Court clears Bar merit campaign

first_imgCourt clears Bar merit campaign Court clears Bar merit campaign The Florida Supreme Court ruled there is nothing improper about The Florida Bar’s campaign encouraging voters to support the merit selection and retention referendum for trial judges that is on the November general election ballot. The October 19 per curiam opinion said the Bar’s activities “are clearly within the parameters previously approved by this court.” Those parameters include an activity that is related to improving the court system, as well as dealing with an issue of “great public interest.” The opinion denies the petition to halt the Bar’s merit selection campaign that was filed by University of Florida law Professor Joe Little, Miami Beach lawyer Will Murphy and Altamonte Springs attorney Harvey Alper. The petitioners argued that the Bar did not have the authority to use its money, resources and reputation in ballot issues, as it does with legislative issues, and using compulsory members dues to fund activities which support issues with which they disagree violates their due process rights. But the high court dismissed that claim, saying, under Rule 2-9.3, members who disagree with a Bar position can seek a refund of the relevant percentage of their fees. The petitioners also argued that the Bar’s brochure outlining its position made a number of false or unprovable claims, such as only the best qualified individuals will be selected as judges under merit selection and that more women and minorities have reached the bench through the appointive system. Justice Fred Lewis concurred with an opinion, and was joined by Justice Barbara Pariente, that said, “This court is not the proper forum for testing, examining or cross-examining the veracity of statements made by the Bar. The proper forum is one that affords proper examination and cross-examination of witnesses and the development of a complete record, which is beyond the capacity of this court.” Justice Lewis said he encouraged “the exploration of the idea of amending the rules to provide flexibility so that activities of the Bar in nondisciplinary settings which involve allegations of false statements may be scrutinized by an impartial fact finder.” Justices Leander Shaw and Harry Lee Anstead concurred with the per curiam opinion in result only. November 1, 2000 Regular Newslast_img read more

Trump’s Election Fraud Claims Make No Headway on Legal Cases

first_imgNo state was seeing more legal activity than Pennsylvania, where the Trump campaign and local Republicans had brought at least a half-dozen lawsuits immediately before and after Election Day.The case that had the potential to affect the most votes was the one filed at the Supreme Court on Friday seeking an order that would force election officials in Pennsylvania to separate mailed ballots that arrived after Election Day from other mailed ballots. In its emergency application, the party acknowledged that the secretary of state’s office had already ordered election officials to do so but said it had no way to know if they had complied. But even if the court were to take the case and rule in favor of the Republicans to wipe out all of the ballots in question — votes from mail ballots have overwhelmingly gone to Mr. Biden — it would not affect the current vote totals, which do not include the ballots that came in after Election Day. By early Friday evening, Mr. Biden had a lead of about 17,000 votes in Pennsylvania.Other suits in Pennsylvania sought to knock out votes that were the result of a decision by Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar to allow county officials to give voters a chance to fix mistakes in their rejected mail-in ballots or to cast provisional votes instead.A federal judge dismissed one of those cases on Friday, in Montgomery County outside Philadelphia, two days after implying during a hearing that he viewed the effort as a move to disenfranchise voters who were following state instructions.But even if that case had succeeded, it would have affected only 93 votes. Similarly, in Michigan, a judge dismissed a Republican suit challenging the vote count in the state, noting the counting was already effectively over and dismissing some of the evidence as based on hearsay.Frustrated supporters of the president like the talk radio host Mark Levin called on Republican legislatures in states including Pennsylvania to use their constitutional authority to send a pro-Trump delegation of electors to the Electoral College regardless of the popular vote. Their lack of progress in stopping the count or making a persuasive case for large-scale ballot fraud left Mr. Trump and his team increasingly reliant for political salvation on recounts — which appeared likely to take place in Georgia, Nevada, Arizona and Wisconsin but which rarely result in big swings in vote counts.The Trump effort may be getting a boost from state legislatures in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which are both controlled by Republicans. In Wisconsin, Robin Vos, the speaker of the State Assembly, directed a legislative committee to “use its investigatory powers” to conduct a review of the election, again raising the specter of voter fraud without offering specific evidence.In Pennsylvania, the two top Republicans in the legislature called on Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, to conduct “an immediate audit” of the election. Asked during a news briefing on Friday if state Republicans would do so, the majority leader of the Pennsylvania senate, Jake Corman, replied, “We want to stay in the tradition that the popular vote winner wins the election.”Even if the state Republicans could make such a move legally — the legislature “cannot simply ignore the popular vote,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania — it was an extreme example of the lengths to which some Trump supporters seem willing to go.In several states Mr. Trump was challenging state voting rules, effectively seeking to nullify votes cast in accordance with official guidelines.Republicans in Nevada asked the Justice Department late Thursday to open an investigation into voter fraud involving 3,000 ballots, a move Democrats said was based on “entirely fabricated” claims.The Justice Department declined to address the matter publicly, but its guidelines generally preclude opening criminal investigations into election-related matters until results are completed.Local Republicans included the allegation in a suit they filed in federal court seeking a change in the way Clark County, Nev., is conducting its count. A judge dismissed the case on Friday evening, when the vote count showed a 22,000-ballot lead for Mr. Biden.Michael S. Schmidt, Katie Benner and Adam Liptak contributed reporting. On Friday evening, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. agreed to the request. But the move was almost entirely for show: Pennsylvania is already segregating those ballots, counting them separately and not including them in the announced vote totals. The secretary of state, over the objections of Republicans and Mr. Trump, has said they can be counted if they arrived by 5 p.m. on Friday, in line with a state court ruling that the Supreme Court has left open the possibility of reviewing again. A state official said the ballots in question number in the thousands but not tens of thousands. – Advertisement – At the same time, allies of the president openly suggested an extreme move: to use baseless allegations of Democratic malfeasance to pressure Republican-controlled state legislatures in key states to send pro-Trump electors to the Electoral College regardless of the results of the popular vote. Officials with the Biden campaign said they would meet every legal challenge Mr. Trump brought but said they were confident that none of the cases they had seen so far seemed likely to loosen Mr. Biden’s tightening grasp on the presidency.“The Republican legal claims are utterly baseless and have failed and will continue to fail in the courts,’’ said Bob Bauer, a senior adviser to the Biden campaign. “They serve no purpose other than to echo Donald Trump’s discredited and shameful attack on the democratic process.”In a statement, the Republican Party’s chief counsel, Justin Riemer, said, “We are focused on protecting the integrity of the vote and ensuring all legally cast ballots are counted,” but he was not made available for further comment on the particulars of the party’s legal strategy.The intensive Trump effort was the endgame of a long-planned contingency in which the president planned to challenge any possible loss through claims that the voting system was “rigged” against him. The campaign has been abetted by a robust pro-Trump media ecosystem, with Mr. Trump’s own social media accounts at its center, amplifying his false claims.As the legal push has failed to make substantial headway this week it has taken on an urgent, at times desperate, tone. President Trump’s bellicose pledge to fight the outcome of the election in the courts crashed on Friday into skeptical judges, daunting Electoral College math and a lack of evidence for his claims of fraud.On a day that began with vote tallies in Georgia and Pennsylvania tipping in Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s favor, Mr. Trump’s campaign declared, “This election is not over,” as the Republican National Committee announced it had activated “legal challenge teams” in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania. And the Trump forces named a new general to lead the effort, the hardened conservative political combatant David Bossie.- Advertisement – But none of the dozen or so lawsuits they had brought in battleground states appeared to be gaining any traction in the courts. And in any case, none seemed likely to give Mr. Trump the edge he would need in vote counts in the states that will determine the outcome.In seeking to foment widespread doubt about the legitimacy of the election, Mr. Trump and his surrogates seemed less focused on substantive legal arguments that could hold up in court than on bolstering the president’s political narrative, unsupported by the facts, that he was somehow being robbed of a second term. Updated Nov. 7, 2020, 7:20 a.m. ET The former Republican Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, echoed the president’s son on Fox News, calling for the jailing of poll workers and more involvement from Attorney General William P. Barr.But in the days since the election, Mr. Barr and the Justice Department have been largely silent. After initially echoing Mr. Trump’s warnings about electoral fraud, Mr. Barr muted his statements, and Mr. Trump complained to aides about the department’s lack of action.But a supportive outside group, True the Vote — one of the most prominent promoters of the false narrative that “voter fraud” is rampant in the United States — sought to help Mr. Trump build his cases. On Friday, it announced it had formed a $1 million “Whistleblower Defense Fund” to “incentivize” witnesses to step forward with charges of malfeasance. Republicans have been unsuccessfully fighting the secretary of state’s decision to allow election officials in Pennsylvania to count mail-in ballots that arrived at their offices by Friday as long as they had postmarks from Election Day or before. The Supreme Court had twice passed up opportunities to rule on the dispute, though the case is still technically pending, giving the justices the opportunity to weigh in if they saw reason to do so. On Thursday, Eric Trump, one of the president’s sons, said on Twitter, “I truly hope the @FBI/@DOJ engages immediately.” The most high-profile step of the day came when Pennsylvania Republicans asked the U.S. Supreme Court to step in and require election officials in the state to segregate ballots that arrived after Election Day and not to include them for now in the vote totals in the largest and most critical of the swing states.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Nemanja Matic: Chelsea team ‘together’ and working hard to make situation better

first_img The champions slipped to 16th on Saturday as they succumbed to a third straight league defeat and seventh of the season, going down 1-0 at Stoke. Three days on from the 2-1 Champions League victory over Dynamo Kiev, it turned the heat up once again on Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who was unable to attend Saturday’s contest due to a one-match stadium ban. “I think the table is not realistic now because I think Chelsea deserve more. We will try to recover points which we lost up to now.” Mourinho was left in the team hotel when his side headed to the Britannia Stadium, and Matic felt the Portuguese had done a good job of preparing the players in the time he had to do so. “He prepared before the game in the last couple of training sessions which we had after the Dynamo game,” Matic said. “He prepared everything, at Cobham especially, and we knew what we had to do. “I think we did our job well – there was only the one situation where Stoke scored the goal, and they were lucky to score it.” Mourinho’s assistants Steve Holland and Rui Faria were overseeing things from the touchline as Stoke forward Marko Arnautovic settled Saturday’s game with a 53rd-minute volley. Press Association But while it was another bad result in the London outfit’s grim campaign that left their manager’s future looking more uncertain than ever, Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has expressed his belief the performance showed the players are working hard for Mourinho in a bid to turn things around. And that sentiment has been echoed by Matic, who said: “I think in the last two games we played good football, but have been unlucky. “I don’t want to say that we have played well in all games this season – of course, there were some where we deserved to lose. “But (on Saturday) I think this was not the case and we deserved more. “What is going well is that the team is together, everyone understands the situation we are in and we will try to be more together and work hard to make this situation better. “In this moment, we haven’t had the luck to change something to make it better for us, but I hope in the future we will.” The 27-year-old Serbia international added: “We are not used to being in this position, but we don’t look a lot at the table. “Last season, when we were champions, for the first 10 or 15 games we also did not look at the table – we just tried to take things game by game and collect as many points as possible. Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic insists the Blues are “together” and not focusing on the Barclays Premier League table that sees them lying just three points above the relegation zone after 12 games. last_img read more

$4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf – Quotes and Recap – Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (Nov. 5, 2016) – Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor’s Highland Reel went to the front shortly after the break, opened a huge lead on the run down the backstretch and had more than enough to hold off favored Flintshire by 1 ¾ lengths to win the 33rd running of the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) for 3-year-olds and up on Saturday afternoon at Santa Anita Park. On Found: “Ryan (Moore) said he got the filly in a good position, but the winner obviously got away from us. She finished well.” Fifth-place trainer Peter Eurton (Ashleyluvssugar) – “That horse got away and he didn’t seem to have his punch, but of course this is the Breeders’ Cup, so it could be that he just got outrun to a respectable fifth.” It was the seventh victory for the partnership of owners in the World Championships and third in the Turf with the other wins coming with Found last year and St Nicholas Abbey in 2011.It is Heffernan’s first Breeders’ Cup win and the 11th for O’Brien with six of them coming in the Turf. O’Brien’s other Turf winners are High Chapparal (2002-03), St Nicholas Abbey, Magician (2013) and Found. Second-place trainer Chad Brown (Flintshire, favorite) – “Naturally, I’m disappointed with the outcome, but I was very proud of his race today.  The course is very, very firm and when you have a classy horse (Highland Reel) like that alone on the lead,  it’s dangerous.    We had no excuses.” HIGHLAND REEL POURS IT ON TO WIN LONGINES BREEDERS’ CUP TURF Winning and third-place trainer Aiden O’Brien (Highland Reel, 1st and Found, 3rd) – “Seamus (Heffernan) is a great lad. We were quite happy to make the running here. He’s a very good horse and I’m absolutely delighted.”center_img Fourth-place trainer Sir Michael Stoute (Ulysses) – “I was very pleased with his run and Frankie (Dettori) was delighted with him. The first three are seriously good horses. He’ll be a nice horse for next year.” Trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by Seamus Heffernan, Highland Reel covered the mile and a half on a firm turf course in 2:23.00. Defending champion Found finished another 2 ¼ lengths back in third. Second-place jockey Javier Castellano (Flintshire, favorite) – “He tried to steal the race and he stole it. Unfortunately, the way it worked out, it was unfortunate for my horse. Usually you don’t see the European horses run so aggressively, open up and carry their speed. Especially at 1 ½ miles but it worked out great for him.” Winning co-owner Derrick Smith (Highland Reel) – “It was great. The race was set up for us with the ground and everything else.” Fourth-place jockey Frankie Dettori (Ulysses) – “He had a great trip. He’s not as tough as the first three, but we’ll come back next year.” LONGINES BREEDERS’ CUP TURF QUOTESlast_img read more