Home confinement and stay-at-home orders

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Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump's former lawyer, leaves his apartment to report to prison in Manhattan, New York, U.S., May 6, 2019. Photo credit: Jeenah Moon/Reuters.

Michael Avenatti’s out. Michael Cohen’s getting out. Rick Gates too. Federal judges can sentence you to a term, but it’s up to the Bureau of Prisons to decide all the other details: where you serve, level of security, home confinement and many other factors. If you’re serving a sentence in home confinement, what are the restrictions? And is it kind of like the stay-at-home orders that most Americans are under right now? In some ways, it is. Are Michael Cohen, Michael Avenatti, Rick Gates, Paul Manafort and others getting special treatment in comparison to other white collar criminals?

It’s official: Roger Stone won’t get a new trial, and Long Suffering Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson told him why in excruciating detail this week. Why did she write such a long order? This also means Stone is released from his gag order, so as you might expect, he’s angling for a pardon on Fox News.

This week, Attorney General Bill Barr was asked what the Department of Justice can do to force states to “reopen.” How much power does the federal government have here? Most of the laws we have about states’ power to protect public health during epidemics are pretty old and not much has been tested with modern constitutional analysis. Courts might have to make some tough calls if this continues for a long time. It’s going to get pretty interesting.



Sara Fay