President Joe Biden appears to have never seen a gun control measure he doesn't want to enforce against the American people, but he now has one less anti-gun law in his arsenal against the Second Amendment.
A federal judge in West Virginia just struck down the federal prohibition against the lawful purchase of handguns by adults under the age of 21, Breitbart reported.
The judge, citing multiple relevant precedents at all judicial levels, determined that adults aged 18-20 are covered by the Second Amendment's protection of the pre-existing "right to keep and bear arms" and any law that infringes upon that right is unconstitutional and enjoined the federal government from enforcing them.
In a 40-page ruling issued on Friday, West Virginia Chief District Judge Thomas Kleeh, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, sided with two individual adults under the age of 21 and two pro-gun rights organizations in their challenge against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
At issue in the case of Brown v. ATF are two federal statutes -- 18 USC Sec. 922(b)(1) and 922(c)(1) -- that both serve to prevent the lawful sale of handguns, defined as "any firearm other than a shotgun or a rifle," to anyone under the age of 21, which necessarily precludes adults aged 18-20 who are otherwise qualified to purchase a shotgun or rifle.
The judge first determined that the two individual plaintiffs, and by extension the supportive organizations, had standing to sue given that, as adults over the age of 18, they were part of "the people" whose rights are protected by the Second Amendment but are nonetheless "infringed" or harmed by the federal statutes that block their ability to lawfully purchase a handgun.
He further asserted that "common sense" and prior precedents show that the act of lawfully purchasing a handgun is necessarily covered by implication as a prerequisite to the protected right to "keep and bear arms."
"Although the Second Amendment does not expressly protect the right to 'purchase' firearms, that right must exist by implication if the right to 'keep and bear arms' is to have its full meaning and effect," Kleeh wrote. "'Commonsense and logic tell us that, unless one is a maker of guns, the right to 'keep'/have a gun necessarily means that one must purchase it, steal it, be given it by another, or find one that another has lost.'"
After establishing that adults aged 18-20 are covered by the Second Amendment's protections, Judge Kleeh turned to the "historical traditions" test set by the Supreme Court's 2022 Bruen decision, and found the federal government to be lacking in terms of any sort of analogous laws barring that cohort from purchasing firearms in our nation's early history.
In fact, if anything, the nation's early laws and historical traditions, which generally include the period between the ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1791 until the post-Civil War Reconstruction era of the 1860s, strongly suggest that any adult over the age of 18 was expected to purchase or possess their own firearm and associated ammunition in case militia service was necessary.
"Defendants have not presented any evidence of age-based restrictions on the purchase or sale of firearms from before or at the Founding or during the Early Republic," Kleeh wrote. "Defendants have likewise failed to offer evidence of similar regulation between then and 1791 or in a relevant timeframe thereafter. For that reason alone, Defendants have failed to meet the burden imposed by Bruen."
"In summary, because Plaintiffs’ conduct -- the purchase of handguns -- 'fall[s] [within] the Second Amendment’s 'unqualified command'' and the challenged statutes and regulations are not 'consistent with the Nation’s historic tradition of firearm regulation,' the Court FINDS 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(b)(1) and (c)(1) facially unconstitutional and as applied to Plaintiffs," the judge concluded in his summary judgment to end the case, though the government is likely to appeal.
The Second Amendment Foundation, which was initially part of the Brown v. ATF case, celebrated the court's decision as a "huge victory for Second Amendment rights." SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut said, "The Biden Justice Department argued that people in this age group were not adults, which was patently ludicrous. The government simply could not defend the constitutionality of the handgun prohibition, and Judge Kleeh’s ruling makes that clear."
"There was never any historical evidence supporting this arbitrary ban on the purchase and ownership of handguns by young adults," SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb said. "As we maintained all along, history goes in the opposite direction. At that age historically, young adults were considered mature enough to serve in the militia, the military, and take on other responsibilities. We’re delighted with the judge’s ruling."
President Joe Biden and his administration have, at least publicly, expressed staunch support for Israel as it responds militarily in Gaza to the horrific Oct. 7 wave of terror attacks perpetrated by Hamas terrorists against predominately civilian Israelis.
It appears to be a different story in private, however, as leaked audio has exposed Secretary of State Antony Blinken demanding Israel alter its tactics and war plans and informing them that they lacked the "credit" necessary to completely defeat and destroy Hamas and were running out of time to do so, according to Breitbart.
The stunning leaked remarks seem to suggest that the Biden administration has lost its resolve to fully support Israel's justified retaliation against Hamas and instead has caved to the radical demands for an immediate ceasefire and cessation of Israeli hostilities and "occupation" of Gaza by anti-Israel and antisemitic leftist activists and government staffers.
The Times of Israel reported that a local Israeli media outlet had obtained leaked audio of a meeting Thursday between Sec. Blinken and top members of Israel's war cabinet, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and Israel Defense Force Chief Herzi Halevi, among others.
"You can’t operate in southern Gaza in the way you did in the north. There are two million Palestinians there," Blinken reportedly said. "You need to evacuate fewer people from their homes, be more accurate in the attacks, not hit U.N. facilities, and ensure that there are enough protected areas [for civilians]. And if not? Then not to attack where there is a civilian population. What is your system of operation?"
Chief Halevi replied, "We follow a number of principles -- proportionality, distinction, and the laws of war. There were instances where we attacked on the basis of those principles, and instances where we decided not to attack, because we waited for a better opportunity."
"The entire Israeli society is united behind the goal of dismantling Hamas, even if it takes months," Minister Gallant added, but Blinken then interjected, "I don’t think you have the credit for that."
The Daily Wire reported that there was immediate and sharp blowback to Sec. Blinken's leaked remarks from the private war cabinet meeting in Israel from numerous prominent conservative figures and elected Republicans.
Chief among them was conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt, who unloaded with harsh critiques of Blinken during a Washington Post Live segment he was participating in on Thursday, who suggested this was further evidence in support of the theory that the Biden administration was quietly trying to "hold Israel back" in its fight against Hamas in Gaza.
"I think Sec. Blinken’s meeting in Israel yesterday, where he told Israel that they didn’t have the 'credit' they needed to destroy Hamas followed by that rather disastrous press conference in which -- I don’t even know how to frame it other than it was a complete and utter message to Hamas that we’re going to pull the rug out of Israel, do what you will -- I think yesterday will go down as one of the worst diplomatic face plants in history," Hewitt said.
.@hughhewitt says, “Secretary Blinken’s meeting in Israel yesterday where he told Israel that they didn’t have the credit ... needed to destroy Hamas followed by that rather disastrous press conference … will go down as one of the worst diplomatic face plants in history.” pic.twitter.com/kttrGYR1Tm
— Washington Post Live (@PostLive) December 1, 2023
Hewitt was certainly not alone in criticizing Sec. Blinken, as he was joined by fellow conservative talk radio host Mark Levin, who bluntly asked, "Who the hell does this Iran-loving, Hamas-appeasing buffoon of a secretary of state think he is?"
Likewise, former cable news host Lou Dobbs declared, "Blinken is an embarrassment to the USA and an existential threat to the state of Israel!"
Then there was Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who said in a statement, "The idea that after the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, Israel needs 'credit' to defend itself is outrageous. Blinken and Biden should be ashamed. The American people stand with Israel -- even if Biden does not."
In October, former President Donald Trump's attorneys filed a motion in his federal 2020 election case that sought the court's permission to issue subpoenas for alleged "missing" materials and records obtained or produced by the now-disbanded House Jan. 6 Select Committee.
On Monday, however, D.C. District Judge Tanya Chutkan denied that request and accused Trump of not acting in "good faith" but rather of attempting to engage in a "fishing expedition," Breitbart reported.
This is just the latest in a series of legal defeats Trump's defense team has experienced at the hand of Chutkan, who is presiding over Special Counsel Jack Smith's criminal prosecution of the former president concerning his efforts to challenge and overturn the disputed results of the 2020 election.
Given that the events of Jan. 6, 2021, are key to Special Counsel Smith's prosecution of former President Trump -- both the congressional certification of the election results and the Capitol riot that briefly disrupted that official proceeding -- the defense has sought access to as much documented evidence and materials about that day as possible.
In light of complaints from Republican lawmakers that the prior Democrat-led House Select Committee that investigated the Jan. 6 events failed to preserve or turn over all materials it obtained or produced when it disbanded, Trump's attorneys filed the October motion seeking permission from the court to subpoena that "missing" information itself.
Specifically, the motion sought to issue subpoenas against the National Archives, the House Clerk, the House Administration Committee and its current Chairman Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), attorneys for the Biden White House and Homeland Security, and former House Jan. 6 Committee Chairman Benny Thompson (D-MS) for any Jan. 6-related "missing materials" or records that may be in their possession.
Unfortunately for former President Trump, Judge Chutkan denied that motion in a seven-page order and opinion issued on Monday, and wrote, "Defendant has not met his burdens with respect to his proposed Rule 17(c) subpoenas. He has not sufficiently justified his requests for either the 'Missing Materials' themselves or the other five categories of documents related to them."
At another point, the judge said, "Defendant does not state with any specificity the information that he seeks in those records, repeating only that it is important and related to the events and people associated with the Select Committee’s work and therefore the January 6, 2021 attack."
"The broad scope of the records that Defendant seeks, and his vague description of their potential relevance, resemble less 'a good faith effort to obtain identified evidence' than they do 'a general 'fishing expedition' that attempts to use the [Rule 17(c) subpoena] as a discovery device,'" Chutkan added in the denial.
Breitbart noted that this denial of former President Trump's request comes even as Chairman Loudermilk has loudly complained about "missing materials" related to the House Jan. 6 Committee's probe and former Chairman Thompson's admission that not everything compiled by the former committee was archived or kept, including key videos and transcripts and countless other documents that may have proven useful to Trump's defense.
Indeed, in an August letter from Thompson to Loudermilk, Thompson acknowledged, "The Select Committee did not archive temporary committee records that were not elevated by the Committee’s actions, such as use in hearings or official publications, or those that did not further its investigative activities. Accordingly, and contrary to your letter’s implication, the Select Committee was not obligated to archive all video recordings of transcribed interviews or depositions."
Independent journalist Julie Kelly, who has been closely monitoring both the prosecutions of former President Trump and of those charged in relation to the Capitol riot, blasted Judge Chutkan on Tuesday for yet another disfavorable ruling against the defendant.
"Judge Chutkan denies another defense motion in Jack Smith's J6 case against Trump. This will be death by a thousand cuts as she acts like Smith's rubber stamp. Chutkan denies Trump's motion to subpoena parties w/knowledge of missing J6 committee records," Kelly tweeted.
"The irony," she added, "is Chutkan, a shameless partisan appointed by Obama, wrote the 2021 order piercing Trump's [executive privilege] claims to force him to produce presidential records to J6 committee. There is proof J6 committee has withheld records from Congress -- this is what Chutkan wants to conceal."
What was likely intended to be a fun and relaxing vacation on a cruise ship to the Bahamas ended in a terrible tragedy over the weekend for one family.
A 16-year-old boy died after he fell several stories from a balcony to the deck below on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship on Saturday, according to Fox News.
The company has declined to provide any specifics about what occurred during the fatal incident but did confirm that one of its passengers had died.
TMZ was the first to report the grim news that a teen had died Saturday after falling off a balcony on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas cruise ship that had been en route from Port Canaveral, Florida, to Nassau, Bahamas.
According to the accounts of anonymous passengers on the ship, it is believed that the incident occurred in the early hours of Saturday, though it was unclear if the fatal fall had been accidental or intentional.
Efforts were made to save the boy's life, including an announcement urging other passengers to donate blood if possible, but those efforts were unsuccessful as he later passed away after being transferred off the ship to a hospital.
Photos provided to TMZ by passengers offered a non-graphic glimpse of the aftermath of the deadly incident, including yellow caution tape blocking what appears to be a third-story internal balcony as well as a blue pop-up tent and temporary office cubicle walls covering and surrounding the area on the deck where the boy was found.
Florida Today reported that Royal Caribbean issued a brief statement that confirmed that a death had occurred but declined to provide any further details about the incident.
"We are saddened to learn of the passing of a guest, and our hearts go out to the family," the company said. "Out of respect for them, we won’t provide any further comment."
The outlet noted that the Allure of the Seas is a relatively new ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet that first began sailing for the cruise line in October.
It is one of several ships based out of Port Canaveral on Florida's Atlantic Coast near Orlando and typically travels back and forth to the Bahamas and other Caribbean islands on three- or four-night trips.
On this particular cruise on which the deadly incident occurred, the Allure had set sail Friday for the Bahamas and returned to Port Canaveral on Monday, after which it immediately set sail again for a four-night mid-week cruise to the Bahamas.
According to Florida Today, the Allure of the Seas is the fifth-largest cruise ship in the world and has a maximum capacity of more than 6,800 passengers.
It was also noted that Port Canaveral is the world's busiest port for cruise ships and is also home to the world's largest cruise ship, the Wonder of the Seas, which also sails for the Royal Caribbean cruise line.
Failed 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton never fully accepted or recovered from her unexpected electoral loss to former President Donald Trump.
The American people have once again been reminded of that with the recent promotion of an online "Masterclass" course featuring the former first lady, senator, and secretary of State as she teaches viewers about the "power of resilience," according to Breitbart.
Incredibly, the course includes an emotional reading by Clinton of the acceptance speech that she would have delivered in 2016 if she had prevailed over Trump, as had been widely anticipated but never actually occurred.
Former Sec. Clinton's Masterclass course on resilience in the face of adversity and failure was actually first released nearly two years ago in December 2021, but was highlighted by Yahoo!Life to promote a special Cyber Monday two-for-one membership deal for the online classes.
In the brief teaser video, Clinton at one point opened a binder and read, "My fellow Americans, today, you sent a message to the whole world," then paused and clasped her chest as she took a deep breath, clearly overcome with emotion as she perused the never-delivered 2016 acceptance speech.
The actual Masterclass course taught by Clinton, which is available in full for those willing to pay a monthly membership fee for access to the informative service, contains 16 different lesson videos that run for nearly three and a half hours combined.
The topics discussed include the importance of things like discovering a personal mission, hard work, organizing a busy life, public speaking and being persuasive, maximizing personal strengths, how to negotiate and make compromises, how to deal with criticism and "sexism" in regard to ambition, dealing with setbacks, and being ready for competition.
The course also includes a "bonus" lesson the features a discussion with former top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, the recitation of the "would-be" acceptance speech, and a final lesson on "Choosing a Life of Resilience."
To be sure, there is likely a substantial population of prospective viewers -- predominately liberal women who despise former President Trump -- who would appreciate receiving life lessons from Hillary Clinton, for whatever those lessons may be worth.
As for the Masterclass itself, setting aside the Clinton course, it appears to be a valuable and affordable online learning tool that offers more than 180 different courses on a wide variety of subjects.
Those courses typically include multiple lessons broken down into relatively short videos that are presented by an assortment of famous celebrity "experts" in their particular field.
This week, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case regarding a possible violation of the U.S. Constitution's Seventh Amendment right to a trial by jury -- huge news for Donald Trump, who has multiple cases coming down the line.
The case, according to the Wall Street Journal, is SEC v. Jarkesy.
The outlet reports that the justices will hear the case on Wednesday, Nov. 29. 2023.
A question that the justices will be considering is whether the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) use of in-house judges to settle matters is a violation of the Seventh Amendment's right to a trial by jury.
The issues that the justices will consider in SEC v. Jarkesy all stem from the U.S. Congress's passing of the Dodd-Frank Act following the 2008 financial crisis. It was this act that gave the SEC the power to use its own in-house administrative law judges (ALJs) to try the agency's enforcement cases.
Jarkesy is George R. Jarkesy. According to the Daily Caller, Jarkesy "has been caught in the SEC’s administrative proceedings since the agency charged him with fraud relating to his investment activities in 2013."
Jarskey has alleged that the powers that Congress granted to the SEC in the Dodd-Frank Act are unconstitutional. And, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed.
"Mr. Jarkesy appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that SEC tribunals violate his Seventh Amendment right to trial by jury. He also contended that multiple layers of for-cause tenure protections for ALJs from presidential removal offend the constitutional separation of powers," The Journal reports.
The outlet adds, "The Fifth Circuit ruled for Mr. Jarkesy on all counts."
Now, SEC v. Jarkesy is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. There are three big issues that the justices will consider, including whether the use of ALJs violates the Seventh Amendment's right to a trial by jury.
The other two issues are whether Congress, via the Dodd-Frank Act, unconstitutionally granted powers to the SEC and whether the removal restrictions referred to above are unconstitutional.
Regarding the trial by jury issue, the SEC, citing precedent, is arguing that the right only exists when private - rather than public - rights are at stake. But, the question here is "When are public rights at stake?"
The Journal reports:
The SEC tries to muddy the public-private distinction by arguing that public rights are at stake whenever the government sues on behalf of the “public” to enforce laws. But as Mr. Jarkesy points out, the SEC is seeking to deprive him of a core right for a common-law offense that he allegedly committed against other private citizens. The historical record supports his argument.
We'll have to see what the justices of the Supreme Court decide. This could end up being a landmark Seventh Amendment case.
The New Mexico Supreme Court has formally censured a New Mexico judge for engaging in certain actions that "created an appearance of impropriety" and threatened to undermine the public's trust in an "independent, fair, and impartial judiciary," according to the Associated Press.
That punishment stemmed from the acknowledged improper intervention of Third District Judge James Martin in a criminal trial involving a man ultimately convicted of aggravated assault for threatening the judge's daughter with a rifle outside a bar.
Martin was accused of providing unsolicited advice and admonishments to the prosecutors trying the case and of granting his daughter special privileges not afforded to the general public while the trial was ongoing.
According to the Las Cruces Sun-News, the underlying incident that precipitated the trial and subsequent censure occurred in 2018 when Robert Burnham, the then-owner of a bar known as Boots and Bourbon, was arrested and charged with threatening a woman -- the daughter of Judge Martin -- with a rifle outside of the bar.
The bar was shut down later that year and Burnham was convicted of aggravated assault following a trial in 2021 -- a conviction that was appealed and remains pending.
The AP noted that a visiting judge from another district presided over the trial after Martin and all of the other Third District judges recused themselves from the case that included Martin's daughter as the victim, and a separate but related inquiry was launched afterward in regard to allegations that Martin had improperly involved himself and interfered in the proceedings.
On Nov. 13, the New Mexico Supreme Court publicly released an unreported opinion on the matter of Judge Martin that included a public censure of the district judge for his actions during and after the trial that involved his daughter.
As the three-day trial was ongoing, Martin reportedly contacted Assistant District Attorney Samuel Rosten and encouraged him to use the phrase "brandish a firearm" instead of "pointed a firearm" in his instructions to the jury, which Rosten did the very next day.
After Burnham was found guilty, Martin and his daughter met personally with Rosten and fellow ADA Spencer Willson and specifically inquired if Burnham had been remanded to custody following the verdict. When he was informed that that was indeed the case, Martin reportedly told the prosecutors that it was a "Good thing he was remanded, otherwise I would have told you to go back in there and try again."
Martin was also found to have improperly allowed his daughter to use his own vacant courtroom while waiting to be called to testify while the trial was ongoing.
In the end, the New Mexico Supreme Court found -- and Judge Martin agreed, though he denied that the violations were "willful" -- that he had likely violated six separate rules in the state's Code of Judicial Conduct, for which he should face censure, given that his conduct undermined the stricture that "judges should maintain the dignity of judicial office at all times and avoid both impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in their professional and personal lives."
"We recognize that when the family member of a judicial officer becomes enmeshed in the legal system, it can be stressful for everyone involved. This is especially true when the family member is the victim of a violent crime," the justices wrote. "The natural impulse of parents is to provide comfort, reassurance, and protection for their children. In this case, Judge Martin may have felt that he was acting in the best interest of his daughter, however, judges, unlike other parents are held to a higher standard."
"In regard to the conversation between Judge Martin and the ADA after the verdict, we must again conclude that this creates an appearance of impropriety. While we recognize that emotions may have been running high after the verdict, we again must counsel the judiciary that judges are held to a higher standard," the censure continued. "Due to the imbalance of power between a judge and a litigator, a judge must always promote confidence in the judiciary. Therefore, Judge Martin’s admonitions to the ADA created both an actual impropriety and an appearance of impropriety."
"Viewed through the lens of hindsight, Judge Martin recognizes the potential for appearance of impropriety based upon his conduct; therefore, we approve the Stipulation presented by the Commission and Judge Martin to impose a public censure of Judge Martin and his conduct," the justices concluded. "We issue this censure not only to remind judges of their responsibility to avoid the appearance of impropriety but also to ensure the public that our legal system is committed to maintaining an independent, fair, and impartial judiciary under the law."
A partial gag order imposed in October by the judge presiding over former President Donald Trump's civil fraud trial in New York was stayed and lifted by an appeals court judge last week, and Trump has taken advantage of his restored freedom of speech in regard to that ongoing legal proceeding.
In a Thanksgiving Day message on social media, Trump ripped into both the judge and the judge's principal law clerk with insults and accusations, according to the Washington Examiner.
The former president also sharply critiqued the New York state attorney general as well as the various ideological and political forces arrayed in opposition against him.
"Happy Thanksgiving to ALL," former President Trump wrote in a Truth Social post early Thursday morning, "including the Racist & Incompetent Attorney General of New York State, Letitia 'Peekaboo' James, who has let Murder & Violent Crime FLOURISH, & Businesses FLEE."
Trump also called out "the Radical Left Trump Hating Judge, a 'Psycho,' Arthur Engoron, who Criminally Defrauded the State of New York, & ME, by purposely Valuing my Assets at a 'tiny' Fraction of what they are really worth in order to convict me of Fraud before even a Trial, or seeing any PROOF, & used his Politically Biased & Corrupt Campaign Finance Violator, Chief Clerk Alison Greenfield, to sit by his side on the 'Bench' & tell him what to do."
He further criticized "Crooked Joe Biden, who has WEAPONIZED his Department of Injustice against his Political Opponent, & allowed our Country to go to HELL."
Trump further directed his wrath toward "all of the other Radical Left Lunatics, Communists, Fascists, Marxists, Democrats, & RINOS, who are seriously looking to DESTROY OUR COUNTRY. Have no fear, however, we will WIN the Presidential Election of 2024, & MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!"
According to the Associated Press, Judge Arthur Engoron imposed a limited gag order on Oct. 3 against former President Trump -- later extended to also include Trump's attorneys -- that barred any talk whatsoever about his court staffers, particularly principal law clerk Allison Greenfield, whom Trump and his attorneys have repeatedly accused of being partisan and biased and of wielding undue influence over the judge in virtually all aspects of the trial.
Trump has already been fined twice by the judge for a combined total of $15,000 for violating that gag order on prior occasions.
Following an appellate court hearing last week, however, Judge David Friedman issued a stay that effectively suspended the gag order while the appeals process plays out, citing concerns about the limitations imposed on the free speech rights of the former president and his attorneys.
After listening to arguments from all sides both for and against the gag order, Friedman ultimately declared, "Considering the constitutional and statutory rights at issue an interim stay is granted."
Former President Trump and his attorneys have been harshly critical of Judge Engoron and the manner in which he has handled the civil fraud trial that stems from a lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James that alleges that Trump, his adult sons, and the Trump Organization illegally manipulated and grossly overinflated the claimed value of various assets and properties in order to obtain more favorable terms for bank loans and insurance.
Engoron essentially ruled that Trump was guilty and liable for fraud before the trial even began, leaving the actual trial to determine little more than what sort of punishment should be imposed, up to and including the revocation of required business licenses in the state and potentially even the seizure of Trump-owned assets and properties.
After the gag order was lifted, Trump's attorney Chris Kise said Judge Friedman made the "right decision" in that he has "allowed President Trump to take full advantage of his constitutional First Amendment rights to talk about bias in his own trial, what he’s seeing and witnessing in his own trial -- which, frankly, everyone needs to see."
Retired Air Force General Michael Hayden, who previously led both the CIA and National Security Administration under former President Barack Obama, has proven himself once again to be a highly partisan individual who never should have held the powerful positions that he did.
In a recent social media post, the former Obama official suggested that gun-owning American Christians were "no different" than radical Islamist Palestinian Hamas terrorists, according to Breitbart.
This is just the latest example of exceedingly controversial ideological commentary from a man who once served in the highest echelons of our nation's supposedly non-partisan military and intelligence apparatus.
On Wednesday, Hayden responded to a post on social media that compared pictures of two women and asked "What's the difference?"
The first picture featured an American woman holding a U.S. flag, Holy Bible, and a handgun, while the second picture featured a Palestinian terrorist decked out in combat gear and Hamas regalia while holding aloft a rifle and a Quran.
While the American woman is unidentified -- and presumably has not killed anyone who disagrees with her faith -- Breitbart noted that the Palestinian woman was identified as Reem Riyashi, who in 2004 carried out a suicide bombing attack on behalf of the Hamas and Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade terrorist groups that killed herself and four innocent Israeli victims.
In retweeting that comparative post, Hayden remarked that the two pictured women were "No different at all."
No different at all. https://t.co/ukHfLSxK02
— Gen Michael Hayden (@GenMhayden) November 22, 2023
Breitbart reported that Hayden's tweet was reminiscent of a similar controversy in August 2022, in which the former top Obama official appeared to suggest that the Republican Party posed a greater danger to the world than the likes of terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda or ISIS or even rival nations like communist China and a resurgent authoritarian Russia.
The outlet reported at the time about a since-deleted tweet from an associated editor of the Financial Times, Michael Luce, who hyperbolically wrote, "I’ve covered extremism and violent ideologies around the world over my career. Have never come across a political force more nihilistic, dangerous & contemptible than today’s Republicans. Nothing close."
In response to that absurd and obviously false pronouncement, Hayden said, "I agree. And I was the CIA director."
Breitbart observed that those and other hyperpartisan remarks from Hayden are particularly concerning in light of the fact that he currently serves as an influential "adviser" for NewsGuard, a supposedly neutral and non-partisan organization that ostensibly helps people find trustworthy and accurate news sources.
"In reality," the outlet stated, NewsGuard "steers people toward left-leaning, corporate-owned media, including those that have published verifiable disinformation without corrections," while it simultaneously "also targets right-wing news sites in what amounts to attempts to censor and blacklist them."
Hayden is an absolute disgrace to the uniform he once wore and the powerful positions he once held, as evidenced by his clearly dehumanizing smears against American Christians, conservatives, and gun owners as being worse than actual murderous Islamist terrorists.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan will soon issue a ruling on whether or not to dismiss the 2020 election-related criminal charges filed against former President Donald Trump by Special Counsel Jack Smith, according to Newsweek.
First, however, she will take into consideration an impending response filed by Trump's attorneys to the rebuttal from Smith's prosecutors against Trump's initial motion to dismiss.
The matter is almost certain to not end there, however, as regardless of how Chutkan rules -- and it seems highly unlikely that she will rule in Trump's favor -- it seems inevitable that the decision on dismissal will ultimately be appealed up the chain until it reaches the U.S. Supreme Court.
On Oct. 5, former President Trump's attorneys filed a 52-page motion to dismiss the 2020 election-related charges against him on the grounds that he is protected from criminal prosecution by an absolute immunity.
His argument essentially boils down to a claim that all of the actions he was criminally indicted for in relation to his challenge of the reported results of the 2020 election constituted official acts taken in his role as president -- particularly the constitutional requirement that he "take care that the laws be faithfully executed."
That includes making public statements about alleged election fraud, communicating with federal and state officials about investigations of such allegations, communicating with the vice president and members of Congress about how to address alleged fraudulent election results, and organizing alternate slates of electors in case the allegedly fraudulent slates were rejected by Congress or the courts.
All of that and more, Trump's attorneys argued, are encompassed within either the "core" or, at the very least, the "outer perimeter" of his official duties as president, and therefore are protected from prosecution by his presidential immunity.
Of course, Special Counsel Smith and his attorneys vehemently disagreed in a 79-page rebuttal to the dismissal motion that was filed a month later on Nov. 6.
In that rebuttal, the prosecutors essentially asserted at great length that none of Trump's election-related actions for which he was indicted were part of his official duties and, as such, do not fall under the protection of presidential immunity.
Indeed, they argued that because Trump's actions were fraudulent and criminal, the former president had actually violated the Constitution's "take care" clause, and that therefore the motion to dismiss the charges should be rejected by the judge.
While some may overlook or consider as unserious the former president's motion to dismiss, the decidedly anti-Trump Lawfare outlet suggested that the motion should definitely be taken seriously by everybody for a number of reasons.
That is because, first of all, the question of how expansive or limited presidential immunity actually is has never really been fully addressed before by the courts, and that is a matter that should be settled sooner rather than later.
Secondly is the fact that, as noted, Judge Chutkan's decision will likely be appealed, first to the circuit court if not directly to the Supreme Court and, again, given the unsettled nature of the question at hand and the likelihood of extensive briefings and arguments put forward by both sides, a final conclusion will almost certainly take time and probably delay the trial that is currently scheduled for March 2024 -- potentially even until after the election.
There is no apparent timeline on when the judge will rule on the competing motions, but it will presumably be soon, and it is a safe bet that her decision will be closely watched and have a substantial impact regardless of which way she goes.