07-06-2020  7:39 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Black Community Frustrated as Violence Mars Protests

Black leaders condemn violence from small group of mostly-white activists as Rose City Justice suspends nightly marches

Protester Dies After Car Hits Two on Closed Freeway

Summer Taylor, 24, of Seattle died and Taylor and Diaz Love of Portland were injured. The driver, Dawit Kelete has been arrested

Police Union Contract Extended, Bargaining to Continue

Negotiations will resume in January 2021.

Inslee Heckled Off Stage During Tri-Cities Appearance

Speaking outdoors in Eastern Washington, the governor was repeatedly interrupted by hecklers as he urged residents to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Highlights First Report on Oregon’s New Hate and Bias Crimes Laws

In 2019, the Oregon legislature passed Senate Bill 577, which updated Oregon’s hate and bias crimes law for the first time in over...

Trump Blows His Twitter Dog Whistle on America’s Fair Housing Policies in the Suburbs

The president could be Tweeting on unemployment or COVID-19 infections but instead pushes housing discrimination ...

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Awards Historic $100,000 Founders' Centennial Scholarship

Zeta celebrates 100 years with largest single recipient scholarship awarded by a historically Black Greek-lettered sorority or...

Nominations Being Accepted for the Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award

Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 1994 to honor Multnomah County residents who have contributed outstanding...

Shatter, LLC Launches to Elevate Diverse Voices in Progressive Politics

A collaboration of leading female political strategists aims to fill a void in the world of political consulting ...

jumi.2 million bail for driver that hit 2 Seattle protesters

SEATTLE (AP) — A judge on Monday set a jumi.2 million bail for the man accused of driving a Jaguar on to a closed Seattle freeway and hitting two protesters, killing one and seriously injuring the other.Dawit Kelete, who is black, drove the car around vehicles that were parked on Interstate 5...

Sheriff: At least 8 killed in plane collision at Idaho lake

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — At least eight people, including three children, were killed when two airplanes collided over a scenic mountain lake in northern Idaho, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.One of the aircraft was a float plane operated by Brooks Seaplane of Coeur...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

Missouri football program pushes again for racial justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Walters had just arrived at the University of Missouri to coach safeties for the football program when a series of protests related to racial injustice led to the resignations of the system president and the chancellor of its flagship campus.The student-led movement...

OPINION

Letter to the Community From Eckhart Tolle Foundation

The Eckhart Tolle Foundation is donating more than 250,000 dollars to organizations that are fighting racism ...

Editorial From the Publisher: Vote as Your Life Depends on It

The Republican-controlled Senate won’t pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, no matter how hard Oregon’s senators and others work to push for change. ...

Banana Republic or Constitutional Democracy? The US Military May Decide

Will the military, when and if the chips are down, acts in accord with the Constitution and not out of loyalty to its commander-in-chief? ...

To Save Black Lives, and the Soul of Our Nation, Congress Must Act Boldly

For too long, Black people in America have been burdened with the unjust responsibility of keeping ourselves safe from police. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Betts: Baseball didn't do good job with response to Floyd

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mookie Betts wasn’t moved by Major League Baseball’s response in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody, and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ newest star has a goal of getting the Black community to love baseball as much as he does.MLB...

White woman charged after racist Central Park confrontation

NEW YORK (AP) — A white woman who called the police during a videotaped dispute with a Black man over her walking her dog without a leash in Central Park was charged Monday with filing a false police report.In May, Amy Cooper drew widespread condemnation and was fired from her job after...

'Senseless crime': The victims of July Fourth shootings

A 6-year-old computer whiz. A young mother working for a better home for her kids. An 8-year-old who loved to make dance videos. From San Francisco to South Carolina, a spate of shootings claimed the lives of people celebrating or just taking a drive over the Fourth of July weekend. Chicago saw one...

ENTERTAINMENT

Reps: Singers Kacey Musgraves, Ruston Kelly file for divorce

NEW YORK (AP) — Grammy-winning singer Kacey Musgraves and her musician-husband, Ruston Kelly, have filed for divorce.Representatives for both singers confirmed the news Friday to The Associated Press. In a joint statement, Musgraves and Kelly said “we’ve made this painful...

Executive turmoil at Essence, Ebony magazines prompt changes

NEW YORK (AP) — Two storied magazines that focus on news and culture in the Black community, Essence and Ebony, are in the midst of turmoil at their top levels.Ebony late last week forced out CEO Willard Jackson following an initial inquiry into some of his financial transactions. The...

Country rocker and fiddler Charlie Daniels dies at age 83

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Charlie Daniels, who went from being an in-demand session musician to a staple of Southern rock with his hit “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” has died at 83.A statement from his publicist said the Country Music Hall of Famer died Monday at a hospital in...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

NHL, players' union announce plan to resume play on Aug. 1

The NHL is not only in a position to resume playing within the next month, the league has the potential of...

Army identifies buried remains as missing Texas soldier

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — An Army commander confirmed Monday that dismembered remains found last week buried...

White woman charged after racist Central Park confrontation

NEW YORK (AP) — A white woman who called the police during a videotaped dispute with a Black man over her...

Spaghetti Western movie composer Ennio Morricone dead at 91

ROME (AP) — Ennio Morricone, the Oscar-winning Italian composer who created the coyote-howl theme for the...

American student released after 486 days in Egyptian prison

CAIRO (AP) — An American medical student detained without trial in an Egyptian prison for nearly 500 days...

Africa starts opening airspace even as COVID-19 cases climb

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — As COVID-19 cases surged in many parts of the world, the island nation of the...

McMenamins
Bill Mears CNN Supreme Court Producer

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A federal judge used tough language to block efforts by the Obama administration to limit the legal rights of terror suspects held at the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba, ruling Thursday that proposed changes were an "illegitimate exercise of executive power."

Officials of the departments of Justice and Defense had claimed they alone should decide when the prisoners deserve regular access to their attorneys.

But in a 32-page ruling, Judge Royce Lamberth said federal courts had proper authority to decide the matter, and criticized the executive branch for recently changing the procedures, when he said the current system was working well.

"The old maxim 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' would seem to caution against altering a counsel-access regime that has proven safe, efficient, and eminently workable," said Lamberth. "Indeed," he added, "the government had no answer when the court posed this question in oral arguments" last month.

"Access to the courts means nothing without access to counsel," added the judge.

Justice Department lawyers said they have started restricting when Guantanamo prisoners could challenge their detention in the Washington-based federal court. If approved, any relaxing of the rules would be made on a case-by-case basis at the exclusive discretion of military officials, not by the courts.

At issue is whether a Supreme Court decision on detainee rights from 2008 gives federal courts the ultimate power to control so-called "habeas" petitions from foreign combatants in U.S. military custody. Volunteer private lawyers say they deserve regular access to their imprisoned clients, even if there is no active habeas challenge pending in court, or any pending charges.

Under the proposed changes, the Navy base commander at Guantanamo would have sole veto power over attorney access, as well as access to classified material, including information provided directly by the detainees from interrogations.

"The dispute thus before the court, though important, is quite narrow," said the government in its earlier legal filing. "The only question presented is whether detainees who have neither current nor impending habeas petitions are entitled to" challenge continued access to counsel. "The answer to that question is 'no.'"

Lamberth's Washington-based federal court has been handling the many appeals filed by the prisoners. There are currently 168 detainees -- all male -- in the Guantanamo facility, most of whom do not have pending charges. Five Muslim men labeled "high-value detainees" are being prosecuted before a military commission for their alleged leadership roles in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

In the so-called Boumediene ruling in 2008, the high court said "enemy combatants" held overseas in U.S. military custody have a right to a "meaningful review" of their detention in the civilian legal justice system. It would force the government to present evidence and justify keeping the prisoners indefinitely, without charges. But a federal appeals court in Washington has since refused to order the release of any detainee filing a habeas corpus writ, in some cases rejecting such orders from lower-court judges.

Civil rights groups applauded the court opinion.

"The court has correctly recognized the government's attempt to restrict attorney access to the men at Guantanamo as the latest in a ten year history of successive efforts to "delay, hinder, or prevent access to the courts," said Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which has been representing many of the Gitmo prisoners. "The new rules came out of the blue and can only be seen as an effort to punish the men at Guantanamo for exercising their right to challenge their detention. These rules would have given the government unfettered control over Guantanamo. As the court said, the executive cannot be trusted with such power."

The administration has argued it does not seek to restrict lawyers who have an active legal appeal, but that the rights of detainees shrink once they have filed their first habeas challenge. The military says lawyers must now agree to the new conditions in order to have continued access to their clients and to any classified information the military would deem to release.

And lawyers would be prohibited from using any information they gather that might help the prisoners appearing before a Periodic Review Board. Review boards are newly designed panels of military officials to decide whether a Guantanamo inmate should continue to be held, and whether that person is a national security threat.

Those boards were put in place by President Barack Obama by executive order, but have not been fully implemented.

"Executive Order 13,567 does not provide detainees who undergo PRB review with a judicially enforceable right to counsel, or any justification for asking the Court to impose a counsel-access regime on the PRB process other than the one developed, per the Order's direction, by the Secretary of Defense," said the government. "As a general matter, executive orders are viewed as management tools for implementing the President's policies, not as legally binding documents that may be enforced against the Executive Branch."

The government said the court's power to intervene was limited, and had urged Judge Lamberth to deny the request guaranteeing attorney access. But in strong language the judge refused.

"The court has an obligation to assure that those seeking to challenge their executive detention by petitioning for habeas relief have adequate, effective and meaningful access to the courts," said Lamberth. "And it is undisputed that petitioners here have a continuing right to seek habeas relief. It follows that petitioners have an ongoing right to access the courts and, necessarily, to consult with counsel. Therefore, the Government's attempt to supersede the court's authority is an illegitimate exercise of executive power.

"The court, whose duty it is to secure an individual's liberty from unauthorized and illegal Executive confinement, cannot now tell a prisoner that he must beg leave of the executive's grace before the court will involve itself. This very notion offends the separation-of-powers principles and our constitutional scheme."

The Justice Department now has the option of asking a federal appeals court to intervene.

The case is In re: Guantanamo Bay Detainee Continued Access to Counsel (1:04-cv-1254).

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