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Legal Affairs Archive

Why the Senate's Pro-Business Agenda Should Club Patent Trolls | Commentary

It has been one year since the House of Representatives passed legislation to protect businesses from the scourge of the digital age: patent trolls. Yet in that year, as the Senate allowed patent reform legislation to languish in committee, trolls have continued to extort legitimate businesses, collectively draining $80 billion from the U.S. economy.

Congress Must Demilitarize Our Police Forces If the President Will Not | Commentary

Two police officers in two weeks have escaped indictment for the death of two unarmed black men. News broke on Dec. 3 that Officer Daniel Pantaleo of New York, like Officer Darren Wilson of Ferguson, Mo., will not face trial for a death caused by his actions. Perhaps coincidentally, this news comes closely on the heels of the Obama administration’s reveal of its plan to address police militarization. The verdict is now in for the president’s plan — it is nowhere near good enough.

Et tu, DOJ? Will Loretta Lynch Ignore IRS Fraud as AG as She Did in Her Own Backyard? | Commentary

On November 7, 2011, Congressman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., sent a letter to Brooklyn-based U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch echoing his concerns about a former ACORN group, “New York Communities for Change” and its alleged “fraud through its participation in the Occupy Wall Street protests.” Issa asked Lynch to investigate potential fraud by the progressive nonprofit group. Lynch, to date, has failed to take action.

Obama's Immigration Actions Test Presidential Power

President Barack Obama’s sweeping immigration executive actions will once again test the limits of his legal authority to take action without Congress.

GOP Lawsuit on Immigration Order Viewed With Skepticism

Republican lawmakers would have to vault high legal hurdles to succeed in getting federal courts to stop President Barack Obama’s sweeping immigration action, constitutional law experts say.

Supreme Court Pits People v. Politics Again | Commentary

Political games are de rigueur in Washington and the Supreme Court is no exception. With its grant of review in King v. Burwell, the nation’s highest court has set the stage for yet another Affordable Care Act showdown.

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Rangel Still Fighting to Clear His Name

Four years after the House censured Rep. Charles B. Rangel on ethics charges, the 23-term Democrat from New York is still fighting to wipe that from the record—literally.

Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Senate Filibusters

The Supreme Court won’t hear a challenge to the constitutionality of the Senate’s filibuster, a decision that one group says could make it impossible to question the Senate’s rules in the federal courts.

Recalling the Injustice Done to Sen. Ted Stevens | Commentary

Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska was among the more powerful men in Washington exactly six years ago, as he wound down his seventh term and began a run for likely re-election. He was the longest-serving Senate Republican in history and his reputation among those who knew him well was impeccable.

Alice Ruling Not Enough to Stop Patent Trolls | Commentary

Imagine this scenario: You’re an app developer, trying to create a small business in your free time. You push your app to the Apple iTunes store and the Android Marketplace and you start seeing some modest success. Then comes the patent troll threat: a dense 100-plus-page document, full of legalese and nearly impossible to understand, threatening a lawsuit for “patent infringement” in federal court if you don’t pay up, either in cash right away or by promising away a percentage of your future profits.

Turning Up the Volume on Music Issues | Commentary

When you think of the great music cities of America, what comes to mind? Los Angeles? Nashville? New York City? Brookside, Rhode Island?

Clinton Library Papers Show Kagan Dropping an F-Bomb

Papers from the Clinton White House released Friday detail much of the behind-the-scenes legal work of the White House as President Bill Clinton dealt with multiple scandals and controversies in his second term.

What the McDonnell Verdict May Mean Going Forward | Commentary

The successful prosecution of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell last month was a huge win for the Department of Justice in general, and the Public Integrity Section in particular.

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Republicans Mum After Court Declines Same-Sex Marriage Cases

Just over a year ago, Rep. Tim Huelskamp reacted strongly when the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act.

Balancing Scales of Justice for Whistleblowers | Commentary

Pressure to go along to get along starts early in life. A student who tells the teacher about playground misbehaviors may face taunts as a tattletale. Teens feel social pressure not to report mischief by their peers. Later in life, employees fear reprisals or retaliation for raising questions about workplace wrongdoing. Unfortunately, there’s a pervasive institutional mindset to muzzle whistleblowers from reporting what they know.

With Friends Like the NRA, Who Needs Enemies? | Commentary

Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., recently found out how fickle his former allies in the gun lobby can be.

It's Time for an Asian-Pacific American Attorney General | Commentary

With the resignation of Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., the president must nominate a highly qualified successor who will inspire confidence, and lead with grace and thoughtful decisiveness. That nominee must also be one likely to be confirmed by a Senate that may shift to Republican leadership in November.

Beyond the Red Carpet | Commentary

I’m in Washington this week to attend Behind the Red Carpet, an event hosted by Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., co-chairwoman of the Creative Rights Caucus. The event aims to bring the story — and the people — behind our film and television productions to lawmakers on the Hill. As we tell our personal stories in Washington, D.C., we also hope to share some of the greatest concerns facing our industry today.

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Stalled Georgia Judicial Nominee Presents a Dilemma for Senate Democrats

The troubled judicial nomination of Michael P. Boggs is stuck in the Senate Judiciary Committee as the days grow short for congressional action this year, and the panel is moving other nominations ahead of his.

Stopgap Could Mean More Juggling for Border Agencies

Days after Congress skipped out of Washington for recess last month, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced plans to shift some $400 million in funding from other agency programs to manage the Southwest border crisis.

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