Archive | February 2017

Enter Judge Pamela Harris

Adam Farra
Guest contributor

Remember when that partisan street fight broke out after Pamela Harris was nominated to the Fourth Circuit by President Obama?  David Fontana wrote in The New Republic that “liberals should rally behind” then-nominee Harris because she – “more than any other Obama judicial nominee” (whew!) – would “be a sympathetic vote to liberal causes,” would “give rise to the next generation of liberal legal elites,” and would “be an eloquent and inspiring champion of liberal jurisprudence.”  Carrie Severino blisteringly responded in National Review that the Senate “should be deeply skeptical of her ability to put the law ahead of her political views,” and National Review did multiple pieces attacking her candidacy.  The questioning at her confirmation hearing tracked this line of attack.  Confirmed with 50 votes (no filibuster after Harry Reid triggered the nuclear option), Judge Harris fortified Obama’s transformation of the Fourth Circuit.

A few years have passed – and were the commentators right?  Is she a liberal lion and a conservative’s worst nightmare?

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Fourth Circuit delves into the conundrum of willfulness

By Stuart Berman
Guest contributor

Veteran federal prosecutors and defense lawyers can pretty much recite in their sleep the standard jury instructions defining “knowingly” and “willfully.” In the commonly used Modern Federal Jury Instructions, knowingly means “to act voluntarily and deliberately, rather than mistakenly or inadvertently. A person acts knowingly if he acts intentionally and voluntarily, and not because of ignorance, mistake, accident, or carelessness.” Willfully means “to act knowingly and purposely, with an intent to do something the law forbids; that is to say, with bad purpose either to disobey or to disregard the law.” Simple enough, right? Read More…

Eight New February 2017 Maryland Certiorari Grants

By Brandon Moore

On Friday, the Court of Appeals issued eight certiorari grants, covering a wide range of civil and criminal questions. We have two more cell phone Fourth Amendment cases, including one where the police obtained a warrant. The list of cases, with questions presented, appears after the jump.

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