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Prez Biden signs Executive Order "to Eliminate the Use of Privately Operated Criminal Detention Facilities" in the federal prison system

I had heard reports that today was going to be a day for Prez Biden to sign a number of executive orders related to criminal justice, but it seems as though only one such order was actually signed today during an event that was focused more broadly on racial equity.  Still, as reported in this AP piece, the one criminal justice executive order signed today is still notable: President Joe Biden on Tuesday ordered the Department of Justice to end its reliance on private prisons and acknowledge th...
Tags: Law, Obama, Joe Biden, United States, Department Of Justice, Biden, Justice Department, GEO Group, Fathi, Pacific Islander, Bureau of Prisons, Bop, Douglas A Berman, David Fathi, Prez Biden, Privately Operated Criminal Detention Facilities


Rand Paul versus George Stephanopoulos. A great confrontation, and I do not agree with the title on this video, that Rand Paul "melts down."

  Here's the transcript.   STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Paul, let me begin with a threshold question for you. This election was not stolen, do you accept that fact?  SENATOR RAND PAUL, (R-KY): Well, what I would say is that the debate over whether or not there was fraud should occur, we never had any presentation in court where we actually looked at the evidence. Most of the cases were thrown out for lack of standing, which is a procedural way of not actually hearing the question. There were s...
Tags: Voting, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Rand Paul, Department Of Justice, Republican, Biden, George Stephanopoulos, Justice Department, Trump, George, PAUL R KY, PAUL


Anyone bold enough to make predictions about the federal prison population — which is now at 151,646 according to BOP?

Regular readers know that I have been following federal prison population data quite closely during the COVID era and giving particular attention to the numbers the federal Bureau of Prisons updates weekly at this webpage.  This morning, which just happens to be the first full day of the new Biden Administration, BOP reports "Total Federal Inmates" at 151,646.  I am very curious to hear predictions as to what this number might be a year from now, or two years from now, or four years from now. He...
Tags: Law, Obama, Biden, Doj, Justice Department, Trump, Prez Obama, Bureau of Prisons, Bop, Douglas A Berman, Prez Trump, Trump s Justice Department, Biden Administration, Biden Administration BOP


"Federal prosecutors offered an ominous new assessment of last week’s siege... saying in a court filing that rioters intended 'to capture and assassinate elected officials.'..."

"The detention memo, written by Justice Department lawyers in Arizona, goes into greater detail about the FBI’s investigation into [Jacob] Chansley, revealing that he left a note for Pence warning that 'it’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.' 'Strong evidence, including Chansley’s own words and actions at the Capitol, supports that the intent of the Capitol rioters was to capture and assassinate elected officials in the United States government,' prosecutors wrote.... 'When questioned as...
Tags: Law, Washington, US, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Earth, Fbi, Hillary Clinton, United States, Arizona, Evidence, Justice Department, Mike Pence, Capitol, Ann Althouse, the Trump resistance


Argument analysis: Justices doubt FTC’s authority to compel monetary relief

If you’re arguing on behalf of a federal regulatory agency’s authority to protect consumers from businesses and Justice Stephen Breyer sets his face against you, then chances are your day is not going well. But that is what happened Wednesday morning when Joel Marcus appeared on behalf of the FTC in AMG Capital Management v. Federal Trade Commission. Joel Marcus argues for the FTC (Art Lien) The case involves Section 13 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which allows the FTC to seek an “in...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, White House, Justice Department, Executive Branch, Federal Trade Commission, Ftc, Marcus, Amg, Alito, Fitzgerald, Stephen Breyer, Breyer, Elena Kagan


After SCOTUS reverses stays by 6-3 votes, US complete early morning execution of only woman on federal death row

As reported here via SCOTUSblog, the "Supreme Court on Tuesday night cleared the way for the execution of Lisa Montgomery, the first woman to be executed by the federal government in 68 years.  Montgomery was convicted in 2008 of strangling Bobbie Jo Stinnett, a Missouri woman who was eight months pregnant, and extracting the premature baby to pass off as her own child." Here is more: In a series of brief, unsigned orders, the Supreme Court reversed a pair of rulings from federal appeals courts...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, US, Georgia, Missouri, Justice Department, Montgomery, Trump, Kelly Gissendaner, Lisa Montgomery, Terre Haute Indiana, Corey Johnson, Douglas A Berman, Bobbie Jo Stinnett, Dustin Higgs


Reversing several lower courts, justices allow execution of Lisa Montgomery

The Supreme Court on Tuesday night cleared the way for the execution of Lisa Montgomery, the first woman to be executed by the federal government in 68 years. Montgomery was convicted in 2008 of strangling Bobbie Jo Stinnett, a Missouri woman who was eight months pregnant, and extracting the premature baby to pass off as her own child. In a series of brief, unsigned orders, the Supreme Court reversed a pair of rulings from federal appeals courts that had put Montgomery’s execution on hold, and i...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Joe Biden, Indiana, Missouri, Department Of Justice, Justice Department, Montgomery, Trump, Federal Bureau of Prisons, D C Circuit, U S Court of Appeals, Elena Kagan, Kagan, 7th Circuit


Split Third Circuit panel declares that planned safe injection site would be in violation of federal law

As noted in this post from 15 months ago, a federal district judge ruled a Philadelphia nonprofit group's plan to open a sef injection site would not violate the Controlled Substances Act. But, as reported in this local press piece, headlined "A federal court rejected the plan for a supervised injection site in Philly," a Third Circuit panel has now reversed this ruling. Here is the start of the majority opinion in US v. Safehouse, No. 20-1422 (3d Cir. Jan. 12, 2021) (available here): Though th...
Tags: Law, Congress, US, America, Philadelphia, Justice Department, Philly, Roth, Douglas A Berman, Trump Administration, Safehouse, Biden Administration


Interesting accounting of the "Top 5 Criminal Justice Reforms Advocates Want Under Biden"

Law360 has this notable new piece under the headline "Top 5 Criminal Justice Reforms Advocates Want Under Biden." Here is the preamble to the annotated Top 5 list, as well as the list itself: Joe Biden's election as president has sparked hope among criminal justice advocates and organizations that his administration will overhaul the U.S. criminal justice system and implement reforms they have been seeking for years. Biden's campaign website promises that the Democratic president-elect will "st...
Tags: Law, Congress, America, Joe Biden, Gop, Capitol Hill, Biden, Justice Department, Prez, Douglas A Berman, Kara Gotsch, Biden Administration, Biden Sanders Unity Task Force


How the the 25th Amendment works to remove a sitting president

Then-President-elect Donald Trump stands with Vice President-elect Mike Pence at a news conference at Trump Tower on January 11, 2017 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images The 25th Amendment formally outlines the transition of power if the president is unable or unfit to serve. Section IV also allows the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to remove the president from office. Americans have been particularly interested in the amendment since President Donald Trump took off...
Tags: Google, Politics, News, Law, Congress, Life, Senate, White House, Trends, Cnn, Fbi, Commerce, Tennessee, New York Times, House Of Representatives, Treasury


Prez-elect Biden's slate of nominees for the Justice Department revealed, with Judge Merrick Garland tapped for Attorney General

As reported in this new AP piece, "President-elect Joe Biden has selected Merrick Garland, a federal appeals court judge who in 2016 was snubbed by Republicans for a seat on the Supreme Court, as his attorney general, two people familiar with the selection process said Wednesday."  Here is more on who is slated to help run a new Justice Department: Biden is expected to announce Garland’s appointment on Thursday, along with other senior leaders of the department, including former homeland securi...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Russia, Joe Biden, Ap, Clarke, Monaco, Biden, Doj, Justice Department, Sally Yates, Black, Trump, Hunter, Gupta, Garland


The lives they lived and the court they shaped: Remembering those we lost in 2020

The lead plaintiffs in three landmark civil rights cases. A government lawyer who argued at the Supreme Court more than anyone else in the 20th century. A chief justice’s right-hand man. A trailblazing feminist who became a transformative justice. These were among the people we lost in a year that was so defined by death. As the year comes to a close, SCOTUSblog looks back at some of the individuals who died in 2020 after living lives that brought them – at different times and for different reas...
Tags: John Lewis, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, China, Virginia, Court, Alabama, America, Georgia, Reagan, Cnn, Pennsylvania, United States, Ronald Reagan


Oversight Left To Georgia Voters For Kelly Loeffler Short-Selling America Before COVID-19 Hit

Still, in any investigation, the Justice Department declining to bring charges doesn’t mean a person did nothing wrong.
Tags: Law, Finance, Government, Department Of Justice, Justice Department, David Perdue, Senate Ethics Committee, Jonathan Wolf, Kelly Loeffler


Federal judge blocks January 12 execution date for only woman on federal death row

As repoted in this AP piece, a "federal judge said the Justice Department unlawfully rescheduled the execution of the only woman on federal death row, potentially setting up the Trump administration to schedule the execution after president-elect Joe Biden takes office." Here is more about a ruling that was handed down before Christmas: U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss also vacated an order from the director of the Bureau of Prisons that had set Lisa Montgomery’s execution date for Jan. ...
Tags: Law, Court, Joe Biden, Ap, Missouri, Biden, Justice Department, Montgomery, Trump, Moss, The Associated Press, U S District Court, Lisa Montgomery, Terre Haute Indiana, Federal Correctional Complex, Bureau of Prisons


Former Justice Department Lawyer Apologizes For Not Quitting Sooner So Trump Would Have Crappier Lawyers

She's 'haunted' by the work she did to dismantle democracy.
Tags: Law, Government, Department Of Justice, Donald Trump, Justice Department, Quote Of The Day


Lots of notable pardon headlines as we approach the last month of Prez Trump's clemency powers

In part because Prez Trump has not used his clemency power since last month's Thanksgiving week pardon for Michael Flynn, I have managed to avoid discussing the out-going President's potential pardon spree for many days now.  But there is, unsurprisingly, a cacophony of clemency chatter in various media, and highlighted by these recent piece: From CNN, "'It's turned crazy': Inside the scramble for Trump pardons" From the Daily Beast, "Trump Is Considering Clemency for Silk Road Founder" From For...
Tags: Law, White House, Cnn, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, Donald Trump, Justice Department, Trump, Michael Flynn, Mark Meadows, Douglas A Berman, Prez Trump, Jared Kushner, Presidential Pardons, Forbes Trump, Pat Cipollone


Reviewing CJUTF Recommendations: how might the Biden Administration seek to abolish the death penalty?

Right after the election, I blogged a bit (here and here) about some criminal justice reform recommendations from the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force (available here pp. 56-62, called the CJUTF hereinafter).  A few weeks ago, as explained here, I decided to start a series of posts to spotlight and amplify some recommendations from the CJUTF that ought to be of particular interest to sentencing fans.  In the wake of two more notable federal executions last week (noted here and here), this post wil...
Tags: Fcc, Law, Congress, Massachusetts, Joe Biden, Cnn, United States, House, Boston Marathon, Department Of Justice, Biden, Donald Trump, Justice Department, Kamala Harris, Pressley, Charleston Church


"Barr Worked to Keep Hunter Biden Probes From Public View During Election/The attorney general knew for months about investigations into Biden’s business and financial dealing?

The Wall Street Journal reports (and I got in without a subscription).  Attorney General William Barr has known about a disparate set of investigations involving Hunter Biden’s business and financial dealings since at least this spring, a person familiar with the matter said, and worked to avoid their public disclosure during the heated election campaign....  On Thursday night, Mr. Trump tweeted his frustration about the Justice Department and the FBI’s failure to disclose the Hunter Biden inve...
Tags: Law, Fbi, Biden, Doj, Wall Street Journal, Justice Department, Trump, Ann Althouse, Hunter Biden, 2020 Campaign, Trump Justice Department, William Barr


Justices refuse to delay execution of Brandon Bernard

The Supreme Court on Thursday evening declined to postpone the execution of Brandon Bernard, who was sentenced to death for his involvement in the carjacking and murder of two youth ministers, Todd and Stacie Bagley, in Fort Hood, Texas. The court’s three liberal justices publicly dissented from the decision to allow the execution to proceed. Bernard, who had just turned 18 at the time of the crime in 1999, is the ninth person to be executed by the federal government since July, when the Trump a...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Court, Joe Biden, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Justice Department, Starr, Kim Kardashian West, Trump, Todd, Bernard, Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Harvard Law


Case preview: The $124 billion questions – Justices to hear argument in dispute over Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac shareholder suit

The Supreme Court in June ruled in Seila Law v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that statutory restrictions on the president’s ability to remove the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau violated the Constitution’s separation of powers. On Wednesday, the court will consider whether a different set of restrictions, governing the removal of the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, must suffer the same fate. The question arises in a lawsuit brought by shareholders of ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Treasury, Justice Department, Collins, Trump, APA, Freddie Mac, Brigham Young University, Treasury Department, CFPB, U S Court of Appeals, FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau


Is Alabama Senator Doug Jones now the front-runner to be Joe Biden's pick for Attorney General?

In this post a few week ago, I asked "Is Sally Yates on track to be the next US Attorney General?," and until tonight I was still thinking she was the front-runner for this key Cabinet position.  But this new AP piece, headlined "Biden's attorney general search is focused on Jones, Garland," suggests that confirmation concerns may be driving Prez-elect Biden in another direction.  Here are the details: Alabama Sen. Doug Jones and federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland are emerging as the l...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Obama, Senate, Russia, US, Alabama, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Ap, Fbi, Hillary Clinton, Capitol Hill, Al Sharpton, Biden, Justice Department


"So why is it clear that the president lacks the power to pardon himself? There are three reasons."

"The language of the pardon power itself is ambiguous in the face of a constitutional expectation of clarity if the Framers intended to invest the president with such extraordinary power.... Second, the Framers clearly contemplated in the impeachment provisions of the Constitution that the president would not be able to violate the criminal laws with impunity.... And last, but not least, a power in the president to pardon himself for any and all crimes against the United States he committed woul...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Wikipedia, United States, Pardons, George W Bush, Justice Department, Trump, Thomas, Scalia, George H W Bush, U S Court of Appeals, Will Trump, Executive Power, 4th Circuit, Ann Althouse


Might federal execution plans be impacted if Attorney General William Barr were to step down in coming days?

The question in the title of this post is prompted by these two new press pieces: From the AP, "Trump ratchets up pace of executions before Biden inaugural" From the New York Times, "Barr Is Said to Be Weighing Whether to Leave Before Trump’s Term Ends" Here are extended excerpts from the lengthy and effective AP piece (with a few items emphasized): As Donald Trump’s presidency winds down, his administration is ratcheting up the pace of federal executions despite a surge of coronavirus cases ...
Tags: New York, Law, Obama, Congress, Joe Biden, Ap, Biden, Donald Trump, Justice Department, Durham, Trump, Jeff Sessions, Barr, AG Barr, Lisa Montgomery, Terre Haute Indiana


Apparently The Justice Department Could Get Dumber — See Also

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Whatever The Hell This Is: The DOJ caught a White House mole in their operations. Die Hard Is A Christmas Movie: And Trump doles out pardons like Hans Gruber demanding freedom for Asian Dawn because he saw "them in Time magazine." Bonuses: There are several, but here's Kirkland's. I Just Can't With These People Anymore: Kentucky alerts people who "passed" that they actually failed. But don't worry they get to take the next exam for free!
Tags: Law, Kentucky, White House, Time, Doj, Justice Department, Trump, Hans Gruber, Kirkland, See Also


DOJ Barrs White House Spy From Premises. Totally Normal!

WTF is going on at the Justice Department?
Tags: Wtf, Law, Government, Donald Trump, Justice Department, DOJ Barrs White House


"By appointing Durham as a Special Counsel, Barr contradicted news reports before the election that Durham was frustrated and found nothing of significance...."

"Under the Justice Department regulations, Barr had to find (and Durham apparently agreed) that there is need for additional criminal investigation and '[t]hat investigation or prosecution of that person or matter by a United States Attorney's Office or litigating Division of the Department of Justice would present a conflict of interest for the Department or other extraordinary circumstances.' He must also find the appointment in the public interest.... Presumably, the conflict is not in the cu...
Tags: Law, Washington, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, United States, Department Of Justice, Biden, Usa Today, Justice Department, Durham, James Comey, Trump, Democratic, Department, Mueller, Machiavelli


Ramos, Tasmanian tigers and Teague, oh my: SCOTUS debates retroactivity of jury unanimity rule in Edwards oral argument

The Supreme Court often seems to have a Wizard-of-Oz like quality, especially now that we are all behind a COVID curtain, and so I could not resist an Ozian title for this post noting today's interesting oral argument in Edwards v. Vannoy.   At issue in Edwards is whether the Court’s decision last Term in Ramos v. Louisiana, holding that the Sixth Amendment establishes a right to a unanimous jury that applies in both federal and state courts, applies retroactively to cases that have already bec...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Oregon, Court, Tasmania, Louisiana, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Department, Puerto Rico, John Roberts, Edwards, Lane, Alito, Barrett, Stephen Breyer, Breyer


Justice Department investigating an alleged 'secret lobbying scheme' to obtain a presidential pardon

an American flag flies outside the Department of Justice in Washington in March 2019. Andrew Harnik/AP Court documents released Tuesday show the Department of Justice is investigating an alleged plot to bribe President Donald Trump for a presidential pardon. As first reported by CNN, the documents do not state who is alleged to have taken part in any such effort and a "related bribery conspiracy scheme." According to federal investigators, the plot involved an offer of "a substantial polit...
Tags: Politics, Law, Washington, White House, Trends, Cnn, Bribery, Department Of Justice, Donald Trump, Charles Davis, Justice Department, US Department of Justice, Howell, US District Court for the District of Columbia, Breaking, Presidential Pardons


"Prisons Are Covid-19 Hotbeds. When Should Inmates Get the Vaccine?"

The title of this post is the headline of this new New York Times piece.  Here are excerpts:   They live in crowded conditions, sharing bathrooms and eating facilities where social distancing is impossible.  They have high rates of asthma, diabetes and heart disease.  Many struggle with mental illness. A disproportionate number are Black and Hispanic, members of minority communities that have been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. So should prisoners and other detainees be given priority ac...
Tags: Law, New York Times, Associated Press, Criminal Justice, Justice Department, American Medical Association, Toner, National Commission, Douglas A Berman, Council on Criminal Justice, Khalil Cumberbatch


Symposium: Trump’s census policy is both fundamentally fair and legally sound

This article is part of a symposium previewing Trump v. New York. Hans von Spakovsky is a senior legal fellow at the Institute for Constitutional Government of the Heritage Foundation and the manager of Heritage’s Election Law Reform Initiative. In Trump v. New York, the Supreme Court should be looking only at the constitutional and statutory issues: whether President Donald Trump was within his legal authority to direct that noncitizens in the country illegally be excluded from the population u...
Tags: New York, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, United States, House, Donald Trump, Baker, Justice Department, Trump, State, Eastman, Franklin, Census Bureau, Robert Mueller



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