US Supreme Court Cases

09/30/2012

US Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate (but largely discretionary) appellate jurisdiction over all federal courts and over state court cases involving issues of federal law, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases. The Court, which meets in the United States Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., consists of a chief justice and eight associate justices who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate.

A term of the Supreme Court commences on the first Monday of each October, and continues until June or early July of the following year. Each term consists of alternating periods of approximately two weeks known as “sittings” and “recesses.” Justices hear cases and deliver rulings during sittings; they discuss cases and write opinions during recesses.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Supreme_Court

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Federal Judiciary Oaths

In the United States, federal judges are required to take two oaths. The first oath is this:

I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as (office) under the Constitution and laws of the United States. [So help me God.]

The second is the same oath that members of Congress take:

I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. [So help me God.]

Federal statute specifically says that the latter oath “does not affect other oaths required by law.”

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The Supreme Court: Justices

The Supreme Court is made up of nine Justices. One of these is the Chief Justice. They are appointed by the President and must be approved by the Senate. Once a person has been approved by the Senate and sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice, s/he remains in the job for life. The only way a Justice may leave the job is to resign, retire, die, or be impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate. No Justice has ever been removed by impeachment. There are no official qualifications in order to become a Justice, although all have been trained in the law and most pursued legal and political careers before serving on the Court. Several justices served as members of Congress, governors, or members of the Cabinet. One president, William Howard Taft, was later appointed chief justice.

 

Justices of the Supreme Court:

Hon. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. (age: 57, apptd by GW Bush)
Hon. Antonin Scalia (age: 76, apptd by R Regan)
Hon. Anthony M. Kennedy (age: 76, apptd by R Regan)
Hon. Clarence Thomas (age: 64, apptd by GW Bush)
Hon. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (age: 79, apptd by B Clinton)
Hon. Stephen G. Breyer (age: 74, apptd by B Clinton)
Hon. Samuel A. Alito, Jr. (age: 63, apptd by GW Bush)
Hon. Sonia Sotomayor  (age: 58, apptd by B Obama)
Hon. Elena Kagan (age: 52, apptd by B Obama)

October 1, 2012
10-1491 KIOBEL V. ROYAL DUTCH PETROLEUM CO.
11-626  LOZMAN V. CITY OF RIVIERA BEACH

October 2, 2012
11-184 KLOECKNER V. SOLIS
11-192 UNITED STATES V. BORMES

October 3, 2012
11-465 JOHNSON V. WILLIAMS
11-597 ARKANSAS GAME & FISH COMMISSION V. UNITED STATES

October 9, 2012
11-218 TIBBALS V. CARTER
10-930 RYAN V. GONZALES

October 10, 2012
11-702 MONCRIEFFE V. HOLDER
11-345 FISHER V. UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS

October 29, 2012
11-1025 CLAPPER V. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL USA
11-697 KIRTSAENG V. JOHN WILEY & SONS, INC.

October 30, 2012
11-820 CHAIDEZ V. UNITED STATES
11-770 BAILEY V. UNITED STATES

October 31, 2012
11-564 FLORIDA V. JARDINES
11-817 FLORIDA V. HARRIS

November 5, 2012
11-864 COMCAST V. BEHREND
11-1085 AMGEN INC. V. CONNECTICUT RETIREMENT PLANS

November 6, 2012
11-8976 SMITH V. UNITED STATES
11-1327 EVANS V. MICHIGAN

November 7, 2012
11-982 ALREADY, LLC V. NIKE, INC.
11-1175 MARX V. GENERAL REVENUE CORP.

For More US Supreme Court Oral Arguments: http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/oral_arguments.aspx

President Obama put two new Supreme Court justices on the bench — Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, who bring rich and diverse experience to the Court

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Conservative Scholars Bullish That A Romney Supreme Court Could Reverse Longstanding Liberal Jurisprudence

OCTOBER 26, 2012, 6:51 AM SAHIL KAPUR – tpm
A potential Mitt Romney presidency carries huge implications for the Supreme Court that have conservatives excited and progressives fearful about the future.

Liberal-leaning Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 79, and Steven Breyer, 74, are likely candidates for retirement during a Romney administration, the GOP nominee has vowed to appoint staunch conservatives, and the influential conservative legal community will make sure he follows through.

Replacing even one of the liberal justices with a conservative, legal scholars and advocates across the ideological spectrum agree, would position conservatives to scale back the social safety net and abortion rights in the near term. Over time, if a robust five-vote conservative bloc prevails on the court for years, the right would have the potential opportunity to reverse nearly a century of progressive jurisprudence.

For all those reasons, conservative legal activists anticipate that a Romney win would be the culmination of their decades-long project to remake the country’s legal architecture.

For more: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/10/mitt-romney-supreme-court.php?ref=fpnewsfeed

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If you want a US Supreme court that consists of  judges that reflect the rich diversity of America then ELECT DEMOCRAT PRESIDENTS!!!



2012 Presidential Candidates on the Issues

09/23/2012


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Mitt Romney

Birth Control – Opposes abortion rights, though he previously supported them; states state law should guide abortion rights, and Roe vs Wade should be reversed by a future Supreme Court ruling; said he would end federal aid to Planned Parenthood.

China- He said he would formally declare China a currency manipulator and would get tougher with China on human rights, religious freedom and intellectual property rights; wants more military capabilities in the Pacific to counter Beijing’s growing influence in East Asia. His company, Bain Capital shipped American jobs overseas to counties like China.

Debt – Promises to cut $500 billion per year from the federal budget by 2016 and to balance it by 2020, but vital specifics are lacking; at same time would increase military spending , reverse $716 billion in Medicare cuts and cut taxes; favors constitutional balanced budget amendment.

Economy – Lower taxes, less regulation, balanced budget, more trade deals to spur growth replace jobless benefits with unemployment savings accounts; proposes repeal of the law toughening financial – industry regulations after the meltdown that sector.

Education – Supported federal accountability standards of “No Child Left Behind Law; has said student testing, charter-school incentives and teacher evaluation standards of Obama’s “Race to the Top” competition “makes sense” though the federal government should have less control of education.

Energy – Pledges US will become independent to energy sources outside of North America by 2020; supports opening Atlantic and Pacific outer continental shelves, Western Lands, the Artic National Wildlife Refuge and offshore Alaska to drilling; wants to reduce obstacles to energy development by weakening the EPA’s rules.

Environment – Says green power has yet to become viable and the causes of climate change are unknown; opposes “ cap and trade” policy that limits emissions; proposes to remove carbon dioxide from lists of pollutants regulated by the  Clean Air Act.

Gay Rights - Opposes legal recognition of same-sex marriage, says it should be banned with a constitutional amendment; opposes civil unions but says states should decide which rights and benefits should be allowed under those unions; would not seek to restore the ban on openly gay military members.

Guns- Opposes stricter gun control law; suggested he favors tougher enforcement of existing gun laws; as MA governor, vowed in 2002 to protect the state’s “tough guns laws” and in 2004 signed a MA ban on assault weapons.

Health Care – Promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act that was modeled after his MA universal health care ; saying that states should drive policy on the uninsured; would expand individual tax-advantaged medical saving accounts and let saving be used for premiums and medical costs. Said that he would make Medicare a voucher system.

Immigration – Favors US – Mexico border fence; opposes education benefits to illegal immigrants; opposes offering legal status to illegal immigrants who attend college, but would do so for those who serve in the military; would establish an immigration – status verification system for employers.

Mideast- Appears to present a clearer US military threat to Iran; has spoken in favor of coveret action by the US in Syria but not military invervention; said “”Palestinians do not want peace and are committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel”

Social Security – Says he would protect the status quo for people 55 and older but , for the next generation of retirees would raise the retirement age for full benefits by one or two years and reduce inflation increase in benefits fot wealthier recipients.

Taxes – Wants to keep Bush – era tax cuts for all and drop all tax rates by 20 percent ; would curtail deductions, credits, exemptions for the wealthiest, end for individual, end capital gains tax for those Alternative Minimum Tax making below $200,000 , cut corporate tax to 25 percent.

Terrorism – Says foreign terrorism suspects should have no constitutional rights; in 2007 refused to rule out use of waterboarding to interrogate terrorist suspects; his campaign has said he doe not consider waterboarding to be torture. Said that Russia is the current biggest threat to the US.

War – Endorse 2014 end to US combat in Afghanistan, subject to conditions at the time; would increase strength of armed forces, including number of troops and warships, addition almost $100 billion to the defense budget in 2016.

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.President Barack Obama

Birth Control – Pro-Choice; believes in women’s right to choose.

China – Opposes citing China as a currency manipulator, which could lead to broad trade sanctions, instead pressing the matter through diplomacy and aggressively burnt unfair-trade cases to the WTO.

Debt – Promises to cut deficits by $4 trillion over 10 years, a goal that will require Congress to raise the capital gains tax, boost a taxes on households earning more than $250,000 a year, impose a minimum 30 percent tax on incomes above $1million.

Economy – Term marked by high unemployment, a deep recession that began in the previous administration and gradual recovery; responded to recession with a roughly $800 billion stimulus plan, expanded auto bailout begun under Bush; inherited and carried forward Wall Street bailout.

Education – Has approved waivers freeing states from the most onerous requirements of the Bush – era ‘No Child Left Behind‘ law; “ Race to the Top’ competition has rewarded winning states with billions of dollars for pursing education policies Obama supports.

Energy – Ordered temporary moratorium on deep-water drilling after the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf Mexico but has pushed for more oil and gas drilling overall; achieved historic increases in fuel economy standards expect to save money at the pump while raising the code of new vehicles.

Environment – Achieved regulations on – heat-tapping gases blamed for global warming and on mercury pollution from power plants; spent heavily on green energy and has embraced nuclear power as a clean source; failed to persuade a Democratic congress tin 2009 to pass limits he promised on carbon emissions.

Gay Rights- Supports legal recognition of same- sex marriage; achieved repeal of the military ban on openly gay members; has not achieved repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal recognition of same-sex marriages.

Guns – Has not pushed for stricter gun laws as president; signed laws letting people carry concealed weapons in national parks and in checked bags on Amtrak trains; voices support for renewed ban on assault-type weapons; previously backed stronger gun controls.

Health Care – Achieved landmark overhaul with the Affordable Care Act
including a Medicaid expansion and a mandate for almost everyone to obtain insurance; under the law, insurers may not deny coverage to people with pre-existing illness, tax credits will subsidize premiums, people can seek insurance in new marks and young adults can stay on their parent’s health care plan until age 26.

Immigration – Issued directive that immigrants brought illegally to the US as children be exempted from deportation and granted work permits if they apply; has failed to deliver on promised immigration overhaul but says he is still committed to it.

Mideast – Opposes near-term military strike on Iran except as last resort to stop it from getting nuclear weapons,; seeks international pressure against Syrian government rather then military aid for oppositions.

Social Security – Has not proposed a comprehensive plan to address Social Security’s long-term financial problems; proposed a new way of measuring inflation that would reduce annual increase in Social Security’s benefits, which would reduce the long-term shortfall be a bout 25 percent.

Taxes – Would raise taxes on the wealthy and ensure they pay at least 30 percent of their income; would extend Bush-era tax cuts for those making under ›200,000 ($250,000 for couples), let top two tax rates go back up on 396 percent and 36 percent, raise rates on capital gains and dividends for the wealthy.

Terrorism – Approved the raid that killed Osama bin Laden ; set policy that the US would no longer use harsh interrogation techniques; expanded use of drone strikes against terrorist targets abroad.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/obama-romney-where-stand-issues-211840370.html

VOTE SMART. RE-ELECT PRESIDENT OBAMA 2012


President Obama Fights For the 99% Of America

06/07/2012

President Obama has a clear message for Congress: It’s time to put country ahead of politics and create one million new jobs.

President Obama proposed the American Jobs Act, but Republicans in Congress have refused to act on many of the common-sense ideas that would help our country continue to recover from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

For concrete steps that will put Americans back to work, read President Obama’s proposals below. Then let Republicans in Congress know: We can’t afford for them to continue playing politics. It’s time to act.

  1. PREVENT TEACHERS AND FIRST RESPONDERS FROM BEING LAID OFF
  2. PUT CONSTRUCTION WORKERS BACK ON THE JOB
  3. REWARD AMERICAN JOBS, NOT OUTSOURCING
  4. EXPAND REFINANCING FOR RESPONSIBLE HOMEOWNERS
  5. PROVIDE TAX CREDITS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES THAT HIRE NEW
  6. INVEST IN CLEAN ENERGY MANUFACTURING
  7. CREATE A VETERANS JOB CORPS

Contact your legislator Contact your Congress person to TELL THEM TO START WORKING WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA!!

U.S. Senators
U.S. Representatives
Tweet a Message to Your Representatives

VOTE SMART & RE-ELECT PRESIDENT OBAMA 2012


Going Forward

05/08/2012

2008

US Economic Meltdown

4.4 Million Jobs Loss

US Economy Spirals Down

2009 -2012

Jan 20, 2012 Senator Barack Obama takes the oath as President Of The United States of America

America starts to recover.

Today America’s auto industry is back.

Our enemy brought to justice by our greatest heroes.

Our troops are home from Iraq.

Instead of losing jobs America is creating jobs.

President Obama believes in America and fights for America.

We have more to do but we are coming back.

Because America’s greatness comes from a strong Middle Class.

Because you don’t quit and neither does he…

VOTE SMART & RE-ELECT OBAMA/BIDEN 2012



Increasing Oversight & Oil Market Manipulation Crackdown

04/17/2012


End Oil Subsidies – An All-Of-The-Above Approach to American Energy

These days, we’re getting another painful reminder why developing new energy is so important to our future. Just like they did last year, gas prices are starting to climb. Only this time, it’s happening earlier. And that hurts everyone – everyone who owns a car; everyone who owns a business. It means you have to stretch your paycheck even further. Some folks have no choice but to drive a long way to work, and high gas prices are like a tax straight out of their paychecks.

You know there are no quick fixes to this problem, and you know we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices. If we’re going to take control of our energy future and avoid these gas price spikes down the line, then we need a sustained, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy – oil, gas, wind, solar, nuclear, biofuels, and more. We need to keep developing the technology that allows us to use less oil in our cars and trucks; in our buildings and plants. That’s the strategy we’re pursuing, and that’s the only real solution to this challenge.

Now, we absolutely need safe, responsible oil production here in America. That’s why under my Administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. In 2010, our dependence on foreign oil was under 50% for the first time in more than a decade. And while there are no short-term silver bullets when it comes to gas prices, I’ve directed my administration to look for every single area where we can make an impact and help consumers in the months ahead, from permitting to delivery bottlenecks to what’s going on in the oil markets.

President Obama 3/17/12 Weekly Address


Fact Sheet: Increasing Oversight and Cracking Down on Manipulation in Oil Markets

At a time when instability in the Middle East is contributing to rising global oil prices that impact consumers at the pump, it is critically important to give American families confidence that illegal manipulation, fraud and market rigging are not contributing to gas price increases.

President Obama has already taken significant action to step up oversight of oil markets and close dangerous loopholes that for too long allowed energy traders to operate in the shadows. Early on in the Administration, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) moved to close the “Enron” and “London” loopholes, which previously allowed traders to evade oversight by using electronic and overseas platforms. Through Wall Street Reform, the President fought for new position limits to ensure that no single trader can manipulate oil markets and to enhance the CFTC’s anti-manipulation authorities. And at the President’s direction, the Attorney General has been working to ensure that enforcement agencies are exercising their full authorities through the Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group. (See Appendix for full record).

Today, the Administration is going further – announcing new steps to strengthen oversight of energy markets while calling on congress to pass a package of measures that would deter illegal behavior and hold accountable those who manipulate markets for financial gain at the expense of consumers. Congress should act immediately on these measures to ensure that illegal manipulation by financial traders is not contributing to prices at the pump.

The President’s Five-Part Plan Includes:

1. Requesting Immediate Funding to Put More “Cops on the Beat” Overseeing Oil Markets

2. Funding Critical Technology Upgrades in the Oversight and Surveillance of Energy Market Activity

3. Substantially Increasing Civil and Criminal Penalties for Manipulation in Key Energy Markets

4. Empowering the CFTC to Raise Margin Requirements in Oil Futures Markets

5. Taking Immediate Steps to Expand Access to CFTC Data to Better Understand Trading Trends in Oil Markets

CRACKING DOWN ON MANIPULATION IN OIL MARKETS

Details of the Administration’s Five Part Plan:

1. Immediate Funding to Put More “Cops on the Beat” Overseeing Oil Markets

2. Critical Technology Upgrades in the Oversight and Surveillance of Energy Market Activity

3. Increased Civil and Criminal Penalties for Manipulation in Key Energy Markets:

4. New Authorities for the CFTC to Raise Margin Requirements in Oil Futures Markets

5. Immediate Steps to Expand Access to CFTC Data to Better Understand Trading Trends in Oil Markets

For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/17/fact-sheet-increasing-oversight-and-cracking-down-manipulation-oil-marke

Contact your legislator Contact your Congress person to pass a package of measures that deters illegal behavior in the oil market!

U.S. Senators
U.S. Representatives
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Seoul Nuclear Security Summit 2012

03/24/2012

Seoul Nuclear Security Summit 2012 

March 26 ~ 27, 2012

Seoul, Republic of Korea

The 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit to be held in Seoul in March 2012, will be the largest summit in the security field that discusses international cooperative measures to protect nuclear materials and facilities from terrorist groups, with participation from more than 50 heads of state and international organizations. The main issues to be discussed at the Summit will be as follows.

  •  Cooperative measures to combat the threat of nuclear terrorism
  •  Protection of nuclear materials and related facilities
  •  Prevention of illicit trafficking of nuclear materials

Participants (source: 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit page)
Heads of 53 states which participated in the 1st Washington Nuclear Security Summit. (Republic of Korea, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, UK, Ukraine, USA, Vietnam).

Heads of international organizations which participated in the Washington Summit (the UN, IAEA, and EU).

INTERPOL was added to the group of participants as agreed upon between the participating countries and international organizations.

For more information: http://www.thenuclearsecuritysummit.org/eng_main/main.jsp


American Energy

03/20/2012

President Obama understands the that prices at the pump, driven by increased world oil prices, are too high and the impact this has on families and businesses on a tight budget.  He also knows there’s no silver bullet to bring down the price at the pump.  That is why he continues to invest in a sustained, all-of-the-above approach to American energy, increasing the efficiency of the vehicles we drive, investing in advanced technologies and alternative fuels, and expanding responsible domestic oil and gas production.

Obama Administration’s Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future

  • Develop and secure America’s energy supplies:  We need to deploy American assets, innovation, and technology so that we can safely and responsibly develop more energy here at home and be a leader in the global energy economy.  To get there, we need to:
    • Expand Safe and Responsible Domestic Oil and Gas Development and Production
    • Lead the World Toward Safer and More Secure Energy Supplies
  • Provide consumers with choices to reduce costs and save energy:  Volatile gasoline prices reinforce the need for innovation that will make it easier and more affordable for consumers to buy more advanced and fuel-efficient vehicles, use alternative means of transportation, weatherize their homes and workplaces, and in doing so, save money and protect the environment. These measures help families’ pocketbooks, reduce our dependence on finite energy sources and help create good jobs here in the United States.  So, we’re implementing policies that:
    • Reduce Consumers Costs at the Pump with More Efficient Cars and Trucks
    • Cut Energy Bills with More Efficient Homes and Buildings
  • Innovate our way to a clean energy future:  Leading the world in clean energy is critical to strengthening the American economy and winning the future.  We can get there by creating markets for innovative clean technologies that are ready to deploy, and by funding cutting-edge research to produce the next generation of technologies.  And as new, better, and more efficient technologies hit the market, the Federal government needs to put words into action and lead by example.  That’s why we need to:
    • Harness America’s Clean Energy Potential so that 80 percent of electricity will come from clean energy sources by 2035
    • Win the future through Clean Energy Research and Development
    • Lead by Example so that the Federal Government models best practices and clean energy technologies

Read the full Blueprint (pdf).

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Data.gov/Energy

Where data and insight are combined to facilitate public discussion and awareness of our Nation’s energy activities. Whether you are interested in alternative fuels, managing buildings to be more energy efficient, or trying to manage energy in your own home, we have something for you. Look at the data, use the apps, join the conversation.


Secure Energy Future Blueprint – One Year Report

03/11/2012

One year ago, the President put forward a comprehensive plan in the Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future that outlined the Administration’s all-of-the-above approach to American energy – a strategy aimed at reducing our reliance on foreign oil, saving families and businesses money at the pump, and positioning the United States as the global leader in clean energy.

On Monday, the President will receive a new progress report, showcasing the Administration’s historic achievements in each of these areas. The accomplishments in this report, which represent the efforts of six Federal agencies, underscore the Administration’s commitment over the past three years to promoting an all-hands-on-deck, all-of-the-above approach to American energy and building a more secure energy future. Attached please find a copy of The Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future: One-Year Progress Report.

Report Highlights:

• Increasing American Energy Independence
• Expanding Domestic Oil and Gas Production
• Setting Historic New Fuel Economy Standards
• Improving Energy Efficiency in 1 Million Homes
• Doubling Renewable Energy Generation
• Developing Advanced, Alternative Fuels
• Supporting Cutting-Edge Research

For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/03/12/blueprint-secure-energy-future-one-year-progress-report


Record Judicial Diversity, Record Judicial Delays

01/05/2012

Creating a judicial pool for the 21st Century, one with intellect, fair-mindedness and integrity that resembles the nation that it serves, is a top priority for President Obama and his administration. In fact, the President’s nominations for federal judges embody an unprecedented commitment to expanding the racial, gender and experiential diversity of the men and women who enforce our laws and deliver justice.

Hon. Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice
confirmation date: 8/6/2009

Hon. Elena Kagan, Associate Justice
confirmation date: 8/7/2010

Unfortunately, the delays these nominees are encountering on Capitol Hill are equally unprecedented: earlier this month, the Senate left for its August recess without considering 20 eminently qualified candidates, 16 of whom had passed through the bipartisan Senate Judiciary Committee completely unopposed, a development the Washington Post called “not only frustrating but also destructive” in an editorial published yesterday.

The victims of these delays, of course, are the American citizens who are being denied the fair and timely judicial proceedings they deserve because of the chronic shortage of federal judges on the bench.  Stephen Zack, president of the American Bar Association, told Senate leaders in a recent letter that the abundance of vacant federal judgeships “create strains that will inevitably reduce the quality of our justice system and erode public confidence in the ability of the courts to vindicate constitutional rights or render fair and timely decisions.”

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<strong>Senate approves New Jersey judge for appeals court</strong>

4/9/13 By HENRY C. JACKSON | Associated Press – 3 hrs ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Tuesday confirmed New Jersey judge Patty Shwartz to serve on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, giving her a lifetime appointment to the Philadelphia-based court.

Shwartz was confirmed by a vote of 64-34, with most Republicans opposing her nomination. The 3rd Circuit handles cases from Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and can sometimes be the last stop before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Senate’s confirmation came after Shwartz’s nomination was at first held up by a Democrat, New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez.
Menendez initially said he wasn’t satisfied by Shwartz’s answers to several legal questions. After he met with Shwartz earlier this year, Menendez lifted his hold and said he was satisfied with her answers.

“I’ve always taken the role of advice and consent for judicial nominations very seriously … appointments to the federal bench are lifetime appointments,” Menendez said on Tuesday.
Menendez and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Va., the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoke in support of Shwarz on the Senate floor.

“Judged on her qualifications and her record, Judge Patty Shwartz should be confirmed by an overwhelming bipartisan vote,” Leahy said.

But many Republicans opposed her nomination, some citing her performance during a committee hearing about her nomination. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said he opposed Shwartz’s nomination because of what he called a “lack of candor” during the panel.

“I was unable to make the determination that she is prepared to be a circuit court judge,” said Grassley, the ranking Republican the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I share doubts raised regarding her limited knowledge of constitutional law, misapplication of standards of review, and inadequate understanding of substantive areas of the law.”

Shwartz is currently a magistrate judge for U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey and an adjunct law professor. She previously worked in the U.S. attorney’s office in New Jersey.
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There will still be 14 other judicial nominees awaiting floor votes. Of these 14, 13 were approved by the Judiciary Committee unanimously, and five nominees would fill judicial emergencies. They have been waiting on the Senate floor for an average of 67 days for a vote. That’s nearly twice as long as President Bush’s judicial nominees.


Fuel Economy Standards for Automotive Vehicles

08/09/2011

White House Announced First Ever Oil Savings Standards for Heavy Duty Trucks, Buses Saving $50 billion in fuel costs and over 500 million barrels of oil.

President Obama announced new fuel efficiency standards that will save American businesses that operate and own commercial vehicles approximately $50 billion in fuel costs over the life of the program. These work trucks, buses, and other medium- and heavy duty vehicleswill be required to meet fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emission standards for the first time ever beginning in 2014.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the standards in close coordination with the companies that met with the President today as well as other stakeholders, following requests from companies to develop this program.

“While we were working to improve the efficiency of cars and light-duty trucks, something interesting happened,” said President Obama. “We started getting letters asking that we do the same for medium and heavy-duty trucks. They were from the people who build, buy, and drive these trucks. And today, I’m proud to have the support of these companies as we announce the first-ever national policy to increase fuel efficiency and decrease greenhouse gas pollution from medium and heavy-duty trucks.”

The 2014-2018 fuel efficiency standards for trucks are designed to account for the different kind of work done by different kinds of trucks. Long haul trucks will save an average of 4 gallons for fuel for every 100 miles traveled. Heavy-duty pickups and vehicles like buses, delivery trucks, or vans would save one gallon for every 100 miles traveled. Altogether, we’re looking at saving a projected 530 million barrels of oil.

For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/08/09/secretary-lahood-50-billion-fuel-savings-significant-win-trucking-industry

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WH trucks_fuel_efficiency

Fuel Efficiency Standards of Medium and Heavy-Duty Vehicles

February 18, 2014

FACT SHEET: Opportunity For All: Improving the Fuel Efficiency of American Trucks – Bolstering Energy Security, Cutting Carbon Pollution, Saving Money and Supporting Manufacturing Innovation

Year of Action: Making Progress Through Executive Action

In his State of the Union address, the President outlined a comprehensive agenda to make America a magnet for middle class jobs and business investment. The President highlighted the autoworker, who, implementing the Administration’s historic fuel economy standards, “fine-tuned some of the best, most fuel-efficient cars in the world, and did his part to help America wean itself off foreign oil.” And the President pledged, “in the coming months” to “build on that success by setting new standards for our trucks, so we can keep driving down oil imports and what we pay at the pump.” The President also called on Congress to do its part “by putting people to work building fueling stations that shift more cars and trucks from foreign oil to American natural gas.” Today, the President laid out additional details for his plan to improve the fuel efficiency of American trucks – bolstering energy security, cutting carbon pollution, and spurring manufacturing innovation.

* Directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to Set the Next Round of Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles.

* Partnering with Private-Sector Leaders to Deploy Advanced Vehicles

* Expanding Fuel Choices for American Drivers.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/02/18/fact-sheet-opportunity-all-improving-fuel-efficiency-american-trucks-bol




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