Relitigating Dunn v. Ray
The Supreme Court has insisted on relitigating and reaffirming its decision in Dunn v. Ray. So let's do that.
The Mandatory Guidelines Predicament in the Sixth Circuit
A recently filed amicus brief asks the Sixth Circuit to reconsider en banc whether prisoners challenged under the mandatory Guidelines can ever air the claim that their sentences are unconstitutional in light of Johnson v. United States.
The Substance of the Supreme Court’s procedure
Last week’s Supreme Court stay orders say a lot about how the Court views the substance of the underlying constitutional claims in Dunn v. Ray and June Medical Services v. Gee.
Updates | The Week of January 15, 2018
The White House conducts a "listening session" with criminal justice reform advocates focused on prisoner re-entry. The Justice Department is heightening efforts to increase the use of capital punishment.
Updates | The Week of November 20, 2017
The Trump administration has been vocal about "law and order" goals, but will leave most of the work to local law enforcement, as evidenced by a $100 million grant to local departments. The tough on crime stance is clear in DOJ's position in some upcoming Supreme Court casts.
Updates | The Week of October 30, 2017
Oral argument in Ayestas v. Davis indicates that the Supreme Court is likely to reverse the Fifth Circuit’s imposition of a “substantial need” requirement for indigent federal habeas petitioners to be eligible to receive funding for investigative or expert services.
Updates | The Week of October 23, 2017
The DOJ will end the standard gag orders that prohibit technology companies from telling customers when the government has requested their data.
Versus Trump: The House Versus The FBI
On the latest episode of Versus Trump, Charlie and Easha talk all things Russia investigation (or tangentially Russia investigation)—the Nunes #meh-mo, the fallout therefrom, and whether Trump will be interviewed by the Special Counsel.
Announcing Our New Podcast: "Versus Trump"
Take Care is pleased to announce the release of "Versus Trump," a new, affiliated podcast about the ways that the Trump Administration is breaking the law—and what people are doing about it.
Versus Trump: The First Shoe (with guest David Sklansky)
On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, Jason, Charlie, and special guest David Sklansky discuss the first shoe to drop from the Mueller investigation: the indictment of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, and the guilty plea of George Papadopoulos. Listen now!
Versus Trump: Voting Wars and Justice Scalia, with Rick Hasen
On a new episode of Versus Trump, Jason talks to Rick Hasen, a leading election law scholar and purveyor of the Election Law Blog, about what's going on at the voting booth, possible campaign finance law violations by both Trump and Clinton in the 2016 cycle, and Justice Scalia, who is the subject of Rick's new book, The Justice of Contradictions: Antonin Scalia and the Politics of Disruption. Listen now!
Versus Trump: The Great Marijuana Debate
On a new episode of Versus Trump, Easha, Charlie, and Jason continue their investigation of the relationship between federal and state law by debating the Trump Administration's reversal of Obama-era guidance about marijuana enforcement. Listen now!
The Mandatory Guidelines Predicament
Prisoners sentenced under the mandatory Sentencing Guidelines are not faring well in the courts of appeals, and the Supreme Court won't have a ton of opportunities to correct those decisions, if it thinks they are wrong.
It is time for progressives to embrace federalism and to use Supreme Court precedents protecting states’ rights to fight against Trump administration policies
Versus Trump: Waking Dream(host)
On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, we talk about web-hosting company Dreamhost's refusal to cooperate fully with the Trump Administration's broad request for information about the visitors to DisruptJ20.org, a website allegedly used by those involved in an Inauguration Day riot. Listen now!
Versus Trump: Russia Check-In
On a new episode of Versus Trump, Easha, Jason, and Charlie check back in with the most politically charged of all Versus Trump suits: the Russia investigation. Listen now!
State-Level Capital Punishment Under President Trump
While President Trump has little direct control over how states administer the death penalty, his administration might seek to facilitate the acquisition of legal injection drugs and limit federal habeas review in capital cases. But these policies would raise major legal questions.
Versus Trump: Versus Whitaker, In-Depth
On this week's episode of Versus Trump, the gang is re-united, and they discuss the Supreme Court motion contending that Matthew Whitaker was not legally appointed as Acting Attorney General. Listen now!
Ten Questions for a New FBI Director
By Allison Murphy: Given President Trump’s documented and acknowledged efforts to interfere with the independence of the FBI, the Senate should presume that could continue under a new FBI Director. It is therefore incumbent upon Senators to ensure that any Trump nominee for FBI Director commits to certain baseline aspects of independence and impartiality before any new nominee is confirmed. Here are 10 questions that require answers.
Versus Trump: Versus Plastic Guns
On this week's episode of Versus Trump, Jason, Charlie, and Easha—in her last episode for several months—discuss the fast-moving lawsuit by states against the Trump Administration and Cody Wilson seeking to block distribution of plans for 3D-printed guns. As usual, you can listen online below, and subscribe via this page with any podcast player or here in iTunes.
Versus Trump: Borderline Searches + Response To First Mondays
On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, Jason and Charlie discuss a new lawsuit that forces courts to answer the question of whether the federal government needs a warrant to search people's electronic devices at the U.S. border, and they also respond to a discussion on the Supreme Court podcast First Mondays regarding the government's recent filing in the Hargan v. Garza abortion case. Listen now!
DOJ Goes Big So Prisoners Can't Go Home
DOJ now argues that people who are in prison based on mistaken understandings of criminal statutes must stay there. The Supreme Court should consider granting certiorari to correct its mistake (and the Eleventh and Tenth Circuits’).
Information Wars Part I: The Challenge To The Census
The Trump administration has enacted several policies to conceal, subvert, or manipulate information. It has retracted a proposal to add LGBTQ identification to the U.S. census and eliminated LGBTQ identification from HHS surveys. These policies and others attempt to deny the existence of a problem by disappearing the (inconvenient) facts.
Beckles v. US As Anti-Canon
Today's federal sentencing opinions create even more tension between the Court's sentencing jurisprudence and Beckles v. United States.
The Federal Death Penalty Under Trump
President Trump and Attorney General Sessions hold exceptionally pro-death penalty views. Here's how they might seek to increase use of capital punishment at the federal level, and why any such effort likely would fail.
Versus Trump: Movin' Right Along
On a new episode of Versus Trump, Jason and Charlie revisit two lawsuits in which the Plaintiffs have recently successfully fought off motions to dismiss and been allowed to proceed. And in a new installment of "Sanctions Corner with Uncle Charlie," Charlie answers questions about the FBI raid on the office of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. Listen now!
Legal Innocence and Federal Habeas
A recent article shows why federal courts can and should revisit the convictions and sentences of many federal prisoners affected by Sessions v. Dimaya.
Reinvigorating Civil Rights in the Era of Trump
Given the nativist overtones of his campaign and his administration’s signature policies — from the Muslim ban to an immigration crackdown that equates being a foreign-born minority with criminality — Trump has exploded the fiction that we live in a post-racial society.
Versus Trump: Are There Lawsuits About Gun Regulation?
On a new episode of Versus Trump, Easha, Jason, and Charlie discuss what's going on in courts related to gun regulation. They focus on one set of Versus Trump lawsuits in this area: suits by the Gabby Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence requesting any Trump Administration records that would show the influence of the gun lobby on the Administration. Listen now!
Senators to DOJ: Mandatory Minimums Policy Is Misguided
A new letter from a bipartisan group of senators shows that Attorney General Sessions’s approach to charging is out of the mainstream, contrary to our justice system’s values, and unsupported by existing crime research.
Trump’s Approach to Crime & Punishment
The president has continued existing policies, but also signaled a misplaced (and dangerous) reliance on immigration enforcement and incarceration to protect the public.
Updates | The Week of May 1, 2017
Capital punishment and tension between communities and law enforcement may escalate under President Trumps' Department of Justice.
Updates | The Week of September 18, 2017
Changes the Justice Department proposed to community policing initiatives drew widespread criticism. Commentators argue DOJ must better review police departments' actions.
Updates | The Week of April 3, 2017
This week, the Department of Justice ordered a nationwide review of consent decrees implemented to curb civil rights abuses. State governors are poised to fight back against Attorney General Jeff Sessions's federal marijuana policy. And a decline in incarceration rates is threatened by the Trump Presidency.
Updates | The Week of April 17, 2017
Attorney General Sessions has started to make significant changes at the Department of Justice by doubling down on mass incarceration and weakening police accountability. Such efforts face significant criticism.
Updates | The Week of March 20, 2017
Private prisons have newfound influence in the White House and have benefitted from the Trump Administration's Justice Department policy reversal.
Updates | The Week of May 29, 2017
The proposed budget for the Department of Justice signals the administration’s intent to forego enforcement of civil rights laws. Meanwhile, proposed congressional legislation to provide greater protections for police officers may further criminalize communities of color, advocates worry.
Updates | The Week of August 21, 2017
While the Trump administration has revived policies associated with the "War on Drugs," it has not yet taken meaningful steps to respond to the opioid crisis.
Updates | The Week of July 10, 2017
A DOJ report criticized the use of solitary confinement for mentally ill inmates. Attorney General Jess Sessions spoke again about his drug enforcement policies.
Updates | The Week of July 17, 2017
AG Sessions announced plans to expand civil asset forfeiture and encourage prosecutors to seek harsher criminal penalties. Sessions was heavily criticized both by Democrats and President Trump this week.
Updates | The Week of October 16
Attorney General Sessions testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Former Attorney General Eric Holder criticized the Trump Administration’s criminal justice policies as “not smart on crime"; law enforcement leaders are pressuring the Trump Administration to join the “bipartisan movement for criminal justice reform."
Updates | The Week of April 10, 2017
This week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ushered in the "Trump Era," heralding increased enforcement of immigration offenses. The Department of Homeland Security has resurrected programs deputizing state and local police to enforce immigration laws. And Nikolas Bowie, writing for Take Care, argues that the internal review of Civil Rights Division consent decrees threatens its value as an unbiased source.
Updates | The Week of June 5, 2017
Questions asked about the Justice Department's mandatory minimums policy and the continued United States Attorney vacancies.