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Blog Scan

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The Quick Reaction to Citizens United:  Today on SCOTUSblog, Lyle Denniston reports that President Obama has ordered his aides "to get to work immediately with Congress" to develop "a forceful response" to the Court's ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.  President Obama issued a statement against the decision today, stating that the opinion "has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics."  Denniston comments that there may be little that the President can do to narrow or overturn the decision. He writes that Justice Kennedy's opinion in Citizens United established "a sweeping free-speech right in politics for 'special interest' bodies of all types with the concept of 'speech' clearly embracing spending money to influence election outcomes."  In short, today's decision made Congressional attempts to curb political speech through spending much more difficult.  Our Guest-Blogger, Bill Otis, also comments on the President's statement.  In related posts, Doug Berman wonders if Citizens United will impact crime and justice campaign advertising, and Tony Mauro reports that Justice Stevens struggled as he read his dissent from the bench. 

Will A New Republican Senator Shift Focus to Criminal Justice Reform?
  That's what Doug Berman wonders over at Sentencing Law and Policy as he reports that the Senate Committee has passed the National Criminal Justice Act of 2009.  According to its official report, the Act establishes a commission review of the criminal justice system. The Commission is charged with reviewing all areas of federal and state criminal justice costs, practices, and policies; making findings relating to incarceration, prison administration, the impact of gang activity, drug policy, mental illness among prisoners, and the role of the military in crime prevention; and recommending changes in policies and laws.  The Act was sponsored by a democrat, Senator Jim Webb, who has been actively pursuing criminal justice legislation.  It remains unclear from newly-elected Senator Brown's Issues page that he will be just as active in the area.

A Report on How Federal Courts Prosecute Terror Suspects:  CrimProf Blog posts a link to a Jurist article by Matt Glen on findings from a New York University Center on Law and Security report on the effectiveness of federal courts prosecuting terror suspects.  According to the report, the Department of Justice has secured convictions in 89% of its cases since 2001, probably because it is indicting those it is more likely to convict.  

1 Comment

"Tony Mauro reports that Justice Stevens struggled as he read his dissent from the bench."

I just hope that when I am 89 I can understand a SCOTUS opinion, let alone read it aloud.

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