The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday made it easier for people to sue the federal government by ruling in favor of plaintiffs in two separate cases including one involving a Hong Kong woman who was strip-searched while in immigration detention in Oregon.
On a 5-4 vote deciding both cases, the justices ruled that court deadlines for filing certain lawsuits can be extended if plaintiffs have good reasons for the delay. President Barack Obama’s administration had asked the court to impose a strict deadline for such lawsuits under a law called the Federal Tort Claims Act.
The court’s four liberals were joined in the majority by conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy, who often casts the deciding vote in close cases.
One case involved Kwai Fun Wong, who was strip-searched while held in an Oregon immigration detention center in 1999. The issue in her case was whether she had waited too long before suing the government for monetary damages over her treatment.
Wong, a minister of a religious organization called the Wu-Wei Tien Tao Association, was detained in Oregon in 1999 after the U.S. government concluded she had entered the country illegally.
During her confinement at the Multnomah County jail in Portland, she was strip-searched and her request for vegetarian food was rejected by authorities. Wong, who has British citizenship, was later deported and has not lived in the United States since.
The other case concerned a lawsuit filed on behalf of the son of Anthony Booth, a man killed in a 2005 car accident on a federal highway in Arizona. His family said the median barrier was defective and contributed to Booth’s death.
The Federal Tort Claims Act, which outlines in what circumstances the federal government can be sued, says that people must make a claim with a federal agency within two years and then file a lawsuit within six months of the agency making a decision.
(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)
BUSTED: Devin Nunes is hiding how he’s paying for all his frivolous lawsuits — which could land him in more trouble
On Saturday, the Fresno Bee dived into a lingering question: How does Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) pay for all the lawsuits he is filing against journalists, satirists, and political critics?
"Nunes, R-Tulare, has filed lawsuits against Twitter, anonymous social media users known as Devin Nunes' Cow and Devin Nunes' Mom, a Republican political strategist, media companies, journalists, progressive watchdog groups, a political research firm that worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and a retired farmer in Nunes’ own district," noted the Bee.
These lawsuits were mainly filed in Virginia — a state with very loose laws against so-called "SLAPP suits," or meritless lawsuits intended to drown people in legal expenses in retaliation for expressing political opinions. Nunes was assisted in these suits by Steven Biss, a Virginia attorney, and yet except for the suit against the retired farmer, there is no clear record in Nunes' FEC reports of how he paid for the suits.
Trump brings up Brett Kavanaugh in rage tweet at Democrats about coming impeachment trial
On Saturday, President Donald Trump brought up Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in a bizarre rant against the "Radical Left, Do Nothing Dems" and his anger over the direction of the impeachment process:
After watching the disgraceful way that a wonderful man, @BrettKavanaugh, was treated by the Democrats, and now seeing first hand how these same Radical Left, Do Nothing Dems are treating the whole Impeachment Hoax, I understand why so many Dems are voting Republican!
McConnell’s impeachment collusion admission handed the Democrats a powerful new weapon to damage the president
Mitch McConnell's admission on Fox News that he is working behind the scenes with the White House to stack the Senate impeachment trial gives Democrats a potent weapon against the GOP, wrote Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman in the Washington Post.
"If Democrats play their procedural cards right, they can pressure Republicans to allow for a much fairer and more open trial that could actually produce new revelations — and if they refuse, extract a political price for it," they wrote.