Now the Public Has a Clearer Picture of How the Federal Government Only Serves Itself
No new opinions issued by the U.S. Supreme Court this morning, but there should be several in the next two weeks. However, was anyone even remotely capable of turning away from the over-hyped Congressional testimony this past week of the former "Top Law Enforcement Officer of the United States?" Turns out that he was just another "CI," who leaked information (or made stuff up) in hopes of improving his circumstances (or reducing his sentence).
Although the media circus was allegedly about the President and his administration, it was the disingenuous nature of the American justice system that was actually publicly "unmasked." Add this development to the general public's growing unease with the narrative that "we're from the government, and we're here to help you."
Make no mistake, the DOJ and BOP are an integral part of the "Deep State." If you believe in the maxim, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend," the current administration's disruptive attack on the federal bureaucracy is cause for guarded optimism. It will be interesting to see where this goes.
The other consequence of this turmoil in Washington is the new-found assertiveness of the federal judiciary, who have been looking for ways to assert their independence of the DOJ and the executive branch. In this new atmosphere, there is hope that the Chevron case, which granted broad judicial deference to federal agency (i.e., BOP) rulemaking powers, will finally be revisited. This would be huge, as lawsuits on matters such as substandard medical care and compassionate release would not face the current high threshold for success.
In the circuits, there were some interesting cases the past week. In U.S. v. Zuniga, the defendant overcame a Beckles defense to his sentence, successfully arguing "that his prior Texas conviction for delivery of a controlled substance cannot serve as a predicate offense for purposes of Section 4.B1.1's enhancement," and reversing and remanding his conviction, following Hinkle, Decamps and Mathis. (14-11302, June 5, 2017).
In a follow-up to the 7th Circuit stash-house sting cases, the 7th rejected a 2255 habeas alleging inadequate representation of counsel where defense counsel failed to raise an entrapment defense. Unlike the case of his co-defendant Mayfield, 771 F.3d at 424, n. 3, Nathan Ward lost his direct appeal, and was left with only the habeas to contest his guilt. Ward v. U.S, 15-2599, June 5, 2017.