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Now Feds Trying to Deny 2 More Constitutional Rights

Fight on to stop government grab of money needed for legal defense

(Rutherford Institute) – In weighing in on a case that, if not reversed, could undermine the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of a right to counsel in criminal cases, The Rutherford Institute is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to prohibit the government from using aggressive asset forfeiture tactics to strip American citizens of the funds needed to hire a defense attorney of their choosing.

In an amicus curiae brief filed in Luis v. United States, Rutherford Institute attorneys argue that a government freeze on the untainted assets of someone charged with (but not yet convicted of) a crime, when those assets are not connected to illegal activity, amounts to a forfeiture of property of a kind that the Founding Fathers rejected and should therefore be prohibited as unconstitutional. As one appellate lawyer noted, “It is unseemly and unjust for the government to impoverish those it prosecutes in order to disable their defense at trial.”

“If the government can arbitrarily freeze, seize or lay claim to your property (money, land or possessions) under government asset forfeiture schemes, you have no true rights,” said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People. “Protecting their property from governmental abuse was just as vital to the Founding Fathers as preserving their lives and liberties, hence the Fifth Amendment. What makes this particular case so critical is that if the government is allowed to freeze a person’s untainted—i.e., legitimate—assets, the government can essentially render them penniless and unable to hire an attorney of their choosing in order to preserve their life and liberty, which renders the Sixth Amendment utterly useless.”...(MORE)

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TEA PARTY EXCLUSIVE

Ambassador says Pope Francis will Urge U.S. to ‘Open Doors’ for Immigrants

(Breitbart) – The U.S. ambassador to the Vatican said that during Pope Francis’ visit to the United States next month, he expects the Pope will urge the U.S. to embrace its history of welcoming immigrants.

Ambassador Kenneth Hackett said the Pope’s immigration message will be important as lead GOP presidential contender Donald Trump has called for a border fence between Mexico and the United States and the deportation of millions of illegal immigrants, theAssociated Press reports.

“I think he’ll call us to continue to engage with it (the world), don’t throw any walls up around our nation, don’t revert to isolationism,” he said. “We are a nation of welcoming people, so that’s where I think he will put his attention.”

In addition to immigration, Hackett says Pope Francis will likely wish to discuss income inequality, family issues, and the environment while he is in the country.

AP also observes that President Barack Obama is about to fully pass the baton of “rock-star status” from himself to Pope Francis, who has “embraced many of the issues Obama has sought to advance, including global warming, poverty, and diplomacy with Iran and Cuba.”...(MORE)

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