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Utah has passed a law that will require men to split the cost of the woman’s out-of-pocket pregnancy costs, an attempt to hold men financially accountable for unintended pregnancies.

The state is passing the measure becomes the first in the U.S. to mandate pre-birth child support, according to the Associated Press

The proposal received overwhelming support from the GOP-controlled legislature and from Republican Gov. Spencer Cox who recently signed the bill into law

State GOP Rep. Brady Brammer, a bill sponsor, said the measure is not intended to decrease abortion rates in the state but could.

“We want to help people and actually be pro-life in how we do it as opposed to anti-abortion,” he said, explaining lawmakers wanted to make it easier to bring life into the world. “One of the ways to help with that was to help the burden of pregnancy be decreased.”

In the case that the paternity is disputed, fathers would not have to pay until it is determined that the child is his. If the mother made a decision to have an abortion without consent from the father, then he would not be required to assist in the financial costs, unless the abortion was necessary to save the life of the mother or the pregnancy was a result of rape.

Mother’s in Utah rarely seek support through the courts related to birth expenses, so it remains unclear whether more women will utilize the pregnancy support they will now be able to receive as well.

Wisconsin and New York have provisions that can require fathers to be responsible for pre-birth costs, but not the same mandates Utah now requires. 

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January 6 inmates endure ‘human rights violations on a daily basis,’ bail motion alleges

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If the late Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged partner in sex trafficking can be granted a laptop 13 hours a day to actively participate in her defense, why not January 6 defendants?

The jailhouse accommodation for Ghislaine Maxwell is the most prominent example cited in a bail application for alleged Capitol rioter Dominic Pezzola, submitted to D.C. federal court Friday.

The 43-year-old veteran, now incarcerated in D.C. jail for 150 days, has been effectively shut out of his own defense in violation of constitutional guarantees specifically for defendants, not just their counsel, the filing says.

Not only is Pezzola unable to “adequately” view the voluminous text, audio and video evidence held by the prosecution, but like all other January 6 defendants housed a short drive from the U.S. Capitol, his right to attorney-client privilege is functionally meaningless, his lawyers Marty Tankleff and Steven Metcalf argue.

They raised similar objections about lack of privacy and access to evidence to Just the News two months ago, following brief outrage from Democratic and Republican lawmakers about Department of Corrections policies for January 6 defendants and other D.C. jail inmates.

Pezzola has “literally been in his cell for 22 or 23 hours a day,” the filing says. “It is impossible to have a free-flowing conversation” with their client in these “open cages where there is no confidentiality [and] everyone can hear the conversations[,] including prison guards.”

D.C. jail evidence-review policies also have “the potential to invade attorney-client privilege” and the practical effect of punishing inmates, by putting them in “restrictive housing” for two weeks at a time to privately review CDs and DVDs of evidence on jail-provided laptops.

The lawyers suggested they will seek a new trial or dismissal if these conditions aren’t reversed, citing legal precedents that punish a prosecution for “knowingly arrang[ing] or permit[ing] intrusion into the attorney-client relationship.”

They cited a recent scandal in New York City, where their law practice is based, involving the accidental recording of at least 1,500 attorney-client phone calls by a prison telecom contractor. District attorneys for all five boroughs received the recordings.

“In this case,” the lawyers hold, “a better alternative” to giving Pezzola a laptop is granting him bail, which would sidestep concerns about the D.C. jail not following court orders and infringing his attorney-client privilege.

The jail has a record of discriminating against Pezzola, sending him to “the hole” multiple times without a “reasonable penological reason” but rather as retaliation or harassment, the filing claims. One of these — lasting about two weeks, “without a single disciplinary charge” — happened hours after a broadcast interview with his wife.

Alleging “human rights violations on a daily basis” against January 6 inmates, who are not part of the general jail population, the motion claims “dozens” of them share the same unsanitary nail clippers, exercise is limited at best, access to showers is “nearly nonexistent,” and religious services and haircuts are banned.

It’s not just defense lawyers raising these concerns, the filing says, pointing to a June 24 letter from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to FBI Director Chris Wray, Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Yogananda Pittman, acting chief of the U.S. Capitol Police.

She demanded they provide records by July 30 on visitation hours, religious accommodations, solitary confinement, “number of daily meals” and access to attorneys and “potentially exculpatory evidence” for January 6 defendants versus the general jail population.

“If reports surrounding the treatment of these prisoners are true,” including physical violence by guards and needless isolation, “it is an enormous stain on the credibility of our justice system,” which is giving far more lenient treatment to “domestic terrorists” associated with Black Lives Matter and Antifa, Greene wrote.

Unlike with Maxwell, who allegedly arranged Epstein’s sexual encounters with minors, the government can’t come close to showing Pezzola is a flight risk, as the court determined months ago, the bail motion says. His wife and children remain in the same community where he’s lived for more than 20 years.

That leaves only the long-outdated “dangerousness” factors behind his original pretrial detention: Pezzola’s alleged discussions with other rioters of bringing weapons to D.C. and a recovered thumb drive with “instructions for making bombs, firearms, and poisons.” Any terms of his release would prohibit access to weapons.

If not released on his own personal recognizance, he can be placed into the custody of his wife under a “high intensity supervision program” with GPS monitoring, the motion suggests. His co-defendant William Pepe, who is missing from three of his 10 charges, was released on personal recognizance with travel restrictions.

Those three additional charges are not enough to justify continued detention, according to the motion. Two are based on Pezzola picking up a “riot shield” dropped by a U.S. Capitol officer, and the third — obstructing an officer from responding to “civil disorder” — did not stop release on bond for defendant Michael Foy, alleged to have struck at officers “at least 10 times” with a hockey stick.

The filing includes several pages of other defendants who faced “equal or greater criminal charges” and were granted bail or released on their own recognizance. They include actress Lori Loughlin, former police officer Derek Chauvin and Adam Christian Johnson, the January 6 rioter photographed walking off with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern.

Depriving Pezzola the same leniency violates his equal protection rights, especially in light of federal prosecutors dropping charges against the vast majority of arrestees nationwide who looted and rioted following George Floyd’s death, the motion says.

The most serious felony counts against him could also be applied to Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, for having “threatened” justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh on the steps of the Supreme Court during oral argument in an abortion case.

The lawyers said they would also request discovery for the government’s charging documents against pro-choice Code Pink activists and other protesters who disrupted Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, which were “official proceedings.”

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Texas joins 21 other states asking U.S. Supreme Court for clarity on major gun rights case

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Texas has joined 21 states led by the attorneys general of Louisiana, Arizona and Montana in an amicus brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in a major gun rights case.

The multistate coalition is asking the justices to uphold Hawaiians’ Second Amendment rights to bear arms outside their homes in response to a 2020 Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that upheld Hawaii’s ban on the practice.

The amicus brief also asks the Supreme Court to resolve a split among the federal circuit courts of appeal, several of which have ruled against the high court’s landmark 2008 decision in Heller, which upholds Americans’ Second Amendment rights.

“One of the highest responsibilities of a state is to safeguard the rights of its citizens,” the states argue in the brief, “including the right ‘to keep and bear arms’ under the Second Amendment.

“Law-abiding citizens keep firearms for self-protection – both inside and outside of their homes. Amici seek to ensure that their residents will not be deprived of their Second Amendment freedoms,” which includes using guns outside of the home, they argue.

“The plain text of the Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms, not just to keep them,” the brief states. “Yet Hawaii’s firearm carrying regulatory regime functions as an outright ban on the right to carry guns outside the home for most people. It therefore violates the Second Amendment.”

After the Supreme Court’s landmark decisions in District of Columbia v.Heller (2008) and McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010), “lower courts have applied inconsistent standards in Second Amendment challenges to state firearm restrictions,” the brief states. “Inconsistent decisions by the lower federal courts have left States uncertain as to the precise boundary between permissible and impermissible restrictions. These inconsistencies have also prevented citizens of amici States from exercising their right to carry and bear arms across State lines.

“The Ninth Circuit’s en banc decision has only made this uncertainty worse by failing to engage with the argument that Hawaii’s licensing scheme effectively amounts to a ban on carrying weapons – not merely a regulation,” they add, which is why they are asking the court to establish precedent to resolve the issue once and for all.

The First, Seventh, and D.C. circuits have all held that the Second Amendment extends outside the home. The Second, Third, and Fourth circuits reached conclusions inconsistent with this principle even though they did not reject it like the Ninth Circuit did.

“The blatant misinterpretation of the Second Amendment by the Ninth Circuit must be remedied,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said. “We are asking for the Court to simply uphold the Second Amendment as it is written. The lower courts have flagrantly disregarded the Supreme Court’s instructions in Heller, leaving the right to bear arms in jeopardy. We must have a clear and concise ruling that protects the Second Amendment from lower courts’ hostility to gun rights to prevent this type of infringement from happening yet again.”

The states joining the brief include Louisiana, Arizona, Montana, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

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BREAKING: Newsom recall becomes official, over 1.7M petition signatures verified

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According to a breaking report from Fox News “California’s effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom has succeeded in forcing a new election within 90 days following the validation of more than 1.5 million signatures, according to state officials.”

“The California Secretary of State’s Office confirmed the move Wednesday evening. The recall petition garnered over 1.7 million signatures, of which only 43 were withdrawn, leaving the effort well above the 1.5 million threshold,” the report adds.

The Secretary of State’s office announced in a statement “A sufficient number of verified recall signatures had previously been reached by recall proponents in April. However, in accordance with California election law, voters were given a 30-day period from April 26 to June 8th to request county officials remove their signatures from recall petitions.”

Earlier today, Ariel Boone tweeted “An investigation from CapRadio and NPR’s California Newsroom found Gov. Newsom has misled the public by overstating the scale of the wildfire prevention efforts underway, and how much prescribed burning + fuel break building has actually happened:”

Per the report:

An investigation from CapRadio and NPR’s California Newsroom found the governor has misrepresented his accomplishments and even disinvested in wildfire prevention. The investigation found Newsom overstated, by an astounding 690%, the number of acres treated with fuel breaks and prescribed burns in the very forestry projects he said needed to be prioritized to protect the state’s most vulnerable communities. Newsom has claimed that 35 “priority projects” carried out as a result of his executive order resulted in fire prevention work on 90,000 acres. But the state’s own data show the actual number is 11,399.

Overall, California’s response has faltered under Newsom. After an initial jump during his first year in office, data obtained by CapRadio and NPR’s California Newsroom show Cal Fire’s fuel reduction output dropped by half in 2020, to levels below Gov. Jerry Brown’s final year in office. At the same time, Newsom slashed roughly $150 million from Cal Fire’s wildfire prevention budget.

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