Today's top new stories about fair courts & judicial independence.
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March 24, 2020

Social Media Highlight

RT Center for Court Innovation - How are courts maintaining access to justice during the coronavirus? @StateCourts has updates on how courts across the country are responding.

Top News

Barr Strives to Keep Justice Moving Amid Coronavirus Crisis (The Wall Street Journal) “Attorney General William Barr keeps a thermometer on his desk so he can take his temperature every time he prepares to go to the White House.

As with every aspect of American life, the coronavirus has upended the Justice Department and the way its more than 113,000 employees across the country work, including the attorney general.

More federal courts are drastically reducing operations, prisons are grappling with how to handle infections among inmates and criminal cases have stalled. Many prosecutors are working from home, unable to travel for investigations and trials, a large number of which have been suspended for weeks or longer.”

US Department of Justice seeks new powers during COVID-19 outbreak (JURIST) “The Department of Justice (DOJ) asked Congress to grant the US Attorney General emergency powers to ask federal judges to pause court proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic according to a POLITICO report Saturday.

Federal judges already have the power to pause court proceedings in their individual courts during emergencies. However, the DOJ contends that this proposal would make the pause consistent throughout the judicial district. The proposal would allow the Attorney General the same powers during future emergencies.”

‘IS MY LIFE NOT AS VALUABLE AS YOURS?’ IMMIGRATION JUDGES WANT ALL COURTS SHUT DOWN AS CORONAVIRUS CASES SOAR (The Appeal) “Federal immigration courts that handle cases of detained immigrants are still open, despite a growing number of states and cities issuing “stay at home” mandates to combat COVID-19. On Sunday night, the organizations representing immigration judges, prosecutors, and defense lawyers jointly demanded—for the second time in a week—that the courts be closed. 

Meanwhile, detained immigrants are staging hunger strikes at three New Jersey jails to protest the lack of sanitary conditions they fear could lead to outbreaks. Their protests come after confirmation of positive tests from two staff members connected with two other jails in the state that house immigrants.”
Back at Work but Not on the Bench, Supreme Court Issues 3 Major Opinions
The New York Times - March 23 

Supreme Court Rejects Keeping Republican Super PAC Donor Secret
Bloomberg Government - March 23

The Time Is Now: The Supreme Court Must Allow Live Cameras
Electronic Frontier Foundation - March 23
Appeals court won't review Trump Twitter case
POLITICO - March 23


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