251 entries in 'Court Watch'
2020/10/23   German arrest order for Panama Papers lawyers faces hurdle
2020/10/15   Senate Judiciary sets vote on Barrett, Dems decry ‘sham’
2020/10/07   Greek court rules Golden Dawn party criminal organization
2020/10/03   Supreme Court to review Arizona ‘ballot harvesting’ law
2020/09/21   'Justice Joan' Larsen emerges as finalist for Supreme Court
2020/09/09   Trump releases list of 20 new possible Supreme Court picks
2020/08/23   California justices toss death penalty for Scott Peterson
2020/08/11   UK court says face recognition violates human rig
2020/07/21   California court upholds verdict in Monsanto cancer case
2020/06/11   UConn student fugitive in court on murder charge, police say
2020/05/26   Big Oil loses appeal, climate suits go to California courts
2020/05/22   Supreme Court blocks House from Mueller grand jury material
2020/05/02   Black robes or bathrobes? Virus alters high court traditions
2020/04/23   Washington Supreme Court to hear COVID-19 inmate case online
2020/04/10   Court drops rape, other charges against megachurch leader
2020/04/04   Wisconsin moves forward with election despite virus concerns
2020/03/12   International court approves Afghanistan investigation
2020/03/02   A clinic prepares for Supreme Court abortion fight
2020/02/27   Ex-Phoenix area sheriff declares victory despite court loss
2020/02/16   India's top court grants equal rights to women in army
2020/01/24   Lawmakers slam Missouri Supreme Court over bail rules
2020/01/13   Indian state challenges new citizenship law in Supreme Court
2019/12/28   Court upholds creation of national monument in Atlantic
2019/12/22   Activists cheer victory in landmark Dutch climate case
2019/12/22   Saudis sentence 5 people to death for Khashoggi’s killing
2019/12/20   US heads to court to build Trump border wall in Texas
2019/12/15   Court Will Hear Trump's Pleas to Keep Financial Records Private
2019/12/13   Trump Has Successfully Gamed the Courts
2019/11/17   Challenger accuses Supreme Court’s Kelly of corruption
2019/11/08   Court sentences Congo warlord to 30 years for atrocities
2019/10/12   Analysis: Louisiana figures in 2 major Supreme Court cases
2019/09/28   Dutch Supreme Court asked to clarify euthanasia case
2019/07/08   Fines, jail, probation, debt: Court policies punish the poor
2019/06/24   EU court says Poland's Supreme Court reforms unlawful
2019/06/16   High court lets Virginia voting go ahead under redrawn map
2019/05/09   Supreme Court says 1 state can’t be sued in another’s courts
2019/04/14   High court declines to take Pennsylvania rap artist’s case
2019/04/04   Texas bans clergy from executions after Supreme Court ruling
2019/04/03   Philippine Supreme Court orders release of drug war evidence
2019/03/23   Unions in court over laws limiting Wisconsin governor, AG
2019/03/18   Veterans court may be collateral damage in immigration fight
2019/03/12   Detained Saudi women's rights activists brought to court
2019/02/25   High court deciding fate of cross-shaped Maryland memorial
2019/02/10   Hearing set on end to decades-old Everglades court oversight
2019/02/08   Liberals eye 2020 takeover of Wisconsin Supreme Court
2019/02/02   Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate defends blog posts
2019/01/29   Out-of-state money boosts Collins after Supreme Court vote
2019/01/20   Lawyer: Incapacitated woman who gave birth not in coma
2019/01/09   Guatemala court blocks president's expulsion of UN team
2019/01/06   Court orders mediation in Maryland desegregation case
2019/01/05   WVa AG's help sought in Supreme Court impeachment appeal
2019/01/04   High court to take new look at partisan electoral districts
2018/12/27   Missouri death row inmate asks US Supreme Court to intervene
2018/12/16   California court blocks pardon of man who killed at age 14
2018/12/11   Man accused of killing tourist appears in New Zealand court
2018/12/10   Supreme Court won't hear Planned Parenthood case
2018/12/09   Mexico president blasts 'stratospheric' supreme court wages
2018/11/10   'Magic' campaign lands 17 black women on Houston courts
2018/10/27   Synagogue suspect at courthouse; survivors recall ordeal
2018/10/15   Colorado Supreme Court hears high-stakes oil and gas lawsuit
2018/10/09   Kavanaugh to hear his 1st arguments as Supreme Court justice
2018/10/08   Texas Supreme Court to hear sex offender law challenge
2018/10/02   Supreme Court could limit execution of people with dementia
2018/09/26   India's top court lifts temple's ban on women who menstruate
2018/09/21   Missouri court lets redistricting initiative go to voters
2018/09/17   Guatemala court orders UN anti-graft chief be readmitted
2018/09/13   Nebraska’s top court: Voters to decide on expanding Medicaid
2018/09/10   Indiana high court to consider city rental registration fee
2018/09/10   The Latest: Authorities: Officer arrested for manslaughter
2018/09/03   Rancorous, partisan start for Kavanaugh high court hearin
2018/08/30   Cooper, GOP lawmakers back in court on altered amendments
2018/08/27   Cities vying for 2020 convention court Democrats in Chicago
2018/08/12   Court, regulators clash over uranium project in South Dakota
2018/07/29   N Carolina elections board back in court in power struggle
2018/07/27   Court: Ban seafood caught with nets that harm tiny porpoises
2018/07/20   City attorney criticizes law used to arrest Stormy Daniels
2018/07/15   Florida school shooting suspect's statement issue in court
2018/07/01   Prosecutor to press court to release church abuse report
2018/06/13   Kansas court avoids ruling on execution for student's death
2018/06/09   Seals can keep using San Diego children's beach, court says
2018/05/05   Analysis: Voter ID Fight Testing Court as Much as New Law
2018/04/24   Supreme Court upholds challenged patent review practice
2018/04/21   UK Supreme Court declines appeal from parents of ill toddler
2018/04/12   Facebook to stop spending against California privacy effort
2018/04/07   Mississippi court: Woman has parent rights in same-sex split
2018/04/04   Russian authorities asks court to block messaging app
2018/03/30   Arkansas high court: Some execution drug info can be secret
2018/03/29   Supreme Court hears case alleging unconstitutional 6th District gerrymander
2018/03/23   Agency: School boards, counties should stay out of court
2018/03/10   Former Trump campaign aide Nunberg at court for grand jury
2018/03/03   Turkish court rejects request for Greek soldiers' release
2018/02/27   Court: US anti-discrimination law covers sexual orientation
2018/02/16   Maldives court delays reinstating pro-opposition lawmakers
2018/02/10   Kushner firm seeks court change to keep partners secret
2017/12/11   Supreme Court declines gay rights work discrimination case
2017/12/10   Idaho man upset with court tries to crash into courthouse
2017/12/10   Court reverses itself and restores woman's murder conviction
2017/12/02   Cake case before Supreme Court has ties to barbecue decision
2017/11/28   Walker signs bill inspired by cabin-owners' court fight
2017/11/24   Court: Colorado county wrongly OK’d asphalt plant near homes
2017/11/02   Michigan health chief back in court in Legionnaires' case
2017/10/27   Burundi becomes 1st to leave International Criminal Court
2017/10/23   Washington Supreme Court to hear education funding case
2017/10/21   Court weighing whether graffiti mecca was protected by law
2017/10/20   Court extends house arrest for Russian theater director
2017/10/09   NC high court reviews death penalty of man who beheaded wife
2017/09/21   Court eyes Massachusetts church-state dispute
2017/09/19   With 2 in 3 months, Ohio executions could be back on track
2017/09/16   3 bank customers in Germany fined for ignoring collapsed man
2017/09/02   Court: DirecTV owes $15M to South Carolina in tax dispute
2017/08/31   Israeli protesters erect golden statue of High Court chief
2017/08/08   UK court increases sentence for surgeon who maimed patients
2017/08/05   Man suspected in Indiana officer's killing due in court
2017/08/01   Spanish court backs extradition of Russian programmer to US
2017/07/31   Ronaldo tells judge he has 'never tried to avoid taxes'
2017/06/24   D.C. on edge: rumors of new Supreme Court vacancy swirl
2017/06/20   Top court to hear case that could reshape US political map
2017/06/19   Court: 'JudgeCutie' nickname doesn't ruffle judicial dignity
2017/06/06   High court limits seizure of assets from drug conspiracies
2017/06/03   In one state, abused animals get a legal voice in court
2017/05/23   Playboy model who shot nude of unwitting woman due in court
2017/05/21   Ohio Supreme Court justice backs legalizing marijuana
2017/05/11   Effort to block Confederate statue's removal goes to court
2017/04/19   Austrian court: ex-Croatian general guilty of embezzlement
2017/04/13   Newest justice joins high court amid competing caricatures
2017/03/27   Court bars release of videos made by anti-abortion group
2017/03/15   Polish court issues arrest warrant for US man in Nazi case
2017/02/26   Lawmakers want Supreme Court review of voting law continued
2017/02/08   Court upholds guilty verdict for Russian opposition leader
2017/01/17   Supreme Court considers suit over 2001 detention of Muslims
2017/01/13   High court: Israel must explain lack of access to holy site
2017/01/08   Man who escaped from Rhode Island prison to appear in court
2017/01/07   Former Haitian rebel leader due in US court on drug charges
2016/11/21   Nevada high court considering email public records question
2016/11/15   ICC prosecutors: US forces may have committed war crimes
2016/11/11   Hawaii Supreme Court affirms Maui solar telescope permit
2016/10/15   Former Ohio officer charged with murder due back in court
2016/10/08   Moscow court orders paper to refute a report on Rosneft CEO
2016/09/30   USC football player accused of rape appears in Utah court
2016/09/26   Court asks judges to respond to Louisiana sheriff's claims
2016/08/26   Judge in Stanford swimmer case switching to civil court
2016/08/25   California court decision keeps teacher tenure protections
2016/08/17   2 teens killed in Atlanta suburb: Man accused due in court
2016/08/16   'Whitey' Bulger asks US Supreme Court to hear his appeal
2016/08/09   Williams court cases decline, but caseload remains high
2016/08/07   Swedish court hands life sentences to 2 for gang shooting
2016/07/25   Monitor chosen to oversee Ferguson's police, court reforms
2016/07/12   Illinois’ court fees rising to cover special programs
2016/07/11   Thai military court adds to singer's jail term for insults
2016/05/25   Hulk Hogan, Gawker back in court in Florida
2016/05/24   US appeals court revisits Texas voter ID law
2016/05/21   Indiana court to hear woman's appeal of feticide conviction
2016/04/30   High court won't step into Mich. dispute over harness racing
2016/04/17   Supreme Court rejects challenge to Google's online library
2016/04/16   Despite court ruling, China gay rights movement makes gains
2016/04/11   Court sends part of Wisconsin voter ID case back to judge
2016/04/04   Court upholds total population count in electoral districts
2016/03/26   Supreme Court rejects Blagojevich appeal in corruption case
2016/03/14   RNC launches campaign to oppose Obama's Supreme Court pick
2016/02/17   Court declines stay in redistricting; Congress elections off
2016/02/13   Court gunman's children face sentencing for cyberstalking
2016/02/01   Court weighs practice of Christian prayers at meetings
2016/01/19   Rome court acquits ex-Vatican accountant of corruption
2015/12/21   ACLU to appeal court ruling in Missouri drug testing case
2015/12/20   Polish court convicts chemist of planning parliament attack
2015/12/15   Ex-Illinois guardsman pleads guilty in Islamic State plot
2015/12/10   Finland court jails Iraqi twins suspected of IS killing
2015/11/28   South African appeals court nears Pistorius ruling
2015/11/25   High court directs Andhra Pradesh government to prepare summer plan
2015/11/13   Lufthansa cancels 930 flights Wednesday due to strike
2015/11/06   Kansas Supreme Court to take up school funding case
2015/10/27   Court: Therapy dog didn't sway jury against sex offender
2015/10/08   Virginia executes serial killer who claimed to be disabled
2015/10/07   Familiar, divisive social issues on Supreme Court agenda
2015/10/04   High court weighs 3 death sentences in Kansas cases
2015/09/15   Ohio court: Wording of pot legalization ballot is misleading
2015/09/03   Court cuts prison sentence for Memphis 'sovereign citizen'
2015/08/16   Pistorius prosecutors file appeal at Supreme Court
2015/08/13   Federal court: Anti-Muslim group can't post ads on buses
2015/08/11   Juvenile court decision due in Slender Man stabbing case
2015/08/08   Court: Lawsuit over Arkansas killing by cop may proceed
2015/07/18   Court Halts Execution Of Tyler Woman's Killer
2015/07/08   US appeals court upholds EPA plan to clean up Chesapeake Bay
2015/06/28   Kansas court rules against parts of state school funding law
2015/06/26   Supreme Court extends gay marriage nationwide
2015/06/18   Iowa court allows remote dispensing of abortion pill
2015/06/02   German court cancels session in Auschwitz guard trial
2015/05/16   Attorney: Court orders release of anti-nuclear activists
2015/05/15   Pandora loses to BMI in court hearing, vows to appeal
2015/05/13   Duke Energy will be in federal court for coal ash crimes
2015/03/11   'Suge' Knight due back in court for murder case
2014/11/18   Intellectual Property Matters and Trademark Attorney
2014/11/04   Southern California Personal Injury Lawyers
2014/10/30   Personal Injury Lawyers Practicing Throughout Texas
2014/10/28   Trademark, Patent & Intellectual Property Rights
2014/10/22   Aggressive Securities Arbitration Services
2014/07/11   Drummond Firm - Las Vegas Accident & Injury Attorneys
2014/07/08   MJM Law Office, P.C. - Eugene, Oregon DUII and Criminal Defense Services
2014/06/17   Davis Law Group, PLLC - Detroit Area DUI/DWI Attorney
2014/06/13   Law Offices of Robert W. Jackson - Cardiff & Fallbrook Personal Injury Lawyers
2014/06/10   DiRusso & DiRusso - Surry County Worker's Compensation Lawyers
2014/06/03   The Salazar Law Firm - Houston Car Accident Lawyers Services
2014/05/30   Tenecia P. Reid - Manassas Divorce Lawyer Services
2014/05/27   Place & Hanley - Securities Attorneys Florida Services
2014/05/23   W. Bradley Ney - Washington, DC Business Litigation Lawyer Services
2014/05/20   Rita White - Canton Criminal Lawyer Services
2014/05/13   MJM Law Office, P.C. - Eugene DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyer
2014/05/05   Jackson Trial Lawyers - Cardiff Personal Injury Lawyer
2014/05/02   The Salazar Law Firm, PLLC - Houston Car Accident Lawyers
2014/04/30   W. Bradley Ney - Washington, DC Business Litigation Lawyer
2014/04/25   Law Office of Rita O. White - Canton Criminal & DUI Lawyers
2014/03/31   Levin & Curlett LLC
2014/03/31   The Law Offices of Tenecia P. Reid, PLLC
2014/03/28   The Davis Law Group, PLLC
2014/03/28   The Law Offices of Place and Hanley, LLC
2014/03/24   AB & Co IP Services - Sierra Leone Intellectual Property Lawyers
2014/03/21   DiRusso & DiRusso, Attorneys At Law.
2014/01/24   Court: Lawyers will be disbarred over child porn
2013/11/02   The Law Offices of Tenecia P. Reid, PLLC
2013/10/25   Josef Cowan | Civil Litigation Construction Law Firm Los Angeles
2013/08/21   Virginia Military Divorce Attorney - Tenecia P. Reid
2013/06/22   The Law Offices of David Stein - DC Assault Lawyer
2013/06/22   McDonnell Law Office - San Diego Personal Injury
2013/06/03   San Diego Personal Injury Attorney - McDonnell Law
2013/03/26   Court considers Calif. prison mental health care
2012/10/22   Lawyer: Bahrain court postpones activist's appeal
2012/10/10   2 King Co. candidates vying for Attorney General
2012/07/25   Pa.'s tough, new voter ID law heads to court
2012/03/07   Experienced, Aggressive Advocacy Focused on Your Recovery
2012/02/06   Las Vegas Product Liability Attorney - Luis A. Ayon
2012/02/01   Securities Litigation Attorney - Robert L. Herskovits
2011/12/02   Wis. office wants to suspend former DA's license
2011/09/23   9th Circuit appeals court Judge Pamela Rymer dies
2011/09/23   Noted NJ attorney Michael Cole dies at 67
2011/07/03   Former Wyoming governor joins law firm
2011/02/25   Maritime Transportation - Florida Maritime Lawyer
2011/01/13   Former Attorney General Mike Cox will join Dykema Gossett
2011/01/02   Sen. George LeMieux returns to law firm
2010/08/09   David Boies Urges ABA Members
2010/04/19   Clinton: Look beyond judges for high court pick
2010/04/16   SHEPPARD MULLIN RE-ELECTS CHAIRMAN GUY HALGREN
2010/03/11   Eugene, Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyer
2010/02/09   UBS Lawyer Schmid Takes Job at Swiss Law Firm
2010/01/20   Former FTC Chairwoman Named Top P&G Legal Officer
2009/02/05   David Perecman Fights for Worksite Safety
2008/12/09   Foe of 10 Commandments judge loses license
2008/10/08   Carol Doyle Represents Immigration Detainees
2008/03/26   American College of Trial Lawyers Chooses Lukey
2008/03/02   Judge Linda Miller Recognized for 25 years of Service
2008/02/29   King Yaklin Wins $1M in Attorney's Fee's
2008/02/29   Two new commissioners seated


German arrest order for Panama Papers lawyers faces hurdle
Court Watch | 2020/10/23 11:23
A German arrest order for two Panamanian lawyers whose firm was at the center of an international tax evasion scandal faces a substantial obstacle: Panama’s constitution prohibits the extradition of its citizens.

Juergen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca are sought by Cologne prosecutors on charges of being an accessory to tax evasion and forming a criminal organization.  “They have constitutional protection,” Alvin Weeden, a lawyer in Panama, said Wednesday. “Technically, there’s no possibility.”

Mossack and Fonseca already face prosecution in Panama and are prohibited from leaving the country while out on bond after spending two months in jail. That case stems from allegations they helped create a corporation to hide money used for bribes by the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht as well as fallout from the so-called Panama Papers scandal.

The Panama Papers include a collection of 11 million secret financial documents leaked in 2016 that illustrated how some of the world’s richest people hide their money. It brought scrutiny to a number of world leaders and was a hit to Panama’s reputation.

Interpol’s office in Panama did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether it had received an alert from German authorities about the case in Germany against Mossack and Fonseca.

In a statement, Mossack and Fonseca said their firm had sold corporations to a German bank that later resold them to clients. They said they had nothing to do with subsequent transactions.

“If one these ultimate beneficiaries evaded taxes in their country or committed some other crime using a corporation created by us, that is totally out of our control and knowledge,” said the statement issued by their lawyer in Panama, Guillermina McDonald. “We follow all of the processes required by regulators of our industry in their moment.”

Mossack and Fonseca announced the closure of their offices in Panama and elsewhere in the world in March 2018.

In the statement Tuesday night, they said they were willing to continue collaborating with investigations in any part of the world. McDonald said she did not know if they would be willing to appear before German authorities. Mossack and Fonseca maintain the German case is part of continuing efforts by the European Union to discredit them. In February, the European Union again included Panama on a list of countries that are tax havens.



Senate Judiciary sets vote on Barrett, Dems decry ‘sham’
Court Watch | 2020/10/15 16:31
The Senate Judiciary Committee set Oct. 22 for its vote to advance Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court on Thursday as Democrats threw pointed objections but were unable to stop the Republicans’ drive to confirm President Donald Trump’s pick before the Nov. 3 election. The panel’s action clears a key hurdle to recommend Barrett’s nomination to the full Senate for a final vote by month’s end.

“A sham,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. “Power grab,” decried Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. “Not normal,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. “You don’t convene a Supreme Court confirmation hearing, in the middle of a pandemic, when the Senate’s on recess, when voting has already started in the presidential election in a majority of states,” declared Sen. Chris Coon, D-Del.

But Republicans countered that Trump is well within bounds as president to fill the court vacancy, and the GOP-held Senate has the votes to push Trump’s nominee to confirmation. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said he understands Democrats’ “disappointment, but I think their loss is the American people’s gain.” Barrett’s confirmation to take the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg  is on track to lock a conservative majority on the court for years to come. The shift would cement a 6-3 conservative majority on the court and would be the most pronounced ideological change in 30 years, from the liberal icon to the conservative appeals court judge.

The committee’s session Thursday was without Barrett after two long days of public testimony in which she stressed that she would be her own judge and sought to create distance between herself and past positions critical of abortion, the Affordable Care Act and other issues.  Facing almost 20 hours of questions from senators, the 48-year-old judge was careful not to take on the president who nominated her. She skipped past Democrats’ pressing questions about ensuring the date of next month’s election or preventing voter intimidation, both set in federal law, and the peaceful transfer of presidential power.

She also refused to express her view on whether the president can pardon himself. “It’s not one that I can offer a view,” she said in response to a question Wednesday from Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont. When it came to major issues that are likely to come before the court, including abortion and health care, Barrett repeatedly promised to keep an open mind and said neither Trump nor anyone else in the White House had tried to influence her views.

“No one has elicited from me any commitment in a case,” she said. Nominees typically resist offering any more information than they have to, especially when the president’s party controls the Senate, as it does now. But Barrett wouldn’t engage on topics that seemed easy to swat away, including that only Congress can change the date that the election takes place.

She said she was not on a “mission to destroy the Affordable Care Act,” though she has been critical of the two Supreme Court decisions that preserved key parts of the Obama-era health care law. She could be on the court when it hears the latest Republican-led challenge on Nov. 10. Barrett is the most open opponent of abortion nominated to the Supreme Court in decades, and Democrats fear that her ascension could be a tipping point that threatens abortion rights.

There was no hiding her views in at least three letters and ads she signed over 15 years and her membership in Notre Dame’s Faculty for Life. So Republican senators embraced her stance, proudly stating that she was, in Graham’s words, an “unashamedly pro-life” conservative who is making history as a role model for other women.



Greek court rules Golden Dawn party criminal organization
Court Watch | 2020/10/07 10:22
A Greek court ruled on Wednesday that the far-right Golden Dawn party was operating as a criminal organization, delivering landmark guilty verdicts following a politically charged five-year trial against dozens of defendants.  The court ruled that seven of the 18 former lawmakers, including Nikos Michaloliakos, the head of the party which had become Greece’s third largest during the country’s financial crisis, were guilty of leading a criminal organization. The others were found guilty of participating in a criminal organization.

As news of the guilty verdicts broke, cheers and celebrations erupted among the crowd of at least 20,000 people gathered in an anti-fascist rally outside the Athens courthouse. A small group threw Molotovs and stones, with police responding with tear gas and water cannon. The marathon trial had been assessing four cases rolled into one: the 2013 fatal stabbing of Greek rap singer Pavlos Fyssas, physical attacks on Egyptian fishermen in 2012 and on left-wing activists in 2013, and whether Golden Dawn was operating as a criminal organization.

The 68 defendants included the 18 former lawmakers from the party that was founded in the 1980s as a neo-Nazi organization and rose in prominence during the country’s decade-long financial crisis. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the verdict “ends a traumatic cycle” in the country’s public life.  “Its political dimension has, fortunately, been judged by the victory of democracy, which expelled the Nazi formation from Parliament (in elections),” he said. “Now, the independent judiciary is giving its own answer.”

The three-member panel of judges also found Giorgos Roupakias guilty of the murder of Fyssas, prompting applause inside the courtroom and among the crowd outside. Roupakias had been accused of being a party supporter who delivered the fatal stab wounds to Fyssas. Another 15 defendants ? none of them former lawmakers ? were convicted as accomplices. Leaving the courthouse, Fyssas’ mother Magda Fyssa, who had attended nearly every court session over the last five years, raised her arms and shouted: “Pavlos did it. My son!”

All five people accused of attempted murder against the fishermen were also found guilty, while the four accused of attempted murder in the attacks against left-wing activists were found guilty of the lesser charge of causing bodily harm. Only 11 of the 68 defendants were present, with the rest represented by their lawyers. None of the former Golden Dawn lawmakers were in court.


Supreme Court to review Arizona ‘ballot harvesting’ law
Court Watch | 2020/10/03 00:26
The Supreme Court said Friday it will review a 2016 Arizona law that bars anyone but a family member or caregiver from returning another person’s early ballot. The law itself, however, remains in effect through the presidential election and until the justices rule.

The court will begin hearing arguments again next week after a summer break. The Arizona case was one of four cases the court, now eight justices because of the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, agreed to hear in its new term that begins Monday. As is usual, the justices did not comment in taking the cases. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the justices will not be returning to the courtroom to hear arguments but instead will continue hearing arguments by telephone. The court has been closed to the public since March.

In the Arizona case, a federal appeals court ruled in January that Arizona’s law banning so-called “ballot harvesting” violates the Voting Rights Act and the Constitution, but the court put its ruling on hold while the Supreme Court was asked to take the case.  The appeals court also found that Arizona’s policy of discarding ballots if a voter went to the wrong precinct violates the law. The court said both have a discriminatory impact on minority voters in violation of the Voting Rights Act.

The high court in recent years has weakened the Voting Rights Act, throwing out the most powerful part of the landmark law in 2013. It could use the current case to go even further. The case began after Republicans in Arizona passed the law making it a felony to return someone else’s ballot to election officials in most cases and Democrats sued.

Both parties had used ballot collection in Arizona to boost turnout during elections by going door to door and asking voters if they have completed their mail-in ballot. Democrats used the method aggressively in minority communities and argued their success prompted the new GOP-sponsored law. Republicans argued the law was aimed at preventing election fraud. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a Republican, said in a statement he is pleased the court will hear the case.

The justices also said Friday they will review a longstanding effort by the Federal Communications Commission to relax restrictions in individual media markets on ownership of different forms of media — TV stations and newspapers — over fears that it would leave fewer outlets controlled by minorities.  The court also will take up cases involving how immigration officials evaluate the claims of asylum seekers and a lawsuit by the city of Baltimore against BP Inc. and other energy companies seeking money for their contribution to climate change, although the issue before the justices is a technical one involving where the case should be heard.  The Supreme Court has already filled its argument calendar through December, so none of the cases will be argued before January 2021.




'Justice Joan' Larsen emerges as finalist for Supreme Court
Court Watch | 2020/09/21 22:59
One of the women on Donald Trump’s short list to succeed Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court got her first taste of politics as a college student stuffing envelopes for Democrat Joe Biden’s 1988 presidential run.

But, by 1996, Joan L. Larsen was volunteering for Republican Bob Dole, and today few doubt her conservative credentials, which includes a longtime affiliation with the Federalist Society.

Larsen is among a small group of female lawyers whom Trump is considering to replace Ginsburg, the liberal icon whose death last week gave conservatives a chance to move the court further to the right. White House officials say Trump was referring to Larsen when he said Monday his finalists included “a great one from Michigan.” On Tuesday, he called her “very talented” in an interview with a local television station.

In just five years, Joan L. Larsen has gone from a little-known University of Michigan legal scholar to a prominent federal appeals court judge and now a candidate for the high court.

Conservative activists hope that, if nominated and confirmed by the Senate, Larsen would carry on the legacy of her mentor, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, for whom she clerked in the early 1990s and eulogized after his 2016 death.

For Trump, picking Larsen could give him a boost in the critical battleground state of Michigan, where she has raised her two children, advanced her career and won election to the state Supreme Court.

Liberals fear that she would follow in Scalia’s footsteps by voting to overrule decisions that legalized abortion rights and gay marriage and other rulings that Scalia and his followers vociferously oppose.

At 52, Larsen would be a candidate who could serve on the high court for three decades or longer. Her father, Leonard Larsen, the retired CEO of a Lutheran social services agency, died in April at age 91. Her mother is 89.

Larsen’s rise began when Michigan's then-Republican Gov. Rick Snyder appointed her to fill a vacancy on the state Supreme Court in September 2015, praising her as a “superb attorney” who had experience in government, academia and private practice.


Trump releases list of 20 new possible Supreme Court picks
Court Watch | 2020/09/09 23:09
Hoping to replicate a strategy long seen as key to his appeal among conservative voters, President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced he is adding 20 names to a list of Supreme Court candidates he's pledged to choose from if he has future vacancies to fill.

The list includes a trio of conservative Republican senators: Ted Cruz of Texas, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Josh Hawley of Missouri ? all buzzed-about potential 2024 Republican presidential candidates  as well as Christopher Landau, the current ambassador to Mexico, and Noel Francisco, who argued 17 cases as the Trump administration’s top Supreme Court lawyer.

“Every one of these individuals will ensure equal justice, equal treatment and equal rights for citizens of every race, color, religion and creed," Trump said as he made his announcement at the White House.

Trump tried to cast the list in contrast with judges who could be nominated if his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, wins in November, warning Biden would select “radical justices” who would “fundamentally transform America without a single vote of Congress," even though Biden has never outlined his list of potential picks and the Senate must confirm any nominee.

The release, less than two months before the election, is aimed at repeating the strategy that Trump employed during his 2016 campaign, when he released a similar list of could-be judges in a bid to win over conservative and evangelical voters who had doubts about his conservative bonafides.

The list includes a number of people who have worked for Trump's administration, including Gregory Katsas, whom Trump nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Before that, Katsas served as a legal adviser on some of the president’s most contentious policies, including his executive orders restricting travel for citizens of predominantly Muslim countries and his decision to end a program protecting some young immigrants from deportation.

Francisco, the former solicitor general of the United States, also defended Trump’s travel ban, his unsuccessful push to add a citizenship question to the U.S. census and the decision to wind down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protects hundreds of thousands of young people from deportation. He also argued that a landmark civil rights law didn’t protect gay, lesbian and transgender people from employment discrimination, a position the court ruled against 6-3 earlier this year.

Also on the list is Daniel Cameron, the Kentucky Attorney General who is currently deciding whether to criminally charge three Louisville police officers in the March shooting death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black emergency medical technician who was killed when officers entered her apartment with a no-knock warrant during a drug investigation.


California justices toss death penalty for Scott Peterson
Court Watch | 2020/08/23 07:53
Scott Peterson’s conviction for killing his pregnant wife will stand, but the California Supreme Court on Monday overturned his 2005 death sentence in a case that attracted worldwide attention. The justices cited “significant errors” in jury selection in overturning the death penalty but welcomed prosecutors to again seek the sentence if they wish.

Laci Peterson, 27, was eight months pregnant with their unborn son, Connor, when she was killed. Investigators said that on Christmas Eve 2002, Peterson dumped their bodies from his fishing boat into San Francisco Bay, where they surfaced months later.

“Peterson contends his trial was flawed for multiple reasons, beginning with the unusual amount of pretrial publicity that surrounded the case,” the court said. “We reject Peterson’s claim that he received an unfair trial as to guilt and thus affirm his convictions for murder.”

But the justices said the trial judge “made a series of clear and significant errors in jury selection that, under long-standing United States Supreme Court precedent, undermined Peterson’s right to an impartial jury at the penalty phase.”

It agreed with his argument that potential jurors were improperly dismissed from the jury pool after saying they personally disagreed with the death penalty but would be willing to follow the law and impose it.

“While a court may dismiss a prospective juror as unqualified to sit on a capital case if the juror’s views on capital punishment would substantially impair his or her ability to follow the law, a juror may not be dismissed merely because he or she has expressed opposition to the death penalty as a general matter,” the justices said in a unanimous decision.

They rejected Peterson’s argument that he couldn’t get a fair trial because of widespread publicity after the proceedings were moved nearly 90 miles (145 kilometers) away from his Central Valley home of Modesto to San Mateo County, south of San Francisco.


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