Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks – January 31, 2014

Burrage v. United States, US Supreme Court (1/27/14) Criminal Law Long-time drug user Banka died after a binge that included use of heroin purchased from Burrage. Burrage pleaded not guilty to charges that he had unlawfully distributed heroin and that “death … resulted from the use of th[at] substance,” which carries a 20-year mandatory minimum sentence under the Controlled Substances

Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks – January 24, 2014

Kosilek v. Spencer, US 1st Cir. (1/17/14) Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law Sixty-four-year-old Plaintiff was born anatomically male but suffered from severe gender identity disorder. In 1992, Plaintiff was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. In 2000, Plaintiff filed a complaint against the Massachusetts Department of Correction (DOC), alleging that the DOC was denying her adequate medical

Justia Weekly Writers’ Picks – January 17, 2014

Verizon v. FCC, et al, US DC Cir. (1/14/14) Communications Law, Internet Law Verizon challenged the FCC’s Open Internet Order, which imposed disclosure, anti-blocking, and anti-discrimination requirements on broadband providers. The court concluded that the Commission has established that section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C. 1302(a), (b), vests it with affirmative authority to enact measures encouraging