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Category Archives: Courts

Bail Reform: New Directions for Pretrial Detention and Release

Stevenson, Megan and Mayson, Sandra G., Bail Reform: New Directions for Pretrial Detention and Release (March 13, 2017). In Academy for Justice, A Report on Scholarship and Criminal Justice Reform (Erik Luna ed., 2017, Forthcoming).; U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 17-18. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2939273

“Our current pretrial system imposes high costs on both the people who are detained pretrial and the taxpayers who foot the bill. These costs have prompted a surge of bail reform around the country. Reformers seek to reduce pretrial detention rates, as well as racial and socioeconomic disparities in the pretrial system, while simultaneously improving appearance rates and reducing pretrial crime. The current state of pretrial practice suggests that there is ample room for improvement. Bail hearings are often cursory, with no defense counsel present. Money-bail practices lead to high rates of detention even among misdemeanor defendants and those who pose no serious risk of crime or flight. Infrequent evaluation means that the judges and magistrates who set bail have little information about how their bail-setting practices affect detention, appearance and crime rates. Practical and low-cost interventions, such as court reminder systems, are underutilized. To promote lasting reform, this chapter identifies pretrial strategies that are both within the state’s authority and supported by empirical research. These interventions should be designed with input from stakeholders, and carefully evaluated to ensure that the desired improvements are achieved.”

Official Corruption Prosecutions Decline: February 2017

“The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during February 2017, the first complete month under the new Trump Administration, there were only 24 new official corruption prosecutions filed by federal prosecutors. During the last two fiscal years of the Obama Administration, federal prosecutors filed an average of 43 official corruption cases each… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Appointment Process: Consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee

Supreme Court Appointment Process: Consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Barry J. McMillion, Analyst in American National Government. March 17, 2017. “The appointment of a Supreme Court Justice is an event of major significance in American politics. Each appointment is of consequence because of the enormous judicial power the Supreme Court exercises as the highest… Continue Reading

Handful of lawyers now dominate the docket at SCOTUs

“A Reuters examination of nine years of cases shows that 66 of the 17,000 lawyers who petitioned the Supreme Court succeeded at getting their clients’ appeals heard at a remarkable rate. Their appeals were at least six times more likely to be accepted by the court than were all others filed by private lawyers during… Continue Reading

Judges in Maryland and Hawaii block revised Trump travel band

Update, March 16, 2017 – The New York Times – 2 Federal Judges Halt Trump’s New Travel Ban – “Both rulings – the one in Hawaii more expansive than the one in Maryland — said the likely purpose of the president’s order was a de facto ban on Muslims.” Follow-up up to previous postings, Responses to… Continue Reading

Court: FBI’s Secret Rules for Spying on Journalists Can Remain Secret

FindLaw – “In 2015, the Freedom of the Press Foundation sued the Department of Justice under the Freedom of Information Act in an attempt to force the DOJ to publish its rules for conducting warrantless spying on journalists in the United States. The DOJ responded that it had supplied all of the documentation the Foundation… Continue Reading

6 countries named in revised Trump travel order accounted for more than 650,000 U.S. entries since 2006

Pew – “The six nations affected by a new executive order that prevents their citizens from obtaining new visas to enter the United States for 90 days accounted for 649,932 legal U.S. entries between fiscal years 2006 and 2015. This group includes visitors, students and diplomats as well as refugees and new lawful permanent residents,… Continue Reading

Hawaii v. Trump

“Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin announced today that the state of Hawaii has filed a motion for a temporary restraining order in its federal lawsuit against President Donald Trump, following the new executive order banning travel from six Muslim-majority nations issued earlier this week. Today’s filings ask the court to declare that sections 2 and… Continue Reading

Judge Neil M. Gorsuch Nominee to be Associate Justice for Supreme Court of the United States

Senate Judiciary Committee – Judge Neil M. Gorsuch Nominee to be Associate Justice for the Supreme Court of the United States Tuesday, January 31, 2017 Questionnaire & other Nomination Materials – This link will be updated as material is received. Instructions for Media Covering the Hearing “On January 31, 2017, President Donald J. Trump announced… Continue Reading

The Scalia Vacancy in Historical Context: Frequently Asked Questions

The Scalia Vacancy in Historical Context: Frequently Asked Questions. March 1, 2017 R44773 “The procedure for appointing a Justice to the Supreme Court of the United States is provided for by the Constitution in only a few words. The “Appointments Clause” (Article II, Section 2, clause 2) states that the President “shall nominate, and by… Continue Reading

Privacy, Freedom of Expression, and the Right to Be Forgotten in Europe

Kulk, Stefan and Zuiderveen Borgesius, Frederik J., Privacy, Freedom of Expression, and the Right to Be Forgotten in Europe (February 25, 2017). Cambridge Handbook of Consumer Privacy, eds. Jules Polonetsky, Omer Tene, and Evan Selinger (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2923722 “In this chapter we discuss the relation between privacy and freedom of… Continue Reading

The Immigration Court’s Institutional Hearing Program: How Will It Be Affected

“Special Immigration Court hearings under the court’s Institutional Hearing Program (IHP) appear slated for expansion under President Trump. A new directive, signed by Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Monday, February 20, 2017 provides that “to the maximum extent possible” removal proceedings be initiated against noncitizens currently “incarcerated in federal, state, and local… Continue Reading