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December 5,2017
by Kevin Ryan

Washington DC, The Supreme Court has ruled that the government can fully enforce its travel ban on residents from 6 predominately Muslim nations. The ruling means President Trump’s travel ban can take full effect while legal challenges in the lower courts go forward, and suggests the court is likely to uphold the travel restrictions if lower courts attempt to strike them down.

People from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen will now be banned from entry, even if they have a relationship with a U.S.-based person or institution. Lower courts had said people from those nations with a claim of a “bona fide” relationship with someone in the United States, including grandparents, cousins, and other relatives, could not be kept out of the country.

Only 2 of the 9 justices dissented, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor.


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Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case Against Compulsory Public-Sector Union Fees



SCOTUS will hear Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31 this term.

Damon Root|Sep. 28, 2017 10:55 am

Today the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that has the potential of delivering a death blow to the legal privileges enjoyed by public-sector unions.

The case is Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31. At issue is whether it is constitutional for state governments to compel public-sector workers to pay union fees as a condition of employment even when those workers are not union members.

The case was brought by Mark Janus, a state employee in Illinois who objects to paying mandatory fees to a union that he has refused to join. Janus argues that the state’s scheme violates his First Amendment rights by forcing him to support political speech and activity that he does not wish to support.

Janus’s overarching goal is to overturn the Supreme Court’s 1977 precedent in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, in which the Court approved mandatory public-sector union fees on the grounds that non-union “free riders” should have to contribute something toward collective bargaining activities that benefit them too. That ruling provided a massive boon to public-sector unions nationwide.

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Trump travel ban Reinstated by Supreme Court

June 27,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Washington DC, in a 9-0 decision the Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to go forward with its travel ban from six mostly Muslim countries, In a victory for President Donald Trump , the court said Monday that Trump’s ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen can be enforced if those visitors lack a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” Trump said last week that the ban would take effect 72 hours after being cleared by courts. The justices will hear full arguments in October in the case.

President Donald J. Trump issued the following statement ,”Today’s unanimous Supreme Court decision is a clear victory for our national security.  It allows the travel suspension for the six terror-prone countries and the refugee suspension to become largely effective.

As President, I cannot allow people into our country who want to do us harm.  I want people who can love the United States and all of its citizens, and who will be hardworking and productive.

My number one responsibility as Commander in Chief is to keep the American people safe.  Today’s ruling allows me to use an important tool for protecting our Nation’s homeland.  I am also particularly gratified that the Supreme Court’s decision was 9-0.”

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Affordable housing mandate threatens quality of life, mayor says

“While I know this is Somerset, it is obvious that with the exception of District 39 and District 40 leadership, the crickets from District 36, District 37 and District 38 are becoming more incessant. When will the leadership of NJ Legislature stop playing this “partisan card”? “, Edward Durfee

Affordable housing mandate threatens quality of life, mayor says

Updated on June 20, 2017 at 3:31 PMPosted on June 20, 2017 at 3:30 PM


NJ Advance Media for

MONTGOMERY TWP. – Mayor Ed Trzaska is concerned that a potential court mandate requiring the township meet an affordable housing unit quota will put an overwhelming burden on the municipality and negatively effect the quality of life.

At issue is a state Supreme Court ruling in March of 2015 that opened the door for municipalities to be sued for not providing a “fair share” of affordable housing units. The ruling also allows a municipality to demonstrate in court that it has met the requirement to provide affordable housing.

The township, which has a population of some 23,000, has been in the forefront of providing affordable housing units, said Trzaska. Currently, he said the township has 300 affordable housing units, of which more than one-fourth are vacant.

Under a possible court ruling by the Fair Share Housing Counsel, the township could be forced to build between 501 and 1,000 additional affordable housing units, as well as 4,000 market-rate units, said Trzaska. The township has yet to be given the exact number of affordable units it must build, he said.

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Supreme Court refuses to dismiss Menendez corruption charges

menednez_ridgewood trainstation_theridgewoodblog

file photo by Boyd Loving


03/20/17 10:48 AM EDT

Updated 03/20/17 03:12 PM EDT

The Supreme Court has rejected Sen. Bob Menendez’s attempt to throw out the bribery and corruption charges against him, setting the stage for a trial for the New Jersey Democrat this fall.

With Monday’s announcement, Menendez can no longer block the proceedings against him from moving forward, a major setback for his efforts to avoid criminal trial.

Abbe Lowell, Menendez’s lead defense attorney, said the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the appeal was “disappointing,” but still said Menendez will be “vindicated when all the facts are heard at trial.”

“It’s disappointing that the Supreme Court did not take this opportunity to set a clear, bright line of the separation of powers to ensure that Congress remains an independent and co-equal branch of government, free of interference and retribution from the executive as the Framers intended,” Lowell said in a statement. “While the senator always understood it is rare that the Supreme Court hears any case before trial, given the gravity of the Constitutional issues raised, he believed it was important to try.”

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N.J. on the hook for thousands more affordable housing units, Supreme Court says

CBD high density housing

By MaryAnn Spoto | NJ Advance Media for
on January 18, 2017 at 1:50 PM, updated January 18, 2017 at 7:16 PM

TRENTON — New Jersey has to build thousands more units for its low-income residents to make up for the 16 years that the state didn’t address those needs, the state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

In a decision addressing New Jersey’s long-stalled regulations governing affordable housing, the state’s highest court said towns must take into consideration the need for housing that existed within their borders between 1999 and 2015. That’s the so-called gap period when the Council on Affordable Housing failed to adopt new rules.

The 6-0 decision, the latest in decades of Mount Laurel rulings governing affordable housing in New Jersey, rejects the assertion that only 37,000 units are needed and that the gap period calculations are not necessary because that need no longer exists.

“The decision says that the promise of the Mount Laurel decision is real for tens of thousands of families and people with disabilities and the New Jersey Supreme Court said our commitment to fight discrimination remains good law,” said Kevin Walsh, executive director of Fair Share Housing Center, the advocacy group that has taken the lead in enforcing Mount Laurel obligations.

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GOP invokes Biden Rule No election-season Supreme Court nominees


Biden in ’92: No election-season Supreme Court nominees

By Sarah Wheaton

02/22/16 04:36 PM EST

Updated 02/22/16 07:19 PM EST

Republicans are delighted that a recently unearthed Joe Biden speech appears to be a strong endorsement of the GOP’s current Supreme Court strategy.

“Politics has played far too large a role in the Reagan-Bush nominations to date. One can only imagine that role becoming overarching if a choice were made this year, assuming that a justice was announced tomorrow that he or she was stepping down,” Biden said on the Senate floor in June 1992, not long after Bill Clinton won the Democratic nomination to challenge then-President George H.W. Bush.

“A process that is already in doubt in the minds of many will become distrusted by all,” Biden continued. “Senate consideration of a nominee under these circumstances is not fair to the president, the nominee or to the Senate itself.”

Nearly 24 years later, after C-Span posted the old video, Republicans are offering Biden a hearty second — at least to the part of the 90-minute speech where he calls on the Senate to “seriously consider” not scheduling confirmation hearings and dismissing the potential impact of a short-handed court.

“The precedent of not confirming SCOTUS justices nominated in election years was established by both parties,” the office of Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) tweeted on Monday, with a link to a 2-minute clip of the old footage.

In the aftermath of Antonin Scalia’s death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was quick to say that any nominee to fill the vacancy should wait until after the coming election.

The clips and quotes Republicans seized on, however, ignored a passage buried deep in the transcript where Biden called for a “compromise” pick, much as he’s done in the past week.

Read more:

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Supreme Court may limit ability of public unions to forcibly take money from ‘members’

By Nick Sorrentino on January 12, 2016

This would be a positive for the country. (Though some will of course wail.) Unions shouldn’t be able to just take money out of people’s paychecks just because a particular union says that it represents a particular worker. That’s crazy.

I am of the opinion that in theory private sector unions can actually be valid tools within the marketplace. They help to set expectations for employees and management alike while also creating some degree of employment stability for workers. So long as such a private union is based upon free association and not a tool of cronyism (this is of course the rub), and doesn’t coerce fees from its members, I can see how a private union, again in theory, can be a perfectly good thing. However, in a government situation, where the taxpayers are the employers, unions shouldn’t be allowed. Governments are nearly always hijacked by public sector unions which “negotiate” with politicians who are elected with money from the public unions. Even FDR thought public unions were a bad idea.

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Court reverses N.J. child-abuse law; kids left alone in car not necessarily a crime

kids locked in a trunk

AUGUST 20, 2015, 1:18 PM    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, AUGUST 20, 2015, 11:08 PM

On a cloudy day in 2009, a mother of four left her youngest child, a 19-month-old girl, sleeping in a locked car and went into a Dollar Tree store in South Plainfield.

By the time she returned to her vehicle, security guards had called the police. The mother was arrested. And what started as a five- to 10-minute stop to buy party supplies on a 55-degree day turned into a legal battle that has not yet ended six years later.

The state Supreme Court took the mother’s side in a unanimous decision issued Thursday. Leaving a young child unattended in a car is legal in some cases if the parent or caretaker takes precautionary measures, the court indicated.

As a result, the mother will get a chance to clear her record at a fact-finding hearing she has sought for years. The decision extends to other parents and guardians as well, ending the state’s ability to enroll them automatically in its registry of child abusers for leaving children in unattended vehicles. If those children are unharmed, the state must let their guardians plead their case at a hearing, the court said.

The mother has been granted anonymity by the courts, and is referenced only by her initials, E.D.-O.