NYC must reinstate 10 Dept. of Education employees fired for refusing COVID vaccine, judge rules.
(The Center Square) — A New York state judge has ruled that 10 New York City teachers who were fired for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine were wrongfully dismissed.
In the ruling, state Supreme Court Judge Ralph J. Porzio said the city’s denial of religious accommodations from getting vaccinated employees was “unlawful, arbitrary and capricious” and ordered the teachers to be reinstated with back pay.
“This court sees no rational basis for not allowing unvaccinated classroom teachers in amongst an admitted population of primarily unvaccinated students,” he wrote in the 22-page ruling.
During the pandemic, New York City imposed some of the strictest COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the country, enforcing rules for public and private sector workers.
More than 1,750 city workers were fired for refusing to get vaccinated, including 36 members of the New York City Police Department and more than 950 public school employees.
Several unions sued the city over the mandate, and last October, Porzio ruled that the city’s policy was enacted “illegally” and workers who were fired for refusing to comply must be “immediately reinstated” with back pay. The city appealed the judge’s ruling.
Winning. Biden weaponizing DOJ and Social Media ruled a violation of the 1st Amendment. It does my heart to see these rulings. What a way to end the week.
The Biden administration “ran afoul” of the First Amendment by trying to pressure social media platforms over controversial COVID-19 content, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled Friday.
In its 75-page ruling, the appeals court, said that President Biden, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the FBI and the surgeon general cannot “coerce” social media platforms to remove content it deems problematic.
Fifth Circuit just unanimously affirmed Judge Doughty’s injunction against White House, CDC, FBI and others — giving Americans and #FreedomOfSpeech a major win against censorship, totalitarianism, and Biden. #FirstAmendment
A Pennsylvania state judge ruled that an election worker cannot sue former President Trump over statements he made sowing doubt in the 2020 election results while in office, finding the statements are protected by presidential immunity.
Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge Michael Erdos said Trump’s immunity covered a tweet he issued and comments he made remotely from the White House during a Pennsylvania state Senate committee hearing in November 2020. The statements, made without evidence, claimed fraud in Pennsylvania’s election tabulations.
“Other legal proceedings may examine the propriety of his statements and actions while he was the President and whether, as the plaintiffs in this and other cases contend, it was this conduct which served as the actual threat to our democracy,” Erdos ruled. “But this case is not the proper place to do so. Here, Trump is entitled to Presidential immunity.”
James Savage, a Pennsylvania voting machine supervisor in the 2020 election, filed two lawsuits — which have since been consolidated — alleging that Trump, Rudy Giuliani, two poll watchers and others conspired to defame him. Savage says their statements led him to receive death threats and suffer two heart attacks.
Erdos ruled Trump has immunity for the tweet and the remarks at the state Senate hearing because both statements were made while he was serving as president. But the lawsuit also contains claims over a letter Trump wrote to the House Jan. 6 committee last October, which Trump is not immune from as it was written after leaving office.
Erdos ruled the two earlier statements were part of Trump’s official duties, as he was speaking to the public on matters of public concern.
“Here, then-President Trump’s Gettysburg remarks and his tweet were public,” Erdos wrote. “Moreover, the topic of these statements—claims from third parties and the President himself about irregularities in the Presidential election which on their face called into question the integrity of the election and whether now-President Joseph Biden had been duly elected—was undoubtedly a matter of great public concern.”
Trump potentially faces a looming indictment in the Justice Department’s probe of the transfer of power following the 2020 election and the lead up to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot. Trump’s unfounded claims of mass electoral fraud are also the subject of several other civil lawsuits, which remain tied up in other courts and for which he has similarly asserted immunity.
“We are pleased with the Court’s decision to honor the long-standing principle of Presidential Immunity,” Trump legal spokeswoman Alina Habba said in a statement.
“Today, the Court made it clear that it is well within the President’s discretion to address the integrity of our election without fear of liability,” Habba continued. “We expect that the rest of Mr. Savage’s claims will similarly be disposed of as they are without merit.”
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I have to say, I was worried because the other Republican who was leading in the polls voted for Joe Biden, Supported a second Trump impeachment and would have voted against a impeachment of Biden.
Well, the base came out and voted against the Democrat endorsed Rep. Becky Edwards and former Utah GOP Chairman Bruce Hough.
She defied poll numbers that showed Edwards beating her two opponents in the week leading up to the election, winning 38% of the vote. Edwards came in a close second with 35% after the polls closed on Tuesday, and former Utah GOP Chairman Bruce Hough was a distant third.
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A practice used by some, if not all, Arizona counties to verify signatures on early ballots may be illegal.
And that could result in election officials across the state have to change their procedures – and potentially result in more signatures on ballot envelopes being questioned.
Yavapai County Superior Court Judge John Napper, said state law is “clear and unambiguous” that election officials must compare the signatures on the envelopes with the voter’s actual registration record. And that, he said, consists only of the document signed when a person first registered along with subsequent changes for things like altering party affiliation.
And what that means, the judge said, is it is illegal for county election officials to instead use other documents to determine if the signature on that ballot envelope is correct and should be accepted.
Napper’s conclusion is not the last word.
Strictly speaking, he only rejected efforts by Secretary of State Adrian Fontes to have the lawsuit by two groups challenging the process thrown out. Napper has not issued a final order.
“We look forward to the issue being litigated,” said Paul Smith-Leonard, spokesman for Fontes.
But the judge, in his ruling, made it clear that he is not buying arguments by the secretary of state that the rules in the Elections Procedures Manual allowing the comparison of signatures against other documents – the practice now widely in use – complies with what state law clearly requires.
And Kory Langhofer, who represents those challenging the practice, said Napper’s refusal to dismiss the case means “there’s nothing left to fight about.”
Central to the fight is a section of law which requires the county recorder, on receiving early ballots, to “compare the signatures thereon with the signature of the elector on the elector’s registration record.”
Langhofer, in his court filing, acknowledged that there is nothing in state law that explicitly defines what is a “registration record.”
But he argued that “most naturally” means the state or federal documents by which someone signs up to vote and provides certain other information. And what it also includes, Langhofer said, are updated state or federal forms.
Only thing is, he said, is the most recent version of the Elections Procedures Manual, prepared by the Secretary of State’s Office, says county recorders “should also consult additional known signatures from other official election documents in the voter’s registration record, such as signature rosters or early ballot request forms.”
In some cases, Langhofer said, counties are using signatures on early ballot envelopes from prior elections for their comparisons.
Pima County Recorder Gabriella Cazares-Kelly doesn’t go that far. But she said her office relies on much more than the voter registration record.
It starts, she said, with the fact that some people register to vote when they get a driver’s license. But those licenses, she noted, can be good for up to 45 years.
“As everybody should know, signatures vary by time and place and how much time you have,” Cazares-Kelly said. “You will change your signature a number of times throughout your life, going from adolescent to full adulthood.”
And she said even her own signature changes given having to sign “a hundred documents a day.”
So other documents can be helpful.
“We receive other notifications from the voters,” Cazares-Kelly said.
“Every single time we receive something in writing, it goes into their voter file,” she continued. “So every single thing that has a signature on it, it is another indication, another touch point, another opportunity to update what those signatures look like.
Cochise County Recorder David Stevens said his office also relies on signatures on other correspondence it has received from a voter. He also said that ballot signatures can be compared with those on file with the Motor Vehicle Division.
Fontes, in asking Napper to dismiss the lawsuit, argued that other documents listed as acceptable in the Elections Procedures Manual are within the definition of a “registration record.” And if the judge wasn’t buying that, Fontes said that phrase is ambiguous, meaning that the manual can interpret it as part of his duties.
Napper was having none of that.
“The language of the statute is clear and unambiguous,” the judge wrote. “The common meaning of ‘registration’ in the English language is to sign up to participate in an activity.”
And Napper derided the idea that other documents submitted by a voter fit that definition.
“No English speaker would linguistically confuse the acting of signing up to participate in an event with the act of participating in the event,” the judge wrote.
“Registering to attend law school is not the same as attending class,” he continued. “Registering to vote is not the same as voting.”
Nor was Napper impressed by the claim that the phrase “registration record” is ambiguous, allowing the secretary of state some latitude to interpret it.
“Pursuant to the statute, the recorder is to compare the signature on the envelope with the voter’s prior registration,” he said, quoting from the law. “If they match, then the vote is counted.”
The judge also noted there is a procedure in state law that allows county election officials, if they question whether a signature on a ballot matches the official record, to contact the voter. That allows the voter to verify that it is his or her signature and offer an explanation that could be related to age, illness or injury.
Langhofer represents the Arizona Free Enterprise Club. It has backed various measures to impose new identification requirements on voters while opposing efforts to restore the state’s permanent early voting list.
Also suing is an organization called Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections. It bills itself as opposing laws changes in election laws that seek to give one group a partisan advantage and enforcing “constitutional standards against voting laws and procedures that threaten or dilute the right of qualified citizens to vote.”
Reuters says that that founders of RITE, formed last year, include former U.S. Attorney General William Barr, Karl Rove who was a top adviser to former President George W. Bush, and hotelier Steve Wynn.
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Testimony this week in federal court by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger reportedly contradicted claims that former President Donald Trump insisted he violate his oath of office by fabricating enough votes to win the state.
As Breitbart News has long noted, the media have misrepresented the January 2021 phone call between Trump and Raffensperger, quoting Trump as telling Raffensperger that he should “find” the votes necessary for him to win. In fact, Trump said “I just want to find” the votes, referring to his own state of mind. Moreover, the context was that Trump believed he actually had won the state of Georgia, and the votes simply had not been properly counted yet.
Raffensperger took the stand in a federal court in the Northern District of Georgia as part of a hearing on a motion by former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who is one of Trump’s 18 co-defendants in the criminal case in Fulton County, Georgia. Meadows argued that the case should be removed to federal court, because he was just working for the president, and therefore cannot be tried in state court under the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause.
Meadows stunned many observers by testifying in his own defense. Raffensperger was subpoenaed to testify by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. According to George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley, Raffensperger testified that the call, while “extraordinary,” was a “settlement negotiation” in the context of an argument over whether to pursue another recount of votes — not a demand to make up new votes.
The call was misrepresented by the [Washington] Post and the transcript later showed that Trump was not simply demanding that votes be added to the count but rather asking for another recount or continued investigation. Again, I disagreed with that position but the words about the finding of 11,780 votes was in reference to what he was seeking in a continued investigation. Critics were enraged by the suggestion that Trump was making the case for a recount as opposed to just demanding the addition of votes to the tally or fraudulent findings.
Raffensperger described the call in the same terms. He correctly described the call as “extraordinary” in a president personally seeking such an investigation, particularly after the completion of the earlier recount. That is manifestly true. However, he also acknowledged that this was a “settlement negotiation.”
So what was the subject of the settlement talks? Another recount or further investigation. The very thing that critics this week were apoplectic about in the coverage. That does not mean that Trump had grounds for the demand. Trump’s participation in the call was extraordinary and his demands were equally so. However, the reference to the vote deficit in demanding continued investigation was a predictable argument in such a settlement negotiation. As I previously stated, I have covered such challenges for years as a legal analyst for CBS, NBC, BBC, and Fox. Unsupported legal claims may be sanctionable in court, but they have not been treated as crimes.
If Meadows succeeds in his bid to have the case removed to federal court, other defendants will do the same, and may ague that the charges should be dismissed because of the Supremacy Clause and on other grounds. However, Raffebsperger’s testimony could also be used to dismiss at least some of the Fulton County indictments, particularly regarding “Solicitation of Violation of Oath by Public Officer,” in reference to the phone call with Raffensperger.
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SUNY Buffalo State University decided to expel 44 migrants from its dorms after parents voiced concern over student safety following two alleged sexual assaults by migrants.
According to The Daily Wire, the university abruptly canceled an agreement with a local community group that placed the migrants in the student housing.
“As we are welcoming our students back to campus Tuesday, we wanted to ensure the best possible learning environment for our students and smooth functioning of our university operations,” Buffalo State President Bonita Durand said in a statement. “I made the difficult decision to discontinue the revocable permit and want to reassure our university community that, as our students return to campus Tuesday, they will find their learning environment as they expected.”
Dr. Myron Glick, Jericho Road Community Health Center’s founder and CEO, told The Buffalo Newsthat SUNY Buffalo State had agreed to shelter migrants in dorms beginning in May because Jericho Road’s migrant shelter was over capacity.
“We live in a community where there’s prejudice,” Glick told The Buffalo News. “And this decision was made, really, in my opinion, as – what’s the right word? – in reaction to that prejudice.”
The school’s decision comes after parents expressed alarm about two separate alleged sexual assaults that involved migrants in the nearby town of Cheektowaga.
“I felt compelled to speak out about this action by Buffalo State because it was discriminatory against these asylum-seekers who are human beings just like you and me,” Glick said. “We do worse by the families we are serving if we don’t speak up for them. They need to know we stand with them as fellow human beings. We cannot be silent in the face of injustice.”
Durand did not mention the alleged sexual assaults in commenting about the decision.
Authorities announced on Aug. 8 that a Venezuelan migrant was charged with raping a woman in front of a 3-year-old child. The alleged incident occurred after the suspect had traveled to Erie County from New York City.
Three days later, a second migrant from the Democratic Republic of the Congo was arrested and charged with sex abuse and unlawful imprisonment for allegedly sexually assaulting a 27-year-old woman who had been working with a community group to aid the migrants.
In the wake of the alleged sexual assaults, Erie County, which includes Buffalo, demanded New York City Mayor Eric Adams stop transporting migrants to the area.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said the Democrat mayor “agreed and informed me they will not send any additional persons to Erie County at this time.”
The two New York officials also reportedly discussed “the need for a new and improved security plan.”
Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office said this month that Erie County will receive more New York National Guard personnel and assets to help with the migrants. More than 1,800 National Guard members are already deployed across the state to assist with the migrant crisis, according to the governor’s office.
Approximately 540 migrants have been relocated to Erie County thus far.
Roquishia Lewis stepped in front of a row of TV cameras Monday and braced herself to talk about her only child, Tyler, who was stabbed to death in October on the University at Buffalo North Campus.
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By the numbers: Americans have turned to Google in droves to find information about Trump and the topic of “indictment” with every new case.
Searches spiked with all three indictments, but the spikes are getting smaller — indicating slowing interest.
Social media interactions with stories about Trump indictments have followed a similar trend to the Google Trends data, according to NewsWhip.
On TV, coverage of Trump’s first indictment in April drew a huge spike in viewership, according to Nielsen ratings.
Subsequent indictments have drawn fewer viewers, although last week’s coverage of Trump’s third indictment and arrest drew roughly the same level of viewership as the second indictment in June.
What they’re saying: The arrest and arraignment of a former president — along with the usual flurry of angry social media posts and cries of a political witch-hunt — are starting to feel routine, experts say.
“The bombast and howling accusations after each charge, the lurid threats and endless victimologies, the mind numbing repetition of it all… is supposed to do just that: numb the mind so that sense making feels impossible and paying attention seems pointless,” New York University’s Jay Rosen told Axios in an email.
“There’s a name for it: flooding the zone with crap. It’s supposed to exhaust whatever interest we once had in following the news,” Rosen added.
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“We move on to plaintiffs’ claim that the Final Rule violates the APA’s procedural and substantive requirements. On that front, plaintiffs establish a substantial likelihood of success on the merits. The ATF incorrectly maintains that the Final Rule is merely interpretive, not legislative, and thus not subject to the logical-outgrowth test. The Final Rule affects individual rights, speaks with the force of law, and significantly implicates private interests. Thus, it is legislative in character,” the panel stated.
The circuit court also homed in on the differences between the ATF’s Proposed Rule and its Final Rule. It said that the difference between the two “violates the APA” and pointed out that “the Proposed and Final Rule must be alike in kind so that commentators could have reasonably anticipated the Final Rule.”
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Becky Noble has been a political writer for over ten years. She has written for Politichicks, The Black Sphere, and The Political Insider. She holds a degree in Communications/Journalism from Regent University.
Many changes to American society happened in the wake of George Floyd’s death. We can debate the reasons behind it, but the death of Floyd in May of 2020 seemed to be way more of a catalyst for “change” than anything else. But one person’s change can be another’s forced compliance. The Floyd case and the ensuing outcry that America is inherently racist and must be changed scared companies and corporations in nearly every industry in America to examine things like hiring practices and who occupied the corner office. Thus, the title of “Chief Diversity Officer” (CDO) was born. But three years later, many Americans know what is in their own hearts, that they treat everyone the same, and the era of the CDO may be on the downslide.
Some of America’s largest corporations, like Netflix, Disney — which has many more self-made problems besides diversity, equity, and inclusion — and Warner Bros. Discovery, have announced that their CDOs were leaving the companies. Many employees who work in jobs related to the CDO have been laid off, and new complaints by employees of their employers caving to the woke mob and going overboard have led to scaling back of DEI commitments. The Supreme Court recently striking down affirmative action in college admissions also got the attention of many corporate executives. Some CDOs felt like corporate brass did not want to change hiring or promotion protocols and were told that they were brought on to improve talent. And in the wake of many people who have called out DEI practices for also being discriminatory, the rush towards DEI has not been a permanent one.
Floyd’s death sent companies scrambling to create CDO positions. In 2018, less than half of S&P 500 companies had a CDO position. By 2022, three out of four companies employed a CDO. But that all could be changing. Jason Hanold is the chief executive of Hanold Associates Executive Search. He says the demand for CDOs is the lowest he has seen in 30 years and that “They’re (clients) telling us, the only way I want to go into another role with DEI is if it includes something else.” Many are getting out of the field altogether. In other instances, especially during the pandemic, many minorities moved into CDO positions, but not all were qualified, making for an unfair situation for everyone involved.
Overall, Americans are about evenly split on how important DEI in the workplace is. And the splits are about where you would expect them to be. Black, Hispanic, and Asian workers have a more favorable opinion, as do younger workers under 30 and women. When political leanings came in, 78 percent of those who identified as Democrats thought a focus on DEI was important, while 30 percent of those who said they were Republicans thought having a CDO was important. Many companies who might have wanted a CDO who could also dabble in some HR work before are recalibrating since the Supreme Court affirmative action decision. Now, if they even hire a CDO, they want that person to be able to wade through any possible legal issues as well as political fallout.
David Kenny is a chief executive with Neilsen but is also a former CEO and CDO. He believes that many American workers not being on board with DEI is because many employees think their employer should be more concerned about the less-than-ideal economy before diversity. There is also concern that they will face layoffs themselves and even concern over things like artificial intelligence. He describes it as a kind of “I’m losing my slice of the pie” mentality. But it may just come down to the simple fact that Americans don’t believe someone should be hired or not hired because of what they look like rather than based on their experience. They are tired of the implication that they are racists but just don’t know it, and need some sort of “diversity training” to deal with it.
Carriage makers and pin setters went away with the advent of technology. Chief Diversity Officers may go away with a bit of knowledge as to who Americans really are.
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