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Category Archives: Courts

Donald Trump and the Plot to Take Over the Courts

The Nation – How the 45th president has packed the courts with ultraconservatives—and reshaped the judiciary for a generation. “…Trump’s Court—the collection of judges and justices now swarming our judicial system, nominated and confirmed to lifetime appointments on his recommendation—will linger, like an infected wound poisoning the body politic even after the initial injury has scabbed over. As of this writing, the Trump administration has had 123 federal judges confirmed, including 41 to the federal courts of appeal—the circuit courts just one rung below the Supreme Court. By comparison, at this point in his presidency, Barack Obama had pushed only 19 circuit-court judges through to confirmation. Trump’s appointees now account for some 14 percent of the federal judiciary and more than 22 percent of the judges on the nation’s courts of appeal—and he has been in office for just two and a half years. Many of Trump’s other offenses could be overturned by a new president with the stroke of a pen. Trump’s Court will remain as his legacy.

The characteristics of these new Trump judges are not limited to their hostility toward a woman’s right to choose. Trump promised anti-choice judges, and he has made good on that threat. But while tapping judges who can be trusted to oppose the Supreme Court precedent of Roe v. Wade, he has also dredged up those who share a nasty disrespect for any individual rights that don’t flow from God or the barrel of a gun…”

French Law Banning Analytics About Judges Restricts Legitimate Use of Public Data

Center for Data Innovation – “Earlier this year, France adopted a law which forbids anyone from analyzing data about judges’ court decisions with violators facing up to five years in jail. Supporters of the ban say it is necessary to protect the privacy of judges because statistical analysis may reveal troubling patterns about how certain… Continue Reading

The Census Case Could Provoke a Constitutional Crisis

The Atlantic – Garrett Epps – Professor of constitutional law at the University of Baltimore – “President Trump has seldom been rebuked by the Supreme Court. The question now is how he’ll respond…”Trump seems to think he can avoid preclusion by issuing an executive order imposing the question. As of July 7, 2019, however, the… Continue Reading

PA Court decision siding with plaintiff injured by dog leash purchased on Amazon

Axios: “A malfunctioning dog leash could end up creating billions of dollars of potential liabilities for online marketplaces, with Amazon front and center. Background: A dog leash sold and shipped by The Furry Gang, one of the millions of small sellers that operate on Amazon’s marketplace, snapped, permanently blinding the buyer in her left eye.… Continue Reading

Judiciary Creates Public User Group for PACER

Via press release on June 26, 2019: “The Federal Judiciary has created and is seeking members for a public user group to provide advice and feedback on ways to improve its electronic public access services. The Electronic Public Access (EPA) Public User Group membership will be selected from interested applicants who represent the legal sector,… Continue Reading

DC Court of Appeals rules OPM responsible for hacking of 22 million personnel records

Washington Post: “A federal appeals court has revived the chances of monetary awards being paid to federal employees and others whose personal information was exposed in hacks of two government databases that were revealed in 2015. The ruling criticized the Office of Personnel Management for failing to safeguard that information despite having been the target… Continue Reading

ICE Focus Shifts Away from Detaining Serious Criminals

“As of December 31, 2018, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had 47,486 individuals in its custody. The number of ICE detainees was up 22 percent from the 38,810 persons ICE held at the end of September 2016. Results are based on case-by-case records recently obtained and analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at… Continue Reading

Justices to Decide if States Can Copyright Laws

Courthouse News: “The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to weigh in on the ability of a state to copyright its own official annotated codes, after an appeals court panel ruled Georgia could not. The court battle goes back to 2015, when the Peach State sought an order forcing U.S. technologist and public domain advocate Carl… Continue Reading

Developing Artificially Intelligent Justice

Re, Richard M. and Solow-Niederman, Alicia, Developing Artificially Intelligent Justice (May 19, 2019). Stanford Technology Law Review, Forthcoming; UCLA School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 19-16. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3390854 “Artificial intelligence, or AI, promises to assist, modify, and replace human decision-making, including in court. AI already supports many aspects of how judges… Continue Reading