justice department

Richard Wolf 6-02-2017

Image via RNS/Reuters/David Ryder

The Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to break its losing streak in lower courts and revive President Trump’s travel ban on immigrants from six predominantly Muslim nations.

The request came on June 1 in three separate petitions to courts in Richmond, Va., and San Francisco that blocked the president’s executive order barring most immigrants from countries deemed at risk for terrorism, as well as international refugees.

Image via RNS/Jerome Socolovsky

A federal appeals court in Richmond has delivered yet another blow to President Trump’s effort to institute a travel ban targeting six majority-Muslim countries, making a final Supreme Court showdown more likely.

The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled 10-3 on May 25 to uphold a lower court’s decision that barred the Trump administration from implementing its second attempt at the travel ban.

Image via RNS/Ray Chen/Office of Public Witness, PC(USA)

At a news conference on May 15, in front of the United Methodist Building, leaders of congregations and denominations called on fellow African Americans to speak up, and urged Congress to vote down proposed plans by the new administration that they believe help the rich and hurt the sick and the poor.

Jim Wallis 4-20-2017

Jeff Sessions in 2009. Photo by Ryan J. Reilly / Flickr.com

While President Donald Trump has been stymied on many fronts — the legal challenges to his refugee ban, the defeat of the AHCA, and the complete lack so far of any legislative accomplishments — Jeff Sessions is firmly in place as the nation’s top law enforcement officer. And he has been busy.

Image via JP Keenan/ Sojourners 

The financial rating firm said on Thursday that an analysis of 10 large so-called sanctuary jurisdictions found the Justice Department funds made up on only 0.2 percent of budgets, on average.

Image via RNS/Joseph Molieri/Bread for the World

With ashes on their foreheads, sackcloth draped around their necks, and the U.S. Capitol as a backdrop, Christians leaders used the words “evil” and “immoral” to describe the federal budget cuts President Trump has proposed and many Republican lawmakers favor.

“It is a time for lamentation,” said the Rev. David Beckmann, explaining the symbols of grief the clergy brought to Capitol Hill on March 29.

Image via Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatened on March 27 to cut off U.S. Justice Department grants to cities that fail to assist federal immigration authorities, moving the Trump administration closer to a potential clash with leaders of America's largest urban centers.

Sessions' statements were aimed at a dozens of cities and other local governments, including New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, that have joined a growing "sanctuary" movement aimed at shielding illegal immigrants from stepped-up deportation efforts.

Image via Reuters

A U.S. federal judge in Virginia ruled on March 24 that President Donald Trump's travel ban was justified, increasing the likelihood the measure will go before the Supreme Court, as the decision took an opposing view to courts in Maryland and Hawaii that have halted the order.

U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Trenga rejected arguments by Muslim plaintiffs, who claimed Trump's March 6 executive order temporarily banning the entry of all refugees and travelers from six Muslim-majority countries was discriminatory.

Image via ana m./flickr.com

Twenty-seven Jewish community centers in 17 states reported receiving false telephone bomb threats on Jan. 18, prompting evacuations and an FBI probe into the second wave of hoax attacks to target American Jewish facilities this month.

The JCC Association of North America, a network of health and education centers, said the threatened organizations were working with police and many had resumed operations, after no bombs were found nor injuries reported, as was the case after the earlier series of threats on Jan. 9.

the Web Editors 1-13-2017

There were more than 400 force reports and over 170 officer related shootings in Chicago from January 2011 to April 2016 that. Not only did the department review, investigate and analyze these police documents, procedures, and trainings, they met with city leaders, community organizers, former police officer, rode along with current officers, and heard from over 1000 community members before making this judgement.

Image via a katz/Shutterstock.com

President-elect Donald Trump will spend much of the time until his inauguration on Jan. 20 composing his new administration. That means naming Cabinet appointees, and government department or agency heads, as well as selecting advisers.

Many of Trump’s appointments so far are people of faith; some are supported or opposed by different faith groups; others have made public statements, or taken actions, regarding different faith groups.

Here is a list of Trump’s picks to date and a description of their relationship to religion.

the Web Editors 8-18-2016

BortN66 / Shutterstock

In a memo announced Thursday, the Justice Department announced it plans to end using private prisons in the United States. As reported in the Washington Post, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates will instruct, “officials to either decline to renew the contracts for private prison operators when they expire or “substantially reduce” the contracts’ scope.”

the Web Editors 6-01-2016

Image via  / Shutterstock.com

The Department of Justice will not pursue charges against the Minneapolis police officers who shot and killed Jamar Clark, U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger announced at a press conference June 1.

the Web Editors 5-13-2016
U.S. Mission Geneva / Eric Bridiers / Flickr

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Image via U.S. Mission Geneva / Eric Bridiers / Flickr

This new guidance from the Obama administration seeks to limit discrimination, harassment, and violence transgender students face, and restricts anything the school might do to question a transgender student's identity.

the Web Editors 4-14-2016

Image via bunnicula / flickr.com

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign is joining with the Democratic Party to sue Arizona after the state’s fiasco of a primary election. Some voters in the primary waited up to five hours to vote.

the Web Editors 2-11-2016

Image via /Shutterstock.com

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch filed a civil rights lawsuit against Ferguson, Mo. after the St. Louis suburb rejected an agreement with the Justice Department that would have reformed their criminal justice system. “Their decision leaves us no further choice,” Lynch said.

The first same-sex marriage ceremony in Jersey City. Photo: Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal. Courtesy The Star-Ledger/RNS

In a major victory for same-sex marriage rights, the Justice Department will soon grant married gay and lesbian couples the same rights in legal matters as other married couples.

The new policy announced by Attorney General Eric Holder on Saturday, in New York, marks the latest step by the Obama administration to extend rights to same-sex couples that are afforded to married, heterosexual couples.

“In every courthouse, in every proceeding and in every place where a member of the Department of Justice stands on behalf of the United States, they will strive to ensure that same-sex marriages receive the same privileges, protections, and rights as opposite-sex marriages under federal law,” Holder said in prepared remarks to the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group that works on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equal rights.

Lincoln Memorial, Oct. 6, 2013, closed due to government shutdown. Photo: RNS/courtesy Flickr user reivax via Wikimedia Commons

As the government shutdown enters its second week, some religious groups are starting to feel the pinch, and they’re also finding ways to reach out.

More than 90 Catholic, evangelical, and Protestant leaders have signed a statement rebuking “pro-life” lawmakers for the shutdown, saying they are “appalled that elected officials are pursuing an extreme ideological agenda at the expense of the working poor and vulnerable families” who won’t receive government benefits.

Starting Wednesday, evangelical, Catholic, and mainline Protestant leaders will hold a daily “Faithful Filibuster” on Capitol Hill with Bible verses on the poor “to remind Congress that its dysfunction hurts struggling families and low-income people.”

Duane Shank 2-05-2013

Editor's Note: DRONE WATCH follows daily developments about drone strikes and policy concerning the highly controversial usage of drones. To keep up to date, follow our Quick Read blog HERE.

One of the most hotly contested points of the administration’s drone policy is its claim to have legal justification for killing U.S. citizens. Now we have their rationale for that claim. Michael Isikoff, National Investigative Correspondent for NBC News, published on Monday a memo he says was given to members of the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary committees in June.

The “Department of Justice White Paper” outlines certain conditions for an attack. An “informed, high-level official of the U.S. government” must determine that the targeted U.S. citizen is a “senior, operational leader of al-Qa’ida or an associated force,” poses “an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States,” “capture is infeasible,” and the attack is conducted in a way consistent with “law of war principles.”  In those conditions, the memo says, “a targeted killing of a U.S. citizen who has joined al-Qa’ida or its associated forces would be lawful under U.S. and international law.”

Allison Johnson 7-08-2010
In a rare move by any administration, the federal government has sued the state of Arizona over the most restrictive immigration law in the country, SB1070.

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