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Tag: supreme court

NY Times Reporter James Risen Goes to Supreme Court Over Confidential Sources

Reporter James Risen

By LUCY MCCALMONT
Politico

WASHINGTON — Lawyers for New York Times reporter James Risen have filed a petition to the Supreme Court on Monday to request that the court take up his case to recognize reporter’s privilege.

It is the latest development in the ongoing battle Risen faces against the the government over confidential sources. Former CIA Officer Jeffrey Sterling has been accused of leaking information to Risen on the agency’s operations. The government is seeking Risen’s testimony in a separate case against Sterling. An earlier decision by the 4th Circuit in 2013 stated Risen was not entitled to reporter’s privilege.

In the petition filed Monday, Risen’s representation said that due to confusion and conflict in prior interpretations regarding both Risen’s and similar cases, the Supreme Court should take up the case.

To read more click here. 

 

Read court filing. 

 

Supreme Court Case Pits Protesters’ Rights to Be Heard Against Politicians

The Daily Astoria 
Editorial

Can political protests be restricted so that political leaders don’t have to listen?

This is one way of framing the issue before the U.S. Supreme Court when it considers this term whether Secret Service agents were right in ordering protesters to be removed from President George W. Bush’s sight and hearing during a 2004 visit to Jacksonville in southern Oregon.

The other main way to view the matter is whether the Secret Service has unquestionable discretion to ensure the president’s safety by keeping obvious opponents much farther away than they keep obvious supporters.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit – the second-highest level of federal court – was seriously split on this question in a decision released in February. A majority of the 28 judges ruled that a lawsuit can proceed against the agents who required protesters to be moved more than twice as far away from the president than supporters. The Obama administration, supporting the agents, asked Supreme Court justices to consider quashing the lawsuit.

To read more click here.

Appeals Court Rules NY Times Reporter James Risen Must Testify: He Says He’d Rather Go to Jail

Reporter James Risen

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — James Risen, a hard-hitting New York Times reporter, continues to have his feet held to the fire.

A U.S. Appeals Court in Richmond, Va. on Friday ruled that the reporter and author must testify in a criminal trial of a former CIA officer accused of providing classified information to Risen about a botched plot against the Iranian government, USA Today reports.

The court ruled that  the First Amendment did not protect reporters in cases of unauthorized leaks from testifying against the suspected leakers.

Risen has vowed to appeal the ruling to Supreme Court and go to jail if necessary.

The ruling comes in wake of a controversial move by the Justice Department to secretly obtain Associated Press reporters’ phone records, and a vow by the Justice Department to be more sensitive to the work reporters do.

“The subpoena for Risen’s testimony was not issued in bad faith or for the purpose of harassment,” the court’s majority concluded. “Risen is not being called upon to give information bearing only a remote and tenuous relationship to the subject of the investigation, and there is no reason to believe that his testimony implicates confidential source relationship without a legitimate need of law enforcement.”

The latest ruling has triggered much talk among journalists here in the nation’s capital.

The New York Times writes:

Mr. Risen is a national security reporter for The Times, but the case revolves around material he published in his 2006 book, “State of War,” not in the newspaper. A chapter in the book recounted efforts by the C.I.A. in the Clinton administration to trick Iranian scientists by having a Russian defector give them blueprints for a nuclear triggering device that had been altered with an error. The chapter portrays the operation as reckless and botched in a way that could have helped the Iranians gain accurate information.

Privacy Rights Group Sues Federal Government Over NSA Surveillance Program

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A privacy rights group is suing the Obama administration over its NSA surveillance program, the USA Today reports.

The Electronic Privacy Center has taken the case to the Supreme Court to argue the program is unconstitutional.

In its petition to the court, the group said the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ‘exceeded its statutory jurisdiction when it ordered production of millions of domestic telephone records that cannot plausibly be relevant to an authorized investigation.”

The Obama administration already is catching staunch criticism for its widespread surveillance of phone and email records.

The NSA leaker, Edward Snowden, is believed to still be in a Moscow airport in legal limbo.

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Fed Prosecutors Want Ex-Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway Behind Bars

Ex-Judge Diane Hathaway

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT – Prosecutors want disgraced ex-Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway to serve time behind bars for bank fraud.

In a sentencing memorandum filed Thursday in federal court, the U.S. Attorney’s office recommended that Hathaway serve 12 to 18 months under the sentencing guidelines. Sentencing is set for Tuesday at 2 p.m. in U.S. District Court in Ann Arbor.

“Such a sentence would serve to adequately punish the defendant for her methodical, thoughtful, and sophisticated criminal conduct that spanned over two years and caused approximately $100,000 in losses to a financial institution,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel L. Lemisch and Patrick Hurford wrote. “In addition, this sentence would deter the defendant and others from future criminal conduct and, in particular, economic crime.”

Hathaway, 58, pleaded guilty in January to a real estate scheme in which she transferred properties out of her name to make it look as if she had less assets, all so she could get a short sale on her Grosse Pointe Park home and get out of $600,000 she owed the bank, ING Direct. The original mortgage was $1.4 million and the home was sold for $800,000 in the short sale.

Under the short sale, the loss to the bank was approximately $100,000, according to the government. The government noted that she did bring $10,000 to the closing for the short sale as a closing fee, bringing the actual loss to $90,000.

To read the full story click here.

Read sentencing memorandum. 

Michigan Supreme Court Judge Diane Hathaway Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Diane Hathaway must have wanted to pinch herself, wake up from the nightmare and return to her prestigious perch in life, sitting on the state Supreme Court.

She couldn’t have imagined it would have ended like this.

But here she was, the daughter of a Detroit cop, educated in the city, standing in disgrace Tuesday morning in federal court in Ann Arbor, like a common defendant, pleading guilty to bank fraud as a gallery full of media members looked on including Ross Jones of WXYZ, who broke the story about her financial scheme. Her husband Michael J. Kingsley, an attorney, was also on hand as was U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade.

U.S. District Judge John Corbett O’Meara set sentencing for May 28 at 2 p.m. She faces up to 18 months, but could conceivably get probation.

Hathaway pleaded guilty to a real estate scheme in which she transferred properties out of her name to make it look as if she had less assets, all so she could get a short sale on her Grosse Pointe Park home and get out of $600,000 she owed the bank. The original mortgage was $1.4 million.

To read more click here.

End of the Road: Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Ex-Rep. William Jefferson’s Appeal

Opening statements in Jefferson trial/courtesy of Art Lien/NBC News

 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
It looks as if it’s the end of the road for Louisiana’s ex-Rep. William Jefferson, who is in prison serving a 13-year sentence for a public corruption conviction.

Bruce Alpert, the star reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, reports that the U.S. Supreme Court Monday refused to take the appeal of Jefferson’s 2009 corruption conviction.

Jefferson, 65, is serving his sentence in Beaumont, Tex., and isn’t set to be released until 2023.

To read more click here.

 

Ex-Rep. William Jefferson of Money-in-the-Freezer Fame Wants Supreme Court To Hear His Case

exRep. Jefferson at sentencing in 2009 /Sketch by Art Lien/NBC News

By Bruce Alpert
New Orleans Times-Picayune

WASHINGTON — in what is likely the last chance to overturn his 13-year prison sentence for public corruption, former Rep. William Jefferson is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to schedule arguments on whether the trial judge gave an overly expansive definition of a congressman’s duties.

The question is central, attorneys for Jefferson said in a filing Wednesday, because the congressman was convicted almost entirely on bribery and bribery-related charges that require the government to show the defendant performed an “official act” in return for something of value.

To read the full story click here.

 

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