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March 10 Digest

Posted By Administration, Friday, March 10, 2017

ABA rates Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch ‘well qualified’

The American Bar Association has rated Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, “well qualified.”

The rating (PDF) came Thursday from the ABA’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, whose purpose is to evaluate the qualifications of nominees to federal judgeships. The committee’s goal is to provide impartial, nonpartisan evaluations based on judicial temperament, competence and integrity, according to its own “backgrounder” document (PDF).

Harvard Law will accept GRE as entrance exam

Harvard Law School will accept the Graduate Record Examination in lieu of the Law School Admissions Test, starting this fall. The change is part of a strategy to expand law school access domestically and internationally.

“Harvard Law School is continually working to eliminate barriers as we search for the most talented candidates for law and leadership,” Martha Minow, dean of the law school, said in a statement. “For many students, preparing for and taking both the GRE and the LSAT is unaffordable. All students benefit when we can diversify our community in terms of academic background, country of origin, and financial circumstances.”

If racial comments are made in jury deliberations, courts should investigate, SCOTUS says

Racial comments in jury deliberations can violate a defendant’s right to a fair trial, and require review, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday in the appeal of a Colorado man’s misdemeanor unlawful sexual contact and harassment convictions.

The appeal was brought on behalf of Miguel Angel Pena-Rodriguez, who was accused of groping teenage girls at his workplace, the Washington Post reports. He argued that he did not touch the girls, and it was a case of mistaken identity. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the felony charge against Pena-Rodriguez of attempted sexual assault on a child. Pena-Rodriguez was convicted of one misdemeanor count of unlawful sexual contact and two misdemeanor counts of harassment for his behavior toward the two teen girls.

Brock Turner case: Why recalling Judge Persky is wrong

You do not have to agree with Judge Aaron Persky’s sentence of ex-Stanford swimmer Brock Turner to conclude that recalling the judge is a very bad idea.

Led by the formidable law school professor Michelle Dauber, Persky’s critics are aiming for a special recall election in November. As of the end of last year, Dauber had out raised the judge by five-fold.

 

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