Rubin Returns

Posted May 24, 2005 at 6:38pm

Former Clinton administration Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin will meet privately with House Democrats today to discuss the ongoing battle over Social Security reform. [IMGCAP(1)]

Rubin, one of the Democrats’ leading experts on economic issues, is expected to counsel the Democrats on how to address the issue going forward. Democrats have been waging a massive political and public relations offensive against GOP efforts to revise Social Security and attempts to privatize any part of the system.

“Bob Rubin was Treasury secretary at a time when the federal government added money to the Social Security trust fund and improved the system’s overall finances,” said a Democratic leadership aide. “We want to hear his ideas on strengthening Social Security, as President [Bill] Clinton did, instead of privatizing it.”

Hearing Delayed. Civil commitment proceedings for alleged Capitol Police shooter Russell Weston Jr. have been delayed a second time, and proceedings are now scheduled for August.

Federal Judge Earl Britt agreed to a May 12 request from Assistant Federal Public Defender G. Alan DuBois that sought additional time for an independent mental health examiner to review Weston’s case. According to court documents, the examiner, Seymour Halleck, also required time to attend to a family matter.

The hearing, which will determine whether Weston will be committed to a mental institution, had initially been scheduled for April.

Weston, a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, is charged in the July 1998 shootings that killed Capitol Police Officer Jacob Chestnut and Detective John Gibson.

Criminal prosecution against West was put on hold indefinitely in November, when a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia agreed to the prosecutors’ request to pursue civil commitment proceedings.

The request followed nearly three years of court-ordered medication that had been intended to render Weston competent to stand trial.

Weston is currently housed in the Federal Correction Institute in Butner, N.C.

Because federal law requires civil commitment proceedings to take place in the district where a defendant is confined, Weston’s hearing is scheduled in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

— Erin P. Billings and Jennifer Yachnin