Attorney General William Barr recently announced, late on a Friday, that Geoffrey Berman was “stepping down after two-and-a-half years of service as United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.”
This announcement was news to Berman, who later contradicted Barr by declaring that he had not resigned and indeed had no intention of resigning. Barr then contradicted himself by informing Berman that since he had refused to resign, he had instead been fired. Continue reading →
George Floyd protests in Washington DC. Photo: Rosa Pineda/CC
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear several cases involving a longstanding legal doctrine giving police officers and other government officials sweeping immunity from civil lawsuits, a decision that comes in the midst of a nationwide uprising against police brutality and racial injustice.
The doctrine of “qualified immunity” has come under growing criticism from lawmakers and rights groups since the May 25 killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. As CNBCexplained, “the burden imposed by qualified immunity on victims of police violence is exacerbated by the fact that prosecutors rarely charge officers for excessive force violations, often leaving civil lawsuits as the only remaining avenue.” Continue reading →
“Justin Walker’s nomination was already controversial, but this emerging investigation means an even darker cloud is hanging over his appointment. The hearing on Walker’s nomination should not go forward until we know the truth.”
A federal court has requested an investigation into whether Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unethically pressured a judge on the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to retire to pave the way for the Kentucky Republican’s 38-year-old protégé Justin Walker, who is set for a confirmation hearing for the vacancy on Wednesday.
The New York Timesreported late Monday that on May 1, Judge Sri Srinivasan—chief judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit—”asked Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. to assign another circuit to look into a complaint filed by the progressive advocacy group Demand Justice, which questioned the timing and circumstances of Judge Thomas B. Griffith’s retirement announcement in early March.” Continue reading →
Democratic lawmakers and advocacy groups are accusing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of endangering the health of members of Congress and Capitol Hill employees for political gain as the Kentucky Republican presses forward with plans to reconvene the chamber next week for the sole purpose of confirming more right-wing judges—including his unqualified 38-year-old protégé.
“McConnell is calling the Senate back in, ignoring D.C.’s stay at home order, and putting thousands of Capitol employees at risk,” tweeted Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). “Not to do oversight of Trump’s pandemic response. Not to pass a new relief bill. But to ram through more conservative judges.” Continue reading →
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop the city of Baltimore from rolling out a disturbing aerial surveillance program.
The ACLU filed the suit on behalf of a group of Baltimore community activists who have raised concerns about the introduction of a controversial technology known as wide-area aerial surveillance which involves stationing an aircraft equipped with ultra-high-resolution cameras over a city to track all visible pedestrians and vehicles within that city. Continue reading →
Delays and long lines at polling places during recent presidential primary elections – such as voters in Texas experienced – represent the latest version of decades-long policies that have sought to reduce the political power of African Americans in the U.S.
Following the Civil War and the extension of the vote to African Americans, state governments worked to block black people, as well as poor whites, from voting. One way they tried to accomplish this goal was through poll taxes – an amount of money each voter had to pay before being allowed to vote. Continue reading →
“The Trump administration’s policy could quite literally kill people by making them too afraid to seek life-saving medical care, and the Supreme Court seems to agree such a cruel system is acceptable.”
Many U.S. military members publicly disavowed President Trump’s decision to pardon Edward Gallagher, the former SEAL commando convicted of killing a teenage detainee in Iraq in 2017.
Gallagher’s alleged war crimes were nearly universally condemned up the chain of command, from enlisted men to Navy Secretary Richard Spencer. Indeed, it was Gallagher’s SEAL colleagues who reported the former commando’s actions.
This insistence on holding fellow service members accountable for bad behavior sharply differentiates the military from the police. Continue reading →
Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs for Public Citizen, said passage of the Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R. 4) is a “critical step” in combating Republican voter suppression efforts that have proliferated in the six years since the Supreme Court’s infamous decision in Shelby County v. Holder. Continue reading →
The Trump administration this coming week will formalize a proposal that could make it one of just four countries in the world that charge asylum-seekers for entry.
As the New York Times reported late Friday, the administration plans to publish in the Federal Register a proposal to require a $50 application fee for asylum-seekers as well as a $490 charge for work permits.
“It’s an unprecedented weaponization of government fees,” Doug Rand of the immigrant assistance company Boundless Immigration told the Times.Continue reading →