1. Judge Jack Weinstein, district judge in Eastern District of New York and Wichita native son, steps down from the bench. His decisions were marked by compassion, see United States v.Bannister, (EDNY 2010), when he toured the defendants' impoverished neighborhood; and a sense of justice, see NYT, The 96-Year-Old Brooklyn Judge Standing Up to the Supreme Court:
‘The Supreme Court’s recent emphasis on shielding public officials and federal and local law enforcement means many individuals who suffer a constitutional deprivation will have no redress,’ he wrote.
We will miss him, and wish him the best in retirement.
2. “State-federal task forces are out of control.” Radley Balko writes for the Washington Post, reviewing the history and efficacy of joint-task forces, (“Nixon wanted ‘strike forces’ that could kick down doors and put the fear of God into drug offenders without burdensome hurdles like the Fourth Amendment or the separation of powers”). Today, they are ubiquitous and unaccountable. (“With little oversight, they have a record of overstepping and misdeeds, from excessive force to shootings, to mistaken raids, to straight up corruption. and the persistent lack of accountability.”)
3. Four federal prosecutors stood up to the Department of Justice’s interference in a local prosecution, followed by a paper tiger from 1100 former prosecutors who implored,
[W]e call on every DOJ employee to follow their heroic example and be prepared to report future abuses to the Inspector General, the Office of Professional Responsibility, and Congress; to refuse to carry out directives that are inconsistent with their oaths of office; to withdraw from cases that involve such directives or other misconduct; and, if necessary, to resign and report publicly—in a manner consistent with professional ethics—to the American people the reasons for their resignation.