Justiceline: November 30, 2011

Welcome to Justiceline, ThinkProgress Justice’s morning round-up of the latest legal news and developments. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @TPJustice.

  • A group of right-wing Christian groups are staging a “live nativity scene” in front of the Supreme Court, complete with animals. The display is an act of protest against what they perceive as increasing “hostility toward public expressions of faith especially during the Christmas Season.”
  • GOP contender Gov. Rick Perry is desperately trying to counter the perception that he’s merciful to immigrants by embracing the endorsement of Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is notorious for his degrading and often illegal treatment of detained undocumented immigrants.
  • Did the Supreme Court send a grandmother back to prison just to teach the Ninth Circuit a lesson? Emily Bazelon reports that in their largely unnoticed but “most vindictive [decision] of the term,” the justices sent a women back to prison for a crime she probably did not commit — apparently to keep the lower court in line.
  • Despite persistent under-reporting, hate crimes in Mississippi are on the rise. More than two-thirds of Mississippi’s counties failed to file a report with the Justice Department, and activists say the actual numbers may be twice as high as what’s reported.
  • Thirty years after he attempted to assassinate then President Ronald Reagan, John Hinckley Jr. is seeking release from the mental hospital where he’s been since 1982. A jury found Hinckley not guilty by reason of insanity.
  • Yesterday the Senate struck down an amendment that would’ve eased the country’s tough policy on detainees. The amendment to the Defense Department spending bill would have removed a section that authorizes the president to use “all necessary and appropriate force” to detain people suspected of terrorism, which many say is a threat to constitutional liberties.