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Category Archives: Courts

Paper – Protected Class Gatekeeping

Clarke, Jessica A., Protected Class Gatekeeping (January 12, 2017). New York University Law Review, Vol. 92, No. 1, 2017. Available for download at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2898532

“Courts routinely begin their analyses of discrimination claims with the question of whether the plaintiff has proven he or she is a “member of the protected class.” Although this refrain may sometimes be an empty formality, it has taken on real bite in a significant number of cases. For example, one court dismissed a claim by a man who was harassed with anti-Mexican slurs because he was of African American rather than Mexican ancestry. Other courts have dismissed sex discrimination claims by LGBT plaintiffs on the ground that LGBT status is not a protected class. Yet other courts have dismissed claims by white people alleging they were harmed by white supremacist violence and straight people alleging they were harmed by homophobic harassment. This Article terms this phenomenon “protected class gatekeeping.” It argues that protected class gatekeeping is grounded in dubious constructions of antidiscrimination statutes, and that its routine use prevents equality law from achieving its central aim: dismantling sexism, racism, homophobia, religious intolerance, and other such biases. While past scholarship has identified certain forms of protected class gatekeeping, it has not recognized the scope of the problem or addressed the progressive intuitions that underlie it. Critical examination of protected class gatekeeping is of pressing importance as legislatures, courts, and legal scholars debate new statutory language and doctrinal frameworks for discrimination claims.”

TRAC – Immigration Court Priority Family Case Backlog Surpasses 100,000

“The number of judges is still insufficient to handle the growing backlog in the Immigration Court. The court’s crushing workload reached a record-breaking 533,909 pending cases as the court closed out calendar year 2016, up 4.2 percent in just the last four months. The problem is particularly acute for priority cases involving women with children… Continue Reading

The Death Penalty in 2016: Year End Report Another Record Decline In Death Penalty Use

Death Penalty Information Center – The Death Penalty in 2016: Year End Report – Another Record Decline In Death Penalty Use. Another Record Decline in Death Penalty Use. Death Sentences, Executions and Public Support for Death Penalty at Historic Lows. Courts Bar Unconstitutional Practices in 45 States. Continue Reading

WaPo – More than 1,100 law school professors oppose Sessions’s nomination as attorney general

Washington Post, January 3, 2017: “A group of more than 1,100 law school professors [representing 170 law schools in 48 states] from across the country [sent] a letter to Congress on Tuesday urging the Senate to reject the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) for attorney general. The letter, signed by professors from 170 law… Continue Reading

Paper – Do Law Clerks Influence Voting on the Supreme Court?

Bonica, Adam and Chilton, Adam S. and Goldin, Jacob and Rozema, Kyle and Sen, Maya, Do Law Clerks Influence Voting on the Supreme Court? (December 16, 2016). Available for download at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2815545 “We study the influence of law clerk ideology on Supreme Court voting. To do so, we exploit the timing of hiring to… Continue Reading

CRS – An Introduction to Judicial Review of Federal Agency Action

Via FAS – An Introduction to Judicial Review of Federal Agency Action, Jared P. Cole, Legislative Attorney. December 7, 2016. “The U.S. Constitution vests the judicial power in the Supreme Court and any inferior courts established by Congress, limiting the power of federal courts to the context of “cases” or “controversies.” Pursuant to constitutional and… Continue Reading

Book Review – Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics

Jochnowitz, Leona Deborah and Ford, Julia A., Book Review – Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics (December 27, 2016). Available for download at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2890524 “The 71st and 72nd 2015 and 2016 annual meetings of the American Society of Criminology (ASC) in Washington, D.C. and New Orleans focused on themes of… Continue Reading

New on LLRX – Prison Affected People: Punished to the Margins of Life

Via LLRX.com – Prison Affected People: Punished to the Margins of Life “Ken Strutin’s expansive scholarship, acumen, commitment to and comprehensive knowledge of criminal law and justice is fully articulated and shared in his new guide. He robustly argues and supports his reasoning that retribution is at odds with medical reality for conviction alone and… Continue Reading

Chief Justice Roberts Issues 2016 Year-End Report

“Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has issued his 2016 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary (pdf), highlighting the work performed by U.S. District judges. The report is the twelfth since Roberts was appointed chief justice in 2005.” “Most district judges agree that sentencing is their most difficult duty. The judge must confront the offender,… Continue Reading

ABA Journal – Erasing the News: Should some stories be forgotten?

Erasing the News: Should some stories be forgotten? By Terry Carter – this is an extensive and well researched article. I have snipped a small portion to invite you to read it in its entirety online. Note – This article originally appeared in the January 2017 issue of the ABA Journal with this headline: “Erasing… Continue Reading

Intel agencies sued for records on Russian election interference

Follow-up to previous posting – Unreleased CIA assessment concludes Russia aided Trump – via The Hill – Lydia Wheeler, December 27, 2016: “A lawsuit has been filed against the CIA, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence seeking records pertaining to Russia’s interference in the presidential… Continue Reading

US Sues Barclays Bank to Recover Civil Penalties for Fraud in the Sale of Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities

News release: “The United States Department of Justice today filed a civil complaint in the Eastern District of New York against Barclays Bank PLC and several of its United States affiliates (together, Barclays), alleging that Barclays engaged in a fraudulent scheme to sell residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) supported by defective and misrepresented mortgage loans.  As… Continue Reading