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Federal Courts

Oh No! The Supreme Court's Opinion Season Was So Head-Spinning That One Federal Court Got Whiplash

Laura Murray-Tjan | Posted 07.29.2015 | Politics
Laura Murray-Tjan

Those of us outside the courthouse cannot know which cases fall by the wayside, receiving less judicial attention than they require. Every litigant expects what the courts promise: Justice. But some of us aren't getting it.

The Danger of Disrobing the Judiciary

Alex Glashausser | Posted 06.16.2015 | Politics
Alex Glashausser

Artful advocates advise this about addressing the court: if the facts are on your side, pound the facts; if the law is on your side, pound the law; if neither is on your side, pound the table. Adding to that adage, pusillanimous politicians propose undressing the court: if you fear its decision, strip it of jurisdiction.

6 Key Facts Everyone Should Know About the Federal Court Case for Home Care Workers

Robert Espinoza | Posted 05.05.2015 | Politics
Robert Espinoza

This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will hear arguments on whether the Labor Department has the authority to extend minimum wage and overtime protections to workers who provide home care assistance to elders and people with disabilities. This federal court case affects all of us.

The Fourth Quarter

Nancy K. Kaufman | Posted 06.16.2015 | Politics
Nancy K. Kaufman

Denying confirmation to qualified nominees violates one of the "rules" of the game -- the rule that each president will have the chance to reshape the bench to reflect his or her vision of justice. But it is not a game.

Guantanamo Military Commissions Stall Again: Time to Move On

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 06.06.2015 | World
Daphne Eviatar

It's time for the U.S. government to put an end to this fiasco. The legitimacy of such important terrorism cases as the September 11 attacks is not something to be disregarded, nor is the impact on the victims' families, who have yet to see justice done. All the military commission cases could be reliably tried in the seasoned and successful U.S. federal court system.

Jimmy Dennis: A System Not Designed for Innocence

David A. Love | Posted 05.27.2015 | Black Voices
David A. Love

Jimmy Dennis' case reveals a great deal about a hopelessly broken system that administers the law, but does not necessarily dispense justice.

9/11 Defendant Claims Ongoing Injuries From CIA Torture

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 04.14.2015 | World
Daphne Eviatar

Walter Ruiz, Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi's lawyer and a former Navy commander, told the court that Hawsawi's treatment needs stem from injuries he sustained under U.S.-sponsored torture. Ruiz wants to interview his client's doctors to learn more about the "ongoing bleeding" and "colorectal issues that stem from his time in captivity...."

Alabama Marriage Equality Tantrum Is a Slap in the Face to All Americans

Alvin McEwen | Posted 04.12.2015 | Gay Voices
Alvin McEwen

If state judges can get away with ignoring a federal ruling simply because they do not agree with said ruling on whatever grounds, they are giving themselves precedent to ignore any and all federal rulings they do not agree with.

9/11 Defendants Claim Military Commission Translator Assisted CIA Torture

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 04.11.2015 | Politics
Daphne Eviatar

It didn't take long for the Guantanamo military commission in the 9/11 case to stumble again -- this time when two of the accused co-conspirators said they recognized a translator in the courtroom from their time in a CIA black site.

Senators Question Federal Court Terror Trials While Effective Prosecutions Continue Apace in NYC

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 03.30.2015 | World
Daphne Eviatar

It's hard to believe some senators are still complaining about these cases, claiming the government should instead send them to military commissions at Guantanamo Bay. Meanwhile, due in large part to those complaints, the five alleged September 11 co-conspirators remain stuck in lengthy pretrial hearings at Guantanamo.

Another Bin Laden Associate on Trial in New York

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 03.24.2015 | World
Daphne Eviatar

It's become almost routine -- the prosecutions of alleged al Qaeda operatives and spokespeople, men picked up halfway across the world brought to downtown Manhattan, where they're tried for acts they're alleged to have committed years ago in cahoots with Osama bin Laden.

After a Week of Legal Back-and-forth, Plaintiffs in Case Challenging Alaska's Same-sex Marriage Ban Legally Wed

Alaska Dispatch News | Posted 12.21.2014 | Gay Voices
Alaska Dispatch News

Snow, slush, a state holiday and complex legal maneuvering from the court system weren't enough to stop Courtney Lamb and Stephanie Pearson from getting married.

Secret Order Cancels Guantanamo Hearing On FBI Spying -- Government 'Transparency' In Action

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 12.16.2014 | World
Daphne Eviatar

I really hope family members of victims of the 9/11 attacks weren't planning on attending the hearings scheduled at Guantanamo Bay this week. It would be completely demoralizing to someone who suffered personally from the heinous mass murders that took place 13 years ago to find that once again, all efforts to bring the five alleged perpetrators to justice had stalled, and once again, no one's allowed to know why.

Life Sentence for Bin Laden's Son-in-Law Is Hardly 'Soft' on Terrorism

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 11.23.2014 | World
Daphne Eviatar

Critics have expressed legitimate concerns about U.S. conspiracy law, saying it's too easy to convict some people accused of low-level terrorist assistance and sentence them to hard time in highly restrictive prisons. But the claim that the U.S. prison system gives terrorists rights that ought to be reserved for U.S. citizens is simply impossible to support.

What Do Oz and Our Federal Courts Have in Common?

Peg Perl | Posted 10.26.2014 | Denver
Peg Perl

All federal judges go through a public Senate confirmation process after they are nominated by the President. But where does the President get those names to nominate?

Did Those Republican Judges Ever Go to Law School?

Frank Askin | Posted 09.29.2014 | Politics
Frank Askin

Six federal judges ruled Tuesday on the legality of subsidies being provided for low-income subscribers under so-called Obamacare. The two with solid Republican credentials found the program illegal.

When Going Nuclear Makes Sense

Doug Kendall | Posted 09.27.2014 | Politics
Doug Kendall

The invocation of the nuclear option last November addressed a real problem with the functioning of the Senate, paved the way for a new generation of insightful legal minds to join the ranks of the federal judiciary, and has allowed the president to address the nation's judicial vacancy crisis by accelerating the pace of confirmations. We are all better off for it.

Raise Your Hand If You Understand Immigration Law: Take Two

Laura Murray-Tjan | Posted 08.25.2014 | Politics
Laura Murray-Tjan

It turns out that immigration law stumps even the Supreme Court. The Court's recent decision in Scialabba v. Cuellar de Osorio is marred by errors that may well have affected its outcome.

Another Terrorism Conviction, Another Reminder It's Time to Close Guantanamo

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 07.19.2014 | World
Daphne Eviatar

The claim that dozens of men at Guantanamo cannot be tried in the United States and are also too dangerous to release to another country is just not plausible. It's a claim we wouldn't accept from any other country, and we shouldn't get comfortable with it in the United States, either.

Bin Laden Relative Could Be Held Responsible for Deaths of Thousands

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 05.21.2014 | World
Daphne Eviatar

There are lots of reasons one might be concerned about the severity of U.S. terrorism law. But I wouldn't expect criticism of this aspect of the American criminal justice system from those law-and-order lawmakers clamoring for the United States to be tougher on terrorism.

The Trial of Bin Laden's Son-in-Law and Why Not to Torture a Terrorist

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 05.14.2014 | World
Daphne Eviatar

To an American observer, that may sound astonishing. Why would he just confess? In fact, that happens all the time in these cases. The key, it seems, is in according the captive respect -- conveying an acknowledgement of his humanity and his right to humane treatment.

When Courts Stop Strikes Before They Start: Why Workers and the Public Lose

Michael M. Oswalt | Posted 04.08.2014 | Politics
Michael M. Oswalt

This nullification of the strike -- the core building block of effective workplace advocacy for thousands of unrepresented, often low wage contract workers at airports -- deserves a lot more attention than it's been getting.

Pauley vs. Leon

Christopher Brauchli | Posted 03.07.2014 | Politics
Christopher Brauchli

What is now known is that it was not the absence of a program ignoring Americans' constitutional rights that permitted 9/11. Collecting "bulk telephony metadata" does nothing to correct the intelligence failures that permitted 9/11 to happen.

Guantanamo Prison Commander Previously Ran U.S. Detention in Somalia

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 02.17.2014 | World
Daphne Eviatar

When Col. John Bogdan took the witness stand at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, he'd been called to testify about the strict limits he's imposed on defense attorneys' visits with their death penalty clients. The attorneys representing the defendants accused of masterminding the 9/11 terrorist attacks claim his rules make their jobs unreasonably onerous.

Federal Officials Closing Courthouses In Four States

AP | KRISTI EATON | Posted 11.20.2013 | Politics

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Federal officials are closing four more courthouses in an effort to save money on rent — in addition to six closings announce...