Innovations – A new case against Backpage

Although Backpage was a social media platform for prostitution and child trafficking, it has enjoyed full protection from suit under Federal law.  Yes, an electronic pimping platform has been repeatedly held to be immune from profiting from crime under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.    Annie McAdams, a Houston attorney, is leading the most recent attempt at piercing through the language of the law that has legally protected Backpage.

Annie has a steep uphill legal battle and may face an injunction and have to pay attorneys fees, but she feels it is worth it and that her case is different.   Read her allegations here:  2018-1-23 Pltf Orig Pet.

Beth Klein Boulder Attorney Blog
Beth Klein Boulder Attorney Blog

Annie’s  positive attitude in the face of all of the resistance she will face alone as a sole practitioner is an example of great courage.  And that is what it takes to change things.

Her supporters are behind this suit 100%, but the law is not.  I have been in her shoes.

I know how hard it will be to have 100 bespoke suited corporate lawyers overwhelm with motions, demands, and threats.

Good on you Annie.  I support you.

The law reads:

No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.

In analyzing the availability of the immunity offered by this provision, courts generally apply a three-prong test. A defendant must satisfy each of the three prongs to gain the benefit of the immunity:

  1. The defendant must be a “provider or user” of an “interactive computer service.”
  2. The cause of action asserted by the plaintiff must treat the defendant as the “publisher or speaker” of the harmful information at issue.
  3. The information must be “provided by another information content provider,” i.e., the defendant must not be the “information content provider” of the harmful information at issue.

Every single legal attempt to hold Backpage liable for damages has failed:

  • Doe v. America Online, 783 So. 2d 1010, 1013-1017 (Fl. 2001),1cert. denied, 122 S.Ct. 208 (2000)

The court upheld immunity against state claims of negligence based on “chat room marketing” of obscene photographs of minor by a third party.

  • Kathleen R. v. City of Livermore, 87 Cal. App. 4th 684, 692 (2001).2

The California Court of Appeal upheld the immunity of a city from claims of waste of public funds, nuisance, premises liability, and denial of substantive due process. The plaintiff’s child downloaded pornography from a public library’s computers which did not restrict access to minors. The court found the library was not responsible for the content of the internet and explicitly found that section 230(c)(1) immunity covers governmental entities and taxpayer causes of action.

The court upheld immunity for a social networking site from negligence and gross negligence liability for failing to institute safety measures to protect minors and failure to institute policies relating to age verification. The Does’ daughter had lied about her age and communicated over MySpace with a man who later sexually assaulted her. In the court’s view, the Does’ allegations, were “merely another way of claiming that MySpace was liable for publishing the communications.”

The court upheld immunity for Craigslist against a county sheriff’s claims that its “erotic services” section constituted a public nuisance because it caused or induced prostitution.

  • Backpage.com v. McKenna, et al., CASE NO. C12-954-RSM5
  • Backpage.com LLC v Cooper, Case #: 12-cv-00654[SS1]6
  • Backpage.com LLC v Hoffman et al., Civil Action No. 13-cv-03952 (DMC) (JAD)7

The court upheld immunity for Backpage in contesting a state of Washington law (SB6251)8 that would have made providers of third-party content online liable for any crimes related to a minor in Washington State.9 The states of Tennessee and New Jersey later passed similar legislation. Backpage argued that the laws violated Section 230, the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, and the First and Fifth Amendments.10 In all three cases the courts granted Backpage permanent injunctive relief and awarded them attorney’s fees.1112131415

The court ruled in favor of Backpage after Sheriff Tom Dart of Cook County IL, a frequent critic of Backpage and its adult postings section, sent a letter on his official stationary to Visa and MasterCard demanding that these firms “immediately cease and desist…” allowing the use of their credit cards to purchase ads on Backpage. Within two days both companies withdrew their services from Backpage.17 Backpage filed a lawsuit asking for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against Dart granting Backpage relief and return to the status quo prior to Dart sending the letter. Backpage alleged that Dart’s actions were unconstitutional violating the First and Fourteenth amendments to the US Constitution as well as Section 230 of the CDA. Backpage asked for Dart to retract his “cease and desist” letters.18 After initially being denied the injunctive relief by a lower court,1920 the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed that decision and directed that a permanent injunction be issued enjoining Dart and his office from taking any actions “…to coerce or threaten credit card companies…with sanctions intended to ban credit card or other financial services from being provided to Backpage.com.”21 The court cited section 230 as part of its decision.

And Dart, as a government employee is now exposed for civil liability for attempting to suppress protected speech.

The idea in these lawsuits, and Annie’s case is to argue that Backpage has been actively involved in creating or editing the pimping posts as opposed to simply providing an internet platform for expression.  She has made allegations to meet this burden:

Internal company documents clearly demonstrate that Backpage has long maintained a practice of altering ads before publication by deleting words, phrases, and images indicative of child sex trafficking and sex trafficking, as well as “educating” users how to make illegal ads for prostitution appear as legal ads for escorts. For example, on July 28, 2011, Backpage co-founder, James Larkin, cautioned Backpage CEO, Carl Ferrer, against publicizing The Backpage Defendants moderation practices, explaining that “we need to stay away from the very idea of editing the posts, as you know.” Backpage had good reason to conceal its editing practices: Those practices served to sanitize the content of innumerable advertisements for illegal transactions, including those prostituting out and trafficking Jane Doe #1—even as The Backpage Defendants
represented to the public and the courts that it merely hosted content others had created.

When a user submitted an adult ad containing one of the above forbidden words, The Backpage Defendants Strip Term from Ad Filter would immediately delete the discrete word and the remainder of the ad would be published after moderator review. Of course, the Strip Term from Ad Filter changed nothing about the real age of the person being sold for sex or the real nature of the advertised transaction, nor was this The Backpage Defendants’ goal. By July 2010, the Backpage Defendants were praising moderation staff for their editing efforts. Ferrer circulated an agenda for a July 2010 meeting of The Backpage Defendants’ Phoenix staff and applauded moderators for their work on “adult content” and encouraging Backpage staff to keep up the good work. Ferrer elaborated in an August 210 email that Backpage currently had a staff of 20 moderators working 24/7 to remove any sex act pics and other code words for sex for money.

And so, you ask, how can this law remain on the books if it protects criminals and traffickers?    Because this applies to all interactive computer providers:  Google, Facebook, all of them.  And none of them want to incur liability for crime and posts made by their users.

All efforts in Congress to change the law have failed.

But that does not mean that all of the providers have not done anything.  Google is on the cutting edge of  Innovations.  But more needs to be done.  And just maybe Annie will be the one.

The “Dossier” Testimony

I have been following the GPS/Simpson Dossier matters with great interest.  Here is a link to the Senate “Dossier Testimony.”  This was released by Senator Dianne Feinstein after the Democrats were not consulted on the criminal referral against former British spy and Fusion GPS investigator Christopher Steele.  Simpson touched on a wide array of topics in the 312-page transcript, including President Trump’s business ties and his tax history.

Read the sworn testimony here.

368772718-Glenn-Simpson-Testimony

Beth Klein Boulder Attorney Blog
Beth Klein Boulder Attorney Blog

Beth Klein Nabs Case Of The Year Award

Beth Klein Boulder Attorney Nabs Case Of The Year Award

Finding Evidence in War ZonesWhen faced with international travel, reluctant witnesses and a behemoth defendant, most attorneys turned down David Dawson’s case. Most attorneys except Beth Klein of Boulder law firm Klein & Frank, who received the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association Case of the Year Award for her work in winning Dawson $19 million in damages.

The verdict was years in the making but well worth the wait for Dawson, who was working in Iraq as a private contractor when he stepped into a shower that was so hot it caused third-degree burns over 65 percent of his body.

At the core of the case were three questions: Was the hot water piped to the housing units subject to sudden temperature swings? Was the manager of the residential center aware of this? And did the contractor take reasonable steps to address the problem?

To get the answers, Klein had to navigate through numerous countries, track down people with nothing more than byzantine address systems and phone directories and utilize interpreters to understand witnesses who spoke Arabic, Turkish and German.

And she had to convince people they wouldn’t be killed.

Klein worked on the case with her partner, Carrie Frank, and co-counsel Marquette Wolf of the Law Firm of Ted Lyon & Associates in Texas where the trial was held.

“What they know of us is so very bad,” Klein said of the Iraqis. “They don’t hear the nuanced political discussions on TV. They hear the bomb down the street.”
What she calls the “greatest case I’ve ever done” is now settled.

Committed to A Kinder 2018

Beth Klein Boulder Attorney Blog
Beth Klein Boulder Attorney Blog

“Changing the world isn’t a result of knowledge, environment, genetics, or “superpowers”   It is simply the result of being in action.  In 2018, if you are committed to a kinder, better world,  get some “time to do good” on your calendar!  What gets set on a calendar gets done.   Consider how it might feel writing in your calendar your time to do good.   It might be more exciting  and joyful than scheduling anything else.

Waiting for the “one right, big enough” thing or waiting until you have the right degree, the right connections, or the right time, results in “Inaction.”  Inaction means everyone is missing out.

Consider that creating a kinder, better world is a practice that begins with committing two hours a week solely for “time to do good.”   “Time to do good” can be anything that contributes to kindness or making life better for others.  It can happen any time of the day or night, any day of the week.   It can be time spent with your family or anyone. (Parents, time to do good, includes quality time with your kids.)

Use the time to be with people, learn, and give.  The possibilities of what this time can be filled up with are infinite.  Design two fantastic hours of “time to do good,”  schedule and commit to the time, and enjoy the time.   Repeat.

Overachievers be aware that in a year there are 1,500 hours available for “time to to good:

104 weekend days

10-30 days of annual leave

2 hours every weekday evening

Set an intention in your calendar in your own words.  This will keep your ideas and action alive. Once a week ask yourself “what good you want to do,” and at the end of the week ask “what good you have done.”

I ask, who will start, and what will you do in your “time to do good?”   Will it be baking cookies for a neighbor, reading to a child, going for a run with a friend that needs some joy, volunteering, giving money or useful things to charity, teaching English, science, music or math to a vulnerable child by Skype, scheduling time to go on an indigo volunteer group , training leaders, saving animals?

In 2018 I have chosen to train and empower leaders.  I hope this is a good start.

Please share what you will do with your “time to do good” in the comments below.

 

Lawyer Marketing Lows & Woes

Beth Klein Boulder Attorney Blog
Beth Klein Boulder Attorney Personal Page

Every week or so I get a report from Google on the terms that are used to search for me and my firm. Apparently, the phrases “Beth Klein Boulder” “Beth Klein Attorney”  and “Beth Klein Boulder Attorney” and “Beth Klein Attorney Boulder “are searched so often that several advertising lawyers bid on pay per click ads to re-direct internet traffic to their websites. Fricky, Mertes, Berg, and a few others.  I guess their names aren’t enough and they have to use mine to get clients.  Should I be flattered or mad?

 

 

Beth Klein Boulder – talks DUP, Tory Puppetmaster

After failing to win a majority, the Conservative Party forged an alliance with the right wing Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to form a government. Government needs to have an overall majority of 326 MPs to get legislation past the House of Commons. Let’s meet the DUP which is akin to the Westborough Baptist Church as a political party, now, with power.

The DUP was founded in 1971 by radical Ian Paisley during the Troubles.  It is a Unionist party, a group that favors northern Ireland’s union with the UK and is primarily Protestant.  An Irish nationalist party favors a united Ireland and is typically Catholic.

Beth Klein Boulder talks politics Ian Paisley

Northern Ireland was in the midst of an ethnic-nationalist conflict known as the Troubles, which began in 1969 and would last for the next thirty years. The conflict began amid a campaign to end discrimination against the Catholic/Irish nationalist minority by the Protestant/unionist government and police force. This protest campaign was opposed, often violently, by unionists who viewed it as an Irish republican front. Paisley had led the unionist opposition to the civil rights movement. The DUP were more hardline or loyalist than the UUP and its founding arguably stemmed from insecurities of the Ulster Protestant working class.

The DUP opposed the Sunningdale Agreement of 1973. The Agreement was an attempt to resolve the conflict by setting up a new assembly and government for Northern Ireland in which unionists and Irish nationalists would share power. The Agreement also proposed the creation of a Council of Ireland, which would facilitate co-operation between the governments of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The DUP organized general strikes which led to the downfall of these shared-power peace initiatives.

During 1981, the DUP opposed the talks between British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey. That year, Paisley and other DUP members attempted to create a Protestant loyalist volunteer militia—called the (Ulster) Third Force—which would work alongside the police and army to fight the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

In November 1986, a rally was held in which DUP politicians Paisley, Robinson and Ivan Foster announced the formation of the Ulster Resistance Movement (URM). This was a loyalist paramilitary group whose purpose was to “take direct action as and when required” to bring down the Agreement and defeat republicanism. Recruitment rallies were held in towns across Northern Ireland and thousands were said to have joined. The following year, the URM helped smuggle a large shipment of weapons into Northern Ireland, which were shared out between the URM, the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). Most, but not all, of the weaponry was seized by police in 1988. In 1989, URM members attempted to trade Shorts’ missile blueprints for weapons from the apartheid South African regime. Following these revelations, the DUP said that it had cut its links with the URM in 1987.

The DUP opposed the other peace initiatives including the Good Friday Agreement referendum, in which the Agreement was approved by 71.1% of the electorate.

In 2016, seeds of alliances with the Conservatives/Tories were planted. The 2017 election bore fruit of power for the DUP. May will have to make concessions to the DUP in order to maintain her government.

Arlene Foster, is the current leader of the DUP. Foster was raised in the town of Dernawilt and is a member of the Protestant Church of Ireland. Her experience with political violence began early in her life when her father was the victim of a failed assassination attempt — shot at their home. As a teenager, Foster was on a school bus that was bombed by the IRA, the vehicle targeted because its driver was a soldier in the Ulster Defence Regiment. Foster is a degreed lawyer.

The DUP formerly campaigned against the legalisation of homosexual acts in Northern Ireland through the “Save Ulster from Sodomy” campaign,and in recent years has vetoed the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland. In December, the DUP’s Trevor Clarke was criticised by Sir Elton John after the politician admitted he did not know heterosexual people could contract HIV until a charity explained the facts to him.

DUP East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson, a devout climate change denier, was once Northern Ireland’s environment minister. Mervyn Storey, the party’s former education spokesman, once called for creationism – the belief that human life did not evolve over millions of years but was created by God – to be taught alongside evolution in science classes. He has also objected to an exhibition on evolution in the Ulster Museum and signs at the Giant’s Causeway in his North Antrim constituency.

The DUP has called for a debate in the House of Commons over the death penalty. The party maintains that it is “pro-life” and unanimously opposed a bill by Labour MP Diane Johnson to protect women in England and Wales from criminal prosecution if they ended a pregnancy using pills bought online. The DUP opposes funding for international family planning programs.

The party backs “soft Brexit” and a soft border in Ireland.

Meet the DUP, PM May's Puppet Master

After failing to win a majority, the Conservative Party forged an alliance with the right wing Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to form a government. Government needs to have an overall majority of 326 MPs to get legislation past the House of Commons. Let’s meet the DUP which is akin to the Westborough Baptist Church as a political party, now, with power.

The DUP was founded in 1971 by radical Ian Paisley during the Troubles.  It is a Unionist party, a group that favors northern Ireland’s union with the UK and is primarily Protestant.  An Irish nationalist party favors a united Ireland and is typically Catholic.

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Beth Klein Boulder talks politics Ian Paisley

Northern Ireland was in the midst of an ethnic-nationalist conflict known as the Troubles, which began in 1969 and would last for the next thirty years. The conflict began amid a campaign to end discrimination against the Catholic/Irish nationalist minority by the Protestant/unionist government and police force. This protest campaign was opposed, often violently, by unionists who viewed it as an Irish republican front. Paisley had led the unionist opposition to the civil rights movement. The DUP were more hardline or loyalist than the UUP and its founding arguably stemmed from insecurities of the Ulster Protestant working class.

The DUP opposed the Sunningdale Agreement of 1973. The Agreement was an attempt to resolve the conflict by setting up a new assembly and government for Northern Ireland in which unionists and Irish nationalists would share power. The Agreement also proposed the creation of a Council of Ireland, which would facilitate co-operation between the governments of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The DUP organized general strikes which led to the downfall of these shared-power peace initiatives.

During 1981, the DUP opposed the talks between British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey. That year, Paisley and other DUP members attempted to create a Protestant loyalist volunteer militia—called the (Ulster) Third Force—which would work alongside the police and army to fight the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

In November 1986, a rally was held in which DUP politicians Paisley, Robinson and Ivan Foster announced the formation of the Ulster Resistance Movement (URM). This was a loyalist paramilitary group whose purpose was to “take direct action as and when required” to bring down the Agreement and defeat republicanism. Recruitment rallies were held in towns across Northern Ireland and thousands were said to have joined. The following year, the URM helped smuggle a large shipment of weapons into Northern Ireland, which were shared out between the URM, the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). Most, but not all, of the weaponry was seized by police in 1988. In 1989, URM members attempted to trade Shorts’ missile blueprints for weapons from the apartheid South African regime. Following these revelations, the DUP said that it had cut its links with the URM in 1987.

The DUP opposed the other peace initiatives including the Good Friday Agreement referendum, in which the Agreement was approved by 71.1% of the electorate.

In 2016, seeds of alliances with the Conservatives/Tories were planted. The 2017 election bore fruit of power for the DUP. May will have to make concessions to the DUP in order to maintain her government.

Arlene Foster, is the current leader of the DUP. Foster was raised in the town of Dernawilt and is a member of the Protestant Church of Ireland. Her experience with political violence began early in her life when her father was the victim of a failed assassination attempt — shot at their home. As a teenager, Foster was on a school bus that was bombed by the IRA, the vehicle targeted because its driver was a soldier in the Ulster Defence Regiment. Foster is a degreed lawyer.

The DUP formerly campaigned against the legalisation of homosexual acts in Northern Ireland through the “Save Ulster from Sodomy” campaign,and in recent years has vetoed the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland. In December, the DUP’s Trevor Clarke was criticised by Sir Elton John after the politician admitted he did not know heterosexual people could contract HIV until a charity explained the facts to him.

DUP East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson, a devout climate change denier, was once Northern Ireland’s environment minister. Mervyn Storey, the party’s former education spokesman, once called for creationism – the belief that human life did not evolve over millions of years but was created by God – to be taught alongside evolution in science classes. He has also objected to an exhibition on evolution in the Ulster Museum and signs at the Giant’s Causeway in his North Antrim constituency.

The DUP has called for a debate in the House of Commons over the death penalty. The party maintains that it is “pro-life” and unanimously opposed a bill by Labour MP Diane Johnson to protect women in England and Wales from criminal prosecution if they ended a pregnancy using pills bought online. The DUP opposes funding for international family planning programs.

The party backs “soft Brexit” and a soft border in Ireland.

Beth Klein Boulder Attorney talks Weaponized Advertising

Beth Klein Boulder Attorney talks about Weaponized Lawyer Advertising.

In the legal profession, advertising lawyers have gone to extremes to acquire clients.  And it is rather frightening to know that lawyers are simply following marketing techniques that are used to push the sale of nearly everything.  It started in the 1970’s.

Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, 433 U.S. 350 (1977), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court upheld the right of lawyers to advertise their services. In holding that lawyer advertising was commercial speech entitled to protection under the First Amendment (incorporated against the States through the Fourteenth Amendment), the Court upset the tradition against advertising by lawyers, rejecting it as an antiquated rule of etiquette.

With this decision, lawyers began working with phone book advertising, billboards, radio, and TV.   Who could out noise, out number and out size was the game.  Strong arms, grizzlies, and rabid dogs became brands to get leads.  And the warehouse law firm model was born.  The back office with nameless paralegals in warehouses processing cases and the front office crunching productivity – churning cases and burning clients.

Childless lawyers hire child models to appear as their own kids for that “family man” image.   Lawyers hire dancing-girls and target motorcycle riders at events with the vibe of Sons of Anarchy and sexual innuendo.

And then there are lawyers who are brutally honest about who they are:

Groups of lawyers fund national campaigns to acquire clients by pooling money for bigger ad buys.  Telephone banks and auto mailings are created to receive calls, read scripts, and sign up clients.  And then, clients are sold as commodities.  There are private lawyer banks that fund the sale of blocks of clients.

Recently, lawyers have gotten into the email text, and behavioral data harvesting game.  Your emails and face book posts and anything you click  on-line are harvested for data analytics on behavior prediction.  Google is not an electronic library index; it is a data collection company.

Ever notice how you might be searching for a product or emailing someone, and then all of the ads that you see are targeted toward your recent search and seem to have a connection with a recent email?   Your data is being collected and used to predict your buying behavior.

But it gets worse.  Some lawyers use marketing companies to text you directly if you are communicating about an illness, a product, or a death.  This means that your internet carrier and phone company are harvesting your phone data and communicating directly through texts to your phone number.

And now there is a new frontier:  voice ads talking through your home and intelligent personal assistant devices (like Siri).  Google and Amazon are currently engaged in a battle over who will dominate the new voice-activated AI-enabled smart assistant market. Google Home can play information about new products through your house speakers.

But there are ways to fight back.  Burger King launched an ad that would read out the benefits of Whoppers on AI smart assistants and home speakers.  The script that the AI was to read was from Wikipedia.   But annoyed consumers re-wrote the Wiki text.  So that the AI assistant read that Whoppers were the worst burger and contained cyanide.   The ad was pulled.  And a least for a day, Siri was not reading about the benefits of a burger.

But soon Siri will be talking about the benefits of the pit bull attorney or the lawyers who “ride” and “hammer hard.”    We can only hope that this script is changed, and that quality and mastery becomes what matters when hiring an attorney.

 

 

 

 

 

Beth Klein Boulder Attorney’s Primer on the Chevron Doctrine

Beth Klein Boulder Attorney explores the interpretation of vague legislation and how agencies and courts confront circumstances where Congress has failed to be clear.   Do we defer to the agency bureaucracy or simply strike down ambiguous laws?

Under the Chevron Doctrine, Courts defer to agency interpretation of vague or ambiguous law.   What is problematic is that agencies are not only given the freedom to determine what the law is, but they can change their interpretation at any time.  Uncertainty about law destabilizes our society.

Chevron matters more today than ever, as President Trump changes agency rules – deleting 8 years of pro-union labor rules, immigration policies, environmental controls on fossil fuels and how the ACA is administered.    Can America withstand the whipsaw change of law and policy with the change of the party in charge?  Probably not well.

This is the current standard:

First, always, is the question whether Congress has directly spoken to the precise question at issue. If the intent of Congress is clear, that is the end of the matter; for the court, as well as the agency, must give effect to the unambiguously expressed intent of Congress. If, however, the court determines Congress has not directly addressed the precise question at issue, the court does not simply impose its own construction on the statute . . . Rather, if the statute is silent or ambiguous with respect to the specific issue, the question for the court is whether the agency’s answer is based on a permissible construction of the statute.

— Chevron U.S.A. v. NRDC, 467 U.S. 837, 842-43 (1984).

Gorsuch has called out the destabilizing effect of this doctrine.  Citizens should be able to rely on clear and stable law so that they can conform.

Under Chevron the people aren’t just charged with awareness of and the duty to conform their conduct to the fairest reading of the law …. Instead, they are charged with an awareness of Chevron; required to guess whether the statute will be declared “ambiguous” (courts often disagree on what qualifies); and required to guess (again) whether an agency’s interpretation will be deemed “reasonable.”  . . .

And, of course, that’s not the end of it. Even if the people somehow manage to make it through this far unscathed, they must always remain alert to the possibility that the agency will reverse its current view 180 degrees anytime based merely on the shift of political winds and still prevail.

Federal judges have started to  question the constitutionality of allowing Congress to grant so much deference to unelected bureaucrats and to pass unclear and unfinished laws.  Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote a decision last year declaring the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency unconstitutional because no one including the President had the power to fire its director.  Kavanaugh says “Because of their massive power and the absence of Presidential supervision and direction, independent agencies pose a significant threat to individual liberty and to the constitutional system of separation of powers and checks and balances,”  Gorsuch has expressed concerns about Congress delegating legislative power to the President.  The Supreme Court decided in 1892 that Congress can’t delegate legislative power to the president – members of Congress must remain accountable to voters in their own districts. The Supreme Court in 1935 rejected a statute giving the president the power to write an industrial code of competition.

The Courts alway struggle with legislative laziness, bad drafting and the inability and failure to agree on policy.  Activist judges fill in the gaps.  Others defer to the political branch or defer to agencies via the Chevron doctrine.

We are about to embark on a new legal journey.   And its time for Congress to step up their commitment to the People.

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Beth Klein Boulder Attorney and the Chevron Doctrine

Rights to be lead questioner in Trump lawsuit auctioned off for charity!

Beth Klein Boulder Attorney Blog
Beth Klein Boulder Attorney Blog

Imagine if you will, a dream lawyer gig – deposing Trump!   Imagine further, that the right to be the lead questioner will be auctioned off of the highest bidder.

Which charity should receive the proceeds?

Leaders Wanted!

Council Vacancies
The Colorado Human Trafficking Council is a statewide, legislatively established body that represents a wide-range of sectors, disciplines, and perspectives. The Council strives to build and enhance collaboration among communities, improve comprehensive services for victims and survivors of human trafficking, to assist in the successful prosecution of human traffickers, and to help prevent human trafficking in Colorado.There are currently three vacant seats on the Council that cover the following roles:

  • A “representative of a regional or city-wide human trafficking coalition,”
  • A “representative of an organization that provides direct services to victims of human trafficking,”
  • A “representative of a “non-profit organization that facilitates the treatment or housing of human trafficking victims.”

If you or someone you know is appropriate for these vacancies, visit the Council Vacancies page for further information on how to apply.

2011 TexasHuman Trafficking Law may Render Life Sentence.

For the first time, a Texas law that Beth Klein Boulder Attorney helped pass in 2011 may be used to land a trafficker in prison for life.

A Houston man was charged Friday with human trafficking for allegedly leading a prostitution ring, forcing women into sexual slavery through beatings and threats to their lives, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

Anthony Gardner, 27, is believed to be the first person charged by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office with the crime of “continuing trafficking of persons.” He also faces one charge of aggravated promotion of prostitution and two counts of compelling prostitution by force, authorities said.

The Texas Legislature created the trafficking criminal charge in 2011 so that a person can be charged if they use force, fraud or coercion to cause someone to engage in a sexual act on two or more occasions for 30 days or longer.

JoAnne Musick, sex crimes chief for the DA’s office, said she’s been unable to identify anyone charged with the crime in Texas. She said charging someone with the crime is rare because it’s hard for investigators to catch them.

“I am thrilled that a law we helped pass with Senator Leticia Van De Putte is being put to use” Beth Klein said. “I look forward to monitoring the trial, and I hope that the prosecution is successful.”

Gardner forced eight women, including two minors, to work for him on Houston streets since November 2014. Houston police collected evidence through a monthslong investigation that included interviewing women Gardner hired to commit sexual acts, which eventually led to them tracking him down and arresting him in January 2017. Houston Police Department’s Human Trafficking Unit worked in collaboration with the Harris County District Attorney’s newly formed Sex Crimes Division.

“Sex trafficking in Houston is an epidemic. Our new Sex Crimes Division is making prosecution of traffickers like Anthony Gardner a priority,” said Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg. “Gardner posed a real-time threat to the women he has trafficked and abused, but the tables have turned.”

Police identified one woman in June 2015 after an officer with HPD Vice Division contacted her based on an advertisement from BackPage.com, according to court documents. The then 17-year-old agreed to meet the undercover officers at a place at 2400 West South Loop to engage in a sexual act for $300.

She drove a vehicle registered by the defendant to the location. The woman called Gardner after being arrested on a phone number police recognized and said, “They got me, I’m going to jail.” She also referred to him as “Trouble,” which police knew as the defendant’s nickname.

The women working for the defendant allegedly had to make at least $1,000 a day by performing sexual acts. If not, they would face violent punishment.

One woman “A.L.,” who worked for Gardner shortly after turning 17, told police she had a child by him, according to court documents. She said that he would tell her how much to charge for sex acts, buy her hotel rooms to work out of and instructed all the money she made should be given to him.

A.L. also said a few weeks after Thanksgiving 2014 the defendant became physical with her and “backed her up against the wall, grabbed her by the throat, and started to choke her.” One woman also working for Gardner told police that he hit her so hard she chipped a tooth.

Musick said the District Attorney’s Office has made it a priority to track down criminals like Gardner.

“With human trafficking so prolific in Houston, it’s impossible to estimate how many people might fall into this position,” she said. “We anticipate that it’s a significant number of people. It’s very eye-opening just how much of this is going on in our own backyard.”

The defendant faces five years to life in prison for the charge of aggravated promotion of prosecution. He also faces up to 20 years for each count of compelling prostitution by force. His “continuous trafficking of persons” charge holds a penalty of 25 years to life in prison.

“With the new laws, I encourage any man or woman who’s being victimized to reach out to law enforcement for help.” Klein said. “We want this crime to end for all time.”

Trump and Human Trafficking

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Beth Klein Boulder Attorney – Where slavery is prevalent and new global will to defeat it.

Even birds that are free to fly, cage them and they shall cry.

70% of all slavery exists in only 12 countries because laws are not enforced and traffickers operate with impunity.  Now we have the political will to fight it.  A global disciplined slavery fund and shared effort to end human trafficking with the global model of fighting AIDS is on the table.   Ending slavery is a victory that is actually possible in our generation.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; International Justice Mission; Thorn: Tech Innovation to Fight Child Sexual Exploitation were in attendance to advise the President, and it is good to see Human Trafficking as a first 100 days priority of this administration.

Slave owners prey on poor families seeking a better life

Gowri and her husband wanted to support their children and pay for their medical bills, so they took out a loan from a factory owner.

This turned out to be a trick, and the owner continually increased the loan, violently forcing the family to continue working long hours for him. This abuse continued for nearly 10 years, until IJM was able to send rescue. Today, the slave owner is standing trial, and the family is safe.

Gideon’s grandparents sent him to a man who promised to take care of him and help him go to school. Instead, the man enslaved Gideon* in a fishing boat on Lake Volta in Ghana.

Gideon’s grandfather was not wealthy enough to file charges against the slave owner, but early last year we were able to rescue Gideon and bring him home.

 

When Elsa* was 12 years old her father died, and her mother left. Elsa was determined to find work, save some money and support her brother.

A bar owner offered her a job that promised good pay. But it was a trap. The bar owner forced her into prostitution, and for years she faced violent abuse and sexual exploitation every single day. But now, Elsa is safe. She is a brave survivor of sex trafficking and describes herself as strong.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody, very nice. Nice to see you. Well, I want to thank Dina and Ivanka and everybody for working so hard to set this up. It’s been so important to them, and I want to make it clear today that my administration will focus on ending the absolutely horrific practice of human trafficking. And I am prepared to bring the full force and weight of our government to the federal and at the federal level, and the other highest levels, whatever we can do, in order to solve this horrific problem. It’s getting worse and it’s happening in the United States in addition to the rest of the world, but it’s happening in the United States, which is terrible.

Human trafficking is a dire problem, both domestically and internationally, and is one that’s made really a challenge. And it’s really made possible to a large extent, more of a modern phenomenon, by what’s taking place on the Internet, as you probably know. Solving the human trafficking epidemic, which is what it is, is a priority for my administration. We’re going to help out a lot. “Solve” is a wonderful word, a beautiful word, but I can tell you, we’re going to help a lot.

I’ll direct the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies that have a role in preventing human trafficking to take a hard look at the resources and personnel that they’re currently devoting to this fight. Now, they are devoting a lot, but we’re going to be devoting more.

Dedicated men and women across the federal government have focused on this for some time, as you know. A lot of you have been dealing with the federal government and it’s been much more focused over the last four weeks — I can tell you that. I cannot thank each of you enough, and the dedicated men and women who run my staff and your staffs in getting everybody together was terrific. I was so glad I was able to be here.

You start with really a tremendous amount of energy and blood, sweat and tears. Government can be helpful, but without you, nothing would happen. So, again, I want to thank everybody in this room. It’s a very, very terrible problem. It’s not talked about enough. People don’t know enough about it. And we’re going to talk about it, and we’re going to bring it out into the open and hopefully we’re going to do a great deal to help prevent some of the horrific — really horrific — crimes that are taking place.

And I can see — I really can say, in this country, people don’t realize how bad it is in this country, but in this country and all over the world. So thank you all for being here.

Thank you very much.