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California urges court to maintain ban on private immigrant detention

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California urges court to maintain ban on private immigrant detention

A prison employee patrols the perimeter of the Otay Mesa Detention Center, an ICE federal detention center privately owned and operated by prison contractor CoreCivic. REUTERS/Bing Guan

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  • Three-judge panel blocked state’s 2019 law
  • Full court is rehearing case
  • Some judges skeptical of claim that ban doesn’t regulate government

(Reuters) – California and a coalition of advocacy groups urged a U.S. appeals court on Tuesday to uphold the state’s ban on privately run immigrant detention centers, but some of the judges seemed skeptical of their claim that the law only regulates businesses and not the federal government.

Aimee Feinberg of the California Solicitor General’s Office told an 11-member panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the 2019 law’s incidental impact on government contracting does not render it invalid.

Feinberg also argued that because federal law does not expressly authorize U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to contract with private prison operators, the state could prohibit it from doing so.

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The Biden administration and private prison operator GEO Group Inc claim the California law improperly limits the federal government’s ability to enter into contracts.

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In April, a three-judge panel said in a 2-1 ruling that California could not prevent ICE from contracting with companies such as GEO, one of the largest private prison operators in the U.S., to oversee the detention of immigrants awaiting deportation. The en banc court vacated that decision and agreed to reconsider the case later that month.

Virtually all immigrant detainees in California are held in privately run facilities, which some critics say lack proper oversight and are driven to maximize profits.

ICE has said its reliance on private detention centers stems from significant fluctuations in the number and location of individuals facing deportation, and the prohibitive cost of building and maintaining its own facilities.

On Tuesday, three of the judges on the en banc panel pushed back against Feinberg’s claims, saying the ban would dramatically change how ICE accomplishes its mission of detaining thousands of people.

Circuit Judge Kenneth Lee said federal law authorizes ICE to utilize “any appropriate place of detention,” and Congress explicitly mentions privately run facilities when it allocates money for immigrant detention in the federal budget.

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“It seems the congressional intent is clear unless you’re asking for certain magic words that have to explicitly say that in the statute,” Lee said.

Other members of the panel seemed to side with the state. Circuit Judge Milan Smith told Mark Stern of the Department of Justice that the government appeared to lack standing to seek an immediate block of the ban because its existing contract with GEO Group does not expire until 2024.

Stern told the 9th Circuit on Tuesday that by banning contracts with private businesses, California is attempting to overrule policy judgments made by the federal government for good reasons, such as cost effectiveness.

“The question here is not the virtues or defects of the way in which ICE is implementing the federal immigration laws,” he said. “The question is whether the United States can make the decisions about how it is going to implement them.”

The state is backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, several of its California chapters, and the National Immigrant Justice Center. ACLU lawyer Michael Kaufman represented the groups at Tuesday’s arguments.

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The case is GEO Group Inc v. Newsom, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 20-56172.

For GEO Group: Michael Kirk of Cooper & Kirk

For the United States: Mark Stern of the Department of Justice

For California: Deputy Solicitor General Aimee Feinberg

For amicus: Michael Kaufman of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California

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Biden admin. seeking to overcome Calif. ban on private detention

California bans private prisons and immigration detention centers

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Daniel Wiessner

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Thomson Reuters

Dan Wiessner (@danwiessner) reports on labor and employment and immigration law, including litigation and policy making. He can be reached at daniel.wiessner@thomsonreuters.com.

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Gerrit Cole’s strong outing wasted in Yankees’ no-no loss

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Gerrit Cole’s strong outing wasted in Yankees’ no-no loss

This wasn’t what Gerrit Cole had in mind earlier in the week when he laughed at how being on the mound for a no-hitter has eluded him.

Cole spun a gem of a start Saturday, but wound up on the losing end because he shared the rubber with three Astros pitchers who combined on a no-hitter in a 3-0 victory over the Yankees. In a reminder of how cruel baseball can be, Cole twice took no-hitters into the middle of the game or beyond this week and wound up with a no-decision and a loss on his record (6-2).

“The cold hard truth is we got outpitched and outplayed,” Cole said. “Credit to the opponent. Magical day for them.”

Cole lost a no-hitter in the eighth inning Monday against the Rays, but the Yankees still won, which created a light moment when he joked he has never completed the job despite building a résumé with four All-Star selections and an ERA title. There was no such luck or levity Saturday when he would needed perfection — or better — to outduel Astros starter Cristian Javier and two relievers.

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Instead, Cole settled for striking out eight and scattering four hits over seven innings.

Gerrit Cole
Gerrit Cole
Robert Sabo

“Gerrit’s just going to keep doing that,” catcher Jose Trevino said. “That’s good for us in the long run.”

Cole walked two, but did not allow a hit until back-to-back, two-out singles by Jake Meyers and Martin Maldonado in the fifth inning. He survived that jam unharmed, but his 101st pitch was his big mistake in the seventh inning of a scoreless game.

J.J. Matijevic turned on a low-inside fastball and deposited it into the right-field seats for a homer as his reward for showing patience laying off a first pitch in the dirt. The rookie first baseman’s only two career hits have been solo home runs.

“I tried to make an adjustment and I obviously overcorrected and threw the pitch into an area that he was anticipating or he wasn’t going to be late on,” Cole said. “Not the side of the plate that we were trying to go to. It was honestly just a bad miss, but I don’t want to take any credit away from the guy who put a good swing on it.”

The solace is that Cole is pitching like an ace. He has allowed one run or fewer in five of his last six starts. Matijevic’s home run snapped Cole’s 21-inning scoreless streak at home.

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“Right away he was getting swing-and miss-with his heater, which was big while he was finding it those first two innings,” manager Aaron Boone said. “I thought his stuff was really good. Once he settled in, he was terrific.”

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4 wounded, including 8-year-old, in Brooklyn scooter shooting

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4 wounded, including 8-year-old, in Brooklyn scooter shooting

Four people were wounded — including an 8-year-old boy — in a scooter shooting in Brooklyn on Saturday night, police said.

Two men riding on a scooter pulled up around 11:30 p.m. to a large gathering of people in front of the Stuyvesant Gardens Houses on Quincy Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant and opened fire into the crowd, cops said.

An 8-year-old boy received a graze wound in the leg. A 27-year-old male, a 35-year-old female and a 46-year-old female were also each shot in the legs.

All four victims were transported to Kings County Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

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The suspects fled on a green and white scooter in an unknown direction, according to police and sources.

Six shell casings and two live rounds were recovered at the scene, sources said.

The victims are all expected to survive.
The victims are all expected to survive.
Paul Martinka

No arrests have been made at this time as police continued to canvas the area early Sunday morning.

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Man arrested for attempted murder of LAPD officers amid Roe v. Wade protests

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Man arrested for attempted murder of LAPD officers amid Roe v. Wade protests

Police holding rubber-bullet guns and batons move to disperse a crowd of abortion rights activists protesting after the overturning of Roe Vs. Wade by the US Supreme Court, in Downtown Los Angeles, on June 24, 2022.
Police holding rubber-bullet guns and batons move to disperse a crowd of abortion rights activists protesting after the overturning of Roe Vs. Wade by the US Supreme Court, in Downtown Los Angeles, on June 24, 2022.
Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

A man was charged with attempted murder of Los Angeles police officers Friday night amid protests of the Roe v. Wade reversal, cops said.

A woman was also charged with resisting police after four officers were injured following a barrage of projectiles, fireworks and a makeshift blow torch, according to officials.

The mayhem unfolded around 8:20 p.m. in Downtown Los Angeles, the LAPD said.

Michael Ortiz, 30, is accused of throwing a makeshift flame thrower at an officer, who was treated for burns, according to a Saturday press release.

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Juliana Bernado, 23, allegedly attempted to steal an officer’s baton. A “less-lethal” bullet was fired at her, and she was taken into custody, police said.

“I condemn the violence against officers that occurred last night and into today,” Chief Michel Moore said.

“Individuals participating in such criminal activity are not exercising their 1st Amendment rights in protest of the Supreme Court decision, rather, they are acting as criminals.  

The Department will vigorously pursue prosecution of these individuals.”

Large scale protests in other cities large and small around the country were mostly peaceful.

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