oklahoma’s new constitutional carry law has ended, with a court ruling adding a fresh defeat to what has so far been an unbroken series of failures. The war on constitutional carry in Oklahoma began, after the state legislature passed HB 2597, an NRA-backed bill to amend the “unlawful carry” crime at 21 Okla. Stat. Ann. § 1272 to allow carrying a firearm upon or about the person, or in a purse or other container, without a license. The amendment applies only to adults who are not otherwise disqualified by state or federal law from possessing a firearm and who are not carrying the firearm in furtherance of a crime. The Oklahoma House passed the bill on an overwhelming 70-30 vote, and the bill was approved in the Oklahoma Senate by an even greater margin of 40-6. After Governor Kevin Stitt signed HB 2597 into...
    During a debate in 1990 about a constitutional amendment that would ban burning the American flag, then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) proposed a bizarre hypothetical to illustrate why he thought it was a slippery slope. “Parts of the American public occasionally responding to the emotions of the moment; occasionally, occasionally, they pass laws that don’t make sense in the wide scope of things,” Biden said on the Senate floor on June 25, 1990. He went on: We went through a whole exercise here with Mapplethorpe’s paintings and the National Endowment for the Arts, and they related to paintings – photographs that had to do with homosexual activity. I ask you, assume that there were a painting or a photograph taken of homosexuals engaging in a sexual act on a flag. Biden argued a constitutional amendment would be the gateway to regulating expression. He said: Would that be desecrating the flag...
    California voters will have the opportunity to reverse the state’s prohibition on affirmative action after the state Senate voted Wednesday to place a constitutional amendment on the November ballot. The plan, if passed by a majority of voters, would remove the rules imposed by Proposition 209 barring government agencies and institutions from considering matters like race or sex, the Los Angeles Times reported. Prop. 209 was initially voted on in 1996 and amended California’s state constitution. Currently, Section 31 of Article I of the state’s constitution reads: “The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.” The 1996 ballot measure was highly controversial, with much of the debate centered around the fairness of affirmative action policies implemented by the University of California...
    Moscow (CNN)Russia on Thursday kicked off early voting in a national referendum on controversial amendments to the country's constitution that could allow President Vladimir Putin stay in power until 2036, amid reports that the process had been marred by election tampering and compulsory voting. The vote, originally scheduled for April 22, was delayed amid coronavirus concerns. Election officials said early voting would be held to aid social distancing: Russia is still reporting around 7,000 new cases each day, according to official statistics. The voting culminates on July 1, the officially designated day for the plebiscite, which has been declared a national holiday.The constitutional changes, unveiled early this year, will formally seal Putin's long-term hold on the presidency. Putin has been in power for two decades, and under current law, must step down after his term expires in 2024. The amended constitution would effectively re-set the count on his term limits....
    RUSSIANS today kicked off voting on constitutional reforms that could see President Vladimir Putin lead the country for 36 years. The marathon seven-day poll is taking place in the middle of the coronavirus crisis, and would allow Putin to serve another two terms in office, remaining in power until 2036. 5Vladmir Putin could remain President until 2036Credit: AFP 5A man casts his ballot at a polling station during a seven-day vote for constitutional reformsCredit: Reuters Putin unleashed a political storm in January with his plan to overhaul the Russian Constitution for the first time since 1993. The official vote is scheduled for 1 July, but authorities opened polling stations a week early to stop overcrowding amid the pandemic - which has seen around 9,000 new confirmed cases per day. The amendments would pave the way for Putin to rule for 12 more years, by allowing a sitting or a former...
    (Reuters) - Russians are taking part in a nationwide vote from June 25 until July 1 that will endorse or reject changes to the constitution, including one that would allow Vladimir Putin to run for president again twice. [L8N2E226A] The bundle of changes, which include many other amendments to the 1993 constitution that was adopted after the break-up of the Soviet Union, are being put to a simple yes-or-no vote. Here are some of the most significant and widely-discussed amendments contained in the bundle. TWO MORE TERMS FOR PUTIN One of the main reforms would allow Vladimir Putin to run for the presidency again in 2024 and, if re-elected, serve two more consecutive six-year terms in the Kremlin until 2036. Putin, 67, is due now to step down at the end of his current stint, which is his second consecutive term and fourth overall since he came to power more...
    By Andrew Osborn MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russians on Thursday will begin casting their ballots in a seven-day vote on sweeping reforms that could clear the way for President Vladimir Putin to stay in the Kremlin until 2036 if re-elected, an exercise that critics call a constitutional coup. The vote is taking place despite concerns in opposition circles over the safety of people voting amid the coronavirus pandemic, worries over voter fraud, and criticism that Putin, 67, has already been in power too long. Russia's coronavirus tally surged past 600,000 cases on Wednesday, the third-highest in the world, with thousands of new infections being reported every day, although authorities say the novel virus is on the wane. All necessary safety precautions will be taken during the vote, authorities say If, as expected, the constitutional changes are approved, Putin would be able to run for two more back-to-back six-year terms after his...
    * Reform would allow Putin to run for president again twice * Putin says he has not taken decision on future yet * Critics call the vote a constitutional coup By Andrew Osborn MOSCOW, June 25 (Reuters) – Russians on Thursday will begin casting their ballots in a seven-day vote on sweeping reforms that could clear the way for President Vladimir Putin to stay in the Kremlin until 2036 if re-elected, an exercise that critics call a constitutional coup. The vote is taking place despite concerns in opposition circles over the safety of people voting amid the coronavirus pandemic, worries over voter fraud, and criticism that Putin, 67, has already been in power too long. Russia’s coronavirus tally surged past 600,000 cases on Wednesday, the third-highest in the world, with thousands of new infections being reported every day, although authorities say the novel virus is on the wane. All necessary...
    COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s Election Commission set Aug. 5 as the new date for parliamentary elections after postponing it twice over the COVID-19 pandemic. Commission member Ratnajeevan Hoole said the date will give the body sufficient time to prepare under health guidelines. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa dissolved Parliament in March. The first two election dates — April 25 and June 20 — had been postponed as the Election Commission sought assurances from health authorities that it is safe to hold the vote. Sri Lanka is currently in a constitutional uncertainty because it is now past a three-month period allowed by law to operate without a sitting Parliament. Last week the Supreme Court rejected petitions by opposition parties and civil activists seeking an annulment of Rajapaksa’s order dissolving Parliament. Rajapaksa was elected last November and used his constitutional powers to dissolve Parliament six months...
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