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Category Archives: Courts

Politico Investigation – Why are so many crucial Obama administration jobs empty

Politico: “As Obama now takes his final lap in the White House, a POLITICO analysis of Cabinet-level agencies found that dozens of crucial jobs in his administration are either totally empty or run by an acting deputy. As senior aides have bolted for higher paying gigs, their jobs have remained empty — in some casesContinue Reading

Sex Discrimination and the United States Supreme Court: Developments in the Law

CRS – Sex Discrimination and the United States Supreme Court: Developments in the Law, Jody Feder, Legislative Attorney. December 30, 2015. “In its sex discrimination decisions, the United States Supreme Court not only has defined the applicability of the equal protection guarantees of the Constitution and the nondiscriminatory policies of federal statutes, but also hasContinue Reading

Authors Guild Petitions Supreme Court to Rule on Google Books

[December 31, 2015] “the Authors Guild, the nation’s largest and oldest society of professional writers, filed a petition with the Supreme Court of the United States requesting that it review a lower court ruling that allowed Google, Inc. to copy millions of copyright-protected books without asking for authors’ permission or paying them. At stake, theContinue Reading

New Report and Interactive Maps Explore Potential Impact of Evenwel v. Abbott on Redistricting

Via Social Explorer: “Population equality is the main criteria for creating legislative districts in the US, but a proposed change could drastically alter how people are counted and how districts are drawn.  On December 8, 2015, the Supreme Court will hear the case of Evenwel v. Abbott, whose plaintiffs argue that legislative districts should beContinue Reading

2015 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary

Chief Justice John Roberts – 2015 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary“…The 2015 civil rules amendments are a major stride toward a better federal court system. But they will achieve the goal of Rule 1—“the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding” — only if the entire legal community, including the bench,Continue Reading

The Federal Circuit as an Institution

Vacca, Ryan G., The Federal Circuit as an Institution (December 21, 2015). Akron Research Paper No. 15-07. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2706849 “The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is a unique institution. Unlike other circuit courts, the Federal Circuit’s jurisdiction is bound by subject area rather than geography, and it was createdContinue Reading

Beyond Books – Today’s Court Library

Court Libraries Adapt to Deep Cuts, Changing Technology “Under a new staffing formula, 254 circuit library positions were authorized nationally in FY 2015, compared with 335 positions in FY 2014. That is a 24 percent fall in just one year. Similarly, court libraries are playing a significant role in a national Judiciary effort to cutContinue Reading

FAS posts 3 new CRS documents on Sale and Use of Firearms

Arms Sales: Congressional Review Process, Paul K. Kerr, Analyst in Nonproliferation, December 17, 2015: “This report reviews the process and procedures that currently apply to congressional consideration of foreign arms sales proposed by the President. This includes consideration of proposals to sell major defense equipment, defense articles and services, or the re-transfer to third partyContinue Reading

New on LLRX – Solitary Confinement: Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Via LLRX.com – Solitary Confinement: Out of Sight, Out of Mind – Ken Strutin’s article surveys notable legal developments, new scholarship, and recent scientific research concerning the administration and effects of solitary confinement. Strutin describes solitary confinement as punishment’s punishment. He states that solitary is where the mind is worn out by pacing the sameContinue Reading

GAO Reports – Air Travel and Communicable Diseases

Air Travel and Communicable Diseases: Comprehensive Federal Plan Needed for U.S. Aviation System’s Preparedness, GAO-16-127: Published: Dec 16, 2015. Publicly Released: Dec 16, 2015. Federal Judiciary: Improvements Needed for Collecting Judges’ Non-Case-Related Travel Information, GAO-16-70: Published: Dec 16, 2015. Publicly Released: Dec 16, 2015. Internet Protocol Transition: FCC Should Strengthen Its Data Collection Efforts toContinue Reading

A Victory for Privacy and Transparency: HRW v. DEA

EFF – “A Victory for Privacy and Transparency: HRW v. DEA – In a victory for millions of people in the U.S. who have placed telephone calls to locations overseas, EFF and Human Rights Watch have confirmed that the Drug Enforcement Administration’s practice of collecting those records in bulk has stopped and that the onlyContinue Reading

Details of NSA use of NSL to obtain ISP data released

ArsTechnica – “For the first time, as part of a First Amendment lawsuit, a federal judge ordered the release of what the FBI was seeking from a small ISP as part of an NSL. Among other things, the FBI was demanding a target’s complete Web browsing history, IP addresses of everyone a person has correspondedContinue Reading