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Grassley Reacts to Administration's Attempt to Backtrack its Affront to Religious Freedom PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 13 February 2012 14:17

Friday, February 10, 2012

Senator Chuck Grassley released the following statement after the President attempted to compromise on a rule issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, as part of the department’s implementation of the sweeping Affordable Care Act of 2010, that mandated that religious-affiliated charities, schools and hospitals provide coverage for controversial contraceptive products.

On Tuesday, Grassley called on the Secretary of Health and Human Services to rescind the Obama Administration’s health care rule that will force religious affiliated organizations to either abandon their freedom of conscience or pay a fine of up to $2,000 per employee.

Here is Grassley's statement following today's announcement.

"Adhering to one of this country's most valued principles shouldn't be an afterthought.  Unfortunately, though, disregarding the Constitution has become an all too common pattern for this administration.  Its latest questionable move challenging religious freedom raised the ire of people across the country.  The administration's attempt to reverse this outright affront to religious freedom falls short and continues to highlight the concern of many of us that the health care law overreaches into personal freedoms and liberties."

 
Grassley Weekly Video Address PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 13 February 2012 14:16

During his weekly video address, Senator Chuck Grassley presses President Obama to support his legislation to root out fraud and abuse from the H-1B visa program and ensure qualified Americans have the first opportunity to compete for jobs.  Grassley highlights a discussion between the President and Jennifer Wedel who called attention to the difficulty many high-skilled Americans are having finding employment in this area.

 

Click here for audio.

Here is the text of the address:

During a recent Google Plus “hangout,” President Obama heard directly from Jennifer Wedel whose husband, a high-tech engineer, had been unable to find a job for more than three years.

The President seemed surprised about the employment struggles of so many high-skilled Americans like Mr. Wedel.

It’s something I’ve been hearing for several years.  Many high-skilled Americans are being passed over for jobs.  Companies are hiring lower-wage workers from overseas, often through the H-1B Visa program.

I’m glad that Mrs. Wedel brought this to the President’s attention.  The President offered to personally help Mr. Wedel, but there are many other Americans in the same boat.

The struggles for these high skilled workers will continue.  The President’s administration recently made policy changes affecting foreign students and spouses of H-1B visa holders that put American workers at a disadvantage.  The H-1B visa program should complement the U.S. workforce, not replace it.

Through my oversight, I’ve uncovered untold amounts of fraud and abuse in the H-1B visa program.  To ensure that qualified American workers are given first consideration, I’ve written legislation that would return the program to its original intent where employers use H-1B visas only to shore up employment in areas where there is a lack of qualified American workers.  My bill makes reforms to increase enforcement, modify wage requirements and ensure protection for visa holders and American workers.

President Obama should support my H-1B reform legislation and give qualified high-skilled Americans the best opportunity to compete for jobs.

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Iowa Court of Appeals Elects Eisenhauer as Chief Judge PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Iowa Judicial Branch   
Friday, 10 February 2012 15:22

Des Moines, February 10, 2012— The Iowa Court of Appeals has elected Judge Larry J. Eisenhauer, Ankeny, as chief judge. Judge Eisenhauer has served on the court of appeals since 2001. He is the seventh chief judge since the state legislature established the court of appeals in 1976. He replaces Chief Judge Rosemary Sackett, recently retired.

 

"I am honored that the judges of the court of appeals elected me chief judge," Chief Judge Eisenhauer said. "Iowans are fortunate to have a court of appeals made up of thoughtful and hardworking judges supported by a dedicated staff. I am privileged to be a part of it."

 

Judge Eisenhauer was born in Emporia, Kansas, and received his undergraduate degree from Emporia State University in 1968. He then served in the United States Army for two years, including a tour of duty in Vietnam, before attending Drake University Law School. After graduating from Drake in 1974, he practiced law privately until 1985 and served as a juvenile referee from 1985 to 1993. He was appointed to the district court bench in 1994 and served as district court judge until his appointment to the court of appeals. Judge Eisenhauer serves on the Judicial Council Subcommittee on Court Records and Management Retention, co-chairs the Children's Justice Advisory Committee, and is a member of the Polk County, Iowa State, and American Bar Associations.

 

Previously, Chief Judge Eisenhauer was a faculty member of the Iowa Child Abuse Academy, chair of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Court Appointed Special Advocates, chair of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Juvenile Court Officers, and a member of the Iowa State Bar Association Family Law Committee, and the Advisory Board of the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning Agency.  In 2005, he served as an International Judge for the United Nations Mission in Kosovo.  He was presented the Iowa Judges Association Award of Merit in 2008. Judge Eisenhauer is married, has two children, and one grandchild.

 

The Iowa Court of Appeals is an intermediate appellate court. It reviews appeals from trial court decisions that the supreme court has transferred to the court of appeals . A decision of the Iowa Court of Appeals is final unless reviewed by the Iowa Supreme Court on grant of further review. The majority of appeals filed in Iowa are decided by the court of appeals. Last year, the Iowa Court of Appeals issued 1,068 opinions.

 

In addition to judicial duties, the Chief Judge of the Iowa Court of Appeals supervises the business of the court, presides when present at a session of the court, and serves on the judicial council. Judge Eisenhauer will also continue to write opinions.

 

Previous Chief Judges of the Iowa Court of Appeals

 

1976-1978

Judge Robert Allbee

1978-1994

Judge Leo Oxberger

1994-1996

Judge Allen Donielson

1996

Judge Rosemary Sackett

1997

Judge Albert Habhab

1997-1998

Chief Justice Mark Cady

1999-2012

 

Judge Rosemary Sackett

 

 

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The Hawkeye Caucus Weekly PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Haekeye Caucus   
Friday, 10 February 2012 15:00

All the world – including Osage – is a stage!

Kids in Mitchell County will have a chance “to be or not to be” every summer thanks to a new theater program started by a University of Iowa student and two alumni.

The Osage Summer Theatre Program is designed to help K-12 students learn about all aspects of the theater, from acting to directing to sets and costumes, in classes and workshops. The program started small last summer and still attracted 35 students to the two-week program that culminates in the production of three plays.

The program was founded by UI senior Maggie Blake, along with Theresa Augsburger and Maggie Jones, two recent UI alumni. Blake said the three of them, all theater majors, wanted to use their education and their skills to work with children and provide a kind of community service. They settled on Osage, population 3,400, as the location for their theater because it's Jones' hometown.

The program is held in Osage's community center, the Cedar River Complex, which includes a state-of-the-art performance facility. Interns from the UI and Mitchell County high schools will help with production and education. The group hopes to eventually build a network of youth community theater organizations like it throughout Iowa.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

The program not only introduces young children to the theater, it fills a need for high school students, too. The local school district recently cut its high school theater department, so students there who were interested in performing had nowhere to go.

 

QUOTE/UNQUOTE

University of Iowa student Maggie Blake: "Theater and kids are a great match because they get to put on hats and be silly and they love that, even the older kids. They can learn about teamwork and working together in a collaborative way."

 

FYI

The group is raising money to make the Osage program sustainable. It’s worked with Mitchell County businesses to develop sponsorships and recently received a $1,000 boost in the Rose Francis Elevator Pitch competition, sponsored by the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center in the UI's Tippie College of Business. The competition gives UI students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to win start-up money for their businesses.

Update on Dental Building

In October, the University of Iowa dedicated a 33,000-square-foot addition to the UI College of Dentistry, which houses a wide array of programs and learning space to help prepare dental professionals for the 21st century.

The addition is now home to the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation Geriatrics and Special Needs Clinic, the National Institutes of Health-supported Craniofacial Clinical Research Center, and small classrooms for problem-based and case-based learning. Endodontics, which was not a department in 1973 when the building was originally constructed, now has an outstanding facility.

Along with the new addition, the college’s research facilities were renovated and dedicated with support from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust.

The real icing on the cake? The new addition was finished on time and slightly under budget.

 

DID YOU KNOW?
The addition is part of a $65 million, multi-year College of Dentistry Building Transformation Project. The college is now beginning a six-phase, three- to four-year renovation of all dentistry clinics: Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Periodontics, Prosthodontics, Family Dentistry, Oral Pathology, Radiology and Medicine, Admissions, Operative Dentistry, Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics.

 

QUOTE/UNQUOTE
UI College of Dentistry Dean David C. Johnsen: “We extend a huge thank-you to all the people and groups inside and outside the college who made this renovation project possible, including our elected officials, university officials, alumni, donors and friends.”

 

 
Grassley Bill to Require Televising Supreme Court Proceedings Clears Committee PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 10 February 2012 09:00

Thursday, February 9, 2012

WASHINGTON – Legislation written by Senators Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Dick Durbin, Judiciary Committee member, to require open proceedings of the Supreme Court to be televised passed the Senate Judiciary Committee today by a vote of 11-7.

The Cameras in the Courtroom Act would require television coverage of all open sessions of the Court, unless the Court decides, by a vote of the majority of justices, that doing so would constitute a violation of the due process rights of one or more of the parties before the Court. A similar bill was approved by a bipartisan majority of the Judiciary Committee last Congress.

“Our Constitution requires that the government be accountable to the people.  The best way we can ensure that the federal government is accountable is to create transparency, openness, and access.  That’s why the Cameras in the Courtroom bill is necessary.  It would permit all Americans, not just the 200 people who can fit inside the public gallery, the opportunity to observe what is already a public proceeding,” Grassley said.  “This is a tremendous opportunity which would help increase understanding of, and appreciation for, the highest court in the land.”

Last year, Grassley asked Chief Justice John Roberts to provide audio and video coverage of the landmark Supreme Court proceedings of the federal health care reform law.  Grassley said that broadcasting the health care reform law proceedings would not only contribute to the public’s understanding of America’s judicial system, but provide an excellent educational opportunity on a case that has the potential to have a far reaching impact on every American.  Grassley has not yet received a response to his letter from the Chief Justice.

"Nine Justices have a tremendous amount of influence on the lives of the people of this country, yet people know very little about the highest court in our country.   In just a month or so the Supreme Court will hear arguments about a law that has the potential to impact every American.  Allowing cameras in the Supreme Court will help bring much needed transparency to a process that is largely unknown to the American public," Grassley said.

The Cameras in the Courtroom Act only applies to open sessions of the Supreme Court – sessions where members of the public are already invited to observe in person. Public scrutiny of Supreme Court proceedings will produce greater accountability, transparency, and understanding of our judicial system.

Grassley is also the author of bipartisan legislation that would allow the chief judge of federal trial and appellate courts to permit cameras in their courtrooms.  The bill directs the Judicial Conference, the principal policy-making entity for the federal courts, to draft nonbinding guidelines that judges can refer to in making a decision pertaining to the coverage of a particular case.  In addition, it instructs the Judicial Conference to issue mandatory guidelines for obscuring vulnerable witnesses such as undercover officers, victims of crime, and their families.  The bill has safeguards in place to protect vulnerable witnesses, to exclude jurors from broadcast, and to allow a judge to use his or her discretion in determining whether to allow cameras in the courtroom.

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