ACSBlog

  • August 30, 2017
    Guest Post

    by Thomas Nolan, Associate Professor of Criminology, Merrimack College; 27-year veteran of the Boston Police Departmentpolice lights

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions addressed the 63rd Biennial Conference of the National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) on Monday, August 28 in Nashville, Tennessee. In his remarks, he observed that the police are “fighting a multi-front battle” that is characterized by “an increase in violent crime, a rise in vicious gangs, an opioid epidemic, (and) threats from terrorism.” This set the stage for his depiction of law enforcement as the “thin blue line,” that is the only thing standing between “sanctity and lawlessness.” It was within this context that Sessions cited a rollback of former President Obama’s January 2015 Executive Order 13688, which established a Law Enforcement Equipment Working Group, a group charged with establishing guidelines and processes for law enforcement agencies’ acquisition of surplus military equipment from the federal government. In an executive order to be signed later in the day, the police would once again have unfettered access to surplus military equipment and be free to use federal funds to purchase military-grade weapons, ammunition, vehicles, aircraft, and other military equipment.

  • August 30, 2017
    Guest Post

    by Winston Paes, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP; former Chief of the Business and Securities Fraud Section at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New YorkMoney

    For better or worse, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) is perceived, and has acted, as a global police force whose jurisdiction extends far beyond the shores of the United States. While the DOJ’s enforcement of violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) garners much fanfare, the money laundering statutes, specifically, Sections 1956 and 1957 of Title 18 of the United States Code, have resulted in a greater number of prosecutions and expanded the reach of U.S. law enforcement for offenses that barely touch or affect the United States.

  • August 25, 2017
    Guest Post

    by Daniel T. Kobil, Professor, Capital University Law School

    If Donald Trump issues a pardon to Joseph Arpaio he will likely be acting within his enumerated powers as president, but doing so in a manner that could undermine our legal system and the Constitution. 

    Arpaio is the former sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., who was found guilty in July of criminal contempt for defying a federal court’s order barring the illegal profiling of immigrants and Latinos by his officers. Though he faces potential imprisonment of up to six months, he has not yet been sentenced, nor applied for clemency through the Justice Department process in effect since the Reagan administration that requires applicants to wait five years after completing their sentence and undergo a thorough investigation before they can be pardoned. Nevertheless, Trump has signaled that he plans to pardon Arpaio preemptively because he approves of Arpaio’s harsh treatment of immigrants. 

  • August 25, 2017
    BookTalk

    Book by Sandra F. Sperino and Suja A. Thomas

    Reviewed by Katie Eyer, Associate Professor, Rutgers Law School

    Employees who believe that they have experienced discrimination face long odds in bringing discrimination litigation against their employers. Less than 5% of discrimination plaintiffs ever achieve any form of litigated relief. Discrimination cases are dismissed at startlingly high rates across virtually every procedural juncture (including after a plaintiff-favorable jury verdict).  The rates of dismissal in discrimination cases are much higher than the rates of dismissal for virtually any other substantive category of federal claims. And yet debate remains regarding the causes of these low levels of success, with some contending that discrimination lawsuits are unfairly dismissed, while others argue that a glut of non-meritorious lawsuits is to blame.

  • August 23, 2017

    by James Tierney, Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School

    *This piece was originally posted on StateAG.org

    A bi-partisan group of 67 former Attorneys General of the states and jurisdictions today pointed to the example of one of their colleagues to remind us all of the moral imperative to respond directly to those who amplify the voices of hate. See the statement below issued by the former Attorneys General, and here is the link to former Alabama Attorney General Bill Baxley‘s response to the KKK: Did the Attorney General of Alabama Once Tell the Ku Klux Klan to 'Kiss My Ass'?