Court reinstates California law allowing terminally ill people to end their lives

assisted suicideA state appeals court has reinstated – at least for now – California’s law allowing terminally ill people to end their lives. The Fourth District Court of Appeals in Riverside issued an immediate stay Friday putting the End of Life Option back into effect. The court also gave opponents of its decision until July 2 to file objections.

The law allows adults to obtain a prescription for life-ending drugs if a doctor has determined that they have six months or less to live.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia declared the law unconstitutional last month, stating that it had been adopted illegally because lawmakers passed it during a special Legislative session called to address other matters. Ottolia didn’t address the issue of whether it’s proper for people to end their lives.

Right-to-die advocates hailed Friday’s action.

“This stay is a huge win for many terminally ill Californians with six months or less to live because it could take years for the courts to resolve this case,” Kevin Díaz, national director of legal advocacy for Compassion & Choices, said in a statement.

“Thankfully, this ruling settles the issue for the time being, but we know we have a long fight ahead before we prevail.”

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who had asked the appeals court to stay Ottolia’s ruling, also praised the decision. …

Click here to read the full article from CBS News

Terminally ill in California waiting to die, but this court won’t let them

assisted suicideDozens of terminally ill patients in California who counted on using the state’s medical aid-in-dying law may be in limbo for a month after a court ruling that suspended the 2016 measure.

A judge who ruled in May that the law was improperly enacted refused to vacate that decision at the request of advocates last week. Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia set a hearing for June 29, however, to consider a separate motion by state Attorney General Xavier Becerra to reverse the decision.

Opponents cheered what they hope will be the end of a law they’ve fought from the day it was passed. Compassion & Choices, an advocacy group that promotes aid-in-dying, filed a notice to appealal late Friday and asked Becerra to uphold the group’s legal opinion that their appeal would trigger a stay of Ottolia’s judgment. Such a stay would reinstate the law pending further court action. Becerra did not immediately respond to the group, or to requests for comment.

For an estimated 200 patients who had already started the process of hastening their deaths, the decision has sparked confusion and fear, said Kat West, Compassion & Choices’ national policy director. …

Click here to read the full article from NBC News

California bans travel to another state based on its ‘discriminatory’ LGBT adoption law

xavier-becerraAdd Oklahoma to the list of states to which California is banning state-funded and state-sponsored travel.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Friday that as a result of “discriminatory legislation” that became Oklahoma law last month, the western state will prohibit travel to its midwestern counterpart.

A 2017 California law requires that its attorney general keeps a list of states subject to a state travel ban because of “laws that authorize or require discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression,” Becerra’s office said in a statement.

“California taxpayers are taking a stand against bigotry and in support of those who would be harmed by this prejudiced policy,” he said.

Oklahoma becomes the ninth state subject to the state-funded ban. Travel to Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas had previously been prohibited due to the 2017 law. …

Click here to read the full article from USA Today

California Sues Trump Administration Over Census Citizenship Question

California quickly filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration after the Commerce Department announced that the 2020 census would ask people whether they were U.S. citizens.

The citizenship question, announced Monday night, will discourage people from responding to the census and will violate the Constitution’s mandate for “actual enumeration,” the state’s lawsuit argues, according to The Washington Post.

“The Census numbers provide the backbone for planning how our communities can grow and thrive in the coming decade,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “What the Trump administration is requesting is not just alarming, it is an unconstitutional attempt to discourage an accurate Census count.”

The census hasn’t included a question about citizenship since 1950. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the question would allow better enforcement of voting laws. …

Click here to read the full article from the Huffington Post

Another Supreme Court Loss for Becerra Looming – Abortion

The Supreme Court seems likely to strike down a California law that mainly regulates anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers.

Both conservative and liberal justices voiced skepticism Tuesday about the law that requires the centers to tell clients about the availability of contraception, abortion and pre-natal care, at little or no cost. Centers that are unlicensed also must post a sign that says so.

The centers say they are being singled out and forced to deliver a message with which they disagree. California says the law is needed to let poor women know all their options.

Similar laws also are being challenged in Hawaii and Illinois.

At different points in the arguments, liberal Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor said they were troubled by aspects of the California law.

Kagan said it seemed that the state had “gerrymandered” the law, a term usually used in the context of redistricting, to target the anti-abortion centers. Sotomayor said there was at least one instance dealing with unlicensed centers that seemed “burdensome and wrong.”

Click here to read the full article from the Associated Press

Trump Sues California Over Three Laws Designed To Frustrate Immigration Enforcement

Jeff SessionsThe Trump administration sued California in a federal district court late Tuesday over its “sanctuary city” designation, arguing federal immigration law preempts three of the state’s laws.

The Department of Justice noted in a statement one of the three laws prohibits private employees from “voluntarily cooperating with immigration officials” and requires employers to give employees advance notice of a potential worksite enforcement inspection.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, named a defendant in the suit, said after the law became effective Jan. 1 that he would “prosecute those who violate [Assembly Bill 450] by voluntarily cooperating with Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) efforts.” He later told employers that under the new law they can’t voluntarily grant ICE agents “physical access to nonpublic areas of the worksite or to employee records” without triggering legal penalties.

The second California law challenged bars state and local law enforcement officials from informing federal immigration agents of the release date of criminal aliens and prohibits state employees from transferring criminal aliens to federal custody, except in narrow circumstances. This one, Senate Bill 54, also became effective on Jan. 1.

The third bill, Assembly Bill 103 adopted June 27 of last year, authorized the California AG to inspect immigration detention facilities in the state to examine the “due process provided” immigration detainees, and “the circumstances around their apprehension and transfer to the facility.” This law also requires detention facilities to provide state officials access to confidential federal records.

The DOJ argues in its complaint the three laws — AB 450, SB 54, and AB 103 — conflict with federal immigration law and are thus invalid under the Supremacy Clause. With the complaint, the DOJ filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, seeking to pause enforcement of the California statutes until the lawsuit is played out in court. …

Click here to read the full article from The Federalist

Becerra loses yet another court case against Trump

A federal judge has turned down a request from the state of California to put an immediate stop to enforcement of a key part of the Trump administration policy aimed at punishing so-called sanctuary cities and other jurisdictions seeking to protect undocumented immigrants.

U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick did not rule out eventually deciding the case in the state’s favor and, at times in the 28-page opinion he issued Monday, he sounded sympathetic to many of the state’s arguments about Attorney General Jeff Session’s stated plans to enforce a 1996 law aimed at requiring local and state officials to cooperate with requests for information about the citizenship and immigration status of individuals they encounter.

However, Orrick said many of the legal issues involved were murky and did not tip so clearly in favor of the state as to warrant a preliminary injunction blocking the Justice Department from using the two-decade-old law known as Section 1373 to deny certain federal grants to localities and states seen to be in violation of the federal law. …

Click here to read the full article from Politico

Another Loss in Court for Xavier Becerra

A Southern California judge, once disparaged by President Donald Trump, ruled in his favor Tuesday in a lawsuit challenging Department of Homeland Security decisions related to Trump’s plans for a wall along the southern border.

The state of California and several environmental advocacy groups brought three lawsuits last year against DHS, which were consolidated into one before U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel of the Southern District of California. The lawsuits challenged waivers signed by former DHS Secretaries John Kelly and Elaine Duke, pursuant to the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, to allow construction of the wall.

The plaintiffs alleged DHS exceeded its authority in issuing the waivers, as well as various constitutional violations.

In a 101-page opinion, Curiel wrote that he “does not have serious constitutional doubts” about the immigration law allowing for such waivers, and that the DHS secretaries did not act “in excess of their delegated powers” in issuing them.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who has filed more than two dozen lawsuits against the Trump administration, said in a statement that Trump’s wall is “medieval” and “does not belong in the 21st century.” The AG did not say yet if the state will appeal. …

Click here to read the full article from The Recorder 

California fights Trump’s efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census

California, home to 1 in 4 of the nation’s foreign-born population, is pushing back against the Trump administration’s efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

On Monday, just as President Donald Trump’s choice to lead the upcoming census, Thomas Brunell, reportedly withdrew himself from consideration for the post, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and 18 other state attorneys general registered their opposition to the question.

The Justice Department has asked the Census Bureau to include a citizenship question on the upcoming report. Becerra believes the department is wrong when it argues that the addition would be “critical to the department’s enforcement of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.”

Becerra and his cohorts, in a letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, add that such a question would violate the U.S. Census Bureau’s obligations under the Constitution because it requires “counting the whole number of persons in each State,” not just citizens. …

Click here to read the full article from the Sacramento Bee

In California’s war on Trump, everyone loses

Donald TrumpFor a state so enamored with passing laws, California can seem awfully lawless sometimes. Our progressive Legislature and elected leaders have decided to make political and litigious war on the duly elected president of the United States.

The Resistance is here!

Truth is, Donald Trump has driven them all a bit batty. Our legislators have become so unmoored that even Gov. Jerry Brown — who just the other week signed the self-destructive “sanctuary state” law — had to step in and veto legislation requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns. Brown said that as politically appealing as such a law might be, he was uncomfortable with California setting election policy for the country.

It’s nice to see the light of reality break through the progressive miasma once in a while. If only some of that light could break through the state attorney general’s office.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Wednesday announced he’s seeking a restraining order to stop the Trump administration from ending Obamacare’s reimbursements to insurance companies. California is one of 17 states challenging the decision, which would cut off $10 billion in subsidies. The lawsuit is a fool’s errand, of course, but entirely in character with Becerra’s strategy of suing the administration at every turn, regardless of the merits. …

Click here to read the full article at the Sacramento Bee

Related content: California’s War Against Donald Trump: Who Wins? Who Loses?