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Hometown: Atlanta
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Member since: Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:19 AM
Number of posts: 3,889

Journal Archives

Phipps Confirmed to Third Circuit Over Concerns on Lack of Experience

Source: Law.com

The Senate confirmed Peter Phipps to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on Tuesday, deepening the number of Republican appointees on that bench.

Phipps’ nomination was approved 56-40, and follows the March confirmation of Paul Matey, which flipped the court to a 7-6 majority of Republican appointees.

Phipps‘ appeals court confirmation came on the heels of his October 2018 confirmation to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, which had sparked concerns Phipps was inexperienced for his new post. Before he became a judge, Phipps spent 15 years with the Civil Division at U.S. Department of Justice. He also spent three years as an associate at Jones Day in Columbus, Ohio, focusing on civil litigation.

While at the Justice Department, Phipps argued before the Third Circuit in National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Christie, which concerned a 2014 New Jersey law repealing certain prohibitions on sports gambling. Arguing on behalf of the DOJ, Phipps advocated for enforcing the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which bans states from authorizing sports betting. The appellate court eventually agreed with Phipps and struck down New Jersey’s law, finding that it violated PASPA.

Read more: https://www.law.com/njlawjournal/2019/07/16/phipps-confirmed-to-third-circuit-over-concerns-on-lack-of-experience/?slreturn=20190616210323

Senate confirms Trump's appointment to Ninth Circuit appeals court

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

President Trump’s nomination of Washington, D.C., attorney Daniel Bress to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday on a party-line vote, giving Trump seven appointees to a court he has regularly denounced.

On the losing side of the 53-45 vote were California’s Democratic senators, Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, who noted that the seat had been held by a Californian — Alex Kozinski, who retired last December after allegations of sexual misconduct by at least 15 female staffers — and would ordinarily be filled by a Californian. Bress, 40, was born in Hollister and grew up in Gilroy but has practiced law in Washington since 2008, mainly representing businesses.

“Bress is not a part of California’s legal community,” Feinstein and Harris said in a statement. Both members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, they criticized Republican leaders for discarding the “blue slip” tradition that committee chairmen from both parties had previously used to block confirmation hearings on judicial nominees if either home-state senator objected.

Another opponent, Kristine Lucius of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said Bress was part of a strategy by Trump and Senate Republicans “to mold the Ninth Circuit into a panel of young conservative ideologues.”

Read more: https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Senate-confirms-Trump-s-appointment-to-Ninth-14083876.php

New North Carolina law allows prosecutors to charge drug dealers with murder

Source: The Hill

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) on Monday signed into law a bill that allows prosecutors to charge drug dealers with second-degree murder in the case of an overdose death.


The new law allows prosecutors to pursue felony charges after an illegal sale results in an overdose. Officials will have to prove malice, a high standard that would possibly make convictions hard to obtain, the The Associated Press noted.

Those convicted could face up to 40 years in prison.

Doctors and pharmacists who prescribe opioids for legitimate medical purposes are exempt from prosecution under a “Good Samaritan” clause written into the bill, WTVD reported.

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/452192-new-north-carolina-law-allows-prosecutors-to-charge-drug-dealers-with

Darwin shooting: Four killed in northern Australia

Source: BBC

A gunman shot dead four people and injured another at five different locations in the northern Australian city of Darwin, officials said.

The 45-year-old suspect, who was known to the police, was arrested an hour after the first shots were reported at about 18:00 local time (08:30 GMT).

Police said they believed the man had acted alone. The crime scenes reportedly included a motel and a bar.


The alleged gunman, who had been on parole since January, was wearing an electronic tag, Northern Territory Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw said.

Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-48510881

8-year-old boy accidentally shoots mother at baseball game, gun owner charged

Source: NBC News

A Tennessee mother was hospitalized in critical condition after her 8-year-old son accidentally shot her at a college baseball game, police said.

The gun's owner, Charles McFarland Jr., was arrested and faces charges of reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon.

The mother and son were at the annual Babe Howard Classic game Tuesday night at the U.S.A Baseball Stadium in Millington, about 30 minutes north of Memphis, when the boy found a loaded gun while playing inside an antique World War II jeep belonging to McFarland, authorities said.

The jeep had been on display as part of a celebration the stadium holds for veterans, the Millington Police Department said in a press release.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/8-year-old-boy-accidentally-shoots-mother-baseball-game-gun-n1005876

Trump pardons ex-soldier convicted of killing Iraqi prisoner

Source: The Hill

President Trump on Monday signed an executive grant of clemency, a full pardon, to a former Army first lieutenant convicted of murdering an Iraqi prisoner.

The White House released a statement announcing Trump's decision to pardon Michael Behenna, who was sentenced in 2009 to 15 years for shooting and killing Ali Mansur Mohamed. The move comes after repeated requests from Oklahoma's attorney general for Trump to pardon Behenna.

"Mr. Behenna’s case has attracted broad support from the military, Oklahoma elected officials, and the public," the White House said, noting that more than two dozen generals and admirals as well as numerous Oklahoma officials have expressed support for Behenna, who hails from the state. The statement added that Behenna has been "a model prisoner."

"In light of these facts, Mr. Behenna is entirely deserving of this Grant of Executive Clemency," the statement read.

Read more: https://thehill.com/policy/defense/442401-trump-pardons-ex-soldier-convicted-of-killing-iraqi-prisoner

Former Minneapolis police officer found guilty in Justine Ruszczyk's death

Source: CNN

Former Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor was found guilty Tuesday of third-degree murder and manslaughter for fatally shooting Justine Ruszczyk while responding to her 911 call.

The jury of ten men and two women acquitted Noor on an additional count of second-degree murder in the killing.

Noor, a 33-year-old Somali-American, is believed to be the first police officer to be convicted of murder in Minnesota in recent memory, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said.

Noor sat quietly with his hands clasped as the verdict was read. He was immediately taken into custody and led of the courtroom in handcuffs.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/30/us/minneapolis-officer-noor-trial-verdict/index.html

NRA sues city of L.A. over its new contract disclosure law

Source: LA Times

The National Rifle Assn. filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging a new Los Angeles law requiring companies that seek contracts with the city to disclose whether they have ties to the gun rights group.

The suit was filed in federal court on behalf of the NRA, including a John Doe, who is described in court documents as an NRA member and business operator with several L.A. city contracts.

“Plaintiff Doe participates in this action as a Doe participant because he reasonably fears retribution from the city and the potential loss of lucrative contracts should Doe’s identity be known,” the lawsuit says.

City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell championed the new law, arguing in a motion he presented last year that city residents and stakeholders “deserve to know” whether taxpayer funds are being spent on contractors with ties to the NRA.

Read more: https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-nra-sues-los-angeles-disclosure-law-20190424-story.html

Rod Rosenstein Breaks Silence on Barr's Handling of the Mueller Report, Calls Criticism 'Bizarre'

Source: Law & Crime

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was the person who appointed Robert Mueller as Special Counsel in the first place, due to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions recusal from overseeing the Russia probe. Ever since William Barr was installed as Attorney General, Rosenstein has been an increasingly invisible figure, even though he apparently agreed with Barr that the evidence “wasn’t sufficient” to allege that President Donald Trump obstructed justice.

Rosenstein, having witnessed the backlash over Barr’s four-page letter detailing Mueller’s “principal conclusions,” decided to comment on recent events Thursday in the Wall Street Journal.


Rosenstein stated the idea that Barr is trying to be deceptive is off-base and “bizarre.”

“He’s being as forthcoming as he can, and so this notion that he’s trying to mislead people, I think is just completely bizarre,” he said.

Read more: https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/rod-rosenstein-breaks-silence-on-barrs-handling-of-the-mueller-report-calls-criticism-bizarre/

Waco biker shooting: Prosecutors drop all charges in deadly shootout

Source: NBC News

No one will be convicted or otherwise held accountable for the 2015 shootout between rival biker gangs in Waco restaurant parking lot that left nine people dead and at least 20 injured, prosecutors in Central Texas said Tuesday.

In a statement announcing all charges will be dropped in the deadliest biker shooting in U.S. history, McLennan County District Attorney Barry Johnson said any further effort to prosecute the case would be a "waste of time, effort and resources."

"In my opinion, had this action been taken in a timely manner, it would have, and should have, resulted in numerous convictions and prison sentences against many of those who participated in the Twin Peaks brawl," Johnson said. "Over the next three years the prior district attorney failed to take that action, for reasons that I do not know to this day."

The shooting outside a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco on May 17, 2015, involved rival biker gangs, the Bandidos and Cossacks, and occurred as bikers from various groups were gathering to talk over matters of concern. Fights and gunfire broke out. Waco police officers monitoring the gathering also fired on the bikers, killing at least two.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/waco-biker-shooting-prosecutors-drop-all-charges-deadly-shootout-n990341
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