Because of the evolving threat represented by the outbreak and spread of the
Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States and in the State of Georgia, and in
view of the warnings issued by the Center for Disease Control, as well as by
Governor Kemp, I have decided to cancel the Eleventh Circuit Judicial
Conference, which had been scheduled to be held May 6 through May 9, 2020 in
Atlanta. Although circuit judicial conferences provide a good opportunity for
judges and lawyers to learn from each other and from speakers, I concluded that
the cancellation was necessary and prudent in the interest of the health of all of
those who would have attended the conference.
Given the importance of these conferences to the bench and Bar, we hope to
be able to reschedule this conference for 2021 if circumstances permit.
1. Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 23 years. From the NY Times:
Two of Mr. Weinstein’s victims gave emotional statements about the damage he had done to them. Miriam Haley, who testified Mr. Weinstein forced oral sex on her in 2006, said he had forever altered her life, crushing her spirit.2. The Herald is covering the cert petition Miladis Salgado, which the blog posted about here back in January. From the Herald:
“He violated my trust and my body and my personal right to deny sexual advances,” she said.
Given a chance to speak, Mr. Weinstein suggested in a rambling speech to the court that he thought his relationships with his victims were consensual.
“We may have different truths, but I have remorse for all of you and for all the men going through this crisis,” he said, addressing his accusers.
He added: “I really feel remorse for this situation. I feel it deeply in my heart. I’m really trying, I’m really trying to be a better person.”
Now, Salgado is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to make her whole for the misguided May 11, 2015, raid on her home, arguing that a forfeiture law allows victims of wrongful money seizures to recover attorney’s fees in addition to their actual losses from the government. The outcome of a petition brought by the 57-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen from Colombia could affect thousands of people nationwide whose money is seized by federal agencies without criminal charges ever being filed against them.
“This is a game that the Justice Department plays — it’s a war of attrition,” said lawyer Justin Pearson with the Arlington, Va.-based Institute for Justice, which is representing Salgado free of charge. “This is a cash grab by the government to take money away from people who don’t have the ability to fight back.”
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide in April whether to hear Salgado’s petition. After the solicitor general for the Trump administration signaled that he was not going to respond to her claim, the high court ordered his office to do so. In a recent filing, Solicitor General Noel Francisco asserts that Salgado had not “substantially prevailed” against the government, reasoning that when the feds returned her money, they did not lose the right to refile their civil forfeiture case and therefore did not owe her attorney’s fees.
3. The 11th Circuit in a 2-1 decision today said that the state prison system did not violate the rights of a transgender inmate by not treating her appropriately. This decision reversed a lengthy opinion by the district court. Newsom wrote the majority, which was joined by a visiting Alabama district judge. Judge Wilson wrote the dissent. I will summarize the opinion shortly, but it's definitely worth a read. Here's a Herald article discussing the issue of transgender inmates, including Reiyn Keohane (the inmate as issue in this case) back from December.