Naturopathic doctor sentenced for selling misbranded drugs

Press Release 2022/03/22 16:22   Bookmark and Share
A former Port Angeles naturopathic physician was sentenced to eight months in prison and one year supervised release after being found guilty of selling products he claimed could prevent numerous serious diseases, including COVID-19.

Richard Marschall, 69, was convicted in 2021, after a four-day trial, of introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce, his third conviction, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. The jury found that his marketing was false or misleading and because his products were not listed with the FDA.

At the sentencing hearing Monday, U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle said, “It is extremely dangerous during the COVID epidemic for people to be engaged in conduct that would lead other people to defer and wait to receive medical care.”

Marschall was convicted previously and sentenced in federal court for distributing misbranded drugs, both in 2011 and again in 2017.

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Appeals court sides with teen who spoke out against assault

Press Release 2020/08/08 12:46   Bookmark and Share
A federal appeals court has ruled that a lower court was justified in blocking the suspension of a Maine high school student who posted a note in a bathroom to draw attention to sexual assault.

Cape Elizabeth schools suspended Aela Mansmann, then a 15-year-old sophomore at Cape Elizabeth High School, after she posted a note in a bathroom that said: “There’s a rapist in our school and you know who it is.” The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine then took on Aela's case, and a federal judge blocked the suspension while defending Aela's note as free speech.

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston ruled on Thursday that the lower court was within its right to stop the suspension.

The court's ruling states that Aela's actions were “far from the best way” for the student “to express her concerns about student-on-student sexual assault and Cape Elizabeth H.S.’s handling of sexual assault claims.” However, the appeals court also found that the lower court did not abuse its own discretion in stopping the suspension.

The school district said the Cape Elizabeth School Board will meet in the future to determine its next steps. The district said it maintains that placing the note was an act of bullying against another student. It also said in a statement that it was “disappointed” in the appeals court ruling.
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2 female firsts at the Supreme Court announce retirements

Press Release 2020/07/05 11:59   Bookmark and Share
The Supreme Court said Tuesday that the first-ever women to hold two prominent positions at the court, handling the justices’ security and overseeing publication of the court’s decisions, are retiring.

Pamela Talkin’s most public role in nearly two decades as the court’s marshal has been opening court sessions by announcing the justices’ entrance into the courtroom and banging a gavel before court begins. She noted in 2005: “I’m the only person in the courtroom with a gavel.” But her responsibilities as marshal’s job were vast. She served as the court’s general manager and chief security officer, managing approximately 260 employees, including the Supreme Court’s police force.

Christine Luchok Fallon’s name wasn’t on any Supreme Court decision, but part of her job as the reporter of decisions was to oversee the writing of summaries of the justices’ opinions that begin each decision, turning lengthy legal explanations into a succinct few pages.

Fallon became the court’s 16th reporter of decisions in 2011. But she joined the court as deputy reporter of decisions in 1989, eight years after Justice Sandra Day O’Connor became the court’s first female justice and four years before Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg became the second. The court’s third and fourth female justices, Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan, joined the court in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

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Wisconsin court sets argument date for stay-at-home lawsuit

Press Release 2020/05/02 14:25   Bookmark and Share
The Wisconsin Supreme Court announced Friday that it will hear oral arguments early next week in a lawsuit seeking to block Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ stay-at-home order.

The justices ruled 6-1 to accept the case and scheduled oral arguments for Tuesday morning via video conference. The arguments are expected to last at least 90 minutes.

The ruling said the court will consider whether the order was really an administrative rule and whether Palm was within her rights to issue it unilaterally. Even if the order doesn’t qualify as a rule, the court said it will still weigh whether Palm exceeded her authority by “closing all ‘nonessential’ businesses, ordering all Wisconsin persons to stay home, and forbidding all “nonessential’ travel.’”

Conservatives hold a 5-2 majority on the court. Liberal Justice Rebecca Dallet cast the lone dissenting vote. The ruling didn’t include any explanation from her.

Evers initially issued the stay-at-home order in March. It was supposed to expire on April 24 but state Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm extended it until May 26 at Evers’ direction.

The order closed schools, shuttered nonessential businesses, limited the size of social gatherings and prohibits nonessential travel. The governor has said the order is designed to slow the virus’ spread, but Republicans have grown impatient with the prohibitions, saying they’re crushing the economy.

Republican legislators filed a lawsuit directly with the conservative-controlled Supreme Court last month challenging the extension. They have argued that the order is really an administrative rule, and Palm should have submitted it to the Legislature for approval before issuing it.
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Asylum Seekers Attend Border Court Amid Outbreak

Press Release 2020/03/15 11:01   Bookmark and Share
U.S. immigration courts sharply scaled back operations Monday but have stopped well short of a total shutdown demanded by employees, including judges and government attorneys.

Wearing face masks, about 30 asylum seekers who had been waiting in Mexico were escorted by authorities into a federal building in El Paso, Texas, some carrying children.

They reported, as instructed, to a border crossing at 4 a.m. Monday and were driven to the court in white vans. Journalists were barred from the courtroom on the grounds that it was too crowded.

A lawyer who attended said the judge appeared by video conference, and few, if any migrants wore masks once the hearing began.

“All of the benches are taken up,” Imelda Maynard said. “Most of the children are asleep in their parent’s arms.”

The Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review late Sunday postponed preliminary hearings for people who aren’t in custody through April 10. While significant, the order doesn’t extend to courts in immigration detention centers or to the government’s “Migrant Protection Protocols” policy to make asylum seekers wait in Mexico for hearings in the U.S. It also didn’t apply to final hearings which determine whether migrants are granted asylum.

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Trump ally Roger Stone sentenced to over 3 years in prison

Press Release 2020/02/15 13:40   Bookmark and Share
Roger Stone, a longtime confidant of President Donald Trump, was sentenced to more than three years in prison Thursday for obstructing a congressional investigation in a case that has sparked fears about presidential interference in the justice system.

Soon after Judge Amy Berman Jackson pronounced sentence, Trump publicly decried Stone’s conviction as unfair and prominent Republican legislators were giving tacit support for a pardon. But Trump said he wasn’t ready to act just yet.

“I want the process to play out. I think that’s the best thing to do because I would love to see Roger exonerated,” he said. “I’m going to watch the process. I’m going to watch very closely. … At some point I’ll make a determination.”

The case was marked by the Justice Department’s extraordinary about-face on a sentencing recommendation and a very public dispute between Trump and Attorney General William Barr, who said the president was undermining the department’s historical independence and making “it impossible for me to do my job.”

The president responded by asserting that he was the “chief law enforcement officer of the federal government.”

Stone was convicted in November on all seven counts of an indictment that accused him of lying to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to tip the 2016 election.

He was the sixth Trump aide or adviser to be convicted on charges brought as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 election.
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