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Category Archives: Legal Research

Secret court authorizes continued telephone metadata collection

The Guardian UK: “After a decade in the shadows, a secretive surveillance court that authorises the bulk collection of American telephone records seized on its last chance to show off a little personality on Tuesday [June 30, 2015]. “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, well, at least for 180 days,” wrote judge Michael Mosman in an unusually colourful, and public, ruling that granted an extension to the programme one last time. Congress banned the bulk collection of telephone metadata – first revealed by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden in the Guardian in 2013 – by passing sweeping NSA reforms in the USA Freedom Act earlier this month. But the legislation also proposed a six-month transition period while the NSA moves to a new system that relies on asking telephone companies for specific records rather than maintaining a central government database.”

National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice

“The National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice is designed to improve relationships and increase trust between communities and the criminal justice system. It also aims to advance the public and scholarly understandings of the issues contributing to those relationships. In September 2014, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice has awarded the NationalContinue Reading

The Board’s Responsibility for Crisis Governance

Trautman, Lawrence J., The Board’s Responsibility for Crisis Governance (June 26, 2015). Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2623219 “A clear strategy and implementation plan for reasonably foreseeable industry disasters — before they take place, helps to prevent mistakes made under conditions of severe stress. Low probability but survival-threatening disasters such as the BP Gulf ofContinue Reading

Indictment of former House speaker Dennis Hastert

Washington Post – Federal prosecutors on Thursday indicted former House speaker J. Dennis Hastert on bank-related charges. Find out more about the case.

HHS OIG Reports Fraud Abuse in Cost of Drugs Under Medicare

HHS OIG Data Brief • June 2015 • OEI-02-15-00190. Questionable Billing and Geographic Hotspots Point to Potential Fraud and Abuse in Medicare Part D: “More than 1,400 pharmacies had questionable billing for Part D drugs in 2014 A total of 1,432 retail pharmacies billed extremely high amounts for at least one of the five measuresContinue Reading

CFPB consumer complaint database

“[June 25, 2015] the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) [went] live with an enhanced public-facing consumer complaint database. It includes for the first time over 7,700 consumer accounts of problems they are facing with financial companies concerning mortgages, bank accounts, credit cards, debt collection, and more. The CFPB is also publishing a Request for InformationContinue Reading

Job Opening – New Librarian of Congress

The Atlantic – Robinson Meyer: Experts say that a new librarian should digitize more works, raise more money—and use email. “The current librarian, James Billington, has held the title since his appointment by President Reagan in 1987. Though named by the president and confirmed by the Senate, the Librarian doesn’t change with every new WhiteContinue Reading

National Journal – Mapping Gay Marriage Since 1996

From No States to All of Them: Mapping Gay Marriage Since 1996 How same-sex marriage became legal in the United States, by National Journal Graphics Staff: “A day ago, same-sex marriage was legal in 36 states and the District of Columbia. Now, it’s legal in all 50. The Supreme Court said in a 5-4 rulingContinue Reading

2014 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

“On June 25, 2015, Secretary Kerry submitted the 2014 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices (commonly known as the Human Rights Reports) to the U.S. Congress.  The reports, now in their 39th year, are available at State.gov/humanrightsreports and HumanRights.gov/reports.  Mandated by Congress, the Human Rights Reports help inform U.S. government policy and foreign assistance.  TheyContinue Reading

Supreme Court rejects latest challenge to Affordable Health Care Act

United States Supreme Court – KING ET AL. v. BURWELL, SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, ET AL., (2015) No. 14-114. Argued: March 4, 2015  Decided: June 25, 201 “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act grew out of a long history of failed health insurance reform. In the 1990s, several States sought to expandContinue Reading

Pew Report – America’s Global Image

Global Publics Back U.S. on Fighting ISIS, but Are Critical of Post-9/11 Torture –  June 23, 2015: “The rise of ISIS has generated strong concerns in nations around the world, and a new Pew Research Center survey finds broad global support for American military efforts against the terrorist group. And unlike the Iraq War aContinue Reading

Only 29 Convictions in Federal Hate Crime Cases Since FY 2010

“During the first eight months of fiscal year 2015, the federal government reported the convictions of eight individuals who had been charged with federal hate crimes under Title 8 Section 249 of the U.S. Code, according to the latest available data from the Justice Department. If this activity continues at the same pace, the annualContinue Reading