On November 28, 2016, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed an amicus curiae brief urging the Supreme Court not to grant a writ of certiorari for review of the Fifth Circuit decision in Veasey v. Abbottstriking down a Texas voter ID law. Given the likely views of the Trump administration on voter ID laws, if the Court grants review, DOJ may well file a brief in support of the petitioner. Such brief would present the matter rather differently from the agency’s recent filing. [Read More]
George Will quotes Federalist Society directors Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz and Boyden Gray in his Washington Post op-ed on the Justice Department's recent settlements against Bank of America and how the payment is being handled:
The Justice Department has negotiated “bank settlement agreements” whereby banks make restitution to the government for the damage they allegedly did in connection with the creation and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities in the subprime mortgage crisis. Our subject here is not, however, whether the sums extracted from the banks (e.g.,Citigroup $7 billion, Bank of America $16.65 billion, JPMorgan $13 billion) are proportionate to their alleged culpabilities. Rather, our subject is what Justice does with millions of these dollars.
The Justice Department has celebrated its settlements with major banks for their conduct leading up to the subprime mortgage crisis, and the headlines have trumpeted the staggering total sums: Bank of America $16.65 billion, Citigroup $7 billion, JPMorgan $13 billion. What is less well known is that some of this money — amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars — is designated for “donation” to various “community development” organizations that were neither parties to the case nor victims of the alleged wrongdoing. Investor’s Business Daily hascharacterized these payments as “political payoffs to Obama constituency groups,” and Congress is now considering banning this practice with theStop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2016.
Additionally, Rosenkranz and Gray both testified before the The U.S. House of Representatives Committee On Financial Services, Subcommittee On Oversight and Investigation in May.
As one condition of the settlement stemming from their role in the subprime mortgage crisis, Bank of America was permitted to deflect payments that would otherwise go to the Treasury to a list of non-governmental organizations approved by the government.
The United States is famously a nation of laws and not of men—or must we now say “persons”?—but what, exactly, does that mean? And, more important, is that still even true? In many ways it isn't. And the further from the rule of law we stray, the less of a Republic we become. [Read More]
A new post at the Graves Garrett, LLC blog highlights a new Department of Justice memo about prosecuting individual executives and employees of corporations:
The Department of Justice has released a memo detailing a new policy aimed at further reducing corporate fraud – one of the DOJ’s top national priorities—by getting more personal with its investigations of wrongdoing. The memo, titled “Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing,” was issued by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and outlined the DOJ’s motives behind the new policy that focuses on prosecuting individual executives and employees, as well as the steps that would be taken to implement it. ...