ACSBlog

  • June 12, 2014

    by Paul Guequierre

    Today, four U.S. Senators sent an open letter to Washington Post columnist George Will, after he penned a column dismissing rape and sexual assault as a major problem on college campuses.  Democratic Senators Tammy Baldwin, Richard Blumenthal, Robert Casey and Diane Feinstein condemned Will for his irresponsible idea that victims of sexual assault enjoy “a coveted status that confers privileges.”

    In his column, Will disputes the statistics that one in five women is sexually assaulted while in college, and only 12 percent of assaults are reported. Will also claims that the definition of sexual assault is too broad, including forms of harassment other than rape. 

    The column invokes an old-fashioned blame the victim mentality, saying, “[t]hen add the doctrine that the consent of a female who has been drinking might not protect a male from being found guilty of rape.”  Will’s column, which blames progressive Washington for creating a culture of victims who make up accusations of rape and sexual assault, is dangerous. 

    What Mr. Will needs to understand is that sexual assault is real.  It ruins lives. The senators are right in saying, “There is no acceptable number of sexual assaults; anything more than zero is unacceptable.”

    Mr. Will should listen to the victims of sexual assault, not blame them. 

  • June 12, 2014
     
    More than 500 of Pennsylvania’s inmates are serving life sentences for crimes they committed as juveniles. In an op-ed for The New York Times, ACS board member Linda Greenhouse notes the Supreme Court’s dismissal of a case involving a Pennsylvania inmate serving a mandatory life sentence for a crime he committed at age 17.
     
    Rick Hills at Prawfsblawg reviews the decision by Judge Rolf M. Treu of the Los Angeles Superior Court to dismantle the California tenure system for teachers.
     
    Michael Kagan at Hamilton and Griffin on Rights breaks down Scialabba v. Cuellar de Osorio, discussing the Supreme Court’s ruling on the 2002 Child Status Protection Act and why young immigrants may be waiting a lot longer to be with their families. 
    State judges met in Philadelphia to address how special interests are influencing the court system.
     
    Peter Hardin at GavelGrab reports on how politicized courts are contributing to a miscarriage of justice.
     
    April Dembosky at NPR explains how registering for the Affordable Care Act may prevent former inmates from returning to a life of crime.
  • June 11, 2014
     
    On Tuesday, Judge Rolf M. Treu of the Los Angeles Superior Court ruled that teacher tenure laws violated students’ civil rights. Lawyers for the teacher’s union asserted that the decision placed blame solely on teachers without considering the grave effects of economic inequalities and public school funding on student performance. Jennifer Medina at The New York Times reports on the decision that may lead to big changes throughout America’s classrooms.
     
    Microsoft is fighting another warrant from federal prosecutors forcing the company to hand over a customer’s email.  The case marks the “first time a corporation has challenged a domestic search warrant seeking digital information overseas.” Steve Lohr of The New York Times has the story.
     
    Indigent prisoners who wish to file claims without paying fees may do so in forma pauperis (IFP). At CAC’s Text and History Blog, Brianna Gorod notes why the “three strikes” provision of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, which limits the number of times a prisoner can be eligible for IFP status, is unconstitutional. 
     
    On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that children waiting for immigration visas with their families must go to the back of the line when they turn 21 years-old. Lawrence Hurley at Reuters analyzes Scialabba v. de Osorio.
  • June 10, 2014

    by Charles Withers

    Last Friday, the Obama administration announced that it will provide lawyers for children facing deportation. According to Attorney General Eric Holder, the step will “protect the rights of the most vulnerable members of society.” Kirk Semple at The New York Times explains how the policy will affect immigration reform.

    In 2011, families of former marines at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina sued an electronics plant for poisoning their water. Yesterday, the Supreme Court in a 7-to-2 decision ruled in favor of the electronics plant, saying that the families had missed a deadline to file suit. Sam Hananel at The Associated Press has the story.  

    Writing for The New York Times, David E. Sanger and Nicole Perlroth note the steps being taken by Google and other internet companies to protect their systems from the National Security Agency. 

    At The New Republic, Simon Lazarus breaks down Bond v. United States and how ”neo-isolationists” have “chosen a route to victory through the Supreme Court—not Congress, state legislators, or voters.”

  • June 9, 2014
    Although U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crab struck down Wisconsin’s ban on gay marriage Friday, some counties are still turning away same-sex couples. John M. Becker at The Bilerico Project describes the state of marriage equality in the Badger State.
     
    In an op-ed for The New York Times, ACS board member Linda Greenhouse pays a visit to the Berkshire International Film Festival and recommends two must-see legal documentaries.
     
    A new report released Friday reveals the immense preparation behind the Clinton administration’s nomination of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen BreyerTony Mauro and Todd Ruger at Legal Times comment on the report.
     
    At PrawfsBlawg Dan Rodriguez notes John McGinnis’ new article on the decline of lawyers entitled Machines v. Lawyers .
     
    At Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost addresses allegations of inadequate health care for Arizona prisoners.