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Have a great Memorial Day on Monday.  Courts are closed.

Federal court is also closed on July 5 per this Order from Chief Judge Moore.

While I'm on the Administrative Orders page, I saw these new magistrate judge pairings for the new district judges:

ORDERED that effective May 6, 2019, when Judge Ruiz begins receiving case transfers
from other District Judges, he will be paired with Magistrate Judge Barry S. Seltzer for all Fort
Lauderdale cases; Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Becerra for all Miami cases; and Magistrate Judge
Bruce E. Reinhart for all West Palm Beach cases.

AND

ORDERED that effective April 11, 2019, when Judge Altman begins receiving case transfers from other District Judges, he will be paired with Magistrate Judge Patrick M. Hunt for all Fort Lauderdale and Miami cases; and Magistrate Judge Dave Lee Brannon for all West Palm Beach cases.
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That was Judge Roy Altman telling Yujing Zhang, the accused Chinese spy, that she shouldn't represent herself. Her response:
“If necessary, I might do some study in terms of this,” Zhang acknowledged.

“A trained lawyer would defend you much better than you could represent yourself,” Altman replied. “I strongly urge you not to represent yourself. ... I’ve been a lawyer for a very long time and I think this is a very bad decision.”

The Herald has more here.

One interesting issue that is happening more and more is a reporter reporting on overhearing a conversation between lawyer and client in the court. The Herald reported on such a conversation here calling it an "intense heart-to-heart."
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This is the second time he has done so.  The holding:  Wyoming’s statehood did not abrogate the Crow Tribe’s 1868 federal treaty right to hunt on the “unoccupied lands of the United States”; the lands of the Bighorn National Forest did not become categorically “occupied” when the forest was created.

Justice Sotomayor wrote the opinion, which can be accessed here.
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It was very powerful.  An excerpt:

We lawyers can not change the world

that is the province of politicians

we have a higher calling --

we change the lives of people.

Judaism has a saying:

If you save one life,

it’s as if you’ve saved the world.

today on the cusp of your career

I issue a challenge to each one of you:

WHO among you will rescue the children

being held in steel cages at our southern border --

children our government has classified as collateral damage.

WHO among you will seek DNA from death row inmates.

WHO among you will prosecute or defend

war criminals at The Hague.

WHO among you will to take on

the existential threat to our environment --

to treat the climate crisis as the biggest threat in human history.

WHO will continue the campaign

to ensure every American,

regardless of ability to pay,

has the basic human right to healthcare.

it is not a coincidence that this mission

began with a president who taught constitutional law.

WHO will attend 8am bail hearings for indigent prisoners

WHO will fight for each one of the 68 million refugees,

men, women and children

desperately fleeing

the monsters who make war on them,

whether they be:

the drug gangs of Central America,

Assad bombing and gassing the cities of Syria,

or the brutal warlords on the plains of Africa.

WHO among you will demand they be treated humanely,

and not turn a blind eye to their torture.

WHO will stand up against the bigotry directed at

African Americans, Native Americans, other people of color,

the jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, immigrants

and every other despised minority under attack today.

WHO among you will seek the closure

of our concentration camp at Guantanamo

and have the audacity to demand fair trials for terrorists.

WHO would step forward to defend

Julian Assange, or Bill Cosby

or the Stoneman Douglas high school assassin

Or would you rather join your peers at Harvard

who are protesting a law professor

daring to represent Harvey Weinstein.

I urge you not to fear the displeasure of the crowd

or the distaste of the trolls.

Our constitution and laws are toothless if they only protect those
who enjoy popular approval.
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An interesting antitrust opinion with a 5-4 split involving Apple pitted the two newest Justices against each other yesterday.  From the New York Times:
The Supreme Court on Monday allowed an enormous antitrust class action against Apple to move forward, saying consumers should be allowed to try to prove that the technology giant had used monopoly power to raise the prices of iPhone apps.

The lawsuit is in its early stages, and it must overcome other legal hurdles. But the case brings the most direct legal challenge in the United States to the clout that Apple has built up through its App Store. And it raises questions about how the company has wielded that power, amid a wave of anti-tech sentiment that has also prompted concerns about the dominance of other tech behemoths such as Facebook and Amazon.

The court’s 5-to-4 vote featured an unusual alignment of justices, with President Trump’s two appointees on opposite sides. Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, who joined the court in October, wrote the majority opinion, which was also signed by the court’s four more liberal justices. Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, who joined the court in 2017, wrote the dissent.

The class-action lawsuit focuses on the fees that Apple takes on sales in its App Store, which millions of people use every day to download games, messaging apps and other programs. The company charges up to a 30 percent commission to developers who sell their products through its store, bars them from selling their apps elsewhere and plays a role in setting prices. App makers have long complained that the fee and other practices are unfair.
Scotus has more here.
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That's the title of my latest piece in The Hill, which you can read here.  The introduction:
A lot of people talk the talk about criminal justice reform, even though their records on reform are ... shall we say ... not sparkling. There are very few people who walk the criminal justice reform walk. Kim Kardashian is one of those actually working to make change. It shouldn’t be a big surprise that Kardashian has a deep-rooted passion for criminal defense as her dad, Robert, was also a well-known lawyer
She’s successfully working with President Trump on commutations and pardons. Kardashian saw a story on Twitter about Alice Marie Johnson and didn’t just retweet it. She did something and made it her mission to help the first-time nonviolent drug offender who was sentenced to life. She met with Johnson and then met with Trump. After 21 years in prison, Johnson was released. Kardashian literally saved her life and was quoted after hearing that Johnson was going to be released: "We cried, maybe, on the phone for, like, three minutes straight. Everyone was just crying." 
She’s funding lawyers who are working on freeing other inmates. There is so much work to be done with our over-incarceration problem because of the old War on Drugs policies, which resulted in thousands of people convicted of low-level drug offenses doing monster prison sentences, including life.  Kardashian is funding lawyers who are working on The Decarceration Collective and other initiatives (like #cut50 with Van Jones), including putting to work the First Step Act, the recent law meant to reform our criminal justice issues. In just the last 90 days, she has helped to free 17 prisoners. It’s truly remarkable work.
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Great news -- Judge Raag Singhal is being vetted for an open district court seat in Ft. Lauderdale.  He currently sits on the Broward state bench (he was appointed by Rick Scott back in 2011 and was re-elected in 2014) and has wide support on both sides of the aisle.  He's a former state prosecutor and private defense lawyer.  Plus, he's a really good guy.  Here's hoping that he gets nominated and confirmed quickly.  After that, there will still be one opening left.  It's unclear whether the JNC will be reconstituted or whether Senators Rubio and Scott will just select someone.
CONGRATULATIONS TO JUDGE SINGHAL!
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There was a really nice informal swearing-in of Judge Ruiz at lunchtime today in Judge Moore's courtroom.  Judge Moreno -- who Judge Ruiz clerked for -- did the honors for a packed courtroom.  Here are some shots:




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Our newest judge for the Southern District of Florida, confirmed 90-8.
Awesome.
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