Justiceline: January 4, 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 federal judge responds angrily to Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision to use his annual report to defend the Supreme Court’s ethics, accusing Roberts of belittling the ethical issues faced by lower court judges: “I have about 35 class actions, a death penalty habeas corpus case requiring my personal examination of over 10,000 pages of transcripts, briefs and opinions — to say nothing of the idiotic Fair Debt Collection Practices Act cases plaguing my docket that have all the sophistication of traffic violations — it would be a relief to withdraw from, if I had not taken an oath. I think it’s the same oath the chief justice took.”
  • Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) concludes that the state constitution does not allow him to cast the tiebreaking vote in budget disputes, effectively depriving Republicans of a governing majority on this issue.
  • Meanwhile, Virginia’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) tries to explain to a federal judge that he is unbiased in Gov. Rick Perry’s challenge to the state’s strict ballot qualification law despite the fact that Cuccinelli criticized the law he is now expected to defend.
  • A three judge panel struck down West Virginia’s congressional map.
  • A disgraced former journalist who fabricated magazine articles asked the California Supreme Court to let him have a license to practice law.