Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Parler Overnight Dismissed Its Ill-Starred Federal Suit, Against Amazon...

We predicted, at the head of last month, that this day would arrive shortly. It has. [My backgrounder here.]

Parler is now on a separate set of servers, and seems to be desktop only -- unavailable by cell-phone. But to be clear, since I'd rather eat my own spleen, without anesthetic, than join it -- I don't know, and won't follow up. I do know the lawsuit in Seattle federal district court has been dropped. Here's the bit:

. . .Plaintiff Parler LLC files its Notice of Voluntary Dismissal Without Prejudice pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(a)(1)(A)(i). . . .

This voluntary dismissal is without prejudice to refiling. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(a)(1)(B).

DATED this 2nd day of March 2021. . . .

Good riddance, I say -- to this mis-shapen little troll service. Let us allow law enforcement to do its work. In that regard, I will note that, another far right service. . . admittted this week that essentially all its data -- including private messages to and from the account of Tangerine himself, and other high ranking GOP officials -- is in the hands of social hacktivists. Expect some leaks-based reporting of the truth, related to what those people think, maybe as soon as this weekend.


Tuesday, March 2, 2021

So -- Even Though Texas Is Well-Behind On Vaccinations... Gov. Abbott Is Ending Masks, And Fully RE-Opening.

For the sake of the people of Texas, I hope this reckless gamble by GOP leadership. . . doesn't cause another tsunami of cases.

But hope is all I can offer. Texas is nowhere near herd immunity. Texas was among the worst, in the later stages of the first wave. It remains well behind the curve on vaccinations, of people most at risk. Here is the disconcerting news:

. . .Texas lags behind most of the nation in vaccination percentages. As of Wednesday, roughly 13 percent of the state’s population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, ranking 48th in the United States. . . .

For his part, the Mayor of San Antonio, Ron Nirenberg, a Democrat, said Abbott's move was unwise: "Opening everything to 100% while simultaneously nixing our state's mask mandate is a huge mistake.

COVID-19 is still widespread in our community and infecting far too many vulnerable residents.

Please join me in continuing to wear a mask.

We're not out of the woods yet. . . ."

The science of pandemic biology. . . strongly suggests the Mayor of San Antonio is right; and the past four weeks of watching Texas from afar. . . would suggest Gov. Abbott more than occasionally is deeply irresponsible, or at best indifferent, as to the fate of his most vulnerable Texans. First trying to invalidate their votes, then freezing them without power, and now essentially saying older, immune compromised people. . . don't matter.

I will keep the people of Texas in my positive meditations. . . but I (quite reasonably) fear this will not end well.


[U] In A Show Of Unusual Statesmanship, Merck Will Allocate Vaccine Production Capacity To The Approved J&J Covid-19 Jabs...

Updated @ 4:30 PM EST -- In view of this monumental agreement, for his part now, Mr. Biden is predicting that the US will have enough vaccine stock to inoculate all US adults by late May 2021. Excellent -- end update.

This is, in truth, nearly the best of what US life science companies can offer, as corporate citizenship.

We face a global pandemic -- one that may well be soon arrested, if only we can produce enough vaccine stock to immunize the bulk of the population. But no one company can produce enough -- not even close. So, in resonance with President Biden's calling for more humane, soulful treatment of all of us. . . these two titans will. . . cooperate and in the process, geometrically speed the delivery of vaccines, around the globe. [And each will make profit on the deal.] Here's a bit, via the WaPo:

. . .President Biden will announce Tuesday that pharmaceutical giant Merck will help make Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot coronavirus vaccine — an unusual pact between fierce competitors that could sharply boost the supply of the newly authorized vaccine, according to senior administration officials.

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a matter that has not been announced, said they began scouring the country for additional manufacturing capacity after they realized in the first days of the administration that Johnson & Johnson had fallen behind in vaccine production. They soon sought to broker a deal with Merck, one of the world’s largest vaccine makers. . . .

Onward, smiling at all the good there is -- reawakening the "doing well, by doing. . . good" mantra -- in this now newly cooperative world.


Monday, March 1, 2021

We Must Address Rising Ocean Levels -- Due To Climate Change...

. . .And, we must accept that the magnetic poles are shifting (as we previously explained here in May of 2020), as well as growing weaker -- weaker than they've been in over 1,200 years.

There is credible geological record evidence that the last magnetic pole reversal coincided with the extinction of the Neanderthals.

As every person with a TV tonight now knows, a vast sheet of the Antarctic shelf, larger than Manhattan, split free this morning.

If we do not start immediately to take far more aggressive actions. . . we are likely to hand our children, and certainly their children, a world nearly uninhabitable -- or at least unintelligible -- compared to the one we were handed by our parents. We must act -- and act now.


Sunday, February 28, 2021

What It Actually Means... To Offer A Land Of Purely... Unlimited Opportunity: NASA Mars Edition.

She spoke no English, worked odd jobs, and did house-keeping, at hotels. Put herself through college. She came to America with $300 in her pocket, from Columbia -- at 17, with a dream.

And an ample helping of natural scientific ability, coupled with. . . determination. She's a NASA Mars Flight Director now. She's one of the people we most prize, as emblematic of the immortal Lazarus poem. Here's a bit, from Yahoo News:

. . .When NASA's Perseverance rover successfully landed on Mars last week, aerospace engineer Diana Trujillo, who is a flight director on the mission, said in an interview with CBS News that it took her some time to process that it had arrived on the red planet.

"I was very much on the mindset of 'What's happening?'" she said. Then as pictures and videos from Perseverance started to beam back, it became real.

"Are we safe? I think that watching the image was when I actually processed that we had actually landed," she added. . . .

Her dreams of reaching space and wanting to understand the universe came as a young person in Cali, Colombia. Her parents were divorcing and as a 17-year-old, she decided to go to the United States, arriving with only $300 and not speaking any English. She worked housekeeping jobs to pay for her studies and later joined NASA in 2007. . . .

This is America's future. That speech at CPAC this afternoon: nearly the ugliest past. Period.


Who Cares What A Pumpkin-Faced Insurrectionist, And Former Pretender To Office Thinks? I Certainly Don't.

YAWN. If it wasn't clear enough, he's just a bitter, deranged private citizen, a 74 year old retiree -- without even a Twitter feed. And that's before he gets. . . indicted in New York, in a few months. So. No. I. Don't. Care. But the CPAC website is down. Crashed. Hilarious -- and so sublimely. . . appropriate.

The NYT is covering it (since it cannot be seen live) -- but me? I'll ignore him. If he is the GOP candidate by 2023, I'll dain to look in again. But assuming he's not in jail by then -- he is irrelevant, until that time.

The Biden/Harris administration is repairing real America, day by day. That's the story. That, and the protection of our most vulnerable charges. Onward.


"Hidden" No Longer: NASA's DC HQ Bears Her Name... And Her Likeness, In The Lobby.

We will close out Black History Month in fitting fashion -- by noting that the DC Headquarters building of NASA is now the Mary W. Jackson building. We are grinning, ear to ear -- "hidden" no more, indeed.

Here's the story, as told by NASA press offices -- from Friday:

. . .On Friday, NASA celebrated the agency’s first African American female engineer, Mary W. Jackson, with a ceremony to formally name the agency’s headquarters building in Washington in her honor.

Jackson began working at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) – the forerunner of NASA – in April 1951. From her initial role as a “human computer” within the segregated West Area Computing Unit of what would become NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, to becoming an engineer, to managing Langley’s Federal Women’s Program and championing equal employment opportunity efforts at the center toward the end of her career, Jackson’s pioneering efforts and commitment to helping others have inspired generations – both at NASA and beyond.

“With the official naming of the Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters today, we ensure that she is a hidden figure no longer,” said acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk. “Jackson’s story is one of incredible determination. She personified NASA’s spirit of persevering against all odds, providing inspiration and advancing science and exploration.”

The work of Jackson and others in Langley’s West Area Computing Unit caught widespread national attention in the 2016 Margot Lee Shetterly book “Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race.” The book was made into a popular movie that same year, with award-winning actress Janelle Monáe playing Jackson’s character. . . .

Onward, to a better, more just. . . tomorrow.


Saturday, February 27, 2021

Obamacare | Bidencare 2.0... Finally... Cometh.

It has truly been. . . "a long time, a'comin' -- but a change is gonna' do us good."

When it passed in 2010, the idea was to refresh and improve parts of it every few years -- but get the first part done. None of us expected it would take eleven years to get to the first real improvement package (there have been several weakening measures, but it has survived in the courts pretty much intact). So, yet and still -- here we are.

Here is The New York Times, on the exciting possibilities now finally unfolding, to make America a more just place, in the delivery of health care -- in favor of her less fortunate citizens:

. . .Tucked inside the stimulus bill that the House passed early on Saturday are a series of provisions to make the private plans more affordable, at least in the short term.

The legislation, largely modeled after a bill passed in the House last year, would make upper-middle-income Americans newly eligible for financial help to buy plans on the Obamacare marketplaces, and would increase the subsidies already going to lower-income enrollees. The changes would last two years, cover 1.3 million more Americans and cost about $34 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

For certain Americans, the difference in premium prices would be substantial: The Congressional Budget Office estimates that a 64-year-old earning $58,000 would see monthly payments decline from $1,075 under current law to $412 with the new subsidies. . . .

The stimulus package. . . increase[s] financial incentives for states to join the program. Though Democrats are offering holdout states larger payments than they’ve contemplated in the past, it’s unclear whether it will be enough to lure state governments that have already left billions on the table. Under current law, the federal government covers 90 percent of new enrollees’ costs. . . .

We shall see -- but in the middle south and southern states (think TN, AR, AL and MS), where the local fisc is already gutted by COVID-19 related costs, this may be one piece of pie that is just to tempting to leave on the table. Indeed -- here over a decade later, we will have a more just delivery system for health care. We will. Onward, smiling. . . .


More Detail, On The Contours Of The R&D Pipeline Merck Is Buying, From This Week's Pandion Acquisiton: Stock For Cash...

I meant to get to this Thursday evening, but the for pay gigs got the best of me. In truth I was being. . . lazy.

So, here on a sunny warm quiet Saturday morning, over coffee, bananas and cherry yogurt, we will link to a fine BioSpace article put out in the intervening three days, on it all (saving me the effort of hand-writing my own!):

. . .Pandion is advancing a pipeline of precision immune modulators targeting critical immune control nodes. The company’s lead candidate, PT101, is an engineered IL-2 mutein fused to a protein backbone designed to selectively activate and expand regulatory T cells (Tregs) for the potential treatment of ulcerative colitis and other autoimmune diseases.

Tregs act as a control node within the immune system and can inhibit the activity of several different pro-inflammatory immune cell types. Defects in Tregs are associated with many autoimmune diseases. Research suggests that expansion of Tregs by low-dose IL-2 can benefit patients with autoimmune diseases. . . .

The company also has done impressive work in PD-1 agonists, an area in which Merck has a decade long track record of multi-billion dollar per year successes. So, the whole deal is a very nice fit, to the immuno suite at Kenilworth.

Onward, now smiling. . . for a mountain bike ride by the sunshine dappled lake path. . . .


By Next Friday, Bannon Must Choose: Is He "Accepting" -- On The Record, The Dubious Benefits -- Of That Trump Pardon?

I know I said I'd likely not closely follow this, but the manifold paths. . . that lead to ever-more hilarious mischief -- from the Tangerine Team's utter lack of understanding of the US legal system. . . cause me to offer at least this much more. I think the central teaching here is that offering pardons to people who've not yet been found formally guilty by a jury or judge -- especially for garden variety financial fraud felonies with multiple co-conspirators (felonies that are not part of any arguable political campaigning processes, in proper). . . may well create more exposure rather than diminish it.

The able USDC Judge in Manhattan has given Bannon only until the first Friday in March to decide: will he formally accept the pardon, with all the downside that entails, or will he not? She has made it plain: he cannot have it both ways any longer -- to get the benefit, he will have to admit guilt on the record. Here it is, overnight, in full:

. . .The Court has reviewed Defendant Stephen Bannon's letter dated February 18, 2021 (the "Letter"), transmitted to the Court via email, and the Government's response, ECF No. 86.

Accordingly, By March 5, 2021, Bannon shall file the Letter on the docket, or move to file it under seal;

By March 19, 2021, Bannon shall file his motion to dismiss;

By April 2, 2021, the Government shall file its opposition; and

By April 9, 2021, Bannon shall file his reply, if any (Defendant Motions due by 3/19/2021., Defendant Replies due by 4/9/2021., Government Responses due by 4/2/2021).

(Signed by Judge Analisa Torres on 2/26/21). . . .

Condor predicts he will accept the pardon, and vainly try to argue some form of common law double jeapardy in state courts (though in this context, no such defense exists), as to his admission of state court felonies, as well. And still -- we will watch and wait -- who else gets dragged down by him, as co-conspirators? Who indeed. Grin. . . stay dry in the nation's middle south -- we now (finally!) now have better weather than you: sunny and fairly warm here -- almost all that snow is melted.


Friday, February 26, 2021

Cy Vance Is Apparently ALSO Looking Very Closely At Steve Bannon; He Has Clearly Hurt His Own Chances By Accepting Trump's Late Arriving Pardon.

Several others -- both smarter, and paying more attention to Steve Bannon, than I am -- have mentioned this, and in greater detail. Do read this one, as the best of the lot.

It seems Bannon's lawyer (so far) has failed to get the federal indictments dismissed, by pointing to Tangerine's egregious pardon, without filing it, or having Bannon officially accept it, on the record in court. [See AUSAs' filing.]

This is because with the acceptance of a pardon comes an admission of guilt, and it makes him eligible (and compelled) to testify against his co-conspirators in the federal matters (thus far un-named, and unindicted).

But in order to end the federal matter, his admission of guilt will open him to state level charges in New York and anywhere else that his faux charity stole money from donors to a "build the wall" scam, only to spend it on lavish private jet rides, and high administrative overhead salaries and perks.

I should also note that the state level New York jails are much less cushy than the club fed minimum security facilities, under the fedral BoP, had he simply agreed to accept responsibility for the federal crimes.

Karma is funny, that way -- but I'll likely not mention him again -- as he really is a bit player, now. Just know that one day in the late summer, when you read a New York state level indictment charging ten year felonies has been unsealed against one Steve Bannon -- he has only himself, and Baby T to blame for that state of affairs. Maybe he and T will ultimately get the sent to the same New York state medium security facility, upstate. To do at least ten each.

Who else, though? Who, indeed?!

That's my smile for the morning. Onward.


Thursday, February 25, 2021

Power Alley Return: Merck To Buy Immuno R&D Company Pandion For 134% Premium Over Last Closing Price

More, after a few office appointments.

Here's a wire summary -- but clearly good news for Kenilworth:

. . . .Merck announced an agreement Thursday to buy Pandion Therapeutics Inc. in a deal valued at $1.85 billion. Under terms of the deal, Merck will pay $60 in cash for each Pandion share outstanding, which represents a 134.1% premium to Wednesday's closing price.

Pandion is a biotechnology company which uses its TALON technology to develop autoimmune treatments. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2021. Merck shares rose 0.6% in premarket trading, while Pandion's stock was still untraded. . . .

Onward. . . rushing. Kinda' a busy day -- on the billable side. . . . grinning. [Updated: Gratifying to see Cy Vance's team of forensic accountants and financial crimes prosecutors have the millions of pages now, in the shop. Just time and tide now, love -- time, and tide. . . Quite a sunny day, for America. . . .]


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Barr/Trump "Star Chamber" Police Commission Slap Down, Completed Tonight: NAACP's Completed 100% Win, In DC... G'night!

Welp, that's game -- set -- and match. The level of distain evinced, here -- for well settled law -- by AG Barr and Tangerine. . . was simply jaw-slacking. But now it is over, completely. We will indeed shortly read all of the secret dealings undertaken, and the secret militarized policing thrusts the "star chamber" sought to advance, against her own citizens. Without any of her ordinary citizens having the basic right to give input on the moves toward. . . budding fascism.

Deplorable. Here is the cogently-reasoned opinion, from Judge Bates.

. . .[T]he Court concludes that defendants must disclose documents submitted to the Commission or any Commissioner, or through the Commission’s official channels, for consideration by the full Commission — even if not ultimately provided to all Commissioners. Additionally, defendants must disclose any document authorized by Commissioners and represented as having been prepared on behalf of the full Commission—even if some Commissioners did not see the document. Such documents were clearly “prepared for or by” the Commission even if, for whatever reason, they were not “made available to” some Commissioners. . . .

In particular, the Court agrees with LDF that defendants cannot categorically withhold public comments not provided to the full Commission. Such comments were surely prepared for the Commission and submitted for its consideration. The Commission directed members of the public, including LDF, to submit comments to the Commission’s email account. See Dixon Decl. Ex. A [ECF No. 25-26] at 1 (stating that comments “must” be submitted to [email address]). LDF, like others who submitted public comments, “had no way of ensuring that its public comment was shared with each Commissioner to consider as intended or just a handful of Commission members.” See Mot. to Compel at 9–10. The fact that a gatekeeper withheld certain comments from some Commissioners does not immunize those comments from public disclosure. Similarly, defendants must disclose other materials sent to or from the Commission’s official email account that comport with the Court’s understanding of Section 10(b).

The Court also agrees with LDF that defendants must disclose documents in which the Commission solicited input from specific third parties in preparation for hearings — if authorized by at least one Commissioner and represented as being sent on behalf of the entire Commission — and any responses sent for consideration by the full Commission. . . .

[Finally,] the Court concludes that the Commission’s working groups are themselves advisory committees subject to FACA. Accordingly, the Court will order defendants to disclose documents that were “made available to or prepared for or by” the working groups. . . .

So ends the lawless time of Barr's "Star Chamber." Onward.


An Encouraging Status Update, In San Diego -- Ms. L. Federal Class Action: February 24, 2021

Just about everything (at least in the way of tone, and tenor of discussions) has changed in the litigations underway in California. With the federal government being directed by Mr. Biden to scrupulously honor our lawful obligations, as the same relate to people lacking papers, suddenly there is interest in resolving all disagreements. See below, which is (of course) greatly gratifying news -- but it comes decidedly too late, for the dozens and dozens. . . already dead. And for the high hundreds who are gravely ill, with COVID-19, and other maladies -- already, now.

Still, we laud the progress that elections bring. Here is the latest 15 page status update (PDF file) -- and a bit:

. . .On February 8, 2021, the Court ordered the parties to provide the Court with their positions “on how the President’s February 2, 2021 ‘Executive Order on the Establishment of Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families’ affects this case.” ECF No. 573. Defendants believe that the work of the Task Force will resolve many — if not all — outstanding issues in this litigation, and Defendants look forward to working with Plaintiffs with that goal in mind.

On February 22, 2021, the parties held a call to discuss the issue of reunifications and the work of the Task Force. Defendants explained to Plaintiffs that the Task Force is actively meeting and intends to consult with Plaintiffs and other stakeholders who have been involved in the reunification process. A call between the task force and Plaintiffs’ counsel was subsequently held on February 23, and Defendants will work with Plaintiffs’ counsel to arrange additional discussions going forward as appropriate. The Task Force intends to use these discussions to develop more comprehensive plans regarding how it will move forward. Accordingly, Defendants ask the Court to allow them to file a further update on the work of the Task Force and its likely effect on this litigation on or before March 10, 2021. Plaintiffs have stated that they are in agreement with this proposal for moving forward on this issue. . . .

Onward, onto a Wednesday night call on Zoom with my grown kids and their SOs, spread around the northern hemisphere, now. Grin. . . .


It Is Highly Likely That The Efforts In Arkansas To Require Work, For In-State Medicaid Eligibility... Are DOA.

In the fairly early days of Old Tangerine, GOP controlled states in 2018 had been encouraged to experiment with work-seeking documentation (as a plainly new red-tape requirement), in order for people to qualify for in-state Medicaid, and at least Arkansas had actually begun to do so. Then four separate federal courts ruled that the Executive had exceeded his authority in trying to create work requirements -- as a "toss out" from Medicaid eligibility.

The matter was on appeal to the Supremes, when Baby T lost office. The Biden Administration has sent word to the Supremes that it is repealing the demonstration project, and it is highly unlikely to defend the Arkansas scheme at the high court. In all likelihood, this will end the cruel and non-sensical idea that someone sick enough to need Medicaid, and poor enough not to be able to find private insurance, probably cannot go out looking for paid labor, as a day laborer for example, in order to get Medicaid in Arkansas. But that was Tangerine's big idea. Take away the safety net, always. Here's a bit of the latest Biden paperwork, saying there's a new, and more humane view now prevailing -- inside the White House, as well as outside of it:

. . .The Arkansas and New Hampshire demonstration projects are among more than a dozen projects including work-related requirements that either have been approved by or are pending before HHS. Gov’t Br. 15 & n.6. However, none of those projects’ work-related requirements is currently operative. Arkansas was the only State to begin disenrolling beneficiaries for failing to satisfy its work-related requirements, and that implementation was halted in March 2019 following the district court’s decision in Gresham. Pet. App. 6a. Since then, the COVID-19 pandemic has made implementing such requirements infeasible. In addition, implementation of such requirements is effectively precluded by legislation enacted in March 2020 that conditions a State’s receipt of an increase in federal Medicaid funding during the pandemic on its maintaining certain existing Medicaid parameters. Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Pub. L. No. 116-127, Div. F, § 6008(a) and (b), 134 Stat. 208; 42 C.F.R. 433.400(c)(2). This Office is informed by HHS that every State has accepted that increased funding and thus currently cannot implement work-related requirements like those in Arkansas and New Hampshire. . . .

On February 12, 2021, HHS sent letters to Arkansas, New Hampshire, and other States with previously approved demonstration projects that include work-related requirements informing them that HHS has begun a process of determining whether to withdraw approval of those requirements.

HHS explained that it “has the authority and responsibility to maintain continued oversight of demonstration projects in order to ensure that they are currently likely to assist in promoting the objectives of Medicaid” and that HHS may withdraw approval of a project that it finds “‘is not likely to achieve the statutory purposes. . . .’

The government respectfully submits that the appropriate course for the Court in such greatly changed circumstances is to vacate the judgments of the court of appeals and remand. Cf., e.g., Madison Cnty. v. Oneida Indian Nation of New York, 562 U.S. 42, 43 (2011) (per curiam) (vacating and remanding in light of “new factual development”); Department of Justice v. City of Chicago, 537 U.S. 1229 (2003) (intervening statute).

The cases should be remanded with instructions that the underlying matters be remanded to the Secretary, so that the agency may complete the review process it has commenced and determine the appropriate path forward in the first instance, exercising the “judgment” Congress expressly vested in the agency with respect to demonstration projects. 42 U.S.C. 1315(a). . . .

Of course, all of this is a welcome development for ethical (but still profit seeking) life science companies, ones that need to be at least minimally reimbursed in order to deliver often life saving treatments to Americans of very limited means. This will make sure that avenue remains open. Onward, as this will be good news for rational, orderly health care delivery in the newly reawakened US health care reform landscape.


As We Guessed Last Friday -- Judge Tipton Simply Skipped Oral Arguments, And Issued A 105 Page Turgid Mess Of An Opinion, At Around Midnight.

I last checked the docket in Houston after 11 PM EST. Sometime around Midnight, Texas time, USDC Judge Tipton dropped the below opinion onto the PACER feed. [His earlier issued TRO was to expire at Midnight, and I get why he'd prefer this not garner a lot of press.] It is simply egregiously wrong -- on the existing, controlling Supreme Court precedents.

I'll not spend a lot of pixels / ink on his, preferring instead to repeat what RAICES and FIEL Houston explained in their cogent amici briefs -- and which the Fifth Circuit and/or Supremes will almost certainly adopt, in the coming weeks. That is, Texas STILL cannot show it is special -- "super-entitled," in other words, to step in front of all other states here. And 105 pages changes. . . nothing, despite what young Judge Tipton intones.

. . .In other words, the Supreme Court has already recognized that under the very statute on which Texas relies, the executive branch retains its longstanding discretion to stay removal. See also Nken v. Holder, 556 U.S. 418, 439–40 (2009) (Alito, J., dissenting) (“Once an order of removal has become final, it may be executed at any time” — but “the Executive Branch” may still “stay its own hand.”). The Fifth Circuit has likewise affirmed this principle. Texas v. United States, 809 F.3d 134, 167–68 & n.105 (5th Cir. 2015) (quoting AADC); see also Naidoo v. INS, 39 F. Supp. 2d 755, 761 (W.D. La. 1999) (“Requests for stays . . . are committed to the discretion of the” executive branch).

Texas does not grapple with AADC and its progeny. [Ed. Note: neither does Judge Tipton. That is disappointing -- federal judges are supposed to be better than this.] Instead, it [and he] focuses on a single word in § 1231(a)(1)(A) — “shall” — contending that Congress thus eliminated the executive branch’s longstanding discretion to stay removal for those in the removal period. But it is a “fundamental principle of statutory construction (and, indeed, of language itself) that the meaning of a word cannot be determined in isolation, but must be drawn from the context in which it is used. . . .

We will see you again and right soon, your honor -- on reversal and remand. Cheers.


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

[U: 105 Page Opinion At Midnight -- STILL No Standing, For Texas.] The TRO In Texas Should Expire By Its Terms, Tonight...

And Judge Tipton's calendar shows no rescheduling of the hearing from last Friday (presumably due to weather).

In fact, looking ahead two weeks there is no hearing scheduled on the preliminary injunction. Is Texas quietly conceding. . . that it cannot win?

More, as we get it. Updated 02.24.2021 -- 8 AM EST: There is a 105 page mess of an opinion. On to the Fifth Circuit.


The Notice Of Legal Rights Poster, Foot-Dragged By Team Tangerine -- For Over A Year -- Now Likely Becomes Entirely... Moot.

In the Fall of 2020, the able USDC Judge Dolly Gee asked Sarah Fabian, speaking for Tangerine, how any lawyer could, in good conscience, oppose an order that simply requires the government via ICE, DHS, HHS and BPS to advise people without papers, most of whom have little familiarity with US immigration law (and in many cases, the language itself) what the law provides, as to their rights to hearings and representation, free of charge. Add to this, that in many, many thousands of these cases, these were. . . children.

Sarah Fabian essentially refused to answer. In this and several other ways, in my opinion, she failed her duty as an officer of the court. I've detailed here repeatedly before the special federal legal duties that arise when one is serving as government counsel in a child welfare or safety matter. She failed those duties -- and failed them, egregiously -- in my view.

This morning in Los Angeles, we learn that all of that eleven months of wrangling, by Sarah Fabian, to prevent people from knowing their rights, while in detention. . . is coming to an end. The Biden Administration, as we have detailed, will now help people in these detention centers swiftly transition to alternate housing -- either in the US interior, or at a minimum, in unlock facilities -- until their hearing dates arrive. The centers essentially become. . . ordinary, and free, dorm style. . . housing. Lawyers skilled in immigration matters will be freely permitted to wander about, and meet with people in need of advice. So all of Ms. Fabian's sound and fury. . . signified nothing, in the end.

It likely did result in the wrongful deportation of hundreds of people, and it is a certainty that at least some of them were killed on return. That will be her indelible legacy, as a Trump government lawyer. Here's the latest:

. . .In light of the change in administrations, DHS is in the process of reviewing the manner in which it uses family residential centers (FRCs), and expects that it will make a transition such that the need for a policy tofacilitate the release of class members to individuals other than their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) may become unnecessary.

Defendants expect the transition to be completed in the near future. Defendants have discussed these anticipated changes with Plaintiffs, and have agreed to continue these discussions while the transition is ongoing. Defendants have explained to Plaintiffs that it their position that dissemination of the current version of the Notice of Rights would be premature during this transition. Plaintiffs have agreed to join in Defendants’ extension request for thirty days. . . .

Now you know -- onward, in to a brighter, better new day.


Seth Shostak, PI Of Many A Mars Op... Reflects On What Our Current Trip There Might Eventually Yield...

Okay. I must admit -- this is has been a childish, but life-long, fantasy of mine. . . having been more or less raised on Frazetta's various lurid renderings of Edgar Rice Burroughs' fantastic tales of the planet Barsoom. And it was in fact the 18th Century drawings Shostak mentions below, that inspired ER Burroughs to write of wild deaths and lives -- on his wholly-imagined version of the red planet. Which in turn fed Frazetta's imagination as a boy. . . and thus. . . his, fed mine.

Here's a bit of the more "science-ladened" end of it -- but to be sure, it brims with shimmering poetry, for me as well. . . even all these years later:

. . .[Our rover] will trundle around Mars’ gaunt landscapes in a search for sediments. These could contain clues to organisms that pitched and swirled in long-vanished seas. . . .

[I]f Mars ever had life, the dead will surely outnumber the living, and are therefore more likely to be found. The landing site for Perseverance, Jezero Crater, looks like a former lake basin fed by a dried-out river, a happy hunting ground for a rover on the prowl for the desiccated remains of early inhabitants. . . .

The samples cached by Perseverance will be collected and returned to Earth by a future mission, to be analyzed in terrestrial laboratories [for proof of former life]. . . .

[I]f that happens, it will be more than an interesting science story. The parade of history will be split. Just as the past is now divided into “before” and “after” the Copernicus. . . so too will discovering long-expired Martian bacteria permanently change our self-regard.

[F]inding Martian life would compel us to abandon the notion that we are privileged, that humans are the sole sentient inhabitants of the universe. Indeed, we would not only have a strong indicator of cosmic company but could infer that it is widespread. . . .

Perseverance could put us back on a road long traveled. In the 18th century, telescopes became powerful enough to discern the polar ice caps and surface markings on Mars. The Red Planet was the only world we knew where conditions might be similar to those on Earth. This likeness launched a durable belief in Martian life, and the Perseverance rover is the latest gambit by science to hunt it down, dead or alive. . . .
And of that long lost. . . mountain poetry, now:

. . .Mars, a coal of fire is rising,

Rising slowly in the frigid twilight sky
Fierce it glows beyond the pine trees,
With a redness all its own,
Rising lonely, while the night breeze
Stirs the branches, with a moan. . . .

-- Catherine Cate Coblentz,
Mars Hill, Lowell Observatory
Flagstaff, Arizona 1924

Indeed. She climbs into the colder winter night's skies. . . with a moan. . . .

And, I for one, will be waiting right here, on Jasoom -- with baited breath, to hear her sighs. . . telling us of her long ago departed. . . lives.


Monday, February 22, 2021

Justice Thomas Wrote An Incoherent, And Self-Contradictory Dissent, As The Supremes Let The Nov. 2020 Pennsylvania Election Results "Dubious Challenges"... Die.

I note it solely for the preservation of a complete record.

It appears at the tail end of the order list this morning that also ends Trump's chance of stopping Cy Vance's subpoena of his tax and financial records, in the Big Apple, an order which is understandably getting much wider coverage. . . in the popular press, today. It likely means jail for Trump.

But it should not go unnoticed, that -- for Thomas to pen this dissent (at about page 30 of that pdf file) -- he had to abandon every purported claim of "judicial modesty" he (often along with Scalia, when Scalia was still living) ever made.

He only now tells us that there are some disputes, by his cock-a-mamey lights -- even when it is clear that the Supremes (as here) possess no standing to hear the case. . . the Court should hear -- and resolve -- matters well beyond its jurisdictional reach.


Because his delicate political senses. . . wish to overturn the will of a clear majority of his fellow Americans' lawful votes. In sum, because his guy didn't prevail.

Yup. Thomas is now clearly a bought hack.

Again, because his guy. . . lost.

That is in no manner. . . American. That is. . . insurrection, against her. Disgusting.

But Thomas seems cool with it. Let that echo through history, in eternity, with his and his wife's names.

I'm out.