Today's top new stories about fair courts & judicial independence.
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March 19, 2020

Social Media Highlight

RT NCSC - Your daily #COVIDandtheCourts update (
19 states + DC & PR have now moved to restrict/suspend most in-person proceedings
Statewide orders on jury trials issued in AR, FL, IA, MA, ND, & OK.
CT orders most judiciary staff home.

Top News

Trump-appointed judge playing defense on presidential powers (Roll Call) “Democrats saw warning signs long before President Donald Trump nominated Neomi Rao to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

At the time, she was a White House lawyer who zealously defended Trump’s agenda. She’d clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. But she had no experience as a judge and little trial experience. Her legal writings promoted broad powers for the presidency. And as a college student she’d taken positions on social issues that were anathema to many liberals and even some conservatives. 

That same background made her an ideal candidate for Trump and many conservatives. They see the appointment of federal judges who can pass their litmus test on social issues — and champion deregulation — as a way to circumvent legislative gridlock in Congress and counter the influence of liberal jurists. Loyalty to Trump seals the deal.”

10 Immigration Courts Close, Hearings Delayed For COVID-19 ( “The U.S. Department of Justice postponed all immigration court hearings for immigrants who aren't in detention and closed 10 courthouses, the department said overnight Tuesday, following backlash from attorneys and judges that continuing hearings would threaten public health amid the coronavirus outbreak.

In addition to the Seattle immigration court, which closed last week, immigration courts in Atlanta; Charlotte, North Carolina; Houston; Memphis, Tennessee; Sacramento, California; Newark, New Jersey; and two in New York City are closed through April 10. An immigration court in Los Angeles is also closed, the DOJ said Tuesday night, while the immigration court in Louisville, Kentucky, has been closed since August for reasons unrelated to the virus.”
Wednesday round-up
SCOTUSblog - March 18
Federal courthouse seeks new location in Rock Island County
Quad City-Times - March 18

Federal judges suspend trials, other hearings for 6 weeks in coronavirus outbreak response
The Times of Northwest Indiana - March 18

Federal courts in eastern Missouri to postpone trials until after May 31
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - March 18



The Supreme Courts - March 18

Hansen wins Republican vote for judicial vacancy
The Northwest Herald - March 18


Minnesota Supreme Court to hear case over environmental review of Superior gas plant
Wisconsin State Journal - March 18
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