Capitol Bell – The Supreme Court hands down a big Sixth Amendment right-to-counsel win

Capitol Bell – The Supreme Court hands down a big Sixth Amendment right-to-counsel win


The Daily Signal
March 31, 2016
Good afternoon from Capitol Hill, where Heritage Foundation legal eagles John Malcolm and Jason Snead write about a big win at the Supreme Court for your right to a lawyer to defend you. James Sherk finds some bright spots in the new jobs report. And Mariana Barillas reports that sponsors of Georgia’s religious freedom bill are disappointed but unbowed by the governor’s veto. Have a great weekend.

March employment report shows labor market is growing. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics found unemployment ticking up 0.1 percentage points in March, the good news was greater labor force participation and 215,000 new jobs created. Still, the economy has much farther to go before it fully recovers from the recession. The labor force participation rate for prime-age workers remains 1.7 percentage points below pre-recession levels, writes The Heritage Foundation’s James Sherk.
The Supreme Court hands down a big Sixth Amendment right-to-counsel win. Five justices—Stephen Breyer, John Roberts, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Clarence Thomas—concluded that the government cannot freeze a defendant’s untainted assets and deny her the opportunity to be represented by an attorney of her choosing in the criminal case against her, write The Heritage Foundation’s Jason Snead and John Malcolm.
Sponsors of Georgia’s religious freedom bill decry governor’s veto. Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, vetoed the legislation—called the Free Exercise Protection Act—saying the bill did not reflect Georgia’s image as a state full of “warm, friendly, and loving people.” Sponsors said they intended provisions of the bill to provide “defenses and relief” to “protect religious freedoms” of Georgians who don’t want the government to force them to violate their faith. The Daily Signal’s Mariana Barillas reports on the fallout.
What we’re reading: Writing for The National Review, Heritage Action CEO Mike Needham digs into “a revealing debate about the Republican Party … between The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page and Ross Douthat, a leading ‘reformocon’ writer.” Needham notes: “Both sides are focused on what Republican leaders such as House Speaker Paul Ryan should be doing right now. The truth is that the array of options for Ryan or any other party leader is remarkably thin in the short term.”

California’s minimum wage proposal has labor unions and Democrat state lawmakers cheering, but labor experts are already forecasting increased prices for consumers and more transitions to automation for business owners. James Sherk, a research fellow in labor economics at The Heritage Foundation, said a $15-an-hour minimum wage is unprecedented for any state. The Daily Signal’s Melissa Quinn has more.
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