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New State Laws On Juvenile Justice

In a reversal of the tough-on-crime legislation of the late 1980s and 1990s, 23 states have enacted laws that aim to keep juveniles out of adult prisons and court systems. A panel discusses a range of factors, including suicides by youths in adult jails as well as the cost of adult prisons, that have led to new legislation across the country.

WAMU 88.5

Washington Dysfunction And The U.S. Constitution

There's widespread agreement that our government is not working well. Legal scholars debate the causes of dysfunction in Washington and how the U.S. Constitution plays a role.

NPR

Guilty Plea Expected In Mass. Drug Lab Scandal

The chemist accused of falsifying thousands of drug tests at a Massachusetts crime lab is expected to plead guilty on Friday. Tens of thousands of criminal cases were compromised in the scandal. A judge is suggesting a three-to-five year prison sentence for Annie Dookhan, who is blamed for causing what some say is the most series forensic lab problem in the nation.
NPR

Charges Are Dropped In Florida Cyberbullying Case

The two girls drew the authorities' attention in September, after a 12-year-old girl who had been taunted and bullied jumped to her death. Police say that the girls will receive counseling.
NPR

Filibuster Changes Could Be Most Apparent In Federal Courts

The president will be able to fill the positions needed to run the executive branch as he wants. But a more long-term benefit for President Obama will come in the federal courts, where he has been stymied more than any other modern president.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - Nov. 22, 2013

A breakdown in mental health care services contributes to a tragedy for a prominent Virginia lawmaker. Construction bumps continue to plague the Silver Spring Transit Center. And D.C. planners put the brakes on revising building height limits. Join us for our weekly review of the politics, policies and personalities of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

NPR

Sen. Wicker: Senate Democrats Are Opposed To Regular Order

The Senate passed a major change to its filibuster rules Thursday. Now, the minority party can no longer easily block nominees, except for those to the Supreme Court. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid introduced the measure after Republicans had stalled the nominations of three judges to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Robert Siegel talks to Republican Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi about the change. Earlier this year, Wicker helped strike a deal with Democrats to avert the so-called "nuclear option."
NPR

Senate Democrats Pass 'Nuclear Option' To Cut Confirmation Gridlock

Senate Democrats, furious about Republicans blocking President Obama's judicial and executive branch nominations, took a dramatic and historic step Thursday. They voted to detonate the so-called nuclear option, which will curb filibusters on most nominations, allowing them to be approved by majority vote.
NPR

Senate Democrats Go 'Nuclear' To Curb Filibusters

The Senate changed its rules Thursday to allow approval of presidential appointments to the federal government and judicial bench by a simple majority vote. That simple act represented radical change and was hailed by President Obama.
NPR

Federal Bench Could See New Faces After Senate Rules Change

The Senate voted Thursday to change its rules to make it easier to approve judicial and executive branch nominees by curbing filibusters. This so-called nuclear option represents a radical shift in Senate procedure. Democrats had threatened to use after Senate Republicans upheld the confirmation of three judges to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the action could have a huge impact on the federal bench.

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