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By Dartunorro Clark and Allan Smith

Former President George H.W. Bush was buried in a private ceremony on the grounds of his presidential library in Texas on Thursday after being remembered by family and friends as a humble leader with the “courage of a warrior.”

After a three-hour ride aboard a funeral train from Houston, his casket arrived in College Station, home of Texas A&M University and his final resting place at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

Bush was greeted at the burial site by a 21-aircraft Navy flyover. The Navy executed what is known as the “missing man” formation, signifying the loss of an aviator. Typically, the flyover is limited to just four aircraft, but the military wanted to do something unprecedented for the former president, a naval aviator.

As Bush’s casket was escorted to his final resting place, his family followed solemnly behind. The casket was carried over a footbridge, across which Bush was to be interred in a private ceremony next to his wife, the late former first lady Barbara Bush, and daughter Robin, who died of leukemia at age three.

Earlier Thursday, James Baker, a close friend who served as Bush’s secretary of state and chief of staff, delivered the first eulogy at the second of Bush’s funeral services at the St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, sprinkling his tribute with humorous personal stories and praise for the former president.

“Yes, he had the courage of a warrior. But when the time came for prudence, he always maintained the greater courage of a peacemaker,” Baker said, referring Bush’s role in maintaining diplomacy after the Berlin Wall fell during his administration.

“He understood that humility toward, and not humiliation of, a fallen adversary was the very best path to peace.”

Baker, who was with the president during his last days, also drew laughs from the audience when describing the heated discussions he would have with the president about domestic issues and world events.

“He would look at me and he’d say, ‘Baker, if you’re so smart, why am I president and you’re not?’ He was a leader and he knew it,” Baker said.

Bush, who died Friday at age 94, was also honored Wednesday at a state funeral at the Washington National Cathedral, which was attended by a host of world leaders and current and former presidents and first ladies.

The Thursday funeral is mainly for close friends to the former president and his family, who also attended Wednesday’s service. Several of his granddaughters read from scripture during the beginning of the service.

Baker choked up toward the end of his eulogy, describing his friend as a consummate statesman.

“He was not considered a skilled speaker, but his deeds were quite eloquent—and he demonstrated their eloquence by carving them into the hard granite of history,” he said.

“We rejoice…that you are safely tucked in now, and through the ages, with God’s loving arms around you. Because our glory, George, was to have had you as our president, and as such a friend.”

The president’s five living children and their spouses were seated in the front row, including eldest son George W. Bush, the 43rd president, and his wife, former first lady Laura Bush. The other children include former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Neil Bush, Marvin Bush and Dorothy Bush.

George W. Bush, who delivered a tearful eulogy at Wednesday’s service, gave Baker a hug and a kiss on the cheek after his eulogy.

Texas Land Commissioner George Prescott Bush, the former president’s oldest grandson and the son of Jeb Bush, eulogized his grandfather with personal anecdotes, affectionately referring to the former president as “Gampy” and his grandmother, the late former first lady Barbara Bush, as “Ganny.”

He told stories of playing horseshoe with his grandfather and his cousin and fly fishing with him in Maine, where the Bush family has a home. He said that despite Bush being a “larger than life figure,” he always made time for his grandchildren.

“In a typical day, he’d wake up around 5 a.m. to review security briefings and grab his first coffee of the day. When the coast was clear all the grandkids would try our best to snag a spot on the bed and nestle up between him and ‘Ganny’ while they read the paper,” George P. Bush said.

He called him “the most gracious and most decent and most humble man I will ever know.”

For the musical selection, The Oak Ridge Boys performed “Amazing Grace” in honor of the former president, whom they met while Bush was vice president.



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BREXIT BOMBSHELL: Ireland 'faces food SHORTAGES and 7% drop in GDP' under no-deal Brexit

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THE brutal impact on the European Union if Britain walks away without a deal has been outlined by a shock Government report outlining how Ireland would suffer under that scenario.

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Can courts stop the GOP’s assault on the powers of Wisconsin’s incoming Democratic officials?

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By Danny Cevallos

The Wisconsin Senate voted this week to pass wide-reaching bills in a lame-duck session that would empower the GOP-controlled Legislature and weaken the incoming governor and attorney general, both Democrats who are replacing Republicans.

Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul, as a soon-to-be member of the executive branch, has suggested on MSNBC that there will be multiple lawsuits challenging the legislature’s supposed appropriation of executive authority, in violation of the “separation of powers” doctrine. (Kaul is succeeding Brad Schimel, while Tony Evers is succeeding Gov. Scott Walker.)

The “separation of powers” doctrine, while not in the Wisconsin Constitution, is implicit in the division of powers among the judicial, legislative and executive branches, and is a foundational principle of Wisconsin’s tri-partite system of government.

The state Constitution creates the same three separate, coordinate branches of government that are a feature of the American federal government. No state government branch is to assert control over, or exercise the power constitutionally committed to, one of the other branches.

That means the legislature in Wisconsin has a “core zone” of exclusive authority into which the executive and judicial branch may not intrude. In these core areas, any exercise of authority by the judiciary would be unconstitutional.

On the other hand, the majority of governmental powers among the branches also overlap within areas of shared authority. In these areas of “shared power” one branch of government may exercise the power possessed by another branch, but only if it does not unduly burden or interfere with that other branch’s power. The challenge is determining which areas are “shared” between the legislative and other branches, and which areas are core, unquestionable legislative branch powers.

Democrats likely will take the position that it is the state judiciary’s long-recognized duty, recognized since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1803 decision in Marbury v. Madison, to entertain a lawsuit challenging the acts of the legislature for any conflict with the Wisconsin constitution.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has adjudicated disputes about the constitutional functions of the other state government branches, notwithstanding the fact that a case involves political considerations or consequences. But a Wisconsin court reviewing the Democrats’ potential challenge to the Republicans’ legislative power would also have to consider whether this dispute involves a “nonjusticiable political question.”

If Democrats filed suit over the Wisconsin legislature’s actions, the courts may invoke the “political question” doctrine to decline to adjudicate issues better left resolved by the legislative branch. If the challenged action is exclusively committed to the legislative branch,, it may be described as a “political question.” This means it may be “nonjusticiable” by the courts. The rationale is this: If the courts could review and overturn everything a legislature did, then the judiciary would effectively usurp the power of another branch of government.

It’s hard to determine whether, in a particular case, the court should review the actions of the legislature for constitutionality, or whether it should stay out of the dispute because that issue is solely the province of the legislature.

For example, Wisconsin courts have in the past considered the legislature’s adherence to its own procedural rules a matter entirely within the legislature’s control, and not subject to judicial review. Wisconsin courts will not invalidate a state law because of the legislature’s failure to comply with its own procedural rules, so long as all constitutional requirements have been followed.

The Wisconsin Democrats’ prospective legal action against the lame-duck actions of the Republican state legislature will base their challenge on a violation of separation of powers. The Republicans will likely counter with the argument that these legislative acts are one of the core powers reserved to the legislature, and therefore, the acts of the GOP lawmakers constitute a “nonjusticiable political question” — one the courts cannot review.

Danny Cevallos is an MSNBC legal analyst. Follow @CevallosLaw on Twitter.



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BREXIT LIVE: Theresa May under pressure to SCRAP vote as shock poll SAVAGES EU exit plan

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THERESA May has been handed a damning verdict by the general public on her Brexit deal as latest polling shows only two constituencies back her.

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