Justiceline: January 15, 2013

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

  • The 113th Congress will hold a public reading of the Constitution today, for just the second time in history.
  • For the first time in seven years, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas uttered a few barely audible words during oral argument yesterday — to bash his law school alma mater, Yale.
  • Thomas’ remarks came during oral argument in a case about the state of Louisiana’s years-long delay in paying for a death penalty lawyer while the defendant was held in jail. The court also heard arguments about how much discretion judges should have over mandatory minimum sentences.
  • A 12-year-old boy was convicted of second-degree murder after a California judge found that Joseph Hall understood what he was doing when he shot his neo-Nazi father two years ago.
  • Public knowledge about conditions in U.S. prisons is limited by harsh restrictions on journalist visits to corrections facilities.
  • Slate’s Emily Bazelon discusses the muddy space between guilt and innocence, and how Internet activist Aaron Swarz’s death is cause for a discussion about prosecutorial overreach.