legal-affairs

Corrine Brown Asks for Mercy at Sentencing Hearing
Judge calls case a ‘complicated stew’

Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown walks to the federal courthouse in Jacksonville, Florida, during her trial on federal fraud and tax charges in May. She’ll learn her fate when a judge announces her sentence next month. (Bob Self/The Florida Times-Union via AP file photo)

Hoping to avoid prison, former Florida Rep. Corrine Brownasked for mercy during her sentencing hearing Thursday.

Brown also asked that U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan consider her years of public service, the Florida Times-Union reported.

Grassley Prepares to Bypass Franken to Move Trump Appeals Court Nominee
Rejects policy of allowing blue slip to be used as a veto

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is announcing his interpretation of the “blue slip” policy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley is ready to move forward with President Donald Trump’s appellate judicial nominees, even when home-state senators have formal objections.

Grassley is going to move ahead with confirmation hearings for Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras to be a judge on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Politico reported ahead of a formal announcement by the chairman.

Senate Ethics Committee Could Get Real Busy, Real Soon
Inquiries of Franken, Menendez and maybe Roy Moore loom

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken likely faces a Senate Ethics Committee investigation, which even he has requested at this point. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate Ethics Committee may soon become one of the most active panels in the chamber.

It is all but assured the committee will investigate allegations that Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken groped and kissed a Los Angeles news anchor during a 2006 USO tour. (Franken was not a U.S. senator at the time.) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Franken himself have all called for the panel to take up the case.

Judge Declares Mistrial in Menendez Case
Jurors said they were deadlocked on all counts

Sen. Robert Menendez has occasionally been at the Capitol while on trial in New Jersey. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A federal judge is declaring a mistrial in the federal corruption case against Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, after a New Jersey jury was declared hopelessly deadlocked on all counts.

That’s according to a defense attorney, who informed reporters at the courthouse.

Senators Unlike Judicial Nominee’s Tweets
Judiciary Committee not amused by Don Willett’s social media output

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett, nominated for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A darling of #AppellateTwitter, Don Willett is a Texas Supreme Court justice whose wit earned 104,000 followers on the social media website before President Donald Trump nominated him to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.

But the Senate Judiciary Committee took a bit of shine off the Lone Star State’s officially designated “Tweeter Laureate” on Wednesday, when senators tore into him for some tweets and even told Willett it would be a good idea to just stop tweeting altogether.

Sessions Defends His Reputation in First House Testimony
“I will not accept, and reject accusations I have ever lied”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions arrives to testify before a House Judiciary hearing Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions vigorously defended himself Tuesday against “false charges” that he was untruthful in previous testimony about his role in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and any connections to Russian operatives.

“I will not accept, and reject accusations I have ever lied,” Sessions told the House Judiciary Committee during an oversight hearing stretching for five-and-a-half hours. “That is a lie.”

Sessions Defends His Reputation in First House Testimony
‘I will not accept, and reject accusations I have ever lied’

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is sworn into a House Judiciary Committee hearing in Rayburn Building on oversight of the Department of Justice on November 14, 2017, where he fielded questions on Russian meddling in the 2016 election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions vigorously defended himself Tuesday against “false charges” that he was untruthful in previous testimony about his role in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and any connections to Russian operatives.

“I will not accept, and reject accusations I have ever lied,” Sessions told the House Judiciary Committee during an oversight hearing lasting more than 5 hours. “That is a lie.”

Rand Paul Hires Personal Injury Attorney
Senator returned to Capitol Hill on Monday after assault by neighbor

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., tells Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., right, he is unable to shake hands because of his broken ribs. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has hired a personal injury attorney after an assault at his home in Bowling Green earlier this month.

Thomas Kerrick, of the firm Kerrick Bachert Law, is representing the Republican senator, Newsweek reported.

Congress’ Gun Massacre Caucus
Dealing with mass shootings is becoming all too familiar for many members

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, center left, with Rep. Mark Sanford to his right and then-Gov. Nikki Haley, second from right, attend a memorial service commemorating the anniversary of the 2015 mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images file photo)

On Dec. 14, 2012, Elizabeth Esty was attending a social media workshop for new members of Congress at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She had been elected to represent Connecticut’s 5th District a month earlier.

“I raised my hand and I said, ‘Here’s an example right now — I’m getting texts and alerts that there’s been a shooting and we don’t know what happened,’” she said.

Trump on Course for Least Diverse Judicial Picks Since Reagan
President’s nominees have been overwhelmingly white and male

Greg Katsas was nominated by President Donald Trump for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He is seen here during his confirmation hearing last month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump’s picks for federal judgeships reflect a strikingly different direction when it comes to diversity on the bench — it is the most white and male group of nominees in recent history.

So far, 91 percent of Trump’s 58 judicial nominees for district and appeals courts are white, a pace that would make his appointees the least diverse since the Reagan administration, according to statistics compiled by the liberal advocacy group Alliance for Justice. Only 19 percent of his picks are women, a pace that would make his appointees the most male since the George H.W. Bush administration.