Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Ft. Lauderdale airport shooter detained

No surprise there.  And his lawyer, Bob Berube, agreed to it.  The Sun-Sentinel has the details about the hearing where evidence came out that he thought he was under "mind control" and had visited jihadi chat rooms:
Accused airport shooter Esteban Santiago told investigators after his arrest that he communicated with Islamic State terrorists or sympathizers in "jihadi chat rooms" before he killed five people in Fort Lauderdale, authorities said in court Tuesday.
Whether that's true is not clear. Prosecutors and agents are still combing through electronic devices Santiago may have used, looking for evidence to show whether he was radicalized and whether he actually visited those terrorist chat rooms and websites, law enforcement sources said.
Santiago's statements to investigators were revealed during a court hearing Tuesday in federal court in Fort Lauderdale.

Haitian Senator appears in Southern District of Florida; Snow Day in Miami; Jon Sale meets with Mayor Guliani

Interesting questions about whether he was lawfully taken from Haiti or not.  The Miami Herald has some coverage:
With dozens of T-shirt clad supporters and his wife looking on, former Haiti rebel leader and Senator-elect Guy Philippe pleaded not guilty Friday to drug-trafficking and money-laundering charges in a Miami federal courtroom.
Philippe’s plea came as his recent arrest by the Haiti National Police continued to spark nationalist sentiments in Haiti and abroad, and his supporters demanded answers about how he could have been turned over so quickly to U.S. federal agents for prosecution in the United States.
Philippe’s lawyers and supporters say there was no legal procedure followed, and he was essentially taken from Haiti without any formal process. The Haiti National Police, they said, voluntarily turned him over to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which brought him to Miami on Jan. 5.
“This may conflict with international law,” said Zeljka Bozanic, one of Philippe’s attorneys, who was joined by Philippe’s wife, Natalie. “I don’t think the proper legal protocol was followed.”

And in other news, the Palm Beach Post remembers the Snow Day in Miami back in the 70s.  Our very own Bill Matthewman makes an appearance:
William Matthewman, a U.S. magistrate judge for the Southern District of Florida in West Palm Beach, was a uniformed police officer for the City of Miami in January 1977. He was on patrol, and handling a traffic stop with some other officers. He remembers it was bitterly cold.
“All of a sudden, small flakes fell from the sky and started landing on the windshield of our cars and on our dark blue uniforms,” said Matthewman, who was born and raised in Miami. “Once we all realized it was snow, we were really amazed.”
Matthewman said he recalls the driver in the traffic stop got a “snow break” and no ticket.
Climatologically, it is not supposed to snow in South Florida. The laid back tropics are a region constantly gaining energy from the sun, and with Florida’s temperatures moderated by warm water on three sides, snow is unusual even in northern reaches of the state.
If other blogs can report on Trump meeting with Pryor, we can report on Guliani meeting with Jon Sale (and his wife Jayne Weintraub).  Sale, one of the leading candidates for U.S. Attorney, and Guliani are law school classmates and close friends.  It may give him the inside track for the gig if he wants it.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Trump has interviewed Judge William Pryor for open SCOTUS seat

Wow, he's not wasting any time.  Above the Law has all of the details:

On Saturday afternoon, here in cold and snowy New York, President-elect Donald Trump interviewed Judge William Pryor of the Eleventh Circuit for the open seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. The opportunity to meet with PEOTUS to talk about SCOTUS must have lifted Judge Pryor’s spirits, in the wake of the loss of his beloved Crimson Tide in Monday’s football championship.
The news of a Trump/Pryor meeting, while notable, is not surprising. At last week’s press conference, Trump said that SCOTUS meetings are underway and we should expect a nominee within two weeks of inauguration day. And Judge Pryor, beloved by conservatives, sits at the top of the Trump SCOTUS list.
Judge Pryor is very conservative and very outspoken — but he’s also very smart and a stickler for preparation, and he would likely perform well at confirmation hearings. He might not be able to bob and weave around the issues as well as some other nominees, given his paper trail and past pronouncements (and he might not even bother to; recall how he refused to disavow his “Roe is an abomination” comment in his 2005 hearings). But Bill Pryor is not going to self-immolate like Robert Bork in 1987; he’s too shrewd for that. And short of a self-immolation, he has a solid shot of winning confirmation, with 52 Republicans in the Senate (plus some Democrats who might cross over — Vice President-elect Mike Pence is already working on that). 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

"It’s Game of Thrones, The Apprentice, and Survivor, all mixed into one.”

Via Politico, great quote from a senior Trump person on the transition process... David Lat from Above the Law has coverage of the SG sweepstakes and the DOJ transition, which all seems very chaotic.  The process for this District doesn't seem any more organized. 

Enjoy the long weekend.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

SCOTUSblog profiles Judge Bill Pryor

It's an incredibly detailed and informative post on the potential Supreme Court nominee from the 11th Circuit.  The whole thing is definitely worth reading if you are interested in the Supreme Court.  Here's the intro:
Judge William H. Pryor Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit is widely considered, along with Judge Diane Sykes, to be the front-runner to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. President-elect Donald Trump mentioned both judges by name during a primary debate shortly after Scalia’s death, and both have the conservative bona fides necessary to allay concerns about, as Pryor himself has put it, adding “more Souters” to the court.
Pryor, 54, earned his B.A. from Northeast Louisiana University in 1984 and his J.D. from Tulane University Law School 1987. Pryor clerked for Judge John Minor Wisdom on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit and then worked as a private attorney until 1995. He served for two years as deputy attorney general of Alabama before becoming attorney general in 1997. As attorney general, he became known for his removal of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore for Moore’s refusal to follow a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state Supreme Court building.

President George W. Bush nominated Pryor to the 11th Circuit in 2003, but the nomination stalled after Senate Democrats criticized Pryor for several incidents. While serving as attorney general, Pryor wrote a brief in defense of the Texas law banning sodomy that was later struck down in Lawrence v. Texas. Additionally, Pryor has called Roe v. Wade the “worst abomination in the history of constitutional law.” Bush eventually appointed Pryor to the appeals court during a congressional recess in 2004, and he was later confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 53-45.