FROM Michael Nachmanoff
Crack Sentencing Reforms Take Effect Twelve thousand inmates are eligible for release from federal prisons due to reforms of sentencing laws for crack cocaine. Cocaine is illegal in all its forms but, in federal sentencing law, there's a disparity between crack and powder. The penalty for possession or distribution of crack used to be 100 times greater than for powder. Critics called the old laws unfair, especially to African-Americans. Now, the difference is just 18 to one. Congress made the change a year ago. Now the Sentencing Commission has made the change retroactive . Michael Nachmanoff is the federal public defender for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Trump, the GOP and the rule of law Conservatives — and some Republicans — are criticizing the President for "the mess he made" in firing FBI Director James Comey. We hear about a potential successor, the possibility of "obstruction of justice" and the constitutional separation of powers.
Trump's Russia ties intensify with Comey firing Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe contradicted the Trump White House today, insisting the Bureau had not lost faith in former Director James Comey. He promised to notify the committee of any interference into investigation of the Trump campaign's contacts with Vladimir Putin's Russia. What do we know about those contacts… and how they relate to Trump's business interests and those of his family?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.