Monday, June 20, 2016

Monday morning (UPDATED)

UPDATE -- the Court decided Taylor.  Not such a biggie after all: "The prosecution in a Hobbs Act robbery case satisfies the Act’scommerce element if it shows that the defendant robbed or attempted to rob a drug dealer of drugs or drug proceeds."

Here we go:

1.  The Tony Villegas murder trial starts today.  From NBC:

Prosecutors and investigators do not believe that the murder [of Rothstein partner Melissa Britt Lews] had anything to do with the $1.6 billion scheme, but that [Tony] Villegas blamed Lewis for the breakup of his marriage.
Lewis was found dead in a canal near Plantation after her SUV was found nearby. Investigators said a struggle took place inside her garage, using DNA and pings from her cell phone to allegedly connect Villegas to the crime.Villegas was declared incompetent to stand trial in 2010 and avoided a trial until he was cleared by the state.
Debra Villegas, who has been released following a federal prison term for her role in one of the largest Ponzi schemes, is expected to testify. It is unknown if Rothstein, who is currently serving a 50 year term, will be called.

2.  The Supreme Court Term is coming to an end.  SCOTUSblog has all of your updates for the 13 remaining cases.  There will be some announced today.  Here's one of the criminal cases left that may be a biggie:
Taylor v. United States (argued February 23, 2016).  The petitioner in this case, David Taylor, was part of a Virginia gang that robbed drug dealers.  The two robberies that led to this case, however, did not yield any drugs – only cellphones, jewelry, and a small amount of money.  Taylor was indicted on federal charges that he had violated the Hobbs Act, which punishes robberies and extortion but applies only when the defendant “obstructs, delays, or affects commerce or the movement of any article or commodity in commerce.”  The question before the Court is whether the federal government is required to prove facts to show that the defendant’s conduct actually affects commerce.

3.  Apparently Clarence Thomas is mulling retirement:

 Justice Clarence Thomas, a reliable conservative vote on the Supreme Court, is mulling retirement after the presidential election, according to court watchers.Thomas, appointed by former President George H.W. Bush and approved by the Senate after a bitter confirmation, has been considering retirement for a while and never planned to stay until he died, they said. He likes to spend summers in his RV with his wife.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If Thomas and Kennedy retire soon and Clinton gets elected, then we would have a majority centrist court for some time. I say centrist because there are NO liberals on the Supreme Court and no liberal would ever get confirmed.