Court to hear challenge to speed up California executions

Elisabeth Semel quoted by Associated Press, June 6, 2017

With a backlog of 380 death penalty appeals, there’s concern judges would be overwhelmed trying to speed through appeals, said Elisabeth Semel. … “There’s an enormous ripple effect to that,” said Semel, who directs the school’s death penalty clinic. “The attention the justices can pay to each individual case is significantly diminished. When you’re talking about life and death, that’s important.”

Death penalty in California: State Supreme Court holds high-stakes hearing Tuesday

Elisabeth Semel quoted by The Mercury News, June 5, 2017

Today, Semel said, the average appeal spans 15 years. To resolve the cases three times as quickly, she said, will likely mean more mistakes as each case receives less attention and offenders are represented by attorneys with limited experience in capital cases. “Where is the critical mass of lawyers going to come from to do this work in an expedited time frame, and who is going to pay for it?” she asked.

On travel ban, judges reach ‘Trump only’ decision

John Yoo quoted by Washington Examiner, May 26, 2017

“The Fourth Circuit clearly says that the executive order is legal on its face because of its invocation of national security reasons. But the court refuses to apply the traditional deference to the president and Congress in immigration affairs because of Trump’s statements both as a candidate and as president that — it claims — reveal he is acting in bad faith.”

Inter-American Commission takes up border patrol killing

Roxanna Altholz quoted by Courthouse News Service, May 18, 2017

Roxanna Altholz, the family’s attorney and associate director of the UC Berkeley Law School’s Human Rights Law Clinic, said the case will test if the U.S. government will cooperate and respond to the petition. She said the Obama administration “had a policy of robust and constructive engagement” in responding to other cases filed with the commission, but whether the Trump administration will take the same approach remains unclear.

In latest travel ban appeals case, Trump is his own worst enemy

William Fernholz writes for The Hill, May 17, 2017

Put aside the existing law, which could be read to favor either party. Put aside also, for a moment, the substance of President Trump’s comments, which have been well-reported. Both sides face a similar underlying problem: their positions, taken to an extreme, could lead to drastic problems for our nation.

Despite Comey firing, still no need for ‘independent counsel’

John Yoo co-writes for The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 14, 2017

Critics who believe Trump is violating the limits of presidential power should not turn outside the Constitution itself for the answer. Instead, Republicans and Democrats should pause, take a deep breath, and let the Constitution work. The institutions designed by our Founders will survive Trump, as they did the presidents before.