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Florida House of Representatives Approves Bill Establishing Election Police Force – JURIST

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The Florida House of Representatives approved a bill on Wednesday that would create a dedicated office to investigate allegations of election crimes and establish a separate police force for investigations. The bill passed in a 76-41 vote, after the Florida Senate approved it last week. The bill authorizes the establishment of an Election Crimes and Security Bureau within the Florida Department of State to investigate “allegations of election law violations or election irregularities.” The office would have 15 investigators, who would run a voter fraud hotline and examine complaints of election crimes. Additionally, up to 10 law enforcement officers would investigate the fraud under the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The legislation would have a budget of approximately $3.7 million, according to state representative Daniel Pérez. DeSantis’ original proposal called for a 52-member force with a budget of approximately $5.7 million. Pérez stated that this legislation would help electoral supervisors to guarantee that “there is absolutely no case that is lost.” Similarly, state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia supported the bill, stating, “Our job is to make sure our elections are as secure as possible, and do you want to know why? Our constituents demand it.” Many Democrats oppose the bill. Senator Lori Berman explained, “We know that voter fraud is extremely rare. I just don’t understand why we are going to take our taxpayers’ money and create this quote ‘police force.’” The bill will now go to Governor Ron DeSantis’ desk. DeSantis first proposed a version of this legislation last year and he is expected to sign the legislation. DeSantis praised Florida’s election administration. This bill is part of a larger bill that would enact new voting restrictions in the state. Florida would become one of the first states with a unit focused on voter fraud if this bill becomes law.

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Indian court keeps journalist in police custody over tweet – JURIST

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The Delhi Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday ordered journalist and Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair to be held in police custody for four days. Zubair was arrested on Monday for the offenses of hurting religious sentiments and inciting enmity under Sections 153 and 295 of the Indian Penal Code. In 2018, Zubair posted a tweet showing a hotel whose name he changed from “Honeymoon Hotel” to “Hanuman Hotel”. Hanuman is a Hindu god. Delhi police arrested him based on a complaint about that tweet, which alleged that Zubair tweeted a “questionable image for the purpose of deliberately insulting the god of a particular religion.” accused for posting the tweet in question will be retrieved at the behest of the accused Mohammed Zubair from his residence in Bangalore, that the accused has not cooperated and (with) the disclosure statement recorded, four days PC (police custody) preventive detention of the accused will be concedes as the accused will be taken to Bangalore. Zubair’s arrest has been condemned by international organizations and national news organizations, including United Nations chief Antonio Guterres, Amnesty International, the Press Club of India and other media outlets.

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US Supreme Court Grants Review of Federal Bankruptcy Case – JURIST

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On Monday, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear MOAC Mall Holdings v. Transform Holdco, a case examining appellate court jurisdiction over sales orders in federal bankruptcy proceedings. The case revolves around the sale and transfer of a lease for a store in a shopping center. In 1991, Sears obtained a lease for a store in the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The lease only cost Sears $10 a year and was supposed to last 100 years. Sears, however, went bankrupt in 2018. As part of federal bankruptcy proceedings, Sears sold its assets and the Mall of America lease was transferred to Transform Holdco LLC, a corporation formed by Sears’ new owners. Mall of America sought to prevent the transfer because they claim that Transform Holdco LLC does not intend to occupy the leased facilities but to sublet them to other companies. Transform Holdco LLC argues that the long-term lease constitutes a substantial portion of the value Sears was sold for in the bankruptcy proceeding. The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit transferred the lease as it was deemed “integral” to a court-approved bankruptcy sale. Mall of America filed a petition with the US Supreme Court, arguing that a remedy is available that would not affect the validity of the sale. Therefore, according to Mall of America, the appellate court should be allowed to intervene. Transform Holdco LLC responds that no such remedy exists, and that the Second Circuit’s ruling should stand. The US Supreme Court must now determine whether federal bankruptcy law limits appeals on sales orders deemed “comprehensive,” even when a remedy is available that will not affect the validity of the sale. The court is set to hear oral arguments in the case next term.

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US appeals court to rehear challenge to Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine executive order – JURIST

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The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an order on Monday stating that the court will rehear Feds for Medical Freedom v. Biden, a challenge to President Joe Biden’s 2019 executive order that required federal employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or face termination. In late May and early June, America First Legal Foundation, America’s Frontline Doctors, Airline Employees For Freedom Health, and an additional group of vaccine plaintiffs filed four amicus briefs in favor of a new full hearing. The plaintiffs in Rodden v. Fauci also filed a class action lawsuit made up of federal employees who contracted COVID-19, developed COVID-19 antibodies, “but remain subject to the federal employee vaccination mandate.” The Rodden plaintiffs argue that Biden and the “agencies he directs have no power to direct the personal medical decisions of federal employees,” and therefore this executive order is like an illegal government mandate. In addition, the group asserts that the panel’s refusal to review executive employment decisions is unlawful and thus protects “the exercise of unlawful governmental power.” In January 2022, a Texas judge blocked Biden’s executive order. Other state judges have also blocked enforcement of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. In December 2021, a Georgia judge blocked the COVID-19 vaccination mandate for government contractors after the Texas Governor ordered a statewide ban on all COVID-19 vaccination mandates in October 2021 .

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