Health care decision

In rapid succession, six federal judges on two appeals courts weighed in on a key component of President Barack Obama's health care law. Their votes lined up precisely with the party of the president who appointed them freshwater pearl earrings.

It was the latest illustration that presidents help shape their legacies by stocking the federal bench with judges whose views are more likely to align with their own Cellmax.

The legal drama played out Tuesday in Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia, on two appeals courts that Obama has transformed through 10 appointments in 5½ years.

In the first ruling, a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia called into question the subsidies that help millions of low- and middle-income people afford their health care premiums, saying financial aid can be provided only in states that have set up their own insurance markets, or exchanges. Two judges nominated by Republican presidents formed the majority over a dissent from a Democratic appointee.

Less than two hours later, a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond made up entirely of Democratic appointees unanimously came to the opposite conclusion, ruling that the Internal Revenue Service correctly interpreted the will of Congress when it issued regulations allowing health insurance tax credits for consumers in all 50 states.

Whatever the final outcome of the legal fight, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said nothing would change in the near term. Millions of consumers will keep getting financial aid for their premiums, totaling billions of dollars, as the administration appeals the Washington court ruling, Earnest said.

The next stop for the administration is to ask the full court in Washington to hear the case. This is where Obama's appointments could come into play. The president has named four of the 11 full-time judges on the court, turning what had been a Republican edge into a 7-4 advantage for Democratic appointees.

In Richmond, Obama has named six judges since taking office in 2009, with another nomination pending to a court formerly among the nation's most conservative. It is unlikely that the businesses challenging the IRS regulations will take their case to the full 4th Circuit.

It's no accident when judges tend to vote with the interests of the political party of the president who named them, said law professor Richard Hasen of the University of California at Irvine. "Judges are not chosen at random," he said, noting that both parties put a lot of effort into identifying lawyers for life-tenured judgeships who are likely to reflect their interests.

Looking at the prospect at review of Tuesday's ruling by the full court in Washington, "Democrats are much more relaxed than they otherwise might be," Hasen said.

Tuesday's decisions are part of a long-running political and legal campaign to overturn Obama's signature domestic legislation by Republicans and other opponents of the law.

The two judges who accepted the challengers' argument are Thomas Griffith and Raymond Randolph, named by Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, respectively.

Of the four judges who sided with the administration, Andre Davis and Stephanie Thacker were appointed by Obama, Roger Gregory was originally put on the bench by President Bill Clinton and Harry Edwards was a nominee of President Jimmy Carter.

The provision of the health law at issue "unambiguously" restricts subsides to consumers in exchanges established by states, Griffith wrote for the Washington court, joined by Randolph. Looking at the same language and legal arguments, "we find that the applicable statutory language is ambiguous and subject to multiple interpretations," Gregory wrote for the Richmond panel.

Whether this issue ever gets in front of the Supreme Court could rest on the outcome of the administration's appeal to the full Washington court. A loss for the administration would present the court with conflicting appellate rulings, which often catch the justices' attention, especially when a federal law or regulation is at stake.

If the Supreme Court gets involved in the subsidies issue, a decision probably would not come before late June of next year and could push into the court's next term.

As with the lower courts that ruled Tuesday, party affiliation and ideology also align on the Supreme Court. Republican presidents appointed the court's five more conservative justices and Democrats appointed the four liberals.

The high court's consideration of earlier challenges to the health care law shows the sharp split but also demonstrates that a judge's party affiliation is no guarantee of a particular outcome in any case nu skin hk.

In June, the court ruled 5-4, with its conservative justices in the majority, that some private companies don't have to cover birth control if it offends religious scruples.

But in its monumental ruling in 2012, Chief Justice John Roberts broke with his fellow conservatives to cast the decisive vote to uphold the law's core requirement that most Americans carry health insurance or face fines.

Georgia's father

For three relentless hours, Ross Harris served as a prosecutor's punching bag, his reputation leveled by one broadside after another.

By the time the recent probable cause hearing was over, he had become one of the nation's most infamous defendants — accused of intentionally leaving his toddler son in a sweltering SUV long enough to die

But, while the public may have made up its mind about the baby-faced IT specialist, charged with felony murder and second-degree cruelty to children, legal experts say the case against him, while solid, is no slam dunk, especially if the charges are upgraded to indicate malice.

"Look at Casey Anthony," said jury consultant Jeri Cagle, referring to the Florida mother found not guilty of killing her 3-year-old daughter despite what prosecutors thought was overwhelming evidence nu skin hk.

Harris, 33, contends he mistakenly left his 22-month-old son Cooper locked in his car seat for seven hours as temperatures inside the 2011 Hyundai Tuscon soared above 130 degrees.

The case has generated headlines worldwide, and with good reason. According to those who track the number of children who have died when left in hot cars, this is the first time a parent or guardian has ever been accused of doing so on purpose.

"This is unprecedented," said Janette Fennell, president and founder of the advocacy group KidsAndCars.org. "I've examined over 700 cases in my career, and I've never heard of this before."

Cobb Assistant District Attorney Chuck Boring said at last week's hearing that evidence presented "has shown this was intentional." However, the charges don't yet reflect that nu skin hk.

Veteran criminal defense attorney Steve Sadow said the defense should push the prosecution to make up its mind on the issue of malice.

"I would want them to take a stand," Sadow said. "And, if they didn't, I'd exploit that. If they can't make up their mind, that indicates they can't prove it."

Upping the charges raises the bar on the prosecution. "I'd be hoping for that if I was the representing him," Sadow said. Charging Harris with intent to kill would make the defense's job a little easier, he said.

By doing so, the prosecution would, in essence, identify Harris as "a monster" without peer, said former DeKalb County District Attorney J. Tom Morgan.

"I don't see any middle ground — he intentionally murdered a child or it's a horrible tragedy," said Morgan, now a defense lawyer. "If they show premeditation, that he intentionally killed that child, then (Cobb District Attorney) Vic Reynolds can do nothing less than seek the death penalty."

And that would present another challenge for the state. Could they prove that Harris — who, according to friends and family, was a doting dad — is a cold-hearted killer willing to let his son suffer one of the worst deaths imaginable?

"You'd almost have to show he was mentally ill, completely devoid of empathy," said Decatur defense lawyer Bob Rubin. "Proving this was a purposeful act is full of hurdles, unless there's a smoking gun out there."

So far, the prosecution's case is almost completely circumstantial, although that's not unusual, said Gwinnett defense attorney Christine Koehler.

"If you push, push and push and then some of this stuff isn't proven, that can really end up making the prosecution look bad," she said, adding that, if Harris goes to trial, a change of venue is almost inevitable.

Ironically, the prosecution's testimony about Harris' sexting habits — alleging he was engaged in up to six different illicit chats with women he met online on the day of his son's death — may end up helping the defense.

"They could argue that the sexting, something he was apparently very heavily involved in, was a distraction," Rubin said. "Clearly, he wasn't thinking about his son that day because he was so obsessed with women."

Ultimately, the most important part of the trial may well be picking a jury. Finding open-minded jurors won't be easy nuskin hk, said Cagle, who's been advising lawyers through the process for 20 years.

In this case, the defense will be looking for a mix of skeptics who tend to distrust the herd mentality and optimists who simply can't fathom someone subjecting their child to such a horrific death, Cagle said.

Of course, the prosecution is still building its case; Cobb Police Detective Phil Stoddard said investigators have just "scratched the surface."

Sadow said he believes the defense faces an uphill battle.

Forgetting your child is in his car seat less than five minutes after putting him there will be a tough sell, he said. And Harris' admission that, five days before his son's death, he watched an online video about what happens to a child when left inside a hot car may prove too coincidental for jurors to accept.

"All the circumstances in this case, considered in their totality, don't leave much room for maneuvering," Sadow said.

American radio legend Kay sigurdson sound

AMERICAN RADIO LEGEND Casey Kasem has died.

The broadcaster , who gained fame with his radio music countdown shows ‘American Top 40′ and ‘Casey’s Top 40′ and was also the voice of Shaggy in the cartoon ‘Scooby Doo’, passed away this morning aged 82 after a long battle with a form of dementia.

“Even though we know he is in a better place and no longer suffering nu skin, we are heartbroken,” his daughter Kerri Kasem wrote on Facebook.

Following a lengthy legal battle over who had the right to decide Kasem’s care, a judge ruled Wednesday that Kerri Kasem had the authority to withhold food and fluids from her ailing father nu skin hk.

A ruling was reversed that stated that Kasem should receive food, fluids and certain medications until after a court-appointed attorney met with the former radio host and his doctors.

Additional medical records were reviewed by the judge and concluded that Kasem would endure more pain if he was given food or fluids, nuskin hk an attorney said.

The Portuguese training

The 29-year-old could face a fight to be fit for his nation's World Cup opener on Monday after leaving the session prematurely nuskin hk

Cristiano Ronaldo set alarm bells ringing for Portugal on Thursday as he failed to complete his side’s training session and left the pitch in Campinas with a large ice pack on his left knee.

The Real Madrid forward has been struggling with tendinosis but returned to action for 66 minutes in Portugal’s 5-1 friendly win over Ireland on Tuesday.

After that, the 29-year-old told reporters he was “99.9 per cent fit”, nuskin hk but participated only in stretching with his team-mates on Thursday and left the pitch with his knee in an ice pack after signing autographs for fans.

Ronaldo then watched the rest of the session from the bench and his fitness remains a cause for concern ahead of Portugal’s World Cup opener against Germany in Salvador on Monday.nuskin hk

The Ballon d'Or winner has been hampered by injury problems ever since Real Madrid's Champions League final win over Atletico Madrid.nuskin hk

The longest row release

A Japanese court on Thursday ordered the release of the world's longest-serving death row inmate, saying investigators had likely fabricated evidence and ordering a retrial in a murder case that left the man behind bars for nearly half a century nuskin hk.

The Shizuoka District Court suspended the death sentence for 78-year-old Iwao Hakamada, a former professional boxer convicted in the 1966 murder of a family. More than 45 of the 48 years he has spent in jail have been on death row, making Hakamada the longest-serving such inmate, according to Guinness World Records.

Hakamada was sentenced to death in 1968, but was not executed because of a lengthy appeals process. It took 27 years for the Supreme Court to deny his first appeal for a retrial. He filed a second appeal in 2008, nu skin and the court finally ruled in his favor on Thursday.

The court said DNA analysis obtained by Hakamada's lawyers suggested that investigators had fabricated evidence. It ordered a retrial in the case, making Hakamada only the six death row inmate to get a retrial in Japan's history of postwar criminal justice. Four of the previous inmates were acquitted in their retrials, while the fifth case is still pending.

Thursday's ruling underscores Japan's much-criticized closed interrogations, which rely heavily on self-confession. Hakamada had confessed in a closed interrogation.

Hakamada was convicted of killing a company manager and his family and setting fire to their central Japan home Glass House, where he was a live-in employee.


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