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Category Archives: Courts

The Politics of Selecting the Bench from the Bar: The Legal Profession and Partisan Incentives to Politicize the Judiciary

Bonica, Adam, and Maya Sen. “The Politics of Selecting the Bench from the Bar: The Legal Profession and Partisan Incentives to Politicize the Judiciary.” HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP15-001, January 2015. “The American judiciary has increasingly come under attack as polarized and politicized. Using a newly collected dataset that captures the ideological positioningContinue Reading

Persons Sentenced: Where Does Your Judge Rank?

“The number of persons sentenced by individual federal judges varies widely, with the top ranking judge in the nation — Robert C. Brack of New Mexico — having sentenced 6,708 defendants in just the last five years. This total is nearly 2,000 more than the next judge on the list. “It tears at my heart,”Continue Reading

UK Tribunal Rules Secret Surveillance Unlawful

The Intercept: “The United Kingdom’s top surveillance agency has acted unlawfully by keeping details about the scope of its Internet spying operations secret, a British court ruled in an unprecedented judgment issued on Friday. Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, was found to have breached human rights laws by concealing information about how it accesses surveillanceContinue Reading

The National Registry of Exonerations 2014

Report – 2014 was a record breaking year for exonerations in the United States, by a large margin. The National Registry of Exonerations has recorded 125 exonerations in 2014. The previous highest total was 91 in 2012 and again in 2013 , followed by 87 in 2001. All told, the Registry now lists 1,535 exonerationsContinue Reading

Judicial Capacity and Executive Power

Coan, Andrew and Bullard, Nicholas, Judicial Capacity and Executive Power (January 30, 2015). Available for download at SSRN: “The budget of the United States executive branch is roughly 500 times greater than that of the judicial branch. The executive workforce is more than 50 times greater. How do these enormous disparities affect the practicalContinue Reading

Privacy Board Renews Call for President Obama to End Bulk Collection

EPIC – “The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board released a report on prior recommendations regarding the NSA’s domestic and global surveillance programs. The Board stated that the Obama Administration has failed to end the domestic telephone collection program. The Board stated, “the Administration can end the bulk telephone records program at any time, withoutContinue Reading

Implications of a Supreme Court Finding for the Plaintiff in King vs. Burwell

Urban Institute – Linda J. Blumberg, Matthew Buettgens, John Holahan. The Implications of a Supreme Court Finding for the Plaintiff in King vs. Burwell: 8.2 Million More Uninsured and 35% Higher Premiums, January 8, 2015. “The Supreme Court will hear the King v. Burwell case, in which the plaintiff argues that the ACA prohibits payment of premium taxContinue Reading

Dueling Canons

Krishnakumar, Anita S., Dueling Canons (January 9, 2015). St. John’s Legal Studies Research Paper No. 15-0002. Available for download at SSRN: “This Article offers the first targeted study of the Supreme Court’s use of the canons and other tools of statutory interpretation in a “dueling” manner — i.e., to support opposing outcomes in bothContinue Reading

The Political Question Doctrine: Justiciability and the Separation of Powers

CRS – The Political Question Doctrine: Justiciability and the Separation of Powers. Jared P. Cole, Legislative Attorney. December 23, 2014. “Article III of the Constitution restricts the jurisdiction of federal courts to deciding actual “Cases” and “Controversies.” The Supreme Court has articulated several “justiciability” doctrines emanating from Article III that restrict when federal courts will adjudicate disputes. One justiciability concept is the politicalContinue Reading

Ford Tries to Shut Down Independent Repair Tool with Copyright

EFF – “…The Ford Motor Company…recently sued Autel, a manufacturer of third-party diagnostics for automobiles, for creating a diagnostic tool that includes a list of Ford car parts and their specifications. Ford claims that it owns a copyright on this list of parts, the “FFData file,” and thus can keep competitors from including it inContinue Reading

2014 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary

The Chief Justice’s 2014 Year-End Report – December 31, 2014. “The Supreme Court is currently developing its own electronic filing system, which may be operational as soon as 2016. Once the system is implemented, all filings at the Court—petitions and responses to petitions, merits briefs, and all other types of motions and applications—will be available to the legal community andContinue Reading

Mortgage Securitization Discrimination

Beverly Adkins et al. v Morgan Stanley “The National Consumer Law Center is co-counsel for African American plaintiffs in a prospective class action lawsuit brought against Morgan Stanley. The lawsuit claims that the Defendant violated federal civil rights laws, the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act as well as state laws byContinue Reading