Removing State Criminal Charges to Federal Court

Every law student learns that state civil cases may be “removed” to federal court under certain conditions – usually when the case presents a question of federal law, or the parties are residents of different states. See 28 U.S.C. § 1446. But until recently, I had never heard of a state criminal case being removed to federal court. Former President Trump and several members of his administration have requested exactly that, and there are federal statutes that allow for it under limited circumstances. This post digs a little more deeply into the removal of criminal cases.

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Public Access to the Mar-a-Lago Search Warrant (and Other Federal Search Warrants and Related Documents)

Last week, the FBI searched former President Trump’s home at the Mar-a-Lago Club pursuant to a search warrant. At first none of the relevant documents were publicly available. The application, the warrant itself, and the inventory were all sealed. The Government, with the consent of former President Trump, later moved to unseal the warrant and the inventory. That motion was granted and anyone can access the now-public documents here. The application remains under seal, though members of the news media have moved to unseal it. Because several people asked me about public access to federal search warrants and related documents, and because the process isn’t exactly the same as it is under state law, I thought I’d do a post comparing state and federal law on this issue.

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The 2016 Election

Wow. That was a surprise. Donald Trump has been elected to serve as the nation’s 45th president, defying the outcome nearly all the experts predicted, in what The Washington Post called a “shocking ending” to a “traumatic campaign.”

President-elect Trump carried North Carolina by 3.8 percentage points over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. That’s an impressive margin for a state that Republican nominee Mitt Romney carried by 2.2 percent over President Obama in 2012, and which Obama won by less than a percentage point in 2008.

What impact will a Trump presidency have on the legal issues discussed in this blog? 

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