TLJ News from February 26-29, 2012

People and Appointments

2/29. President Obama nominated Brian Davis to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. See, White House news office release and release. He has been a state court judge in Florida since 1994.

2/29. President Obama nominated John Dowdell to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma. See, White House news office release. He is a partner in the Tulsa, Oklahoma law firm of Norman Wohlgemuth Chandler & Dowdell. His law firm biography states that he handles complex litigation, including antitrust and telecommunications, and that his clients include T-Mobile USA and Gemstar-TV Guide.

2/29. The National Science Foundation (NSF) published a notice in the Federal Register (FR) that announces the members of the NSF's Senior Executive Service Performance Review Board. See, FR, Vol. 77, No. 40, Wednesday, February 29, 2012, at Pages 12331-12332.

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2/29. A grand jury of the U.S. District Court (DC) returned a five count criminal indictment that charges ICM Components, Inc., and its general manager, David Levick, with violation of U.S. export control laws in connection with their export of vertical gyroscopes and other aerospace products  to Iran. The Department of Justice (DOJ) stated in a release that the indictment alleges "conspiracy to defraud the United States and to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Arms Export Control Act; as well as four counts of illegally exporting goods to an embargoed nation in violation of IEEPA". The release adds that ICM is an Australian corporation, and that Levick is at large in Australia. However, the goods involved were of U.S. origin.

House Judiciary Committee Approves Bill to Expand Investor Visa Program

2/28. The House Judiciary Committee (HJC) approved HR 3992 [LOC | WW], a short bill that adds Israel to the countries eligible for E-2 visas, which allow foreign investors to travel to the US. This is conditioned upon reciprocal treatment from Israel for US investors.

Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) introduced this bill on February 9, 2012. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) are the original cosponsors.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and others introduced the companion bill in the Senate, S 921 [LOC | WW], on May 9, 2011.

These bills would add Israel to the countries covered by both 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(E)(i) and (ii), which pertain to "an alien entitled to enter the United States ... solely to carry on substantial trade, including trade in services or trade in technology, principally between the United States and the foreign state of which he is a national" or "solely to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which he has invested, or of an enterprise in which he is actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital".

Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committees Face Turnover

2/28. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) announced that she will not run for re-election in November. She is a senior member of the Senate Commerce Committee (SCC), which has jurisdiction over telecommunications and other technology related issues. See, full story.

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2/28. The National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Computer Security Division (CSD) released its draft SP 800-53 Rev. 4 [375 pages in PDF], titled "Security and Privacy Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations". The deadline to submit comments is April 6, 2012. This will be the only comment period. The NIST/CSD states that "Publication of the final document is anticipated in July 2012".

Tony West Named Acting Associate Attorney General

2/27. Tony West was named acting Associate Attorney General at the Department of Justice (DOJ). In addition, Stuart Delery was named acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the DOJ's Civil Division. See, DOJ release.

Tony WestWest (at right), who will replace Tom Perrelli, joined the Obama administration in early 2009 as Assistant AG of the Civil Division. Before that, he was a partner in the San Francisco office of the law firm of Morrison & Foerster. See also, story titled "Obama Names Perrelli to be DOJ Associate Attorney General" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,878, January 6, 2009.

The Associate AG is the third ranked position at the DOJ, after the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General. This position oversees the key civil components of the DOJ, including the Antitrust Division, Civil Division, and Civil Rights Division.

Delery, who will replace West, has worked in various positions in the Obama DOJ since early 2009. Before that, he was a partner in the Washington DC office of the law firm of Wilmer Hale.

People and Appointments

2/27. The Senate confirmed Margo Brodie to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York by a vote of 86 to 2. See, Roll Call No. 23.

Go to News from February 21-25, 2012.