Carrie Johnson http://wlrn.org en Welcome To Voting Rights Boot Camp http://wlrn.org/post/welcome-voting-rights-boot-camp Election season is getting underway in states all over the country, and voting rights advocates worry some of those places may move to disenfranchise minorities by exploiting a Supreme Court ruling.<p>That ruling last June blew up a system that had forced states with a history of discrimination to win federal approval before making election changes.<p>Now, legal groups are responding by training a new generation of activists to sue. Mon, 07 Apr 2014 07:24:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 30379 at http://wlrn.org Welcome To Voting Rights Boot Camp Unanimous Jury Convicts Al-Qaida Propagandist In Manhattan http://wlrn.org/post/unanimous-jury-convicts-al-qaida-propagandist-manhattan Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>And I'm Audie Cornish.<p>Today, in New York City, just blocks from where World Trade towers stood, a jury convicted Osama bin Laden's son-in-law of conspiring to kill Americans. Sulaiman Abu Ghaith was a chief propagandist for al-Qaida. He was seen in videos with bin Laden immediately after the 9/11 attacks. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 20:56:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 29847 at http://wlrn.org Karl R. Thompson Tapped To Lead Key Justice Department Unit http://wlrn.org/post/karl-r-thompson-tapped-lead-key-justice-department-unit Karl R. Thompson has been named to lead the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, an under-the-radar but critically important unit that approves executive branch legal arguments on armed drones, surveillance and other national security issues.<p>Thompson has been advising Attorney General Eric Holder on civil litigation and Supreme Court issues since 2013. But he worked for nearly four years in the Office of Legal Counsel earlier in the Obama administration. Tue, 25 Mar 2014 15:53:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 29756 at http://wlrn.org Prosecutor David O'Neil To Head Justice's Criminal Division http://wlrn.org/post/prosecutor-david-oneil-head-justices-criminal-division Longtime prosecutor David O'Neil will become the acting head of the criminal division at the Justice Department, a position that puts him in charge of a vast portfolio ranging from financial fraud investigations to public corruption and kleptocracy among foreign leaders.<p>O'Neil had most recently worked as chief of staff to the Deputy U.S. Attorney General, focusing on oversight of criminal cases and white collar fraud investigations as well as the fallout from cascading leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Fri, 21 Mar 2014 20:29:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 29595 at http://wlrn.org Prosecutor David O'Neil To Head Justice's Criminal Division Senators Want Watchdog To Investigate Federal Prosecutorial Misconduct http://wlrn.org/post/senators-want-watchdog-investigate-federal-prosecutorial-misconduct A <a href="http://www.pogo.org/our-work/reports/2014/hundreds-of-justice-attorneys-violated-standards.html">new report</a> from the Project on Government Oversight documents 650 ethics infractions including recklessness and misconduct by Justice Department lawyers over the past decade or so.<p>Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee and Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester cited those findings to introduce legislation Thursday that would require an independent watchdog to investigate those breaches. Thu, 13 Mar 2014 21:25:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 29200 at http://wlrn.org Holder Steps Forward For Shorter Drug Sentences http://wlrn.org/post/holder-steps-forward-shorter-drug-sentences Attorney General Eric Holder is before the U.S. Sentencing Commission to support changes in sentencing for drug offenses, which could shave time off prison terms and reduce federal prison populations. Thu, 13 Mar 2014 20:45:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 29192 at http://wlrn.org On Senate Floor, Rift Opens Between Lawmakers And CIA http://wlrn.org/post/senate-floor-rift-opens-between-lawmakers-and-cia Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>I'm Robert Siegel.<p>In Washington today, a remarkable dispute between the CIA and the lawmakers who oversee its operations. Tue, 11 Mar 2014 20:00:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 29054 at http://wlrn.org Holder Speaks Out On Snowden, Drone Policy, Softening Sentences http://wlrn.org/post/holder-speaks-out-snowden-drone-policy-softening-sentences Virtually any time a major event ripples across Washington, the Justice Department is positioned near the center of it.<p>From the disappearance of a Malaysian airliner that carried three Americans on board to the fate of voting rights for millions of people, the attorney general has an enormous portfolio. Tue, 11 Mar 2014 07:27:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 29012 at http://wlrn.org Holder Speaks Out On Snowden, Drone Policy, Softening Sentences Rights Advocates See 'Access To Justice' Gap In U.S. http://wlrn.org/post/rights-advocates-see-access-justice-gap-us Too many poor people in the U.S. lack access to lawyers when they confront major life challenges, including eviction, deportation, custody battles and domestic violence, according to a new report by advocates at Columbia Law School's Human Rights Clinic.<p>Risa Kaufman, acting co-director of the clinic, is one of dozens of lawyers traveling to Geneva, Switzerland, this week to talk with a U.N. Human Rights Committee examining how the U.S. complies with an international covenant on civil and political rights. Mon, 10 Mar 2014 04:08:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 28950 at http://wlrn.org Senate Democrats Defect On Obama Civil Rights Nominee http://wlrn.org/post/senate-rejects-obama-nominee-key-civil-rights-post In a stinging blow to the Obama administration, seven Senate Democrats joined with Republicans Wednesday to block one of the president's key civil rights nominees.<p>The 47 to 52 vote marked the first defeat of a Democratic nominee since lawmakers changed Senate rules to make it easier to push through judges and executive branch candidates. Wed, 05 Mar 2014 21:35:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 28786 at http://wlrn.org Senate Democrats Defect On Obama Civil Rights Nominee Decades-Old Case Looms Large In Defeated Civil Rights Nomination http://wlrn.org/post/decades-old-case-looms-large-defeated-civil-rights-nomination Debo Adegbile was the nominee to lead the Justice Department Civil Rights Division, and he has a compelling story — from child actor to activist lawyer. The Senate defeated his nomination Wednesday. Wed, 05 Mar 2014 21:14:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 28789 at http://wlrn.org Before Lawmakers, Former Inmates Tell Their Stories http://wlrn.org/post/lawmakers-former-inmates-tell-their-stories Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.<p>Some members of Congress are calling for a more humane prison system. They're proposing a ban on solitary confinement for certain prisoners - among them, juveniles, pregnant women, and the mentally ill. Here's Illinois Democratic Senator Richard Durbin at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today.<p>SENATOR RICHARD DURBIN: By reforming our solitary confinement practices, the United States can protect human rights, improve public safety, and be physically responsible. Tue, 25 Feb 2014 21:18:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 28423 at http://wlrn.org Top Justice Dept. Official Quietly Stepped Down In December http://wlrn.org/post/top-justice-dept-official-quietly-stepped-down-december The leader of an influential Justice Department office that offers legal advice on surveillance, drones and other issues at the center of security and executive power quietly left government before Christmas.<br /> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 19:33:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 28357 at http://wlrn.org Top Justice Dept. Official Quietly Stepped Down In December New York Backs Off Controversial Punishment For Juveniles http://wlrn.org/post/new-york-backs-controversial-punishment-juveniles Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>The state of New York is taking a step toward a more humane prison system. Prison officials reached a landmark agreement today to limit the use of solitary confinement. The deal prohibits the use of extreme isolation to discipline under-age prisoners. It also offers new protections for pregnant women and for the disabled.<p>With us to talk about the deal is NPR's Carrie Johnson. Hi.<p>CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: Hi, Robert.<p>SIEGEL: New York is now the largest prison system in the U.S. to take some of these steps. Thu, 20 Feb 2014 21:05:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 28191 at http://wlrn.org In Security Cases, Feds No Longer Get Benefit Of The Doubt http://wlrn.org/post/security-cases-feds-no-longer-get-benefit-doubt Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.<p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>And I'm Renee Montagne. Good morning. We have been hearing for months about how disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden have shaken the intelligence community and spurred Congress to try to impose new limits on surveillance. In recent weeks, after-shocks from those leaks have been rippling through the courts as well. Thu, 13 Feb 2014 10:39:00 +0000 Carrie Johnson 27853 at http://wlrn.org