Justice Articles

The Sentencing Trap

Don’t undo our greatest policy success.
Oct 26, 2015

What’s the biggest domestic public policy success of the last two generations? In our view, it’s the plummeting crime rate that began with a changed approach to crime in the Reagan years.

The new approach had two major components—proactive policing and mandatory minimum sentencing that set floors below which judges cannot go in sentencing serious offenders.

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Jail Is on Hillary's Mind

9:29 AM, Sep 08, 2015

In a Labor Day speech, Hillary Clinton promised that, when she is president:

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'The Silent Majority'

9:46 AM, Aug 31, 2015

I've suggested before that 2016 is beginning to look more and more like 1968. This is true in terms of the presidential contests—on the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders is Eugene McCarthy, Hillary Clinton is Lyndon Johnson, Joe Biden will be Hubert Humphrey, and (the big question!) Elizabeth Warren could be Bobby Kennedy; and on the Republican side, where Donald Trump is "a kind of cartoon version of Richard Nixon."

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Justice Alito: Judicial Restraint Amidst The Court's 'Postmodern' Activism

7:04 AM, Jul 20, 2015

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made news recently, when she said—bragged, it seemed—that she and her fellow liberals on the Court were going out of their way to stifle their individual voices in high-profile cases.

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The False Assurances of Anthony Kennedy and Barack Obama

7:09 AM, Jun 29, 2015

Justice Anthony Kennedy, while dictating one of the most sweeping social changes in history in his opinion in the Obergefell v. Hodges case that legalized same-sex marriage across America, waxes magnanimous towards foes of the expansion of the millennia-old definition of marriage.

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Lynch to Meet with Obama in Oval Office

7:34 PM, May 28, 2015

Days after the indictment of FIFA officials and just a day after the indictment of Dennis Hastert, the former speaker of the House, Attorney General Loretta Lynch is scheduled to mee with President Barack Obama. The meeting with take place in the Oval Office. 

Via the president's public schedule.

"In the morning, the President and the Vice President will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. This meeting is closed press," the schedule reads.

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Hillary Clinton Calls for Criminal Justice Reform

1:10 PM, Apr 29, 2015

At a Manhattan fundraiser yesterday (as noted by The Hill), potential presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke of the rioting in Baltimore by invoking a theme of the Obama administration: the need for reform of the criminal justice system.

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Hillary Wants Body Cameras on 'Every Officer Nationally'

6:45 AM, Apr 29, 2015

At an Ivy League university, Hillary Clinton will propose having "body cameras for every officer nationally," the New York Times's Maggie Haberman reports on Twitter.


Clinton is going to propose body cameras for every officer nationally at her speech today at Columbia.

— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) April 29, 2015


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Holder Sues University for Transgender Discrimination Against Professor

6:37 AM, Mar 31, 2015

Less than four months ago, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice had concluded that the transgendered are among the classes of persons protected, unbeknownst to the framers of the legislation at the time, by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

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Justice or Politics?

11:31 AM, Dec 25, 2014

In April of this year, the Obama administration announced it would “reformulate” clemency guidelines for federal prison offenders. As the Washington Post described it, “Justice Department Prepares for Clemency Requests from Thousands of Inmates.” The paper claimed that this “unprecedented campaign to free nonviolent offenders” would continue for two years and that DOJ would “reassign dozens of lawyers to its understaffed pardons office to handle the requests from inmates.”

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Obama Talks of 'Common Purpose' in Response to Ferguson, Eric Garner

2:37 PM, Dec 04, 2014

President Obama alluded to the recent unrest in Ferguson and New York City in remarks today at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. The president talked of "restoring a sense of common purpose."

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Obama: 'America Isn't Everything That It Could Be'

10:25 PM, Nov 24, 2014

President Obama, speaking live to the nation after the decision in Ferguson not to indict a police office for the killing of Michael Brown, said that "America isn't everything that it could be."

Watch here:

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Feds Spend $830K on Stab-Proof Vests

8:23 AM, Nov 04, 2014

The Justice Department's Bureau of Prisons (BOP) recently committed $830,160 to purchase Protective Stab Vests for use by employees in federal prison facilities. The contract was awarded on a sole-source, no-bid basis because the need was determined to be of an "urgent and compelling nature." Documents accompanying the posting say that "thousands of vests ... are now considered to be End- of-Life" and need replacing, and vests are needed for new employees as well.

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Obama Doesn't Want to Be Supreme Court Justice: 'Too Monastic For Me'

Admits he lives in a "bubble."
6:45 AM, Oct 20, 2014

President Obama does not want to be a Supreme Court justice. He calls it "too monastic" for his own personality. Besides, in an interview with the New Yorker, President Obama acknowledges that he needs to get out of the "bubble" after what will be eight years as president of the United States.

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Supreme Court Justice Officiates Same-Sex Marriage

10:39 AM, Sep 22, 2014

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan officiated a same-sex marriage over the weekend, the Associated Press reports. It was her first.

"Justice Elena Kagan has officiated for the first time at a same-sex wedding, a Maryland ceremony for her former law clerk and his husband," reports the AP.

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The Costs of a Miscarriage of Justice

11:20 AM, Sep 04, 2014

When a class action lawsuit gets settled, the deal has to prescribe how the defendant will pay the members of the injured class and who can be part of that class.

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Hillary's Failed Benghazi Spin

8:10 AM, May 30, 2014

Hillary Clinton is right about Benghazi—or at least she's right about one thing. 

According to a story by Maggie Haberman about the Benghazi chapter in Clinton's forthcoming book Hard Choices, the former secretary of state contends that some of her critics have badly mischaracterized the now infamous question she asked at a January 23, 2012, congressional hearing: "What difference, at this point, does it make?"

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Equal Protection but Not for Whites

3:31 PM, Nov 07, 2013

“Detroit civil rights lawyer Shanta Driver made a last-minute decision to argue in a high-profile Supreme Court affirmative action case on Oct. 15 in part, she said, because so few African-Americans appear before the justices.”

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Cotton on NSA Amendment: 'Do Not Take This Tool Away from Our Warriors'

6:16 PM, Jul 24, 2013

Via the Washington Free Beacon, Arkansas congressman Tom Cotton defended the NSA tool on the House floor this evening:

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‘The Power of the Prosecutor’

1:26 PM, Jul 17, 2013

As Jonathan V. Last observed earlier today, the George Zimmerman trial illustrates the immense power and discretion afforded to state and federal prosecutors.

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George Zimmerman and the Nature of Criminal Justice

10:33 AM, Jul 17, 2013

We're way past overload on Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman commentary, but there is a tiny tributary of the story that has been largely overlooked. And it's worth a moment because it points to a larger problem regarding both the state and the public.

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Justice Delayed

3:10 PM, Jul 03, 2013

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to a speedy trial.  "Speedy" is, admittedly, an imprecise term.  

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Special Prosecutor for IRS?

9:06 AM, Jun 30, 2013

The Chicago Tribune editorializes:

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The Ivy League Babbitt

The social and political prescience of Harvard’s humanist.
Jun 24, 2013

In university classrooms, and across campuses nationwide, we hear it repeatedly: Ever--increasing calls for “social justice.” But not everyone is on board:

Social justice, it is well to remind these “forward-looking” professors, means in practice class justice, class justice means class war, and class war, if we are to go by all the experience of the past and present, means hell.

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Justice Ginsburg on Working Out: 'When I Started, I Looked Like a Survivor of Auschwitz'

“Now I’m up to 20 push-ups.”
9:48 AM, Mar 20, 2013

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg talks about her work outs in an interview with the Washington Post“When I started, I looked like a survivor of Auschwitz,” she tells the paper. “Now I’m up to 20 push-ups.”

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Eric Holder: 'I Think I Might Have Shot' an AR-15

11:17 AM, Mar 06, 2013

Attorney General Eric Holder said today at a Senate hearing that he believes he once shot an AR-15, a so-called assault weapon:

"This committee will be taking up legislation about banning 'assault weapons,'" said Senator Lindsey Graham. "Are you familiar with the AR-15?"

"I'm familiar with it, yes," said Holder.

Graham interjected, "Just generally speaking--"

"Yeah," said Holder, "I think I might have shot one at the FBI academy."

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Servant of the Law

The experience, and good sense, of Robert Bork.
Mar 04, 2013

The death of Robert Bork this past December brought forth tributes to a man bearing no resemblance to the grotesque caricatures that emerged during the long debate over his 1987 nomination to the Supreme Court. Widely noted were his unswerving loyalty to friends and principles, his seminal intellect, his acerbic but not unkind humor and wit, and his lifelong sense of service and duty to his country.

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Politicizing Justice

Attorney General Eric Holder’s agenda begins and ends with delivering favors to Obama’s constituencies
Feb 25, 2013

On the morning of January 21, just before President Obama’s second inauguration, Rep. Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin congressman and House budget chairman who had run unsuccessfully as the Republican candidate for vice president, was roundly booed by the gathered crowd as he left the Capitol to attend the ceremonies on the Mall. Within minutes Daniel J. Freeman, a young career trial lawyer with the Voting Section of the U.S.

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16 Sent to Prison for Hate Crimes Against Amish

After "forcibly remov[ing] beard and head hair from practitioners of the Amish faith with whom they had ongoing religious disputes."
4:18 PM, Feb 08, 2013

The Justice Department announced that 16 folks would be sent to prison for hate crimes against Amish folks. The defendants, who range in age from 23 to 67 and all lived in Ohio, were found guilty of "forcibly remov[ing] beard and head hair from practitioners of the Amish faith with whom they had ongoing religious disputes."

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