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In the Courts

Divided Supreme Court Poised To Allow Citizenship Question On 2020 Census

The Supreme Court’s conservative majority seems ready to approve the Trump administration’s bid to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census form.  Democratic states, municipalities, and civil rights groups are challenging that move, warning a citizenship question will inevitably diminish minority participation. The census is used to apportion seats in Congress among the states, draw district lines, and award ...

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Trump’s Census Citizenship Question Faces Supreme Court Scrutiny

The Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday over the Trump administration’s bid to append a citizenship question to the 2020 census questionnaire. Democratic states and city governments are challenging the citizenship question, fearing that diminished noncitizen participation will deprive them of federal funding and seats in Congress. The Justice Department, on the other hand, says citizenship questions have regularly appeared ...

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Supreme Court To Decide If Workplace Discrimination Law Covers Gay, Trans People

The Supreme Court announced Monday that it will decide whether a federal law banning discrimination in the workplace covers LGBT employees. The justices granted review of three petitions arising from Georgia, New York, and Michigan. The first two cases pertain to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The Michigan appeal concerns bias against transgender workers in employment practices. Title ...

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Judge Rules Flint Can Sue Federal Officials Over Water Contamination

A federal judge ruled Thursday that Flint citizens can move forward with lawsuits targeting the Environmental Protection Agency’s handling of the city’s lead contamination problems. The EPA under former President Barack Obama was too slow to intervene in the case, according to U.S. Judge Linda Parker, who ruled that the federal government was not immune from legal action in the ...

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Obama-Era Judge Slams The Brakes On Trump Order To Open Fed Lands To Coal Mining

A federal judge in Montana delayed a Trump administration attempt to open up more federal lands to coal mining Friday, The New York Times reports. U.S. District Court judge Brian Morris ruled that the Trump administration illegally overturned a moratorium placed on coal mining on federal lands by former President Barack Obama. Obama instated the policy in 2016 as part ...

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Chief Justice Rejects Bid For Same-Day Audio In Census Citizenship Case

US Supreme Court

Chief Justice John Roberts rebuffed a bipartisan request to provide same-day audio for next week’s arguments in a much-watched dispute over the Trump administration’s bid to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. A bipartisan coalition of congressmen sent a letter to the chief justice April 12, urging him to make audio of the argument available on the same ...

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New York Judge Strikes Down Rule Over Private And Religious School Inspections

A New York judge struck down a rule that allowed public inspection of private schools Wednesday. Judge Christina Ryba ruled that the updated guidelines were not enacted in compliance with the State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA), The Associated Press reported Thursday. The New York State Education Department introduced the set of guidelines in November 2018 to check if private schools were ...

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A Law Used To Punish Gun Crimes Is Under Attack At The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a constitutional challenge to a federal law that prosecutors say is essential to aggressively policing gun crimes. The defendants, Maurice Davis and Andre Glover, were convicted of a string of armed robberies in Texas in June 2014. The pair are challenging one of the laws under which they were convicted, arguing it is ...

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We Blushed Reading These Legal Briefs At The Supreme Court

US Supreme Court

The Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday over a provision of federal law that prohibits the government from registering vulgar trademarks. Erik Brunetti, the artist who founded the clothing line FUCT (pronounced like the past tense conjugation of a vulgar verb), is challenging a provision of the Lanham Act that bars the approval of scandalous and immoral trademarks. The Patent ...

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9th Circuit Deals Trump An Immigration Win. Yes, You Read That Right

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily lifted an order suspending the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), a Trump administration policy that requires Central American asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico before their appearance in immigration court. Though the Friday evening stay is not indicative of the government’s future prospects in this case, it was a rare victory for an administration ...

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Supreme Court May Shift on Death Penalty

The U.S. Supreme Court may be set for a forceful shift on the death penalty after a recent 5-4 decision unexpectedly signaled an important change to the justices’ approach to capital punishment and the Eighth Amendment. Though it is too premature to make definitive statements about the Court’s direction, the April 1 decision in Bucklew v. Precythe suggests the newly ...

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Judge Blocks Trump Administration Policy of Returning Asylum Seekers to Mexico

A U.S. judge on Monday temporarily barred the Trump administration from enforcing its “Remain in Mexico” policy which returns asylum seekers back to Mexico while they await a hearing. San Francisco Judge Richard Seeborg ordered the administration on Monday to halt the deportation of asylum seekers and gave federal officials until Friday to contest the decision, according to The Associated ...

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Some Think Clarence Thomas Might Retire Soon, But He Does Not

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas denied any interest in retirement this weekend, telling a friendly audience in Beverly Hills, California that he has no plans to leave judicial service in the near future. Speaking at Pepperdine University School of Law’s annual dinner, the 70-year-old Thomas emphatically denied speculation that he will leave the Supreme Court, amid speculation that he may ...

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Supremes Refuse To Dismiss Planned Parenthood’s Lawsuit Over Secret Tapes

US Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to hear a request to dismiss a case accusing a pro-life group of illegally filming and releasing video footage of abortion workers allegedly negotiating the illegal sale of aborted baby parts. The high court rejected The Center for Medical Progress’s plea to dismiss a 2016 Planned Parenthood lawsuit alleging that CMP fraudulently obtained video ...

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Judge Strikes Down Trump’s Deal With Alaskan Community For A Life-Saving Road

A federal judge on Friday vacated a land swap agreement between an Alaskan village and the Interior department because the federal government violated procedural law when making the deal. U.S. District Court of Alaska Judge Sharon Gleason nullified a January 2018 deal that traded roughly 500 acres of federally protected wilderness to the community of King Cove, Alaska, in exchange ...

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