March 13, 2008
New Article on Lessons Learned from Interpretation
I need to read this more fully, but it sounds promising: Cheryl Boudrea, Arthur Lupia, Mathew Cubbins, and Daniel Rodriguez, What Statutes Mean: Interpretive Lessons from Positive Theories of Communication and Legislation, 44 San Diego L. Rev. 957 (2007). It's not on line, yet, but will be here.
March 11, 2008
Fourth Circuit Narrowly Interprets Identity Theft Statute
Defendant uses the name "Marcus Jackson," a fake ID in the form of a driver's license, and some fake checks to buy stuff and then turn it in for refunds. Identity theft?
No says the Fourth Circuit in U.S. v. Mitchell, __ F.3d __ (4th Cir. 2008). The problem? There was no "Marcus Jackson" at the address specified on the checks or license, and the only "Marcus Jacksons" in Georgia had different middle names than the license indicated. The Fourth Circuit held that 18 USC 1028 did not apply because he had not stolen the identity of a specific individual, and reversed a 40 month sentence.
Sounds wrong, but when you read the case, the language of the statute suggests it's the right result, in my opinion. I never wold have guessed it, though! Interesting, thoughtful unanimous opinion by Judge Michael.
March 9, 2008
Tid Bits about Judges
DC Gun Statute Before Supreme Court. There's an interesting article in the Washington Post here on the various amicus briefs in the D.C. v. Heller case which will, perhaps, settle the scope of the Second Amendment. You can find a link to the briefs here.
The Coming Vacancies on the Supreme Court. It looks like McCain, Clinton or Obama will get to pick several Supreme Court justices. You can read about how one pundit thinks an Obama-inspired court would lookhere.
New Judicial Code of Conduct. There's a new proposal about federal judicial conduct being put out for comment. The announcement and request for comment is here; the clean version of the proposed code here, and the mark-up, here.