He “Should Pay For His Crimes”: ASU Students Demand Expulsion Of Kyle Rittenhouse

He “Should Pay For His Crimes”: ASU Students Demand Expulsion Of Kyle Rittenhouse

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

President Joe Biden and media figures are not the only persons who are “angry” after a jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse on all charges. Despite a jury with the same racial makeup convicting the defendants in Georgia in the Arbery case, many have denounced the entire legal system as racist.

It does that matter that there was evidence supporting Rittenhouse’s claim of self-defense that was largely missing from prior coverage of the case. Now students and groups at Arizona State University are planning a rally and demanding that Rittenhouse be expelled. With leaders like President Biden calling Rittenhouse a “white supremacist” before any investigation was completed and legal analysts calling the entire trial “white supremacy on steroids,” there is a sense of legitimacy in demanding such extrajudicial punishments.

Students groups like MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán), Students for Socialism, Students for Justice in Palestine and the Multicultural Solidarity Coalition are organizing a rally this week to “get murderer Kyle Rittenhouse off [the] campus.” 

He is not on campus since he is enrolled as an online student.

However, Rittenhouse has expressed interest in in-person attendance at ASU. Students and faculty are being called to the rally to “protect students from a violent, blood-thirsty murderer.”

In addition, ASU student Taskina Bhuiya started a Change.org petition to denounce the verdict and to call for Rittenhouse to be “held accountable for the crimes he has committed.” Without a sense of irony, the petition declares “ASU should be a safe and inclusive place for all students, which will be disrupted if Kyle Rittenhouse is allowed to attend this school.” Inclusive unless you are an acquitted individual who must be “held accountable.” Hundreds have signed the petition insisting that “Rittenhouse should pay for his crimes.”

The campaign reflects a growing sense that the legal system is only worthy of respect (or even protection) if it rules in the way that we demand. It is the same mentality that has led members of Congress, law professors, and others to demand the expansion or restriction of the Supreme Court because it now has a conservative majority. Liberal justices like the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Stephen Breyer has opposed such efforts as inimical to the rule of law.

We saw a similar campaign to block Nick Sandmann from attending Transylvania University. Various media outfits correctly false coverage of Sandmann, who was wrongly accused of racist attacks on a Native American activist. Various media companies settled with him and he is still in litigation with others. Yet, figures from an ACLU officer to a professor raised the alarm over his attending college and appearing on campus.

The fact is that Rittenhouse cannot be expelled or kept off campus due to such mob measures. He would quickly prevail in court. However, the rally and the rhetoric magnify the risk to his safety by those who demand “accountability” regardless of any verdict.

It will be interesting to see how many faculty step forward to defend his right to attend the college despite any misgivings over his case. Conversely, we have seen faculty members join such mob efforts, even attacking others on campus, blocking speakers, destroying political signs, or encouraging attacks on student journalists.  University of Rhode Island professor Erik Loomis defended the murder of a conservative protester and said that he saw “nothing wrong” with such acts of violence. Other faculty members have made similarly disturbing comments “detonating white people,” denouncing policecalling for Republicans to suffer,  strangling police officerscelebrating the death of conservativescalling for the killing of Trump supporters, supporting the murder of conservative protesters and other outrageous statements. It is less common to hear professors today speak out for the rights of conservatives or others who are being targeted by campaigns on campus. The risk is simply too great that they will be “tagged” as intolerant, racist, or reactionary.

Rittenhouse has every right to attend ASU in person and has every right to expect that he can do so safely. If ASU cannot muster the integrity and courage to reaffirm those rights publicly, it has abandoned a core defining element for higher education. Colleges often sit in cringing silence as individual students are targeted and harassed. Students have every right to protest, but ASU must be clear and public in supporting Rittenhouse’s right to access to an education on its campuses.

Tyler Durden
Sun, 11/28/2021 – 20:30

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/31dMToq Tyler Durden

Beijing Capitulates: Urges Local Govts To Unleash Debt Flood As Cities Begin Backstopping Property Developers

Beijing Capitulates: Urges Local Govts To Unleash Debt Flood As Cities Begin Backstopping Property Developers

Despite the best efforts by South African doctors to temper the panic sparked by the emergence of the Omicron strain, it appears that western politicians and their media and “science” lackeys won’t let go so fast, and one of the potential casualties is China, which will either be forced to engage in more lockdowns, depressing the economy, or find itself engaged in far less trade with a world that is about to undergo another wave of restrictions.

All this, of course, is happening as the recent deep freeze of China’s property market – the largest asses in the world according to Goldman Sachs…

… and sparked by the repeated near-death experiences of Evergrande – has unleashed a bone-crushing shockwave across China’s economy, which takes place as Beijing continues to maintain its deleveraging stance amid Xi’s “shared prosperity” drive, which has meant far less nearly created credit is available to mask the current weakness in the economy.

And yet, cracks are finally starting to show in Beijing’s deleveraging resolve and last week China’s State Council called on local governments to sell more special bonds this year in order to boost investment amid a slowdown in the economy.

According to Bloomberg, Premier Li Keqiang chaired a meeting of the State Council (i.e., China’s cabinet) on Wednesday, urging local governments to have more ongoing construction of projects at the beginning of next year, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. And since they need money to fund these projects, the meeting also called on them to make better use of proceeds from special bonds to expand domestic demand.

Said otherwise, China is once again quietly restarting the re-leveraging process, only this time instead of consumer loans, corporate bonds, or shadow debt (in the form of trusts), Beijing is targeting local government special debt issuance as the focal point of the next debt bubble.

Xinhua confirmed as much, reporting that “regional governments should step up project preparation, facilitate the launch of projects that are mature, and make reasonable requests for special bond quotas next year.” And to assist this upcoming debt burst, “the authorities will study the possibility of granting some bond quotas in advance of next year, according to the report, as they did in the recent two years.”

Meanwhile, echoing what he said at the start of the month, premier Li reiterated the economy is facing “new downward pressure” and cross-cyclical policy needs to be strengthened. This comes as economists have pared back their growth forecasts for the fourth quarter to a median of just 3.1%, while some say the economy’s pace next year could be slowest since 1990 (excluding last year’s pandemic impact), as low as 5% or even less according to some skeptics.

Alas, there is an unexpected problem with Beijing’s plan: lack of demand for the debt. As Bloomberg notes, sales of local government special bonds have been particularly slow in the first ten months of this year, partly due to a lack of quality projects. Previously, the Ministry of Finance urged local authorities to finish issuing all the bonds within this year’s quota by November. Alas, the collapse in Evergrande, and the broader property market has taken all the wind out of China’s construction sails in 2021.

Needless to say Beijing had to spin this unpleasant outcome, and instead the State Council meeting said that the Local governments have achieved positive results in managing debt and reducing so-called hidden debt in recent years, with the government’s overall debt-to-gross domestic product ratio trending lower.

And while the meeting added that authorities need to step up auditing and monitoring of proceeds raised from the bond sales, China Securities Journal reported on Thursday that fiscal policy will play a bigger role in ensuring the economy has a stable start in 2022. And where will funding for said “fiscal policy” stimulus come from? Well, as Citic Securities economist Zhu Jianfeng said, while local governments’ income from land sales might fall, they should issue more special bonds to help fund investment projects.

Then on Wednesday, the Securities Times reported that according to another Citi analyst, Cheng Qiang, regional government may issue more than 4 trillion yuan ($630 billion) worth of special bonds next year, up from the 3.65 trillion yuan budgeted for this year. Expect the final number to be much higher, especially if Omicron is indeed as dangerous as Fauci & Co. are trying to make it seem.

Finally, a look at the latest Chinese property regulatory actions compiled by Goldman shows that over the past few weeks there have been incrementally more marginal loosening efforts at different city levels, especially in terms of mortgage rate easing and presales permit requirement/deposit withdrawal relaxation. Said otherwise, while China is not yet panicking it realizes that the deleveraging campaign is now effectively finished, and so expect much more debt creation in China next year.

In short, China is about to restart its debt machine, and while all Chinese debt is of course fungible – since the state owns and controls all – this time around it will be the “local government” silo that will serve the the global growth dynamo for the coming year.

Meanwhile, as China targets property stabilization at the macro level via local government bond sales, it is also expanding its “micro” focus and also last week, a Chinese city rolled out a series of easing measures to boost liquidity at property developers, becoming the first major local government to address a cash crunch engulfing the real estate industry.

Chengdu, the capital of the southwestern province of Sichuan with a population of about 21 million, will accelerate approvals for home sales and property loans as well as ease restrictions on using proceeds from pre-sales, according to a statement posted by the local housing authority last week, Bloomberg reported.

“Chengdu is the first city authority to call for faster property-related loans in a clear official statement,” said Yan Yuejin, research director at Shanghai-based E-house China Research and Development Institute. “We may see other initiatives to press banks on faster mortgages soon.”

The capitulation by Chengdu comes as new-home values in the city dropped 0.6% in October from a month earlier, the biggest slump in four and a half years.

Here are some of Chengdu’s key measures allowing developers to boost cash:

  • The housing authority vowed to shorten the time for compulsory pre-sales procedures by at least a third
  • Developers will be able to use proceeds from pre-sales if they meet certain construction progress
  • Chengdu will work with financial institutions to increase credit quotas for developers and accelerate loan approvals
  • The city said it will coordinate with banks to extend property development loans for key developers

The move to boost liquidity in the beleaguered building sector comes as China’s home slump deepens, adding pressure on authorities to stabilize an industry that’s estimated to account for almost a quarter of economic output.

Separately, last week some cities relaxed rules for land sales – a key revenue source for municipalities – after cash-strapped developers became reluctant to bid, prompting the abovementioned appeal on local governments by China’s State Council to sell more special bonds to boost investment amid a slowdown in the economy.

The bottom line is that as many had expected, regulators are finally fine-tuning their long-running crackdown on the property sector after the near implosion at Evergrande and other junk-rated developers began spreading to higher-rated peers. In late September, the central bank urged financial institutions to help local governments stabilize the rapidly cooling housing market and ease mortgages for some homebuyers. Official media reported in recent weeks that faster mortgages are already on the way.

“It shows how the city government cares about developers’ liquidity risks,” said Pan Hao, a property analyst at KE Holdings, adding that Chengdu is looking at different measures to prevent developers’ cash risk from blowing up. And now that one city has adopted a proprety bailout strategy, expect every single other Chinese city to follow suit, the result of which will be another major can-kicking for China’s property sector at the expense of trillions in new debt, this time at the local government level.

Tyler Durden
Sun, 11/28/2021 – 20:00

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3FPptEC Tyler Durden

Hedge Funds Suffered The Worst Week In Six Months… And That Was Before Friday

Hedge Funds Suffered The Worst Week In Six Months… And That Was Before Friday

While last week’s Black (or rather red) Friday’s illiquid market meltdown was one for the post-Thanksgiving ages, and the collapse for oil bulls was one of the worst daily drops in history, we expect much of the selloff to reverse in the coming hours as the narrative that (C)omicron is the second coming of the bubonic plague, is quickly played down even by the biggest propaganda agents after even the doctors that discovered the Moronic Omicron strain said it was “extremely mild” and is likely destabilized by the dozens of spike protein mutations.

Unfortunately, the reversal of Friday’s selloff will be of little comfort to hedge funds who were already getting hammered going into the post-Thanksgiving turmoil, because according to Goldman prime, the GS Equity Fundamental L/S Performance Estimate fell -1.57% between 11/19 and 11/25, driven by alpha of -1.12% which was “the worst alpha drawdown in nearly six months” and beta of -0.45% (from market exposure and market sensitivity combined).

Some more positioning details:

  • Overall book Gross leverage rose +1.0 pts to 237.6% (29th percentile one-year) while Net leverage fell -1.5 pts to 84.5% (7th percentile one-year).
  • Overall book L/S ratio fell -1.7% to 2.104 (20th percentile one-year). Fundamental L/S Gross leverage rose +0.8 pts to 178.8% (57th percentile one-year) while
  • Fundamental L/S Net leverage fell -0.5 pts to 64.5% (31st percentile one-year).

In retrospect, someone may have had a correct “feeling” what was coming, because heading into the Friday puke, the GS Prime book saw the largest net selling in more than 3 months (-1.5 SDs), driven by short sales and to a much lesser extent long sales (10 to 1). As the Goldman prime desk retails, single names and macro products were both net sold and made up 54%/46% of the $ net selling.

  • On a geographic basis, managers reversed recent trends and rotated out of North America – which saw the largest net selling in 7 months – while moving into EM Asia (largest net buying since March driven by Chinese stocks) and Europe.
  • 8 of 11 sectors were net sold led in $ terms by Info Tech, Financials, and Industrials, while Staples, Materials, and Real Estate were net bought.

More importantly, hedge funds bought re-opening stocks and sold stay-at-home names despite reports of a new Covid-19 variant. Constituents of Goldman’s GSXUPAND basket were collectively net bought in 3 of 4 days (11/19-11/24), while constituents of GSXUSTAY were net sold for 4 straight days amid risk-off activity.

At the same time, hedge funds sold global financials stocks at the fastest pace in more than six months (perhaps as a result of the collapse in yields where yet another massive short squeeze in Treasurys has led to a plunge in rates).

Still, despite the recent net selling, Financials’ weighting vs. MSCI World ended the week at the highest level in more than 8 years, driven by O/W in Capital Markets vs. U/W in Banks and Insurance.

As usual, the full weekly note from Goldman Prime is available for our Professional subs.

Tyler Durden
Sun, 11/28/2021 – 19:30

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3CZI4fy Tyler Durden

Inflation Never Mattered Much For Crypto… Until About A Year Ago

Inflation Never Mattered Much For Crypto… Until About A Year Ago

Inflation never mattered much for crypto… until about a year ago.

As UBS notes in its latest Crypto Keys note last week, forward-looking measures of US consumer prices today rank among the most prominent correlations for digital assets…

…. something we first pointed out a month ago.

Sensitivity to actual data prints is also mounting accordingly…

… and as UBS notes, BTC, ETH and a range of more established tokens screen statistically on par with traditional instruments that are considered classic inflation winners or losers.

Co-movement is weaker for newer coins like BNB as well as ADA, SOL, DOT and AVAX, which have strongly outperformed in 2021, along with meme plays like DOGE. But to UBS that seems encouraging rather than surprising when idiosyncratic factors have clearly been driving their price action.

But while inflation clearly has be driving the top cryptocurrencies in the past year, the risk now according to UBS is that more powerful drivers will emerge to dislodge the status quo. Potential candidates could be things like stablecoin regulation, tighter exchange and account registration requirements reducing activity in CeFi and DeFi, and new restrictions on bank participation, all of which could be near-term negatives affecting market liquidity and activity but longer-term positives paving the way for institutional participation. While such things may sound crypto-specific, they mirror conditions that govern how conventional inflation hedging instruments behave. 

Tyler Durden
Sun, 11/28/2021 – 19:00

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3rhulhL Tyler Durden

Inflation Never Mattered Much For Crypto… Until About A Year Ago

Inflation Never Mattered Much For Crypto… Until About A Year Ago

Inflation never mattered much for crypto… until about a year ago.

As UBS notes in its latest Crypto Keys note last week, forward-looking measures of US consumer prices today rank among the most prominent correlations for digital assets…

…. something we first pointed out a month ago.

Sensitivity to actual data prints is also mounting accordingly…

… and as UBS notes, BTC, ETH and a range of more established tokens screen statistically on par with traditional instruments that are considered classic inflation winners or losers.

Co-movement is weaker for newer coins like BNB as well as ADA, SOL, DOT and AVAX, which have strongly outperformed in 2021, along with meme plays like DOGE. But to UBS that seems encouraging rather than surprising when idiosyncratic factors have clearly been driving their price action.

But while inflation clearly has be driving the top cryptocurrencies in the past year, the risk now according to UBS is that more powerful drivers will emerge to dislodge the status quo. Potential candidates could be things like stablecoin regulation, tighter exchange and account registration requirements reducing activity in CeFi and DeFi, and new restrictions on bank participation, all of which could be near-term negatives affecting market liquidity and activity but longer-term positives paving the way for institutional participation. While such things may sound crypto-specific, they mirror conditions that govern how conventional inflation hedging instruments behave. 

Tyler Durden
Sun, 11/28/2021 – 19:00

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3rhulhL Tyler Durden

Futures, Oil, Cryptos Soar As Omicron Panic Fades

Futures, Oil, Cryptos Soar As Omicron Panic Fades

It appears that Goldman was right again.

As we reported yesterday, the bank’s traders (not the worthless research analysts whose output is evaluated by the pound not P&L) blasted a report to their best clients, claiming that “we can have reasonable degree of confidence that this mutation is unlikely to be more malicious and that the existing vaccines will most likely continue to be effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths. As such, while we would monitor the situation in Gauteng closely over the next month, we do not think that the new variant is sufficient reason to make major portfolio changes.” That position was bolstered overnight by two of South Africa’s top doctors (not worthless propaganda quacks like Anthony Fauci) including the one who first discovered the so-called “Omicron”, said that the latest strain was “Extremely mild” and speculated that the numerous mutations in the spike protein “destabilize” the virus.

And at least in early Sunday night trading, after suffering their worst post-Thanksgiving plunge since 1941, futures are euphorically ramping higher, unwinding a substantial portion of the Friday puke, with Eminis trading as high as 4630 after trading as low as 4577 on Friday…

… oil surging, with WTI spiking as much as 5.7% even if it clearly still has a ways to go recover its Friday losses when WTI plunged $10 as international travel restrictions were reimposed by many countries and airline stocks plummeted. And yet, as Goldman explained on Friday, even with a worst Omicron case scenario, Brent below $80 is a steal here:

Meanwhile, in FX we are seeing safe havens such as the Yen and Swiss Franc slide more than 0.2%, with epicenter pairs like the ZAR surging.

Peter Tchir, head of macro at Academy Securities Inc., said he’s watching emerging-market currency and bond markets, and Bitcoin, “as leading indicators of potentially more risky asset unwinds to come.” Well, in that case Peter should be happy because in in crypto both bitcoin…

… and ethereum…

… are storming higher, maybe because they are finally realizing that they live in the best of all worlds, one where new Omicron lockdowns would lead to much more money printing (bullish for cryptos which are a hedge to central bank idiocy) while the quick elimination of negative Omicron consequences would just lead to more inflation (also bullish for cryptos which have emerged as inflation hedges).

Still, confusion remained. “We really need some more answers to figure out the impact on growth,” said Priya Misra, global head of rates strategy at TD Securities. “Risk assets are pricing in uncertainty.”

Naturally, Moderna’s chief medical officer – sniffing out an opportunity to buy an even bigger yacht – said a reformulated shot to combat the new strain could be available early in the new year. In other words, everything that has been done so far has been for nothing, because science, and because let’s do more of what hasn’t worked to fight what is coming.

Tyler Durden
Sun, 11/28/2021 – 18:51

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3cVnq5F Tyler Durden

Biden Admin Pushes Higher Fees For Offshore, Onshore Oil & Gas Companies

Biden Admin Pushes Higher Fees For Offshore, Onshore Oil & Gas Companies

Authored by Nathan Worcester via The Epoch Times,

A new Department of the Interior (DOI) report on oil and gas leasing in federal lands and waters advises the DOI’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to raise royalties, rental rates, and other fees on oil and gas companies but has not moved to halt new leasing entirely.

During his 2020 presidential run, President Joe Biden’s campaign website claimed that his climate plan would include “banning new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters.”

The DOI report (pdf), issued in response to Biden’s Jan. 27 executive order, was quietly published on Black Friday after months of delays. DOI Secretary Deb Haaland claimed in March that the report would be released in “early summer.”

Oil prices and gasoline prices have become a hot-button issue, with many blaming the Biden administration’s freeze on oil and gas leasing, shutdown of the Keystone XL pipeline, and other policies for helping to drive up those costs in recent months.

“So, begging OPEC+ for more supply, raiding our strategic reserve to try to lower prices at the pump, and now increasing leasing fees on U.S. producers. Yep, makes perfect sense—if you’re a Democrat,” wrote Dan K. Eberhardt, CEO of Canary, on Twitter in response to the DOI report.

In the days and weeks since the COP26 summit ended, the Biden administration has held the largest ever U.S. offshore drilling auction and released 50 million barrels of crude oil from the United States’ emergency oil stockpile, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).

The offshore auction came months after U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty ruled against the Biden administration’s pause on new oil and gas leases on public lands and waters, finding that such auctions are mandatory under federal law.

Specifically, Doughty determined that the DOI is required to hold quarterly lease sales under both the Mineral Leasing Act (MLA) and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCLSA).

Although the Biden administration claimed its 50 million gallon SPR release was motivated by a desire to “lower prices,” some analysts have argued that the release would not significantly impact oil prices.

Oil prices dropped following the late November emergence of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which the World Health Organization (WHO) dubbed “Omicron” on Nov. 26.

The DOI report claimed the U.S. oil and gas leasing program “fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers.”

In addition to recommending higher onshore and offshore drilling fees, new screening procedures for bidders, and a “Fitness to Operate” standard for prospective offshore operators, the report states that the DOI’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) would “study the most appropriate method” to develop and apply pricing for methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide for offshore operators.

The new report has already met with criticism from the oil and gas industry.

“During one of the busiest travel weeks of the year when rising costs of energy are even more apparent to Americans, the Biden administration is sending mixed signals. Days after a public speech in which the White House said the president ‘is using every tool available to him to work to lower prices and address the lack of supply,’ his Interior Department proposed to increase costs on American energy development with no clear roadmap for the future,” said Frank Macchiarola of the American Petroleum Institute (API), a key oil and gas trade association, in a statement.

The report prompted a mixed response from the Sierra Club, which endorsed Biden during his 2020 presidential campaign.

“We applaud the Biden administration for recognizing the serious flaws in the current oil and gas leasing program and making long-overdue reforms. But to truly tackle the climate crisis, we need to phase out all new leasing for fossil fuels on public lands and offshore—activities that contribute to nearly a quarter of this country’s greenhouse gas emissions,” said Sierra Club Lands Protection Program Director Athan Manuel.

Colin Rees, U.S. program manager for Oil Change International, went further in a statement from that group.

“President Biden promised to end the leasing program entirely due to its deadly threat to the climate. Interior’s recommendations fall far short of that goal and ring particularly hollow days after the largest lease sale in U.S. history,” he said.

“Secretary Haaland and President Biden must end all federal leasing and permits for oil and gas extraction. Anything less is unacceptable and a damning failure of their climate promises and responsibility to future generations,” he added.

Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), ranking member on the House Natural Resources Committee, also denounced the report.

“After keeping the entire energy industry in limbo for months, DOI’s report shows they have only just begun their war on safe, reliable, domestic energy,” said Westerman in a statement.

“They will bog small energy companies down in years of regulatory gridlock, place millions of acres of resources-rich land under lock and key, ignore local input, and sell out to overseas suppliers. Ultimately, the American consumer will pay the price,” he added.

Westerman’s remarks were echoed by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

“Shutting down energy production on federal lands will not fix climate change. It will just push production off federal lands, including to countries that have lower environmental standards than the United States,” Barrasso said in a statement.

“Now we know why the Biden Administration quietly dropped their ‘Bleak Friday’ Oil and Gas Leasing Report the day after Thanksgiving. It spells higher gas prices for hardworking families—while Biden bows to OPEC instead of producing cleaner, lower-cost American energy right here,” wrote House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) on Twitter.

Tyler Durden
Sun, 11/28/2021 – 18:30

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South Dakota’s Governor Succeeds in Blocking Voter-Approved Marijuana Legalization


Kristi-Noem-7-16-21-Newscom

South Dakota voters made history last November by simultaneously approving ballot initiatives aimed at legalizing recreational and medical use of marijuana. The success of the broader initiative, Amendment A, was especially striking because it prevailed by an eight-point margin in a state that is mostly Republican and largely conservative. But thanks to a legal challenge backed by Gov. Kristi Noem, Amendment A was almost immediately tied up in litigation, and last Wednesday the South Dakota Supreme Court definitively overturned it, ruling that the measure violated the “single subject” rule for constitutional amendments.

The court’s 4–1 decision does not affect Measure 26, which authorizes medical use of marijuana and passed with support from 70 percent of voters last November. But unless the state legislature independently implements the policy embodied in Amendment A, the ruling means supporters of broader legalization will have to try again next year with an initiative that addresses the court’s legal objections.

Article XXIII, Section 1 of the South Dakota Constitution says “a proposed amendment may amend one or more articles and related subject matter in other articles as necessary to accomplish the objectives of the amendment,” but “no proposed amendment may embrace more than one subject.” According to the South Dakota Supreme Court, that rule aims to “prevent the ‘pernicious practice’ of combining unrelated provisions in one amendment to ensure passage of a provision that might otherwise fail had the provisions been submitted separately.”

The court accepted that most of Amendment A, including the parts dealing with licensing, regulation, and taxation of cannabis production and distribution, addressed a single subject: the legalization of recreational marijuana for adults 21 or older. But it held that provisions instructing the legislature to authorize medical use of marijuana and cultivation of industrial hemp addressed two additional subjects.

The initiative’s backers argued that it complied with the single-subject rule because all of its provisions dealt with the same species of plant. But the court noted that  the medical marijuana provision, unlike the recreational marijuana provisions, did not impose a minimum consumption age. The justices also pointed out that Amendment A itself defines hemp, a nonpsychoactive variety of cannabis with a minimal amount of THC, as distinct from marijuana. They said treating “the regulation of products with a shared biological origin as having the same object or purpose would extend Amendment A into abstraction and obviate the purpose for which Article XXIII, § 1 was adopted.”

In the court’s view, combining the hemp and medical marijuana provisions with broader legalization improperly forced voters who favored one or both of the narrower changes to approve recreational use as well. That concern seems largely misplaced in the context of last November’s election, since voters could vote against Amendment A while voting for Measure 26, the medical marijuana initiative, as many of them did.

Writing in dissent, Justice Scott Myren notes that “anti-logrolling measures such as a separate vote requirement are not intended to ‘prohibit a single constitutional amendment from being complex or multi-faceted, or from containing a variety of specific prescriptions and proscriptions.'” In his view, “it is plain that the Amendment was intended to provide a comprehensive plan for all phases of legalization, regulation, use, production, and sale of marijuana and related substances.”

Myren argues that “all of these propositions relate to marijuana or hemp and are ‘incidental to and necessarily connected with the object’ or purpose of providing a comprehensive plan for all phases of legalization, regulation, use, production, and sale of marijuana and related substances.” And while the majority “concludes Amendment A represents precisely the type of logrolling Article XXIII, § 1 forbids,” he says, it “makes no assertion that voters were misinformed about or confused by the Amendment.”

Because the court concluded that Amendment A violated the single-subject rule, it did not address the question of whether the initiative’s provisions were so sweeping that they amounted to a “revision” of the state constitution, which requires a constitutional convention rather than a popular vote. Last February, Sixth Judicial Circuit Judge Christina Klinger ruled that Amendment A was invalid for that reason as well.

The South Dakota Supreme Court disagreed with Klinger’s conclusion that the original plaintiffs in the November 20 lawsuit challenging Amendment A—Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom and Col. Rick Miller, superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol—had standing to sue. But the court said Noem, who “ratified the commencement of this lawsuit” via an executive order she issued on January 8, did have standing. Noem’s blessing therefore was crucial to the lawsuit’s success.

Noem’s determination to block Amendment A seemed to be driven more by her anti-pot prejudices than by her commitment to upholding the abstruse rules governing amendments to the state constitution. “I was personally opposed to these measures and firmly believe they’re the wrong choice for South Dakota’s communities,” she said after voters approved the two marijuana initiatives. “We need to be finding ways to strengthen our families, and I think we’re taking a step backward in that effort. I’m also very disappointed that we will be growing state government by millions of dollars in costs to public safety and to set up this new regulatory system.”

State legislators proved more willing to set aside their personal views on marijuana in deference to the policy preferred by voters. “In my mind, [legalization is] inevitable because we’ve already seen the support from the public,” Senate Majority Leader Gary Cammack said after Klinger’s decision. “I didn’t vote for recreational marijuana, but my constituents did,” added Greg Jamison, another Republican senator. “Rarely do we get a chance to enact a law and not for sure know what our constituents think of that. Here we know.”

In response to such comments from members of her own party, Noem threatened to veto any legalization bill the legislature might decide to pass. Noem later suggested she might be open to decriminalizing low-level marijuana possession. Possessing two ounces or less is currently a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a maximum $2,000 fine.

Amendment A’s backers criticized the South Dakota Supreme Court’s decision, saying there was no evidence that voters were confused about what the initiative would do. “The court has rejected common sense and instead used a far-fetched legal theory to overturn a law passed by over 225,000 South Dakota voters based on no logical or evidentiary support,” Matthew Schweich, campaign director at South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, told Marijuana Moment. “The ruling states that Amendment A comprised three subjects—recreational marijuana, medical marijuana, and hemp legalization—and that South Dakotans could not tell what they were voting on when voting for Amendment A. It’s a legal stretch and one that relies on the disrespectful assumption that South Dakota voters were intellectually incapable of understanding the initiative.”

Schweich’s organization is collecting signatures for a 2022 ballot initiative that would legalize recreational marijuana. Meanwhile, the state legislature is expected to consider two legalization bills during its next session, although their fate is uncertain given Noem’s opposition.

“South Dakota is a place where the rule of law and our Constitution matter, and that’s what today’s decision on Amendment A is about,” Noem said on Twitter after last week’s ruling. “Today’s decision does not affect my Administration’s implementation of the medical cannabis program voters approved in 2020. That program was launched earlier this month, and the first cards have already gone out to eligible individuals.”

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Security Guard For TV News Crew Killed While Covering Organized Looting In Oakland

Security Guard For TV News Crew Killed While Covering Organized Looting In Oakland

A security guard protecting a San Francisco Bay Area news crew has died after being shot in the abdomen during an attempted robbery near downtown Oakland on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.


Security guard Kevin Nishita, a former police officer, was shot while a group tried to rob a KRON news crew of its television camera.

Former police officer-turned armed guard Kevin Nishita was protecting the KRON-TV news crew while they reported on a smash-and-grab theft related to a spate of organized retail crime in the area, when a group of thugs attempted to steal their equipment.

The KRON-TV crew was covering the late Monday night burglary of Prime 356, where about 30 people wearing black clothing and latex gloves broke in and snatched clothing from the shelves. –AP

A reward of $32,500 has been offered for information leading to the arrest of Nishita’s killer.

“This senseless loss of life is due to yet another violent criminal act in the Bay Area. We hope that offering a reward will help lead to the arrest of those responsible so they can face justice for this terrible tragedy,” said KRON-TV’s vice president and general manager, Jim Rose in a Saturday statement. “Our deepest sympathy goes to Kevin’s wife, his children, his family, and to all his friends and colleagues.”

There have been several organized lootings across California and other states, as two Nordstrom stores were looted for more than $25,000 in high-end goods just days after a Louis Vuitton store in San Francisco was hit.

The thefts are believed to be part of ‘sophisticated criminal networks’ that recruit looters and then sell the merchandise they make off with, according to AP.

Tyler Durden
Sun, 11/28/2021 – 18:00

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2ZAlYma Tyler Durden

South Dakota’s Governor Succeeds in Blocking Voter-Approved Marijuana Legalization


Kristi-Noem-7-16-21-Newscom

South Dakota voters made history last November by simultaneously approving ballot initiatives aimed at legalizing recreational and medical use of marijuana. The success of the broader initiative, Amendment A, was especially striking because it prevailed by an eight-point margin in a state that is mostly Republican and largely conservative. But thanks to a legal challenge backed by Gov. Kristi Noem, Amendment A was almost immediately tied up in litigation, and last Wednesday the South Dakota Supreme Court definitively overturned it, ruling that the measure violated the “single subject” rule for constitutional amendments.

The court’s 4–1 decision does not affect Measure 26, which authorizes medical use of marijuana and passed with support from 70 percent of voters last November. But unless the state legislature independently implements the policy embodied in Amendment A, the ruling means supporters of broader legalization will have to try again next year with an initiative that addresses the court’s legal objections.

Article XXIII, Section 1 of the South Dakota Constitution says “a proposed amendment may amend one or more articles and related subject matter in other articles as necessary to accomplish the objectives of the amendment,” but “no proposed amendment may embrace more than one subject.” According to the South Dakota Supreme Court, that rule aims to “prevent the ‘pernicious practice’ of combining unrelated provisions in one amendment to ensure passage of a provision that might otherwise fail had the provisions been submitted separately.”

The court accepted that most of Amendment A, including the parts dealing with licensing, regulation, and taxation of cannabis production and distribution, addressed a single subject: the legalization of recreational marijuana for adults 21 or older. But it held that provisions instructing the legislature to authorize medical use of marijuana and cultivation of industrial hemp addressed two additional subjects.

The initiative’s backers argued that it complied with the single-subject rule because all of its provisions dealt with the same species of plant. But the court noted that  the medical marijuana provision, unlike the recreational marijuana provisions, did not impose a minimum consumption age. The justices also pointed out that Amendment A itself defines hemp, a nonpsychoactive variety of cannabis with a minimal amount of THC, as distinct from marijuana. They said treating “the regulation of products with a shared biological origin as having the same object or purpose would extend Amendment A into abstraction and obviate the purpose for which Article XXIII, § 1 was adopted.”

In the court’s view, combining the hemp and medical marijuana provisions with broader legalization improperly forced voters who favored one or both of the narrower changes to approve recreational use as well. That concern seems largely misplaced in the context of last November’s election, since voters could vote against Amendment A while voting for Measure 26, the medical marijuana initiative, as many of them did.

Because the court concluded that Amendment A violated the single-subject rule, it did not address the question of whether the initiative’s provisions were so sweeping that they amounted to a “revision” of the state constitution, which requires a constitutional convention rather than a popular vote. Last February, Sixth Judicial Circuit Judge Christina Klinger ruled that Amendment A was invalid for that reason as well.

The South Dakota Supreme Court disagreed with Klinger’s conclusion that the original plaintiffs in the November 20 lawsuit challenging Amendment A—Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom and Col. Rick Miller, superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol—had standing to sue. But the court said Noem, who “ratified the commencement of this lawsuit” via an executive order she issued on January 8, did have standing. Noem’s blessing therefore was crucial to the lawsuit’s success.

Noem’s determination to block Amendment A seemed to be driven more by her anti-pot prejudices than by her commitment to upholding the abstruse rules governing amendments to the state constitution. “I was personally opposed to these measures and firmly believe they’re the wrong choice for South Dakota’s communities,” she said after voters approved the two marijuana initiatives. “We need to be finding ways to strengthen our families, and I think we’re taking a step backward in that effort. I’m also very disappointed that we will be growing state government by millions of dollars in costs to public safety and to set up this new regulatory system.”

State legislators proved more willing to set aside their personal views on marijuana in deference to the policy preferred by voters. “In my mind, [legalization is] inevitable because we’ve already seen the support from the public,” Senate Majority Leader Gary Cammack said after Klinger’s decision. “I didn’t vote for recreational marijuana, but my constituents did,” added Greg Jamison, another Republican senator. “Rarely do we get a chance to enact a law and not for sure know what our constituents think of that. Here we know.”

In response to such comments from members of her own party, Noem threatened to veto any legalization bill the legislature might decide to pass. Noem later suggested she might be open to decriminalizing low-level marijuana possession. Possessing two ounces or less is currently a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a maximum $2,000 fine.

Amendment A’s backers criticized the South Dakota Supreme Court’s decision, saying there was no evidence that voters were confused about what the initiative would do. “The court has rejected common sense and instead used a far-fetched legal theory to overturn a law passed by over 225,000 South Dakota voters based on no logical or evidentiary support,” Matthew Schweich, campaign director at South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, told Marijuana Moment. “The ruling states that Amendment A comprised three subjects—recreational marijuana, medical marijuana, and hemp legalization—and that South Dakotans could not tell what they were voting on when voting for Amendment A. It’s a legal stretch and one that relies on the disrespectful assumption that South Dakota voters were intellectually incapable of understanding the initiative.”

Schweich’s organization is collecting signatures for a 2022 ballot initiative that would legalize recreational marijuana. Meanwhile, the state legislature is expected to consider two legalization bills during its next session, although their fate is uncertain given Noem’s opposition.

“South Dakota is a place where the rule of law and our Constitution matter, and that’s what today’s decision on Amendment A is about,” Noem said on Twitter after last week’s ruling. “Today’s decision does not affect my Administration’s implementation of the medical cannabis program voters approved in 2020. That program was launched earlier this month, and the first cards have already gone out to eligible individuals.”

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