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National Guard called to protect NYC subways, bag checks reinstated

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man attempt rape in NYC subway

The crime is so bad in New York City that Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul said the National Guard would be called to protect the subways in the Big Apple. Just one day earlier, Democratic Mayor Eric Adams said more police officers would be assigned to the subways and policies of bag checks would be reinstated.

“We know people feel unsafe,” Mayor Adams said in remarks on Tuesday. “We need our officers out there.” Adams says the city is making progress on reducing crime and said he’s discussing with police and community leaders plans to make the surges of officers in transit a permanent policy. “We have to push back on people who are telling us to disband or defund our police department, because the public is stating they want their police officers out there,” he told reporters. “And so the loudest voices cannot hijack what I have always stated the prerequisite to our prosperity is: public safety.”

The Center Square reports that just last week, a MTA conductor was slashed in the neck at a Brooklyn subway station, and a 61-year-old man was stabbed in the Bronx, according to published reports. Police are investigating.

In a press conference with MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber and others at the New York City Transit Rail Control Center, Hochul said 750 members of the Guard would be deployed to help police.

Hochul said of criminals, “They might be thinking, ‘You know what, it may just not be worth it because I listened to the mayor and I listened to the governor and they have a lot more people who are going to be checking my bags.” She said another 250 state troopers and police officers from the MTA will help with bag searches.

The New York Civil Liberties Union disagrees with the decision to deploy National Guard, claiming the move is government overreach.

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Nation

Minnesota farmer’s lawsuit prompts removal of race and sex-based grant program

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Five months after Minnesota farmer Lance Nistler filed a federal lawsuit with the help of the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), the state has removed race- and sex-based preferences from its Down Payment Assistance Grant Program. This significant policy change followed Nistler’s legal challenge, which highlighted the discriminatory nature of the program’s selection process.

Pacific Legal Foundation writes involvement in Nistler’s case drew attention and criticism from Minnesota progressives. Writing in the Minnesota Reformer, Sigrid Jewett accused PLF of using Nistler “as a pawn in a larger culture war game.” She questioned why a California-based legal firm with numerous Supreme Court victories would be interested in representing a small Minnesota farmer pro bono.

PLF opposes all race- and sex-based preferences in the law, and that’s the real reason the firm chose to represent Nistler. The foundation stands against discrimination in various domains, including government board selections, school admissions, government contracts, and grant distributions, such as in Nistler’s case.

Here are the facts: Minnesota’s Down Payment Assistance Grant Program offers up to $15,000 toward the purchase of farmland. Recipients are chosen through a lottery system. However, before the policy change, even if a recipient was among the first picked through the lottery—as Nistler was, being selected ninth—they could be bumped to the back of the line if they were not a racial minority, female, LGBTQIA+, or otherwise designated as an “emerging” farmer by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Despite being chosen ninth in the lottery, which awarded grants to 68 applicants, Nistler did not receive a grant. He was moved from ninth to 102nd on the waitlist because he is a white male.

Nistler grew up on his family farm, milking cows. “They would lose money every year,” he says of the family operation. After he left for school, his family sold the cows and switched to farming soybeans, oats, and wheat. Lance’s father and uncle now run the farm, but they’re getting older. Lance, who has a degree in electronic engineering and worked in HVAC, is interested in buying a 40-acre chunk of the family farm, becoming the fourth-generation farmer in his family.

The land isn’t just going to be given to Lance. This is a working farm, and the Nistlers aren’t a wealthy family that can transfer land from one generation to the next without consideration. “My dad and uncle, they don’t have 401(k)s or anything,” Lance says. “I mean, the land and the equipment, that’s their retirement. This stuff isn’t given away. I’m not just going to get it handed down to me and inherited. It has to be purchased, and it is not cheap.”

Despite being from a farming family, Lance considers himself a new farmer—he has never owned farmland before, and he has an electronics background. Buying these 40 acres would be a huge step for Lance, planting him firmly in the farming world, which is what Minnesota’s grant program aimed to do. The idea that he would have qualified as an emerging farmer if only his skin were a different color struck Lance as wrong.

“The country we live in, the idea is it’s equal opportunity for everyone,” he says. “And if that’s what it is, then well, why shouldn’t I have the same chances?”

When Lance filed his lawsuit in January, the complaint argued that the discriminatory process violated the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause. The complaint stated:

“Nistler brings this lawsuit to vindicate his constitutional right to equal protection of the law. He brings it to give all Minnesotans a fair chance at a difference-making grant program. He brings it in the hope that he will be able to own that small farm in the near future. He brings it because he is not giving up on his dream.”

In May, after Lance called attention to the unconstitutional policy, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed legislation removing the race and sex prioritization from the program. Now, Minnesota will treat farmers equally—as the Constitution promises.

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