Gavel Grab

Archive for the 'Media Monitoring' Category

Friday Gavel Grab Briefs

In these other dispatches about fair and impartial courts:

  • A (Portland) Oregonian article was headlined, “Gay marriage: Openly gay judge, Michael McShane, in spotlight overseeing Oregon case.”
  • Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Randy “Bubba” Pierce has written a new novel, “Magnolia Mud,” according to a GulfLive.com blog.
  • U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia discussed their friendship,  National Security Agency surveillance and First Amendment freedoms at a National Press Club event in Washington, Politico reported.
  • When a Florida Supreme Court justice’s term expires on the day of the governor’s inauguration, the incoming governor should appoint the successor, a TBO.com editorial said; Gavel Grab has background.
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Tuesday Gavel Grab Briefs

In these other dispatches about fair and impartial courts:

  • Some New Mexico judges, judicial groups and two individual state senators filed a lawsuit against Gov. Susan Martinez challenging her veto of a budget provision to provide judges an 8 percent raise, according to an Associated Press report. Gavel Grab has background about the veto.
  • “Supreme Court ruling sets off race for bigger donations,” declared the headline for a USA Today article about the high court’s recent campaign finance decision, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission.
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Monday Gavel Grab Briefs

In these other dispatches about fair and impartial courts:

  • The increasing need for interpreters to provide services for non-English speaking people using the courts in Wyoming is the topic of a Wyoming Public Media report.
  • The Pennsylvania Superior Court is expected to hear arguments next month by defense lawyers seeking a new trial for former state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said. She was convicted of public corruption in using court staff to help her campaign for the state’s highest bench.
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Thursday Gavel Grab Briefs

In these other dispatches about fair and impartial courts:

  • The Oklahoma House Rules committee passed a bill that would have attorneys appointed to the state’s Judicial Nominating Commission by leaders of the House and Senate.  For more, see the Associated Press.
  • According to the Boston Globe, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider requirements for transferring class-action lawsuits from state courts to federal courts.
  • The Associated Press covered a bill in Pennsylvania that would create the Pennsylvania Center for Effective Indigent Defense Legal Representation and give $1 million to start training lawyers.  Pennsylvania is currently the only state that does not help the poor get access to legal defense for criminal cases.
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Wednesday Gavel Grab Briefs

In these other dispatches about fair and impartial courts:

  • The Independent Record reports that Montana’s Judicial Nomination Commission submitted the names of three attorneys and a judge as candidates for a Montana Supreme Court vacancy.
  • According to Gavel to Gavel, the effort to change the makeup of the Alaska Judicial Council is stalling because it seems unlikely to receive the votes needed.
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Thursday Gavel Grab Briefs

In these other dispatches about fair and impartial courts:

  • Courts in New York received the budget that Chief Justice Jonathan Lippman had requested last year. The Times-Herald Record reports that the 2.5 percent budget increase is likely to lead to better access to justice in New York, including but not limited to extended court hours and increased staffing capacity.
  • In Illinois, an amendment has the potential to create a form of merit selection for “a county with a population of 3,000,000 or more” and require judges to be certified by a state disciplinary commission.  This would apply exclusively to Cook County This would apply exclusively to Cook County, which includes the City of Chicago.  Read more on Gavel Grab.
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Tuesday Gavel Grab Briefs

In these other dispatches about fair and impartial courts:

  • A piece that ran on The Huffington Post yesterday described President Obama’s recommendations to Congress for small modifications to the NSA data collection process as having “little practical effect on the Agency’s access to, and use of electronic communications.”  The piece goes on to outline a lack of comprehensive modifications and issues with oversight.
  • The recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling on school funding has led to difficulties for legislators seeking the money to comply.  The Winfield Daily Courier noted that Gov. Sam Brownback hasn’t put together a specific funding plan yet, but has asked that legislators finish by Friday, in advance of a three-week recess.
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Monday Gavel Grab Briefs

In these other dispatches about fair and impartial courts

  • The Associated Press is reporting on a dispute over court costs that has made its way to the Michigan Supreme Court.  Judges in Michigan have ordered local court costs be charged to convicted persons at the discretion of the judge, citing a 2006 law.  Critics of this law state that convicts, who are often low-income, are being unfairly targeted with fees that are often beyond their means.  Last year, the court collected $195,00, $14,446 of which went to reimbursing attorneys.
  • In an attempt to claim jurisdiction, members of the House Judiciary Committee have issued a joint statement about President Barack Obama’s latest proposal to end bulk collection of telephone records by the government and other changes to intelligence gathering.  A piece from Roll Call notes  that while both committees work on the issue, the “trump card” in a territorial dispute would be the Speaker of the House, John Boehner – and he seems inclined to side with Intelligence.
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Friday Gavel Grab Briefs

In these other dispatches about fair and impartial courts:

  • A panel of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld new restrictions on abortion in Texas (see Gavel Grab for background) and in doing so, according to USA Today, increased the possibility that the controversial rules will end up at the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • “Judges, beware: Your job may be in jeopardy if you try to promote equal education for all students, according to a Center For American Progress report,” said a Huffington Post article. Gavel Grab mentioned the report earlier.
  • Florida’s state Senate is expected to vote next week on a proposed constitutional amendment to clarify end-of-term gubernatorial authority for appointing state Supreme Court justices, The Florida Current reported. To learn more about the court-packing proposal, see Gavel Grab.
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Thursday Gavel Grab Briefs

In these other dispatches about fair and impartial courts:

  • The New Jersey State Bar Association’s newly created Task Force on Judicial Independence (see Gavel Grab) will hold its first public hearing on April 1 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, according to an Associated Press article.
  • U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts named federal Judge Thomas Hogan as the new presiding judge over the Washington, D.C.-based Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, Reuters reported.
  • The Michigan Supreme Court removed Wayne County Circuit Judge Wade McCree from the bench, the Detroit Free Press reported, following an affair conducted by the judge with a woman who appeared before him in a court case.
  • “Federal Judiciary Plans to Hire Staff, Public Defenders,” reported a Legal Times headline about testimony on Capitol Hill by U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Julia Gibbons, chairwoman of the budget committee of the U.S. Judicial Conference (see Gavel Grab for background).
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