The Supreme Court hears oral arguments in three cases today. In Chambers v. United States the Court considers whether failing to report to prison is a violent offense that triggers a higher mandatory sentence under the Armed Career Criminals Act. In U.S. v. Hayes, the justices will consider what relationship must exist between an attacker and a victim to qualify as “domestic violence” under federal gun laws. This afternoon, the Court will hear arguments on whether admission of forensic lab reports requires the reports’ preparer to be available for cross-examination in court in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts.
DC Dicta will be at the Court today covering these arguments as well as any orders released today. Check later for updates.
DOJ in transition: President-elect Barack Obama already has the Department of Justice transition wheels in motion as speculation continues over who will be named attorney general, solicitor general, and heads of the DOJ’s divisions. (Legal Times)
Executive privilege: Many policies implemented by executive authority under President George W. Bush may not have long for this world after Obama is inaugurated. (New York Times)
ICE’s paper jam: Meanwhile, the Bush administration has launched a program to allow the immigration case management system to go paperless to cut down on application processing backlogs. (Washington Post).
Angry (sub)prime time audience: A new survey by a jury research firm shows that jurors are extremely critical of subprime lenders as well as insurance companies. As Lawyers USA recently reported, jurors are angrier than ever at corporations. The new survey was released as litigation related to subprime lending continues to heat up. (Lawyers USA)
Can I get a tweet tweet? Attorneys are part of a massive increase in professionals using Twitter as a marketing tool. The micro-blogging website is based on a simple question: “What are you doing?” The site then allows the user just 140 words to answer. (Lawyers USA)