Gavel Grab

Archive for the 'Media Monitoring' Category

Wednesday Gavel Grab Briefs

In these other dispatches about fair and impartial courts:

  • Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus wrote that when a Supreme Court justice is weighing the timing of a retirement decision, the appearance of “undue politicization of an entity supposedly above politics, of gaming the system for ideological ends,” ought to be among competing concerns considered.
  • State court systems often are slow to embrace the digital era, yet Massachusetts courts are launching a pilot program to permit attorneys to file legal papers electronically, the Boston Globe reported. It quoted an expert at the National Center for State Courts, a JAS partner organization, about the need for investment money to help courts take a “big leap forward.”
  • The National Judicial College, a JAS partner organization, awarded former Rutherford County (Tenn.) Judge Don R. Ash its Advancement of Justice Award, according to The Daily News Journal.
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Tuesday Gavel Grab Briefs

In these other dispatches about fair and impartial courts:

  • A federal marshal fatally shot gang member and defendant Siale Angilau after he lunged at a witness with a pen during court proceedings in a newly opened federal courthouse in Salt Lake City, the Associated Press said.
  • At the New York Times Taking Note blog, Jesse Wegman discusses the “perennial” topic of whether Supreme Court justices ought to take politics into account when they time their retirement. Retired Justice John Paul Stevens said it is “appropriate” and “natural” to consider who one’s successor might be.
  • Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed a public education finance bill that represented the legislature’s response to a state Supreme Court ruling identifying inequities in funding among some school districts, the Wichita Eagle reported. A three-judge panel will next consider whether the changes are adequate.
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Monday Gavel Grab Briefs

In these other dispatches about fair and impartial courts:

  • The New York Commission on Judicial Nomination will take applications and recommendations for two upcoming vacancies on the state’s top court, the Court of Appeals, according to the Associated Press.
  • A (Lynchburg, Va.) News & Advance article about technology aiding state courts was headlined, “Video conferencing helps improve courtroom security.”
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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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