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Category Archives: Courts

ODNI Announces Transition to New Telephone Metadata Program

News release: “Beginning Sunday, November 29, the government is prohibited from collecting telephone metadata records in bulk under Section 215, including of both U.S. and non-U.S. persons. And, while under the prior program NSA collected metadata in bulk and sought court approval for individual queries, the USA FREEDOM Act requires that the government must now base any application for telephone metadata records under FISA on a “specific selection term”—a term that specifically identifies a person, account, address, or personal device in a way that limits the scope of information sought to the greatest extent reasonably practicable. This further ensures that collection of information for intelligence purposes is appropriately focused and targeted, and is limited to information that telephone service providers have historically used for their internal billing and operational needs. Moreover, under the Act, the Government will report annually to Congress and to the public, among other things, the total number or orders issued under this authority and the number of targets of such orders. As previously stated, NSA analytic access to the historical metadata collected under Section 215 has ceased. However, NSA has requested limited access to historical Section 215 metadata until February 29, 2016, limited to technical personnel and solely for the purpose of verifying that the new targeted production mechanism authorized by the USA FREEDOM Act is working as intended. The FISC is currently considering this request…”

Drug Offenders in Federal Prisons: Estimates of Characteristics Based on Linked Data

“More than half (54 percent) of drug offenders in federal custody at yearend 2012 were serving sentences for powder or crack cocaine, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reported in a study released today. Methamphetamine offenders (24 percent) accounted for the next largest share of drug offenders, followed by marijuana (12 percent) and heroin (6Continue Reading

Essay recommends thirteen new signals for The Bluebook’s next edition

Roark, Marc Lane and Emerson, Warren, Signals (November 10, 2015). Available at SSRN: or ”Currently, The Bluebook recommends twelve signals that give direction to the author’s intended use of sources. Bluebook signals communicate how the author believes the work cited is relevant to the proposition. But Bluebook signals could communicate so much more.Continue Reading

GAO Reports – DOJ Civil Rights Division, IRS Financial Audit, VA Benefits

DOJ Civil Rights Division Travel: Division Strengthened Controls over Travel, but Additional Areas for Improvement Identified, GAO-16-58: Published: Nov 12, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 12, 2015. “GAO tested the implementation of internal controls and compliance with key policies in nine areas of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Civil Rights Division (Division) travel authorization and reimbursementContinue Reading

Mapping Attempts to Craft an Internet Bill of Rights

Towards Digital Constitutionalism? Mapping Attempts to Craft an Internet Bill of Rights. Lex Gil, Dennis Redeker, Urs Gasser. November 9, 2015. Available for download via SSRN. “The idea of an “Internet Bill of Rights” is by no means a new one: in fact, serious efforts to draft such a document can be traced at leastContinue Reading

GAO Reports – Federal Judiciary, OFS Audit, Foster Care

Federal Judiciary: Improved Cost Savings Estimates Could Help Better Assess Cost Containment Efforts, GAO-16-97: Published: Nov 10, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 10, 2015. Financial Audit: Office of Financial Stability (Troubled Asset Relief Program) Fiscal Years 2015 and 2014 Financial Statements, GAO-16-147R: Published: Nov 10, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 10, 2015. Foster Care: HHS Could DoContinue Reading

EFF – NSA Ordered to Stop Collecting, Querying Plaintiffs’ Phone Records

EFF news release: “Affirming his previous ruling that the NSA’s telephone records collection program is unconstitutional, a federal judge ordered the NSA to cease collecting the telephone records of an individual and his business. The judge further ordered the NSA to segregate any records that have already been collected so that they are not reviewedContinue Reading

New on LLRX – A Matter of Trust: Why the Time is Right to Adopt the Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act (UELMA) in Florida

Via –  A Matter of Trust: Why the Time is Right to Adopt the Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act (UELMA) in Florida – In this article, Law Librarian Patricia Morgan brings our attention to a group of prominently related issues on electronic legal research whose application are critical for attorneys, librarians and courts. InContinue Reading

Law on the Market? Evaluating the Securities Market Impact of Supreme Court Decisions

Katz, Daniel Martin and Bommarito, Michael James and Soellinger, Tyler and Chen, James Ming, Law on the Market? Evaluating the Securities Market Impact of Supreme Court Decisions (August 24, 2015). Available for download at SSRN: or  “Do judicial decisions affect the securities markets in discernible and perhaps predictable ways? In other words, isContinue Reading

Supreme Court Appointment Process: President’s Selection of a Nominee

CRS – Supreme Court Appointment Process: President’s Selection of a Nominee. Barry J. McMillion, Analyst on the Federal Judiciary. October 19, 2015. “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 theContinue Reading

Post Sandy Hook Gun Law Case May Get to SCOTUS

FindLaw – “The push and pull of gun control laws and the Second Amendment continued regarding firearm restrictions passed in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. New York and Connecticut passed stricter gun laws in 2013, and a federal court upheld some of those restrictions while invalidating others. The 2nd U.S. CircuitContinue Reading

2nd Circuit Rules for Google in Authors Guild Book Scanning Case

13-4829-cv Authors Guild v. Google, Inc. UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT (Argued: December 3, 2014 Decided: October 16, 2015) “Plaintiff-appellants, who are authors of published books under copyright, appeal from the judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Chin, J.) in favor of DefendantContinue Reading