Civics from the Wisconsin Grassroots Network: Hate Crimes, Policing Misconduct, and Legal Concepts of Crime-Fraud, Absolute Immunity, Investigative Non-Disclosure, Dual Sovereignty, and Judicial Review

Mar 18, 2023 | 1h 28m |

Broadcasting live from one of the state’s most important gatherings of civic leaders, advocates, and residents concerned about and motivated to act to protect the foundations of our free, embracing, and forward-looking society, another in the series of discussions of the important news items of our times—as understood through the informing lens of civics, law, and government. Beginning with an exposition of the recent reporting by the Federal Bureau of Investigation about shocking increases in hate crimes in America (and what engaged citizens can and should do about that destructive trend)—followed by another Justice Department report on the unconstitutional, illegal, and anti-community conduct of members of the Louisville, Kentucky Police Department, as conducted in the aftermath of the shooting of Breonna Taylor in 2020 and the gathering of evidence of uses of excessive force, invalid searches, unlawful detentions, and racist behaviors.

In the midst of reports of anticipated state criminal prosecutions against Donald Trump, updates on some aspects of the federal investigations—focusing on the invocation of the “crime-fraud exception” to the attorney-client privilege to compel testimony by the lawyer of the former President; a rejection of “absolute immunity” for his incendiary statements on the Ellipse prior to the January 6 insurrection; and a similar rebuff by the Attorney General to new committee chairs in the House of Representatives seeking information about the status of on-going grand jury and other criminal investigations allegedly (and absurdly) “weaponizing” the federal government against conservative politicians and groups.

Tracking the always-developing efforts of state leaders to roll back privacy interests by further limiting access to reproductive rights, a report on the first legislative prohibition (in Wyoming) on the use of long-approved drugs in abortion procedures—along with updates on an expected, medical-related ruling by a federal judge in Texas and the “bookend” initiatives in states like Minnesota and Michigan to re-establish and preserve historically-embraced reproductive options. Finally, examination of the “dual sovereignty doctrine” permitting the federal prosecution of a defendant previously pardoned by a state governor; the significance of a warrant for the arrest of Russian President Putin (and one of his aides) for kidnapping and deporting Ukrainian children; and the similarly threatening behavior of the Mexican President in promoting and accomplishing a dramatic diminution in that country’s previously-independent commission overseeing and monitoring voting, elections, and the democratic process.