The SOG is closed for a holiday tomorrow, so the News Roundup is coming to you a day early. This week’s top news story is the bombing of the airport and a metro station in Brussels. USA Today has full coverage of the attack here. Three explosions were reported and at least 34 people were confirmed dead in the attack at the time of writing. According to USA Today, the Islamic State has taken credit for the attack and Belgium’s federal prosecutor confirmed that the bombings were the work of terrorists. WRAL has a story about a local man who was in Brussels Airport and survived the bombing. Keep reading for more news.
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President Obama announced that he has selected Merrick B. Garland as his nominee for the vacant seat on the Supreme Court. The New York Times has an overview article about the nomination that states that it “sets in motion a standoff that is likely to play out for many months, perhaps without resolution.” Garland is currently serving as the chief judge of the District of Columbia Circuit, and reportedly is broadly respected for his work. A range of news outlets have published pieces on Garland’s background. The Obama administration’s is here; The Chicago Tribune’s is here; Newsweek’s is here; The Atlantic’s is here. The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog has a collection of reactions to the nomination from people in the legal field here. Hit the break for more news.
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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died during the weekend at a hunting ranch in Texas. As the Washington Post reports, his unexpected death has enormous political and legal consequences. Some conservative politicians have argued that President Obama should not nominate a successor for Scalia’s seat on the court because the vacancy comes in the last year of Obama’s presidency. Obama has indicated that he will nominate a candidate because he has a constitutional responsibility to do so. More after the break:
The New Hampshire presidential primary happened Tuesday. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders won the contest for their respective parties. Politico reports that the New Hampshire results forecast an intense battle in the coming months for the presidential nomination in each political party. There was not any sports news whatsoever this week, so let’s take a look at the legal news:
The AOC announced here that 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of North Carolina’s unified court system, the Administrative Office of the Courts, and the district courts. Next year, the Court of Appeals celebrates its 50th anniversary while the superior court marks 240 years of existence. The Supreme Court will have been around for two centuries in 2019. For the few who forgot these important milestones, shame on you but there’s still time to do something nice for the court or administrative office that holds a special place in your heart – maintain proper decorum in the courtroom, strive to preserve the record for appellate review, clarify and reorganize those statutes that the court has been grumbling about. Here’s to all the folks who work hard to keep our court system running smoothly. Let’s roundup the other news of the week:
The anti-government occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge appears to be winding down this week with The Oregonian reporting here that the “ragtag remnants” of the occupying group seem to be surrendering or leaving. The dissolution of the occupation follows the arrests earlier this week of the group’s leaders and the killing of the group’s de facto spokesman. In other news:
Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Americans across the nation observed the national holiday and celebrated Dr. King’s contribution to the Civil Rights Movement. ABC 11 reports here that N.C. State professor Jason Miller launched a website that contains a restored recording of a November 1962 speech that King delivered in Rocky Mount. The website explains that King first delivered the famous “I have a dream” refrain during the Rocky Mount speech. The tape recording of the speech was stored for nearly 50 years before being discovered in a library in 2013. The analog tape was digitally restored and the nearly hour-long speech is now available for listening on the website. Continue reading →
My colleagues and I have been busy orienting new district court judges this week, so I haven’t paid much attention to events taking place outside the confines of the Knapp-Sanders building. But that hasn’t stopped the criminal news from coming. Here are the highlights: Continue reading →
Michael Brown. Eric Garner. Walter Scott. Freddie Gray. The past year has been dominated by news of encounters between police officers and unarmed black citizens that have resulted in tragedy. Sandra Bland is the latest name on the list. She died in jail from what is reported to be a self-inflicted hanging, but the videotape of the traffic stop that led to her arrest has many questioning why the encounter, which began with an officer stopping Bland for failing to use her turn signal, ever resulted in her arrest.
In an odd turn of events for the person known as the “champion of the falsely accused,” WRAL reports that Christine Mumma was accused herself this week by the North Carolina State Bar of violating the Rules of Professional Conduct. Mumma serves as executive director and legal counsel for the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence. The allegations arise from Mumma’s work to free Joseph Sledge, who spent thirty-six years behind bars for the killing of a mother and her daughter in Bladen County in 1976 before he was exonerated last January. Continue reading →