DAs Plan Constitutional Challenge to Prosecutorial Misconduct Commission | New York Law Journal

By Dan M. Clark

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The state’s district attorneys may torpedo a proposed commission to investigate prosecutorial misconduct if a bill creating the group is approved by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

In a letter sent to the state’s prosecutors Tuesday, Albany County District Attorney David Soares said the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York will be advancing an expedited constitutional challenge to the bill. Soares is president of the DAASNY.

Soares also urged the district attorneys and their assistants to decline any appointment to the commission until the litigation is resolved, which would leave the body without four of its members required by the statute.

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Judge halts mother-daughter deportation, threatens to hold Sessions in contempt – The Washington Post

Arelis R. Hernández

“This is pretty outrageous. That someone seeking justice in U.S. court is spirited away while her attorneys are arguing for justice for her?” So said a federal trial judge in open court in Washington, Thursday, shortly before he threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt of court. The judge found out, during a hearing, that immigration agents had moved to deport the mother and daughter whose case was before him. WASHINGTON POST
 
 
More: “Turn that plane around,” furious judge orders. WASHINGTON TIMES

Fourth Circuit Thumbs its Nose at Posner and His Fight for Pro Se Justice | Law.com

By Jenna Greene

New video from ABA president calls for lawyers to help separated immigrant families–ABA Journal

BY LORELEI LAIRD

ABA President Hilarie Bass has posted a short video asking America’s lawyers to help reunite immigrant families at the border.

In the video, Bass talks about what she saw during her late June trip to south Texas, where she met with immigrant mothers detained at the Port Isabel Detention Center near Harlingen. Some of those women hadn’t seen their children in six weeks, Bass said; some had talked to their children on the phone, but knew the children were far away.

But what really disturbed Bass, she said, was that all of them would give up their asylum claims and return to the violence they’re fleeing if it meant their children would be returned.

“That caused me great consternation, because these people are giving up their legal rights just to have the right to get their children back,” Bass says in the video. “I think as lawyers, we have to do everything possible to assist these victims of this policy.”

Bass then directed lawyers to http://ambar.org/immigrationjustice, a new ABA web page that aggregates opportunities for interested lawyers to volunteer, advocate or donate to help separated and detained families.

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Suit claims cap on deduction for state and local taxes violates equal state sovereignty–ABA Journal

BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS

Four states filed a lawsuit Tuesday that contends the $10,000 cap on federal tax deductions for state and local taxes is unprecedented and unconstitutional.

The states of New York, Connecticut, Maryland and New Jersey filed the lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan, report the Wall Street JournalForbes and Courthouse News Service. A press release is here.

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The Trump Administration Quietly Defunded Legal Services For Trafficking Victims–Huffington Post

Jenavieve Hatch

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The Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime sets federal funding aside to assist crime victims, including the victims of human trafficking. Up until this month, in addition to services like health care, education and employment, the funds also covered legal representation ― which human trafficking victims have used to get their criminal records expunged or dismissed. More than 90 percent of human trafficking victims are arrested for crimes like prostitution, truancy or drug possession when they are being trafficked.

But the most recent iteration of the Office for Victims of Crime’s budget, released on June 25, added new language:

“OVC funding may not be used for criminal defense services,” it reads. “Direct representation on vacatur or expungement matters through court filings or through other litigation services, is NOT an allowable cost under this cooperative agreement or with FY 2018 funds.”

Assistance in paying for legal aid is essential to victims’ recovery process, wrote more than 100 trafficking survivors in a letter to the OVC on Friday.

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