Tag Archives: appeal

Barcelona plans to appeal Messi 2-game suspension for incident vs. Athletic Bilbao

Lionel Messi avoided a tougher sanction and was suspended for only two matches on Tuesday after hitting an opponent in an incident away from the ball in the Spanish Super Cup final.

The Barcelona forward was facing a suspension of up to 12 matches for swinging his arm at an Athletic Bilbao player at the end of the team’s 3-2 loss on Sunday. The Spanish soccer federation’s competition committee did not deem the incident to be too serious and applied a less severe penalty. The committee also fined the club 700 euros ($ 845 US) and Messi 600 euros ($ 725).

Barcelona said it would appeal Messi’s suspension.

After passing the ball out to the left flank, Messi swung his right arm at the head of Athletic forward Asier Villalibre as they ran toward the box. Villalibre immediately fell to the ground and after a video review Messi was given his first red card in 753 appearances with Barcelona’s main squad.

Messi had been sent off twice while playing for Argentina’s national team, including a few seconds into his debut in a friendly against Hungary in 2005. The other time was in the 2019 Copa America in a match against Chile. He was also sent off once while playing for Barcelona’s “B” team.

Referee Gil Manzano said in his match report that Messi hit his opponent with “excessive force” while the ball was not near him.

Messi will miss Barcelona’s matches against third-division club Cornella in the Copa del Rey and against Elche in the Spanish league. He was already expected to miss the game against Cornella with coach Ronald Koeman trying to keep Messi’s minutes under control to avoid serious injury.

The 33-year-old Messi had been doubtful to play in the Spanish Super Cup final because of an unspecified fitness issue that had caused Koeman to leave him out of the semifinal match against Real Sociedad on Wednesday, when Barcelona prevailed in a penalty shootout.

Messi, who asked to leave the club in the off-season but had his request denied, is having an average season compared to previous years, having scored 14 goals in 22 matches. He was far from his best on Sunday despite helping set up the team’s first goal.

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Trump to appeal to Supreme Court again after losing ruling on financial records

A federal appeals court on Wednesday rejected Donald Trump’s effort to block Manhattan’s district attorney from obtaining eight years of his tax returns for a criminal probe into the U.S. president and his businesses.

In a 3-0 decision, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan rejected Trump’s accusations that a grand jury subpoena from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance was overly broad or issued in bad faith to harass him.

“The president has a ‘difficult’ burden and an ‘unenviable’ task: to make plausible allegations that could persuade the court that the subpoena that has been served on him could not possibly serve any investigative purpose that the grand jury could legitimately be pursuing,” it wrote. “His complaint fails to do so.”

The decision will lead a renewed clash between Trump and Vance at the U.S. Supreme Court.

That top court in July rejected 7-2 the Republican president’s argument he was immune from criminal probes while in the White House.

But it said he could raise other objections to the subpoena to his longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, for his corporate and personal tax returns from 2011 to 2018.

Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for Trump, said the president will appeal to the Supreme Court. Both sides agreed Vance would not enforce the subpoena during an appeal, according to court papers.

The appeals court said the request from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance was significant but not overly broad from a legal perspective. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

A spokesperson for Vance did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The unsigned decision upheld an Aug. 20 ruling by U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in Manhattan.

It followed a Sept. 28 report in the New York Times that Trump had paid $ 750 US in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017 and no income taxes in 10 of the prior 15 years, reflecting “chronic” losses he used to avoid paying taxes.

Trump has rejected findings from the Times report, tweeting that he had paid many millions of dollars in taxes but was entitled to depreciation and tax credits.

He has long resisted making his tax returns public, unlike his six immediate predecessors occupying the White House.

Hush money matter not yet resolved

Vance’s probe began more than two years ago and had focused on hush money payments that the president’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen paid before the 2016 election to two women, Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, who said they had sexual encounters with the married Trump. The president has denied the affairs.

The district attorney has suggested in recent court filings that his probe is now broader and could focus on bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records.

Trump argued that the probe was still focused on the Cohen payments, making the subpoena an improper “fishing expedition” targeting his business interests around the world, and said Vance improperly copied a similar congressional subpoena.

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, has testified and spoken to investigators about hush money payments made to two women alleging affairs with Trump. (J. Scott Applewhite/The Associated Press)

But the appeals court called it “implausible” speculation to suggest the probe was limited to the Cohen payments.

The court said grand juries “necessarily paint with a broad brush,” especially in complex financial investigations, and do not know at the outset what their needs are.

It also found “no logic” to suggest the documents Vance wanted were irrelevant to legitimate law enforcement purposes, just because a congressional committee wanted the same documents for its own investigation.

The court also found no specific allegations that partisanship motivated Vance, a Democrat, to seek Trump’s tax returns.

All three judges on the appeals court panel were appointed by Democratic presidents. Five of the eight current Supreme Court justices were appointed by Republican presidents.

Even if Vance gets Trump’s tax returns, grand jury secrecy rules make it unlikely he will reveal their contents unless criminal charges were brought. If that happened, it would likely occur after the Nov. 3 election.

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N.S. woman loses appeal to block husband’s medically assisted death

Nova Scotia’s highest court has rejected a bid by an 82-year-old Bridgewater woman who has been trying to block her husband’s efforts to receive medical assistance in dying.

The ruling Friday by a three-member panel of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal follows a legal battle launched by Katherine Sorenson against her 83-year-old husband, Jack, and the Nova Scotia Health Authority.

Lower courts were not identifying the Sorensons and CBC News has only been referring to them by her first name and the letter X for him.

But Justice Cindy Bourgeois, who authored the decision on behalf of the panel, noted there is no publication ban in this case.

Husband has COPD

Jack Sorenson has Stage III chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and has been assessed with only 49 per cent lung capacity. He requested medical assistance in dying (MAID) and was screened by nurse practitioners with the health authority who determined he met the criteria.

The procedure was scheduled for July 20, 2020. 

Katherine Sorenson opposed her husband’s plans and has turned to the courts to try to stop him.

This story originally aired on Aug. 25, 2020. On Oct. 2, 2020, Nova Scotia’s highest court rejected a bid by an 82-year-old Bridgewater woman who has been trying to block her husband’s efforts to receive a medically assisted death. 1:48

The couple have known each other for more than 60 years and have been married for 48. After Katherine Sorenson launched her legal efforts to stop her husband from accessing MAID, her husband moved out of their shared home and the couple stopped speaking.

On July 31, she filed a notice of application, arguing that her husband didn’t meet the eligibility requirements for MAID. A week later, she sought an interlocutory injunction to prevent the procedure from going ahead.

The following week, Justice Peter Rosinski rejected her request. That brought the case to the Court of Appeal.

Arguments broadened

But, as Bourgeois noted, lawyers for Katherine Sorenson broadened their arguments to say the courts should undertake a role in determining MAID eligibility.

In her decision, Bourgeois reviewed the lengthy history of legislation and regulations surrounding MAID. She found that, with only rare exceptions, courts should not intercede if medical authorities have followed the proper procedures for assessing a patient’s MAID request.

“[I]t is clear Parliament fully intended,” Bourgeois wrote, ” provided it is undertaken in a manner consistent with the law, the determination of MAID eligibility should rest with authorized medical and nursing professionals not with judges.”

The ruling goes further, saying that Katherine Sorenson does not have the legal right to contest what her husband is trying to do.

“Undoubtedly, she loves him deeply and wants what she feels is in his best interests,” the judge wrote. “The thought of losing him must be very painful for her.”

“However, these feelings do not give her standing to challenge the determination he meets the eligibility criteria for MAID.”

Doesn’t have standing, court says

Bourgeois said that since Katherine Sorenson doesn’t have standing, her efforts to block her husband’s actions should not proceed any further.

“Withholding MAID would be contrary to Mr. Sorenson’s fundamental right to personal autonomy and medical self-determination,” Bourgeois wrote.

“Preventing him from accessing MAID constitutes significant harm.”

Jack Sorenson is not commenting on today’s decision.

One of Katherine Sorenson’s lawyers, Hugh Scher of Toronto, said the law covering medical assistance in dying is “broken” and Parliament should fix it.

He said Friday afternoon that he has instructions to seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.


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Banned for life by FIFA, former soccer officials line up to appeal

The first of a number of appeals by former soccer officials banned for life by FIFA was heard Tuesday at sport’s highest court.

FIFA said Ariel Alvarado — a former member of its ethics committee — challenged its verdict at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Alvarado is one of at least 29 officials banned for life by soccer’s governing body in the last five years.

The Panamanian’s case kicked off a monthly series of upcoming appeals at CAS brought by Latin American soccer officials removed from soccer after being indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on various charges of racketeering, money laundering and wire fraud conspiracy.

The sports court has scheduled an appeal in August by disgraced former Brazil soccer boss Ricardo Teixeira, who has questioned if the U.S. federal evidence is accurate.

Next up in September is Juan Angel Napout of Paraguay who was convicted at a 2017 trial in Brooklyn. The conviction was upheld on appeal last month.

Another Brazilian, Marco Polo del Nero, is expected to have an October date with CAS, and an appeal is pending for Manuel Burga who was banned by almost two years after the Peruvian was acquitted by the same jury which convicted Napout.

CAS said Tuesday that Alvarado’s hearing was conducted by video link from the court in Lausanne, Switzerland — a process made routine by travel restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Still, other remote hearings are likely simply because the appellants — such as Teixeira and Del Nero — risk arrest in Switzerland since their indictments were unsealed by the Justice Department in December 2015.

Del Nero fled Zurich in May 2015 in the aftermath of early morning raids at luxury hotels in the city to arrest top soccer officials attending FIFA meetings and a presidential election.

Arrests revealed sprawling corruption, bribery

Those arrests revealed the sprawling — and ongoing — American and Swiss investigations of bribery and corruption worth tens of millions of dollars linked to marketing deals and hosting votes for the World Cup and other international competitions.

The American case developed over years from early targeting of Chuck Blazer, the most senior elected American at FIFA for more than a decade who became a co-operating witness.

Blazer’s life ban, imposed by FIFA on July 9, 2015, was the first of around 30 so far arising from the Justice Department evidence. Blazer was seriously ill at the time and died in 2017.

Alvarado was found guilty last year by FIFA, relying on American evidence, of getting at least $ 230,000 US in bribes linked to commercial contracts World Cup qualifying games and the CONCACAF Gold Cup from 2009 to 2011. At the same time, he sat in judgment of other soccer officials summoned before the FIFA ethics panel.

At his own FIFA ethics hearing, Alvarado argued he was a victim of double jeopardy because the North American governing body, CONCACAF, has previously banned him from soccer in the region.

Teixeira, however, disputed the U.S. evidence in a wider federal investigation that has seen guilty pleas, convictions and indictments from dozens of soccer and marketing officials.

The FIFA allegations against Teixieira, his lawyers argued last year, “are no more than assumptions made by U.S. attorneys, without any evidence to support the indictment.”

Teixieira, like many others, was also fined 1 million Swiss francs ($ 1.06 million US) by FIFA ethics judges.

The first verdicts from CAS judges are likely late this year and should continue into 2021.

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Union launches nationwide appeal for long-term care reform in wake of COVID-19

The union backing Canada’s public employees is launching a nationwide effort to transform long-term care into a publicly funded, universal health care system in the midst of a pandemic it says has exacerbated problems in facilities across the country and led to the deaths of thousands of residents.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees — which represents 65,000 long-term care nurses, aides and dietary, cleaning and administrative staff — is ramping up previous calls to overhaul Canada’s system in a new campaign intended to educate the public and capture the attention of federal politicians.

“Right now, long-term care in Canada is a patchwork system with no national standards,” said CUPE national secretary-treasurer Charles Fleury in a news release. “It’s time to fix that.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately hit long-term care facilities across Canada, with approximately 80 per cent of deaths related to the disease occurring in seniors’ homes. Some employees are dealing with shortages of protective equipment and low wages, while others have contracted the disease themselves. 

The Canadian Armed Forces has also sent more than 1,250 personnel to assist seniors’ homes in Quebec and Ontario, which have experienced significant outbreaks.

The crisis has prompted federal and provincial politicians alike to confront the state of elder care in Canada.

In April, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the country was “failing” its older population, while Ontario Premier Doug Ford called Canada’s existing system “broken.”

WATCH | Trudeau on federally regulating long-term care:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with reporters on Thursday. 1:12

Members pushing for national standards of care

CUPE is planning to ask its members working in care homes to send their appeals directly to the federal government and hopes to target the prime minister and individual MPs through a letter-writing campaign.

The impetus behind effort is the union’s belief that improving elder care will be top of mind for voters in the next federal election.

In a letter addressed to Trudeau and other federal party leaders last week, CUPE National president Mark Hancock called for long-term care to be regulated under the Canada Health Act, the federal legislation responsible for publicly funded health care insurance. 

The union also implored leaders to set aside dedicated funding to the provinces and territories through the Canada Health Transfer and wants to see the implementation of national standards of care. 

Long-term care is a provincial responsibility, and the majority of facilities are public, non-profit or a mix of the two. Less than 40 per cent of residences are privately owned, which operate on a for-profit basis.

Eliminating the for-profit ownership of homes is another element of CUPE’s strategy.

“We believe long-term care should be a core, publicly delivered health care service, like visiting a family doctor or staying in a hospital, in part because the profit motive negatively impacts working conditions and quality of care,” the union said in a statement to CBC News. “Valuing profitability of care over quality of care is what got us into this situation.”

For-profits not the problem, private home owner says

But the pandemic caught all types of residences off guard, said Paul Arbec, the vice president of the association representing Quebec’s private long-term care residences.

Arbec, who also leads a health care group that owns 16 private care centres across Quebec, said the lack of testing in his province and reduced access to protective equipment was largely responsible for the outbreaks that have devastated some of Quebec’s facilities.

He also rejected the notion that residences built on for-profit models result in lesser conditions for residents and staff. 

“Profit is made on the real estate and room and board side of things and does not in any way hinder direct care to the residents,” Arbec said.

However, he added that he was not opposed to private homes receiving subsidies, stating that both models work better in tandem.

“Having private partners in a public system has managed to keep the public system as efficient as possible, as there remains a healthy competition,” Arbec said.

CUPE plans to launch its campaign Monday.

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Appeal court blocks Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ program for migrants seeking asylum

A U.S. federal appeals court on Friday temporarily halted a Trump administration policy to make asylum seekers wait in Mexico while their cases wind through U.S. immigration courts.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on the two policies that are central to President Donald Trump’s asylum crackdown, dealing the administration a major setback, even if it proves temporary.

The question before the judges was whether to let the policy take effect during legal challenges.

The Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program is one of the most dramatic immigration policy changes enacted by the Trump administration, which has made asylum an increasingly remote possibility. The “Remain in Mexico” measure, as it has been colloquially referred to, took effect in January 2019 and nearly 60,000 people have been sent back to wait for hearings.

The panel concluded that plaintiffs in the case, which included 11 asylum seekers and several immigration advocacy groups, “had shown a likelihood of success on their claim that the MPP does not comply with the United States’ treaty-based non-refoulement obligations.”

Non-refoulement is a principle in international law which says asylum seekers should not be returned to places where they face danger. The administration had argued migrants could tell officials at any point in the process they had a fear of returning to Mexico.

The ruling only applies only to California and Arizona, the border states in the appeals court’s jurisdiction. New Mexico and Texas also share borders with Mexico.

Justice Department lawyers asserted that Trump was within his rights to impose the policies without Congress’s approval and that they would help deter asylum claims that lack merit.

Opponents, including the American Civil Liberties Union, argued that the administration violated U.S. law and obligations to international treaties by turning back people who will likely be persecuted because of their race, religion, nationality or political beliefs.

Reports of harm to asylum seekers

Supporters of the “Remain in Mexico” policy note it has prevented asylum seekers from being released in the United States with notices to appear in court, which they consider a major incentive for people to come.

The Homeland Security Department called it “an indispensable tool” in an Oct. 28 report. U.S. Customs and Border Protection arrests reached a 13-year high in May, officials said, before dropping in great numbers.

Trump has argued the surge during his term qualifies as a national emergency, and the Pentagon has diverted some funds in its budget to construct a border wall. However, the number of apprehensions in Trump’s term is still considerably less than what was seen in the 1990s and the first few years of this century.

Opponents say MPP has exposed asylum seekers to extreme danger in violent Mexican border cities while they wait for U.S. court hearings. Human Rights First, an advocacy group that has criticized the policy, said in January that there were more than 800 public reports of rape, kidnapping, torture, and other violent crimes against asylum seekers who have been sent back to Mexico.

The policy was introduced at the border crossing in San Diego in January and initially focused on asylum seekers from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

In this Aug. 30, 2019 file photo, migrants, many who were returned to Mexico under the Trump administration’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ program, wait in line to get a meal in an encampment near the Gateway International Bridge in Matamoros, which borders Texas. Friday’s ruling is likely not the last word from the courts on the program. (Veronica Cardenas/The Associated Press)

It expanded to crossings in Calexico, Calif., and the Texas cities of El Paso, Eagle Pass, Laredo and Brownsville, and included more people from Spanish-speaking countries.

The administration on Nov. 22 began busing asylum seekers who crossed the border in Arizona from Tucson to El Paso, to be returned from Mexico from there, extending the policy across every major corridor for illegal border crossings.

In Laredo and Brownsville, asylum seekers appear for hearings in tents on U.S. Customs and Border Protection property, connected by video to judges in other locations.

Mexicans are exempt, as are unaccompanied children.

Northern Triangle plans also challenged

In a separate ruling on Friday, the 9th Circuit left in place a lower court’s block on a Trump administration regulation that barred migrants who cross the U.S.-Mexico border between ports of entry from seeking asylum.

It also had drawn pointed questions from the judges during arguments. They asked whether the policy violated U.S. law that says it doesn’t matter how people enter the country.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to lift a ruling blocking the ban.

Immigration and refugee advocates have also cried foul over a program that started in November and through mid-February had seen 683 asylum seekers shipped to Guatemala, more than double the number of asylum seekers processed by Guatemala in all of 2018.

Washington has made similar agreements with Honduras and El Salvador, and the U.S. plans to begin transfers of asylum seekers to those countries as well. 

Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador constitute Central America’s so-called Northern Triangle countries that have been responsible for most of the migrants arriving at the United States’ southwest border in recent years.

Last month, a coalition of groups led by the American Civil Liberties Union sued the U.S. government over the agreements. They argue that Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador do not have the capacity to properly assess asylum cases and lack the resources to protect and support those who do seek asylum there.

Refugee advocates also say they do not qualify as safe third countries, given their crime rates.

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Australia’s High Court agrees to hear cardinal’s appeal over child sex crimes

Australia’s highest court agreed Wednesday to hear an appeal from the most senior Catholic to be found guilty of sexually abusing children, giving Cardinal George Pell his last chance at getting his convictions overturned.

The decision by the High Court of Australia comes nearly a year after a unanimous jury found Pope Francis’ former finance minister guilty of molesting two 13-year-old choirboys in Melbourne’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the late 1990s, shortly after Pell became archbishop of Australia’s second-largest city.

The 78-year-old was sentenced to six years in prison in March and is no longer a member of Francis’ Council of Cardinals or a Vatican official. The Victoria state Court of Appeal rejected his appeal in August.

Pell is in a Melbourne prison, where the Herald Sun newspaper reported last month that he had been given a gardening job. He did not attend the High Court in Canberra to hear the decision Wednesday.

Two of the seven justices — Michelle Gordon and James Edelman — heard Pell’s application for an appeal and unanimously approved it for a hearing by the full bench. 

An appeal hearing cannot happen before the justices return from their summer break in early February.

Pell’s lawyers argued in their 12-page application for a High Court appeal that two state appeals court judges made error in dismissing his appeal in August.

The judges made a mistake by requiring Pell to prove the abuse was impossible, rather than putting the onus of proof on prosecutors, the lawyers said.

They also said the two judges erred in finding the jury’s guilty verdicts were reasonable. Pell’s lawyers argued there was reasonable doubt about whether opportunity existed for the crimes to have occurred.

Pell’s lawyers also argued that changes in law over the years since the crimes were alleged have increased the difficulty in testing sexual assault allegations.

They say Pell should be acquitted of all charges for several reasons, including inconsistencies in the accuser’s version of events.

Prosecutors argued there is no basis for the appeal and that the Victorian courts made no errors.

In their written submission to the High Court, prosecutors wrote that Pell’s legal team was asking High Court judges to apply established principles to the facts of the case, which were already carefully and thoroughly explored by the state appeals court.

Pell was largely convicted on the testimony of one victim. The second victim died of an accidental heroin overdose in 2014 when he was 31 without complaining that he had been abused.

After Pell lost his first appeal, the surviving victim said, “I just hope that it’s all over now.”

Clerical sexual abuse and the Catholic Church’s handling of such cases worldwide have thrown Francis’ papacy into turmoil.

In a little more than a year, the pope has acknowledged he made “grave errors” in Chile’s worst cover-up, Pell was convicted of abuse, a French cardinal was convicted of failing to report a pedophile, and U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was defrocked after a Vatican investigation determined he molested children and adults.

Pell must serve at least three years and eight months behind bars before he becomes eligible for parole. As a convicted pedophile, he is provided with extra protection from other inmates and spends 23 hours a day in solitary confinement.

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Trump plans to appeal ruling on tax returns to Supreme Court

President Donald Trump’s longtime accounting firm must hand over eight years of his tax returns to New York prosecutors, a U.S. appeals court ruled Monday in the latest setback for Trump in his tenacious efforts to keep his finances secret.

The ruling by the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals backed the ability of prosecutors to enforce a subpoena for the returns against accounting firm Mazars USA LLP. With the Republican president due to appeal, the ruling sets the stage for an expected showdown at the U.S. Supreme Court, whose 5-4 conservative majority includes two justices appointed by Trump.

The office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat, is seeking the returns as part of a criminal probe into Trump and his family real estate business. The scope of that probe is not publicly known.

The 2nd Circuit did not decide whether Trump is immune from being charged with a state crime while in office, as the president has argued. However, it found that even if he is, the immunity could not stop Vance from getting the returns from a third party, or from prosecuting him once he leaves office.

It would “exact a heavy toll on our criminal justice system to prohibit a state from even investigating potential crimes committed by him for potential later prosecution,” 2nd Circuit Chief Judge Robert Katzmann wrote.

Jay Sekulow, personal lawyer for Trump, told NBC News that the president plans on appealing the ruling to the Supreme Court.

Vance’s office has agreed not to enforce the subpoena while Trump petitions the Supreme Court. Under the agreement, Trump has 10 business days to file the petition. Trump, who built a real estate empire with his New York-based business before becoming president, also faces an impeachment inquiry in the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives.

The timing of Monday’s decision means the Supreme Court could probably take up and decide the case in its current term, which ends in June. It could, however, wait until its next term to hear the case, potentially pushing its decision until after Trump goes up for re-election next year.

The Supreme Court could also decline to hear the case altogether, which would effectively uphold the 2nd Circuit’s decision and clear the way for Vance to get Trump’s tax returns.

A spokesperson for Vance declined to comment on the ruling.

Trump has refused to make his tax returns public, breaking with a decades-old tradition of U.S. presidential candidates releasing their returns during campaigns and presidents disclosing them while in office. More broadly, Trump has fought efforts by Democrats in Congress and others to obtain information about his finances and a range of other matters.

Judge rejected ‘repugnant’ Trump claim

In a similar dispute, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in May refused to release Trump’s tax returns to a House committee, saying the request was not based on “a legitimate legislative purpose.”

The House then sued the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service in July to try to get access to the tax records. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Oct. 11 ruled in favour of the House bid to obtain Trump’s financial records from Mazars.

In August, Vance subpoenaed Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns from 2011 to 2018, and other records from Mazars USA, the president’s longtime accounting firm. Trump sued Vance’s office in Manhattan federal court to try to block the subpoena, arguing that as a sitting president, he cannot be subject to criminal investigation.

On Oct. 7, U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero threw out Trump’s lawsuit, calling his claim of immunity “repugnant to the nation’s governmental structure and constitutional values.” The ruling prompted Trump’s appeal to the 2nd Circuit.

Arguing before the appeals court on Oct. 23, a lawyer for Trump made the claim of immunity more explicit, saying state authorities would be powerless to act against the president even if he shot someone on the street unless he were removed from office first.

Trump filed his own lawsuit in July seeking to block the House’s ways and means committee from invoking a New York law that allows it to request his state tax returns. That case remains pending.

The House impeachment inquiry focuses on the president’s request in a July phone call for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate a domestic political rival, Joe Biden, the former vice-president and a top contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination to face Trump.

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Ontario’s top court dismisses appeal in controversial brain death case

Ontario’s top court on Wednesday dismissed an appeal by a Toronto-area family that fought to keep their daughter on life support after she was declared brain-dead.

Taquisha McKitty was 27 when doctors declared her “dead by neurological criteria” in September 2017 following a drug overdose that left her unconscious.

Her relatives went to court to prevent doctors from taking her off life support, arguing her Christian faith defines death as the cessation of heartbeat, not brain function.

They argued the Charter of Rights and Freedoms requires doctors to make accommodations for religious beliefs in making a determination of death, and were granted an injunction to keep McKitty on a respirator until the case was resolved.

An Ontario Superior Court judge ruled against them in the summer of 2018, saying the charter does not apply to McKitty because it only protects “persons” and a clinically dead patient is not legally a “person.”

The family challenged the ruling, arguing that determining and certifying death is a function delegated by the state, and therefore subject to scrutiny under the charter.

However, judges with Ontario’s Court of Appeal quashed that in a decision released online at noon on Wednesday. 

“I would uphold the judge’s ultimate conclusion that Ms. McKitty’s claim, as brought by her substitute decision-makers, cannot succeed,” Justice Bradley Miller wrote on behalf of the three-judge panel of the Ontario Court of Appeal. 

Lawyers representing McKitty’s doctor, meanwhile, had argued the family’s appeal relies on evidence that was rejected by the lower court judge, and that it misstates several facts.

They said the judge was correct to find brain death is death in the eyes of the law, and that this definition does not infringe on charter rights.

The appeal handed down Wednesday will have no impact on McKitty herself: the woman’s family said her heart stopped in December 2018, rendering her dead in their view.

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Palestinian soccer head loses appeal for ‘inciting hatred and violence’ toward Lionel Messi

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has dismissed an appeal by the head of Palestinian soccer against his ban by FIFA for “inciting hatred and violence” toward Lionel Messi.

CAS says its judging panel decided that FIFA’s sanctions against Palestinian soccer federation president Jibril Rajoub — a one-year ban from attending games and a fine of 20,000 Swiss francs (approximately $ 26,580 CAD) — “were not disproportionate.”

Rajoub’s ban expires next month, before the national team’s first 2022 World Cup qualifying game at home to Uzbekistan on Sept. 5.

Rajoub’s comments were made when Argentina was due to play a warm-up game in Israel for the 2018 World Cup.

He urged fans to burn Argentina shirts with Messi’s name and pictures of the Barcelona star.

Israel’s soccer federation filed a complaint to FIFA, and canceled its Argentina game.

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