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DEPUTY PD TO RUN FOR GONZALEZ’S SEAT Deputy Public Defender Phoenix Streets hopes to follow the footsteps of Matt Gonzalez from the San Francisco public defender’s office to City Hall. Streets says he’s running for Gonzalez’s seat on the Board of Supervisors in November and hopes to hold a kick-off event in the next two weeks. Gonzalez, a former deputy public defender, recently announced he won’t run for re-election. “I’d considered [running] before, but I was never going to run against Matt,” said Streets, a Western Addition resident who declined to state an affiliation with any political party. Though the citywide election is nonpartisan, Gonzalez is widely perceived as a poster boy for the Green Party. “I have been absolutely no part of city government,” Streets says unabashedly. “Politicians are supposed to be average citizens” who want to improve their community, he said. Streets spent four years in the U.S. Navy — he was stationed on an aircraft carrier in San Francisco — before getting his undergraduate degree in political science and mass communications from UC-Berkeley. After he graduated from Hastings College of the Law in 1997, Streets worked briefly at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights in San Francisco, then practiced housing law as a staff attorney at Bay Area Legal Aid in Oakland. Streets, now in the felony unit, says he will mark his fourth anniversary in the public defender’s office in May. This fall, the defense attorney may find himself running against a prosecutor, in addition to a host of others thought to be considering a run for District 5. Homicide prosecutor James Hammer, who’s leaving the San Francisco DA’s office at the end of this week, has said he’s considering running for Gonzalez’s seat, but hasn’t made a final decision. — Pam Smith GEORGIA STRIP- SEARCH CASE TAKEN UP EN BANC ATLANTA — Opponents of Judge William Pryor Jr.’s nomination to the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals cited so many problems with the positions he took as Alabama attorney general that a case involving similar issues was bound to come before the court. Now it has. The Eleventh Circuit agreed March 31 to rehear a case in which a three-judge panel last year sided with a Georgia police officer accused of conducting a humiliating and unconstitutional strip-search of two motorists. At issue will be qualified immunity — the legal protection government officials get when they violate the Constitution but judges decide the law was not clearly established enough at the time of the incident for the officials to have been forewarned about it. This time all 12 judges will weigh in, including Pryor, who as Alabama AG argued forcefully for qualified immunity in a case that dealt with similar issues. In that 2002 case, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed an Eleventh Circuit decision granting qualified immunity to three Alabama prison guards accused of leaving a prisoner chained to a hitching post in the sun for seven hours. In Hope v. Pelzer, 536 U.S. 730, a 6-3 high court majority held that “obvious cruelty” such as the hitching post did not need — as the Eleventh Circuit had ruled — to be barred specifically for officers to have fair warning that the practice was unconstitutional. Representing the guards, then-Alabama AG Pryor issued a statement quoting Justice Clarence Thomas’ dissent. It complained the majority had imposed “its own subjective views on appropriate methods of prison discipline. “Qualified immunity jurisprudence has been turned on its head,” Thomas, and Pryor, added. — Fulton County Daily Report

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