Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey’

August 29 roundup

Schools roundup

  • Progressive law school opinion has never made its peace with Milliken v. Bradley, which is another reason not to be surprised that the coming campaign cycle might relitigate the whole school busing issue [Em Steck and Andrew Kaczynski, CNN on 1975 Elizabeth Warren article]
  • Irony? School “anti-bullying specialist” seems to have bullied students over officially disapproved expression [Robby Soave, Reason; Lacey Township, N.J. students suspended over off-campus Snapchat]
  • How Abbott and other New Jersey school finance rulings wound up plunging the state deep in debt [Steven Malanga, City Journal; earlier here and at Cato on New Jersey and more generally on school finance litigation including here, here (Kansas, etc.) and at Cato (Colorado)]
  • “Pennsylvania School District Warns Parents They Could Lose Kids Over Unpaid School Lunches” [AP/CBS Philadelphia]
  • “Educational Freedom, Teacher Sickouts, and Bloated Higher Ed” [Cato Daily Podcast with Corey DeAngelis, Neal McCluskey, and Caleb Brown]
  • No shock, Sherlock: New York law suspending statute of limitations for suing schools results in higher insurance premiums for public districts [New York Post]

Crime victim can’t sue over pre-trial release algorithm

Can a victim of a later crime use New Jersey product liability law to sue a private foundation over alleged flaws in the alternative-to-bail algorithm it had developed for the state’s use? No, a federal district court has ruled, because 1) the algorithm isn’t a product, 2) proximate causation is lacking; and 3) it’s speech so the First Amendment acts as a bar [Eugene Volokh]

Occupational licensure roundup

  • “Arizona Could Become the First State to Recognize Occupational Licenses From Other States” [Eric Boehm, Reason] “Making It Easier for Military Spouses To Get Occupational Licenses Could Help All Workers” [same] “Barbers and cosmetologists in Texas warn that repealing mandatory licenses for their professions would be as dangerous as having unlicensed chefs preparing your meals.” Thing is, cooks and chefs aren’t licensed [same]
  • Meanwhile, in Congress: “Bipartisan Bill Would Stop States From Denying Occupational Licenses Due to Student Loan Debt” [Boehm again on Rubio-Warren measure]
  • “Judicial Sanity on Occupational Licensing and the First Amendment” [Ilya Shapiro and Patrick Moran on Fifth Circuit decision in Express Oil Change v. Mississippi Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers & Surveyors]
  • Ohio tackles licensure reform [Nick Sibilla] Idaho too: “Two Governors Kick Off 2019 With Big Occupational Licensing Reforms” [Eric Boehm]
  • “Even congressmen can’t pump their own gas in New Jersey” [Simone Pathé, Roll Call]
  • “Our results suggest that occupational licensing reduces labor supply by an average of 17–27 percent.” [Peter Q. Blair and Bobby W. Chung, Cato Research Briefs in Economic Policy]

Crime and punishment roundup

  • In order to stick it to President Trump and any associates he may pardon, New York legislature moves to chip away at what had been strong protections against double jeopardy. Not good [Sam Bieler via Scott Greenfield, Jacob Sullum]
  • Judge rules that New Jersey may not automatically suspend driving privileges over unpaid child support without a hearing to establish willfulness, lest it violate due process and fundamental fairness [New Jersey Law Journal; Kavadas v. Martinez on David Perry Davis website]
  • Different views of the institution of cash bail [Alex Tabarrok at Brookings conference, Cato podcast with Daniel Dew of the Buckeye Institute, Scott Shackford]
  • “To Seek Justice: Defining the Power of the Prosecutor,” Federalist Society short documentary video featuring Jessie K. Liu, Mark Geragos, Steven H. Cook, John Malcolm, Zac Bolitho, Bennett L. Gershman, and Clark Neily;
  • “Florida lawmakers just voted to create a public registry of people caught paying or attempting to pay for sex….it will certainly transfer private money to the state, give bureaucrats something to do, and provide the public with people to gawk at and judge” [Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Reason]
  • Wisconsin: “County Pays $90,000 Settlement To Man After Seizing $80,000 Judgment From Him Using 24 Deputies And An Armored Vehicle” [Tim Cushing in December]

Maryland: “Bail reform hasn’t led to fewer held in jail, court records show”

A Capital News Service series published at Maryland Matters confirms that in Maryland, at least, bail reform has had trouble meeting its intended goals. In particular, while the number held for inability to meet bail has dropped sharply since the adoption of reforms in February 2017, Baltimore in particular has seen an offsetting jump in the rate at which judges hold defendants without making bail available. Statewide, “the number of people held with bail decreased from 29.8 percent to 18.4 percent over the past 18 months, while the number of people held without bail has increased from 13.6 percent to 22.6 percent.” [Alicia Cherem and Carly Taylor with sidebar by Kaitlyn Hopkins and James Crabtree-Hannigan] I reported on the same trend in 2017 and again last year.

A second entry in the series examines the adoption of pretrial risk assessment algorithms which can make up for some of the lost functions of cash bail, a county-by-county process still under way across the state [Angela Roberts and Nora Eckert] A third looks at the “trial penalty”: numbers show that “defendants who reject plea bargains and are convicted when they choose to go to trial for many types of crimes face longer sentences – sometimes substantially longer – than defendants who make a deal.” [Shruti Bhatt, Angela Roberts and Nora Eckert]

It’s worth remembering that state ventures in bail reform can lead to quite different outcomes depending on the strategy tried. New Jersey, which has won praise for its careful development of pretrial services, “is approaching two years operating a bail system where people don’t have to pay money to be free from jail. The crime wave some warned about hasn’t happened.” [Scott Shackford, Reason; Marc Levin, Real Clear Policy]

February 13 roundup

  • Michigan’s Oakland County seizes rental property owned by elderly man over $8.41 unpaid tax bill plus $277 in fees and interest, sells property for $24,500, keeps all the surplus cash for itself. Constitutional? [Joe Barnett, Detroit News]
  • Pruning obsolete laws: “Teaneck Council repeals more than a dozen old laws, including ban on cursing” [Megan Burrow, North Jersey Record, quoting Councilman and longtime friend of this site Keith Kaplan]
  • “What does the Constitution have to say about national emergencies, both real and imagined?” [Cato Daily Podcast with Gene Healy and Caleb Brown]
  • Lawyer in drunk-driving case: my client’s chewing on her coat could’ve thrown off breath test [AP/WSBT (Berwick, Pa.)]
  • Baltimore police corruption, tax policies that attract people, densifying MoCo and more in my latest Maryland policy roundup [Free State Notes]
  • Busybodies in Bismarck: “North Dakota’s Excellent Food Freedom Act Is Under Attack Yet Again” [Baylen Linnekin]

Liability roundup

  • Big win for scientific rigor in the courts as New Jersey joins 40 other states in adopting Daubert standards for expert testimony, in In re Accutane Litigation [Washington Legal Foundation: Evan Tager and Surya Kundu, Joe Hollingsworth and Robert Johnston] With the long domination of the Florida Supreme Court by its liberal bloc soon to end, is it too much to hope that Florida joins the national trend too? [Evan Tager and Matthew Waring, WLF]
  • California lawyers sue electric scooter companies and manufacturers after users run into pedestrians on street, park improperly in handicapped spaces, and leave them in places where they can be tripped over [Cyrus Farivar, ArsTechnica]
  • Defendants obtain fees and costs in suit against siren maker over firefighter hearing loss [Stephen McConnell, Drug and Device Law]
  • Some safety advocates’ flip-flops on autonomous vehicle legislation in Congress might relate to trial lawyers’ agenda of the moment [Marc Scribner, CEI, more]
  • “Labaton Sucharow agrees to return $4.8M in attorney fees after attorney finder fee is revealed” [ABA Journal, earlier on State Street/Arkansas Teacher Retirement System case here, etc.]
  • MGM, Fox settle class action claiming that box set of “all” James Bond films lacked two made outside the franchise [Eriq Gardner/Hollywood Reporter, earlier]

Medical roundup

Police and prosecution roundup

  • After parking lot shooting Pinellas County, Florida sheriff “claim[ed] his hands were tied by Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. But that is not true” [Jacob Sullum, Reason, more; David French, NRO]
  • Major USA Today story on origins of Baltimore’s devastating crime and murder wave [Brad Heath; Jonathan Blanks, Cato]
  • Related: in Baltimore’s Gun Trace Task Force police scandal, plea bargains punished the innocent [Capital News Service investigation by Angela Roberts, Lindsay Huth, Alex Mann, Tom Hart and James Whitlow: first, second, third parts]
  • California Senate votes 26 to 11 to abolish felony murder rule, under which participants in some serious crimes face murder rap if others’ actions result in death [ABA Journal, bill]
  • New Jersey’s reforms curtailing cash bail, unlike Maryland’s, seem to be working reasonably well [Scott Shackford; longer Shackford article on bail in Reason; earlier here, here, etc.]
  • “Miami Police Union Says Head-Kicking Cop ‘Used Great Restraint,’ Shouldn’t Be Charged” [Jerry Iannelli, Miami New Times]