President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court in likely response to the Republican position to deny any nominee a hearing or vote. Garland is a hard choice for Republicans to deny as he is a moderate choice who may lean conservative on some issues. He was confirmed on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals with only 23 Republican senators opposing. Republicans had little to say against Garland's qualifications. The votes against him were geared towards whether additional seats were needed on the District of Columbia court of Appeals. President Obama is playing a game of chess with Republicans in much the same way, Republicans did in nominating Clarence Thomas to fill Justice Thurgood Marshall’s seat. President George H. Bush nominated Clarence Thomas in 1992 to fill the seat of retiring Justice Thurgood Marshall. Marshall, the first African American justice to sit on the Supreme Court was known as the champion of civil rights causes—having won the landmark … [Read more...] about Is SCOTUS Nominee Merrick Garland the Next Clarence Thomas?
Archives for March 2016
On March 29, Allen Bullock will receive a jail sentence pursuant to a plea deal entered in Baltimore Circuit Court on February 29. Nineteen year old Allen Bullock was charged in April of last year with eight counts of rioting, disorderly conduct and malicious destruction of property following the death of Freddie Gray, his friend. Bullock is seen in a photograph standing on top of a police car smashing a windshield with a cone during a protest. No one was hurt. Bullock says the death of his friend, Gray, got the best of him. Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s office offered Bullock more than 9 years if he would plead guilty. Bullock and his attorney, J. Wyndal Gordon, declined that plea deal. Over nine years in jail for, in essence, busting a police car window—are you kidding me? As a former prosecutor, that doesn’t sound fair and just to me. Obviously, the Baltimore State’s Attorney Office wants to make an example of Bullock but for what reason, I’m not … [Read more...] about Freddie Gray’s Friend To Get Jail while Officers Cases in Limbo
The Maryland Court of Appeals heard arguments on Thursday, March 3 in the case of the Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray. At issue is whether the State may compel William Porter to testify by giving him use and derivative immunity, in the cases of Alicia White and Caesar Goodson. Goodson is the only officer charged with second degree murder. Porter’s lawyers argue the testimony will violate Porter’s 5th amendment right against self-incrimination. William Porter’s trial ended with a mistrial in December, 2015. The State intended to try Porter first of the six officers with either a conviction or acquittal. In either way, Porter would have been legally free to testify as a witness in the other cases. He would not have been subjected to double jeopardy or being tried twice if acquitted. And if convicted, he would be able to testify as he would be found guilty and no longer be facing a trial. The mistrial result threw a monkey wrench in the whole … [Read more...] about Justice Delayed or Denied in the Baltimore Police Officers’ Cases
On March 2, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on a Texas abortion law that aims to make it extremely difficult for abortion clinics to operate in Texas. The case of Whole Women’s Health versus Hellerstetd will determine whether Texas may require that abortion clinics have admitting privileges at a local hospital and whether abortion clinics must meet ambulatory surgical center requirements. Meeting ambulatory surgical center requirements may cost millions of dollars for a clinic. Texas law also forbids abortion after 20 weeks. While these two requirements may seem reasonable on their face, there is no apparent medical need for them. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists state there is no need for admitting requirements for abortion providers, citing abortions’ low complication rates. And a 2013 study that reviewed the health departments of every state, found no medical reason for admitting requirements. The 2013 study arose as a result of the … [Read more...] about Justice Scalia’s Presence in Texas Abortion Case