The ‘Spycops’ bill undermines the rule of law and gives a green light to serious crimes

The so-called culture wars are not just about race and gender. They encompass a barrage of attacks on progressive or “woke” values to distract attention from catastrophic pandemic management in both Washington and Westminster. On closer inspection, some of the targets in the crosshairs are actually rather conservative; a case in point being the rule of law.



text, whiteboard: Photograph: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Stock Photo


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Photograph: Mark Kerrison/Alamy Stock Photo

If the prime minister and the home and defence secretaries are anything to go by, lawyers are the new enemies of the state. But as these ministers are not averse to employing briefs in their own causes – both personal and political – I rather suspect it’s the message, not the messengers, that they are trying to destroy.

Related: David Greene: Condemning lawyers for doing their jobs is inherently dangerous

It is now well over a decade since former master of the rolls

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Bill to allow virtual government meetings headed to Whitmer for signature

LANSING, MI – Guidance on public and virtual meetings could be headed to local governments across the state after the passage of a bill in the legislature.

In the wake of the Michigan Supreme Court striking down Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders last week, a handful of local entities quickly nixed public meetings scheduled to be held via Zoom. Whitmer’s executive orders allowed public bodies to hold electronic meetings since March. Remotely held meetings of public bodies could otherwise violate the Open Meetings Act.

Senate Bill 1108, sponsored by state Sen. Lana Theis, R-Brighton, would permit virtual public meetings as long as the local government declares a state of emergency. It passed 85-16 during House a session Tuesday, Oct. 13.

It passed 36-1 in the Senate later Tuesday night. The bill now heads to Whitmer’s desk for final consideration.

The legislation would allow for virtual meetings by local governments until

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Lamont Signs Utility Reform Bill Into Law

CONNECTICUT — Gov. Ned Lamont signed Connecticut’s electric utility reform bill into law Wednesday. The law will implement performance-based incentives for electric utilities instead of a flat-rate investment. The bill received near-unanimous support in the state House of Representatives and Senate.

“Utility companies provide a critical service that can quite literally mean life or death in certain situations, and ratepayers deserve a level of respect that puts them above profits,” Lamont said in a statement. “I congratulate Senator Needleman, Representative Arconti, Senator Formica, Representative Ferraro, and subject-matter experts and stakeholders across the state on sending a bill to my desk that sets Connecticut firmly on the path toward tying utility rates to utility companies’ performance.”

The bill was spurred by a few factors. Tropical Storm Isaias knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of electric customers across the state with some people not getting power back for a week or

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Baltimore City Council approves worker recall bill over law department, hotel industry objections

The Baltimore City Council on Monday passed legislation aimed at protecting hospitality workers’ jobs, despite objections from the city’s law department and the hotel industry.

The bill would require hospitality businesses to hire laid-off workers once they reopen. Thousands of housekeepers, banquet servers and other employees have lost their jobs as the industry suffers from the coronavirus pandemic and related shutdowns.

The council also passed a second, less-contested bill that would ensure a hotel retains its staff if the business’ ownership changes hands.

The bills now head to the mayor’s desk for his consideration. Democratic Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young has not indicated whether he plans to sign them, but issued a statement via a spokesman saying he will review the legislation.

Hotel workers have rallied around the bills, saying they’re looking for some certainty that they will eventually get to go back to work.

More than 1,500 hospitality workers

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Government suffers Lords defeats over immigration bill

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The government has faced a string of defeats in the House of Lords over its post-Brexit immigration bill.

The proposed legislation has passed its initial stages in the Commons – where Boris Johnson has a majority of 80.

But peers have now approved four amendments while scrutinising the bill.

They include keeping the current rules for unaccompanied child refugees after the end of the transition period, which sees them reunited with close relatives in the UK.

It is the second time the so-called Dubs amendment – presented by Labour’s Lord Dubs – has been approved by peers, but turned down by MPs.

  • MPs give initial backing to immigration bill
  • Care homes face staffing ‘black hole’

Afterwards, Lord Dubs tweeted: “The Commons now needs to do the right thing by these uniquely vulnerable children and support the amendment.”

But Home Office Minister Baroness Williams said the UK

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In ad blasting Biden for 1994 crime bill, Trump undermines law and order case

A new Trump campaign commercial makes an engaging pitch for support from black Americans, but it repeats an attack against opponent Joe Biden that is flagrantly inaccurate and egregiously hypocritical.



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The ad begins with an attractive black couple saying President Trump’s tenure has been beneficial for their business. So far, so good. The ad pivots, though, to an attack on the 1994 crime bill that Biden helped negotiate while chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The claims in the ad are just plain false.

“Joe Biden wrote the crime bill,” it says. (No, he didn’t, but he did help oversee its legislative progress.) “Hundreds of thousands of black Americans were put in jail for minor offenses.” As those words cross the screen, the wife in the ad says that “the one thing Joe Biden has done in 47 years in Washington, D.C., has made

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1,612 DOJ Alumni Warn Bill Barr Will Use Law Enforcement Powers to Undermine Free and Fair Elections

U.S. Attorney General William Barr could attempt to influence the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, according to allegations made in an open letter from 1,612 former members of the Department of Justice.

Barr has claimed that this year’s election results could be tallied incorrectly because of the prevalence of mail-in ballots. In September, Barr said that the mail-in ballots could be highly susceptible to fraud. Barr has also said that foreign entities, such as the Russian government, could forge ballots and send them in which could cause election results to be unfairly unbalanced.

In the letter, the DOJ alumni cited a fear that Barr “intends to use the DOJ’s vast law enforcement powers to undermine our most fundamental democratic value: free and fair elections. He has signalled this intention in myriad ways, from making false statements about the security of mail-in voting from foreign hackers to falsely suggesting that

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Philly Council OKs bill allowing down zoning for Society Hill

Philadelphia City Council voted unanimously Thursday to pass a measure that will allow down zoning of much of Society Hill.

The bill, introduced in January by City Councilmember Mark Squilla, includes new strict height restrictions for buildings, increased parking requirements, and the elimination of bonuses and exemptions in the name of historic preservation.

Opponents of the bill said it will only serve to prevent any affordable, multi-family housing from being developed in the area, thereby preserving not just its historic character but also its largely white and wealthy residential makeup.

“Letting a handful of residents define Society Hill’s urban context, while ignoring its history of wanton urban renewal that demolished ‘nonconforming’ mid-rises, is the epitome of hypocrisy and the opposite of good preservation policy,” Benjamin She, a volunteer for the urban advocacy group 5th Square, said in prepared testimony.

Society Hill today is in large part the result of urban

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The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Senate panel votes to subpoena Twitter, Facebook, Google CEOs |  ‘Trump fatigue’ spells trouble |  Senate GOP frustrated after Tuesday’s debate |  Trump signs funding bill after short lapse | NYC becomes first big city to reopen all schools |  Five cursing parrots separated

 

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Via The Hill’s Niv ElisPresident TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump signs bill averting shutdown after brief funding lapse Privacy, civil rights groups demand transparency from Amazon on election data

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EU takes legal action against Britain over U.K. bill that violates Brexit deal, international law

“The heat’s on Donald Trump” after last night’s “We Miss America pageant” in Cleveland, Jimmy Kimmel said on Wednesday’s Kimmel Live. “There were quite a few TV news people who were like, ‘I’ve never seen anything like this,'” he shrugged, but “I’ve been seeing this almost every day for about four years now.”

“Maybe the most egregious lie Trump told is when he said Joe Biden played more golf than he does — Phil Mickelson doesn’t play more golf than he does,” Kimmel said. “Trump attacked Biden’s family” and “refused to commit to accepting the results of the election,” but his lowest moment was “when specifically asked to condemn white supremacy, he wouldn’t.”

“The only thing he avoids more than condemning white supremacists is paying taxes,” Trevor Noah said at The Daily Show. “If you see someone making the same ‘mistake’ over and over again, at some point

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