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Nov 19, 2019

Algorithms were supposed to make Virginia judges fairer. What actually happened was far more complicated.

We tend to assume the near-term future of automation will be built on man-machine partnerships. Our robot sidekicks will compensate for the squishy inefficiencies of the human brain, while human judgment will sand down their cold, mechanical edges. But what if the partnership, especially in the early stages, instead just accentuates the flaws of both? […]

Jul 9, 2019

Democrats question absence of black or Hispanic nominee among Trump’s 41 circuit court judges

The Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees to the circuit courts at an unprecedented fast pace, giving the Republican more than 1 out of every 5 judges on the powerful appellate branch. Not one of the 41 judges is black or Hispanic. Five of the judges are Asian American. Trump has boasted about […]

Feb 5, 2019

Two years in, Trump’s appeals court confirmations at a historic high point

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has installed a historic number of federal appeals court judges for this point of a presidency. But the immediate effect on the composition of the courts across the country is modest – and the rapid pace is unlikely to continue because of a limited number of remaining open seats. The […]

Nov 8, 2018

GOP judge releases juvenile defendants after election loss: ‘Obviously what the voters wanted’

Glenn Devlin, a District Court judge in Houston who was among 59 Republican jurists in the county who were swept out of office in a Democratic rout, released at least seven and potentially more minors who appeared before him on Wednesday, according to a witness and media reports. According to ABC 13, at least 10 […]

Mar 27, 2017

Commentary: Magistrates face the future – the case for local justice in New York

Town and village justices, many of them non-lawyers elected in light turnout contests and sitting in small courtrooms in their hometowns, are the face of the New York justice system. Despite legal challenges, occasional gaffes by the few and a swirl of constitutional litigation, these judges resolve more than a million traffic violations, misdemeanor complaints, […]

Mar 22, 2017

Analysis: American judges are just as partisan as everyone else

“There’s no such thing as a Republican judge or a Democratic judge,” Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch stated in his Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday, “we just have judges in this country.” Judges aren’t “politicians in robes,” he said a day earlier. The remarks in Tuesday’s hearing came in response to a question about whether he’d [&[...]

Mar 10, 2017

Justice Sotomayor laments perception of judges as political

BERKELEY, Calif. — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said Thursday that she is saddened to see that many people have lost confidence in judges and believe they are political. Sotomayor made the comments while taking questions from law students at the University of California, Berkeley. The school’s interim law school dean, Melissa Murray, served […]

Mar 3, 2017

Legal Loop: Massachusetts on judges using Twitter

These days, nearly everyone is on social media. But what about judges? Do the ethical obligations unique to their role prevent them from participating on social media sites like Twitter? It’s an interesting question, and a number of jurisdictions have already addressed it. In November, Massachusetts joined their ranks when it issued CJE Opinion No. […]

Feb 13, 2017

Trump attacks on judiciary raise safety concerns for judges

SEATTLE — When a judge who helped derail President Donald Trump’s travel ban was hit with online threats, the abuse raised safety concerns among jurists across the country, and experts are worried that the president’s own attacks on the judiciary could make judges a more inviting target. U.S. District Judge James Robart imposed the temporary […]

Feb 9, 2017

Judges’ response to Trump criticism: Silence

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s unusually personal criticism of federal judges has drawn rebukes from many quarters, including from Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, but not from the judges themselves. And that’s not likely to change, even if the tweeter in chief keeps up his attacks on judges. Bolstered by lifetime tenure, independent judges should […]

Jan 3, 2017

Supreme Court may circumscribe power of lay judges

New York has approximately 2,150 town and village court judges. Of those, 1,450 or nearly 70% are nonlawyers. That is the greatest number and highest percentage in the country. For years the media, good government groups, and even the Office of Court Administration have chronicled how these judges of “tiny courts” have engaged in “abuses […]

Apr 28, 2015

Commentary: Oh, the places judges go!

A U.S. Supreme Court opinion cited Dr. Seuss for the first time on Feb. 25, five days before what would have been his 101st birthday. The case was Yates v. United States, a name that has a nice Seussian rhyme (No. 13-7451). Yates interpreted a federal statute making it illegal for a person to knowingly […]

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