News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: 9th Circuit blocks asylum restriction; report finds sanctioned judges remain in the job

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9th Circuit blocks rule restricting asylum claims

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at San Francisco has upheld a block on a Trump administration rule that denies asylum to many immigrants at the southern border. The rule requires immigrants to have applied for asylum in a country that they traveled through on the way to the United States. It’s the first appellate decision on the asylum rule. Judge Eric Miller, an appointee of President Donald Trump, said in a separate opinion that the administration should have more thoroughly considered dangers to migrants. He would have limited the injunction blocking the rule, however, to asylum-seekers who are bona fide clients of the groups challenging the rule. The U.S. Supreme Court has stayed the injunction pending appeals in the case. (The Recorder, American Civil Liberties Union press release, the July 6 decision)

9 out of 10 sanctioned judges remain in the job

Nine out of 10 judges sanctioned for misconduct over the last dozen years were allowed to return to the bench, according to a Reuters review of misconduct cases throughout the United States. “Judges have made racist statements, lied to state officials and forced defendants to languish in jail without a lawyer—and then returned to the bench, sometimes with little more than a rebuke from the state agencies overseeing their conduct,” according to the Reuters story. (Reuters report, Reuters’ story on its investigative methods, Reuters’ top takeaways on its story)

Judge agrees to admonishment for inappropriate comments

Judge Howard Gerber of the Clarkstown Town Court in New York has agreed to an admonition for inappropriate comments. In one instance, Gerber remarked about a litigant’s daughter dressing for attention by wearing yoga pants to court, according to a determination by the New York Commission on Judicial Conduct. He then told the prosecutor that it would be OK with him if she wore yoga pants to court. In another instance, Gerber asked whether the prosecutor and a friend wanted “a room.” In a third instance, he made disparaging remarks about the probation department and did not disqualify himself from the case. Gerber said in a statement he has “learned from this unfortunate experience.” (The New York Law Journal, press release, New York Commission on Judicial Conduct determination)

Lawyer gets suspended sentence for stealing from charity

Indianapolis lawyer Matthew Breeden, 42, has received a suspended one-year sentence after pleading guilty to stealing more than $40,000 from a charitable foundation that supports a children’s hospital. Breeden was the chief financial officer for the foundation. Prosecutors said Breeden spent the money on travel expenses, jewelry, groceries, rent and car payments, a computer and a puppy for his mistress. Breeden’s lawyer told the Indianapolis Star that Breeden “is a good person who made a mistake and has done everything possible to make things right.” (The Indianapolis Star, the Indiana Lawyer)

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