A United States intelligence employee sends classified government documents to the news media and ignites a national debate. Some hail him as a hero and whistleblower, others denounce him as a traitor. You might think we are talking about Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency contractor who disclosed details of PRISM, the NSA’s massive surveillance program in June. But we are also talking about Daniel Ellsberg, the Department of Defense consultant who provided the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times 40 years ago to reveal the truth, which help end the Vietnam War.
by Reuben Guttman and Traci Buschner. Guttman is Director and Head of False Claims Group at Grant & Eisenhofer. Buschner is a Senior Counsel to the firm. Both represented the lead whislteblowers in the Rapamune case. This is a cross-post of a piece originally published by The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch.
Pfizer is paying the U.S. government and a number of states more than $450 million to resolve allegations that its subsidiary, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, unlawfully marketed the immunosuppressant drug, Rapamune.
The two Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) whistleblowers who initiated the case, Marlene Sandler and Scott Paris, were pharmaceutical sales representatives who raised concerns through a lawsuit filed under the Federal False Claims Act that their company actively marketed Rapamune for purposes not approved by the FDA and paid kickbacks to doctors in order to increase sales.
Stock bargains are growing scarcer. One way to find relative bargains is to search among companies that have lagged the market’s recent rally, but which look likely to catch up. Jack Hough of Barron's has details. Photo: Getty Images.
The resolution of the Rapamune case is one more settlement in a long procession of cases brought against the pharmaceutical industry for unlawfully marketing drugs. Last year, GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) paid (LSS:UK:GSK) more than $3 billion to resolve allegations of misbranding and kickbacks with regard to a number of drugs including the blockbuster asthma and COPD drug, Advair.
Judge Patricia Wald, the first woman appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, will be awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Obama later this year.
Wald, a former ACS Board member, is among 16 recipients the White House announced today. Of Wald, the president said:
Patricia Wald is one of the most respected appellate judges of her generation. After graduating as 1 of only 11 women in her Yale University Law School class, she became the first woman appointed to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and served as Chief Judge from 1986-1991. She later served on the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague. Ms. Wald currently serves on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.
Wald retired from the bench in 1999, but as Obama noted hardly became idle. She was also honored in 2008 by Legal Times “as a ‘Visionary’ for breaking through barriers during a long career in law,” its blog notes.
This year Wald has been instrumental in pushing back against Senate Republicans led by Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) who have sought to prevent the president from filling vacancies on the D.C. Circuit, considered one of the most powerful federal appeals court circuits because of myriad cases it hears regarding constitutional concerns and challenges to federal regulation. Grassley has introduced a bill that would remove three judgeships from the 11-member D.C. Circuit under the guise that its caseload is not as burdensome as others.
Many, such as the Constitutional Accountability Center’s Judith Schaeffer, have noted the obviously political effort to keep a Democratic president from shaping the make-up of the D.C. Circuit, which currently has a distinctly conservative bent. In a recent post for CAC’s Text & History blog, Schaeffer provides plenty of documentation undermining Grassley’s argument that judgeships should be yanked from the D.C. Circuit. She notes that an April letter to the Judiciary Committee from the Judicial Conference of the United States providing assessments of staffing needs of the federal bench did not “contain any recommendation to eliminate or not fill seats on the D.C. Circuit.”
Since the Supreme Court decided United States v. Arizona last summer (and Whiting v. Chamber of Commerce in 2011), circuit courts have been busy applying the opinion to immigration regulations percolating through the federal courts in their respective jurisdictions. The Third Circuit in Lozano v. Hazleton invalidated the Hazleton, Pennsylvania employment and rental ordinances; the Fourth Circuit in United States v. South Carolina invalidated sections of South Carolina’s immigration enforcement scheme; the Fifth Circuit in Villas at Parkside Partners v. Farmers Branch invalidated the Farmers Branch, Texas rental ordinance; and the Eleventh Circuit invalidated sections of Alabama’s and Georgia’s immigration enforcement schemes. These decisions reduce some of the legal uncertainty surrounding the recent proliferation of subfederal immigration legislation. Notably, however, they also leave some important questions unanswered. And, they do so in a way that is doctrinally precarious.
First, based on the Arizona Court’s decision not to enjoin §2(B) of SB 1070, a few provisions of state enforcement schemes in South Carolina, Alabama, and Georgia were left intact. Following Arizona’s lead, the Northern District of Georgia (on remand from the Eleventh Circuit), rejected a facial challenge to § 8 of the state’s 2011 Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act, which allows local law enforcement officers to investigate the immigration status of individuals if the officials have probable cause that the individual committed a crime and if that individual cannot produce adequate proof of lawful status. Fourth Amendment or other constitutional challenges to that provision must now proceed on an as-applied basis, similar to the ongoing litigation challenge to SB 1070’s § 2(B). Litigation on these provisions will take some time to resolve the important racial profiling and discrimination concerns implicated by local law enforcement participation in immigration matters.
by Brandon L. Garrett. Since the 2011 publication of Convicting the Innocent: Where Criminal Prosecutions Go Wrong, Professor Garrett has written widely on issues of criminal procedure, forensic science, and the law. Below, he outlines three recent Supreme Court rulings whose importance has been overshadowed by the term’s several high profile and historic decisions. This piece is cross-posted on the Harvard University Press Blog.
With the past Term’s Supreme Court’s decisions behind us, commentators, scholars, and judges, are still processing the implications of the major decisions on race, voting rights, and same sex marriage. Understandably less noticed have been three decisions with real implications for criminal justice. In cases concerning the procedural barriers to relief when evidence of innocence arises after conviction, the expanded collection and storage of DNA, and the conduct of police interrogations, the Court issued rulings that bear on the accuracy of our criminal justice system.
First, the Court continues to recognize that innocence should be an important consideration for federal judges reviewing prisoners’ habeas petitions. In McQuiggan v. Perkins, the Court recognized for the first time that evidence of a prisoner’s innocence can provide an exception to the restrictive one-year statute of limitations imposed in 1996 by Congress in the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA). However, the Court somewhat gratuitously emphasized that this innocence exception would be “severely confined” and that the class of prisoners able to show that a jury presented with new evidence would be likely not to convict may be quite small.