Justice

COMMENTARY

Hate crimes are on the rise − but the narrow legal definition makes it hard to charge and convict

BY: - December 6, 2023

With hate crimes, context is everything, and events outside of the United States – like the war between Israel and Hamas – can have far-reaching and potentially tragic consequences. Vermont police arrested a man in Burlington on Nov. 27, 2023, for allegedly shooting three 20-year-old Palestinian American men, seriously wounding them. Two of the men […]

Sen. Collins continues to reject more judicial nominees under Biden than previous administrations

BY: - December 5, 2023

Nearly three years into President Joe Biden’s term, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins’ rate of opposition to judicial nominees is notably higher than it was during the Trump, Obama, Bush and Clinton administrations — a shift that comes amid a push by Democrats to counter the conservative tilt of the federal bench.  Of the 159 Biden […]

Tribes in Maine spent decades fighting to rebury ancestral remains. Harvard resisted.

BY: and - December 4, 2023

This story was originally published by ProPublica, a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up for Dispatches, a newsletter that spotlights wrongdoing around the country, to receive our stories in your inbox every week. Donna Augustine was in tears as she read the letter from Harvard University that winter morning in 2013. Looking […]

Sandra Day O’Connor, who made history as the first woman on the Supreme Court, dies at 93

BY: - December 1, 2023

WASHINGTON — The first woman to serve on the nation’s highest court is dead at 93. Sandra Day O’Connor, a groundbreaking justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, died Friday in Phoenix, Arizona of complications related to advanced dementia, probably Alzheimer’s, and a respiratory illness, according to an announcement from the court. President Ronald Reagan nominated […]

GOP senators walk out of vote on subpoenas in U.S. Supreme Court ethics inquiry

BY: - November 30, 2023

WASHINGTON — South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham and Republican colleagues stormed out of a Democratic-led U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee vote on Thursday to authorize subpoenas for two high-profile GOP operatives as part of an ethics probe into undisclosed financial ties to U.S. Supreme Court justices. The panel voted 11-0 to subpoena billionaire Republican donor Harlan Crow […]

Spike in death investigations highlights Maine medical examiner’s limited staff, budget

BY: - November 30, 2023

A murder-suicide in Searsmont. A caretaker who allegedly murdered two patients in Denmark. An isolated shooting in Biddeford.  These are just some details of the nine death investigations reported by the Maine Department of Public Safety between Nov. 21 and Nov. 28 — just one week. Most of them were ruled homicides; a seeming deluge […]

Commission touts legislative package meant to advance racial equity in Maine

BY: - November 30, 2023

Tribal sovereignty, housing and criminal legal system reform are among the top issues that the Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous and Tribal Populations has identified for legislative priorities in 2024. The Permanent Commission released a “Justice For All” policy package on Wednesday, which includes 13 pieces of carried over legislation and new […]

Lewiston shooting commission pursuing subpoena power from state legislature

BY: - November 20, 2023

At its first meeting, the Independent Commission to Investigate the Facts of the Tragedy in Lewiston decided to move forward with obtaining subpoena power to ensure it can gather all the necessary information to understand the state’s deadliest mass shooting.  The commission unanimously agreed Monday to ask Gov. Janet Mills and Attorney General Aaron Frey […]

Courts, state officials hesitate to keep Trump off 2024 ballots

BY: - November 18, 2023

Some scholars say a little-known, Civil War-era provision in the U.S. Constitution should prohibit former President Donald Trump from appearing on state ballots in next year’s presidential election. But it seems increasingly unlikely that he will be disqualified. Courts in Colorado, Michigan, New Jersey and elsewhere are considering whether Trump engaged in insurrection on Jan. […]

Why Mainers of varying backgrounds have united around call for ceasefire in Gaza

BY: - November 17, 2023

An elected official of Islamic faith. A Penobscot community organizer. An advocate for displaced people. An anti-Zionist Jewish activist.  Each of these Mainers have different identities, belief systems and personal experiences, but all are unwavering in their support of a ceasefire in Gaza. They and others across Maine have made this clear in recent weeks, […]

Democrats urge feds to update banking ‘red flags’ on legal marijuana businesses

BY: - November 17, 2023

The federal government unfairly penalizes state-legal marijuana businesses whose owners have been convicted of marijuana-related crimes, restricting them from loans and other banking tools, a group of U.S. Senate and House Democrats wrote to the Treasury Department asking for a change in policy. The group of 20 lawmakers, who mostly represent states where recreational marijuana […]

Maine parental rights case raises questions about cross-border crimes in NH Supreme Court

BY: - November 15, 2023

A lower court’s decision to terminate a mother’s parental rights has divided the New Hampshire Supreme Court, resulting in two justices arguing the other three are using the bench to write state policy. The case involves a mother who while living in Maine was convicted of sexually assaulting one of her children. A Maine court […]