The federal judge Trump once attacked for his Mexican heritage could help determine the fate of the border wall

Prototypes for U.S. President Donald Trump's border wall with Mexico are shown near completion in this picture taken from the Mexican side of the border, in Tijuana, Mexico, October 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Duenes

  • The judge that President Donald Trump previously accused of being biased and “a Mexican” is now overseeing a major lawsuit against the border wall.
  • Judge Gonzalo Curiel will preside over a hearing on the case in US district court on Friday.
  • The lawsuit is the main legal challenge to the border wall’s construction and its potential impacts on the environment.

The federal judge that President Donald Trump once argued was too biased by his Mexican heritage to handle lawsuits against Trump University will now hear a key legal challenge to Trump’s long-promised border wall.

On Friday, Judge Gonzalo Curiel is presiding over the main environmental lawsuit against the Trump administration’s plans to erect a wall along the US-Mexico border.

The plaintiffs, which include three separate parties whose suits have been consolidated into one, are arguing that the Trump administration is exceeding its authority in waiving environmental laws to build new border structures, including the eight wall prototypes that have already been erected near the Otay Mesa port of entry in San Diego, California.

They also argued that the wall construction could result in “irreparable harm” to wildlife and ecosystems along the border.

The Trump administration, meanwhile, is expected to argue that the Department of Homeland Security has the authority to waive the environmental laws, and that previous courts have upheld the department’s authority on border security.

“Congress unmistakably expressed its policy judgment that construction of the barriers and roads along the border was of such importance that it justified waiving application of environmental and other laws,” the Trump administration said in a brief.

Andrew Gordon, a former Homeland Security lawyer under the Obama administration, told McClatchy it’s “a very significant case,” noting that Curiel could dramatically slow down Trump’s plans for construction even if the government successfully appeals his ruling.

Curiel drew national attention during the presidential campaign after Trump assailed him for his heritage, at times falsely describing him as “a Mexican” even though Curiel was born in Indiana.

“Now, this judge is of Mexican heritage. I’m building a wall, OK? I’m building a wall,” Trump said in an infamous exchange with CNN’s Jake Tapper. “We’re building a wall. He’s a Mexican. We’re building a wall between here and Mexico. The answer is, he is giving us very unfair rulings — rulings that people can’t even believe.”

Trump ultimately agreed to a $25 million settlement in the fraud cases, and Curiel never responded publicly to Trump’s attacks.

SEE ALSO: The Trump administration just unveiled 8 prototypes for the border wall — see what they look like

DON’T MISS: Here’s the story behind the death of an NFL linebacker that Trump is blaming on illegal immigration

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Thomas Gibson Fans Continue To Boycott 'Criminal Minds,' ABC, And CBS At #NoHotchNoWatch [Opinion] – The Inquisitr

The following article is entirely the opinion of and does not reflect the
views of the Inquisitr.

Criminal Minds’ former star Thomas Gibson might be the envy of every star in Hollywood. Perhaps Gibson is not working right now, since his dismissal from Criminal Minds, but he’s got some of the most loyal and tenacious fans out there. After nearly two seasons, they are still boycotting the aging crime drama, as well as CBS and ABC.

The issue of #NoHotchNoWatch isn’t just the absence of Thomas Gibson from Criminal Minds, but rather the way in which he was terminated, and the way CBS and ABC allegedly used their news outlets to sensationalize Gibson’s firing and attack his character.

Criminal Minds writer Virgil Williams and Thomas Gibson reportedly had a disagreement about a single line during the filming of the second episode of Criminal Minds Season 12. Somehow the situation escalated as explained on EnStars.

Thomas Gibson reportedly stated Virgil Williams brushed past him later on the set of Criminal Minds, and Gibson had to move out of the way to keep Williams from colliding with him. Thomas told Peoplehis foot tapped Virgil’s leg.

“He came into that room and started coming towards me. As he brushed past me, my foot came up and tapped him on the leg. If I hadn’t moved, he would have run into me. We had some choice words, for which I apologized the next day, and that was it. It was over. We shot the scene, I went home – and I never got to go back.”

The official story however put forth by CBS and ABC was quite different, saying that Thomas Gibson deliberately kicked Virgil Williams. It was sensationalized in the media for months. Hardcore Criminal Minds fans were infuriated by the scandal over what to them seemed a relatively minor situation either way as stated in the tweets below.

Thomas Gibson’s fans at #NoHotchNoWatch have received a lot of media attention for their efforts, but so far ABC and CBS have refused to rehire Thomas to Criminal Minds despite protests.

[embedded content][embedded content]

There has been no formal apology from the networks or Criminal Minds as #NoHotchNoWatch demanded either, but #NoHotchNoWatch will not give up and go away. Instead, they continue boycotting not only Criminal Minds Season 13 but also ABC and CBS.

Criminal Minds, once one of the most popular shows on CBS, has suffered from losing ratings after Thomas Gibson’s dismissal. Shemar Moore had recently departed Criminal Minds as well, so the loss was exponential.

Thomas Gibson Criminal Minds
 
Frederick M Brown/Getty Images

Criminal Minds has reportedly changed considerably since the Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore days. Shemar Moore left the show to pursue other roles but continues to make cameo appearances from time to time. Still, Criminal Minds’ ratings are floundering, and Criminal Minds has a different cast and perhaps a different vibe without Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore.

Criminal Minds has offended a large segment of its core fan base, and Thomas Gibson fans at #NoHotchNoWatch want to see Gibson. Any show that hires him now would likely inherit a powerful fan base.

Criminal Minds alienated many avid fans when CBS and ABC fired Thomas Gibson.

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Senate Republicans split as hate crime bill yanked from vote – Indiana Lawyer

Fourteen days after rallying on the third floor of the Indiana Statehouse to cheer, applaud and push the Legislature into passing a hate crime bill this session, advocates were stunned the measure failed last week to even get a committee vote.

Senate Bill 418, authored by LaGrange Republican Susan Glick, would have allowed judges to consider bias motivation as an aggravating factor when sentencing an offender. Individuals who targeted victims because of their race, religion, gender or other characteristics could have faced longer terms in prison.

Since the 2016 session of the Indiana General Assembly when she co-authored a bias motivated crimes bill with now-retired Sen. Earline Rogers, D-Gary, Glick introduced much the same legislation in 2017 and in 2018. But each year it has struggled to advance and, in fact, has stalled earlier in the legislative process each subsequent session.

The 2016 proposal was approved by the full Senate on a 34-16 vote, but the 2017 measure was pulled from the upper chamber after an amendment split the Republican caucus. Reaching consensus was difficult again this year, so despite giving the hate crimes bill a hearing, the Senate Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law did not vote on it.

Senate President Pro Tempore David Long attributed the bill’s backward momentum to the issue becoming more political and more groups speaking out. At a Jan. 30 press conference immediately after the adjournment of the Corrections and Criminal Law Committee, he noted different groups are “agitating for different things and different recognitions and protections” which hindered the Republican caucus from finding common ground on the legislation.

“I think the public awareness of it, the acceptance of it from the public is coming and I think that tends to drive the Legislature in that direction and I think that’s what’s going to happen with this issue,” said Long, R-Fort Wayne. “But we still have differences of opinion, so that’s where we are right now.”

Reaction to the bill’s failure ranged from shock to disappointment and anger. Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry warned hate crimes will continue in Indiana, and Rep. Cherrish Pryor, chair of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus, wondered how many more people would be harmed.

“The Senate has made it clear that it does not matter if a person is harmed because their attackers were upset that they had a different race, color, creed, disability, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity,” Pryor, D-Indianapolis, said in a statement. “They will not get the justice they deserve because some in the Senate cannot face their responsibility to protect all Hoosiers.”

Protections available

However, opponents of Glick’s bill said it provided extra protections only for certain individuals and excluded everyone else. Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill joined the opposition.

Parvonay Stover, legislative affairs director for the Attorney General’s office, told the Corrections and Criminal Law Committee the legislation was unnecessary and would not deter crime. Rather, she said, crimes perpetrated because of the victim’s traits can already be prosecuted, and judges have the tools they need to sentence offenders.

“We believe at the Attorney General’s Office that the appropriate action is to punish the act itself and not attempt to police thoughts or perceived motives,” Stover said.

Hill submitted new language for SB 418. Glick described the proposal as stripping the bill and inserting enhancement provisions, and Sen. Michael Young, chair of the Corrections and Criminal Law Committee, said the Republican caucus did not want to go “down the road of enhancements.” Neither Long nor the Attorney General’s office provided a copy of that proposal.

Long and Young, R-Indianapolis, emphasized during the press conference that Indiana judges have the power to consider the motivation of the defendant when imposing a sentence. They pointed to Witmer v. State, 800 N.E.2d 571 (Ind. 2003) where the Indiana Supreme Court held the characteristics of the victim can support an enhanced sentence. Also, subsection (c) of Indiana’s sentencing law, I.C. 35-28-1-7.1, provides that the courts are not limited on what they may consider at sentencing.

The Indiana Public Defender Council has no official position on the hate crime bill, but executive director Larry Landis agreed judges do have the authority, now, to consider bias motivations. But whether the judges are using hate as an aggravator is difficult to determine because typically they do not have to list their reasons when imposing a sentence.

Landis maintained the impact of such legislation on the criminal justice system would be minimal and probably not deter acts of hate. This bill, he said, is a policy statement that some people want to show Indiana does not tolerate hate and bigotry.

Sen. Lonnie Randolph, D-East Chicago, advocated for stronger provisions. Namely, he said the bill should enable judges to incarcerate for a hate crime above and beyond the sentencing cap contained in the criminal code.

“My suggestion, if, in fact, the committee wants to seriously consider a hate crime, they should enhance the maximum penalty for that respective case above and beyond what the statute requires,” Randolph said at the committee hearing.

Getting to yes

A continued hurdle for reaching consensus is the list of characteristics included in the bill. The courts would be able to hand down a stiffer sentence if the victim was chosen because of a trait such as gender identity or sexual orientation. Apparently, the list split the Senate Republican caucus with some wanting to keep it as is, others wanting to expand it, and still others wanting to toss it altogether.

Glick countered those who called her bill exclusionary. “I think the list of characteristics is all encompassing,” she said. “I really believe that many people read that list and see in their minds it only applies to this race or this religion or these people. In fact, all of us have a gender identity, all of us have a sexual identity, all of us have a gender or a race. …”

David Sklar, director of government affairs for the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council, said the supporters worked with Glick to write an amendment that would have added generic language about beliefs and affiliations to the list of characteristics. Glick declined to make the amendment available.

The Central Indiana Alliance Against Hate, a coalition of community groups supporting the bill, saw this as a compromise, but when it was rejected, Sklar came to believe the opposition had a deeper issue with the legislation. To him, the problem some had with the bill was not that it covered too few, but that it covered the LGBT community.

Sklar said the supporters are drawing a red line that any hate crime law must include a list of characteristics to be effective. To bolster his point, he nodded to the Georgia hate crime statute that was declared “unconstitutionally vague” in 2004 by the Georgia Supreme Court because the language was too broad. The decision was rendered in two consolidated cases, Botts v. The State and Pisciotta v. The State.

Long said he expects the General Assembly will revisit the issue. However, Sen. Greg Taylor, D-Indianapolis who has authored his own hate crime bills for the past four years, was skeptical, indicating Republicans made a similar promise to him in 2017.

“I was told on the Senate floor last year that a bipartisan effort would be made to ensure a bias crimes law would be passed this legislative session,” Taylor said. “Those conversations ended when the session began.”•
 

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The NYPD spent decades spying on New Yorkers — now you can see what they collected

NYPD surveillance

  • The New York Police Department spent decades infiltrating political organizations and spying on politically active New Yorkers.
  • While surveillance continues in some form today, a public exhibit at the New York City Municipal Archives showcases what police spying looked like in the 1960s and ’70s during one of the most turbulent political periods in modern US history.
  • But few New Yorkers know about this vast collection of surveillance materials.
  • Business Insider dug through the archives to discover the scope of NYPD spying — and to see what they found.

In the dank quarters of a courthouse just a block away from City Hall in lower Manhattan, dozens of brown boxes of declassified surveillance records — compiled over the course of decades by undercover police detectives — remain largely un-examined, never before seen by the public.

The records include a mix of internal police reports and memos, photos, newspaper clippings, event fliers, political campaign buttons, and posters.

They are available for anyone to view. You just have to ask.

In September, the New York City Municipal Archives launched an unprecedented exhibit showcasing NYPD surveillance materials from 1960 to 1975, one of the most turbulent political periods in modern American history.

The exhibit, “Unlikely Historians: Materials Collected by NYPD Surveillance Teams“, gives visitors a small taste of just how far NYPD detectives went to infiltrate political organizations and investigate people they considered a threat.

But it ultimately represents just a fraction of the overall collection. Of the 520 boxes of NYPD surveillance materials in their possession, archivists at the Department of Records have only reviewed and catalogued about a quarter of them. The un-reviewed materials are temporarily stored at their office in Brooklyn.

“We’re just starting to get the word out,” Rossy Mendez, the collection’s lead archivist, told Business Insider. “So people don’t really know it exists.”

We visited the archives to see for ourselves:

SEE ALSO: Civil Rights Lawyers Say The NYPD Is Watching Everything Muslims Do

DON’T MISS: The Berlin Wall has officially been gone for as long as it stood — here’s how the 27-mile blockade looks today compared to 1989

The New York City Municipal Archives, which maintains the city’s historical records, is located at Surrogate’s Court in lower Manhattan.

In a storage room in the building’s basement, records and old video reels are meticulously organized.

The NYC Municipal Archives has a vast collection of materials, including records dating back to the colonial era. But in 2015, the department received one of its most politically divisive collections yet.

Source: New York City Department of Records & Information Services

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Scoop: Coming Up on CRIMINAL MINDS on CBS – Wednesday … – Broadway World

Scoop: Coming Up on CRIMINAL MINDS on CBS - Wednesday, March 7, 2018On the episode “Annihilator” – The FBI’s assistant director of national security, Linda Barnes (Kim Rhodes), joins the BAU as they investigate a quadruple homicide of a group of roommates in St. Louis, on CRIMINAL MINDS, Wednesday, March 7 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Criminal Minds revolves around an elite team of FBI profilers who analyze the country’s most twisted criminal minds, anticipating their next moves before they strike again.

The Behavioral Analysis Unit’s most experienced agent is David Rossi, founding member of the BAU, who is essential in helping the team solve new cases.

Other members include Special Agent Emily Prentiss, the daughter of high-powered diplomats who returns to the team after being the head profiler at Interpol; Special Agent Dr. Spencer Reid, a classically misunderstood GENIUS whose social IQ is as low as his intellectual IQ is high; Jennifer “J.J.” Jareau, the team’s former unit liaison turned profiler, who juggles motherhood and marriage with the same skill as she solves cases; Penelope Garcia, the team’s indispensable computer wizard who helps research the cases with her unique charm; Dr. Tara Lewis, a forensic psychologist whose expertise is studying and interviewing serial killers after they’ve been captured to determine if they are able to stand trial; Luke Alvez, a former Army ranger and excellent tracker recruited to the BAU from the FBI’s Fugitive Task Force; and Special Agent Simmons who joins his colleagues in the BAU after consulting them when he was a member of the International Response Team. Simmons is an ex-Delta soldier with deft profiling skills and military special-ops expertise.

As the team evolves together, the BAU continues its dedication to using their expertise to pinpoint predators’ motivations and identify their emotional triggers in the attempt to stop them.
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