News Roundup

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan died on Sunday.  The L.A. Times has full coverage of her death here.  As noted in this article, Reagan was influential in the anti-drug policies of Ronald Reagan’s presidency and is responsible for the “Just Say No” slogan that is recognized across the nation.  Reagan lies in repose at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library ahead of a funeral scheduled for today.  More news after the break:

Juvenile Sex Offenders.  This article in the New Yorker discusses the consequences of being on a sex-offender registry for juveniles who have been convicted of sex crimes.  The article traces the historical development of modern sex-offender registries and describes the experiences of a few juvenile offenders who have had to register.  One of the many points made in the discussion of this complex issue is that modern cellphone technology has made it relatively easy for young people to find themselves charged with serious crimes as the result of sharing nude pictures amongst themselves.  LaToya has previously blogged about the potential criminal charges that could result from “sexting.”

Heroin.  The New York Times reports that heroin use is increasingly visible in public because the drug is “cheap and widely available on city streets throughout the country.”  The article indicates that the heroin epidemic “has grown largely out of dependence on legal opioid painkillers” and is spreading into new areas.  NPR’s Fresh Air has a story of one woman’s journey into and out of a heroin addiction that reportedly began after she was prescribed opioids.

The report in the New York Times notes that law enforcement agencies and emergency medical workers are now carrying the opioid antidote Narcan (a brand name for naloxone) in order to save people who have overdosed.  Last year the News Roundup reported on North Carolina legislation that increased law enforcement access to naloxone.  The Winston-Salem Journal reports that the city’s police officers have used it to save seven people since September.

Trump on 3d Circuit Court of Appeals.  The Washington post has an article this week profiling senior Third Circuit Court of Appeals judge Maryanne Trump Barry, who happens to be Donald Trump’s sister.  Barry previously was the chair of the Criminal Law Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States, and is reportedly widely respected among those who are familiar with her work as an appellate judge.

Supreme Court Candidates.  NPR reports that President Obama has begun interviewing candidates for the vacant seat on the Supreme Court.  One can only assume that Obama did not tell these people why he wanted to talk to them because almost everybody else who has gotten wind of a rumor that he or she may be considered for the post has withdrawn from consideration.  Withdrawal stories are available here, here, and here.

Richard Posner, a judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, has an op-ed in the Washington Post where he argues that the Supreme Court is “not an ordinary court court but a political court” meaning that it is “a court strongly influenced in making its decisions by the political beliefs of the judges.”  Posner says that the influence of political beliefs on decision making in the Supreme Court is a natural consequence of the fact that “there are no settled principles for resolving the most difficult and consequential legal controversies.”

Lucky Judge.  The ABA Journal reports that a Pennsylvania judge, James Stocklas, won part of a $291 million Powerball jackpot last week.  Seeing how Stocklas is a judge and all, I’m sure that his group drew up a precise joint purchase agreement before buying the ticket on a fishing trip in the Florida Keys.  The money won’t change Stocklas though, he has valiantly pledged to stay on the bench by “fill[ing] in” when “the court is in a jam, if they need somebody.”


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