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How the Biden administration objects to judging Texas purchases

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The Justice Department has disputed three high-profile lawsuits filed in Texas against the policies of the Biden administration, accusing state politicians of choosing small, conservative federal court divisions that have little to do with their cases but almost guarantee them a sympathetic judge.

It’s part of the administration’s first concerted effort to combat what some legal experts say is the growing problem of “forum seeking” — a strategy in which plaintiffs allegedly pick the judges they want to hear, in defiance of random judge appointments. it is considered a principle of the American legal system.

One of the requests was denied. Two others are under consideration. In the fall, the Justice Department managed to convince a Texas judge in a fourth case involving a death row inmate that he did not have jurisdiction to rule on the matter.

In three lawsuits over Biden administration policies, Attorneys General of Texas and a handful of other states filed in rural federal courts, each with a lone judge with a reputation for ruling against Democratic administration policies. In contrast, most federal judiciaries across the country include several judges who are randomly assigned to hear cases as they are filed.

The Justice Department appears to have been cautious in its requests, trying to reassure the judges that the government considers them impartial, but still asking them to refer the lawsuits to a more directly relevant county. The federal government has argued that even the perception of judge shopping can undermine public confidence in the justice system.

Texas Judge Who Can Overturn Abortion Pill

“The constant tactic of plaintiffs and others involved in filing many of their lawsuits against the federal government in chambers with a single judge or chambers where they are almost always guaranteed the employment of a particular judicial officer undermines public confidence in the administration of justice and requires the transfer of warrants in the interests of justice,” the ministry wrote last month in a motion to transfer a lawsuit related to immigration policy.

The lawsuit challenges the Biden administration’s new immigration slogan program, which would grant legal two-year entry to up to 360,000 people a year from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Judge Drew B. Tipton, President Donald Trump’s nominee who turned down another Biden immigration offer in 2021, denied a transfer request earlier this month.

“On the one hand, all parties in this case have categorically stated that this court will be fair and impartial as it hears this case,” Tipton wrote in his ruling on the parole motion. “On the other hand, the Federal Defendants argue that the filing of lawsuits by a single judge creates a possible public perception that there may not be a judge.”

The other two lawsuits challenge environmental policies and whether Congress will observed the voting protocols during the passage $1.7 trillion spending bill. Federal lawyers argued that all three cases should have been filed either in Austin, the capital of Texas, or in Washington, D.C., the nation’s capital.

At the very least, the Justice Department argued, judges should consider transferring cases to multi-judge divisions of Texas to avoid the impression that they are buying judges.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) and his team argued in their response memos that they were not violating any rules by filing with these small units and that Biden’s policies would affect all Texas residents, including those who live in communities. where cases are filed. .

Democrats and Republicans have long been looking for divisions where they think they have the best chance of getting a judge or jury that is favorable to them—for Democrats, that means filing a lawsuit in district courts in liberal areas. There are no federal laws prohibiting single judges, and Texas is not the only state to have them. But according to legal experts, the ability to judge in Texas is unique because there are many single-judge divisions, most of which are in rural, Republican-dominated areas.

Texas has four major federal judicial districts. Steve Wladek, professor of constitutional law at the University of Texas School of Law, said the four counties are divided into 27 geographic divisions. Eight divisions have one judge, giving plaintiffs who file a complaint a nearly 100 percent chance of getting a pre-selected judge, which Wladek said should worry people across the political spectrum.

“People should step back and say, even if I am sympathetic to the nature of these lawsuits today, am I comfortable setting the precedent that a hand-picked district judge in an unusual state can dictate national policy in a future presidential election?” He said.

Paxton’s office has sued the Biden administration 28 times in Texas courts, according to a Justice Department summary. Eighteen of those cases were filed with single judge divisions, the department said.

Trump’s enduring legacy in the judiciary goes beyond the Supreme Court.

One of the department’s tasks went to Judge Matthew J. Kachsmaric of Amarillo, Texas, a Trump nominee who recently made headlines when he presided over a lawsuit to revoke the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of a drug for mifepristone abortion.

The Biden administration has not requested the transfer of either the mifepristone lawsuit or another lawsuit filed in the Kaczmarik court that seeks to block the Biden administration’s gun order.

Instead, the Justice Department asked Kaczmarik to relinquish control of a case challenging policies that allow pension plan managers to factor climate change and other environmental and social concerns into investment decisions.

At least one of the plaintiffs in both the abortion pill lawsuits and gun policy lawsuits is linked to Amarillo, making it harder for the Biden administration to argue that cases shouldn’t be filed there. But the environmental investment case, according to the Justice Department, has no such connection.

Bruce Green, a professor at Fordham Law School, said the single judge divisions were not created so that lawyers could find loopholes in how judges were assigned to cases. Instead, he said, they were created so that people living in rural communities could have easy access to courts, even if the population was not large enough to support courthouses with multiple judges on duty.

In some states, rural judges rotate courthouses to avoid single-judge divisions, making it much more difficult to ensure that a case is heard by a particular judge.

“It makes sense to have the equivalent of a school building with one room, one court presided over by one judge, so that everyone who lives in the area and is near this courthouse registers there,” Green said. “It doesn’t make sense when the case doesn’t have much connection to the place.”

Texas man sues women he says helped his ex-wife buy abortion pills

Josh Blackman, a professor at South Texas College of Law, said he didn’t see an ethical problem with Paxton trying to “shop.” Attorneys follow long-standing federal rules about where claims can be filed, he said, noting that if the outcome of any of the claims is appealed, a panel of judges from the right-handed Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals may consider whether the cases were properly filed in a particular judicial department.

“Why is the Texas Attorney General suing Amarillo?” Blackman said. “Answer: this is a judge of a single division. The litigants trade rationally.”

Last year, the Justice Department won one victory in its fight against judge selection by convincing a conservative judge in Wichita Falls, Texas, to dismiss a lawsuit against an Oklahoma prisoner and the death penalty. The federal government has ruled John Fitzgerald Hanson in 2000 to life imprisonment for a series of robberies. He was later sentenced to death by the state of Oklahoma for the murder of two people.

In October, the Oklahoma Attorney General filed a lawsuit in Wichita Falls seeking Hanson’s transfer from federal custody to state custody so he could be executed. Oklahoma lawyers said they filed the lawsuit in Wichita Falls — a city in northern Texas — because it was about halfway between the Oklahoma Attorney General’s residence in Oklahoma City and the Bureau of Prisons’ regional director’s residence in western Texas.

The Justice Department argued that the lawsuit should be filed in the Western District of Louisiana, where Hanson is located.

In response, George W. Bush’s nominee Reid O’Connor, who is seen as a pro-conservative judge, dropped the case.

“This case is CLOSED,” he wrote, “for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.”

Caroline Kitchener contributed to this report.

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POLITICS

In South Carolina, Nikki Haley and Tim Scott are reaching out to the same donors and the same voters.

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“Do they share voices? Yes, of course,” said Cato Dawson, a former South Carolina Republican Party chairman who supports Ms. Haley. “Are they going to take something from Donald Trump? I do not know yet”.

Mr. Trump continues to have a large share of support among Republican voters in South Carolina. He did not attend Saturday’s event, although he was invited. As was Mr. DeSantis, who was also invited. government Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, who is still considering a possible presidential nomination and attended the forum, told reporters on Saturday that the presence of Mr. Scott and Ms. Haley has created a “somewhat complicated situation.”

Mr. Scott was on a week-long tour of the hearings of the first major states, namely Iowa and South Carolina. In addition to the necessary meetings with constituents and donors, Mr. Scott paid special attention to religious leaders and held several meetings with pastors. Ms. Haley, whose campaign team boasted of making nearly 20 campaign stops in the month she was a candidate, plans to visit New Hampshire in late March.

Ms. Haley and Mr. Scott are two Republicans of color in a predominantly white party. Each has used the distinction to refute Democrats’ critique of systemic racism in America and to argue that the country remains a beacon of progress and opportunity.

“America is not racist, we are lucky,” Ms. Haley said, a message she repeatedly stressed.

Mr. Dawson, Former State Chairman The Republican Party, which supports Ms. Haley, has proposed a different scenario. Instead of wiping out each other’s voters, he said, Ms. Haley and Mr. Scott could consolidate their resources if one of them suspended his presidential candidacy to support the other. Such a move could boost one of the contenders’ odds against a higher-ranking candidate such as Mr. Trump or Mr. DeSantis.

“If you combine these two for anything, you will be in trouble,” Mr. Dawson said. “Because they like each other.”

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It’s Not Just a Silicon Valley Bank – Americans Haven’t Trusted Banks for Years

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Welcome to Pollapalooza, our weekly survey roundup.

When the Silicon Valley bank collapsed last week, it caused the stock market will start a five-day fall. V shares for regional banks, in particulardeclined significantly, even as federal regulators worked on mitigation. Investors were clearly spooked by the failure of SVB and Signature Bank, a New York-based institution that also collapsed over the weekend. But Americans didn’t have much confidence in banks and other financial institutions for a while, and most believe more regulation is needed.

Gallup asked Americans about their confidence in various institutions, including banks, even before the 1980s. While most Americans once said they had “very” or “fairly” trust in banks, that has changed dramatically since the 2008 financial crisis. In 2007, 41 percent of Americans expressed significant confidence in banks; by 2009, only 22 percent. Although this level rose again to 38 percent in 2020, it has since fallen again and has never reached the consistently high levels of the mid-90s and early 2000s.

Similar trends have been recorded in other surveys: a 2012 article published in Public opinion quarterly found that declines in banking confidence were more related to major banking scandals than to economic events and indicators such as recessions or inflation. According to Pew poll last yearfew Americans across the political spectrum believe that banks and other financial institutions “have a positive impact on the way things are going in the country these days.”

And a slightly different but complementary question from Gallup shows that not only do Americans distrust banks, they tend to have an unfavorable attitude towards them: 2022 survey, just 36 percent of Americans said they were very or somewhat positive about the banking industry, up from 40 percent a year earlier. Compare that to the 60 percent of Americans who are positive about the restaurant industry, or the 57 percent who are positive about the farming industry.

Perhaps that’s why it’s not surprising that many US banks feel they should be more regulated. A survey from Lake Research Partners/Chesapeake Beach Consulting Last October, he asked Americans about banking regulation and specific policies, garnering widespread support across the political spectrum. Sixty-six percent of Americans, including 77 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of Republicans, said they need to increase regulation of “financial companies such as Wall Street banks, mortgage lenders, payday lenders, collectors and credit card companies.” More than half of Americans said that the influence of big banks in Washington is too great. And most Americans supported a range of policy proposals made by Congress and regulators, including limiting the size and frequency of bank overdrafts and credit card fees, lowering interest rates on high-cost loans, and closing loopholes for fintech companies.

But despite the distrust of financial institutions and the desire for more regulation, Americans were not too shocked by the closure of the SVB, although the reaction from them was mixed. IN poll “Morning consultation” this week, 60 percent of voters said they supported the Biden administration’s creation of an emergency fund to cover deposits in closed banks, while 62 percent said they viewed the action as a bailout. More Reuters/Ipsos poll over the same period found that 84 percent of Americans say taxpayers shouldn’t pay to fix problems caused by irresponsible bank management, which — in that Morning Consult survey — voter bias (38 percent) cited as a major reason for SVB’s failure. Meanwhile, a YouGov poll this week showed only 6 percent of Americans consider the money they currently invest in US banks to be “very unreliable”, while 70 percent said it was very or somewhat safe. Besides, 64 percent of Americans said they backed the Silicon Valley bank bailout to protect customer deposits.

However, the majority of Americans – 54 percent – said it is very or somewhat likely that the collapse of the SVB would trigger a broader financial crisis in the US, perhaps another indication of how little American confidence in banks has been since 2008.

Other Polling Bits

  • While President Biden’s approval rating continues to fall, voters are mostly supportive policies in his budget proposalin accordance with a recent survey from Morning Consult. A majority of registered voters approved almost all of the policies in Biden’s proposal, such as capping insulin at $35 a month and imposing a minimum tax of 25 percent on the richest 0.01 percent of Americans. Even a majority of Republicans approved of many of the measures: 73% of Republican voters supported a cap of insulin, and 53% supported $15 billion in free school meals.
  • As the war in Ukraine continues, American attitudes towards Russia have fallen to a 34-year low. according to a Gallup poll. Only 9 percent of Americans view Russia positively, up from 15 percent a year ago and a high of 66 percent in 1991 and 2002. fell sharply around the time Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and has continued to fall since Russia invaded Ukraine last year.
  • More than 30 states are considering or have already enacted a ban on the popular TikTok video app, but Americans are ambivalent about whether a national ban is a good idea. new survey from Quinnipiac University. When asked if they would support a national ban on “foreign technology like TikTok,” a proportion of Americans (49 percent) said they would, while 42 percent said they would oppose it. Republicans were more likely than independents or Democrats to support a ban, while Americans aged 18 to 34 were the least likely to support a ban, with 63% saying they would oppose it.
  • March madness is in full swing, and despite poll by the Center for Public Opinion at the University of Massachusetts Lowell With the discovery that only 16 percent of Americans identify themselves as college basketball fans, interest in the tournament is growing. recent survey by Morning Consult. 35% of Americans said they plan to watch the men’s tournament this year, up from 29% last year. A higher proportion of Americans also plan to fill the bracket this year (23 percent) than last year (15 percent).
  • In honor of the start of Taylor Swift’s last tour, both YouGov another morning consultation Recently asked fans to rate their albums. In a YouGov poll, Swift’s “Lover” came in first place, with 14% of fans citing it as their top pick, and “1989” topped a Morning Consult fan poll. results were fans seeing the color red, but they had to shake it off because, frankly, it’s very difficult to choose which album will suit you from this mastermind’s hit-filled discography, as any fan knows all too well.

Biden endorsement

According to FiveThirtyEight’s presidential approval tracker, 43.7% of Americans approve of Biden’s performance as president, while 51.5% disapprove (-7.8 net approval rating). At the same time last week, 43.6% approved and 51.4% disapproved (net approval rating of -7.8 points). A month ago, Biden had a 43.1% approval rating and a 51.8% disapproval rating, for a net approval rating of -8.8.

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