federal judges

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Judge: No, Your Cellphone Can't Be Used to Track You

First time a federal judge has thrown out evidence culled thanks to 'stingray' device

(Newser) - A surveillance device that "tricks" cellphones into revealing their location has been a civil rights concern since it debuted. Now, for the first time, a federal judge agrees that using such a tool to ID a suspect's home without a warrant is an "unreasonable" violation of the... More »

Ryan: Trump's Judge Remark Is 'Textbook' Racism

But he'll still vote for Trump over Clinton

(Newser) - Only Paul Ryan knows for sure if Paul Ryan regrets saying he'll endorse Donald Trump for president, but the House speaker is being somewhat more frank about his thoughts on other Trump matters—specifically, the presumptive GOP nominee's remarks on Gonzalo Curiel, the Indiana-born federal judge Trump's... More »

Gingrich: Trump's Judge Remarks 'Inexcusable'

He says Trump has made one of his 'worst mistakes'

(Newser) - Donald Trump's claim that a US-born judge is a Mexican with a conflict of interest is "inexcusable" and "one of the worst mistakes Trump has made," according to Newt Gingrich, a Trump ally so staunch he has been talked about as a VP pick. "That... More »

Judge Sees No Crime in Planned Parenthood Videos

US District Judge William Orrick speaks out

(Newser) - Recordings secretly made by an anti-abortion group at meetings of abortion providers do not show criminal activity and could put the providers at risk, a federal judge said Friday, citing the recent shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic. US District Judge William Orrick made the comments during a hearing... More »

Judge Rules on Man Paralyzed for Cavity Search

Police, doctor say they were just doing their job

(Newser) - A federal judge has ruled that police officers and a physician who medically paralyzed a man to conduct a cavity search for drugs in Tennessee are not immune from prosecution. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that the 2010 cavity search at the Oak Ridge Methodist Medical Center did turn up... More »

Judge: NSA Spying 'Almost Certainly' Unconstitutional

Meanwhile, White House says no amnesty for Snowden

(Newser) - The NSA's massive collection of phone metadata is "almost certainly" unconstitutional, a federal judge declared in a blistering statement today. Judge Richard Leon issued an injunction banning the agency from spying on the plaintiffs in the lawsuit he was reviewing—legal analyst Larry Klayman and one of his... More »

Obama's 2nd-Term Mission: Appoint Diverse Judges

GOP likely to delay the process

(Newser) - Of the 35 judicial nominees currently awaiting confirmation by the Senate, 17 are women; 15 are members of ethnic minorities; five are openly gay. Just six are straight white guys. After what the Washington Post refers to as the "sluggish pace" of President Obama's first-term appointments, the second-term... More »

Judges Disagree on Calif. 'Gay Cure' Ban

Higher court will likely have to get involved: expert

(Newser) - Less than 24 hours after a federal judge blocked California's new ban on "gay cures," a second federal judge in a separate case declined to interfere with the law. Both cases involve therapists who want the law banning gay-to-straight "conversion therapy" overturned. The second judge's... More »

Judge Orders Ohio to Lift Early Voting Ban

State had tried to block voting for non-troops in three days before election

(Newser) - A federal judge today struck down a new Ohio law that forbids early voting in the three days before Election Day for non-military voters, the Toledo Blade reports. Ohio has long allowed voters to cast absentee ballots by mail or in person starting 35 days before the election, but the... More »

Obama Way Behind Bush, Clinton on Picking Judges

His federal court picks have generally been more moderate, too: NYT

(Newser) - In a deliberate strategy designed to save political capital, President Obama has nominated dozens fewer federal judges than either George W. Bush or Bill Clinton did in their first terms, potentially greatly reducing his long-term judicial impact on the United States, reports the New York Times . So far, Obama has... More »

Judge to Lawyer: No, You Can't Be Hemingway

He rejects odd request with his own literary flare

(Newser) - A lawyer in an upcoming federal trial wanted to make sure he'd get a particular day off in a few weeks—because, as he noted in his request, the "undersigned counsel" is "a perennial contestant in the Ernest Hemingway Look-alike Contest" at Sloppy Joe's Bar in... More »

Dem Senator Delays Obama Judicial Pick

Some say Robert Menendez holding grudge

(Newser) - President Obama is facing a battle over a judicial nominee—and his opponent is a fellow Democrat. New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez is delaying the confirmation of a judge to a federal Court of Appeals, and he hasn't given the New York Times a reason. But insiders think it... More »

Judge Defends Free Speech on Twitter in Key Case

Dismisses suit against man accused of stalking an enemy

(Newser) - Posting personal attacks on Twitter may not be a matter for the courts—even if thousands of tweets are involved, according to a US judge. In a case in San Francisco, the government accused one William Lawrence Cassidy of causing a Buddhist leader "severe emotional distress" through the social... More »

Obama Court Pick Would Make History

Vietnamese-American woman nominated for US appellate court

(Newser) - Jacqueline Nguyen fled her native Vietnam as a young girl during the fall of Saigon, and she may soon make history as the first Vietnamese-American to serve on a federal appellate court. President Obama has nominated "trailblazer" Jacqueline Nguyen to serve on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, reports... More »

Kansas Judge Blocks Law to Defund Planned Parenthood

Says he believes it is unconstitutional

(Newser) - A federal judge ruled today that Planned Parenthood would likely succeed in overturning a new Kansas law that would deny the group access to federal family planning funding, saying he believes the law is unconstitutional and was intended to punish Planned Parenthood for advocating for abortion rights. US District Judge... More »

First Openly Gay Man Quietly Confirmed as US Judge

J. Paul Oetken makes history, with little fanfare

(Newser) - The US got its first openly gay male federal judge last night. J. Paul Oetken, a former lawyer for the Clinton administration, was confirmed by the Senate on an 80-13 vote and could take his Manhattan seat this week, the New York Times reports. "The old barriers that existed... More »

Vacancies Leave Federal Courts in Crisis

Republican holds on judicial nominees taking a toll

(Newser) - Republicans’ refusal to allow votes on President Obama’s judicial nominees has pushed courts to the breaking point, particularly in southwestern courts struggling with drug and illegal immigration trials, the Washington Post reports. In Arizona, for example, some judges are handling about 1200 criminal cases simultaneously. The state recently declared... More »

Fla. Judge: Obamacare Is Unconstitutional

Federal court sides with 26 states

(Newser) - A federal judge in Florida says the Obama administration's health overhaul is unconstitutional, siding with 26 states that had sued to block it. US District Judge Roger Vinson today accepted without trial the states' argument that the new law violates people's rights by forcing them to buy health insurance by... More »

John Roll Remembered as Fair Jurist, Regular Guy

Received death threats after controversial 2008 immigration case

(Newser) - Judge John Roll took tough immigration cases on head-on in his courtroom, but yesterday the slain judge was remembered as a guy who loved walking his beloved basset hounds and was prone to getting lost on the way to McDonald's. "That's always a good thing to hear, that people... More »

Plan in Iowa to Impeach Judges Is Dangerous

Op-ed: Activists angry over same-sex ruling are going too far

(Newser) - Throughout US history, “no matter how controversial the case, no state or federal judge has been impeached for an opinion issued from the bench,” writes Bert Brandenburg in the Washington Post . But now, activists in Iowa want to impeach the justices who voted to allow same-sex marriage in... More »

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