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‘I Cannot Think of Many Things More Frightening’: Justice Kagan Rebukes SCOTUS Conservatives Over EPA Ruling

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In a sharply-worded dissent, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan leveled extremely strong criticism against her right-wing colleagues who ruled in a 6-3 decision that the Environmental Protection Agency does not have broad authority to regulate greenhouse gasses as the climate warms to what experts warn are dangerous levels.

“The subject matter of the regulation here makes the Court’s intervention all the more troubling,” Justice Kagan writes in her dissent. “Whatever else this Court may know about, it does not have a clue about how to address climate change. And let’s say the obvious: The stakes here are high. Yet the Court today prevents congressionally authorized agency action to curb power plants’ carbon dioxide emissions. The Court appoints itself—instead of Congress or the expert agency—the decision-maker on climate policy. I cannot think of many things more frightening.”

Justice Kagan began her lengthy dissent by saying: “Today, the Court strips the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the power Congress gave it to respond to ‘the most pressing environmental challenge of our time.'”

The Clean Air Act, first signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson and amended over the years by Democratic and Republican presidents, has been used by the EPA for decades, successfully saving “millions of lives and trillions of dollars.”

Kagan highlights that “there was no reason to reach out to decide this case,” as it examines an executive branch policy that was never enacted, and criticizes what she sees as the Supreme Court’s previous “unprecedented” interference in the EPA’s activities.

“This Court has obstructed EPA’s effort from the beginning. Right after the Obama administration issued the Clean Power Plan, the Court stayed its implementation. That action was unprecedented: Never before had the Court stayed a regulation then under review in the lower courts.”

And she appears to be accusing the conservative majority of just making things up.

“The majority claims it is just following precedent, but that is not so. The Court has never even used the term ‘major questions doctrine’ before.”

The case is West Virginia v. EPA.

 

 

 

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BREAKING NEWS

First Lady Jill Biden Tests Positive for COVID

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First Lady Dr. Jill Biden has tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms, her office announced Tuesday morning. She is being treated with Paxlovid.

“After testing negative for COVID-19 on Monday during her regular testing cadence, the First Lady began to develop cold-like symptoms late in the evening,” Dr. Biden’s Communications Director Elizabeth Alexander said in a statement.

“She tested negative again on a rapid antigen test, but a PC test came back positive. The First Lady is double-vaccinated, twice boosted, and only experiencing mild symptoms. She has been prescribed a course of Paxlovid and, following CDC guidance, will isolate from others for at least five days. Close contacts of the First Lady have been notified. She is currently staying at a private residence in South Carolina and will return home after she receives two consecutive negative COVID tests.”

President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID on July 21, and was also prescribed Paxlovid. He has repeatedly tested negative in recent weeks.

The White House adds Tuesday: “The President tested negative for COVID this morning on an antigen test. Consistent with CDC guidance because he is a close contact of the First Lady, he will mask for 10 days when indoors and in close proximity to others. We will also increase the President’s testing cadence and report those results.”

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

 

Image: Official White House Photo by Erin Scott via Flickr 

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BREAKING NEWS

‘Direct Personal Knowledge’: Federal Judge Denies Lindsey Graham’s Request to Quash Subpoena Ordering Him to Testify

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A federal judge in Georgia Monday morning denied U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham‘s motion to quash a subpoena from the Fulton County special purpose grand jury investigating efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Politico’s Kyle Cheney was first to report the development.

“Senator Graham has direct personal knowledge of conversations with Georgia election officials which have been the subject of public dispute as to the nature of his inquiries and requests, including any implicit or overt suggestions to discard ballots or otherwise alter the election results,” U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May writes.

Quoting Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, Judge May notes that “the District Attorney described Senator Graham as a ‘necessary and material witness in [the Special Purpose Grand Jury] investigation’ not only because of his personal knowledge of the phone calls with Georgia election officials, but also because he possesses ‘unique knowledge’ concerning ‘the Trump Campaign and other known and unknown individuals involved in the multi-state, coordinated efforts to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.'”

READ MORE: Georgia DA Says ‘Possible’ Trump Could Be Subpoenaed, Lindsey Graham ‘Doesn’t Understand Seriousness’ of Investigation

Graham will have to prove his case if he wants to avoid testifying. As Judge May’s explanation of the arguments in the case suggests, that may prove challenging.

Judge May says in her ruling that “the Court finds that there are considerable areas of potential grand jury inquiry falling outside the Speech or Debate Clause’s protections.”

“Additionally, sovereign immunity fails to shield Senator Graham from testifying before the Special Purpose Grand Jury. Finally, though Senator Graham argues that he is exempt from testifying as a high-ranking government official, the Court finds that the District Attorney has shown extraordinary circumstances and a special need for Senator Graham’s testimony on issues relating to alleged attempts to influence or disrupt the lawful administration of Georgia’s 2022 elections.”

Because Sen. Graham asked for the subpoena to effectively be tossed out, the judge did not dive further into the merits, instead ordering the case be sent back to the Superior Court of Fulton County.

READ MORE: Lindsey Graham Again Consults With Trump’s Attorneys – in the Middle of the Trial: ‘They Actually Pulled Him Off Floor’

He will have to either testify or convince the court he is somehow immune from doing so.

As the judge wrote, those issues Graham will have to address include his claim “that the Speech or Debate Clause of the U.S. Constitution completely shields his testimony,” “that the doctrine of sovereign immunity protects him from testifying,” and “that the subpoena should be quashed because he is a high-ranking government official.”

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

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BREAKING NEWS

Trump Under FBI Investigation for Potential Violation of the Espionage Act Legal Experts Say

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‘Simply Jaw-Dropping’: Legal Experts Also Stunned Over Top Secret, Confidential Contents of Cartons FBI Seized From Mar-a-Lago

“A search warrant viewed by POLITICO reveals that the FBI is investigating Donald Trump for a potential violation of the Espionage Act and removed classified documents from the former president’s Florida estate earlier this week,” Politico reports.

The New York Times also confirms.

“Federal agents who executed the warrant did so to investigate potential crimes associated with violations of the Espionage Act, which outlaws the unauthorized retention of national security information that could harm the United States or aid a foreign adversary; a federal law that makes it a crime to destroy or conceal a document to obstruct a government investigation; and another statute associated with unlawful removal of government materials.”

Based on the search warrant released to far-right media outlet Breitbart News, multiple legal experts also say Donald Trump, the former president is under FBI investigation for potentially violating the Espionage Act.

READ MORE: FBI Agents Searched Mar-a-Lago for ‘Classified Documents Relating to Nuclear Weapons’: Report

“A federal magistrate judge has found probable cause to believe evidence of the crime of ESPIONAGE to be found at Mar-A-Lago. Repeat 5 times,” writes former U.S. Attorney and DOJ official Harry Litman, now an LA Times legal affairs columnist. He also notes that “top secret/compartmented is stratospherically high classification. Scandal he ever had in [those documents] the first place.”

Top national security lawyer Brad Moss writes: “18 U.S.C. 793 – Espionage Act. That’s for willful/grossly negligent removal of information relating to the national defense. 18 U.S.C. 2017 and 18 U.S.C. 1519 – that’s for concealing federal records.”

Moss also retweeted this statement by veteran Cox Radio Capitol Hill correspondent Jamie Dupree:

“So the leak of the Trump search warrant via Breitbart indicates that former President Donald Trump is under investigation for violating the Espionage Act and for Obstruction of Justice.”

Civil liberties and national security journalist Marcy Wheeler also confirms, writing: “The hilarious thing is that since Brietbart doesn’t even know what a Supervisory Special Agent is, they probably don’t realize they’ve confirmed that Trump is under investigation for violating the Espionage Act.”

READ MORE: Suspect Who Shot Up FBI Office Days After Mar-a-Lago Raid Was Trump Supporter Who Called to Kill FBI ‘On Sight’: Report

Western New England University School of Law law professor Jennifer Taub also confirms, writing: “Donald Trump is being investigated for espionage.”

The Wall Street Journal was first to publish details of what FBI agents seized from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago mansion on Monday. Legal experts have been calling Friday afternoon’s revelations “jaw-dropping.”

FBI agents “removed 11 sets of classified documents, including some marked as top secret and meant to be only available in special government facilities, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal,” the WSJ report states.

Despite initial reports the FBI seized between ten and 12 cartons of documents and other materials unlawfully removed from the White House to Mar-a-Lago, there were 20 cartons retrieved. That is in addition to the 15 cartons the National Archives were forced to retrieve earlier this year.

“The list includes references to one set of documents marked as ‘Various classified/TS/SCI documents,’ an abbreviation that refers to top-secret/sensitive compartmented information. It also says agents collected four sets of top secret documents, three sets of secret documents, and three sets of confidential documents. The list didn’t provide any more details about the substance of the documents.”

The classified/TS/SCI markings are the most important.

Legal experts say the search warrant was “broad,” and indeed the Journal reports the warrant “shows that FBI agents sought to search ‘the 45 Office,’ as well as ‘all storage rooms and all other rooms or areas within the premises used or available to be used by [the former president] and his staff and in which boxes or documents could be stored, including all structures or buildings on the estate.'”

Late Thursday evening The Washington Post revealed FBI agents were looking to retrieve classified documents “related to nuclear weapons,” making Monday’s raid all the more important, and Trump and his teams handling – or mishandling – of those documents all the more egregious.

The George Washington University Law School’s Professor of Government Procurement Law, Steven L. Schooner, says, “removal of, failure to account for, & failure to return (under subpoena) ‘classified/TS/SCI documents’ is, ugh, simply jaw-dropping, and that’s regardless of whether it’s nuclear-related.”

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.

 

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