DOJ v. White House: Attorney General Eric Holder Jr.'s decision this week to appoint a prosecutor examine brutal interrogation methods highlights his influence in the Obama administration and the "delicate relationship" between the White House and the Justice Department, according to a piece in The Washington Post that examines the back story behind Holder's move. Obama has shown no eagerness to examine alleged abuses at the CIA, wanting to move forward on an aggressive domestic agenda than look back at the Bush-era. But Holder went against that mandate, saying that a preliminary review of certain detainee cases is the "responsible" path to take.
ABA v. FTC, Round 1: The American Bar Association is suing the Federal Trade Commission in federal district court in Washington to block enforcement of regulations that require businesses and organizations that act as "creditors" to establish a program for preventing identity theft, The National Law Journal reports. Lawyers, doctors and other professionals are included in the FTC's definition of creditors because customers are billed after services are provided. The ABA is challenging that interpretation.
Securities Suit Tossed: A federal judge in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has tossed a securities fraud suit against Merrill Lynch and six subsidiaries, citing the "profound" downturn in the mortgage market as contributing to the plaintiffs' woes, The Legal Intelligencer reports via law.com. U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick said in his 40-page opinion in Luminent Mortgage Capital Inc. v. Merrill Lynch & Co. that the plaintiffs "allege no facts to support their assertion that defendants' misrepresentations in 2005—rather than the market dislocation that occurred in 2007—caused an economic loss."
18 Years Later: A girl who was 11 when she was kidnapped in 1991 in California was reunited with her family this week after being held captive for 18 years by a sex offender who fathered two children with her, The Wall Street Journal reports. Phillip Garrido, 58, was arrested on charges that included suspicion of kidnap and rape, authorities said. The New York Times story on the abduction is here.