Can Trump “Flip” the Circuit Courts? He’s Closer Than You Think | First Liberty

Right now, there are over 140 judicial vacancies that need to be filled, and needless to say, Senate Republicans have their work cut out for them.

And because judges have such profound influence in the way you and millions of Americans live out your faith, we’d like to let you in on a little secret about judicial nominations.

Here’s some “inside baseball” you’re not going to get anywhere else.

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Newspaper column: States should not be granted absolute immunity « #4TH ST8

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case this past week that could alter the ability of a private citizen to seek justice in his state’s courts when public employees from another state abuse their powers and step over the line of common decency. The case is titled Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt.

It all started in 1993 when a tax auditor for the Franchise Tax Board of California read a newspaper article about how wealthy California computer chip inventor, Gilbert Hyatt, had recently moved to Nevada, which, unlike California, has no income tax. The auditor investigated and concluded Hyatt had not moved to Nevada as early as he claimed. The tax board said Hyatt owed California nearly $15 million in taxes and penalties.

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Solicitor general still undecided on new trial for Bundy

OJ Appellate Chief and Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth White revealed Francisco’s apparent indecision on Wednesday in a request to delay opening briefs in the case, which centers on a 2014 armed standoff between the Bundys and their supporters and the Bureau of Land Management.

“Despite the government’s diligent efforts, the Solicitor General’s review of the matter is not yet complete,” White wrote, pointing to the “massive” record in the case. “His Office, and the Solicitor General himself, are carefully reviewing the issues, the record, and the draft government brief.”

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#APNewsBreak: New pen may allow sale of horses for slaughter

RENO, Nev. (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service has built a new corral for wild horses in Northern California, which could allow it to bypass federal restrictions and sell the animals for slaughter.

The agency acknowledged in court filings in a potentially precedent-setting legal battle that it built the pen for mustangs gathered in the fall on national forest land along the California-Nevada border because of restrictions on such sales at other federal holding facilities.

The agency denies claims by horse advocates it has made up its mind to sell the more than 250 horses for slaughter. But it also says it may have no choice because of the high cost of housing the animals and continued ecological impacts it claims overpopulated herds are having on federal rangeland.

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Full stay issued in Pahrump water order appeal

After issuing a temporary postponement earlier this month, the Nevada Supreme Court has now ordered that the district court ruling reversing Nevada State Engineer Order #1293A be stayed until the appeal filed by the engineer’s office has made its way through the system and a final determination is made.

“Appellant state engineer filed an emergency motion to stay the district court’s order pending appeal and we entered a temporary stay pending receipt and consideration of any opposition, which respondents (Pahrump Fair Water) have now filed. Having considered appellant’s motion and supporting documents, respondents’ opposition and appellants’ reply under the NRAP8 (Nevada Rules of Appellate Procedure) factors, we conclude that the balance of harms weighs in favor of a stay,” the filing, signed off by Supreme Court Justices Jim Hardesty, Lidia Stiglich and Abbi Silver, states. “Accordingly, we grant appellant’s motion and stay enforcement of the district court’s Dec. 6 order granting judicial review and reversing state engineer Order #1293A, pending further order of this court.”

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Brian “Booda” Cavalier, 47, of Mesa, Arizona, was told he won’t serve any more time

Brian “Booda” Cavalier, 47, of Mesa, Arizona, was told he won’t serve any more time than the 20 months he spent in federal custody between his arrest in early 2016 and his guilty plea in October 2017 to two charges of conspiracy to impede and injure a federal officer.

Navarro also sentenced Cavalier to one year of federal supervision, ordered him to undergo substance abuse treatment and prohibited him from communicating with other people connected with the standoff.

Cavalier also pleaded guilty to a weapons charge in Oregon and was sentenced in 2016 to time already served in federal custody in Portland for his role in a 41-day armed occupation of a wildlife refuge with more than two dozen people including Bundy sons Ryan and Ammon Bundy in January 2016.

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New Organization to Build U.S. Southern Border Wall – Announced by War Hero, Triple-Amputee Veteran behind “Fund the Wall” GoFundMe

WASHINGTON—Heartened by the overwhelming support of fellow Americans who have donated over $20 million to the viral GoFundMe campaign “We the People Will Fund the Wall,” war hero and triple-amputee veteran Brian Kolfage announced the launch of a 501(c)4 called “We Build the Wall, Inc.” which will fund the private construction of a wall along the United States’ Southern Border.

“We are grateful for the President’s steadfast commitment to border security, the single most important issue plaguing our country,” said Kolfage. “Rather than subsidizing the federal government, which has betrayed the American people by obstructing President Donald Trump’s agenda, ‘We Build the Wall’ is taking the President’s signature campaign promise into our own hands. I personally will not take a penny of compensation from these donations incurred in the furtherance of this mission.”

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Nevada Supreme Court Temporary Stay issued in Pahrump water order case | #PVT

The Nevada Supreme Court has issued a temporary stay in the case of Water Order #1293A, allowing the Nevada state engineer, for the moment, to continue requiring water rights relinquishments for all new domestic wells drilled in Pahrump.

The temporary stay comes as part of the appeal process, with the state engineer going to the Nevada Supreme Court after a district court judge ruled against the office in the lawsuit brought forward by Pahrump Fair Water.

However, it is only a temporary stay and it is possible that the Nevada Supreme Court could reverse that stay after considering the opposition provided by Pahrump Fair Water.

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#Perspectives: Authentic vs. superficial leadership, can you spot the difference? – Bryan Hyde

OPINION — If someone asked you to describe what an example of leadership might look like, what would you say? For most of us, the temptation would be irresistible to point to someone else – anyone else – who is in a position of prominence.

I can think of a better example.

A longtime friend in Southern Utah recently noted on Facebook that, after 45 years, he was changing his voter registration to unaffiliated.

This was no petulant overreaction to a political race that didn’t go his way. It was a conscious and principled decision to part ways with a political party that has been in decline for many years.

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Injunctive relief denied in Nevada Assembly appointment lawsuit | #PVT

The hearing today was attended by many of the disenfranchised Nye County voters whose presence showed support for my lawsuit against the unlawful actions of the outgoing Nye County Board of County Commissioners in the process to replace Dennis Hof. However, it becomes a very expensive process to fight city hall (the county) and the court did not grant our petition for injunctive relief,” Goedhart said. “With an unlimited taxpayer-funded checkbook, Nye County clearly has the upper hand moving forward.”

Regardless of this, Goedhart said he plans to continue pressing his case. “In speaking with my legal team… the consensus was that… there are excellent grounds to continue the lawsuit. I have received hundreds of phone calls, texts, and emails from Nye County voters encouraging me to press on. After careful consideration, I have instructed my legal team to press forward in our pursuit of justice,” he stated.

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TRANQUIL? ‘Pile’ of 20 or So Corpses Found Near US-Mexico Border – BLP

About 20 dead bodies were found along the U.S./Mexico border in the Rio Grande Valley, mere miles from where CNN’s Jim Acosta reported Thursday that things were “tranquil” in border land.

“Mexico’s president says an undetermined number of bodies have been found in the northern Mexico border state of Tamaulipas in what appears to have been a mass killing involving drug gangs,” said KRON4. “Local media report that between 19 and 20 burned bodies were found near the remains of burned-out pickup trucks near the border town of Miguel Aleman.”

There are several towns called Miguel Aleman in Mexico, but the report said that this town was located in the Rio Grande Valley. The only Miguel Aleman in the Rio Grande Valley is just an hour and a half from where CNN’s Jim Acosta said things were “tranquil” near McAllen, Texas, where there is a border wall:

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Left-wing Hate Group SPLC Faces Charges of Racketeering and Abetting Theft

The smear merchants of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) may have set out to destroy the wrong lawyer. PJ Media is reporting that last month, Glen Keith Allen, a Baltimore attorney, filed suit against the SPLC, alleging the left-wing hate group paid for stolen documents, violated confidentiality agreements, and caused him to be fired by the City of Baltimore over Allen’s former association with the National Alliance (NA), a white nationalist group.

Allen has admitted to his past support for the NA and now claims he deeply regrets that association.

Allen’s lawsuit basically accuses the SPLC of punishing “thought crime” through intimidation and character assassination. According to the complaint, the SPLC has chosen to “draw lines of political or cultural orthodoxy, develop massive surveillance networks and extensive dossiers and severely punish perceived transgressors who cross those lines, seem to cross them, or even seem to think about crossing them.

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The State of Hate | Is the Southern Poverty Law Center, judging hate fairly?

The SPLC’s definition of a hate group is “an organization that — based on its official statements or principles, the statements of its leaders, or its activities — has beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics,” including race, religion, ethnicity and sexual orientation. It’s a standard that is in line with the latest thinking among scholars of hate, and also one that intentionally parallels the FBI’s definition of a hate crime.

Does an alliance of lawyers with conservative Christian leanings that has won nine cases before the U.S. Supreme Court in the past seven years meet that criteria? According to Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project — which produces the hate list — the decision to put the Alliance Defending Freedom on the list for 2016 was a judgment call that went all the way up to top leadership at the SPLC.

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Editorial: Rooftop solar mandate not a good idea « 4TH ST8

Now that California’s Energy Commission has approved mandatory efficiency standards for all homes built in the state after Jan. 1, 2020, including the requirement that rooftop solar panels be used, a self-styled environmental group is calling on every state to require solar panels on new homes.

Environment America Research & Policy Center says the requirement would save homeowners money and clean up the environment.

The California Energy Commission predicts that its new efficiency measures will mean new homes will use 7 percent less energy, but when the solar generation is factored in the home will use about 53 percent less electricity from the grid. So the bulk of the “savings” will come from the solar panels.

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Good-bye 2018 and good riddance « 4TH ST8

It’s called voting with your feet.

A remarkable number of well-heeled Americans are doing just that, and it should serve as a warning to Nevada voters and candidates as we enter an election year. Though Republican governors in recent years have shepherded through the Legislature record-high tax increases, Nevada still fares fairly well in comparison to other states when it comes to the tax burden borne by citizens of the Silver State. …

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California: 31 New Laws That May Impact Californians in 2019 | ECT

In 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown signed more than 1,016 Bills into law. Here are 31 bills you should know about that just may impact your life.

Prior to getting to those, quick reminder that those of you crossing bridges, will now pay an extra dollar. Crossing the Bay Bridge is now $7. Bridge fare at Antioch, Benicia-Martinez, Carquinez, Dumbarton, Richmond-San Rafael and San Mateo-Hayward bridges is now $6.

Also going into effect is Proposition 63 which now requires background checks for ammunition purchases and large-capacity ammunition magazine ban. By July 1, 2019, vendors selling ammunition (see AB 156 below) will begin logging and keeping records of ammunition sales.

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Inside Facebook’s Secret Rulebook for Global Political Speech – NYT

MENLO PARK, Calif. — In a glass conference room at its California headquarters, Facebook is taking on the bonfires of hate and misinformation it has helped fuel across the world, one post at a time.

The social network has drawn criticism for undermining democracy and for provoking bloodshed in societies small and large.

But for Facebook, it’s also a business problem.

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CONFIRMED: The Government CAN Build The Wall With Brian Kolfage’s GoFundMe Money – BLPolitics

A total of $17,313,633 had been donated by 284,843  individuals in just 9 days as of late afternoon December 26, to fund part of the border wall. The campaign is a GoFundMe appeal started by U.S. Air Force veteran and triple-amputee Brian Kolfage.  His campaign has more information at www.WeFundTheWall.com. 

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Farm Bill Ends the Debate – Horses are Livestock ⇛ Protect The Harvest

Last week, the Farm Bill was passed through both chambers of Congress and was signed by President Donald Trump. While the bill focuses largely on conservation, nutrition, and commodities titles, a “Miscellaneous” title in the bill includes most of the provisions for livestock industries. It is in this section where horses were classified once and for all as livestock.

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Column: Federal sports betting bill usurps state powers « 4TH ST8

Now, precisely where in the U.S. Constitution is Congress given the power to “maintain a distinct Federal interest in the integrity and character of professional and amateur sporting contests”?

But this is what a bill introduced this past week by Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York — dubbed the Sports Wagering Market Integrity Act of 2018 — the claim is grounds for imposing federal suzerainty over the eight states that currently allow sports wagering.

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Lawyer asks government if it will continue ‘gross injustice’ against Bundys

The federal government is preparing to appeal the dismissal of charges against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, his sons, and supporters for the 2014 armed standoff with Bureau of Land Management agents

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Facebook shuts down Church group’s paid campaign to endorse William Perry Pendley

Victor and Annette Fuentes, have been fighting the USFW for over ten years, trying to restore the water that was diverted illegally from their property in Armogosa Valley of Nevada.  Mountain States Legal Foundation founded by William Perry Pendle has been […]

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Ranchers reveling in Trump’s proposed rollback of water regulations | Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The Trump administration’s proposed rollback of an Obama-era rule defining what waterways fall under federal jurisdiction was hailed by ranchers and private property advocates and blasted by environmental groups.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers released proposed revisions to the 2015 rule that was challenged by 21 states, including Utah.

American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall said Obama’s rule required “drastic” action by farmers and ranchers across the country, spawning a nationwide campaign called “Ditch the Rule.”

At the press event announcing the proposed revisions, Duvall said all presidents of the federation’s 50 chapters were in the room as a show of support.

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