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Category Archives: Courts

TRAC: Holding Federal Agencies Accountable for over 25 Years

“Syracuse University Magazine has just published an article celebrating TRAC’s 25th year as a unique university-based data research center focusing on the workings of federal agencies, federal district courts and immigration courts. We thought this well-written description of TRAC’s history, mission and offerings would be of interest to government officials, members of Congress, scholars, supporters,Continue Reading

EFF Case Analysis: Appeals Court Rules NSA Phone Records Dragnet is Illegal

Andrew Crocker – “We now have the first decision from a court of appeals on the NSA’s mass surveillance program involving bulk collection of telephone records under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, and it’s a doozy. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued an opinion in ACLU v. Clapper holding thatContinue Reading

Book Review – Mass Incarceration: The Silence of the Judges

New York Review of Books – Mass Incarceration: The Silence of the Judges, Jed S. Rakoff, May 21, 2015 Issue. What Caused the Crime Decline? a report by Oliver Roeder, Lauren-Brooke Eisen, and Julia Bowling, with a foreword by Joseph E. Stiglitz and an executive summary by Inimai Chettiar Brennan Center for Justice, NYU Law School,Continue Reading

Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down NSA Bulk Record Collection Program

EPIC – “The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that the NSA’s telephone record collection program exceeds legal authority. The government claimed that it could collect all records under the Section 215 “relevance” standard. But the court rejected that argument and held that “such an expansive concept of ‘relevance’ is unprecedented and unwarranted.” TheContinue Reading

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Legislation in the 114th Congress

CRS Report – Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Legislation in the 114th Congress. Charles Doyle Senior Specialist in American Public Law, April 29, 2015. “A surprising number of federal crimes carry mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment; that is, they are punishably by imprisonment for a term of not less than some number of years. During the 114thContinue Reading

Exonerees freed by innocence projects work for justice

ABA Journal, Terry Carter – “Wrongly imprisoned, these men spent many years behind bars for crimes they did not commit. Plenty of convicted felons claim to be innocent; too many of them actually are. The criminal justice system stole from these men the carefree years of young adulthood. While many prisoners dream of going toContinue Reading

DHS Defends Government Secrecy in “Internet Kill Switch” Case

EPIC – “The Department of Homeland Security has filed a brief in response to EPIC’s petition for rehearing in the “Internet Kill Switch” case. EPIC is seeking the release of the public policy that allows the government to suspend cell phone service. The D.C. Circuit previously ruled that DHS may withhold the policy. EPIC pursuedContinue Reading

Supreme Court to Hear Privacy Case Against Spokeo

EPIC – “The Supreme Court will hear an important privacy case concerning the disclosure of personal information in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Spokeo claimed that the plaintiff’s lacked lacked “standing” to sue after the company disclosed data protected by the FCRA. The Ninth Circuit disagreed and ruled for the plaintiffs. In theContinue Reading

March 2015 Bankruptcy Filings Down 12 Percent

United States Courts -“Bankruptcy filings for the 12-month period ending March 31, 2015, fell 12 percent when compared to bankruptcy filings for the 12-month period ending March 31, 2014, according to statistics released today by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. March 2015 bankruptcy filings totaled 911,086, compared to the 1,038,280 bankruptcy cases filedContinue Reading

New on LLRX – Amicus Curiae: Information in the Service of Justice

Via LLRX.com – Amicus Curiae: Information in the Service of Justice: From Ken Strutin’s introduction to this guide: In the legal system, such intonements have taken on the form of specialized briefs called amicus curiae (“friend of the court”). And through extension and by complement they have appeared in the form of law reviews, mediaContinue Reading

FBI Flawed Forensic Hair Chemistry Testimony Spanned Two Decades

Spencer S. Hsu – Washington Post –  “The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000. Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’sContinue Reading

Recognizing the Limits of Antitrust: The Roberts Court Versus the Enforcement Agencies

Lambert, Thomas A. and Abbott, Alden F., Recognizing the Limits of Antitrust: The Roberts Court Versus the Enforcement Agencies (April 20, 2015). Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Forthcoming; University of Missouri School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-09. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2596660 “As Judge Frank Easterbrook famously explained three decadesContinue Reading