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Thursday, Feb 29th

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Trump is disqualified from Illinois ballot, judge rules

Trump off Illinois ballotAn Illinois state judge on Wednesday barred Donald Trump from appearing on the Illinois' Republican presidential primary ballot because of his role in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, but she delayed her ruling from taking effect in light of an expected appeal by the former U.S. president.

Cook County Circuit Judge Tracie Porter sided with Illinois voters who argued that the former president should be disqualified from the state's March 19 primary ballot and its Nov. 5 general election ballot for violating the anti-insurrection clause of the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment.
The final outcome of the Illinois case and similar challenges will likely be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, which heard arguments related to Trump's ballot eligibility on Feb. 8.
Porter said she was staying her decision because she expected his appeal to Illinois' appellate courts, and a potential ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court.

New York appeals judge denies Trump bid to pay $100m of $454m judgment

Trump denied bid to pay 100m

A New York appeals judge has denied Donald Trump’s request to pay just $100m of the $454m judgment for his New York fraud trial.

Trump’s lawyers had asked the appeals court to halt the collection of the rest of the amount, along with the judgment’s ban on Trump securing new loans from New York banks, until the appeal goes through.

On Wednesday, Judge Anil Singh appeared to have some sympathy for Trump, staying the ban over Trump from taking out loans from New York banks and another ban on him serving as an officer of a New York company, both for the next three years.

“The exorbitant and punitive amount of the judgment, coupled with an unlawful and unconstitutional blanket prohibition on lending transactions, would make it impossible to secure and post a complete bond,” Trump’s lawyers Clifford Robert, Alina Habba and Michael Farina wrote.

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Judge denies Trump’s request to access secret filing in Mar-a-Lago case

Aileen CannonA federal judge on Tuesday rejected an attempt by Donald Trump to review a sensitive court filing submitted by special counsel prosecutors that detailed their reasons for wanting to redact some of the classified documents that would be turned over to the former president in discovery.

The attempt by Trump to access the filing was a brazen move that would have defeated the purpose of rules to protect national security in Espionage Act prosecutions and potentially thrown into disarray the scope and viability of continuing the case against Trump.

In a nine-page order, the presiding US district judge Aileen Cannon ruled that Trump should not gain access to the secret filing because his legal team could prepare a defense without it, even as she took issue with prosecutors’ reasoning for why access should be withheld.

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Supreme Court to decide Trump’s immunity claim in election interference case

SCOTUS to hear immunity caseThe Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to decide whether former President Donald Trump can claim presidential immunity over criminal election interference charges, adding a new hurdle to a trial taking place.

The court in a brief order said it would hear arguments and issue a ruling on the immunity claim. In the meantime, the case is on hold, meaning no trial can take place.

The order said the court would hear the case the week of April 22.

The case could take months to resolve.

Even if Trump loses, the trial would not take place until well into election season. If Trump were to win in a ruling, the charges would be dismissed.

TVNL Comment: This is outrageous.  It supports the delay tactics that have been there since day one.

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Mark Meadows loses latest bid to move Georgia election case to federal court

Mark MeadowsDonald Trump's former chief of staff Mark Meadows has lost his latest bid to have the election interference case against him in Georgia moved to federal court.

When a federal judge denied his effort last year, Meadows appealed to a three-judge panel for the U.S. Appeals Court for the 11th Circuit, which in December affirmed that "the events giving rise to this criminal action were not related to Meadows’s official duties," so the matter should remain with the state of Georgia. Meadows then requested that the entire 11th Circuit hold a "rehearing" to consider his appeal.

The 11th Circuit denied that request Wednesday, saying in a very short order: "The Petition for Rehearing En Banc is DENIED, no judge in regular active service on the Court having requested that the Court be polled on rehearing en banc."

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Alabama justice's ties with far-right Christian movement raise concern

Alabama Justice Tom Parker

In the days since Alabama's Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos should be considered "extrauterine children," the involvement of that court's chief justice with a once-fringe Christian Nationalist movement has come under renewed scrutiny.

Tom Parker, a Republican who joined the court in 2005, wrote a concurring opinion that quoted at length from sources such as the Book of Genesis, the Ten Commandments and Christian thinkers of centuries ago, such as Thomas Aquinas. But comments he has made in other media have raised questions about his seeming espousal of "Seven Mountains" theology, a concept that some experts consider to be Christian extremism.

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Michael Steele warns of GOP being ground ‘into the dust of nothing’ over Trump support

Mochael SteeleFormer Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Michael Steele offered a stark assessment of the Republican Party on Tuesday, arguing long-term growth for the party is not likely with former President Trump at the helm.

MSNBC “Morning Joe” co-host Willie Geist pointed out Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley still garnered about 40 percent of South Carolina’s GOP primary vote last weekend, despite losing by nearly 20 points to Trump in her home state, when speaking with Steele on Tuesday. Some political analysts have argued this indicates Trump could struggle to hold a lead in November’s general election.

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