5th circuit

Ethics probe into Texas bankruptcy judge ends following resignation

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David Jones, who announced he is stepping down from handling cases, is seen during a virtual interview with Reuters in December 2020

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David Jones, who oversees more major Chapter 11 cases than any other U.S. judge, is seen in a screenshot from video shot during a virtual interview with Reuters done from Houston, Texas, U.S. December 11, 2020. REUTERS/Staff/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

  • 5th Circuit probe into former Bankruptcy Judge David Jones ends
  • DOJ’s bankruptcy trustee seeking return of fees from Jackson Walker

Nov 16 (Reuters) – A federal judicial ethics probe into former U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David Jones’ failure to disclose his romantic relationship with a lawyer whose firm regularly appeared before him has come to an end following the Houston judge’s resignation.

The chief judge of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Priscilla Richman, in an order on Wednesday said further action was “unnecessary” after Jones last month submitted his resignation as a Southern District of Texas bankruptcy judge.

Jones announced plans to resign on Oct. 15 after acknowledging to the Wall Street Journal that he had been in a years-long romantic relationship with bankruptcy attorney Elizabeth Freeman and shared a home with her.

Freeman until recently worked at Jackson Walker, a local law firm that worked on many corporate bankruptcy cases in Jones’ Houston courthouse.

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Supreme Court blocks Texas social media law

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday stopped a Texas law that would regulate how social media companies police content on their sites, while a legal battle continues over whether such measures violate the First Amendment.

The vote was 5 to 4. The five in the majority — Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett — did not provide reasoning for their action, which is common in emergency requests.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil M. Gorsuch, said he had not made up his mind about the constitutionality of the law, but would have allowed it to go into effect while review continues. Justice Elena Kagan also would have let stand for now a lower court’s decision allowing the law to take effect, but she did not join Alito’s dissent or provide her own reasons.

Two Washington-based groups representing Google, Facebook and other tech giants filed the emergency request with the Supreme Court on May 13. The Texas law took effect after a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit lifted a

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