Last year, the NY Court of Appeals rejected a constitutional challenge to the state's practice of keeping people in prison past their release dates if they're too poor to find compliant housing. @LegalAidNYC filed a cert petition, & SCOTUS is interested. supremecourt.gov/search.aspx?fi…
Here's the Court of Appeals decision from last November, with 2 judges dissenting. The NY Attorney General ignored the cert petition at first, but SCOTUS has now requested they respond by June 28. At least one justice must be looking closely at the case. nycourts.gov/ctapps/Decisio…
Here's more information from @RestoreAlliance, which filed an amicus brief in support of cert outlining the harms of NY's indefinite incarceration policy. A release date should mean release, & the prison system should have no power to hold you beyond it. restorativeactionalliance.org/amicus_ortiz_b…
The people affected by this NY policy are subject to SARA, a NY statute that partly overlaps with but isn't the same as its sex offender registry law. More about SARA & this state policy in this thread:
NYC is legally required to provide shelter for anyone who needs it & state prisons are legally required to let people out when their release date arrives. But together they've colluded to allow only 10 people a month who are subject to SARA to leave prison for NYC shelters:
This means that, for hundreds of poor imprisoned New Yorkers who can't afford housing, whether & when they'll be allowed out of prison depends not on the sentence they got, their prison record, or anything like that, but rather how many others are in line to get out before them.
Here's the first of several stories in the @RestoreAlliance amicus brief about the effects of NY's policy on incarcerated people & their families. The Supreme Court could end this practice, but so could NY's legislature or governor. d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/resorativeacti…

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More from @srfeld

29 Aug 20
You have to read between the lines a bit, but this decision by a NY appeals court from this week seems to reveal police misconduct & perjury. There won't be any consequences for the cop, but here's what seems to have happened in case anyone's interested: nycourts.gov/reporter/3dser…
A Brooklyn cop got a search warrant for an apartment, supposedly based on an informant's claim that he'd bought drugs there twice. As usual it was a no-knock warrant, & cops burst in at 6:20am to find a man asleep in bed. Here's what these raids look like.
The cops (allegedly) expected to find evidence of a drug business: "cocaine, vials, caps, glassine envelopes, small ziplock bags, currency, and financial records." Instead, after tearing the place up, they found 1 single baggy of drugs, a couple pipes, a gun, & nothing else.
Read 13 tweets
7 Jun 20
There are social media reports circulating that habeas corpus has been suspended in New York, which people find justifiably alarming. Although what's happening in New York is bad, it is not a suspension of habeas corpus. Here is the explanation for anyone who's interested.
Habeas corpus is an old legal mechanism that allows people who are being held by the government to challenge the legality of the detention in court. If the government were to grab you off the street and hold you somewhere, you could file a petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
Habeas isn't a law that gives you the right not to be detained; it's a way for courts to free people who are being detained in violation of a right granted by some other law, like the Constitution. If the government is holding you without violating any laws habeas won't help you.
Read 10 tweets
13 Feb 20
So proud of my friends Liv Warren & @happygolawky for testifying before the House Judiciary Committee today on sexual harassment in the federal judiciary & the inadequate mechanisms for addressing it.
Here's a written copy of Liv's testimony about the harassment she experienced while clerking for the late Judge Stephen Reinhardt, a brilliant left-wing jurist whose shocking behavior towards his clerks was the subject of rumors before his death in 2018. docs.house.gov/meetings/JU/JU…
Judicial clerkships are a prized opportunity for young lawyers & a relic of a pre-modern apprenticeship system. Judges rely heavily on their clerks & have nearly unchecked power over them during their term of employment. A few judges, by pure luck, turn out to be good bosses.
Read 5 tweets

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