From the latest edition of the ACS newsletter

    The following paragraphs in this post were taken from the American Constitution Society Bulletin for January 16, 2003:

  • Law.com/New York Law Journal: Federal Judge Blasts Justice Dept. Over Dirty Bomb Suspect Case

    A N.Y. federal judge “dressed down” a senior Justice Department official Wednesday, who asked that the court reconsider its December 4 ruling that alleged “dirty bomb” suspect and purported “enemy combatant” Jose Padilla should be allowed to consult with a lawyer regarding his habeas corpus petition. District Judge Michael Mukasey fumed that the official provided no new information in the reconsideration motion—a move that Judge Mukasey apparently considered tantamount to a request that he revise his initial ruling.

  • N.J. Appeals Court Orders Suspect New Hearing, Govt. Must Justify Secret Evidence:

    A New Jersey appeals court said that a Superior Court judge “lacked an adequate basis” for allowing prosecutors to present secret evidence against an Egyptian-born U.S. citizen thought to have provided fake IDs to some of the 9-11 hijackers, and ordered a new trial that could involve the testimony of federal investigators. The ultra-secret bail hearing, excluded the defendant, his attorney, and the public, thus barring the detainee from confronting the evidence against him—a right guaranteed by the Constitution. The Washington Post reports: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A63259-2003Jan15.html

    Earlier this week, the New Jersey Law Journal examined details of the actual bail hearing itself: http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1039054583192

  • Georgia Supreme Court Strikes Down Unmarried Sex Ban:

    On Monday, the Georgia Supreme Court said that the state’s 170-year old law that bans sexual intercourse between unmarried persons was unconstitutional. The ruling follows that court’s 1998 ruling striking down the state’s sodomy statute.

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports: http://www.accessatlanta.com/ajc/metro/0103/14fornicate.html.

  • White House Determined to Cap Medical Malpractice Awards:

    President Bush is moving quickly to raise the profile of his “tort reform” initiative, seeking to pick a fight with several potential Democratic presidential candidates over whether the federal government should impose a limit on juries’ imposition of non-economic medical malpractice damages.

    The Boston Globe carried the story on Thursday: http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/016/nation/Bush_wants_cap_on_malpractice_awards+.shtml.

    The last story on “tort reform” should be clarified, in that “tort reform” is not reform but rather DEforming the law of torts. The problem is not outrageous jury awards. The real problem is a medical profession that refuses to police itself, and the shoddy practices of small minority of doctors.