A judge in Cook County Circuit Court will hear testimony Friday in a lawsuit filed by an Illinois voter that alleges Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz should not be allowed to run for president, CNN and ABC are reporting.
Lawrence Joyce, an Illinois voter who has objected to Cruz’s placement on the Illinois primary ballot next month, will have his case heard in the Circuit Court of Cook County in Chicago. Joyce’s previous objection, made to the state’s Board of Elections, was dismissed on February 1.
Joyce challenges Cruz’s right to be president in the wake of questions put forth by GOP rival Donald Trump about being born in Canada, according to CNN.
Cruz maintains he is a natural-born citizen since his mother is American-born.
“My case presents the perfect opportunity for Donald Trump himself to step forward and bring the matter to court personally,” Joyce told WBBM radio.
Joyce, of Poplar Grove, Ill., said he’s concerned about what could happen if Cruz is the Republican nominee, saying the Democrats could file a challenge in the fall, ABC’s channel 7 in Chicago reported.
“At that point, all of his fundraising would dry up. And his support in the polls would drop dramatically. He may be forced at that point to resign the nomination,” Joyce said.
Joyce said he has not spoken to the Trump campaign and that he supports Republican contender Ben Carson.
The Trump and Cruz campaigns could not immediately be reached.
An attorney for the Ted Cruz campaign asked a Cook County judge Friday to dismiss an Illinois man’s lawsuit challenging the Texas senator’s eligibility to run for president, citing that the Republican hopeful wasn’t properly served with the complaint.
Lawrence Joyce, an Illinois voter and Ben Carson supporter, brought his complaint earlier this month to the Illinois State Board of Elections, which dismissed it.
Now, he is appealing the case with the Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago, asking it to rule Cruz ineligible to run in next month’s GOP primary in Illinois. Joyce challenges whether the senator from Texas meets the criteria to serve as president because he was born in Canada.
Sharee Langenstein, an attorney for Cruz, said in court Friday it is “very, very clear” the Cook County court doesn’t have jurisdiction to hear the case because state law stipulates the candidate be served with the complaint. Joyce, a pharmacist and attorney from Poplar Grove, Ill., failed to serve Cruz, whose home address is listed in his petition to be placed on the state’s ballot, Langenstein said.
The issue of whether Cruz is a “natural-born” citizen has been raised by others, including rival GOP presidential contender Donald Trump, who has threatened to file a lawsuit on the issue. Cruz maintains he meets the criteria because his mother is American-born.
Judge Maureen Ward Kirby set a March 1 court date to hear arguments on the motion to dismiss. Joyce, who works the midnight shift at a hospital pharmacy, told the judge he wasn’t available for arguments before then because of work commitments. The Illinois primary is March 15 and early voting has already begun.
Despite the close timing, Joyce said it is worth letting his complaint play out.
“The nomination doesn’t take place until July,” Joyce said. “So if a determination is made after the primary that Ted Cruz is not eligible to be president then certainly it would be incumbent upon the Republican National Committee not allow the name of Ted Cruz to be entered at the convention in July.”
Voters in Texas and New York also have filed legal challenges on whether Cruz meets the citizenship qualifications. The Indiana Board of Election is scheduled to hear a complaint Friday from a Republican voter challenging whether Cruz and fellow GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio meet the “natural-born” requirement. Rubio, whose parents immigrated from Cuba, was born in Florida.
Cruz has dismissed the efforts as “political mischief.”
He defended his citizenship and right to run at a CNN candidates’ forum Wednesday, saying he was born in Canada to a U.S. citizen, making him an automatic U.S citizen. His mother was born in Wilmington, Del., Cruz said.
“I never breathed a breath of air on this planet when I was not a U.S. citizen,” he said. “It was the act of being born that made me a U.S. citizen.”
The Obama administration has intervened in a landmark legal case brought by the American victims of Palestinian terrorists, urging the court to limit restitution for the victims out of fear that a sizable payout could collapse the Palestinian government, according to a copy of the court filing.
Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken argued in a filing to a New York City court that a hefty payout to the victims of Palestinian terror crimes could burden the Palestinian Authority (PA) and interfere in Obama administration efforts to foster peace in the region.
The victims are entitled to as much as $655 million from the PA following the conclusion of a decade-long lawsuit that exposed the Palestinian government’s role in supporting and paying for terror attacks in Israel.
The administration’s intervention in the case has drawn criticism from U.S. lawmakers and some of those affected by the decision.
While the administration supports the right of terror victims to sue in U.S. courts, it remains particularly concerned about the PA’s solvency.
“The United States respectfully urges the Court to carefully consider the impact of its decision on the continued viability of the PA in light of the evidence about its financial situation,” Blinken writes in his “statement of interest.” “An event that deprives the PA of a significant portion of its revenues would likely severely compromise the PA’s ability to operate as a governmental authority.”
Blinken goes on to warn that the case could impact U.S. security interests and its role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
“A PA insolvency and collapse would harm current and future U.S.-led efforts to achieve a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Blinken writes.
Representatives to the PA had been lobbying the Justice and State Departments to get involved in the case for some time. The PA maintains that it does not have enough funds to pay a bond requirement and has petitioned the judge in the case to drop it.
However, a lawyer representing the victims argues that if the Palestinian government can continue paying terrorists currently imprisoned in Israeli jails, it can pay the victims of these terror acts.
“We are gratified that the Department of Justice supports the rights of survivors of international terrorism to enforce their rights and collect the judgment, but disappointed that the State Department failed to take any stand against the PLO and PA’s policy of putting convicted terrorists on their payroll as soon as they are jailed,” lawyer Kent Yalowitz was quoted as saying in a statement. “If the PA has enough money to pay convicted terrorists, it has enough to pay the judgment in this case.”
Ron Gould, a plaintiff in the case, told the Washington Free Beacon in an interview that there was no reason for the Obama administration to intervene.
“There was really no reason for them to even get involved,” said Gould, whose daughter Shayna was shot in the chest and nearly killed by Palestinian terrorists. “For the Obama administration to stick their fingers where they don’t belong is unconscionable.”
The PA “still seems to have the money to pay the families of the terrorists on an ongoing basis,” Gould said. “They do have the money to pay the piper for losing the court case.”
Shayna Gould welcomed the administration’s filing in the case, saying it reaffirms the rights of terror victims to have a fair day in court.
However, she called the argument that the PA could be bankrupted as a result of the suit “ironic, considering they pay terrorists on a monthly basis.”
Shayna Gould said the PA had been hinting that the U.S. government would get involved for quite some time
“It was a fear. It was a huge fear,” she said, adding that the PA should be forced to finally pay up.
“They, with pride, give money and rank of the highest honor to terrorists and people who commit murder,” Gould said. “Does that sound like clipping coupons and saving pennies?”
“I have to deal with [the impact of their violence] in my life on a constant basis,” Gould added, explaining that she deals with physical pain on a daily basis since the attack. “There is no limit to our suffering.”
Jewish human rights group B’nai B’rith was also critical of the administration’s intervention.
“There needs to be a price paid for committing acts of terror and the means available to prosecute those responsible,” the group said in a release. “While the victims’ families cannot bring their loved ones back, they can go to the courts to achieve redress.”
One of the more controversial scandals dogging likely Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has been her use of a private email account on a private server to conduct official public business during her tenure at the State Department.
Government watchdog group Judicial Watch had previously sued to gain access to Hillary’s emails, which they claimed should be public record, but Hillary has kept them hidden and a court had tossed out the original lawsuit.
However, federal Judge Reggie Walton has agreed to reopen the lawsuit after Judicial Watch and the State Department reached an agreement stating that Hillary Clinton should have turned over all of the documents she held on her private email server.
It should be remembered that Hillary has claimed to have turned over to the State Department only about half of the emails on her private server, deleting more than 30,000 others she determined on her own to be “private” in nature.
According to Fox News, Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said, “This is the first case that’s been reopened. It’s a significant development. It points to the fraud by this administration and Mrs. Clinton.”
This decision could ultimately result in Hillary being ordered to turn over the server to an independent third party that could objectively sort through whatever traces remained on it.
There are many who suspect Hillary’s private email server contained evidence related to the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, as well as of her involvement in a “pay-to-play” scheme that involved the trading of political favors for major donations to the Clinton Foundation.
Thanks to this federal judge, America may finally find out just what Hillary has been hiding on that private server.
Please share this on Facebook and Twitter if you are glad this judge decided to reopen the lawsuit demanding access to all of Hillary’s emails, not just the ones she decided to turn over herself.
What a disaster.
Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby charged the wrong people, wrong names, wrong birth dates and wrong address during Friday’s much hyped press conference.
The six Baltimore officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray are (top row from left) Caesar Goodson Jr., Garrett Miller, Edward Nero and (bottom row from left) William Porter, Brian Rice and Alicia White. (Baltimore Police Department via AP)
“When Miss Mosby stood up in front of the world with her theatrics at her press conference last Friday she charged two of the wrong people. Now, when I say she charged two of the wrong people, I don’t mean she charged two of the wrong officers. I mean she charged the wrong people. Innocent people. Of the six police officers that were charged two of them were charged under the wrong names, the wrong dates of birth and the wrong addresses.
And because of that, reporters went to the wrong addresses of these innocent people, these private citizens and whose lives have now been invaded. They went to their homes, knocked on their doors. They harassed them. They went to their neighbors and attempted to get interviews. And it wasn’t until these innocent people these private citizens contacted their local state’s attorney’s offices that this problem was rectified.”
The Baltimore Sun reported on the mistake.
When charges were announced Friday against Alicia White for the death ofFreddie Gray, her phone started buzzing from journalists and bail bondsmen.*
The problem was, they were calling the wrong Alicia White. The elementary school cafeteria manager from East Baltimore was not the Baltimore Police sergeant charged with manslaughter in the high-profile police custody death – even though court records listed her.
The middle initial was off. Her address, her height, her weight, her driver’s license number – all of the information was my client’s information,” said Jeremy Eldridge, an attorney who says he has been hired by the resident.
“Her life has been a living hell the past four days,” he said.
An attorney for Lt. Brian Rice said his client’s information was also entered incorrectly when prosecutors filed charges, but declined further comment.
On Friday evening, Tammy and Brian Rice of Brunswick, Md. said they were receiving multiple calls from reporters looking for the lieutenant. Brian Rice of Brunswick is a plumber, they said.
The Baltimore Sheriff’s Office, which assisted the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office in charging the officers, declined to comment and referred questions to prosecutors, who could not immediately be reached.
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Obamacare cannot force companies to pay for emergency contraceptive coverage for their employees that could lead to abortions, in violation of their religious beliefs.
The 5-4 ruling delivered a huge victory to conservatives who have worked for years to scale back the various mandates of the controversial healthcare law.
The Court decided that Obamacare cannot be used to require for-profit, closely held companies to provide certain birth control drugs and devices – such as morning after pills – that could cause abortion.
The case was brought by Hobby Lobby, a Oklahoma-based retail chain owned by the Green family. The Greens said they are willing to cover 16 of the 20 birth control methods mandated by Obamacare to its employees, but not four others because the risk of abortion goes against their religious beliefs.
The company argued before the Court that the Obamacare mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, which says the government cannot place burdens on the exercise of freedom of religion.
“Providing these objectionable drugs and devices violates the deeply held religious convictions of the Greens – the sole owners of their family businesses – that life begins at conception,” the company’s website says. “Yet refusing to comply with the federal mandate would subject them to an untenable choice of paying substantial fines or discontinuing the outstanding and affordable health insurance plan currently provided to their valued employees.”
The majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito agreed with that argument. According to SCOTUS Blog, the Obama administration failed to show that the broad contraception mandate is the least restrictive way of advancing its interest in ensuring access to birth control. The Court also ruled that the decision applies only to the contraception mandate, not other insurance mandates, such as those involving vaccinations.
Justice Anthony Kennedy noted that the government could pay for this coverage if it wants to make it available, but cannot compel a company to do so.
The decision deals a big hit to the Obama administration, which defended its interpretation of the law as something that forces companies to provide all manner of birth control methods to workers.
Republicans in Congress welcomed the high court’s ruling.
“Religious liberty will remain intact and all Americans can stay true to their faith without fear of big government intervention or punishment,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). “Our nation was founded on the principle of freedom, and with this decision, America will continue to serve as a safe haven for those looking to exercise religious liberty.”
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) called the ruling a victory for religious freedom and a defeat for the Obama administration’s “Big Government objectives.”
“The mandate overturned today would have required for-profit companies to choose between violating their constitutionally-protected faith or paying crippling fines, which would have forced them to lay off employees or close their doors,” he said.
“The president’s health care law remains an unworkable mess and a drag on our economy,” he added. “We must repeal it and enact better solutions that start with lowering Americans’ health care costs.”
The case is Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby, referring to Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell. She replaced Kathleen Sebelius earlier this year – prior to that, the case was Sebelius vs. Hobby Lobby.
The case is second big blow to Obama from the Supreme Court in as many weeks. Last week, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that President Obama’s 2012 “recess” appointments were not legal, because Obama made them when the Senate was not in recess.
That ruling prompted Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to say the decision was the biggest rebuke to a sitting president since 1974, when the Court decided unanimously that President Nixon must release the Watergate tapes.
Also related to abortion, the Court last week struck down a Massachusetts law that said people can’t stand on a public road or sidewalk within 35 feet of an abortion clinic.
The Supreme Court on Monday limited the power of public-sector unions to compel employees to pay contributions, dealing a setback to public-sector unions.
But the 5-4 decision, written by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, wasn’t as sweeping as some union advocates had feared.
“This is a substantial obstacle to expanding public employee unions, but it does not gut them,” SCOTUSblog’s Tom Goldstein wrote.
Unions had been concerned that the court would strike down laws in 26 states requiring teachers, police officers, firefighters, and other public-sector employees to pay dues to the unions that negotiate contracts on their behalf, even if the workers don’t want to become union members.
The court hedged somewhat, but the decision is still a setback for public-sector unions. In a 5-4 decision written by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, the court “recognized a category of ‘partial public employees’ who could not be required to contribute to union fees,” according to SCOTUSblog. Unions worried the court would rule all public employees could not be forced to pay, which would dry up their ranks and their coffers.
“It remains possible that in a later case the Court will overturn its prior precedent and forbid requiring public employees to contribute to union bargaining. But today it has refused to go that far. The unions have lost a tool to expand their reach. But they have dodged a major challenge to their very existence,” Goldstein wrote.
The case, Harris v. Quinn, stemmed from a challenge in Illinois involving in-home care providers. Illinois uses Medicaid funds to pay in-home care workers, but turnover was high at the low-paying jobs. In response, more than 20,000 in-home car workers organized and joined the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), after executive orders from Govs. Rod Blagojevich and Pat Quinn, both Democrats, classified them as “public employees.”
The National Right to Work Foundation brought a challenge to Quinn in 2010, arguing workers who didn’t want to participate in the union shouldn’t have to pay the dues.