Assistant Attorney General Rock Wood, who represented the legislators, told Judge Ellen Carmody Thursday that courts generally only lift the veil of internal communications for criminal cases and for civil cases involving voting rights and redistricting, as reported by the Detroit Free Press.
“There would be no reason to make an exception for the Tesla lawsuit,” Wood said.
Wood went on to say that if Carmody allows access to lawmakers’ records in such a case, there will be a raft of lawsuits aimed at harassing and intimidating lawmakers to the extent that “legislators are spending all their time on this, and can’t legislate,” Wood said.
Tesla attorney John Bursch, a former state solicitor general, said there’s no privilege for communications between lawmakers and third parties, such as lobbyists.
And because the case is about potential economic discrimination that harms consumers and violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution, communications among lawmakers and between lawmakers and their staff members are also subject to subpoena, Bursch told the court.
The electric automaker had subpoenaed records from Governor Rick Snyder, Senator Joe Hune and Representative Jason Sheppard and others in its federal lawsuit against Snyder.
Tesla especially zeroed in on Senator Hune, who has received contributions from the Michigan Automobile Dealers Association. According to the Detroit Free Press, Tesla attorney John Bursch said in court Thursday that Hune was subpoenaed because he introduced the last minute amendment that effectively created the Anti-Tesla law and that his wife, Marcia, “works for the auto dealers” as a registered lobbyist employed by a firm that has the Auto Dealers of Michigan as a client.
The Hunes had not responded to Detroit Free Press’s request for comment and Sheppard declined a comment through a spokeswoman.
The subpoena also included Representative Sheppard, who wasn’t in office at the time. His inclusion comes from his statement to a Tesla representative that Michigan auto dealers and manufacturers don’t want Tesla in Michigan, “so you’re not going to be here,” as recounted by Bursch.
The subpoena hearing stems from a lawsuit against Snyder, Michigan’s Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and state Attorney General Bill Schuette over a 2014 state law that has colloquially become known as the Anti-Tesla bill. The law bans automakers from selling vehicles directly to consumers, which is Tesla’s sales model.
Tesla’s complaint outlines that the law’s purpose is “to reward the dealers’ generous lobbying efforts by handing them a monopoly,” as we previously reported.
Tesla is seeking two things from the lawsuit: a declaratory judgment that Michigan’s ban on direct-sales violates the Due Process, Equal Protection, and Commerce Clauses of the Constitution as applied to Tesla and a permanent injunction preventing state officials from enforcing the law, including the October 2014 amendment.
The post Tesla subpoena hearing update: Claims of corruption in Michigan appeared first on TESLARATI.com.
The case over Michigan’s ‘Anti-Tesla law’ will be dragged out well into 2018 as both sides are expected to provide a list of expert witnesses next month, and the pre-trial “discovery” phase is predicted to take months.
A lawsuit of this magnitude has the potential to set national precedent in commerce and trade regulations as Tesla continues to defend its business model relying strictly on hype and word-of-mouth.
“Any type of lawsuit like this — whether you win or lose — establishes a precedent,” said David Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor in an article published in The Detroit News. “It’s hard to change the direction of that. It’s a big deal.”
As Model 3 sales begin to roll out, the law is stifling business in a state where car manufacturing is the largest industry.
The law bars Tesla from practicing its direct-to-consumer distribution model. New auto sales can only be conducted by franchised auto dealerships, which Tesla claims discriminates against out-of-state interests and is an unconstitutional infringement on their preferred business model.
Tesla is currently finding ways around the law — consumers can order their Teslas online but they have to pick them up in neighboring states like Ohio or Illinois.
In Detroit, affectionately referred to as “Motor City,” the automotive industry is the largest industry and largest employer in the entire state of Michigan. Nearly 5 percent of Michigan’s workforce is employed by the auto industry and the industry accounts for $42.4 billion, or nearly 11 percent of the state’s total Gross Domestic Product.
It comes as no surprise that industry giants have powerful lobbyists working to further their agenda. Related political action committees have donated more than $1 million to state office holders since 2011, including all but two active legislators, according to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network as cited in the article.
Revisions were made to the legislation in 2014, but Musk and company are claiming that these revisions are “protectionist” and are aimed at maintaining the status quo of sales regulations.
Representative Aaron Miller (R-Sturgis), introduced legislation that would allow Tesla and other automakers to distribute directly to retailers rather than franchised dealerships, but the bill went nowhere. Miller is a fervent advocate for free-enterprise and is baffled by the states unwillingness to budge on the matter.
“For me it’s simply common sense,” said Miller. “Refusing any company’s style with protectionist laws is just not the right thing to do. I don’t care if it’s Tesla, a small startup…someone who wants to sell jeans or baseballs directly should not have this sort of barrier to be in the marketplace.”
In addition to the lawsuit, Tesla has also tried to subpoena any correspondence between lobbyists and state legislators containing communications regarding the 2014 amended law.
Tesla claims it subpoenaed the legislators because of a June 2016 statements to the company that it will “not be allowed to operate in Michigan because Michigan dealers and manufacturers do not want Tesla in the state.”
Legislators fought back with their claim that this subpoena is an attempt by Tesla to harass them for not submitted to Tesla’s demands.
A trial date has not yet been set.
Por primera vez se nos permitió tomar fotos. Él está llorando de gozo por haber llegado hasta su bautismo Gracias @pepeluigi43 por compartir.
Los “ataques” de los incendios provocados se dirigen a las salas de testigos de Jehová en el estado de Washington – NBC NewsBy Guest Nicole
10 de diciembre de 2018 / 2:55 AM GMT
Por Tim Stelloh
Una serie de incendios supuestamente dirigidos han atravesado las salas de los Testigos de Jehová en un condado del estado de Washington desde marzo, con el quinto puesto el viernes por la mañana temprano, dijeron las autoridades federales durante el fin de semana.
En mayo, alguien también disparó 35 disparos de rifles a un Salón del Reino, un lugar de culto en la religión, en el condado de Thurston, al suroeste de Seattle, donde también ocurrió el supuesto incendio provocado, informó la afiliada de la NBC, KING.
No se han identificado sospechosos, aunque el alguacil del condado de Thurston, John Snaza, describió el último incendio como uno de los “ataques” recientes contra los Salones del Reino.
“Qué frustrante es que las personas que encuentran un lugar solemne de adoración, ahora están siendo destruidas”, dijo Snaza a los periodistas el viernes.
Las autoridades fueron enviadas al incendio del viernes en un Salón del Reino
Compartido por craigcarsonea
via .ORGWorld News
Así nos trataron: los chicos separados de sus padres en la frontera relatan sus días detenidos en Estados UnidosBy Guest Nicole
Muchos de los menores describieron las condiciones en las instalaciones de la Aduana y Protección de Fronteras de EE.UU. donde fueron llevados y procesados durante los primeros días después de cruzar la frontera. En los informes solo fueron identificados por sus nombres de pila.
Timofei, de 15 años, proveniente de Rusia, quien buscó asilo en la frontera con sus padres por sus creencias como Testigos de Jehová, dijo que estaban noche y día hacinados en la sala cerrada y abarrotada, detenidos junto a otros muchachos. Dijo que solo había una ventana que daba a un pasillo vacío y que no tenían jabón en el baño, y que solamente a veces, le daban un cepillo de dientes para uso individual.
También contó que le ofrecieron darse una ducha al llegar a las instalaciones de San Ysidro, California, pero no lo hizo y el segundo o tercer día allí no le permitieron hacerlo.
By Guest Nicole
Washington condenó este lunes los ataques de la policía paramilitar contra estudiantes universitarios, periodistas y religiosos en toda Nicaragua, dijo el Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos.
En un comunicado, el departamento pidió al gobierno del presidente Daniel Ortega que preste atención al llamado de su pueblo para realizar reformas democráticas de inmediato y celebrar elecciones.
Cada víctima adicional de esta campaña de violencia e intimidación mina aún más la legitimidad de Ortega. Instamos a Ortega a que cese de inmediato su represión contra el pueblo de Nicaragua", dijo en un comunicado la portavoz del Departamento de Estado, Heather Nauert.
El Departamento de Estado dijo que impuso restricciones de visa a personas responsables de abusos a los derechos humanos o que socaven la democracia en Nicaragua, así como a los miembros de sus familias.
By Guest Nicole
La actriz participó en la Marcha de Mujeres ante el Congreso para exigir el fin de la tolerancia cero con los inmigrantes y la separaciÃ³n de familias en la frontera
WASHINGTON Â– La actrizÂ Susan SarandonÂ fue detenida durante Â“varias horasÂ” tras la marcha de mujeres de este jueves en Washington contraÂ las polÃticas migratoriasÂ del presidenteÂ Donald Trump, informaron hoy fuentes de la organizaciÃ³n de la protesta.
Â“Susan Sarandon estuvo detenida durante varias horas por participar en nuestra manifestaciÃ³nÂ”,seÃ±alÃ³ la fuente, que pidiÃ³ el anonimato.
By Guest Nicole
El Departamento de Estado de los Estados Unidos ha encontrado un nuevo grupo de “presos políticos” que defender ante Rusia. Se trata de miembros de la organización religiosa de los testigos de Jehová encarcelados, según se indica desde el medio oficialista ruso RT, por pedofilia y otros cargos puramente criminales.
“Estamos preocupados por los recientes arrestos de testigos de Jehová en Rusia. Rusia debería liberarlos a ellos y a los otros cien presos por creencias religiosas, muchos de ellos acusados sin fundamento de extremismo”, reza un reciente tuit de la portavoz del Departamento de Estado, Heather Nauert.
En 2017 el Ministerio de Justicia de Rusia incluyó a los testigos de Jehová en la lista de organizaciones cuya actividad fue suspendida por extremismo. Se concluyó que los incumplen su propio estatuto e infringen la legislación rusa en la lucha contra el extremismo, sobre todo el capítulo III de la Ley Antiterrorista, que define las condiciones de la actividad misionera de grupos religiosos, tal como informa Sputnik News. Asimismo, se dictaminó que todos los bienes de la organización deberían ser incautados a favor del Estado ruso.
Leer más: http://www.infocatolica.com/blog/infories.php/1806301056-los-ee-uu-piden-a-rusia-que-l
By Guest Nicole
Millones de Testigos de Jehová alrededor del mundo están esperando ansiosos las asambleas regionales “¡Sea Valiente!” para este año 2018. Estas asambleas se celebrarán en varios lugares alrededor del mundo incluyendo en nuestra región el Christian Convention Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses y el Expo Center del South Florida Fairgrounds, de West Palm Beach, Florida.
Localmente se celebrarán un total de 17 asambleas de 3 días cada una. 10 de ellas serán es español. En estas se nos proveerá refrigerio espiritual, guía y ayuda basadas en la Biblia. Todo ello con el propósito de que podamos afrontar los muchos desafíos y problemas de nuestras vidas hoy día. También disfrutaremos de canciones, videos, discursos, lecturas bíblicas, entrevistas, experiencias y compañerismo. Algunos temas destacados son: una película titulada “La historia de Jonás, una lección de valentía y compasión” y el discurso público titulado: “La esperanza de la resurrección nos da valor”.
Todas las personas están cordialmente invitadas a asistir. La entrada en completamente gratuita y no se hacen colectas. Las sesiones comienzan a las 9:20 de la mañana cada viernes, sábado y domingo.
Las fechas para las asambleas serán: Junio 22 al 24, Junio 29 a Julio 1, Julio 6 al 8, Julio 13 al 15, Julio 20 al 22, Agosto 24 al 26 y Septiembre 7 al 9 en el Christian Convention Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses en el 1610 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard, justo al este de la I-95, en West Palm Beach. Y en Agosto 17 al 19 en el Expo Center del South Florida Fairgrounds, localizado en 9067 Southern Blvd, West Palm Beach.
By Guest Nicole
The Supreme Court of Canada Thursday heard arguments in a fight over a church’s “shunning” practice, and said it would release a ruling later, but the congregation involved and several other groups argued that the justices had no right to even take part in the fight.
The fight is between Randy Wall, a real estate agent, and the Highwood congregation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization in Calgary.
Wall was expelled from the congregation for getting drunk and not be properly repentant, court records said. He pursued a church appeals process, unsuccessfully, then went to court because he said the church’s “shunning,” that is, practice of not associating with him in any way, hurt his business.
He explained his two occasions of drunkenness related to “the previous expulsion by the congregation of his 15-year-old daughter.”
A lower court opinion explained, “Even though the daughter was a dependent child living at home, it was a mandatory church edict that the entire family shun aspects of their relationship with her. The respondent said the edicts of the church pressured the family to evict their daughter from the family home. This led to … much distress in the family.”
The “much distress” eventually resulted in his drunkenness, Wall said.
See the WND Superstore’s collection of Bibles, including the stunning 1599 Geneva Bible.
Wall submitted to the court arguments that about half his client base, members of various Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations, then refused to conduct business with him. He alleged the “disfellowship had an economic impact on the respondent.”
During high court arguments Thursday, the congregation asked the justices to say that congregations are immune to such claims in the judicial system.
The lower courts had ruled that the courts could play a role in determining if, and when, such circumstances rise to the level of violating civil rights or injuring a “disfellowshipped” party.
The rulings from the Court of Queen’s Bench and the Alberta Court of Appeals said Wall’s case was subject to secular court jurisdiction.
A multitude of religious and political organizations joined with the congregation in arguing that the Canada’s courts should not be involved.
The Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms said in a filing, “The wish or desire of one person to associate with an unwilling person (or an unwilling group) is not a legal right of any kind. For a court, or the government, to support such a ‘right’ violates the right of self-determination of the unwilling parties.”
Previous case law has confirmed the ability of religious or private voluntary groups to govern themselves and dictate who can be a member.
But previously rulings also reveal there is room for the court system to intervene when the question is one of property or civil rights.
The Association for Reformed Political Action, described the case as having “profound implications for the separation of church and state.”
Its position is that the court should keep hands off the argument.
“Secular judges have no authority and no expertise to review a church membership decision,” said a statement from Andre Schutten, a spokesman for the group. “Church discipline is a spiritual matter falling within spiritual jurisdiction, not a legal matter falling within the courts’ civil jurisdiction. The courts should not interfere.”
John Sikkema, staff lawyer for ARPA, said, “The issue in this appeal is jurisdiction. A state actor, including a court, must never go beyond its jurisdiction. The Supreme Court must consider what kind of authority the courts can or cannot legitimately claim. We argue that the civil government and churches each have limited and distinct spheres of authority. This basic distinction between civil and spiritual jurisdiction is a source of freedom and religious pluralism and a guard against civic totalism.”
He continued, “Should the judiciary have the authority to decide who gets to become or remain a church member? Does the judiciary have the authority to decide who does or does not get to participate in the sacraments? Church discipline is a spiritual matter falling within spiritual jurisdiction, not a legal matter falling within the courts’ civil jurisdiction. The courts should not interfere. Here we need separation of church and state.”
The Alberta Court of Appeal, however, suggested the fight was about more than ecclesiastical rules.
“Because Jehovah’s Witnesses shun disfellowshipped members, his wife, other children and other Jehovah’s Witnesses were compelled to shun him,” that lower court decision said. “The respondent asked the appeal committee to consider the mental and emotional distress he and his family were under as a result of his duaghter’s disfellowship.”
The church committee concluded he was “not sufficiently repentant.”
The ruling said “the only basis for establishing jurisdiction over a decision of the church is when the complaint involves property and civil rights,” and that is what Wall alleged.
“Accordingly, a court has jurisdiction to review the decision of a religious organization when a breach of the rules of natural justice is alleged.”
By Jack Ryan
Mike MartindaleUpdated 6:11 p.m. ET Feb. 16, 2018 Keego Harbor Â— A quiet residential street became a horrific crime scene Friday with news that four people Â— a couple and their adult children Â— died in what police are describing as a triple murder-suicide.
By late afternoon, some yellow police crime scene tape remained around the two-story wood frame bungalow in the 2300 block of Cass Lake Road where police were sent about 8:10 a.m. on a welfare check after a relative became worried about the family, Keego Harbor Police Chief John Fitzgerald said.
One of four bodies is removed from the home of the 2300 block of Cass Lake Road.Â (Photo: Clarence Tabb Jr., The Detroit News)
Â“A relative had concerns and asked us to look into it,Â” said Fitzgerald. Â“ItÂ’s tragic and our thoughts and prayers are with the family.Â”
Inside the house officers found four bodies who neighbors identified as Daniel Stuart, 47, his wife, Lauren, 45, and their children, Bethany, 24, and Steven, 27.
Fitzgerald said the Â“perpetratorÂ” was among the dead but would not provide details other than to stress Â“we think we know what happened here and there is no danger to neighbors.Â”
Fitzgerald said police have recovered what is believed to be the murder weapon but would not elaborate. He said all the deaths remain under investigation.
Keego Harbor Police Chief John Fitzgerald briefs the media on the murder-suicide.Â (Photo: Clarence Tabb Jr., The Detroit News)
Neighbors John and Jackie Tristani said they awoke Friday to learn police were outside the victimsÂ’ home.
Â“My son said police were repeatedly calling out Â‘Lauren, come outside,Â’ "Â said John Tristani. Â“When she didnÂ’t respond they (police) went inside. A few minutes later, they came back outside, shaking their heads.Â”
Tristani said he had been watching television late Thursday night and never heard anything from the Stuarts' home.
Sources close to the investigation said the family pet, a dog, was also slain by the killer. Investigators also found a note which may help explain what led up to the deaths. They would not discuss its contents.
The deaths puzzle the Tristanis, who knew Lauren Stuart as a Â“hard-workingÂ” neighbor who could often be seen working in her yard and remodeled the house largely on her own.
Â“She would often come over and borrow tools Â– a saw, a pickaxe Â– whatever,Â” said Tristani. Â“She was always doing something.Â”
The Tristanis said in one of their first meetings with Lauren Stuart a few years ago she attempted to Â“recruitÂ” them into the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses.
Â“I said we were Catholics and werenÂ’t interested,Â” he said. Â“She accepted the answer and it was the end of that.Â”
Lauren Stuart worked at an area gym, he said, and her husband was involved in some form of medical business in the Ann Arbor area.
Darlene and Dennis Buck, who live a block away on Cass Lake Road, said they were enroute home from a trip to northern Michigan when they learned of the murder-suicide.
Â“We have lived here since Â’74 and nothing like this has ever happened in our neighborhood Â— not even close,Â” said Darlene Buck.
Jackie Tristani said she found it all Â“scaryÂ” Â– not just the deaths but that something might have been going on in a neighborÂ’s home without her knowledge. She had tried to get Bethany a job at her workplace and her son knew both Bethany and Steven. There was never any mention or indication of trouble inside the home, she said.
Â“I would hope that if there was a problem inside there someone would have reached out, we would have tried to help,Â” she said, her voice quaking. Â“Maybe we could have done something.
Â“But you never really know everything there is about your neighbors, do you?Â”
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
BOULEVARD, California, EE.UU. (AP) — Setenta y siete personas que ingresaron a Estados Unidos de forma ilegal fueron encontradas atestadas en un camión cerca de la frontera de California con México bajo un calor sofocante, y el conductor fue encausado por transportar a personas para obtener un beneficio económico, informaron las autoridades.
Cinco menores estaban entre las personas que fueron halladas el lunes por la tarde en el compartimiento de carga de un camión que estaba pintado de café para asemejarse a un vehículo del servicio de mensajería UPS, de acuerdo con las autoridades.
La Patrulla de Caminos de California detuvo al camión debido a que no tenía placas y estaba zigzagueando sobre una autopista de la pequeña y desértica comunidad de Boulevard, en el condado de San Diego, a 8 kilómetros (5 millas) de distancia de la frontera.
Un agente de la Patrulla Fronteriza que pasaba por la zona se detuvo y le ofreció su ayuda al elemento de la patrulla de caminos, indicó el periódico The San Diego Union-Tribune, citando una denuncia penal.
Leer más: http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2018/Encuentran-a-77-inmigrantes-dentro-de-un-cami-n-cerca-de-la-frontera-del-estado-de-California-con-M-xico/id-bf9d1bb47cba47a097c6d7d062d26cc5
By Guest Nicole
l fiscal general del estado de Washington, Bob Ferguson, interpuso hoy una demanda judicial contra la cadena hotelera Motel 6 por facilitar datos personales de miles de huéspedes al Servicio de Inmigración y Aduanas (ICE).
De acuerdo con la demanda, la empresa proporcionó a las autoridades, “voluntariamente” y “de manera rutinaria”, listados de sus huéspedes durante por lo menos dos años, lo que habría permitido a las autoridades proceder a la detención de presuntos inmigrantes ilegales.
La información proporcionada por la cadena hotelera incluía información confidencial de unos 9,150 clientes, entre la que se encontraban datos como el nombre completo del huésped, su número de la seguridad social y de su permiso de conducir o los datos de la matrícula de su vehículo.
“La demanda presentada hoy en la Corte Superior del Condado de King establece que Motel 6 cometió miles de violaciones de la Ley de Protección al consumidor y cientos de violaciones de la Ley de Washington contra la Discriminación”, señaló la oficina del fiscal general.
By Guest Nicole
¿CuÃ¡nto tiempo necesita uno para estar Â inactivo al punto de que ya no se considere que estÃ¡ envueltoÂ con la religiÃ³n de los Testigos de JehovÃ¡?Â
Las fotos del encendido del nuevo árbol de Navidad del Rockefeller Center y su corona de 25 mil cristalesBy Guest Nicole
Multitudes de turistas y neoyorquinos atestaron el área central de Manhattan en una noche templada y bajo intensas medidas de seguridad para observar el encendido anual del Ãrbol de Navidad del Rockefeller Center.
Leer mÃ¡s:Â https://www.infobae.com/america/fotos/2017/11/30/las-fotos-del-encendido-del-nuevo-arbol-de-navidad-del-rockefeller-center-y-su-corona-de-25-mil-cristales/
By Guest Nicole
This tragic story has been developing over the last couple of days in Venezuela. There is a mixture of reports and accounts coming in....
Two Jehovah's Witnesses (and fleshly sisters) aged 71 and 65, where found murdered. A 26 year male suspect has been arrested.
In the apartment where the two where found dead, the words "Death to witnesses" (“Muerte a los testigos”) had been scrawled onto one of the walls.
By Guest Nicole
Barry W. Bussey: Last week, the Supreme Court was asked to do something courts never do: review the solely religious decision of a church
On November 2, the Supreme Court of Canada was asked to do something Canadian courts never do: review the solely religious decision of a church community. Until now, the courts have recoiled from getting involved in religious disputes—and for good reason.
The case involves Randy Wall, who was dismissed from a Jehovah’s Witness church for failing to repent of his religious offences: getting drunk on two occasions and verbally abusing his wife. Wall’s appeal to another church entity was unsuccessful. He then appealed to a court of law by means of “judicial review,” on the grounds that the church had denied him a proper hearing.
In Canadian law, in a process known as “judicial review,” a person can ask a court to “review” (i.e. hear) whether the decision of a “public actor” (such as a government licensing agency) was unfairly decided. Courts rarely review decisions of “private actors” (such as a church); they generally do so only if a private actor’s decision engages property or civil rights. In Wall’s case, the court had to determine whether the Jehovah’s Witness church’s decision involved property or contractual rights, which would then enable the court to review the church’s decision.
"The church argued it was a private religious body, not a public body"
The church argued it was a private religious body, not a public body, and that its decision did not affect Wall’s property or contractual rights. It also argued that its disciplinary procedure was a religious process involving prayer and scripture reading aimed at reconciling the relationship between Wall and the church. The lower courts both held that religious decisions can be reviewed by courts to determine whether a church gave a fair hearing, even if no property or contractual rights were engaged. However, both courts were also of the view that property rights were an issue in the case. The Supreme Court of Canada must now decide whether those courts were right. The Supreme Court reserved judgment after last week’s hearing; we can expect its decision early in the new year.
Courts like to “fix things.” They naturally want to find resolutions to disputes; this is what they exist to do. However, courts have historically avoided getting involved in religious cases, recognizing that they lack the expertise and authority to settle religious disagreements. They handle legal cases, such as contractual disputes, but not religious cases that raise metaphysical truths, such as the definition of God.
Wall argued his case did involve a “property right,” because his dismissal from his church meant the church members were no longer willing to do business with him. As a real estate agent, 50 per cent of his clientele were Jehovah’s Witnesses. His business folded from the loss of their support. He says there is a direct line of causation between his loss of church membership and business loss. It’s likely the case that one caused the other, but that doesn’t mean Wall’s claim is a legally enforceable property right.
"A church member is not required to patronize the business of a former church member"
The reality is, Wall chose to limit his business to Jehovah’s Witnesses and took a personal risk in doing so. The church did not tell him to do so, and certainly there is no known legal principle that says a church is responsible for the economic losses that might flow from a loss of membership. A church member is not required to patronize the business of a former member. In the same way, we would not expect a former husband to maintain business with his ex-wife’s family.
At last week’s hearing, Wall’s legal counsel tried to persuade the court that, if there are no grounds under Canadian law for the court to interfere in purely religious matters, the court should then consider adopting U.K. law, which does allow this type of review. “Good luck!” Justice Rosalie Abella quipped, prompting everyone to burst into laughter.
That exchange suggested the court was not persuaded that it is time to change the law to allow courts to get tangled up in reviewing decisions of religious bodies. That would be a good thing, as courts don’t have the moral or legal authority or doctrinal expertise to decide such matters.
This hearing occurred around the time of the 500-year anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of his 95 Theses to a church door in Wittenberg, Germany. If we have learned anything since then, it’s that the law does not need to apply to every nook and cranny of our lives – especially our religious affairs.
Barry W. Bussey is Director Legal Affairs at the Canadian Council of Christian Charities. He blogs at lawandreligion.org
By Guest Nicole
Se vuelve a repetir la invasión de los mentalmente enfermos apostatas profesionales, de un salÃ³n del reino en plena reuniÃ³n. Acabada la oraciÃ³n, un invasor sube a la plataforma y los acomodadores se ven obligados a bajarlo. Pero de entre los asistentes surgen mÃ¡s apostatas, incluido el que estÃ¡Â grabando las imÃ¡genes. Casi deben echarlos a la fuerza porque se resisten a salir y mientras critican a la organizaciÃ³n. Se agrupan en la puerta mientras los hermanos impiden que vuelvan a entrar y llaman a la policÃa. La llegada de la policÃa hace que algunos salgan corriendo, y el agente toma datos de los que molestan una reuniÃ³n privada. Tomemos nota de la escena que seguro se repetirÃ¡ en todos os paÃses.
By Guest Nicole
El tiroteo ocurrió en una iglesia bautista de Sutherland Springs, Texas
El FBI acudió al sitio del tiroteo
El atacante resultó muerto
(CNN) - Al menos 20 personas fueron asesinadas en un tiroteo el domingo en una iglesia bautista de Sutherland Springs, Texas, dijo a CNN el sheriff del condado de Wilson. Muchas más resultaron heridas, según las autoridades.
El atacante resultó muerto después de una breve persecución por el vecino condado de Guadalupe, de acuerdo con Robert Murphy, portavoz de la oficina del sheriff del condado de Guadalupe. No está claro si fue abatido por la policía o si él se quitó la vida, dijo Murphy.
Leer más: http://cnnespanol.cnn.com/2017/11/05/reportan-tiroteo-en-una-iglesia-de-texas/
By Guest Nicole
The judicial committee of a congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses asked the Supreme Court of Canada today to rule that Canadian courts do not have the authority to review the expulsion of one of their members — arguing that judicial review by the courts should not extend to decisions by private and voluntary associations that have no effect on the public at large.
The Highwood Congregation, located in northwest Calgary, brought its appeal to Ottawa after Randy Wall took the congregation to court for expelling him from the church. The congregation’s judicial committee “disfellowshipped” Wall in the spring of 2014 after his family reported to the group’s elders that he had been drunk on two occasions and was verbally and emotionally abusing them — and after determining he was not “not sufficiently repentant” for those actions.
After three internal and unsuccessful appeals, Wall applied for judicial review of the congregation’s decision-making process, insisting it was flawed and that the congregation’s judicial committee had “breached the principles of natural justice and the duty to be fair.” Both the Court of Queen’s Bench and Court of Appeal in Alberta declared that it is within the jurisdiction of the superior court to review Wall’s case.
The congregation’s appeal of those two rulings, heard by the Supreme Court Thursday morning, has attracted a lot of attention from legal experts and religious communities across the country. Echoing the congregation’s plea today in the packed Ottawa courtroom were 12 religious, political and civil liberties groups — all of them unanimous in arguing the top court should not interfere in the membership decisions of religious bodies.
The consequences of such interference, they said, would be detrimental to the self-determination of religious groups.
“It (would) fundamentally alter our nation and not for the better,” counsel for the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms said in court.
“The wish or desire of one person to associate with an unwilling person (or an unwilling group) is not a legal right of any kind,” the group wrote in its written submission to the Supreme Court. “For a court, or the government, to support such a ‘right’ violates the right of self-determination of the unwilling parties.”
This question of jurisdiction is one that has been explored and decided on by the courts — including the Supreme Court of Canada — in the past. Case law shows the top court has recognized the the autonomous ability of religious and private voluntary associations to govern their own affairs and dictate who can and cannot be a member of a congregation.
The courts have determined, however, there is room to intervene in specific cases when a membership decision turns on property or civil rights — or is of “sufficient importance to deserve the intervention of the court.”
Wall — who does not dispute the allegations against him that formed the basis of the congregation’s decision to kick him out — argues his case meets those requirements because his “disfellowship” caused him to lose business clients, suffer “significant economic harm” and experience fraught family relations.
In return, the congregation argues that neither Wall’s property rights, nor his civil rights, were affected by their decision. Justice Russell Brown also remarked during the hearing that “one does not have a justiciable right to earn a living.”
The congregation also argued that it did not ask or force its members to boycott Wall’s business — but people choose to do so in line with their religious convictions. Counsel for the congregation also said that “the door is not closed” to Wall and he can be reinstated in the congregation in the future.
More generally, the congregation argued that it would be inappropriate for the courts to review the internal decision-making processes of religious groups because those processes are ecclesiastical.
In a news release, the Association for Reformed Political Action — one of the 12 intervening groups — said the case before the Supreme Court has “profound implications for the separation of church and state” and it believes the court should maintain a hands-off approach to membership decision-making by religious groups.
“Secular judges have no authority and no expertise to review a church membership decision,” the association’s director of law and policy, André Schutten, wrote in the statement. “Church discipline is a spiritual matter falling within spiritual jurisdiction, not a legal matter falling within the courts’ civil jurisdiction. The courts should not interfere.”
The Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association took a slightly more nuanced position, arguing in its factum that “there will inevitably be cases where judicial intervention in the decisions of religious groups is ‘warranted'” but courts “should intervene … only in the rare case where required by a prevailing public interest.”
Thursday’s hearing was heard by all nine justices on the Supreme Court bench. Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin said the court will reserve its decision after today’s hearing.
Overflow seating was set up in the front hall of the Supreme Court to accommodate all the people who came to see the hearing live.
By Guest Nicole
SOUTHBRIDGE - People may see Randy Turk, 40, and his wife, Lisa, 43, dressed in their Sunday best any day of the week knocking on doors in their hometown of Southbridge or other communities. The couple, married nearly 20 years, isn’t selling anything during the 70 hours a month they walk the pavement and try to meet with residents. Mr. Turk says they are trying to “draw people closer to God.”
Mr. Turk has been a Jehovah’s Witness for 27 years, one of more than 8 million followers of the religion worldwide.
To support their volunteer ministry work, the couple work as sales representatives for Nature’s Best Oils. Mr. Turk also does consulting work for an auto parts manufacturing company in Michigan.
How is your religion different from other Christian religions?
“As Christians, we closely follow the teachings and actions of Jesus Christ. We believe that he is the key to salvation. We also believe in using God’s personal name, Jehovah. We appreciate that God’s kingdom is a real government that will bring about positive changes to the earth. We are focused on upholding the teachings of the Bible rather than religious traditions.”
Why do you go door to door?
“I love talking with my neighbors. Today, people are stressed. Some have even lost hope. Our desire is to share a positive message with people from the Bible. We strive to follow the example Jesus set in his ministry. His preaching work was motivated out of love. Our motive is the same.
“Our preaching efforts are not just in Worcester County. Jehovah’s Witnesses speak to people about the Bible in over 240 lands throughout the world. Our Bible-based literature is translated in hundreds of different languages. All around the globe, Jehovah’s Witnesses work very hard to share the Bible’s hope for a grand future.”
What response do you get from people?
“Most people are very friendly. Some prefer that we are brief and get to the point. Since we appreciate their time, we try to share an encouraging thought in just a few minutes.
“In Worcester County, there are many people who respond to our message in a different language. If I cannot communicate with them, I direct them to our website, jw.org. It is available in over 900 languages.
“Many people are interested in what the Bible has to say. Most readers of our Bible-based literature are not even Jehovah’s Witnesses. Around the world, there are millions of people who study the Bible with us. Since people are busy, some may have only 15 minutes a week to study the Bible. We are more than happy to visit at a time and place convenient for them.”
How would you like people to respond to you if they are not interested?
“We realize that most people have their own beliefs and that not everyone is interested in our message. If they are not interested, they can kindly inform us. However, I always appreciate being given a few minutes to share something positive from the Bible.”
How are Kingdom Halls different from other churches?
“Kingdom Halls are a great place to worship God. It is a place where Bible study programs and lectures are held each week. All meetings begin and end with song and prayer. On Sundays, there is a 30-minute Bible discourse designed for the general public. After that, there is a question-and-answer discussion. Participation is always voluntary. No collections are ever taken. You can go to any Kingdom Hall and receive the same program of Bible instruction. I enjoy up-building association and the opportunity to praise God at the local Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
Can anyone attend a service?
“Everyone is invited to attend. Every meeting is open to the public. Families are invited to attend and learn together. People are not obligated to join or become a member. I encourage everyone to experience the happiness and love found at the Kingdom Hall.”
By Guest Nicole
Un agente de la policía de Madera que es un anciano de la iglesia es acusado de agredir sexualmente a una joven de 17 aÃ±os a quien Ã©l enseÃ±Ã³, informÃ³ la policÃa de Fresno. La policÃa de Fresno recibiÃ³ una notificaciÃ³n anÃ³nima el 20 de septiembre sobre Martin Ramos, de 43 aÃ±os, y lanzÃ³ una investigaciÃ³n dijo el sargento. Daniel MacÃas. Los investigadores se enteraron de que Ramos era un anciano en la iglesia de los Testigos de JehovÃ¡ en la cuadra 4000 de West McKinley Avenue. AllÃ, conociÃ³ a una adolescente y a su familia hace tres aÃ±os. Ramos fue mentor de la niÃ±a, y los dos se comunicaron a travÃ©s de mensajes de texto. En un momento, los dos intercambiaron fotos "inapropiadas" y su relaciÃ³n se volviÃ³ fÃsica, dijo MacÃas. Durante el curso de la investigaciÃ³n, la policÃa se enterÃ³ de que Ramos trabajaba como despachador en el Departamento de PolicÃa de Madera. Ramos fue arrestado el 21 de septiembre y cooperÃ³ con la policÃa. EstÃ¡ acusado de delito grave de cÃ³pula oral, posesiÃ³n y distribuciÃ³n de pornografÃa infantil y abuso menor de menores. Ramos se declarÃ³ no culpable de todos los cargos a principios de este mes y estÃ¡ en libertad bajo fianza. Ã‰l regresarÃ¡ a la corte en noviembre.
By Guest Nicole
Willie Grimes encuentra ayuda en la religión, en los Testigos de JehovÃ¡, una iglesia a travÃ©s de la cual se encuentra con miembros que lo visitan regularmente y llegan a creer en su historia. En varios puntos del camino, los funcionarios de prisiones le sugieren a Grimes que si quiere ser elegible para libertad condicional necesita inscribirse en un curso para delincuentes sexuales. Se niega porque requerirÃa que firmara un formulario expresando remordimiento por la violaciÃ³n que no cometiÃ³. Es su Ãºnico acto de desafÃo. DespuÃ©s de todo, Ã©l no es un delincuente sexual.
Willie Grimes en el Instituto Correccional enÂ Tillery, N.C., in 2007.Credito R.J. Sangosti/The Denver Post, vÃa Getty Images
By Guest Nicole
Saluden el nuevo rÃ³tulo de la Sucursal de Estados Unidos. Conocido tambiÃ©n como el Betel de Wallkill o las Haciendas Watchtower. Â¿AsistirÃ¡n a la dedicaciÃ³n en persona o mediante streaming?Â
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