Free Speech for People: Reclaim the Court

The Supreme Court is facing a crisis of legitimacy. In the wake of Brett Kavanaugh’s hasty confirmation last year, Americans are on edge as the Court rules on issues that radically impact our lives.

Brett Kavanaugh may have been confirmed to the Supreme Court, but the fight isn’t over. We’re asking House members to investigate his fitness for office since the Senate failed to do so. Because no matter how entitled Kavanaugh thinks he is, that seat belongs to us – the people. Join Women’s March, Demand Justice, and Center for Popular Democracy on the anniversary of his confirmation, October 6th, to Reclaim the Court.

RECLAIM THE COURT

Sunday, October 6th at 12:30 PM ET

Columbus Circle

Free Speech For People has repeatedly called for Kavanaugh’s impeachment on the basis of perjury, credible sexual assault allegations, and actions during his confirmation process which brought the judiciary into disrepute. Today, we renew that call and we are proud to join with our allies in demanding that the House of Representatives open this investigation.

A thorough vetting of Brett Kavanaugh and his actions is more important now than ever. The House has a constitutional duty to conduct this investigation and to finish the work that the Senate failed to complete last year. But they need to act now.

RSVP at www.ReclaimTheCourt.com and Facebook. Let’s do this.

In solidarity,

Free Speech For People

BBC: Two New York ex-policemen walk free after sex with handcuffed suspect

Former NYPD officers Eddie Martins (L) and Richard HallFormer NYPD officers Eddie Martins (L) and Richard Hall

Two former New York detectives have walked free after admitting to having sex with a handcuffed 18-year-old woman after arresting her.

Eddie Martins and Richard Hall arrested the woman for possession of marijuana before having sex with her in the back of a van in exchange for her release.

They will serve five years probation but escaped the prosecutor’s request for one to three years in prison.

The men were initially accused of rape but the charges were later dropped.

On Thursday the former police officers, both in their mid to late thirties, pleaded guilty to official misconduct and other charges linked to the incident.

The police officers pulled the woman over in September 2017 as she was driving with friends and found her to be in possession of marijuana.

They then took turns to have sex with her in the back of the police vehicle, the court heard. The police officers did not report the arrest.

Afterwards, the woman went to hospital, where tests identified DNA matching both detectives.

The rape charges were dropped because the victim’s credibility was “seriously, seriously questionable” and the charges could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt, said Justice Danny Chun.

The woman’s attorney, Michael N. David, said it was a “complete injustice” that the ex-police officers escaped a jail sentence.

A NYPD van pictured in New YorkThis New York police van has the slogan “Courtesy, Professionalism, Respect” painted on the side

As a result of the case, a loophole was closed that previously allowed New York police officers to have sex with those in custody as long as it was consensual.

Martins and Hall, who resigned from the New York police department in 2017, “engaged in a shocking abuse of power”, said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, adding that he “would have preferred to see them serve prison time”.

“We could not apply the new law retroactively, and serious credibility issues in this case precluded us from proceeding on additional charges,” said Mr Gonzalez, “yet we remained committed to holding these defendants accountable”.

“Help defeat Senator Susan Collins!”- Moveon.org

Last year, Senator Susan Collins cast the deciding vote to give Brett Kavanaugh a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.1

Not only did she vote for Kavanaugh, but she delivered a 43-minute Senate floor speech in support of his confirmation, disregarding the harrowing testimony from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.2 That act did enough damage to women’s rights to more than undo everything Collins has done for women during her two-decade career in the U.S. Senate.

Now, according to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, Collins is in real trouble, and we have a clear chance at defeating her. Her Senate seat—which is one of only two Senate seats currently filled by a Republican in a state won by Hillary Clinton in 2016—just moved to the “toss-up” category from “lean Republican.”3

Will you chip in $5 a month to support MoveOn’s campaign to defeat Susan Collins, end GOP control of the Senate, and defeat Donald Trump in 2020?

Yes, I’m in! I’ll chip in monthly.

No, I’m sorry, I can’t make a monthly donation.

For years, Maine voters thought that Collins stood with women and was a defender of Roe v. Wade. But now:

They are facing the hard reality that Collins chose to vote for a sexual predator hell-bent on taking rights away from women.

They are facing the hard reality that she chose to value the career advancement of a predator over the experiences and traumas of the women he victimized.

They are facing the hard reality that she sided with Trump and Mitch McConnell over the needs of millions of women, in her words and deeds, again and again, in recent years.

And they are facing the hard reality that while Collins sometimes speaks like a moderate, she acts like a right-wing extremist when it comes to her votes to further the Trump-McConnell agenda. (Often, when Trump does something repugnant, she rushes in front of TV cameras to say how concerned and disappointed she is. She’s done it so many times that it’s become a joke on Saturday Night Live. But the reality is that under Trump her voting record became MORE partisan, setting a new personal record for the most party-line votes in her entire career.)4

Not only can we defeat Collins, but her seat is critical in our fight to end Republican control of the Senate. But to defeat Collins, we need to spread the word about her record. MoveOn has a long history in the state of Maine, and that’s our secret weapon: an army of MoveOn members who can knock on doors, host house parties, fill phone banks . . . Whatever it takes to get out the vote and win.

Will you chip in $5 a month to support MoveOn’s campaign to defeat Susan Collins, end GOP control of the Senate, and defeat Donald Trump in 2020?

Yes, I’ll chip in monthly.

No, I’m sorry, I can’t make a monthly donation.

The majority of Maine voters are independents—”unenrolled” with any particular political party.5 For years, Collins convinced independents that she was one of them.

But now the truth will come out—if we can raise the funds to spread the truth. With your help, we’ll make sure Maine voters know that Collins:

  • Cast the deciding vote to nominate Kavanaugh, paving the way to end Roe.6
  • Raised more money from Kavanaugh supporters than Mainers.7
  • Voted for Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax scam.8

Polls show that Collins is increasingly unpopular and that we can defeat her and end GOP control of the Senate. But only if we get going now. Which is why we’re asking:

Will you chip in $5 a month to support MoveOn’s campaign to defeat Susan Collins, end GOP control of the Senate, and defeat Donald Trump in 2020?

Yes, I’m in! I’ll chip in monthly.

No, I’m sorry, I can’t make a monthly donation.

Thanks for all you do.

–Allison, Seth, Karine, Schuyler, and the rest of the team

Sources:

1. “Susan Collins Announces Deciding Vote: ‘I Will Vote To Confirm Judge Kavanaugh,'” HuffPost, accessed August 22, 2019
https://act.moveon.org/go/85433?t=8&akid=243771%2E41173931%2EfaSIH_

2. “Watch Sen. Collins’s full speech on Kavanaugh vote,” The Washington Post, accessed August 22, 2019
https://act.moveon.org/go/85435?t=10&akid=243771%2E41173931%2EfaSIH_

3. “Cook Political Report moves Susan Collins Senate race to ‘toss up,'” The Hill, August 16, 2019
https://act.moveon.org/go/85437?t=12&akid=243771%2E41173931%2EfaSIH_

4. “Susan Collins was a more reliable vote for GOP in 2017 than any other year,” CNN, July 11, 2018
https://act.moveon.org/go/83872?t=14&akid=243771%2E41173931%2EfaSIH_

5. “Registered voters in Maine by town and party,” Portland Press Herald, accessed August 22, 2019
https://act.moveon.org/go/85438?t=16&akid=243771%2E41173931%2EfaSIH_

6. “Susan Collins Announces Deciding Vote: ‘I Will Vote To Confirm Judge Kavanaugh,'” HuffPost, accessed August 22, 2019
https://act.moveon.org/go/85433?t=18&akid=243771%2E41173931%2EfaSIH_

7. “Susan Collins Raised More Money From Brett Kavanaugh Supporters Than Mainers,” HuffPost, February 6, 2019
https://act.moveon.org/go/85439?t=20&akid=243771%2E41173931%2EfaSIH_

8. “Susan Collins’ opponents are hitting her on the GOP tax plan. Here’s what it did.,” Bangor Daily News, August 21, 2019
https://act.moveon.org/go/85440?t=22&akid=243771%2E41173931%2EfaSIH_

Want to support our work? The MoveOn community will work every moment, day by day and year by year, to resist Trump’s agenda, contain the damage, defeat hate with love, and begin the process of swinging the nation’s pendulum back toward sanity, decency, and the kind of future that we must never give up on. And to do it we need your ongoing support, now more than ever. Will you stand with us?

Yes, I’ll chip in $5 a month.

No, I’m sorry, I can’t make a monthly donation.


Jeffrey Epstein: Two guards suspended and warden removed over death

Metropolitan Correctional CenterThe Metropolitan Correctional Center, where Epstein died

Two prison guards have been suspended and a warden temporarily reassigned at the New York City jail where Jeffrey Epstein died of suspected suicide.

It comes after the FBI opened an investigation into the death of Epstein, who was facing prosecution for sex trafficking when he was found dead.

The suspension, ordered by Attorney General William Barr, came a day after he criticised the jail’s “failure”.

The circumstance surrounding the financier’s death has raised questions.

It remains unclear why Epstein was taken off suicide watch after an attempted suicide last month. He also was supposed to have been checked in on by a guard every 30 minutes.

Before his downfall, Epstein had previously counted many prominent rich and powerful people, including Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, as friends.

What did the Department of Justice say?

In a statement, Mr Barr “directed the Bureau of Prisons to temporarily assign” warden Lamine N’Diaye to a regional office, pending a full investigation.

He will be replaced by James Petrucci, the warden of the federal prison in Otisville, New York.

Courtroom sketch of Jeffrey EpsteinImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionEpstein faced up to 45 years in jail if convicted

Two other staff members who were assigned to Epsteins’ unit at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) have also been placed on leave.

“Additional actions may be taken as the circumstances warrant,” the statement added.

On Tuesday, a union official for workers at the jail told the Washington Post that one of the guards on Epstein’s unit on Saturday – when he died – was not a regular correctional officer, but rather another form of prison employee who was directed to operate as a guard due to staffing shortages.

Both guards working on his unit were working overtime shifts, but it’s unclear whether they were doing so voluntarily.

The union representing federal prison guards, the American Federation of Government Employees Council of Prison Locals, said in a statement after Epstein’s death that many guards are forced to work overtime.

In a statement provided to BBC News, the organisation’s president Eric Young said prison employees who are not correctional officers – such as teachers, nurses, clerical workers – are often made to guard inmates due to a process known as “augmentation”.

What has Trump said?

President Donald Trump told reporters in New Jersey on Tuesday: “I want a full investigation, and that’s what I absolutely am demanding.

“That’s what our attorney general, our great attorney general, is doing. He’s doing a full investigation.”

He also defended his decision to retweet conspiracy theory that suggested that the Clinton family had Epstein killed.

“He’s a very highly respected conservative pundit,” Mr Trump said of comedian Terrence K Williams, who wrote the original post.

“He’s a big Trump fan. And that was a retweet. That wasn’t from me… So I think I was fine.”

Media caption‘Any co-conspirators should not rest easy’

The order comes one day after Mr Barr said he was “frankly angry to learn of the MCC’s failure to adequately secure this prisoner.”

He added: “We will get to the bottom of what happened and there will be accountability.”

Meet The Alabama Doctor Who Could Face 99 Years In Prison For Providing Abortions Under New Law

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed the nation’s most restrictive abortion ban into law on Wednesday, effectively banning the procedure except in cases where a pregnant person’s life is at serious risk. The law does not make exceptions in cases of rape or incest and doctors could face 99 years in prison for performing abortions. We speak with Dr. Yashica Robinson, the medical director of the Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives, one of only three clinics left in the state that offer patients abortion services. She is one of only two abortion providers living and working in Alabama. Under the new Alabama law, she could spend the rest of her life in prison for doing her job.

Moveon: Sign the petition re: Alabama

Sign the petition telling the Supreme Court to protect Roe v. Wade and defend our rights.

Dear MoveOn member,

I’m Helmi Henkin, an organizer with the Yellowhammer Fund in Alabama, which helps people access safe abortions. I started a petition after our state passed an abortion ban which gives the government control over pregnant people’s bodies—even in cases of rape or incest.

As similar extreme bills continue making their way through state legislatures, it’s vital that we send a clear message to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and the other members of the Supreme Court of the United States that we will not tolerate these attacks on our protected human rights.

Add your name to our petition to the Supreme Court in defense of the right to a safe and legal abortion.

Don’t overturn Roe v. Wade. Protect abortion rights. End the attacks on reproductive rights and pregnant people’s health. We won’t go back!

Alabama’s extreme bill gives the state control over pregnant people’s bodies and increases the already tremendous barriers that people seeking abortion care in Alabama face in accessing their procedures. Access was already a problem in Alabama, which is why the Yellowhammer Fund exists.

The government’s control and politicization of our bodies is unacceptable. Families in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, and communities across the nation are under attack as part of a publicly stated, coordinated effort to have the Supreme Court overturn its own legal precedent set by Roe v. Wade.1

This is truly concerning, because some members of the Supreme Court are already signaling a willingness to overturn legal precedent on other cases.2

Sign the petition telling Chief Justice John G. Roberts and the Supreme Court justices to end these extreme policies which deny families the right to determine whether, when, and how to create a family. 

People espousing “pro-life” politics frequently talk about how much they love pregnant people and babies. However, their political agenda does not extend to ensuring that pregnancy and birth are safe for pregnant people or that parents, children, and families can access the health care they need to live healthy lives. In Alabama, for example, this means that a large number of pregnant people are going without the prenatal, birth, and postnatal care needed to ensure healthy pregnancies and birth outcomes. Maternal and infant mortality rates are high.3

We will work with trusted partner organizations such as MoveOn to ensure the support of this petition is used to further pressure key decision-makers, keep the story in the media, and give everyone opportunities to stay engaged! MoveOn members have already raised more than $30,000 for our work in Alabama, and we’re seeing generosity across the country—but we also need to make sure the Supreme Court respects the fundamental right to access an abortion, so we need to act now.

Click here to add your name to this petition, and then pass it along to your friends and family.

Thank you for your support during such an important moment for this movement.

–Helmi Henkin, The Yellowhammer Fund

Sources:

1. “Alabama Governor Signs Abortion Ban Into Law,” NPR, May 14, 2019
https://act.moveon.org/go/65594?t=7&akid=234356%2E40420145%2Efz5dC6

2. “Supreme Court’s Breyer, mentioning abortion case, warns about overturning precedent,” NBC News, May 13, 2019
https://act.moveon.org/go/65593?t=9&akid=234356%2E40420145%2Efz5dC6

3. “States with the worst anti-abortion laws also have the worst infant mortality rates,” Los Angeles Times, May 15, 2019
https://act.moveon.org/go/65595?t=11&akid=234356%2E40420145%2Efz5dC6

Marlen Ochoa-Lopez murder: Chicago police make three arrests

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson speaks during a press conference at Chicago police headquarters about the arrest of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett on February 21, 2019 in Chicago, IllinoisChicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson called the murder of Ms Ochoa-Lopez “disgusting and thoroughly disturbing”

Three people have been charged over the murder of a nine months-pregnant teenager whose baby was then cut from her body.

Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, 19, disappeared on 23 April. Her body was found three weeks later on 15 May.

Her baby remains “in grave condition”, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said.

Clarisa Figueroa, 46, and her daughter Desiree Figueroa, 24, have been charged with her murder.

Clarisa Figueroa’s partner Piotr Bobak, 40, was charged with concealment of a homicide.

Detectives say they were first alerted to Clarisa Figueroa on 7 May – two weeks after Ms Ochoa-Lopez’s disappearance – when friends of the teen directed police to her Facebook account where she had made arrangements with Ms Figueroa to pick up baby clothes.

Police allege that Ms Figueroa then lured Ms Ochoa-Lopez inside her home and, with the help of her daughter, strangled the 19-year-old with a cable. Once Ms Ochoa-Lopez had died, her baby was forcibly removed from her womb.

“Words really cannot express how disgusting and thoroughly disturbing these allegations are,” Supt Johnson said.

That same day, Ms Figueroa called paramedics to her home, in the south-west of Chicago, claiming her newborn baby was not breathing.

Ms Figueroa later started a GoFundMe campaign that she claimed was for the funeral of her dying baby, a spokeswoman for Ms Ochoa-Lopez’s family told AP news agency.

Subsequent DNA tests revealed that Ms Ochoa-Lopez was the baby’s mother.

Desiree Figueroa confessed to helping her mother strangle Ms Ochoa-Lopezwith a cable, CBS reported.

Presentational white spacePolice said Ms Ochoa-Lopez had met Clarisa Figueroa previously and had conducted prior exchanges of baby clothes.

On Thursday, Supt Johnson expressed his condolences to Ms Ochoa-Lopez’s family in the wake of her “brutal” murder.

“They should be celebrating the birth of a young baby,” he said. “Instead, they’re mourning the loss of the mother and possibly that young child.”

The three suspects are to appear in court on Friday.