9:28 AM, Sep 19, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Adam J. White, writing for AEI:
To those of us who want to believe that The Federalist is the “true account of the Constitution and of the regime it was calculated to engender,” the early weeks of summer always put our faith to the test.
Every June, the Supreme Court concludes its year’s work by releasing many—maybe all—of the term’s most controversial decisions. That annual spectacle, in which judges and lawyers dominate political headlines for a week or more, often casts no little doubt on Publius’s famous prediction that “the judiciary, from the nature of its functions, will always be the least dangerous” branch of the federal government, exercising “neither force nor will, but merely judgment.” Whatever one thinks of the court’s decisions that term, one cannot deny that the court’s justices, and the lawyers that bring the cases to bar, wield enormous power in American politics.
The justices recognize that power, of course. Two decades ago, Justice Anthony Kennedy looked out his chambers’ windows to the end-of-term commotion on the marble plaza below and remarked to a reporter, “Sometimes you don’t know if you’re Caesar about to cross the Rubicon or Captain Queeg cutting your own tow line”; moments later, he and his colleagues entered the courtroom and issued their decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, controversially reaffirming the basic right to abortion first recognized in Roe v. Wade.
This year, Justice Kennedy stood once again at the center of the political maelstrom, writing the court’s opinion striking down the Defense of Marriage Act’s federal definition of marriage. Justice Antonin Scalia dissented from that decision and began his own opinion not with his views on the merits of the specific marriage-rights question, but with a broader denunciation of the court’s outsized role in American life. ...
Whole thing here.
1:21 PM, Aug 19, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
The latest sequester victim: lawyers. As of September 1, court-appointed panel attorneys for the federal defender program will be hit with a $15/hour reduction in compensation. The following announcement appeared Monday on the United States Courts website:
Omar Khadr's military commission is shown an incriminating video.12:09 PM, Aug 13, 2010 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
Omar Khadr’s trial before a military commission at Guantanamo has reportedly been delayed once again. This time, Khadr’s attorney has suffered some illness and the trial has been put on hold for thirty days, according to Agence France-Presse.
4:52 PM, Mar 22, 2010 • By EDWIN D. WILLIAMSON and RICHARD W. PAINTER
One neglected issue in the controversy over the revelation that there are at least nine (or ten, if you count Attorney General Eric Holder) Justice Department lawyers who represented, or filed briefs in support of, Guantanamo detainees is whether those lawyers are complying with applicable ethics rules--and whether those rules are being applied evenly.
The two basic ethics rules are (a) the “inward” revolving door ban found in President Obama’s executive order imposing ethics obligations on his administration’s appointees and (b) the conflict of interest rules found in codes of professional conduct defining lawyers’ duties to clients.
The ‘most transparent administration in history’ stonewalls.Mar 15, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 25 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
At a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee last fall, Senator Chuck Grassley, Republican of Iowa, asked Attorney General Eric Holder to produce a list of Department of Justice employees who had been involved in representing detainees. Holder said he’d consider the request.
Department of Justice defends terrorists.6:30 PM, Mar 3, 2010 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
As the controversy over the DOJ lawyers who once represented, or advocated on behalf of, al Qaeda and Taliban members heats up, it is worth taking a quick look at their body of work.
Neal Katyal is now the principal deputy solicitor general. Previously, Katyal was a law professor and represented Salim Hamdan before the Supreme Court. The finding for Hamdan: The court ended up throwing out the military commission system as it was first established by President Bush. Congress then had to reauthorize the military commissions.
Giving al Qaeda a helping hand. 10:05 AM, Mar 2, 2010 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
From the UK, we get a Guantanamo-related story that is so ridiculous you just have to read it – with a little additional context. The story concerns six former Gitmo detainees who claim the British government was complicit in their “torture.”
The Telegraph and The Sun (see here and here) are reporting that British taxpayers are expected to shell out £30 million to lawyers who are working on an inquiry into the former detainees’ torture allegations. The inquiry is expected to last seven years (!), during which time the lawyers will review documents totaling hundreds of thousands of pages and rack up massive legal bills in the process.
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