A life-and-death struggle for asylum in America

By Susan Ferriss and Amy Isackson

Teens' tortured road to asylum in America.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Immigration":

"… to a nondescript building housing the local office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Lithe and athletic, the girl knew she’d be less than a mile f …"

"… resolution nationwide, according to data provided by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. During the first nine months of the 2014 fiscal year, 65 percent …"

"… d fled to the United States. Her case had previously reached the Board of Immigration Appeals, the BIA, the highest review body within the Immigration system. T …"

Sunshine state uses fees to prevent sun from shining on judicial records

By Alison Fitzgerald

In Florida, a court is charging massive fees for some public records.

Debit cards slam released prisoners with sky-high fees, few protections

By Amirah Al Idrus

Former prisoners say funds earned in prison eaten away by exorbitant debit card fees.

Excerpts from this story referencing "bank":

"… hoice: Many consumers who choose to use a prepaid card, often instead of a bank account, can shop around for the least costly option. Released inmates lik …"

"… against fraud, said Marty E. Moore, a Utah-based lawyer who represented a bank that issued prepaid cards given to inmates at Ramsey County Law Enforcemen …"

"… cording to former Ramsey County inmates who last year sued the county, the bank and Keefe Commissary Network, which provides the cards to the jail.   …"

Enforcement of gun laws hinges on local sheriffs' interpretation of Second Amendment

Rural sheriffs across the country are by protesting gun control laws

Excerpts from this story referencing "Maryland":

"… State police and highway patrol get their orders from the governor,” the Maryland sheriff said. “I get my orders from the citizens in this county.” Wit …"

"… force the laws altogether. Sheriffs in states like New York, Colorado and Maryland argue that some gun control laws defy the Second Amendment and threaten ru …"

"… a sheriff is to be the interposer between the law and the citizen,” said Maryland Delegate Don Dwyer, an Anne Arundel County Republican. “He should stand …"

"… ions: Article XIV of Colorado’s, Article XV of Delaware’s, Part VII of Maryland’s and ARTICLE XIII of New York’s. Nearly all of America’s 3,080 sher …"

State lawmakers take aim at federal gun control

By Justine McDaniel, Robby Korth and Jessica Boehm

A growing collection of state legislatures seeks to disqualify federal gun control laws

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate":

"… I think the president and the majority of Congress, both in the House and Senate, are just completely out of touch with how people feel about Second Amendm …"

Stronger self-defense laws spread, despite limited measure of impacts

By Jon LaFlamme

Stand your ground laws expand American's right to self defense, but their impact varies from state to state

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Bar Association":

"… his case, a jury can convict.” Tracking The Impact In early August, the American Bar Association released a report following a national study on the impact of stand your g …"

New scrutiny on campus sexual violence highlights Center findings

By Gordon Witkin

New efforts are aimed at both assisting schools and putting pressure on them to assist victims of sexual violence.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama administration":

"… weak.  …"

Class-action suit: Wrong to put kids into immigration court with no lawyers to help

By Susan Ferriss

Kids whose dad was killed by gangsters are among the plaintiffs in a suit arguing that children should have lawyers in immigration court.

Will migrant kids lose access to child-welfare and legal specialists in rush to deport?

By Susan Ferriss

Child advocates are worried possible legal changes could cut off migrant kids' access to social workers, asylum lawyers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Carolina":

"… imes were later discovered after police broke up a sex-trafficking ring in North Carolina, Maryland and New Jersey in 2007. Some of the girls were caught at th …"

Supreme court justices earn quarter-million in cash on the side

By Reity O'Brien

Nearly all Supreme Court justices reported earning thousands for teaching and book royalties beyond their federal salaries.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Sonia Sotomayor":

"… released Friday and reviewed by the Center for Public Integrity. Justice Sonia Sotomayor did not report any outside income in 2013, despite the recent success of h …"

Fourth case reopened after Center uncovers judicial conflict of interest

By Chris Young

U.S. appeals court reopened foreclosure case after Center uncovered that a judge owned stock in Wells Fargo, court reaches same decision.

Excerpts from this story referencing "bank":

"… ne of the three judges who participated in the decision owned stock in the banking giant. But Mountaga and Michelle Johnson Bah, the couple fighting to k …"

"… n Wells Fargo at the time she participated in the 2010 ruling favoring the bank. In a May 27 letter to the court, Bah called the original appeals court j …"

"… id. For now, the Bahs remain in their home, partly because they filed for bankruptcy in 2009. But Bah said he is struggling to keep up with mortgage paym …"

Race-car driver's payday lending business 'deceived borrowers'

By David Heath

AMG Services, a Kansas firm started by race-car driver Scott Tucker, may be ordered to repay tens of millions of dollars to borrowers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Nebraska":

"… f Overland Park, Kan. Tucker turned to three Indian tribes in Oklahoma and Nebraska when the attorney general of Colorado tried to shut his business down. Th …"

"… business down. The Miami and Modoc tribes of Oklahoma and Santee Sioux of Nebraska successfully argued in state courts they have sovereign immunity, so state …"

Republicans to target Van Hollen in FEC complaint

By Dave Levinthal

Party official: Republicans to file an FEC complaint about the Democratic congressman's pro bono legal aid.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee":

"… would itself sign on. “It is beyond ironic for the former head of the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] to file a lawsuit asking for stricter regulations on reporting political …"

Court reopens third case after Center uncovered judicial conflicts of interest

By Chris Young

Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reopens 2007 case after Center alerts judge that his wife owned ExxonMobil stock when he ruled on case.

Excerpts from this story referencing "oil":

"… t the wife of one of the judges owned up to $100,000 worth of stock in the oil company at the time of the panel’s decision. The New Orleans-based 5th …"

"… t accused ExxonMobil and its chairman of maliciously and illegally raising oil and gas prices. But the court reopened the case on May 15, one day after …"

"… hat Judge Thomas Reavley did not know that his wife had owned stock in the oil company until seven years after the court ruled. Reavley is married to fel …"

State Senate leader reacts to Center report, urging counsel for truants

By Susan Ferriss

A majority state Senate leader in Tennessee says he is troubled by a Center report on accused truants prosecuted, jailed with no lawyers.

Judge who stopped Wisconsin campaign finance probe tied to Koch-funded junkets

By Chris Young

Federal judge who attended Koch-funded conferences halts campaign finance investigation into Wisconsin group with Koch ties.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wisconsin":

"… nd to an investigation into possible illegal campaign coordination between Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and conservative groups during two recent recall electio …"

"… Judge Rudolph Randa of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin ordered prosecutors to immediately halt its long-running investigation int …"

"… ation into the campaign spending and fundraising activities of Walker, the Wisconsin Club for Growth and other conservative groups. Prosecutors were trying to …"

"… g campaign strategies at the time of the 2011 and 2012 recall elections in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Club for Growth spent millions on ads during Wisconsin’s …"

Labor Department unveils rule to protect coal miners following Center investigation

By Chris Hamby

Move is a direct response to disclosures that lawyers kept key evidence from sick miners, which caused some to lose benefits cases.

Tennessee Supreme Court declines to review case featured in Center report

By Susan Ferriss

Tennessee teen truant was jailed, allegedly without being informed of right to counsel.

Excerpts from this story referencing "spokeswoman":

"… inted defense counsel, as required. Dena Iverson, a Department of Justice spokeswoman, confirmed that information forwarded by Listenbee’s office is under rev …"

Feds investigating allegations that Humana Inc. overcharged Medicare Advantage program

By Fred Schulte

Whistleblower suit at center of Medicare Advantage overbilling allegations.

Oil giant Citgo gets off easy in criminal case

By Priscila Mosqueda

Residents of Corpus Christi, Texas, who say they were sickened by emissions from the Citgo refinery decry a judge's denial of restitution.

Case reopened after Center reveals judge's conflict of interest

By Kytja Weir

Center investigation identifies conflicted judge leading to new hearing for discrimination case.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Alabama":

"… case.” The 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta, covers Florida, Georgia and Alabama. The appellate courts are second only to the U.S. Supreme Court in terms o …"

Juvenile injustice: truants face courts, jailing without legal counsel to aid them

By Susan Ferriss

Court procedures leave minor offenders with few rights.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Law":

"… who later represented A.G. and oversees the Knoxville campus’ Education Law Practicum.  Due to litigation that’s pending, Irwin declined repea …"

"… o bono idea, which remains in limbo. On the court’s behalf, Knox County Law Director Richard Armstrong sent a letter to the Center for Public Integrit …"

"… 12, more than 9,600 minors were taken to court for truancy. The Education Law Practicum Rivkin supervises offers pro bono help to Knoxville area familie …"

Abuse in court? Deputy strikes boy in court, boy charged with assault

By Susan Ferriss

A court and sheriff's department with a checkered past are accused in a suit of tolerating abuse of a boy in court.

ICIJ guide to voter restrictions around the world

By Sasha Chavkin and Hamish Boland-Rudder

In light of the recent voter ID ruling in Wisconsin, ICIJ set out to learn more about voting restrictions outside of the U.S.

Donors, friends of governors often get state supreme court nod

By Rachel Baye

Judicial elections are often criticized for corrupting influence, but appointment process has problems too.

Excerpts from this story referencing "New Jersey":

"… or comment, and a representative of Stras and Gildea declined to comment. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been accused of playing politics by NOT appointing …"

"… Christie has been accused of playing politics by NOT appointing justices. New Jersey Supreme Court justices are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the …"

"… A Christie spokesman referred to the governor's past statements that the New Jersey Supreme Court had "overstepped its role." "Even before I officially becam …"

"… , Stuart Rabner, is believed to be at risk. Rabner’s term ends in June. New Jersey State Bar Association President Ralph Lamparello warned that Chr …"

Get involved: Help judges' disclosures investigation go further with donations and news tips

Join us in finding cases where ruling judges may have had a conflict.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Twitter":

"… to our email newsletter or following us on Facebook or Twitter. What we've found so far The Center found 26 examples since 2010 where …"

Federal judges plead guilty

By Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young

Judges acknowledge conflicts of interest Center found in 26 cases.

Information on judges' disclosures often blacked out

By Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young

More than 40 percent of federal appellate judges had portions of financial disclosures blacked out.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ethics in Government Act":

"… re required to explain the reasons for the redactions. The post-Watergate Ethics in Government Act of 1978 required federal judges, along with legislative and executive bran …"

Dozens of intelligence contractors have submitted false claims for federal funds

By Douglas Birch

Pentagon report reveals that those implicated typically kept their security clearances.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… tion,’” some details were beyond its scope. An October 2011 report to Congress by the Pentagon’s Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition said contrac …"

North Carolina foster teen languishes in adult jail for school incident

By Susan Ferriss

A judge freed a foster girl from adult jail after a school police arrest, but N.C. social services fail to come get her.