Articles Posted in U.S. Federal Government Information

Richard Zorza has reminded us that the White House is conducting an event on access to Justice today with Vice President Biden as one of the featured speakers. The event started at 10:30AM. You should be able to listen in on the proceedings by clicking here. For those of us concerned with equal access to legal services, including legal information, this is an important event.

In the October 15, 2010 Wall Street Journal, Dionne Searcey reports that “after numerous record-shattering fines and executive prosecutions in recent years, the government’s crackdown on violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act shows no signs of slowing.

So far this year, the U.S. Justice Department has carried out a dozen prosecutions, after 19 prosecutions in 2009. That doesn’t include civil cases brought under the law by the Securities and Exchange Commission.” To see Ms. Searcey’s complete article, go to:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704634104575552583836621938.html?mod=dist_smartb

.Following up on our postiing about U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Bryer, we wanted to share with you the following excerpts from news and commentary sent to us by the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University Law School

September 24, 2010.

1.. On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee again voted to approve four of President Obama’s nominees for federal judgeships. Goodwin Liu, a Berkeley law professor for the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Louis Butler Jr., a former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice, U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward Chen of California, and lawyer John McConnell Jr. of Rhode Island – all of whom had been previously approved by the Senate panel but never received a final vote on the Senate floor – were approved along party lines. The Blog of Legal Times says the vote indicates a partisan showdown in the weeks before the heated mid-term elections. Two opposing editorials illustrate how divisive the issue is: a New York Times editorial recently blasted “An Extreme Judicial Blockade” by Senate Republicans while a Washington Times editorial stated that a “GOP Senate [is] needed to block bad judges.”

The National Archives has created a new online public website that features more than 3,000 historic documents, photos and videos available for download, along with applications for teachers to create and share history lessons about the items, officials announced.

The new website, DocsTeach.org, offers historic items such as a short newsreel of American war planes attacking Japan in 1944, photos of President Jimmy Carter’s inauguration and a court document on the conviction of activist Susan B. Anthony for voting before it was legal for women to vote….

Click here to see complete article.

CRS Issue Statement on Terrorism

Issue Statement No. IS40398 Subjects: Terrorism CRS Reports, 111th Congress (8/5/2010; Posted: 9/14/2010)

———————————

A selected list of CRS Reports posted between August 11, 2010 and September 10, 2010. Although almost all of the CRS Reports in the following list relate in some way to crime and criminal justice, a few addressing other topics where readers have expressed an interest have also been included.:

Deprivation of Honest Services as a Basis for Federal Mail and Wire Fraud Convictions

Report No. R40852 Subjects: Criminal Justice CRS Reports, 111th Congress (7/28/2010; Posted: 8/11/2010)

CRS Report No. R41349; 8/16/2010; Posted 9/7/2010 Author(s): Clare Ribando Seelke, Specialist in Latin American Affairs; Kristin M. Finklea, Analyst in Domestic Security Subject(s): Mexico; Criminal Justice; Drug Abuse

No. of Pages: 35

SUMMARY:

According to the New York Times, the articles published on July 25 are based on thousands of United States military incident and intelligence reports – records of engagements, mishaps, intelligence on enemy activity and other events from the war in Afghanistan – that were made public on Sunday on the Internet by WikiLeaks, an organization devoted to exposing secrets of all kinds. These reports are used by desk officers in the Pentagon and troops in the field when they make operational plans and prepare briefings on the situation in the war zone. Most of the reports are routine, even mundane, but many add insights, texture and context to a war that has been waged for nearly nine years.

The New York Times article, Piecing Together the Reports, and Deciding What to Publish, explains the process of deliberation through which the New York Times decided to publish, and sometimes not to publish, material from some 92,000 individual reports made available by WikiLeaks to the Times, The Guardian newspaper in London, and the German magazine Der Spiegel.

More than a dozen Washington Post journalists spent two years developing Top Secret America, a multimedia presentation put together by compiling hundreds of thousands of public records of government organizations and private sector companies. From these records, the Washington Post identified a web of these organizations, both government and private, that are engaged in top secret work for the government. According to Dana Priest and Matthew M. Arkin, two Washington Post reporters who have written about the Project, these findings amount to “…a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight.”

Here are some additional links for those interested in the Washington Post Project:

Introductory Video: http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/

David Badertscher

This posting is essentially a followup of two of our earlier postings on this topic which you can find here and here.

It begins with two statements released by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on May 6, 2010 in partial response to the recent decision in the Comcast case.and continues with a listing of recent Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports addressing various aspects of the topic: