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Federal Courts

Prison Gerrymandering Is Unconstitutional, Federal Judge Rules

The Huffington Post | Cristian Farias | Posted 05.24.2016 | Politics

The population of Cranston, Rhode Island, was 80,387 as of the 2010 census. Within its borders lies the state's only state prison, the Adult Correctio...

American Public Can't See Full Senate Torture Report, Court Rules

The Huffington Post | Cristian Farias | Posted 05.13.2016 | Politics

An appeals court ruled on Friday that more than 6,000 pages of the so-called Senate torture report cannot be made public because they consist of congr...

Judicial Vacancy Crisis Hits Home in Colorado - Literally

Peg Perl | Posted 04.13.2016 | Denver
Peg Perl

While public attention has been (deservedly) focused on the empty seat now waiting on the U.S. Supreme Court for the last two months, almost a hundred...

A Cloud Hanging Over the Military Commissions

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 02.17.2016 | Politics
Daphne Eviatar

It shouldn't have been such a difficult issue. After all, defendants on trial for mass murder in a death penalty case often aren't happy with how things are going. That may include being disappointed with their lawyers. But that's in federal court. The military commissions are different.

Military Commission in 9/11 Case Stalls Again, This Time Because Defendant Doesn't Trust His Lawyers

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 02.16.2016 | World
Daphne Eviatar

Within minutes of the start of the hearing in the case against the five alleged masterminds of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Walid bin Attash, who's accused of helping to train the 9/11 hijackers, announced he doesn't trust his appointed lawyers and wants to communicate with the judge directly instead.

Military Commissions Drag on at Guantanamo While Obama Keeps Promising to Close It

Daphne Eviatar | Posted 02.15.2016 | World
Daphne Eviatar

President Obama has been saying for the past eight years that he wants to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center. Although Congress hasn't made it easy, his insistence on continuing to prosecute these cases in the military commissions only undermines the credibility of his convictions.

Cops Recording Your Every Move For 10 Weeks Doesn't Violate The Constitution

The Huffington Post | Cristian Farias | Posted 02.08.2016 | Politics

A federal appeals court on Monday ruled it is not unconstitutional for law enforcement to set up a camera on a public utility pole and record a suspec...

Why Courts Matter: The Iowa Caucus

Donna Red Wing | Posted 02.02.2016 | Queer Voices
Donna Red Wing

The judicial emergency crisis in our federal courts is too often an issue left out of major political conversation. This has also been true of the 201...

Arizona Wants To Secede From The U.S. Court That Has Long Been Its Home

The Huffington Post | Cristian Farias | Posted 01.29.2016 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Arizona wants to secede. Not from the United States, but from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, the federal appellate court...

One Of The Biggest Losers Of 2015 Was An Entire Branch Of Government

The Huffington Post | Jennifer Bendery | Posted 12.30.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- There are some obvious candidates for biggest losers of 2015. Planet Earth. Bill Cosby. The Dallas Cowboys. But one that belongs on that...

Let's Not Chicken Out on Pending Clemency Applications

Chandra Bozelko | Posted 11.29.2015 | Crime
Chandra Bozelko

President Barack Obama is seven-for-seven in pardoning turkeys but his clemency initiative is still backed up. That needs to change. As it stands now,...

Supreme Court May Give A Break To Thousands Of Workers Shorted On Pay

The Huffington Post | Cristian Farias | Posted 11.10.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Workers who sue collectively over unpaid overtime may just get a big break from the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices heard arguments Tue...

Chief Justice Roberts' Wild Question About Congress And Immigration

The Huffington Post | Cristian Farias | Posted 11.03.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- During oral arguments in a Supreme Court case that has the tech industry on alert, Chief Justice John Roberts asked a strange hypothetic...

FBI Agents Accused Of Torturing U.S. Citizen Abroad Can't Be Sued

The Huffington Post | Cristian Farias | Posted 10.23.2015 | Politics

Federal agents who illegally detain, interrogate and torture American citizens abroad can't be held accountable for violating the Constitution. A divi...

The Current Senate Gridlock Is Hurting the Diversity of Our Justice System

Robert T. Maldonado | Posted 10.22.2015 | Politics
Robert T. Maldonado

Judge Restrepo's story of immigrant success seems to be on hold for the moment. That's because he's been waiting since November 2014, when President Barack Obama appointed him to serve on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, to be confirmed as an appeals court judge.

The Disgraceful State of Judicial Nominations

Nancy K. Kaufman | Posted 10.05.2015 | Politics
Nancy K. Kaufman

As a country that presents itself as a leader among nations when it comes to rule of law, the corruption of the process of selecting judges in a partisan manner ought to be an international embarrassment.

Federal Judge to HHS: No, You Can't Discriminate for No Good Reason

Evan Bernick | Posted 09.02.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

Can the government treat some people differently than others on the basis of sheer favoritism? It seems like an obvious question, but decades' worth of unwarranted judicial deference in constitutional cases have made the answer uncertain.

Will Colorado Continue to Be a Model in Filling Judicial Vacancies?

Peg Perl | Posted 08.27.2015 | Denver
Peg Perl

The District Court in Colorado, which has not increased the number of judges since 1984, is already overworked and understaffed.

Is This Adversary Procedure? "Dr." Posner's Potent Prescription

Evan Bernick | Posted 08.27.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

At what point does the adversarial process that is central to our legal system cease to be truly adversarial? In a case involving an indigent prisoner who sued prison administrators and staff for deliberate indifference to his medical needs, a divided Seventh Circuit panel reversed a summary judgment in favor of the defendants, sending the prisoner's suit back down for further fact-finding.

Empathy and Decision Making

Mark Baer | Posted 08.17.2015 | Divorce
Mark Baer

We are both members of The Esquire Network (TEN) and he has been mentioning that we seem to have very similar approaches to the practice of law and suggesting that we should discuss it further over breakfast. We did just that.

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 06.16.2016 | 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 05.05.2016 | 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.