Monday, July 10, 2006

News and notes

Lots of good stuff in the Review today:

1. Padilla news (subscription required) from Julie Kay: "Defense attorneys involved in the scheduled trial of Jose Padilla and four co-defendants accused of plotting and supporting terrorism are sparing no expense in preparing their defense, including traveling to the Middle East to interview potential witnesses. William Swor, the Detroit lawyer for Kifah Jayyousi, is currently in the Middle East, and Kenneth Swartz, the Miami lawyer who represents Adham Hassoun, is planning on traveling to Jordan and Egypt later this month, according to sources involved in the case. Swartz declined to comment, and Swor was unavailable. It’s unclear whether lawyers for key defendant Padilla also will be traveling to the Middle East. Calls to Andrew Patel of New York and Michael Caruso of the federal public defender’s office in Miami were not returned by deadline. Also last week, Padilla’s lawyers asked the government to initiate a request for “evidence and assistance” from Egypt. No further information about what information Padilla’s lawyers are trying to obtain was available in the court file. Padilla’s attorneys asked for the request to be sealed, so the prosecution team would not find out about it. U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke denied the request."

2. Former U.S. Attorney news (subscription required) by Carl Jones: Marcos Jiminez is stirring the pot -- "Former U.S. Attorney Marcos Jimenez has filed an unusual petition on behalf of the Miami-Dade Judicial Nominating Commission asking the Florida Supreme Court to override the Legislature and allow the governor to appoint 55 new judges. When the Legislature created the new positions in May it specifically required the judges be elected. Jimenez and the 11th Judicial Circuit JNC — whose nine members were all appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush — asks that the judgeships be filled by appointment by the end of this year. That would mean that Gov. Bush would get to appoint the new judges before he leaves office in early 2007. The surprise move seeks to reverse a delicate compromise reached last year between Republicans and Democrats. Last year, the Republican-controlled Legislature created 55 new judgeships to be filled through appointment by the Republican governor. The deal with the Democrats was that the judgeships created in 2006 would be filled through election. The seats created this year included 35 circuit court judgeships and 20 county court judgeships."

Interesting issue here. Any thoughts?

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