Housing Benefit Victory: Child poverty campaigners welcome Supreme Court verdict

This is in some respects is good news, but what is not good is that Housing Benefit is not able to cover all rents. Housing assistance needs to be made avalable and I believe this is the decision of the Supreme Court. However, this still means a private tennant could lose their home, therefore surely aome form of Affordable Rent legislation needs to be in force, so that tennants will not lose their accommodation due to housing benefit shortfalls or exorbitant rents being charged.

Robert Mueller should charge Trump with committing the one crime only a president can commit : Raw Story

The number of times Trump has used Twitter to corruptly influence the administration of justice is so large, it’s hardly even worth recounting this week’s Trump tweet storm. It seems that every time his little fingers fly across the keys of his iPhone, he commits another felony. This week, it was obstruction of justice and witness tampering when Trump simultaneously tweeted out an attack on his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, and praised his former campaign adviser, Roger Stone for saying that he would “never testify against Trump.” Trump’s tweets may have crossed a legal line, according to many legal commentators, including Norman Eisen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who was quoted in the Washington Post.

This article first appeared in Salon.T


Source: Robert Mueller should charge Trump with committing the one crime only a president can commit : Raw Story

Supreme Court ruling ‘risks bringing in euthanasia by the back door’ | DisabledGo News and Blog

Disabled campaigners have warned that a Supreme Court ruling has removed a vital safeguard that protected the lives of brain-damaged patients who have been left unconscious.

The Supreme Court ruled this week that families and doctors will no longer have to seek a court order if they agree to end the life of a patient with a “prolonged disorder of consciousness” (PDOC)* by withdrawing food and fluids.

The court had been hearing the case of a man, Y, who never regained consciousness after a heart attack left him severely brain-damaged and in a permanent vegetative state (PVS).

Y had to be kept alive with water and liquid nutrition, but his family and doctors agreed that it was in his best interests for this to be withdrawn so he could be left to die.

The NHS trust that was treating him sought a declaration from the courts that they could do so without an order from the Court of Protection.

This was granted by the high court, but the official solicitor appealed to the Supreme Court, which this week unanimously dismissed the appeal.

Disabled campaigners have raised grave concerns about the judgment.


Source: Supreme Court ruling ‘risks bringing in euthanasia by the back door’ | DisabledGo News and Blog

Print-your-own gun debate ignores how the US government long provided and regulated firearms : The Conversation

The current debate over a Texas company’s “right” to allow anyone to download blueprints to its 3D-printed guns is following the same well-trodden terrain as every firearms fight for the past few decades: differing interpretations of the Second Amendment.

Cody Wilson, the founder of Defense Distributed and the creator of the first working plastic gun in 2013, argues it’s about every American’s right to bear arms. “I believe that I am championing the Second Amendment in the 21st century,” he told “CBS This Morning.”

On the other side are the federal judge who is temporarily blocking the release of the blueprints, the eight state attorneys general who sued Wilson’s company from putting the designs online and gun control advocates across the country who want the government to do more to regulate firearms.

This misses the point. Government regulation and the gun industry are not natural enemies. They have a historical synergy that long predates Supreme Court rulings on the constitutionality of gun control legislation. It was not until 1886 that the Supreme Court even addressed the federal government’s ability to regulate gun ownership. For most of the nation’s first century, the government perceived its constitutional duty as providing guns – not protecting an open-ended “right to bear arms.”

My research on the history of the government’s intervention in the arms industry suggests a return to its role as guarantor of the gun trade would allow it to do more to reduce gun violence and mass shootings without trampling on the Second Amendment.


Source: Print-your-own gun debate ignores how the US government long provided and regulated firearms : The Conversation

Trump court battle imperils Senate Dems, House GOP | TheHill

The debate over the Supreme Court is raising the issue of abortion and reproductive rights to a level of prominence that hasn’t been seen in years, creating an unpredictable and dangerous environment for incumbents in the midterm elections.

Democrats say the prospect that the Senate will confirm a nominee who could overturn the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion will bring an army of Democrats to the polls — to the detriment of Republicans, particularly in the House.

“Our biggest ally here is their own rhetoric because they’re not trying to finesse this in anyway. They’re clear about their agenda,” said Democratic pollster Celinda Lake.

“There’s no question it mobilizes more our side,” Lake added. “There are a lot more millennial women than born-again Christians who need to be mobilized.”

Republicans are just as confident that the issue will mobilize their own grass roots, which backed President Trump in 2016 partly because of his promises on Supreme Court nominees.

“If you look at the way Trump won in 2016, a big part of that was energizing the evangelical base that didn’t turn out in 2008 and 2012,” said a Senate Republican pollster.

“The groups that turn out at the lowest numbers are noncollege educated white males and evangelicals. A Supreme Court nomination fight is like injecting fuel into the enthusiasm level of that base,” the pollster said.

It’s possible that both sides could be right, with the battle helping Republicans keep their Senate majority but potentially hurting them in the fight over the House.


Source: Trump court battle imperils Senate Dems, House GOP | TheHill

Here’s what environmental law experts think about Justice Kennedy’s retirement – ThinkProgress

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, announced Wednesday afternoon, sent shock waves across the capital, with experts and pundits rushing to analyze the potential repercussions. For the future of environmental protection and climate action, the news means “nothing good,” according to legal experts.

During Kennedy’s time on the bench over the past three decades, he has served as the deciding vote in many cases, including some landmark environmental rulings. Most notably, Kennedy was the critical fifth vote in Massachusetts v. EPA in 2007. This case established two major precedents: that states can sue the federal government for failing to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and that greenhouse gas emissions are pollutants under the Clean Air Act and the EPA must decide whether and how to regulate them.

Kennedy’s retirement is “terrible news for environmental law and the protection of public health and the environment,” Patrick Parenteau, law professor and senior counsel in the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic at Vermont Law School, told ThinkProgress.

As most experts agree, Kennedy will almost certainly be replaced with a more conservative judge, tipping the balance further to the right and leaving key environmental protection rulings vulnerable.


Source: Here’s what environmental law experts think about Justice Kennedy’s retirement – ThinkProgress

Supreme Court rules in favor of Ohio ‘voter purge’ | TheHill

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld Ohio’s “use it or lose it” practice of cleaning up its voter rolls.

In a 5-4 decision, the court’s majority said the practice, known as the “supplemental process,” does not violate the National Voter Registration Act, which bar states from removing the names of people from the voter rolls for failing to vote.

The court’s five conservative justices voted in the majority, with the court’s four liberals dissenting.

Under the supplemental process, voters who have not voted in two years are flagged and sent a confirmation notice. Voters who then fail to respond to the notice and vote within the next two years are removed from the rolls.

The process is one of two methods state officials use to identify voters who are no longer eligible to vote due to a change of residence.

Critics argued that the “use it or lose it policy,” violated the Failure-to-Vote Clause of the NVRA by using a person’s failure to vote twice over: once as the trigger for sending a notice that must be returned and again as one of the two requirements for removal.

In delivering the opinion of the court, Justice Samuel Alito said the law does not violate that clause or any other provision of the NRVA.

“The notice in question here warns recipients that unless they take the simple and easy step of mailing back the pre-addressed, postage prepaid card — or take the equally easy step of updating their information online — their names may be removed from the voting rolls if they do not vote during the next four years,” he wrote. “It was Congress’s judgment that a reasonable person with an interest in voting is not likely to ignore notice of this sort.”


Source: Supreme Court rules in favor of Ohio ‘voter purge’ | TheHill

Exclusive: Supreme Court ruling opens way for legal action against Michael Gove and Liz Truss for racial discrimination and victimisation

Westminster Confidential

liz truss Liz Truss former Lord Chancellor Pic credit:BBC


Michael Gove and Liz Truss, two former Lord Chancellors,  the former lord chief justice, Lord Thomas, six High Court judges and  heads of the tribunal services are facing lthe prospect of legal action for victimisation and racial discrimination by three fellow black and Asian  judges and a black former tribunal member following a ground breaking ruling by the Supreme Court. An article appears in this week’s Tribune magazine.

The virtually unreported Supreme Court judgement last week, which involved interpreting an EU equality treatment directive, is seen by campaigners as removing immunity claimed by the Ministry of Justice, the Metropolitan Police, magistrates and tribunal bodies, barristers, solicitors, doctors and dentists disciplinary bodies, from the Equality Act when handling misconduct inquiries.

It will also apply to disciplinary hearings involving sexual and gender discrimination and disabled people.

The original case was brought…

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Wakefield wheelchair user refused space on bus | DisabledGo News and Blog

A wheelchair user was refused space on a bus because a pushchair was on board, days after the Supreme Court ruled on the issue. Kirsty Shepherd, from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, said the Arriva driver told her she could not get on, even though there was enough room. It came five days after the Supreme Court said bus drivers must be more accommodating to wheelchair users. Arriva Buses said it was investigating “as a matter of urgency”. Ms Shepherd said the woman with the pushchair on the Rothwell to Wakefield bus was happy to move, but the driver still would not let her on. ‘No legal power’ In the case that went to the Supreme Court, wheelchair user Doug Paulley took action against First Bus after he was refused entry to a bus in 2012 when a mother with a pushchair refused to move. The bus had a sign saying: “Please give up this space if needed for a wheelchair user.” The court found the company should do more to persuade non-wheelchair users to move from the wheelchair space, but did

Source: Wakefield wheelchair user refused space on bus | DisabledGo News and Blog

Families win supreme court appeals over ‘unfair’ bedroom tax | DisabledGo News and Blog

Two families who claimed that the bedroom tax, which restricts housing subsidies, was unfair have won their appeals against the UK government at the supreme court. But five other claimants had their challenges dismissed at the country’s highest court in a judgment that considered the specific circumstances of each individual applicant. The seven-justice panel upheld the claims of Jacqueline Carmichael, who is disabled and cannot share a room with her husband, Jayson, as well as that of Paul and Susan Rutherford, who care for their severely disabled grandson, Warren, 17, in a specially adapted three-bedroom bungalow in Pembrokeshire, south Wales. Both had claimed discrimination under the European Convention on Human Rights. Roger Toulson, who read out the main judgment, said: “Mrs Carmichael cannot share a bedroom with her husband because of her disabilities … The Rutherfords need a regular overnight carer for their grandson, who has severe disabilities.” Subjecting them to the bedroom

Source: Families win supreme court appeals over ‘unfair’ bedroom tax | DisabledGo News and Blog