judiciary

Judge Fights Suspension For Insubordination In Calder Race Course Case

Apr 16, 2020
ROBYN SORTAL / Miami Herald File

TALLAHASSEE — Calling the discipline a “gross abuse of power,” an administrative law judge has appealed a five-day suspension he received for accusing his boss of making what are known as improper “ex parte communications” when reviewing an order in a case about a South Florida horse track.

More than 1,100 former Department of Justice officials are calling on Attorney General William Barr to resign after his department lowered the prison sentence recommendation for Roger Stone, a longtime ally of President Trump, in a move that's led to accusations of political interference.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

The Justice Department's inspector general, Michael Horowitz, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday about his report on the origins of the FBI's probe into the 2016 Trump campaign's possible ties with Russia.

The 400-plus page report, released Monday, found that the FBI had ample evidence to open its investigation — despite allegations of political bias.

Updated at 8:50 p.m. ET

House Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment against President Trump on Tuesday morning, charging him with abuse of power in the Ukraine affair and obstruction of Congress.

Read the articles of impeachment here.

Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET

The impeachment inquiry enters a new open phase with a House vote on a resolution formalizing the impeachment inquiry. The measure drafted by House Democrats lays out the ground rules for public hearings, provides procedures for the president and his counsel to respond to evidence and sets out the process for considering articles of impeachment in the Judiciary Committee and the full House.

A House committee will take up legislation on Tuesday aimed at preventing mass shootings, as lawmakers and the White House move to respond to a recent spate of attacks across the country.

The bills being considered by the House Judiciary Committee include measures that would limit access to high-capacity gun magazines and block any person convicted of a hate crime from obtaining a firearm.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

Signaling a widening gap between Democratic leadership and the House Judiciary Committee, the panel will vote this week on whether to install new procedures for its impeachment inquiry and illustrate its intensifying efforts in the probe.

Updated at 2:23 p.m. ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday accused Attorney General William Barr of breaking the law by lying to Congress.

"The attorney general of the United States of America was not telling the truth to the Congress. That's a crime," Pelosi said at her weekly news conference on Thursday. "He lied to Congress."

The Justice Department responded with a statement saying, "Speaker Pelosi's baseless attack on the attorney general is reckless, irresponsible, and false."

Jessica Bal / Miami Herald

Judge Robert J. Luck, an appellate judge from Florida's Third District Court of Appeals, has been appointed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as a Justice for the state's Supreme Court.

It marked the second of three justices selected by the Governor since taking office last week, and the second from Miami-Dade County.

"Everybody loves him," said DeSantis.

DeSantis took office with three open slots on the state's highest court, due to three liberal judges retiring.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

A conservative group funded by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch is turning its attention to a new front: promoting federal judges at the grass-roots level. Americans for Prosperity is willing to spend nearly $1 million to confirm judges this year. Those lifetime appointments could reshape the courts for a generation.

"The fact of the matter is that so much of what affects us in our daily lives plays out in the courtroom," said Sarah Field, the group's new vice president for judicial strategy.

President Trump is delivering on one of his biggest and most significant campaign promises: He is starting to reshape the federal judiciary.

In his first year in office, Trump welcomed a new, young and conservative lawyer, Neil Gorsuch, onto the Supreme Court. And he won confirmation of 12 federal appeals court judges — a record.

In elementary school, you learn there are three branches of the federal government. But if you had looked on the new Donald Trump White House website before Monday morning, you would have only seen two: the executive and legislative.