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What Hit Texas' Court System Tuesday: 'Black Girl Magic'

19 African-American women ran for judge positions in Harris County; all 19 won

(Newser) - The most populous county in Texas got hit with some "black girl magic" on Tuesday—which is why you'll now see a whole bunch of proud female African-American judges on the bench going forward. While much of the nation was hyperfocused on another race in Texas—that of...

McConnell to Trump: Popular Supreme Court Pick a Bad Idea

The Republican leader sees problems with Brett Kavanaugh

(Newser) - Mitch McConnell has been calling the White House daily, and not to discuss President Trump's golf game . McConnell has been carefully explaining—without explicitly telling Trump what to do—which Supreme Court nominees would get faster approval before the November elections arrive and make everything dicey, insiders tell the...

Trump Administration Hands Immigration Judges a Number

DOJ sets production quota for them

(Newser) - The Trump administration has introduced production quotas for immigration judges in an effort to reduce enormous court backlogs, raising concern among judges and attorneys that decisions may be unfairly rushed. The Justice Department's Executive Office for Immigration Review said judges must complete 700 cases a year to earn a...

Maldives Declares 15-Day State of Emergency

Former leader, 2 judges arrested

(Newser) - The Maldives opposition leader and two Supreme Court judges were arrested early Tuesday, hours after the government declared an emergency in the Indian Ocean nation that has been increasingly in turmoil in the days since the court ordered several jailed politicians to be freed. The charges against opposition leader Maumoon...

White House Gives Up on 2 Controversial Nominations

Talley, Mateer will not be moving forward

(Newser) - One is a former ghost hunter who has never tried a case. The other described transgender children as "Satan's spawn." Neither man is going to become a federal judge. A White House official tells Politico that the administration will not be moving forward with the nominations of...

3 Judges to Decide Fate of Travel Ban Over the Phone

DOJ urges 9th Circuit to restore 'lawful' order

(Newser) - Three judges will decide the future of President Trump's travel ban on Tuesday—and the Justice Department has urged them to restore it as soon as possible. A federal appeals court will hear around 30 minutes of arguments from each side in a hearing scheduled for 6pm EST, NPR...

Judge: I'm 'Mortified' by What It Took to Win Seat

Alabama's Sue Bell Cobb says money is fouling our justice system

(Newser) - Sue Bell Cobb served as chief justice on Alabama's Supreme Court from 2007 to 2011, and while this may be a shining personal achievement for her, Cobb is also "mortified" by what she had to do to win the seat. Essentially, beg for money. As she explains in...

Judges' $1M Maui Trip Turns Heads in Congress

Ninth Circuit conference would include full-service spa

(Newser) - US senators are scrutinizing a planned Maui getaway for circuit court judges that could cost more than $1 million in taxpayer dollars, Fox News reports. Scheduled for August, the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference would allow judges, attorneys, staff, and "special guests" to stay at a Hyatt Regency resort spa...

Special Interests Hold Sway in Judicial Elections: Adam Cohen
 Special Interests 
 Control Our Judges 
study says

Special Interests Control Our Judges

Campaign cash compromises their integrity: Adam Cohen

(Newser) - It’s not just legislative and executive elections that are unfairly influenced by big money. America needs to wake up to the power of special interests in judicial elections, writes Adam Cohen in Time . A new study sees “big business, corporate lobbyists, and trial lawyers” spending cash to get...

Judges Really Like to Quote Bob Dylan

Even Chief Justice Roberts has cited his lyrics

(Newser) - When judges want to give their opinions a lyrical flourish, many turn first to Bob Dylan. He’s the most-cited musician in court opinions and briefs, experts tell the Los Angeles Times . That’s because his early songs give voice to political and legal concerns—and they emerged when today’...

As Threats Soar, Court Officials Pack Heat

Judges, prosecutors hire guards, carry guns after string of slayings

(Newser) - Judges and prosecutors are facing a huge upswing in threats, driving many to carry guns or get 24-hour guard protection, the Washington Post reports. Threats against federal court officials have jumped from 592 to 1,278 in the past 6 years. “I live with a constant heightened sense of...

Spain's Human Rights Probes Spark Backlash

(Newser) - Judges in Spain are pressing human rights cases against top officials around the world, prompting threats abroad and criticisms at home, the Washington Post reports. Invoking so-called universal jurisdiction, judges are probing 16 cases, including US approval of torture and Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip. But nervous Spanish lawmakers...

Paula Will Face Dancing Judges
 Paula Will Face Dancing Judges 

Paula Will Face Dancing Judges

American Idol jurist adds new primetime gig

(Newser) - Prepare to savor the sweet redemption of a judge—albeit a nice one—being judged: Paula Abdul is “very excited” to be a contestant on next season's Dancing with the Stars, Radar reports. The singer-turned-American Idol judge made no secret of the fact that she was “shopping around”...

Obama Court Would Threaten Foundation of US Democracy

'Left-wing ideologue' threatens representative governance if elected

(Newser) - Before electing a “left-wing ideologue,” Americans should reconsider who “moderate-posing” Barack Obama would put on the Supreme Court, Edward Whelan writes in the National Review. The Democrat will select ultra-liberals for a bench already “markedly to the left of the American public,” he cautions: “...

Oktoberfest Brews Gotta Be 'Poundable'
 Oktoberfest Brews 
 Gotta Be 'Poundable' 

Oktoberfest Brews Gotta Be 'Poundable'

A tasting panel names the best in Bavarian style

(Newser) - To wash down sausages, sauerkraut, and pretzels, Oktoberfest beer must flow like a dinner wine: "Worthy of attention without demanding to be the center of attention," writes Eric Asimov in the New York Times. And with festive consumption measured in liters, it must also be "poundable."...

American Idol Adds Fourth Judge
American Idol Adds Fourth Judge

American Idol Adds Fourth Judge

Songwriter Kara DioGuardi to join Cowell and company

(Newser) - American Idol is getting a fourth judge this season, marking what the New York Post calls the biggest change TV’s top show has ever undergone. Songwriter Kara DioGuardi will join Simon, Paula, and Randy, in a move producers say they always intended. All of Idol’s international counterparts feature...

Pakistan Rivals Agree to Debate Fate of Judges

Bhutto's widower becomes frontrunner for Sept. 6 election

(Newser) - Pakistan's rival parties will debate next week whether to reinstate judges fired by ousted President Musharraf, a sign of compromise on an issue that has threatened to dissolve the ruling coalition, Reuters reports. Meanwhile, the nation's biggest party, the PPP, has nominated Benazir Bhutto's widower, Asif Ali Zardari, to replace...

Mexico Overhauls Justice System
 Mexico Overhauls
Justice System

Mexico Overhauls Justice System

Calderon signs sweeping reforms

(Newser) - Sweeping reforms of Mexico's criminal justice system were signed into law by President Felipe Calderon yesterday. US-style public trials and presumption of innocence will replace Mexico's slow, closed-door system that proceeds almost exclusively through briefs, reports the Washington Post. The reforms also give investigators power to hold suspects 80 days...

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