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July 26 Digest

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, July 27, 2016

U.S. judges say California's top court is jeopardizing constitutional rights

Two federal judges warned Monday that the California Supreme Court’s practice in certain criminal cases was jeopardizing citizens’ constitutional rights. U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judges Jay S. Bybee, a George W. Bush appointee, and Stephen Reinhardt, who was elevated to the court by President Carter, expressed their frustrations in a ruling that will allow a state prisoner to challenge his detention in federal court. By Maura Dolan — Los Angeles Times

Courthouse steps listening devices not illegal, Hamilton says

A federal judge in Oakland has ruled that government agents didn't violate the Fourth Amendment when they planted audio recording devices outside courthouses in Alameda and Contra Costa counties without a warrant. U.S. District Chief Judge Phyllis Hamilton wrote that while it was "unsettling" for the devices to be planted near courthouse entrances in Oakland and Martinez, it wasn't illegal. By Ross Todd — The Recorder (sub. req.)

See also: ABA Journal


Court calls O.C. D.A.'s 'papering' of judge in jailhouse informant fallout legal but disruptive

Appellate justices ruled Monday that the Orange County District Attorney’s Office can disqualify Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals from 46 murder cases, though the justices also said the practice is abusive and disruptive of the court system. The three-member panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal asked the state Supreme Court to revisit its nearly 40-year-old precedent that allows the “blanket papering” of judges, referring to a practice in which a prosecutor or a defense attorney can demand a judge’s removal from a case.By Tony Saavedra — The Orange County Register

New Calif. law says couples can live separately under same roof

A newly signed California law acknowledges the unhappy reality to which many estranged couples can attest: You can share the same address and still be living separately. Under SB1255, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Mondayand effective in January, a married couple’s date of separation will be defined as the date that a complete and final break in the marriage has occurred, even if the couple continue living in the same home. By Bob Egelko — San Francisco Chronicle

This attorney wore a Black Lives Matter pin to court — and went to jail for it

The Ohio judge stared at Andrea Burton across the table and told the 30-year-old attorney that there had been complaints about the Black Lives Matter pin she was wearing. He didn’t allow court officials to wear political pins in his courtroom, she recalled him saying, and he asked her to remove it.By Cleve R. Wootson Jr. — The Washington Post

State intends to fight new trial ruling for Adnan Syed of 'Serial'

Maryland's attorney general intends to fight the ruling that granted a new trial for "Serial" podcast subject Adnan Syed, according to a document filed last week in the case. The state formally notified the court of its intentionsThursday and asked that any new trial proceedings be halted as that process plays out. By Justin Fenton — The Baltimore Sun

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