Washington: If Indian-American Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal has his way he would toss out a half-dozen members of the US Supreme Court, including a couple nominated by Presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan.
After the apex court’s recent 5-4 ruling in favour of same-sex marriage and 6-3 ruling in favour of Obamacare subsidies, the Louisiana governor Jindal said the court appears to be more interested in following public opinion polls than abiding by the Constitution.
Since announcing his candidacy in June, he has suggested that America could save some money by shuttering the court, but on Friday he offered to make a compromise at the RedState Gathering, a convention of Republican officials, in Atlanta, Georgia.
“Hillary Clinton didn’t like that answer,” Jindal said Friday at the RedState Gathering as cited by the Washington Times.
“She thought that was extreme, so I have a compromise: instead of getting rid of the entire Supreme Court what if we got rid of about two-thirds of the Supreme Court.
“I mean there are three justices that got it right,” he said.
“I wouldn’t mind keeping [Samuel] Alito, [Clarence] Thomas and [Antonio] Scalia. It is the other six I wouldn’t mind getting rid of.”
The six members he would remove include Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., nominated by Bush, and Anthony M. Kennedy, nominated by Reagan.
Justices Roberts and Kennedy ruled in favor of the Obamacare subsidies.
Justice Kennedy also supported the same-sex marriage ruling.
Jindal also told the gathering he would “repeal and replace all of Obamacare” and implement a consumer-oriented alternative, according to the Daily Signal.
He called for efforts to secure the border and “crack down on sanctuary cities,” and hold local officials in those cities accountable for flouting federal and state law.
Meanwhile, a Huffington Post columnist suggested that “Bobby Jindal Has Antiquated Views On Immigrant Assimilation”
During Thursday night’s second-tier Republican candidate debate, Jindal proclaimed that “immigration without assimilation is an invasion,” telling immigrants to “learn English, adopt our values, roll up your sleeves and get to work.”
Jindal frequently says that he disagrees with people who don’t think immigrants should assimilate, and he believes that immigrants should not be “hyphenated Americans.”
But many experts and scholars of immigration say his views are from a bygone era, and both the idea and the process of assimilation is complicated, the Post said.
San Francisco, Oct 14:As people debate Facebook’s role in influencing people during the US presidential elections by Russian ads and fake news on the platform, the company’s COO Sheryl Sandberg has stressed that the social media giant is not a media organization, and therefore does not hire journalists.
Sandberg said that Facebook is run by technical workers and engineers and according to her, the company does not produce news content, therefore it can’t be a media company.
In an interview with US-based news website Axios on Thursday, she said, “At our heart we are a tech company. We hire engineers. We don’t hire reporters. No one is a journalist.”
“We don’t cover the news. But when we say that, we’re not saying we don’t have a responsibility. In fact we’re a new kind of platform… as our size grows, we think we have more responsibility,” the executive was quoted as saying.
Business Insider said a firm that is a major source of news and information for people, generates billions in ad revenue and is producing its own original television shows is classified as a media company and Facebook does all of that.
Contrary to her claim, it hired former NBC anchor Campbell Brown in January to head up the company’s news division and work with other journalists to maximise their use of Facebook’s platform.
Reportedly, Facebook does not want to harm its $500 billion valuations by admitting it is a media company. If the company accepts that it is a media firm, it would open the platform up to regulatory rules in the US and other countries which Facebook would rather avoid.
Business Insider said Britain was already considering regulations that would treat it more like a media company.
Meanwhile, on the Russian ad issue, Sandberg said the election meddling on the platform “shouldn’t have happened” and she wouldn’t discuss Russia or Trump.
“We know we have a responsibility to prevent everything we can from this happening on our platforms… and so we told Congress and the Intelligence committees that when they are ready to release the ads, we are ready to help them,” she said.
Sandberg said that if the Russian-linked ads were posted by “real people” and not fake accounts, Facebook would have let their content remain on the site. “When you allow free expression, you allow free expression.”
“Facebook owes the American people an apology. Not just an apology, but determination for our role in enabling Russian interference during the election,” she said. (IANS)
Donald Trump allegedly asked ex-FBI Director James Comey in February to stop his investigation of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn
According to Trump’s personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz, the president never, in form or substance, indicated Mr. Comey to stop investigating anyone
The case for obstruction of justice based on Comey’s testimony is far from ironclad, legal scholars say
Washington, June 10, 2017: Did President Donald Trump break the law when he allegedly asked then-FBI Director James Comey in February to stop his investigation of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn?
The question is at the heart of a legal debate a day after Comey disclosed during closely watched congressional testimony that Trump asked him to end his investigation of Flynn’s suspected ties to Russia.
In riveting detail, Comey recounted that after a February 14 counter-intelligence briefing at the White House, Trump told him that he wanted “to talk about Mike Flynn,” saying Flynn “is a good guy” and “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go.”
The allegation raised two sets of questions: Did Trump obstruct justice when he asked for an end to the Flynn probe? And, is it an issue for the courts or Congress to decide?
Marc Kasowitz, Trump’s personal lawyer, said in a statement released after the testimony that “the president never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone.”
Senators were at odds over the implications of Comey’s testimony. While some Democrats suggested it pointed to obstruction of justice by Trump, Republican members of the panel seized on the fact that the president did not explicitly “direct” the former FBI director to drop the Flynn investigation.
In response to a question, Comey declined to say whether he thought Trump’s conduct amounted to obstruction of justice, saying it was up to Special Counsel Robert Mueller to make that determination.
To Trump’s critics, Comey’s revelations recalled the “Nixon tapes,” secret White House recordings that former President Richard Nixon refused to release during the Watergate scandal, ultimately leading to his resignation in 1974.
But the case for obstruction of justice based on Comey’s testimony is far from ironclad, legal scholars say.
While Trump’s alleged interactions with Comey were seen by many as grossly out of line, the Comey testimony did not provide grounds for obstruction charges, these scholars say.
“The president is not facing a particularly compelling case of obstruction for prosecution at this time,” said Jonathan Turley, a professor at the George Washington University School of Law. “This is also not a record that would support impeachment.”
Louis Michael Seidman, a professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University, agreed that the case for charging Trump with obstruction of justice is not there, but he said that Comey’s firing after he refused to carry out the president’s wishes is “a serious matter.”
“No one outside the White House is contesting the fact that that is what happened, that director Comey is telling the truth,” Seidman said. “If he is telling the truth, that means the president has lied about it and that is a further indication he may not be fit to be president of the United States.”
No American president has ever been indicted while in office, though two, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, were impeached but later acquitted.
Legal scholars disagree over whether a sitting president can be prosecuted, but the White House Counsel’s office has argued against it, deciding in at least two instances not to indict a president, Seidman said.
Obstruction of justice, or interference with a legal proceeding, such as a criminal investigation, is a crime, but proving it is legally challenging. To demonstrate obstruction of justice, prosecutors must show evidence of “corrupt intent.”
“That’s a very difficult standard to meet,” Turley said.
Andy McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor and now a fellow at the conservative National Review Institute, said that as the head of the executive branch of government, Trump has “prosecutorial discretion” to end an investigation and that he “couldn’t conceivably have thought he was doing something wrong.”
“Therefore, it would be impossible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he acted corruptly,” McCarthy said.
Though Trump’s true motivation remains unknown, “it’s perfectly plausible that the president was feeling sympathetic to his former aide who had just resigned and was facing a torrent of criticism,” Turley said.
The U.S. Constitution allows Congress to remove a president from office for “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors” through impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives and a trial in the Senate.
While it is easier to bring an article of impeachment on obstruction charges, the allegation of crimes must be far more detailed than what has been alleged about Trump, Turley said.
In the Nixon case, he noted, the first article of impeachment in the House of Representatives listed obstruction of justice but included “nine separate but rather detailed crimes.”
In the Clinton impeachment case, the House of Representatives dropped an article on obstruction of justice, said Turley, who testified before the House in favor of impeachment.
With Republicans in control of Congress, the prospects of their impeachment of their party leader appear slim. But Turley said impeachment is not always brought for purely political reasons.
In Watergate, he noted that Republicans abandoned Nixon in favor of his impeachment. And today, congressional Republicans are “actively supporting the investigation of Donald Trump,” he said. (VOA)
Washington, March 28, 2017: Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna, a Democrat who represents the 17th Congressional District of California, known as the Silicon Valley, called US President Donald Trump a “devil” and his budget proposal “dumb”.
“You talk to members of Congress and they don’t agree with everything he says. Even Republicans. They are as embarrassed,” Khanna — a teacher, lawyer and a politician — said in a video interview to news channel TYT Politics, published on Monday.
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“Why aren’t they speaking out? It’s because he is helping achieve their vision which is the dismantling of the administrative state. The dismantling of the new deal, in a way that Ronald Reagan even didn’t,” he said.
“… So they are saying, OK, we are gonna make the bargain with the devil. He is giving us what we want. Let’s ignore everything else.”
Responding to a question on what bothers him the most about the Trump administration’s budget proposal, which might get passed, too, Khanna said “foreign aid”.
“I mean, I can’t think of a more dumb proposal than, frankly, than cutting that [foreign aid].”
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Khanna said that he is worried that the Republicans would not push back on cutting the US foreign aid. He said, on humanitarian grounds, the US should continue to extend help to other countries, reported the American Bazaar Online.
Questioning Trump’s proposal to cut foreign aid, Khanna said that it is un-American. He said that America’s foreign aid budget is less than one percent and it should be defended as it goes for “humanitarian causes”.
The 40-year-old Khanna said that he felt “annoyed” after Trump commented that it is in “America’s national interest” and advised other nations to follow their self-interest.
Citing former President George W. Bush, Khanna said that even Bush helped resuscitate people from the HIV in Africa.
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“And here, you know, George Bush, I disagreed with him about everything Bush-Cheney did. The one thing he did, what we should all give him credit for is he helped save people in Africa with HIV,” Khanna said.
“We put billions of dollars in foreign aid to help people with the anti-viral drugs.”
Khanna said, “The whole idea about American exceptionalism is that we are not all nations… We care about morality. We care about humanity. That’s what makes America exceptional. So, we should care about the moral case of what we are gonna do for other countries.”