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Supreme Court Jolt

“It is a
jolt to the legal system when you overrule a precedent.”
Chief Justice Roberts at his 2005 confirmation hearings


Overturning its own precedents the Supreme Court yesterday removed limits on corporate campaign spending citing the First Amendment free speech rights of corporations.

In dissenting from the majority in Citizens United v. FEC Justice Stevens wrote “Under the majority’s view, I suppose it may be a First Amendment
problem that corporations are not permitted to vote, given that voting
is, among other things, a form of speech.”

Dahlia Lithwick has the story here.

Drawing of the Week

The winning drawing of the week didn’t make it to broadcast.  It is a sketch of defense attorney Steven Kupferberg from Thursday’s McKenzie-Gude sentencing “mini-trial” done in anticipation of his cross-examination of the star witness, Patrick Yevsukov, but court adjourned for the day before Kupferberg had a shot at the witness.

The Week in Review


On Tuesday the Supreme Court heard arguments in U.S. v. Comstock on whether the Federal government can authorize the civil commitment of sexual predators. WaPo story here.

On Wednesday Gregg Levy, an attorney representing the NFL was trying to persuade the Justices that his client should be considered a “single entity”- not a collection of 32 teams – and therefore not subject to the Sherman Antitrust Act. Dahlia Lithwick has the story here.

Thursday saw a sentencing hearing for 20 year-old Collin McKenzie-Gude, who has pleaded guilty to possession of chemicals to manufacture explosives, turn into a mini-trial expected to go into next week. Prosecutors contend that materials were amassed as part of a plot to kill then presidential candidate Barack Obama. WaPo story here.

And on Friday Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas appeared in DC Superior Court to plead guilty to felony gun possession. You can read about it here.

Underwear Bomber Arraigned


Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the young Nigerian who attempted to bring down an airplane over Detroit on Christmas day with a device smuggled on board in his underwear, was arraigned under heavy security at U.S. courthouse in Detroit yesterday.

The hearing took all of three minutes, but while waiting for it to begin I was able to do a nice rendering of the stuffed bald eagle that was on display on the left side of the Judge’s bench. Not something usually seen in a courtroom.

Detroit Free Press story here.