Rolling the Dice on Gamble / First Step Act Update

Yesterday (Monday), the Senate held a procedural vote on the First Step Act to end debate and bring the bill up for a floor vote. The vote passed the procedural vote by an overwhelming 82-14. A vote is set for later today. Although Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and John Kennedy (R-Louisiana) are going to try and add more amendments, many Senators, including several Republicans, have said that enough is enough. The concerns of violent criminals getting out early already has several safeguards in place.

The bill must pass the Senate with at least 60 votes. Once it does that, a joint committee between the House and Senate will discuss any compromises and the bill will be sent back to the House for a new vote. The House will return to session Wednesday evening and we expect them to pass it as early as Thursday. Once that occurs, the President has until noon eastern time on January 3, 2019 to sign it and the bill would go into effect.

We are keeping an eye on this and as soon as it passes both chambers and President Trump signs it, we will send out a breaking news email to share with you.

Until then, enjoy this week’s article.

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Lexis Nexis Search Tips

We are continuing to monitor any updates on the First Step Act. Some rumors have been going around saying that the Senate passed it on Thursday. To the best of my knowledge, nothing has been voted on yet. In the event anything does happen, we will let you know. The bill must be voted on in the Senate and then sent back to the House to be voted on again and then signed by President Trump before it becomes law. To keep from getting false hopes up, even if the bill passes the Senate, we will let you know in the regular newsletter. However, once it passes both houses and is signed by the President, we will send a special notice. If you would like to keep track of it more closely, feel free to add our friends at Legal Information Systems (LISA Legal) to your contact list. Their email address is newsletter@lisa-legalinfo.com

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Categorical Exclusion on the Way Out? / Supreme Court Update

Supreme Court Update:
Cert granted in Kisor v. Wilkie.
Question presented: Should the Supreme Court overrule Auer v. Robbins & Bowles v. Seminole Rock & Sand Co., which directs courts to defer to an agency’s reasonable interpretation of its own ambiguous regulation?

Opinion issued in United States v. Stitts; United States v. Sims
Held: (1) The term “burglary” in the Armed Career Criminal Act includes burglary of a structure or vehicle that has been adapted or is customarily used for overnight accommodation. The decision of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals is reversed.

(2) Sims case is vacated and remanded to the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals to determine if the Arkansas burglary statute is overbroad.

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Is Official Misconduct Rare? / Supreme Court News

First off, we are trying something new. Each week, we plan on sending out with one of our posts a list of all Supreme Court cases that were granted in the past week, as well as each one that is set for arguments sometime that week. While we don’t have a synopsis of what the case is about (yet), we can at least let you know if a case you had been monitoring has been granted cert or has been argued before the court.

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