Legal News

The New York Times:

Issue: The Legal Battle Over Arkansas’ Execution Plans

A federal judge on Saturday blocked Arkansas’ plan to execute six men in 10 days with a preliminary injunction on a lawsuit arguing that the pace of the executions and the use of the drug midazolam were unconstitutional. The state had scheduled these executions in quick succession because its supply of midazolam, one of three drugs used in its procedure, is set to expire at the end of April.

The New York Times:

Issue: Conflicting Views on a Broader Way for the Police to Use DNA

The question of how widely investigators should be able to examine DNA databases is in the news, as officials in New York deliberate whether to authorize a method that could help find relatives of people charged with crimes.

Scotus Blog:

Issue: Justices Release March Calendar

The Supreme Court released its calendar for its March sitting. The calendar includes some high-profile cases – most notably, Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., the case of a transgender student who identifies as a boy and wants to be able to use the boys’ bathroom at his Virginia high school, which will be argued on March 28. The calendar also includes two cases – Murr v. Wisconsin and Microsoft Corp. v. Baker – that were granted before the death of Justice Antonin Scalia but had not yet been scheduled for oral argument. However, the third case granted before Scalia’s death, Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley, still has not yet been slated for oral argument.

New York Times:

Issue: Criminal Justice Reform – Diversion

Spared from a criminal record, if you’ve got enough cash. The promise of a second chance eludes many defendants who cannot pay.


Issue: Searching for a Remedy for Constitutional Violation on Citizenship

The issue before the justices was a U.S. citizenship law that imposes more stringent requirements on a child who is born outside the United States to an unmarried father who is a U.S. citizen than it does on an otherwise identically-situated child whose unmarried mother is a U.S. citizen.


Issue: It Ain’t Me, Babe: Researchers Find Flaws in Police Facial Recognition

Nearly half of all American adults have been entered into law enforcement facial recognition databases, according to a recent report from Georgetown University’s law school. But there are many problems with the accuracy of the technology that could have an impact on a lot of innocent people.


Issue: Jack Greenberg, Civil Rights Icon who argued Brown v. Board of Education, Dies

Jack Greenberg, one of the lawyers who argued the landmark Supreme Court case that ended federal tolerance of racial segregation in schools, died Wednesday. He was 91.


Issue: Supreme Court Hears Case On Racial Bias in Jury Deliberations

It’s only the second week of oral argument at the U.S. Supreme Court and already the justices are on their third case involving race and the criminal justice system.

Tuesday’s case tests the constitutionality of widespread rules that bar courts from examining evidence of racial bias in jury deliberations.

The New York Times:

Issue: Court Filing Accuses Texas of Misleading Voters Without IDs

Voting rights advocates accused North Carolina Republicans of mounting a procedural end run around a panel of federal appeals court judges, which had ruled that a 2013 election law targeted African-American voters “with almost surgical precision” and struck it down.

The Washington Post:

Issue: Recidivism

Breaking out of the prison cycle.  More than half of the Americans arrested under the age of 25 will be arrested again – disrupting their lives and the communities they live in.  Breaking the cycle requires a new approach to employment before and after prison.


Issue: Burden of Proof

(1) Whether a district court commits plain error by enhancing a sentence based on a divisible statute without requiring the government to meet its burden of proving that the conviction arose under a qualifying prong of that statute, as five Circuits have held, or whether on plain-error review the burden instead shifts to the defendant to affirmatively show that the alleged predicate offense did not arise under a qualifying prong of the statute, as four Circuits have held; and (2) whether the district court’s additional enhancement of Petitioner’s sentence based on a second predicate offense under the crime of violence residual clause was error in this case because that clause is unconstitutionally vague.


Issue: Double Jeopardy

The new Supreme Court term presents an unusual opening focus on criminal cases: All five cases the first week of October, and all but one the next, have their nuclei in criminal prosecutions. First up is a complicated double jeopardy question arising out of a messy political corruption prosecution in Puerto Rico.


Issue: KY Innocence Project claims prosecutors destroyed evidence that could exonerate man in 1987 murder.


Issue: Whether, when an individual consents to the search of a room he occupies, a law enforcement officer may, consistent with the Fourth Amendment, search a closed container found within that room.

Iowa v. Jackson

The Washington Post:

Issue: History making Court Appointment

President Obama picks the first Muslim nominee to be a Federal Judge

New York Times:

Issue: Technology firms fear an erosion of trust in their products.

Microsoft’s Challenge to Government Secrecy Wins Dozens of Supporters

New York Times:

Editorial:  It’s time to revise police contracts that make it almost impossible to bring officers to justice.

When Police Unions Impede Justice


Issue: Whether the jail time restriction contained in 810 Kentucky Administrative Regulation 1:015, Section 1 at Article 6(a)-(b), which prohibits purchasers of thoroughbred race horses at claiming races in Kentucky from racing or transferring their horses out of state for a prescribed time period, violates the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution by impermissibly discriminating against interstate commerce.

Jamgotchian v. Kentucky Horse Racing Comm’n 


Issue: Whether a No-impeachment rule constitutionally may bar evidence of racial bias offered to prove a violation of the Sixth Amendment right to an impartial jury.

Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado

For More Information, Please See:

Case Results
Curriculum Vitae of William M. Butler, Jr.
Continuing Legal Education Courses
Curriculum Vitae of Karen Bell, Paralegal

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