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Archive for December 4th, 2014

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Michael F. Cavanagh’s Remarkable Judicial Career Celebrated

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

Legal luminaries this week celebrated the distinguished judicial career of Michigan Supreme Court Justice Michael F. Cavanagh, the longest serving appellate judge in state history. Several hundred people attended the court’s extraordinary session in Lansing on December 3rd to express their appreciation for his exceptional service to the legal profession and the people of the state of Michigan.

Justice Cavanagh became a judge in 1972 when he was elected as a district judge in Lansing. Two years later he was elected as Judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals, and in 1983 the electorate promoted him to the state Supreme Court where he has served for thirty-three years. He was Chief Justice from 1991-1995. When he retires on January 1st  next year, he will have sat on the bench for forty-two years and ruled on nearly 100,000 cases.

His life on the bench reminds us of the qualities that make up a great judge: integrity, a consistent sense of justice, common sense, contribution to the development of the rule of law, and civility.

Successfully navigating the treacherous waters of Michigan judicial politics is itself a notable accomplishment. There are many arguments against an elected judiciary. Voter neglect and indifference regularly produce judges who are mediocre or worse and who serve as prime examples of why a well constructed appointive system makes more sense. But Justice Cavanagh is the exception. Even when his views on subjects such as criminal law and procedure are out of the mainstream, he continues to be respected for the integrity of his opinions.

Fifty years ago Chief Justice Earl Warren and the U. S. Supreme Court revolutionized criminal procedure in America by a decade of cases which re-interpreted the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments to the Constitution. In the decades which followed many of these rulings have been tempered and contracted by conservative Court majorities who struck the balance differently between defendants’ rights and crime control.

As prosecutors we have applauded this shift. So why should we celebrate the views of judges like Justice Cavanagh, who often ruled contrary to the changing majority by supporting the continued expansion of defendants’ rights? Because his views, majority or dissent, made us all better prosecutors and law enforcement officers. They poked and prodded us in the nuances of investigation and prosecution to be more careful, more consistent, and more professional in our jobs. His sense of justice contributed significantly to the creation of a better criminal justice system.

His enrichment toward the development of the rule of law extends well beyond criminal law and procedure into a wide variety of other substantive areas. He also mentored 53 law clerks (including me), was a law school teacher of ethics and practice, a champion of victims’ rights, a national leader in the support of tribal courts, and a tireless worker for the improvement of the law and its practitioners.

For all of these attributes, it is Michael Cavanagh’s civility and peacemaking qualities which are most valued by those who worked with and for him.  Having seen judges who demean, terrify, and reduce lawyers to tears, and having been the object of thrown briefs, vocal tirades, I have more than once wished, at least for a moment, that I had stayed on the family farm. But being in Justice Cavanagh’s presence is always a refreshing, even enjoyable, experience.

Justice Cavanagh is that rare judge who can probe and question, and even ultimately rule against you, without making litigators want to retreat to a life of wills and debt collection in the safety of their offices. Surely this courtesy and respect will continue to be paid forward into countless acts of civility and professionalism by lawyers and judges for decades to come.

So thanks Justice Michael Cavanagh. Your life’s work made a difference for us all.

Parker: Michigan Supreme Court Justice Michael F. Cavanagh’s Remarkable Judicial Career Celebrated

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office.
By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

Legal luminaries this week celebrated the distinguished judicial career of Michigan Supreme Court Justice Michael F. Cavanagh, the longest serving appellate judge in state history. Several hundred people attended the court’s extraordinary session in Lansing on December 3rd to express their appreciation for his exceptional service to the legal profession and the people of the state of Michigan.

Justice Cavanagh became a judge in 1972 when he was elected as a district judge in Lansing. Two years later he was elected as Judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals, and in 1983 the electorate promoted him to the state Supreme Court where he has served for thirty-three years. He was Chief Justice from 1991-1995. When he retires on January 1st  next year, he will have sat on the bench for forty-two years and ruled on nearly 100,000 cases.

His life on the bench reminds us of the qualities that make up a great judge: integrity, a consistent sense of justice, common sense, contribution to the development of the rule of law, and civility.

Successfully navigating the treacherous waters of Michigan judicial politics is itself a notable accomplishment. There are many arguments against an elected judiciary. Voter neglect and indifference regularly produce judges who are mediocre or worse and who serve as prime examples of why a well constructed appointive system makes more sense. But Justice Cavanagh is the exception. Even when his views on subjects such as criminal law and procedure are out of the mainstream, he continues to be respected for the integrity of his opinions.

Fifty years ago Chief Justice Earl Warren and the U. S. Supreme Court revolutionized criminal procedure in America by a decade of cases which re-interpreted the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments to the Constitution. In the decades which followed many of these rulings have been tempered and contracted by conservative Court majorities who struck the balance differently between defendants’ rights and crime control.

As prosecutors we have applauded this shift. So why should we celebrate the views of judges like Justice Cavanagh, who often ruled contrary to the changing majority by supporting the continued expansion of defendants’ rights? Because his views, majority or dissent, made us all better prosecutors and law enforcement officers. They poked and prodded us in the nuances of investigation and prosecution to be more careful, more consistent, and more professional in our jobs. His sense of justice contributed significantly to the creation of a better criminal justice system.

His enrichment toward the development of the rule of law extends well beyond criminal law and procedure into a wide variety of other substantive areas. He also mentored 53 law clerks (including me), was a law school teacher of ethics and practice, a champion of victims’ rights, a national leader in the support of tribal courts, and a tireless worker for the improvement of the law and its practitioners.

For all of these attributes, it is Michael Cavanagh’s civility and peacemaking qualities which are most valued by those who worked with and for him.  Having seen judges who demean, terrify, and reduce lawyers to tears, and having been the object of thrown briefs, vocal tirades, I have more than once wished, at least for a moment, that I had stayed on the family farm. But being in Justice Cavanagh’s presence is always a refreshing, even enjoyable, experience.

Justice Cavanagh is that rare judge who can probe and question, and even ultimately rule against you, without making litigators want to retreat to a life of wills and debt collection in the safety of their offices. Surely this courtesy and respect will continue to be paid forward into countless acts of civility and professionalism by lawyers and judges for decades to come.

So thanks Justice Michael Cavanagh. Your life’s work made a difference for us all.

FBI Director James Comey Warns of Social Media Dangers During Jacksonville Visit

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

During a visit to the FBI’s Jacksonville field office, Director James Comey delivered a warning about social media.

“You have a feeling you’re safe and alone in your kitchen, when you’re actually out wandering all over the world,” Comey said about the availability of personal information on social media, First Coast News reports.

Comey said terrorists use social media to keep tabs on law enforcement and the military.

“We want to make sure, given these terrorists are bent on hurting people, especially those in uniform, that we are not communicating things that make it easy for them,” he said.

But Comey said he doesn’t “want to freak people out.”

“I just want them to be prudent,” he said.

Border Patrol Offers Jobs for Women Only to Help Correct Gender Imbalance

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A job posting for new Border Patrol agents didn’t mince words: “Male applicants won’t be considered.”

Customs and Border Protection is trying to correct a significant gender imbalance in the agency by recruiting only women, Fronteras reports.

“Customs and Border Protection has a critical need for female Border Patrol Agents for the screening of female detainees who enter the United States,” reads the job post.

The full-time jobs start with salaries ranging between $39,000 to $44,400 and offer plenty off opportunities for promotions.

Border Patrol hires a small portion of women than most federal law enforcement agencies.

Spokeswoman Agent Shevannah Wray said there’s a greater need for female agents because apprehensions of women are up 173% since 2011.

2 People Killed, 7 Hospitalized After High-Speed Chase Ends in Crash in Texas

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Two people were killed and seven hospitalized following a high-speed pursuit involving U.S. Border Patrol, Kiii News reports.

A driver of an SUV fled agents, leading to a chase that ended on Highway 77 about two miles south of Ricardo, Texas.

The crash happened about 9 a.m.

ABC 10 reports that about 16 people were underneath a tarp in the SUV.

“There was a lot of people in there… I couldn’t believe they fit that many people in there,” witness Luiza Marques told ABC 10.

More than a dozen people were detained.

Homeland Security Acknowledges It Released 2 Terrorists from Turkey Under Judge’s Order

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com  

Homeland Security was forced by a judge to release two men who admitted belonging to a terrorist group from Turkey, the Washington Times reports.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said the agency released two of four men who were captured crossing the southern border and have since fled to Canada. The other two remain in custody.

Johnson said he had no choice but to release the suspects.

Although the men claimed to be members of the Revolutionary People’ Liberation/Front, a Marxist group, but counterterrorism officials believe they are members o f the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which has been fighting for Kurdish rights in Turkey.

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