trans-advice · 1 year
The US Trans Survey is in February 2022 & it helps determine government funding
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Pledge to take the U.S. Trans Survey
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politicsofcanada · 4 months
"Canadian shoppers may be more willing to admit that they've stolen from grocery stores lately, whether in defiance of corporate greedflation or out of sheer necessity amid an only partially-explicable spike in food prices, but the fact remains that shoplifting is illegal — and landing a charge could spell big, big trouble.
But it doesn't necessarily have to ruin your life, according to one local legal professional who will defend anyone arrested for stealing food from grocery stores pro bono (as in for free) right now.
Licenced paralegal Frank Alfano, whose firm represents people all over the Greater Toronto Area, published an Instagram post earlier this week that is as much of a public service announcement as it is an advertisement for people seeking legal help.
"Criminal convictions have many serious consequences such as jail time, a criminal record, not being able to travel to America, not being able to get some jobs and more," reads the caption of that post.
"We understand that it is difficult to deal with criminal charges by yourself... We offer legal services for criminal offence summary convictions as regulated by law society of Ontario. To qualify for free representation this must be your first offence, the value of the goods must be less than $5,000, and it should be in the GTA area."
The post displays an image of someone stealing food with the text: "You do not deserve a criminal record because you wanted to feed yourself or your family!" — a sentiment Alfano believes in strongly."
Full article
Tagging: @allthecanadianpolitics
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odinsblog · 2 months
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Clarence Thomas secretly accepted luxury trips from a major GOP donor
Island-hopping on a superyacht. Private jet rides around the world. The undisclosed gifts to Thomas have no known precedent in the modern history of the Supreme Court. “It’s incomprehensible to me that someone would do this,” says one former judge.
IN LATE JUNE 2019, right after the U.S. Supreme Court released its final opinion of the term, Justice Clarence Thomas boarded a large private jet headed to Indonesia. He and his wife were going on vacation: nine days of island-hopping in a volcanic archipelago on a superyacht staffed by a coterie of attendants and a private chef.
If Thomas had chartered the plane and the 162-foot yacht himself, the total cost of the trip could have exceeded $500,000. Fortunately for him, that wasn’t necessary: He was on vacation with real estate magnate and Republican megadonor Harlan Crow, who owned the jet — and the yacht, too.
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Clarence Thomas and his wife, Ginni, front left, with Harlan Crow, back right, and others in Flores, Indonesia, in July 2019. Credit: via Instagram
For more than two decades, Thomas has accepted luxury trips virtually every year from the Dallas businessman without disclosing them, documents and interviews show. A public servant who has a salary of $285,000, he has vacationed on Crow’s superyacht around the globe. He flies on Crow’s Bombardier Global 5000 jet. He has gone with Crow to the Bohemian Grove, the exclusive California all-male retreat, and to Crow’s sprawling ranch in East Texas. And Thomas typically spends about a week every summer at Crow’s private resort in the Adirondacks.
The extent and frequency of Crow’s apparent gifts to Thomas have no known precedent in the modern history of the U.S. Supreme Court.
These trips appeared nowhere on Thomas’ financial disclosures. His failure to report the flights appears to violate a law passed after Watergate that requires justices, judges, members of Congress and federal officials to disclose most gifts, two ethics law experts said. He also should have disclosed his trips on the yacht, these experts said.
(continue reading)
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unbfacts · 3 months
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ceterisparibus116 · 3 months
Did you know AO3 is looking for law interns? I know you're not one, but perhaps you can boost it? Can't paste the link; it's in the blog.
PSA: this is very cool!
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nandomando · 8 months
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Three Indigenous women aspiring to become lawyers in Alberta are challenging the King's Oath, because they say swearing an oath to the monarchy is modern colonialism.
Janice Makokis, Rachel Snow and Anita Cardinal, who graduated from law school in 2010, 2013 and 2022 respectively, are unable to practise law, they say, until the mandatory oath one swears when called to the bar is amended, or an alternative oath is provided.
"The oath is a trigger of intergenerational trauma for most Indigenous law students," Cardinal said. "It is a trigger for me."
Provincial legislation requires that lawyers vow to "be faithful and bear true allegiance" to the reigning monarch, their heirs and successors. After the death of Queen Elizabeth, those called to the bar must swear allegiance to King Charles.
Continue Reading.
Tagging: @politicsofcanada
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kemetic-dreams · 6 months
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Ledell Lee (July 31, 1965 – April 20, 2017) was an American man convicted and executed for the 1993 murder of his neighbor, Debra Reese. He was convicted in 1995 and the Arkansas Supreme Court affirmed the conviction in 1997, but numerous questions have been raised about the justice of his trial and post-conviction representation. Issues have included conflict of interest for the judge, inebriation of counsel, and ineffective defense counsel. A request to postpone the execution in order to test DNA on the murder weapon was denied by a circuit judge. After Lee's execution, it was proven that the DNA on the murder weapon belonged to another person, an unknown male.
Controversy over judge's conflict of interest
According to the ACLU:
Additionally, Lee was tried by a judge who concealed his own conflict of interest: an affair with the assistant prosecutor, to whom the judge was later married. Mr. Lee's first state post-conviction counsel introduced the evidence of the affair by calling the judge's ex-wife, who testified about the affair after opposing the subpoena. That lawyer, however, was so intoxicated at the hearing that the state moved for him to be drug tested after he slurred, stumbled, and made incoherent arguments. The inebriated lawyer also represented Lee briefly in federal court, where he raised the important claim that Lee was ineligible for execution because of intellectual disability. Lee won new proceedings because of the lawyer's drunkenness, though his representation did not improve afterward. His next lawyers failed to introduce evidence of the affair, giving up one of many of Lee's important arguments, and never pursued his innocence or intellectual disability claims.
"This is a story of the judicial process gone totally wrong," Lee's lawyer said. "The kinds of attorney failures here: an affair with the presiding judge by the prosecutor, gross intoxication by defense counsel, and wild incompetence undermine our profession as a whole. Mr. Lee has never had the opportunity to have his case truly investigated, despite serious questions about guilt, and his intellectual disability."[11][5]
Throughout the legal challenges, the family of Debra Reese hoped that the execution would go through as scheduled.
                                 HE WAS INNOCENT 
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sometimeslondon · 2 months
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The Master’s House in Inner Temple with spring blossom
I originally posted this as a daily photograph on AnEveryDayThing but as it is almost the finish of the blossom time of year and I seem to have missed most of it in London , I thought I should re-post here.
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mudwerks · 3 months
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(via Judge Who Could Ban Abortion Pill Doesn't Want the Public to Know When the Hearing Is)
On Friday, federal Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk held a conference call with the lawyers involved in the case that could result in a national ban of the abortion drug mifepristone. He wanted to talk about the hearing that’s taking place this Wednesday in Amarillo, Texas, that may well end in him immediately banning the pill. Specifically, Kacsmaryk said he wanted to keep the hearing off the online public docket as long as possible “to try to minimize disruptions and possible protests,” the Washington Post reported, because “courthouse members have received threats in the wake of the lawsuit.”
he wants to make sure he can fuck over US women in the dark - without being so exposed...
Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk - you’re gonna hear more about this “judge”
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chaocide · 19 days
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The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was passed to protect Indian children from this country’s systematic, forced removal by child protective services (CPS) whereby Native American children were placed in white homes. 
It is currently being challenged at the United States Supreme Court, and a decision by the Court could come as soon as this Thursday, May 11, 2023.
To learn more about the ICWA and the case, click keep reading.
The ICWA provides a number of protections for Indian children, their parents, and their tribes. The ICWA is pretty complicated, but here are some of the protections:
It requires CPS to prove that initial removal of the child is necessary to prevent imminent physical damage or harm. 
It raises the burden of proof from preponderance of the evidence to clear and convincing evidence for continued removal of an Indian child from the family home.
It requires the testimony of an expert familiar with the tribe’s culture and customs to prove that continued custody by the parent is likely to result in serious emotional or physical damage to the child to keep the child out of the family home. 
It raises the standard for terminating a parent’s rights from clear and convincing evidence to evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. 
It requires that CPS make active efforts to reunify Indian families, as opposed to reasonable efforts for non-Indian families. 
It requires that CPS give notice to a child’s tribe that a child custody proceeding is being initiated at the outset so that the child’s tribe can be involved in the process. Courts cannot make non-emergency decisions without this notice. 
It requires CPS to place children in foster homes that meet the child’s tribe’s preferences, which is typically placement with a relative, a family that is a member of the child’s tribe, or another tribal family. 
This last piece, the preference to place with tribal families, is the core piece that has been challenged in Brackeen v. Haaland. If successful, the Court may rule that the entire ICWA is unconstitutional.
In the case, Texas along with non-Native foster families are challenging the constitutionality of the ICWA. The Brackeens, a non-Native family, had an Indian child (ALM) placed with them and sought to adopt ALM. The Navajo Nation intervened in the adoption proceedings, a right granted to them by the ICWA, and opposed the adoption and wanted ALM to be placed with a tribal family. The trial court sided with the tribe, and the Brackeens brought the case that eventually would come to the Supreme Court. However, the tribal placement withdrew and eventually the Brackeens adopted ALM. 
Later, the Brackeens sought to be a placement for ALM’s sibling (YRJ) who was born after this suit was brought and whom was being cared for by someone else. The Brackeens even filed a petition to adopt YRJ, and the Navajo Nation intervened as allowed by the ICWA and sought the child to be placed with a relative or tribal home. It’s important to note that YRJ’s case isn’t actually a part of this case, but is offered by the Plaintiffs to show that the facts are capable of being repeated - an attempt to show that they have standing. It’s disputed by the defendants whether the Brackeens have standing because they brought the lawsuit to adopt ALM, which they eventually achieved. Essentially, the defendants argue that they got what they wanted, so the courts have no power to get them what has already been given. 
Another child (P) was placed with a non-Native family, then the child became eligible for tribal membership and was moved to a tribal family, causing the non-Native foster parents to join the lawsuit. 
Another child (O) had her mother attempt an adoption by a non-Native family, then the father’s tribe intervened and sought to place the child in a tribal home. Eventually the tribe relented and the non-Native family adopted the O. Again, we have another standing issue, but they joined the lawsuit. 
The above non-Native foster/adoptive families all joined together to challenge the ICWA based upon racial discrimination. The federal district court sided with them, and the defendants and tribes appealed. The Court of Appeals found for the defendants, there were rehearings and mixed rulings by the courts and eventually the Supreme Court granted certiorari. I also want to mention an important thing about cases before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court decides questions of law, not questions of fact. The facts recounted above are taken from the briefs filed before the Supreme Court. Those facts are set in stone by the time the Court took up the case.
So, what actually are they challenging?
That the Indian Child Welfare Act's placement preferences violates the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution on the basis of race discrimination.
That the ICWA's placement preferences exceeds Congress's authority by dictating child placement which is something that is typically left to the States.
It’s really unclear what the Supreme Court will do here. With the current makeup of the Court, my bets are on a ruling that the ICWA is unconstitutional. Personally, I don’t see this as a racial issue; the issue is tribal sovereignty itself. The ICWA allows for sovereign nations - federally recognized tribes to direct how another nation, the USA, handles tribal citizens. I think this is made clear because the ICWA only applies to Indian children - which is a defined term. An Indian child is an unmarried person under 18 that is either a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe or is eligible for membership in a federally recognized Indian tribe. This means that it doesn't apply to Native American people across the US but only those that are members of tribes that the federal government recognizes as sovereign nations.
If you want to read the various briefs and arguments by the parties and amicus briefs, the Native American Rights Fund has a page that is easy to navigate.
Upending the ICWA will have dire consequences and will further erode tribes’ right to govern themselves. In any case involving CPS or placement of a child, a preference is given to family. I think that’s all something we agree with: when any child is unsafe with their parents, then that child should live safely with other family members.
"Culturally, the chances of Indian survival are significantly reduced if our children, the only real means for the transmission of the tribal heritage, are to be raised in non-Indian homes and denied exposure to the ways of their People. Furthermore, these practices seriously undercut the tribes' ability to continue as self-governing communities. Probably in no area is it more important that tribal sovereignty be respected than in an area as socially and culturally determinative as family relationships."
- Statement of Calvin Isaac, Tribal Chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, prior to the passage of the ICWA on August 4, 1977, at page 157.
One ugly fact I left out from the above facts was that the Brackeens argued they should be allowed adopt YRJ because YRJ’s relatives were poor and the Brackeens could give her a better life. I think that really goes to the heart of why the ICWA was enacted itself - to prevent further systemic prejudice to and destruction of tribal families. 
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savagechickens · 5 months
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And other toys.
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odinsblog · 30 days
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This Supreme Court is illegitimate and deeply corrupt
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Two years after John Roberts' confirmation as the Supreme Court's chief justice in 2005, his wife, Jane Sullivan Roberts, made a pivot. After a long and distinguished career as a lawyer, she refashioned herself as a legal recruiter, a matchmaker who pairs job-hunting lawyers up with corporations and firms.
Roberts told a friend that the change was motivated by a desire to avoid the appearance of conflicts of interest, given that her husband was now the highest-ranking judge in the country. "There are many paths to the good life," she said. "There are so many things to do if you're open to change and opportunity."
"When I found out that the spouse of the chief justice was soliciting business from law firms, I knew immediately that it was wrong," the whistleblower, Kendal B. Price, who worked alongside Jane Roberts at the legal recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa, told Insider in an interview. "During the time I was there, I was discouraged from ever raising the issue. And I realized that even the law firms who were Jane's clients had nowhere to go. They were being asked by the spouse of the chief justice for business worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and there was no one to complain to. Most of these firms were likely appearing or seeking to appear before the Supreme Court. It's natural that they'd do anything they felt was necessary to be competitive."
Roberts' apparent $10.3 million in compensation puts her toward the top of the payscale for legal headhunters. Price's disclosures, which were filed under federal whistleblower-protection laws and are now in the hands of the House and Senate Judiciary committees, add to the mounting questions about how Supreme Court justices and their families financially benefit from their special status, an area that Senate Democrats are vowing to investigate after a series of disclosure lapses by the justices themselves.
(continue reading)
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unbfacts · 7 months
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ceterisparibus116 · 1 month
Hey! As far as I understand, in the US you guys have to do an undergraduate degree before doing law school. Do you have any opinion on what Matt would’ve taken at undergrad?
Also I just want to say that I really love your writing and your posts are genuinely making me consider a career path that I’d never thought about before! I’d always sort of dismissed being a lawyer because I’m quite shy about public speaking, so I never really thought about how much I like the law in itself. It’s so interesting!
EEEEEEEEE this is exciting! The world needs more lawyers - especially more lawyers going into it for the right reasons. So many lawyers just care about the money or the power (or their parents' approval), which means there's a dire need for lawyers who want to help people.
And I just wanna say: law doesn't require public speaking. Criminal law kinda does (you're pretty much always showing up for hearings and trials in criminal law), but civil law...not so much. Civil law has some hearings and depositions, but very few civil cases go to trial. The vast majority of it is sitting at a desk, writing and researching. Although you do have to be able to meet with victims and witnesses, and that makes some people nervous. (That still makes me nervous, actually.) But it's not public speaking, I think?
You could also try to be a full-time law clerk. Most judges hire clerks for only a year or two, but some take on clerks permanently. As a clerk, your job is 100% research and writing and preparing documents. You get all the fun of making brilliant legal points, but you can make those points safely on paper without having to stand up and present them.
However, I also do believe that public speaking is a skill, not just some natural talent. So I think it's always possible to get better. Here are my two absolute favorite resources on public speaking:
This amazing youtube channel (which isn't specifically for public speaking, but does address public speaking sometimes, and has a ton of general tips for building confidence, overcoming nervousness, turning awkwardness into charisma, etc.); and
This lifesaving book (which is the best book I've read on public speaking, hands-down, and I highly recommend it even for people who aren't lawyers because although it's written for lawyers, the content is overall about how you approach public speaking [how to both feel and appear more confident, etc.] rather than the content of what you're saying. I literally love this book so much!)
Oh, you also asked about Matt. XD
My undergrad was political science, so I like the idea of Matt doing the same just because #relatable. But I don't actually think of him as a poli-sci guy. Like, Karen is the one who's more concerned with broad social structures. Matt seems more interested with figuring out what he's supposed to do than he is with figuring out what society is supposed to do. Matt seems to say: "The system is broken, but I can help as a lawyer, and where I can't help as a lawyer, I can help as a vigilante." He's not the one invested in uncovering corruption or dismantling oppressive systems.
I think of him as more like a history guy. Partly because of the Thurgood Marshall thing. But I imagine him digging into the history books, finding people who inspire him, and modeling his life after them (when he's not angsting about whether he could live up to them).
That said, I secretly ADORE the idea of Matt as a math major. My mock trial coach in high school tried to convince me to be a math major myself, and although I didn't go that route (I'm more like Karen; I wanted to research social and political issues), there's a lot of wisdom to it. Math is logic, after all. And it's pure logic.
If I say "a + b = c," there's no emotion there. But if I say something like "police + poverty = ____" ...y'all already are having an emotional reaction, right? And you're filling in the blank with something. You're likely filling the blanks in based on emotion and anecdotes, since I think most of us have a strong opinion about this, but most of us probably haven't done a deep statistical study into the issues.
As a lawyer, if you care about truth, it's absolutely vital to be able to use logic both to make your arguments and to figure out which arguments you should be making in the first place. We can't completely ditch our personal biases, but I do believe studying math helps work those parts of your brain that can analyze a problem with logic and without using emotion and anecdotes as a shortcut.
So yeah, I love the idea of Matt being good at math.
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nandomando · 6 months
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