While state medical marijuana laws are legally valid, they may expose state officials to federal criminal liability, says the Congressional Research Service. For example, a state law that requires officials return medical marijuana improperly seized from a qualified individual could qualify as a felony under the Controlled Substances Act, says the report.
A 5-meter rise in sea level would flood 23 federal buildings in Washington, D.C., according to a study in the November issue of Risk Analysis . Even though 5 meters exceeds the likely amount of sea-level rise for the next 100 years, the study (.pdf) says that level could be reached during storms.
The Justice Department is mobilizing more than 780 federal and 51 departmental observers to monitor jurisdictions in 23 states on Nov. 6 in an effort to protect voters and combat election fraud for the general election.Justice notes that state and local governments are primarily responsible for administering and monitoring elections, but its Civil Rights Division enforces federal voting rights laws that give citizens the right to access the ballot.
The agency that runs U.S. immigration courts routinely overstates its performance, the Justice Department office of inspector general says. Within the DOJ, the Executive Office for Immigration Review administers the courts that decide whether or not to deport those charged with immigration violations. In a report (.pdf) released Nov. 1, auditors describe several ways the EOIR makes its performance look better than it really is.
The United States Postal Service paid three employees well above the legal limit in 2011, says the USPS office of inspector general. In its report, OIG says the Postal Service paid a total of $110,011 above salary caps for the calendar year 2011, because it failed to request permission to make some payments and also exceeded established limits.
Violent crime and property crime in the United States rose 17 and 11 percent, respectively, from 2010 to 2011--but the rate of serious violent crime remained flat, the Bureau of Justice Statistics says. These figures do not account for homicide though.
If automatic budget cuts known as sequestration go into effect, expect to see 1.4 million lost jobs, a 9.1 percent unemployment rate, and 100,000 new homeless Americans, according to Democrats on the House of Appropriations Committee.The Homeland Security Department would have to cut 24,500 jobs and the Justice Department would cut 7,500 positions.
FBI surveillance of people in the United States is under investigation by the Justice Department office of inspector general. Among other things, the OIG is reviewing compliance with the FISA Amendments Act of 2008's requirement to minimize the collection and retention of information about people in the United States.
In a report (.pdf) to Congress sent earlier this year obtained in redacted form by FierceGovernmentIT through a Freedom of Information Act request, Justice officials say their new approach to LMR network modernization hinges on utilizing existing state radio systems "emphasizing the sharing and consolidation of legacy component radio systems."
California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed Sept. 30 a bill that would have required law enforcement officials to obtain search warrants prior to accessing location data collected by wireless providers via cell phone towers.