U.S. lawmakers have left out a proposal to make the federal judiciary's PACER online court records system free from a sprawling, $1.66 trillion spending measure unveiled on Tuesday, a setback for advocates as the current Congress nears its end. Supporters of the Open Courts Act had been pushing to get the stalled, bipartisan legislation attached to the omnibus spending measure, which boosts overall spending on the judiciary by nearly 6% to $8.461 billion in fiscal year 2023. Read more about what could be next for PACER.
The DOJ recently announced its first-ever settlement requiring the end of a so-called "crime-free" rental housing program. The agreement with Hesperia, California, includes $1 million in remedial compensation to residents harmed by the city's policies, which required landlords to evict people if police informed them that a tenant engaged in purported criminal activity. "Crime-free" ordinances are touted as crime-prevention strategies, but research shows they're more often a reaction to increasing diversity and a legal mechanism that has perpetuated residential segregation across the country, columnist Hassan Kanu writes. The DOJ's enforcement action is a signal to other cities to proactively reform their programs, rather than face potential lawsuits. Read more.
Check out other recent pieces from all our columnists: Alison Frankel, Jenna Greene and Hassan Kanu