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Monday, August 29, 2011

Churches sue to stop Alabama Immigration law

Unjust law to create Gestapo state

This is really an interesting suit. These religious leaders are suing the state of Alabama for passing a law that criminalizes helping the poor. Can you see them leading away your church leaders and the little old ladies that volunteer to work in the soup kitchens to jail to charge them with aiding and abetting illegal aliens? I am proud that both my former and present churches have joined in this lawsuit.


Clergy Sues To Stop Alabama's Immigration Law

In June, marchers protested Alabama's new law cracking down on illegal immigration. The state's United Methodist, Episcopal and Roman Catholic churches have sued, arguing the law that's set to take effect Sept. 1 violates their religious freedom.
Enlarge Jay Reeves/AP In June, marchers protested Alabama's new law cracking down on illegal immigration. The state's United Methodist, Episcopal and Roman Catholic churches have sued, arguing the law that's set to take effect Sept. 1 violates their religious freedom.
In June, marchers protested Alabama's new law cracking down on illegal immigration. The state's United Methodist, Episcopal and Roman Catholic churches have sued, arguing the law that's set to take effect Sept. 1 violates their religious freedom.
Jay Reeves/AP
In June, marchers protested Alabama's new law cracking down on illegal immigration. The state's United Methodist, Episcopal and Roman Catholic churches have sued, arguing the law that's set to take effect Sept. 1 violates their religious freedom.
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August 23, 2011
Alabama's new immigration law gets its first test in federal court Wednesday.
The Justice Department and civil rights groups are suing to stop what's considered to be the toughest illegal immigration crackdown coming out of the states.
But the law is also being challenged from a Bible Belt institution.
'It Goes Against Tenets Of Our Christian Faith'
At First United Methodist Church in downtown Birmingham, clergy from around the city take turns leading a prayer service called in response to the new immigration law.
Episcopal priest Herman Afanador, Baptist pastor Amanda Duckworth, and Methodist minister Melissa Self Patrick are part of a growing chorus of critics who say the Alabama law goes too far, criminalizing all kinds of contact with undocumented residents. It's illegal, for example, to knowingly enter into a contract with, to rent to, to harbor or to transport illegal immigrants.
You cannot tell a church that if there's a man hungry out there, a family hungry out there, that they can't feed them just because they don't have a green card. That's not Christian.
The state's United Methodist, Episcopal and Roman Catholic churches have sued, arguing it violates their religious freedom.
Patrick, who runs the inner-city ministry of the United Methodist church in Birmingham, says being a good Samaritan could now be illegal.
"This new legislation goes against the tenets of our Christian faith — to welcome the stranger, to offer hospitality to anyone," she says.
Some here see the issue through the lens of Alabama's history, including Lawton Higgs, 71, a retired Methodist minister.
"And I'm a recovering racist, transformed by the great fruits of the civil rights movement in this city," he says.
Higgs says he and his church were on the wrong side of that moral battle in the '60s, so he is pleased to see the churches entering the fray now. He likens Alabama's immigration law to Jim Crow — legislating second-class status for illegal immigrants.
"This is an expression of the same — what was called the white Southern redeemers," he says.
'This Is An Issue Of Right And Wrong'
But supporters say that's not a fair way to look at the immigration crackdown.
"It's not about racism; it is just about citizen rights," says Shawn Shelton, who runs a Christian soccer league in Birmingham. Shelton says the current situation hurts out-of-work Alabamians, and immigrants who came here through legal avenues. He says the church lawsuit is off-base.
You can't do things to help people remain in the state illegally.
"It's not a separation-of-church-and-state issue here. This is an issue of right or wrong. And it is an issue of peoples' rights, even more so for the illegals," he says. "Who are they going to run to and say, 'Look we're only getting paid $6 an hour with no insurance and it's all under the table?' "
On Birmingham talk radio station WAPI this week, one of the bill's sponsors, state Sen. Scott Beason, disputed claims that the law will hinder Christian ministry.
"You can't do things to help people remain in the state illegally," he says. "And that's a little different than going out and picking some kids up for vacation Bible school."
A provision to exempt churches was removed for fear it would create a loophole for labor smugglers to claim they were on the way to revival. That's left a lot of ministers to navigate difficult terrain with their congregations.
Understanding Both Sides
On Tuesday nights, member Brian Williams leads a prayer group at the Elkmont United Methodist church in North Alabama. The Rev. Robert Lancaster says the average-size congregation runs between 95 and 100 on Sunday morning. He calls it "very evangelical, traditional, conservative congregation by far."

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"We're a small country church but we're doing big things for Jesus," Williams says.
As he and Lancaster chat, Williams admits that news of the immigration lawsuit brought by his denomination and others comes as a surprise.
"I was not aware of that. I'm ashamed but I wasn't," he says. "I haven't exactly made that common knowledge. Because this is a very conservative congregation, and from the comments I've heard, I would say at least half this congregation — if not more — support the new law. So [it's] not a discussion that I really want to have at this point."
Williams says he supports the new law, especially in a time of economic uncertainty and state budget woes.
"There can't continue to be a huge influx and a tax on the system that comes out of my paycheck because we can't sustain it," he says.
Still, Lancaster understands why the United Methodist Bishop sued.
"You cannot tell a church that if there's a man hungry out there, a family hungry out there, that they can't feed them just because they don't have a green card," he says. "That's not Christian."
The churches may get clarification on the law after a Wednesday hearing in Birmingham federal court. A U.S. district judge is considering whether to stop the law from going into effect Sept. 1, while all the legal challenges are sorted out.

I am also very proud of the Cathlic Church's stance on this matter as explained below.

Ten reasons why Alabama immigration law is unjust, unconstitutional

Hopefully, I will be proud to be a Lawyer when a Judge or panel of Judges throws all this out on Constitional grounds. Not based upon the rights of the illegals which FOx News will most certainly proclaim but the infridgment upon the rights of law abiding American citizens, just like you and me.

Federal judge halts Alabama immigration law

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
9:13 p.m. Monday, August 29, 2011
A federal judge on Monday temporarily halted Alabama's tough new law targeting illegal immigration, just two months after another federal judge in Atlanta halted a similar law here.
The news from Alabama prompted people on both sides of the debate over illegal immigration here to offer their predictions on what could happen to Georgia's law, also called House Bill 87.
Alabama’s law,  which mirrors parts of Georgia’s statute , was scheduled to take effect Thursday. But Chief U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Blackburna Republican appointee  nominated to the bench by President George H.W. Bush,  issued an order Monday, halting the law until Sept. 29.
In issuing her order, Blackburn did not rule on the merits of the legal challenges, saying she needed more time to do so. She said she will issue her decision by Sept. 28. That didn’t stop people here from speculating on what her ruling could mean for Georgia.
Charles Kuck, a local immigration attorney who is fighting Georgia’s law in court, sees the judge’s ruling as a positive development. He and other opponents of Georgia’s law  argue it intrudes on the federal government’s authority to regulate immigration.
“In one of the most conservative states in the U.S., one of its most conservative judges put a temporary hold on the Alabama anti-immigration law,” he said. “Judges do not do this lightly. Here we see yet another federal judge realize what state legislators refuse to see: There is a limit to what a state can do on immigration enforcement, and that limit is found in the U.S. Constitution.”
On the other side, state Sen. Jack Murphy, a Republican from Cumming and one of the chief supporters of Georgia’s new law, said he wasn’t convinced the judge’s ruling would have any effect here. At the same time, he said he is optimistic Georgia will ultimately prevail in court.
“I am not sure that what [the judge] is doing in Alabama is going to affect us at all,” Murphy said. “I think our chances are still very good and that we will be successful on our appeal on that.”
The Justice Department filed suit this month to block Alabama’s law, arguing it is preempted by federal law. Blackburn heard oral arguments last week. Last year, the Justice Department used a similar legal argument to block parts of Arizona's law.
Civil and immigrant rights groups are suing to block Georgia’s law, arguing it is unconstitutional. Like Arizona’s and Alabama’s laws, Georgia’s statute would punish people who transport or harbor illegal immigrants and empower police to investigate the immigration status of certain suspects. In June, a federal judge in Atlanta temporarily halted these two provisions in Georgia’s law pending the outcome of the court case.
Georgia is asking a federal appeals court in Atlanta to reverse that judge’s decision, arguing the law is needed to help protect the state’s taxpayer-funded resources. In a brief filed with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals this month, the state Attorney General’s Office said Georgia and Atlanta-area counties are spending tens of millions of dollars incarcerating illegal immigrants and providing them with Medicaid benefits at a time of lean budgets.
A spokesman for Gov. Nathan Deal on Monday called Georgia’s law “an effective, constitutional way to decrease illegal immigration.”
“Now, federal courts are slapping the hands of states trying to enforce the law of the land," said Brian Robinson, a spokesman for Deal. "It's mind-boggling that in these tight budget times, the administration is spending money suing states for trying to protect taxpayers. The federal government should be working with us, not against us."
Critics of Georgia’s law said they read nothing new in the state’s arguments this month.
They also questioned the state’s cost estimates and said immigrants significantly contribute to Georgia by working in many of its key industries, spending money here and paying sales taxes.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

I Kid you not, now ATT sues to stop arbitations..Have they no shame

In case you don't get the incredible irony or rank hypocrisy here, this is the same bunch of Jackasses that argued last fall that all antitrust cases could only be tried in Arbitration in ATT vs Concepcion (in which they convinced the "gang of five" in the Supreme Court that they were immune from litigation and could only be sued in individual Arbitration's where they pick the judge and win 98% of the time. )But when they are sued in that exact manner ans ask to arbitrate  in dozens of arbitration's just like they told the Supreme Court in the Spring, they say no you can't do that either. So what they really want now is clear, complete and utter immunity from everything criminal and civil. Bring back the old kings! Shred the constitution. I am sure they are once again counting on the "gang of five" in the Supreme Court  to find a way that they can have their cake and eat it too.  I have full faith they will do just that. They rarely miss a chance to give Corporate America exactly what they want regardless of how much it cost everyone else.  This is the problem with Big Business and arbitrations, as the big billboards used to say in Alabama they are "licenses to steal." Maybe AT&T should spend more money on their crappy service and awful coverage and less on sueing thier customers.

ATT logo REUTERS Shannon Stapleton

AT&T sues customers who seek to block T-Mobile deal

8/17/2011 COMMENTS (0)
NEW YORK, Aug 17 (Reuters) - AT&T is turning to the federal courts to thwart an effort led by law firm Bursor & Fisher to derail AT&T's $39 billion takeover bid for T-Mobile.
In eight lawsuits filed last week, AT&T accused Bursor & Fisher and a second plaintiffs' firm, Faruqi & Faruqi, of trying to pressure AT&T into "an extortionate settlement" by encouraging AT&T customers to file multiple claims against the merger.
Bursor & Fisher launched a "Fight the Merger" campaign in July, saying the megadeal would violate federal antitrust law and restrict competition. So far, Bursor & Fisher has filed 26 arbitration demands and more than 900 notices of dispute on behalf of AT&T customers who oppose the merger.
In the lawsuits filed last week, AT&T argued that the claims, brought under antitrust law, could not be decided in arbitration. AT&T accused the firms of "taking a thousand bites at the apple" in hopes of finding one arbitrator willing to block the merger.
The suits are a dramatic turnaround for AT&T, which just last November argued strongly in favor of arbitration in the Supreme Court case, AT&T v. Concepcion. There, customers had sued AT&T for allegedly advertising discounted cell phones, but charging sales tax on the full price. The Supreme Court sided with AT&T in April, finding that customers who signed phone contracts containing mandatory arbitration clauses waived their right to bring a class action lawsuit against the company. Customers, the court held, had to resolve their disputes with the company in arbitration.
By filing close to a thousand individual arbitration claims, Bursor & Fisher is trying to circumvent the Supreme Court's ruling, AT&T's lawyers said in the eight complaints, which were filed in federal courts across the country.
The complaints point to specific language from customer contracts, which state that customers can only bring claims in their "individual capacity" and "not as a plaintiff or class member in any purported class or representative proceeding."
AT&T argued that although the arbitrations were filed by individual customers, they are not seeking damages for any personal harm they suffered. Rather, they're seeking an injunction to block a $39 billion merger that will affect more than 120 million wireless customers, one complaint said.
"Our arbitration agreement prohibits any form of class-wide relief. The Supreme Court upheld that," AT&T's lawyer, Andrew Pincus, told Reuters. Pincus, of Mayer Brown, also argued the Concepcion case before the Supreme Court.
Scott Bursor, the lawyer behind the "Fight the Merger" campaign, said the American Arbitration Association has already overruled AT&T's objections and moved forward with the arbitration process. "AT&T's filing of these lawsuits appears to be an act of desperation, since AT&T now realizes it faces substantial likelihood that one or more of these arbitrations will stop the takeover from happening," he said in an email, describing the company's legal arguments as "frivolous."
Richard Brunell, the director of legal advocacy at the American Antitrust Institute, described AT&T's legal action as "ironic," given AT&T's prior arguments in the Concepcion case. The problem with the lawsuits, he said, is that AT&T would also prevent customers from filing a lawsuit in federal court. "So their preferred position is that consumers not be able to bring class actions anywhere, which divests consumers of their right to challenge anticompetitive conduct."
But Pincus argued that a single arbitrator should not be able to make a decision that affects "the whole world," pre-empting official reviews by the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Justice and numerous state regulators. Arbitration is not the appropriate venue for an "extremely complicated" analysis of relevant markets, potential effects of the merger on competition and prices and possible enhancements of technological innovation, the complaint said.
Michael Hausfeld, a lawyer who has represented plaintiffs in unrelated antitrust arbitrations, said he knew of no merger that has ever been blocked by an arbitration filed by an individual customer. A pending Department of Justice investigation would likely prevent arbitration proceedings from moving forward, he said.
A representative lawsuit is AT&T Mobility v. Gonnello et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 11-5636.
For AT&T: Anthony Diana, Andrew Pincus, Evan Tager, Archis Parasharami and Kevin Ranlett of Mayer Brown.
For Gonnello et al: Scott Bursor of Bursor & Fisher.
(Reporting by Terry Baynes)
Follow us on Twitter @ReutersLegal 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cash for Kids judge sold kids to priavte prison Are You kidding me?

Someone please kill this guy in prison...

'Cash for kids' judge took $1m kickback from private jail builder to lock children up
By Daniel Bates
Last updated at 7:25 PM on 21st February 2011
A former judge has been convicted of taking a $1million kickback from the builder of a juvenile jail in the notorious ‘cash for kids’ scandal.
Mark Ciavarella sent hundreds of children and teenagers to the private prison for minor crimes after being given the money by the company which ran it.
Some of the children jailed were as young as 10 and at least one killed themselves because the excessive sentences ruined their lives.