Well, as you know by now the First Step Act has passed and is now law. The most common question is when will the good time be recalculated? According to one staff member at my institution, he was told that it would begin January 9th. Nothing is for certain yet on how they will do this or even if that is when they will, but it’s the most I’ve got to go on so far. The rest of the implementations, will take up to seven months to develop, possibly up to six months to implement and then the BOP has up to two years to begin the program development. So this will not be a fast process by any means. Continue reading “Investment Tips While Incarcerated”
The FIRST STEP Act is all but a finality now. In fact, possibly by the time you read this message, President Trump will have signed it into law. On Tuesday, the Senate passed it with a vote of 86-12 and yesterday, the House passed it by a vote of 358-36. According to CNN, President Trump is expected to sign the bill into law Friday (today) in the Oval Office.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
While many federal prisoners and their families await the outcome of the First Step Act, many senators are still not on board. According to the executive director of Justice Action Network, Holly Harris, “70 to 80 senators already support the proposal.” One of the holdouts is Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas). Continue reading “Cotton’s Lies Lead to Others Against First Step Act”