Category: Law and Justice

Advocates: End the “bitter irony” of robbing poor students to pay for charters

Anti-charter school demonstration in New York

Lawyers for Newark’s public school children have asked New Jersey’s  appellate courts to block the Christie Administration’s effort to nearly double charter school enrollment in the state’s  largest school district, warning the increased privatization of the city’s schools would deepen the system’s fiscal crisis, increase racial isolation, and deprive the neediest public school students of essential services.
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Anger over election turns to action, chants and tears in Newark

Nenseh Koneh, a Temple University student from Newark, speaks to anti-Trump demonstrators at City Hall
Nenseh Koneh, a Temple University student from Newark, speaks to anti-Trump demonstrators at City Hall

About 100 demonstrators, mostly young women of color, marched and chanted their way through the streets of downtown Newark Saturday afternoon, part of a spreading movement against the presidency of Donald Trump. They staged two sit-down protests in four hours, closing McCarter Highway and occupying the concourse of Newark Penn Station.
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BRIDGEGATE–Why would a federal judge want to keep the truth from the public?

Baroni, Christie and Wildstein on 9/11/13--what were they laughing about? Someone's lying about that.
Baroni, Christie and Wildstein on 9/11/13–what were they laughing about? Someone’s lying about that.

In September of 2013, a small number of highly-paid government employees from New Jersey–men and women close to Chris Christie, the state’s governor running for re-election and aspiring to be a presidential candidate–tied up traffic at the entrance of the George Washington Bridge to New York, the busiest interstate crossing in the nation. Those employees didn’t want you to know the purpose of the tie-up or who caused it. Now, three years later, another small group of people–including a federal judge, the US Attorney and defense lawyers are still trying to keep the truth about what has come to be known as Bridgegate from the residents of New Jersey and the rest of the nation.
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BRIDGEGATE: At trial’s closing, someone finally takes on the bully named Chris Christie

Michael Critchley with Bridget Anne Kelly
Michael Critchley with Bridget Anne Kelly

For two hours on Halloween, Michael Critchley, the relentless criminal defense lawyer, said about Chris Christie what should have been said long ago. What should have been said about the US Attorney’s office while Christie ran it. What should have been said about the conduct of state government under Christie.
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BRIDGEGATE TRIAL–Judge mysteriously, abruptly postpones closing arguments

Federal Judge Susan D. Wigenton
Federal Judge Susan D. Wigenton

A simmering, closed-door legal argument over the judge’s charge  in the Bridgegate trial this morning led to an abrupt and mysterious cancellation of the session that was supposed to see defense attorneys present their closing arguments. After federal Judge Susan D. Wigenton sent the jurors home–with no explanation beyond that a “legal issue” had come up–lawyers for both sides were uncharacteristically closed-lipped about the reason.
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BRIDGEGATE TRIAL–The “extraordinarily weird” twist in the month-long trial.

Bridget Anne Kelly (from The Daily Beasty).
Bridget Anne Kelly (from The Daily Beast).

The prosecution’s case in the Bridgegate trial has been living with a possibly fatal flaw for weeks–and, on Friday, that flaw threatened both the chances for convicting at least one defendant and also the credibility of the two-year federal investigation into the closing of entrance lanes at the George Washington Bridge in September, 2013. It has to do with an oddly worded email:
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BRIDGEGATE TRIAL–A wrong turn for the defense, laughter, and thuggery

Bill Baroni--WSJ Photo
Bill Baroni–WSJ Photo

Attorneys for Bridgegate defendant Bill Baroni rested Wednesday–and the case for the defense seemed to fall with a crash at the feet of the jury. Instead of the defense ending on a high note of chipper character witnesses or rebutting damaging cross examination, Baroni wandered  into a testimonial trap about a non-existent school in Jersey City.
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BRIDGEGATE TRIAL–Defendant Baroni’s version shredded on cross-examination

Lee Cortes
Lee Cortes

Bridgegate trial defendant Bill Baroni’s efforts to portray himself as an honest, compassionate and politically independent–if, at times, conflicted– public servant vanished in a mist of embarrassment Tuesday as a federal prosecutor shredded Baroni’s self-serving version of the decision to create massive traffic jams at the George Washington Bridge  in September, 2013. And gone, too, is any doubt over whether Gov. Chris Christie was involved in whatever his lemmings were doing at the bistate agency.
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