A federal judge in California upheld the legal basis for ‘sanctuary cities.’ (More)

“The LASD does not have authority to detain people exclusively on the basis of suspected civil immigration violations”

For all the God-King’s and Klanmaster General’s clamoring about the “rule of law,” they don’t respect the actual rules of law with so-called “sanctuary cities.” For example, they howl a lot about “illegal immigrants.” But they rarely mention that most undocumented immigrants have committed no crime at all. Most arrived legally – on a tourist, student, or other visa – and then simply didn’t leave. And overstaying a visa is a civil violation … not a crime.

And this week a federal judge in California held that is a crucial distinction when it comes to ICE issuing “immigration holds” to local jails:

Probable cause exists when the facts and circumstances are “sufficient to warrant a prudent man in believing that the (suspect) had committed or was committing an offense.” […] “By its definition, probable cause can only exist in relation to criminal conduct. It follows that civil disputes cannot give rise to probable cause.” […] “The Supreme Court has characterized deportation and removal proceedings as ‘civil in nature.’” […] (“[B]ecause mere unauthorized presence is not a criminal matter, suspicion of unauthorized presence alone does not give rise to an inference that criminal activity is ‘afoot.’”).
Here, the undisputed evidence establishes that LASD held inmates beyond their release dates on the basis of immigration detainers. […] (Defendants respond that it is “[u]ndisputed” that “[f]rom October 2010 until June 2014, LASD’s policy and practice was to detain individuals beyond the time they were eligible for release on the immigration detainer for up to 48 hours excluding weekends and holidays.”).) Because this constitutes a new arrest under the Fourth Amendment, the LASD could only arrest these individuals if LASD officers had probable cause to suspect that the individuals were involved in criminal activity. […] The LASD officers did not have probable cause that the individuals were involved in criminal activity, but were instead holding these individuals on the basis of civil immigration detainers. […] The LASD officers have no authority to arrest individuals for civil immigration offenses, and thus, detaining individuals beyond their date for release violated the individuals’ Fourth Amendment rights.
The Court holds that there is no lawful government purpose for this distinction between those arrestees subject to detainers and those not subject to detainers because as explained above, the LASD does not have authority to detain people exclusively on the basis of suspected civil immigration violations.

It’s not a trivial point, because local governments can be held liable for detaining someone illegally:

“This is a significant ruling, especially considering the national debate around immigration and the efforts of the Trump administration to strong-arm localities to honor immigration detainers,” said Jennie Pasquarella, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, one of several groups involved in the lawsuit. “Here is yet another court saying that any police department that does go along with detainer requests can be held liable.”

Under Birotte’s order, an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 people who were improperly held in L.A. County jails on ICE detainers between 2010 and 2014 may be entitled to monetary awards, said Pasquarella.

So far, the federal government has refused to accept civil liability for ICE-requested holds. Unless and until the federal government accepts that liability, states and local governments have a duty – both to the Constitution and to their taxpayers – to not keep people in jail solely based on suspected visa violations.

The judge also criticized other elements of ICE’s requests:

He ruled, for example, that ICE was wrong to issue detainers for people who were born overseas but were not found in the massive databases federal agents rely on when determining a person’s immigration status. ICE officials said in court filings that the agency stopped the practice in June 2015, although Pasquarella said she doubts the agency has changed its ways.

And an ICE practice of issuing detainers for people without a warrant when there was no evidence that the subject was a flight risk was illegal, the judge ruled.

The God-King, Klanmaster General, and ICE agents want courts and local law enforcement officials to treat visa violations as if they were crimes – “They’re breaking the law!” – without the legislative hassle of working with Congress to revise existing statutes.

They bluster about “the rule of law” … but they don’t care about the actual rules of law.


“I believe in liberties, freedom, free speech, and Christian values”

In other news, a South Dakota Republican candidate seems to think freedom of religion is for Christians only:

Gary Emineth, a Republican candidate for US Senate in North Dakota, defended in a radio interview Friday sharing an image on Twitter that said no more mosques should be built in the United States.
“If you look at the context of some of these posts, I just retweeted it. I never made a comment on it, right? And so the bottom line is, a lot of the radicalization that’s turned on in the country and around the world has come out of these mosques,” Emineth said.

“So I just made a statement, I’m a Christian that believes we ought to propagate our Christian faith. So I see an article and I retweet, ‘no more mosques in America,’ you know, and like, and share. So I retweeted it. So yeah. So what? I believe in Christian — I believe in liberties, freedom, free speech, and Christian values is kind of my base. And so yeah, I posted it, so no big deal. I’m not that stressed out over it.”

Any excuse about “context” vanishes in Emineth’s later comments. He seems to think the First Amendment is for Christians only, never mind that silly piffle in the Establishment Clause. He may be “not that stressed out over it,” but South Dakota voters who care about the Constitution should be very stressed indeed.

“The anti-patriarchy movement is going to undo ten thousand years of recorded history”

And then there’s Steve Bannon, whining about the danger to civilization if men aren’t allowed to molest any woman they damn well please:

In a preface to an updated paperback version of his New York Times bestselling book, set for release on Tuesday, author and Bloomberg journalist Josh Green writes that he visited Bannon at his Washington, D.C., home while he watched the Golden Globes.

Green says Bannon, who was recently ousted from his position as executive chairman of the far-right website Breitbart, took particular notice of the Times’s Up campaign, founded by Hollywood celebrities inspired by the #MeToo movement and the post-Harvey Weinstein reckoning.

“It’s a Cromwell moment!” Bannon is quoted as nearly shouting, referring to the 17th century political leader often characterized as a fanatical dictator. “It’s even more powerful than populism. It’s deeper. It’s primal. It’s elemental. The long black dresses and all that — this is the Puritans! It’s anti-patriarchy.”
But Bannon went further than that, declaring, “The anti-patriarchy movement is going to undo ten thousand years of recorded history.”

“You watch. The time has come. Women are gonna take charge of society,” Bannon said, according to Green. “And they couldn’t juxtapose a better villain than Trump. He is the patriarch. This” – the Golden Globe Awards – “is a definitional moment in the culture. It’ll never be the same going forward.”

First, we could be so lucky that the Golden Globes were, indeed, “a definitional moment in the culture.” The predictable backlash to the #MeToo movement is already well underway, with the Usual Suspects complaining that women are taking things too far by, say, warning each other about sexually abusive bosses and colleagues. Or, as the Usual Suspects put it, “the performance of moral purity.” Plus the usual complaints of “thought policing” and “silencing” – in articles published in prominent national magazines … while ignoring women’s actual conversations about the breadth and scope of sexual misconduct.

Bannon seems incensed that any such conversations happen at all, based on his understanding (or lack thereof) of “ten thousand years of recorded history.” Never mind that evidence suggests that many early-agricultural societies were matriarchal:

What was life like, once bands settled down? This was almost from the start a woman’s world. She would mark out the fields for planting, because she knew where the grains grew best, and would probably work in the fields together with other women in the band. There would not be separate fields at first, but as the former nomads shifted from each sleeping in individual huts to building houses for family groups of mother, father, and children, a separate family feeling must have developed and women may have divided the fields by family groups.
The first women farmers in the Zagros foothills were very busy. Not only did they tend the fields and do the other chores mentioned above, they also probably built the round stone or mud-brick houses in the first villages. The frequency with which women construct shelters in foraging societies has already been cited.
The evidence from food remains in these early villages, 10,000 to 6000 BCE, indicates that men were still hunting, to supplement the agriculture and modest domestic herds. This means that they were not around very much. When they were, they probably shared in some of the home-base tasks.
With the accumulation of property, decisions about how it was to be allocated had to be made. The nature of these agreements is hardly to be found in the archeological record, so we must extrapolate from what we know of the “purest” matrilineal tribes of the recent past.

The senior woman of a family and her daughters and sons formed the property-holding unit for the family. The senior woman’s brother would be the administrator of the properties. His power, whether over property or in political decision making, would be derivative from his status as brother (usually but not always the oldest) to the senior woman in a family. This role of the brother, so important in present-day matrilineal societies, may not have been very important in the period we are now considering, between 12,000 and 8000 BCE.

Men (and a few women) love to argue that patriarchy is the “natural order” for human societies. But the actual archeological evidence disagrees. Patriarchy seems to have emerged with the advent of large cities and, even then, it has never been as “universal” as men (and a few women) claim. Indeed one of the most glaring flaws in Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s 1965 report on “The Negro Family” is his decision to pathologize, rather than understand and appreciate, the matriarchal structures common in black families.

If you define a ‘healthy’ family (and society) as patriarchal, then by definition patriarchy must be a “universal” element in ‘healthy’ societies. From that, you get Bannon’s “ten thousand years of recorded history.” But that’s a tautology, not a scientific argument, and it’s contradicted by both archeological and contemporary evidence.

If Western culture truly rests on a foundation of men’s unbridled right to harass women … then that culture is not worth preserving. Just sayin’.


Photo Credit: Wesley VanDinter (Getty Images)


Good day and good nuts