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Category Archives: Federalist

Court: Trump Can Appeal Attempt To Disqualify Fani Willis – The Federalist

Posted: March 20, 2024 at 2:59 pm

In a surprising move, Judge Scott McAfee ruled Wednesday that Donald Trump and eight Republican co-defendants may appeal McAfees decision to allow Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to oversee her get-Trump prosecution despite potential conflicts of interest.

The challenged order is not one of final judgment, and the State has informed the Court that it has complied with the orders demands, McAfee wrote. Thus, unless directed otherwise by an appellate court, supersedeas shall only apply to the order being appealed.

On Friday, McAfee had ruled that Willis could continue prosecuting the former president and other Republican co-defendants, as long as special prosecutor Nathan Wade withdrew from the case. The decision came despite McAfee finding Willis and Wades romantic relationship in which Willis paid Wade taxpayer dollars as part of the prosecution gives an appearance of impropriety.

Wade resigned from the case Friday afternoon.

In his certificate of immediate review, McAfee ruled Wednesday that defendants motions to dismiss and disqualify Willis is of such importance to the case that immediate review should be had[.] He also noted he will continue to oversee many other unrelated pending pretrial motions relevant to the case, regardless of whether the petition is granted Fulton County Superior Court within 45 days of filing, and even if any subsequent appeal is expedited by the appellate court.

Apretrial motionseeking to disqualify Willis from the case was filed on Jan. 8 by co-defendant Michael Roman, one of 19 RepublicansWilliss office indictedin August for challenging Georgias 2020 election results. The motion sought to have the charges against Roman dismissed on several grounds, one of whichallegedthat Willis was involved in a romantic relationship with Wade, whom Willis appointed to assist with the prosecution.

Assummarizedby The Daily Caller, the filing claimed Willis benefited from appointing Wade when he took her on vacations using funds earned from his lucrative contract andsoughtto have Willis disqualified from overseeing his case.

[RELATED: Its Time For Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp And His AG To Indict Fani Willis For Perjury]

During court testimony last month, Willis and Wadeclaimed their romantic relationship did not begin until spring 2022 months after Wade was appointed special prosecutor on Nov. 1, 2021 and lasted until summer 2023. Cellphone data included in a February court filing, however, appears to contradict those claims about when the relationship started. As The Federalist previously reported, the cellphone information shows Wade twice arriving at Willis condo late in the evening and departing early the next morning in the months before [the former lovers] said their relationship became romantic.'

The data appears to corroborate testimony from Robin Bryant-Yeartie. A former friend of Willis who also worked in the Fulton County attorneys office, Yeartieclaimedthere was no doubt Willis and Wades romantic relationship began earlier than the two maintained, and that shewitnessedthem hugging and kissing as early as 2019.

Shawn Fleetwood is a staff writer for The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington. He previously served as a state content writer for Convention of States Action and his work has been featured in numerous outlets, including RealClearPolitics, RealClearHealth, and Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnFleetwood

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Media Give Blasey Ford Another Chance To Smear Kavanaugh – The Federalist

Posted: at 2:59 pm

The media coverage of this has been so one-sided, its been so biased. Theres been this presumption from the beginning that every allegation made against the judge was true. So said Joe Scarborough on a fall morning in 2018, referring to the flood of bizarre sexual abuse claims made against Brett Kavanaugh.

At the time, Scarborough relayed an observation from social events he attended over the weekend. Quite a few people that we talked to, who I think a lot of them were registered Democrats, raised questions about Dr. [Christine Blasey] Fords story, he said. Scarborough opposed Kavanaughs nomination to the Supreme Court but at least conceded the obvious: The media favored Blasey Ford, despite some reasonable concerns about her credibility.

Coverage of Blasey Fords allegations was so clearly slanted that even Jeff Greenfield criticized CNN on Reliable Sources.

There is an overwhelming perception as a viewer that CNN in effect or most of its people have taken a stand about this president and about this nomination, he told Brian Stelter.

Later on the same edition of Stelters show, Trump opponent David Gergen expressed concerns about the coverage too. We have to be very, very careful in how we report and not to go overboard, not to get hysterical and to show both sides, he warned. (The Onion mocked the medias smear campaign with the headline: Kavanaugh Nomination Falters After Washington Post Publishes Shocking Editorial Claiming He Forgot Daughters Piano Recital.)

Fast forward six years, and the press is once again treating Christine Blasey Ford with little journalistic skepticism, allowing her to insist Kavanaugh is guilty of teenage sexual assault while promoting her splashy new memoir. Id compare Blasey Fords experience to a walk in the park, but on CBS Sunday Morning, thats quite literally what happened.

She knows just what it takes to summon up courage and hurl yourself off a cliff, Tracy Smith gushed this week, describing Blasey Fords experience as deeply traumatizing over footage of the pair walking along the sunny coast of Santa Cruz.

To the extent Smith pushed Blasey Ford on her allegations, it was by saying that Kavanaughs supporters wonder why no one can recall that night in the way you recall it. In a follow-up, Smith asked if that lends weight to his side of the story and bolsters his side of the story. Blasey Ford said no. The exchange took up about one minute of an eight-minute package.

An Atlantic writer generously remembered, Fords own story, in many ways, was an exception to #MeToos rule. She was listened to. She was, to a lesser extent, heard, laughably claiming, She came forward as a scientist.

Over at The View, hosts called the book fantastic and said, Thank you for what you did, speaking truth to power.

I know that it will help people, Sunny Hostin offered Blasey Ford, assuring, Were not going to rehash the details of the alleged attack.

That assurance proved correct. Even today some people remain skeptical of your story, marveled Sara Haines.

Ever the scientist, Blasey Ford said she just wanted to share the data back in 2018.

Medias partisan treatment of sexual abuse accusers is not new or surprising, as Clarence Thomas and Juanita Broaddrick can explain. Since Blasey Fords dubious allegation against Kavanaugh first surfaced, though, serious reporting has cast her claims in even worse light.

The Federalists Editor-in-Chief Mollie Hemingway, along with Carrie Severino, published a bestselling book that broke down errors and biases in the media coverage of Blasey Ford. As Hemingway reminded readers back in 2020:

While Blasey Fords claim was the least insane one put forth by activists and other Kavanaugh opponents, there were other problems with it beyond her failure to produce evidence she had ever met him. Her four named witnesses to the event all denied knowledge of it, some vociferously so.

Even her lifelong friend Leland Keyser, who worked very hard to come up with anything,came to doubt her friends story entirely. And when she refused to say otherwise, mutual acquaintances tried to get her to change her story. Some U.S. senators thought the witness tampering so egregious that it should be prosecuted.

With no evidence beyond her own hazy memory, Blasey Ford accused a father of sexual assault in the highest-profile venue imaginable. Amid Kavanaughs denials, she then accused him of lying about sexual assault. Democrats used Blasey Ford in the service of a vicious political smear campaign. The accomplice media took up their cause and joined in, dispensing with traditional standards of journalistic rigor to unfairly malign Kavanaughs character. They then ignored an assassination attempt on Kavanaugh, to the point where even Bill Maher took notice.

The medias failure was so egregious that some of the justices opponents reluctantly acknowledged that at the time. Ronna McDaniel even told The Federalist a year after Kavanaughs confirmation that Kavanaugh brought people back to the Republican Party.

I know it did. Its the first time in my time as chair where I had people call and say Im going to join you today. And I havent been taking your calls for two years and Im writing you a check right now,' she remembered, adding, They felt like it was such an overreach, that it was character assassination, that this was a good, honest, decent guy who was being just railroaded.

Claire McCaskill partially blamed the loss of her Senate seat on the very real perception that this was an 11th-hour attempt to gut a guy.

Journalists have had many opportunities to course-correct since missing Donald Trumps rise but have basically continued sprinting in the opposite direction. Just last year, trust in media dipped back to a record low. Youll hardly get a better illustration of why than Blasey Fords book tour.

Emily Jashinsky is culture editor at The Federalist and host of Federalist Radio Hour. She previously covered politics as a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner. Prior to joining the Examiner, Emily was the spokeswoman for Young Americas Foundation. Shes interviewed leading politicians and entertainers and appeared regularly as a guest on major television news programs, including Fox News Sunday, Media Buzz, and The McLaughlin Group. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, Real Clear Politics, and more. Emily also serves as director of the National Journalism Center, co-host of the weekly news show Counter Points: Friday and a visiting fellow at Independent Women's Forum. Originally from Wisconsin, she is a graduate of George Washington University.

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Exclusive: Jordan Demands Docs From CISA About PA Election ‘Task Force’ – The Federalist

Posted: at 2:59 pm

House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan sent a letter Wednesday to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Administration (CISA) which has been called the nerve center of government censorship notifying the agency that documents related to CISAs partnership with Pennsylvania to target so-called misinformation are included in the Judiciary Committees ongoing subpoena, according to a copy of the letter obtained exclusively by The Federalist.

Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro recently announced the states Election Task Force would partner with CISAs parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to mitigate threats to the election process, protect voters from intimidation, and provide voters with accurate, trusted election information.

The Pennsylvania State Department revealed to The Federalist that the state would also be partnering with CISA to open lines of communication and share intelligence among the included government agencies.

The State Department did not clarify what intelligence refers to or what will be done with said information.

Jordan demanded the DHS provide more detailed information on the partnership by April 3.

The Committee on the Judiciary is conducting oversight of how and to what extent the Executive Branch has coerced or colluded with companies and other intermediaries to censor lawful speech, the letter reads. In light of recent public reporting that the [CISA] has partnered with at least one state government in a way that may target Americans speech online in the lead-up to the upcoming 2024 election, we write to notify you that documents about such partnerships are responsive to the Committees April 28, 2023 subpoena.

Jim Jordan sends letter to by The Federalist

The reporting about a partnership between CISA and the Pennsylvania Election Threats Task Force reinforces concerns that CISA is again partnering with third parties in a way that will censor or chill Americans speech, Jordan wrote.

The governments involvement in this type of speech is particularly alarming because, as the Supreme Court has recognized, the importance of First Amendment protections is at its zenith for core political speech,' the letter continued.

[READ NEXT: Government Censorship Op Targeted The Federalists Mollie Hemingway, Sean Davis During 2020 Election]

Shapiro said the task force would combat misinformation but CISA, the DHS subagency which congressional Republicans have called the nerve center of federal censorship, has a history of targeting Americans and their free speech by smearing it as misinformation or malformation. CISA defines malinformation as anything based on fact, but used out of context to mislead, harm, or manipulate.

In other words, CISA has censored Americans for stating true information.

For example, America First Legal obtained documents showing CISA created a six-point list in October 2020 warning of the risks of unsupervised mail-in voting. Publicly, however, the weaponized agency flagged social media posts highlighting those concerns as disinformation for Big Tech companies to censor.

CISA partnered with consulting firm Deloitte and asked for notifications of social media trends about narratives relating to Vote-By-Mail and to flag specific social media posts for CISAs awareness and attention.

One of the posts Deloitte flagged was an October 2020 tweet from then-President Donald Trump in which he claimed there were Big problems and discrepancies with Mail In Ballots all over the USA.

Brianna Lyman is an elections correspondent at The Federalist.

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Exclusive: Jordan Demands Docs From CISA About PA Election 'Task Force' - The Federalist

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The Columns Spotlight: The Federalist Society Washington and Lee University – The Columns

Posted: at 2:59 pm

By Law Communications March 19, 2024

Tell us a little bit about the Organization: mission, goals, etc.

The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies (FedSoc) is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order. It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be. The Society seeks both to promote an awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities. As an organization on campus, we strive to promote open debate and conversation around legal issues that impact our nation by hosting events featuring judges, lawyers, and scholars.

Do you have any events scheduled for this spring semester?

This spring we have hosted a Welcome Back BBQ, an event on Red Flag Laws featuring the Heritage Foundations Amy Swearer, and a debate on Patent Trolls featuring Judge Ryan Holte from the Court of Federal Claims and W&L Law Professor Christopher Seaman. Coming up we will have an event titled Inside the DOJ featuring Judge Chad Readler from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, March 26th.

Can alumni get involved?

Absolutely! In addition to hosting a Fall Alumni Career panel, we regularly connect students to alumni and love when more alumni reach out and wish to get involved. If interested, alumni should get in contact with the Society by reaching out to or filling out the FedSoc alumni survey:

Are there mentorship opportunities?

Yes! FedSoc has a mentorship program that connects students with upper classmen with similar interests.

How many law students are currently involved?

We have around 50 active members on campus and many more on our list serve.

How has the law school community supported students in this organization?

We have a lot of support from both W&L and W&L Law alumni. A number of our speaking events include contributions from various alumni across the country. One of our most impactful events is our Alumni Career Panel co-hosted by the Office of Career Strategy. For this event, FedSoc alumni working in different sectors within the legal field provide law students with insights into what its like working in the current roles as well as general legal advice. Its a great learning and networking opportunity for FedSoc members.

Is there anything else to share about the organization?

From Chelsea Kowalchuk 24L (Treasurer): Being a member of FedSoc and attending our various speaking events has exposed me to a lot of different legal topics that I would not have engaged in independently or through my legal studies. It has provided me with a greater appreciation for the complexities within todays legal environment and helped me reflect and develop my own opinion on various legal issues.

From Haley Carter 24L (President): FedSoc has been one of the highlights of my law school career, mainly because it extends beyond law school. The lawyers division has more than 100,000 active attorneys throughout the country and regularly host socials and speaker events that students can attend. It has opened the door to mentorship, friendships, and clerkship opportunities. Ive gone to the National Student Symposium every year since 1L, and it is incredible the number of people Ive become friends with at other schools. Plus, our chapter brings in incredible speakers and gives students the opportunity to meet and make connections with attorneys at the peak of their career.

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Democracy Under Pressure at the EU Level – The New Federalist – Le Taurillon

Posted: at 2:59 pm

This text is written and published as part of the Democracy Under Pressure Campaign of JEF Europe.

As 2024 marks the 19th edition of the Young European Federalists Democracy Under Pressure Campaign, The New Federalist is joining in the effort to raise awareness towards the systematic weaking of democratic values in Europe.

The democratic legitimacy of the EU institutions under threat

The last year has been a particularly eventful one with respect to threats to the democratic legitimacy and values which are upheld in the founding treaties of the European Union. 2022 ended with perquisitions in the offices and homes of several individuals, including MEPs, Parliament officials, and ex MEPs, under what then became Qatargate the scandal which revolves around the case that these individuals have allegedly accepted cash in exchange for promoting the interests of Qatar, Morocco and Mauritania (as well as other instances of misuse of public money). If this was not enough, the past few weeks have been also particularly hectic in Brussels, as several allegations were made with regard to the possibility that some MEPs may actually be Russian spies. What could all this mean for the future of democracy in the EU?


This story is extremely intricate, and unravelling to its full extent is not only difficult, but impossible, in fact also the Belgian public prosecutor is struggling to do so. What is evident, is that until now none of the suspects has been officially charged, and that some of them, including Eva Kaili, who was one of the EPs vice presidents at the time the scandal broke, is still allowed to work as Parliamentarian (despite her immunity being strapped in February which paves the way for the investigations to continue). All of this is feeding into a strong perception of impunity by the public towards the EP, that has the potential to strongly harm the EPs democratic legitimacy. Furthermore, it leaves open questions about the influence that foreign actors may have or may have had over the development of EU policies. In fact, it looks like Qatar, for example, has paid its agents inside the EP with the objective of stifling critiques to its human rights record, and in an attempt to facilitate an agreement for visa-free travel with the EU (which was suspended after the scandal came to light). This is extremely troubling considering that the EP is the EU institution which is usually seen as the most vocal critique of violations of human rights around the world.

The European Parliaments internal response

The EP responded in September by voting a set of reforms which came into effect in November. These include the obligation for MEPs to declare inputs and suggestions from external actors, more transparency on the publication of meetings with representatives from third countries, expanded definition of conflicts of interest, wider rules on the publication of meetings so they apply to all MEPs and cover meetings with third country representatives, extended threshold to declare additional incomes, obligation to declare assets at the beginning and end of every term in office, a stronger role for the Advisory Committee, and restrictions on unofficial groupings activities. Despite this, several claims were made, including by MEPs themselves, that these rules are not enough, and that much more effort should be directed to improve transparency and fight corruption. A currently ongoing positive development is the discussions which concerns the creation of an EU inter-institutional ethics body. However this would only be a standards setting body, and the Council still seems uncertain about joining, so it remains to be seen how effective this will be in tackling EU-wide corruption, including in the EP.

Russias agents

On the front of the spying allegations, at this stage there is only one MEP who is being investigated. The allegations were launched in January by a Russian Independent investigative newspaper the Insider, against Tatjana Zdanoka, who used to be part of the Greens in the EP until when she refused to condemn Russias invasion of Ukraine in 2022 and is currently sitting as a non-attached MEP. The claims of the Insider, supported by several leaked documents (in addition to dubious voting records by the MEP, including on the Russian invasion of Ukraine), revolved around the possibility that Zdanoka has been a Russian agent since at least 2015. Following the allegations, which she denied, she is currently being investigated by both Latvia's State Security Service (VDD), and by an EP internal investigation. While it remains to be seen how this will turn out, three Latvian MEPs have claimed that there may be others like her in the EP.

Can we trust the European Parliament?

With over 400 million people eligible to vote in the upcoming European Elections in June, the facts which concern both Qatargate and the spying allegations are extremely disturbing. At a time where anti-democratic forces both inside the EU and beyond are gaining influence, the European Elections should be a way to showcase the health of European Democracy, but if serious democratic threats such as the ones which were identified in this article are allowed to reign free, the trust of European citizens towards the EU can only be hurt. As such, preserving the democratic legitimacy of the European Parliament must remain the absolute priority. Despite this, especially with Qatargate, the results of the investigations until now have been extremely disappointing, considering that there is extensive proof of the crimes committed by the people involved. For this reason, in line with the Democracy Under Pressure campaign, this article may be seen as a call to European Officials to take these threats seriously and do all they can to make sure that any culprit is identified and charged, and to make sure that these facts will not repeat themselves again at any point in the future. Ultimately, preserving the trust of the European citizens towards the only directly democratically elected body in the EU, is necessary to protect European Democracy.

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Justice Jackson’s ‘Hamstringing’ Comment Wasn’t Her Worst – The Federalist

Posted: at 2:59 pm

Following Mondays Supreme Court oral argument in the social media censorship case Murthy v. Missouri, outraged free-speech advocates rightfully excoriated Justice Kentanji Brown Jackson for worrying that the First Amendment will hamstring[] the government in significant ways in the most important time periods.

Given that hamstringing the federal government was precisely the purpose of the Bill of Rights, Justice Jacksons comment laid bare the fundamental disdain she and other politically liberal justices hold for the classically liberal freedoms our Constitution protects.

But even worse than Jacksons hamstring comment was something she said a half-dozen sentences later.

So can you help me? Because Im really Im really worried about that because youve got the First Amendment operating in an environment of threatening circumstances from the governments perspective, Justice Jackson said to Louisiana Solicitor General Benjamin Aguiaga. Why couldnt the government communicate with social media companies then? Jackson queried.

Aguiaga, on behalf of the respondents, the states of Louisiana and Missouri, and several individual plaintiffs who had been censored on social media, countered that the government could communicate with tech companies and share truthful information with them. But in doing so, the government must comply with the First Amendment, which means federal officials cannot ask Big Tech to censor third parties.

Lost in this exchange, however, was the horror of Justice Jacksons premise that the government outreaches would depend on federal officials perspective of threatening circumstances.

Five years ago, that proposition might not have seemed so shocking because Americans hadnt yet lived through the dual outrage of near-universal capitulation to the governments requests for censorship and the wrongheadedness of the federal governments perspective of threatening circumstances. Absent that lived experience, it might have been possible to imagine the government would only solicit Big Techs cooperation when truly faced with threatening circumstances, or that the social media companies would refuse to remove third parties posts, absent a sincere danger.

However, the 20,000-plus-page record in the Murthy v. Missouri case revealed that the governments perspective of threatening circumstances can be both dangerously wrong and politically motivated.

For instance, the federal government viewed anything prompting vaccine hesitancy as threatening public health. It also maintained that masking and school closures were necessary to protect Americans against Covid. These perspectives of threatening circumstances flowing from the pandemic led the government to demand that social media companies block users and posts discussing adverse effects of Covid shots or arguing against masking and school closures.

But the government was wrong about all of it, and those censored were right. Had the government not successfully silenced such speech, Americans would have been better armed with facts to make important health and public policy decisions.

Unlike the censorship of Covid-related information, the blocking of the New York Post and articles and posts about the Hunter Biden laptop story flowed not from the governments supposed perception of threatening circumstances although some federal officials likely also saw Trumps reelection as threatening but from political motives.

Once again, the banned speech was true, and Americans were prevented from learning vital information before the election due to the governments efforts to persuade Big Tech to block supposed hack or leak material. (Turns out, the Hunter Biden laptop was no such material.)

Its shocking that Justice Jackson could posit the governments perspective of threatening circumstances should matter, given that the facts underlying Murthy v. Missouri perfectly illustrate the dangers of censorship.

Sadly, she was not alone in suggesting the government could ask, encourage, and even persuade social media companies to silence third parties legal speech, so long as there was no coercion. The word coercion appears nowhere in the First Amendment, however, with the framers instead prohibiting the abridgment of free speech.

The Louisianna solicitor general reminded the Supreme Court of that reality several times during his Monday argument, which led to another horrifying exchange with Justice Jackson: After noting that the top-line question is whether the government set out to abridge the freedom of speech, Justice Jackson countered, But thats not the test for First Amendment violations.

This flows from the plain text of the First Amendment, Aguiaga stressed.

But we have a we have a test, Justice Jackson replied.

Therein we saw the fundamental problem with Mondays argument, as Jackson and several of her colleagues became too buried in First Amendment jurisprudence to bother returning to first principles and the actual text of the amendment. The abridgment language is controlling and, if applied, provides the plaintiffs with an easy win.

Whether a majority of the justices will apply that textually based standard, as opposed to one of the several judge-made tests, however, remains to be seen.

Margot Cleveland is an investigative journalist and legal analyst and serves as The Federalists senior legal correspondent. Margots work has been published at The Wall Street Journal, The American Spectator, the New Criterion, National Review Online,, the Daily Signal, USA Today, and the Detroit Free Press. She is also a regular guest on nationally syndicated radio programs and on Fox News, Fox Business, and Newsmax. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prizethe law schools highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. Cleveland is also of counsel for the New Civil Liberties Alliance. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland where you can read more about her greatest accomplishmentsher dear husband and dear son. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

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Andrei Illarionov and Morgan Wirthlin, Author at The Federalist – The Federalist

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Andrei Illarionov and Morgan Wirthlin, Author at The Federalist  The Federalist

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Democracy Under Pressure in Hungary – The New Federalist – Le Taurillon

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This text is written and Published as part of the Democracy Under Pressure Campaign of JEF Europe

2024 marks the 19th year that JEF Europe has continued raising awareness towards the challenges towards European democracy through the campaign Democracy Under Pressure. Despite being a shared threat, some countries have regrettably become focal points in the debates surrounding democracy and its obstacles. This has been the case in Hungary under the leadership of Prime Minister Viktor Orbn, which has witnessed a steady deterioration in democratic values. In 2022, the European Parliament has agreed, in a resolution backed by 81% of MEPs present to the vote, that Hungary can no longer be considered a full democracy, but rather a hybrid regime of electoral autocracy, with a restricted media landscape, a concerning lack of pluralism, and hostile stances towards minorities. Despite being one of the first Eastern countries to decriminalise homosexuality in 1961, particularly prominent are the derogatory remarks against LGBTQIA+ individuals, and the creation of a political climate which promotes negative stigma, discrimination, and violence against LGBTQIA+ people, and therefore discourages democracy.

The establishment of democracy in Hungary follows an uneven path that continues to raise concerns for the future. Following the collapse of the Communist regime in 1989, Hungary adopted a new constitution which formally established the new democratic republic, and officially kick-started its democratic transition, with the desire to implement a new political order that could guarantee a better economy, the protection of human rights, and an improvement of Hungarys relations with Western countries. Under these conditions, Hungary took two major steps in its journey towards democracy, becoming a member of NATO in 1999, and becoming a member of the European Union in 2004, signalling its commitment to democratic values, human rights, and the rule of law. In this hectic political environment, Orbn began his political career in Fidesz, a liberal youth movement funded in 1988, gaining popularity for his anti-Communist stances and his calls for democratic reforms. A decade after entering the political arena, Orbn ran his first mandate as Prime Minister from 1998 to 2002, with a centre-right government that faced criticism for its clashes with journalists and corruption allegations. After the 2002 elections, Hungary underwent eight years of leadership under the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP), during which discrimination based on sexual orientation was prohibited in 2002, and same-sex partnerships were recognized in 2007. Until his return to power in 2010, Orban continued its political activity within Fidesz. During this time, he opted for a more conservative and nationalist leadership, which he applied during his new mandate through several controversial policies undermining human rights and civil society organizations.

Fourteen years into Orbns mandate, the freedom and safety of the LGBTQIA+ community are still at risk, and the fear is that it will only get worse. As for 2023, Hungary did not register any progress, and the government has continued implementing and fortifying policies undermining LGBTQIA+ people. An example is the case of the Child Protection Act, issued in 2021 to limit childrens exposure to content considered to be portraying or promoting homosexuality and gender reassignment, raising concerns about the stigmatisation and discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community and the limitation of its freedom of expression. Despite being issued in 2021, the act was the centre of two major episodes in 2023, which fuelled the conversation around the legitimacy of the act. In July 2023, the book distribution company Lira was fined over 30,000 for displaying the bestselling LGBTQIA+ young adult graphic novel Heartstopper in the childrens section. According to the act, the novel should have been wrapped in plastic, to prevent its free consultation in the bookshop. Since then, several bookstore chains complied with the act and wrapped in plastic those products that may be considered dangerous by the act, actively performing self-censorship and contributing to the governments objective - to prevent a fine. However, in 2023, the Hungarian government experienced resistance to its censorship activity against the LGBTQIA+ community. On the occasion of the Budapest Pride parade, held in July 2023, the organization produced an advertisement to promote the event and sent it to RTL, Hungarys leading media company. After being subjected to the Media Council for preliminary classification, the advertisement was deemed unsuitable to air during daytime due to younger audiences and it was moved to the nighttime graveyard slot. The decision of the Media Council was not welcomed by Budapest Pride, which decided to contest the decision and initiate a juridical challenge to protect the LGBTQIA+s right to protest and freedom of speech. Nevertheless, the situation remains challenging.

Particularly concerning is the targeting of Transgender individuals. In 2023, the Hungarian government upheld a ruling issued in 2021 which halts new applications for legal gender recognition, limiting access to the legal process to individuals who submitted their request for legal gender recognition before 2021. The renewal of this decision generates concerns among the European community, as it does not hold up against European human rights obligations, and generates a potential threat towards Transgender individuals, who are ultimately exposed to harassment, discrimination, and violence. The Constitutional Court, responsible for issuing the rule, explained that the bill concerns issues linked to criminality and health care, and claimed that someones sex assigned at birth is critical to know in health care and legal settings. Such claims do not stand up, and contribute to the hostile environment built around the LGBTQIA+ community. Notwithstanding this, people who were allowed to access legal gender recognition and gain their right to self-identify, face continuous threats and limitations. In July 2023, Fidesz proposed a bill which would exclude Transgender women from the pension scheme which benefits women who have worked 40 years but have not yet reached retirement age, in a new blatant bill which discriminates against Transgender women and does not validate their existence, with concerning stances that, once again, put at risk Transgender individuals and categorize LGBTQIA+ individual as B class citizens.

While this is a somewhat limited assessment of democracy in Hungary, it still shows how the situation is quickly deteriorating. The Hungarian government has continued proposing and renewing bills which limit the freedom of the LGBTQIA+ community and undermine their safety in the country, while also enforcing media censorship. The hostility generated by Orbans government represents not only a threat to Hungary but also an intimidating remark on the spread of far-right ideals, and anti-LGBQTIA+ movements, which may affect other European countries and become a shared threat to democracy among the European Union. In this sense, it remains crucial for the EU to continue doing what it can to challenge the Hungarian governments anti-democratic policies. In the end, a threat against one is a threat against all, and we must do all that we can to ensure the consolidation and survival of Democracy in Europe, and beyond.

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Mike Johnson Needs To Grow A Spine And Fight Biden’s Border Invasion – The Federalist

Posted: at 2:59 pm

Its another day that ends in -y, which means House Speaker Mike Johnson is preparing to surrender on yet another federal spending fight that allows President Bidens border invasion to continue unabated.

On Tuesday, congressional leaders announced they struck a deal on a roughly $1 trillion package to fund the remainder of the federal government for the rest of the 2024 fiscal year. It includes funding for agencies such as the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security. The first package which contained zero conservative priorities and increased spending was passed by Congress and signed into law by Biden earlier this month.

Negotiated behind closed doors with the White House and Senate leadership, Johnson said in a Tuesday statement that House and Senate committees have begun drafting bill text to be prepared for release and consideration by the full House and Senate as soon as possible. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also confirmed this to be the case.

Biden and congressional leaders behind-the-scenes scheming to pass the measure by Friday to avoid a partial government shutdown has rightly evoked ire from conservative representatives and senators. On Wednesday morning, Utah Sen. Mike Lee said, The Firm has yet to show anyone the proposed package and described attempts to ram the bill through without proper input or debate as a sham legislative process.

Kentucky GOP Rep. Thomas Massie echoed similar sentiments on Tuesday, writing on X: We are back in Ryan-Boehner swamp mode where the omnibus is written behind closed doors.

Members are told to take it or leave it, and although Republicans control the House, more Democrats vote for it than Republicans because it spends more money than when Pelosi was in charge, Massie wrote.

Johnson and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnells willingness to keep conservative congressional members out of the negotiating process is disgraceful. The bills reported contents, however, appear to be just as equally horrific.

According to Punchbowl News Jake Sherman, Johnson briefed the House GOP Conference on the measures key provisions Wednesday morning. Here is what the speaker purportedly claimed are wins included in the $1 trillion measure:

Meanwhile, heres what Democrats are reportedly claiming is in the bill:

As indicated in the latter tweet, the package contains provisions granting 12,000 new Special Immigrant Visas for Afghan nationals who assisted the U.S. in Afghanistan, according to sources who spoke with Sherman.

While the measures final text has yet to be released, the apparent consensus among Johnson and Democrat leadership is that there will be no significant change to U.S. immigration policy.

The alleged wins touted by Johnson pertain to border funding issues not border policy. Directing more resources towards the border is completely meaningless unless its accompanied by changes to existing asylum and border enforcement procedures, such as those included in House Republicans Secure the Border Act of 2023 (H.R. 2). Without a change in policy, Bidens border invasion will continue to metastasize.

Americans overwhelmingly disapprove of Bidens handling of the invasion, meaning there are zero excuses for Johnson and Republicans to capitulate on the issue. If the speaker is as serious about stopping the border crisis and preventing more tragedies like the death of Laken Riley as he regularly claims, then its past time he grows a spine and uses the power of the purse to exact real concessions from Biden and Democrats that secure the border.

Anything less is an act of cowardice that accelerates Americas demise.

Shawn Fleetwood is a staff writer for The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington. He previously served as a state content writer for Convention of States Action and his work has been featured in numerous outlets, including RealClearPolitics, RealClearHealth, and Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnFleetwood

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Mike Johnson Needs To Grow A Spine And Fight Biden's Border Invasion - The Federalist

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High Gas Prices Don’t Bother Biden Because They Cut Car Use – The Federalist

Posted: at 2:59 pm

You wouldnt know it from White House press releases, but Americans are paying roughly 45 percent more at the pump now than before President Joe Biden first took office.

Anyone looking to take a quick weekend getaway or spring break outing in the coming days will pay an average of $3.51 per gallon to gas up their vehicles. Roadtrippers and commuters in states such as California are the hardest hit, paying upwards of $4.93 per gallon. Even notoriously cheap states for gas such as Texas still have Americans shelling out far more than $3 per gallon.

Gas price inflation is back, CNN, one of the few corporate media publications mentioning the price surge, noted at the beginning of its latest article on fuel. The Daily Mail repeated the same phrase in a recent headline.

The truth is, gas price inflation never left. Prices at the pump are definitively higher now than they were one year ago.

One might think that Biden, who is already lagging in presidential polls for the upcoming election, would do everything in his power to fix the problem because his campaign team knows Americans vote with their pocketbooks. Yet the Biden administration has adopted rhetoric about a so-called dip in the cost of unleaded from 2022 records to claim that inflation isnt as bad or as Democrat-inflicted as it is.

This week, as the cost to fill a car climbs daily, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre went so far as to brag that the actions that [Biden] took led to lowering gas prices.

On Friday, she attributed the fall in record-high prices to President Joe Bidens unprecedented actions on oil.

We saw gas prices go down, she repeated.

The White House, with the help of corporate media, has long touted cooling prices to flood the airwaves with propaganda seeking to obscure the nations dire economic conditions. Yet, as with every other category of inflation, gas costs have never technically stopped climbing since Bidens entrance in 2021. Even when the price of unleaded varied slightly from the record high that plagued Bidens first few presidential years thanks to his unfriendly oil and gas policies, the cost of filling up a car has remained steadily high.

The White House will do its best to cover up its role in the inflation crisis wreaking havoc on the country, but will stop short of enacting a real solution. The administration wont lift any of its policies exacerbating high gas prices because jarring costs at the pump dont necessary conflict with the administrations goals.

The Biden administration openly desires to use chronically high gas prices to usher in electric vehicles and weather-dependent energy.

[Why Is Joe Biden Screwing Seniors To Subsidize Electric Vehicles?]

Jordan Boyd is a staff writer at The Federalist and co-producer of The Federalist Radio Hour. Her work has also been featured in The Daily Wire, Fox News, and RealClearPolitics. Jordan graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @jordanboydtx.

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High Gas Prices Don't Bother Biden Because They Cut Car Use - The Federalist

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