Month: June 2016

SCOTUS Ends With A Bang, Not A Whimper

It’s been a strange Supreme Court term, like a meal that doesn’t satisfy. With only eight members on the bench after Justice Scalia’s death the odds were good that the last blockbuster opinion of the term would fall to a tie.

But, once again, Justice Kennedy was the fulcrum that allowed the Court to do some heavy lifting. In a 5-4 opinion authored by Justice Breyer in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt the lie was exposed that Texas’ restrictive abortion clinic regulations were enacted to protect women’s health.

That left the dissenters arguing only on  procedural grounds that Whole Woman’s Health had lost an earlier round and should never have got another bite of the apple.

Oh, and there was also the unanimous opinion in McDonnell v. United States. It’s perfectly okay now, through gifts and cash, to purchase access to politicians, even if it stinks.

 

Posted in Opinions, Supreme Court Tagged with: , , , , ,

Marilyn Mosby’s Bad Day

Goodson Trial: Verdict

This was the big one, and the State couldn’t prove it. Three of the six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddy Gray last April have gone to trial and so far not one conviction on any charge. Might Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby have overreached?

Goodson Trial: Verdict

Everyone knew that the charge of “depraved heart” murder would not stick, but not guilty on all counts? Judge Barry Williams, who is presiding over all of the Freddie Gray cases, sent a clear message, the State had no case.

If it was a bad day for Marilyn Mosby, it was a very good day for officer Caesar Goodson.

Goodson Trial: Verdict

Posted in Courtroom Tagged with: ,

Goodson Closing Arguments

Goodson Trial

My sketches from yesterday’s closing arguments in the trial of Baltimore Police officer Caesar Goodson. He drove the van in which Freddie Gray suffered injuries that led to his death last April and the ensuing riots the day of his funeral.

Judge Barry Williams will announce the verdict on Thursday morning.

Goodson Trial

Goodson Trial

Posted in Courtroom Tagged with: , ,

The Make Or Break Freddie Gray Trial

Freddie Gray: Goodson Trial

After one mistrial and one acquittal a lot is riding on the prosecution of the van driver facing the most serious charge in the death of Freddie Gray. During opening statements Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Michael Schatzow promised to show that Freddie Gray had been given a “rough ride” in the police van without the benefit of a seatbelt result in the spinal injury that caused his death.

I missed most of the trial last week but from what I’ve read, especially the judge’s remarks during motions, a conviction on the charge of depraved heart murder seems a stretch. We’ll know soon enough. I’ll be there to sketch closing arguments Monday morning.

Freddie Gray: Goodson Trial

Freddie Gray: Goodson Trial

Freddie Gray: Goodson Trial

Freddie Gray: Goodson Trial

 

Posted in Courtroom Tagged with: ,