"Justiceline: December 20, 2012"
Welcome to Justiceline, ThinkProgress Justice’s morning round-up of the latest legal news and developments. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @TPJustice
- In an unexpected move, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has turned down the opportunity to lead the the Senate’s powerful Appropriations Committee, a seat left vacant following the death of Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI). Leahy, who has been a strong advocate for confirming federal judges as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said by staying on as chair of that committee while maintaining seniority on Appropriations, he would be able to “protect both the Constitution and Vermont.”
- A federal judge has spared prison time for a former law partner found to have “used his position to launder over $18 million” for investment advisor Kenneth Starr and his Ponzi scheme. Southern District Judge Deborah Batts found that “hero worship clouded his judgment.”
- The Department of Justice has reached a settlement with Portland, Ore., over the city police department’s overuse of excessive force, including tasers, on the city’s mentally ill. The deal is awaiting court approval.
- A whopping 39 percent of eligible people have now taken advantage of President Obama’s deferred action program to allow young undocumented immigrants to apply for temporary protection from deportation, and some 103,000 people, or 11 percent, have been approved.