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Forward through the Darkness, Forward into Light

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which enshrines these words: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” That’s kind of a big deal. If you can think of a more Read More

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California Courts Must Tighten Belts Again

The state’s new budget, signed into law on Monday, cuts $200 million from the judiciary. For the fiscal year that begins today, the trial courts have $176.9 million less than last year, and the appeals courts lose $23.1 million. Overall, the budget gives $4 billion to fund the courts out of a total of $202.1 Read More

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Drinking From a Fire Hose

Effective December 1, federal prosecutors and defense lawyers must follow a new rule of procedure that aims to ease the burden of modern discovery. It’s a simple rule with two parts. First, no later than fourteen days after arraignment, the two sides must talk about the evidence in the case and try to agree on how Read More

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Thanksgiving 2019

This year, among other things, I’m grateful to live in a country where one group, party, or faction doesn’t wield a monopoly on power. Where power, in fact, ultimately belongs to no one but the republic itself. I was born in Iran, and for the last two weeks, the government there has waged a vicious Read More

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You Cannot Be Serious

The Fourth Amendment is supposed to protect your right to be secure against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” Those are the actual words of the text, which is why I put them in quotes. But earlier this month, the federal court of appeals that covers California and eight other states could not say whether it violated the Fourth Amendment Read More

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When the Government Goes to Trial

Every now and then, a court will speak to the core of the laws that govern our way of life. Last week, the California Court of Appeal said something profound for the 21st century. Sure, it’s been said before but maybe not in this way, updated for the modern day, spelled out in language we all understand. Read More

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You’ve (Still) Got (Money) Bail

California’s bail system is proceeding along two tracks for now. On one hand, around this time last year, the state passed a law to eliminate money bail. We broke down the new law in detail here, and we weighed its pros and cons here. The law was supposed to go into effect this October, but opponents have since Read More

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The Long Odds in Criminal Cases

They are not for the faint of heart. The fact is very few cases go to trial, and of those that do, most people go down swinging. But according to the latest data, we are seeing even fewer trials than ever. The analysis comes from a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, and the underlying data comes from Read More

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California’s Cannabis Control Appeals Panel

We end our series on the state’s pot regulations with a look at the administrative panel that will hear appeals from adverse licensing decisions. There, you’re entitled to a fair and impartial review of whether your regulator treated you right; whether its decision was supported by its findings; and whether its findings were supported by substantial evidence in Read More

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Enforcement by California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control

To round out the series we rolled out three weeks ago, here’s how the BCC polices the pot market. As you may know, the Bureau has a right of full and immediate access to enter and inspect any licensed premises, with or without prior notice. So they may come in and test your pot, test your Read More

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