Archive for July 24th, 2016

Ohio judge jails attorney for wearing Black Lives Matter badge in court

© David Gray
An attorney in Ohio has been sentenced to five days in jail after refusing to remove her Black Lives Matter pin at the request of the judge, who found it too political and provocative for the courtroom.

Attorney Andrea Burton was found in contempt of court by Youngstown Municipal Court Judge Robert Milich and sentenced to five days in jail for refusing to accept his request to remove the pin.

Milich told the court he found that by Burton choosing to wear it in court, she was making a political statement, which the court prohibits.

Burton will avoid spending time behind bars for the moment, however, after lodging an appeal against the judge’s ruling but she mustn’t wear the pin in court until the appeal takes place.

If she loses her appeal, Burton will have to serve the five days in jail, according to WKBN.

Milich explained that his decision was based on the 1997 US Supreme Court case Berner v. Delahanty, which found that “lawyers have no absolute right to wear such feelings on their sleeves” and that a judge’s “policy of prohibiting all political pins is a reasonable means of ensuring the appearance of fairness and impartiality in the courtroom.”

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Democratic superdelegates face uncertain future – but won’t be eliminated

© Mary Schwalm
Superdelegates are facing an uncertain future, thanks to a compromise that was struck at the Democratic National Convention Rules Committee on Saturday.

Bernie Sanders supporters tried to introduce a number of amendments to eliminate or limit superdelegates’ influence in future elections, as they are thought to wield too much power over the democratic process.

While these efforts were struck down at the committee meeting, Sanders and Hillary Clinton supporters agreed to a compromise to create a “unity commission” that will revise the rules surrounding the nomination process, including the role of superdelegates.

What are superdelegates?

Superdelegates consist of a mix of elected officials, the vice president, members of the DNC and former politicians such as ex-presidents – including Hillary Clinton’s husband, Bill – governors and senators.

Superdelegates were invented as a way for party officials to wield more control over the selection of a presidential candidate. They were established in the 1980’s following the election defeats of Democratic presidential candidates George McGovern and Jimmy Carter.

There are currently 713 Democratic superdelegates. The Republican Party, by comparison, has 298 superdelegates, which are limited to three members per each state’s national party.

Clinton managed to get the support of the majority of superdelegates early on in the primary season.

Democratic superdelegates are free to vote for whichever candidate they choose, regardless of the results of their state’s primaries. Republican superdelegates do not have this option.

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