By Robert A. Vella

Today, we’ll cover some important court rulings, the negative effects from President Trump’s ill-conceived trade wars, and several international news stories.

Court rulings

From:  Federal judge won’t undo Georgia voter purge

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia doesn’t have to put almost 100,000 voters back on its rolls, a federal judge ruled Friday.

U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones ruled that a voting rights advocacy group founded by Democrat Stacey Abrams is improperly asking him to interpret state law. Jones also said the group hasn’t proved that people who have been removed had their constitutional rights violated.

However, Jones also ordered Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to do more to warn people that they had been removed. The judge is especially singling out a southwest Georgia state House district where a Jan. 28 special election is scheduled. Voters there who have been removed have only until Monday to re-register.


At issue is a Georgia law that says that voters should be moved to inactive status if they have no contact with the state for a period of time. Until earlier this year, the standard was three years of no contact, with voters then removed if they don’t vote for another two general elections, a period of about seven years.

From:  Court says it will temporarily block new NC voter ID law

A federal court has announced that it plans to temporarily block North Carolina’s voter ID requirements that were set to go into effect in 2020.

The announcement, which came only as a short note Thursday, indicated that the order explaining the decision would come down next week.

The preliminary injunction means that a photo ID requirement will not be in effect for the state’s primary in March, absent a successful appeal.

From:  Court says immigrants don’t forfeit appeals when they’re deported

The right to appeal a deportation order, established by federal law decades ago, “would be undermined if the government could simply terminate an appeal by removing the petitioner,” said the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

An immigrant “does not withdraw his appeal of a final removal order … simply because he was involuntarily removed before the appeal was decided,” the court said.

The 3-0 ruling reinstated an appeal by Silvano Lopez-Angel of his 2013 deportation to Mexico.

Judge blocks California’s alligator ban after Louisiana sues

Effect of Trump tariffs

From:  Fed study: Trump tariffs backfired, caused job losses and higher prices

President Trump’s tariffs on imports – meant to boost the economy – ultimately led to job losses and higher prices, a new study from the Federal Reserve has found.

“We find that tariff increases enacted in 2018 are associated with relative reductions in manufacturing employment and relative increases in producer prices,” the report by Fed economists Aaron Flaaen and Justin Pierce reads.

MarketWatch first reported the study, noting that 10 primary industries were hit by retaliatory tariffs and higher prices, including producers of magnetic and optical media, leather goods, aluminum sheet, iron and steel, motor vehicles, household appliances, sawmills, audio and video equipment, pesticide, and computer equipment.

International news

From:  Duterte bans US senators from Philippines, threatens new visa rules for Americans

The Philippines announced Friday that it has banned two U.S. senators from traveling to the country while threatening to impose stricter visa requirements for all Americans in response to new sanctions.

Reuters reports that the move comes after Congress approved a 2020 budget that contains a provision introduced by Sens. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., that would bar entry into the U.S. to any official involved in the incarceration of Philippine Senator Leila de Lima.

From:  Families of Afghan War Dead Say Contractors Bribed Taliban

(Bloomberg) — Families of almost 150 U.S. service members and civilians who were killed or wounded in terror attacks in Afghanistan sued a group of Western contractors involved in the nation’s reconstruction for allegedly bribing the Taliban for protection for years.

The alleged payments ultimately helped finance a Taliban-led insurgency that led to the attacks in Afghanistan between 2009 and 2017, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in Washington. The suit seeks unspecified damages for the families under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

At least 90 people killed in Mogadishu checkpoint blast: international organization

UN condemns human rights abuses against Myanmar’s Rohingya

There’s a Texas-size area of hot sea water off the coast of New Zealand

12 thoughts on “Saturday Supplemental: Court rulings, effect of Trump tariffs, and international news

  1. the standard was three years of no contact, with voters then removed if they don’t vote for another two general elections, a period of about seven years.

    Um, as voting is voluntary in the US (which is madness, but that’s another story), isn’t this forced voting violating peoples constitutional rights?

    Am I missing something?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Having so many judges incapable of being impartial – or let’s say relatively impartial (who is completely impartial on every issue?) – renders the U.S. judicial system virtually worthless. It’s increasing the effect we’ve had for a long time in which things like financial status, skin tone and personal beliefs are powerful factors in determining guilt or innocence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The U.S. judicial system was designed specifically to minimize the effect of personal bias because the Founding Fathers and the legal profession knew how corrupting it could be. What was created and built upon over the years was far from perfect, but it succeeded sufficiently to become a model for the rest of the world where few nations even tried to establish judicial impartiality.

      Beginning with the Reagan administration, Republicans – and particularly social conservatives – assaulted what had become a pretty good system by advancing judicial candidates committed to ideological litmus tests and other constraints. This four decade long plan has done tremendous damage.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly. The disingenuous but cleverly effective strategy of combining the forces of corporate wealth with the mindless extremism of Christian Supremacists during the Nixon administration has reaped benefits for each group. Corporate control has increased and the Christians have pushed their single-issue agenda of stacking courts with socially conservative judges. Strange bedfellows…

        Liked by 1 person

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