Saturday, December 24, 2016
It's Christmas Eve, so it's time to focus on what matters. I believe in bail reform because I think that how we treat the most vulnerable among us tells us something about ourselves. The message of Christmas concerns all persons, no matter who they are or what they've done. I believe this same essential message, which provides hope through forgiveness and love, is at least some part of virtually every major religion today.
So whether or not you celebrate Christmas, and whether or not you believe in bail reform, I wish you all peace, happiness, and success in the coming year.
Monday, December 19, 2016
The bail insurance companies have been traveling around the country trying to convince people that their briefs in the 11th Circuit show how the law is on their side in these federal lawsuits.
Three days ago, though, the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Texas filed a memorandum and opinion in a suit against Harris County over its bail practices. In that 78 page opinion, the Chief Judge disagreed with several of the same claims you'll find in the 11th Circuit briefs. Rational basis instead of strict scrutiny? Dead! Use 8th Amendment analysis rather than Equal Protection? Dead! Younger abstention? Dead! Neidermeyer . . . ? You get the gist.
Next up is a motion for preliminary injunction in the Harris County case -- you know, the thing the plaintiffs won in the 11th Circuit that forms the basis of that interlocutory appeal.
The insurance company lobbyists like to claim that all the previous settlements are due to the small jurisdictions begin overwhelmed, but you wait and see. Once plaintiff's attorneys start deposing the defendants, including judges, even a big place like Harris County is going to find settling simply to follow the law much more palatable.