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Cultivated Compendium is my periodic round-up of important, cutting-edge or interesting legal news as well as some of my original reporting and musings.


 

News and Reporting

September 27th, 2015
Lana Slezic has a visual history in The Walrus of the Canadian residential schools in which Indian children were taken away from their families to boarding schools in order to "civilize them." The United States has this same history of assimilation too (I wrote my senior thesis at Mount Holyoke College about this). Slezic's photographic essay looks at the decaying remains of these institutions, asking if their destruction through... Continue Reading
September 21st, 2015
President Barack Obama's administration has agreed to pay $940 million for failing to compensate American Indian tribes for public services like law enforcement that tribes carried out, NPR's Laura Wagner reports. The services are provided by the tribes under the Indian Self Determination Act, but the federal government pays for them. Sometimes the appropriations were not enough. Continue Reading
September 21st, 2015
The GOP-controlled Senate is confirming federal judges at the slowest rate in 60 years, The Huffington Post's Jennifer Bendery reports. The second-slowest year was in 1953 when the Senate only confirmed a total of nine judges. The Alliance for Justice, a left-leaning group, released a report last week presenting that analysis. Only six of President Barack Obama's judicial nominations have been voted on by senators in 2015, while 29... Continue Reading
September 20th, 2015
U.S. District Judge Richard Berman of the Southern District of New York ruled last week that the Securities and Exchange Commission is likely to lose the fight to defend its use of in-house judges as constitutional, The Wall Street Journal's Eaglesham reports. Berman, who previously ruled the SEC’s system of having its in-house judges named by the staff, rather than the agency’s commissioners, may violate the constitution, said... Continue Reading
September 20th, 2015
There is now a circuit split over whether President Obama's administrative accommodation for charities and nonprofits--who object to the mandate that health insurance cover birth control--impinges on their religious beliefs. SCOTUSBlog's Lyle Denniston reports that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled that merely notifying the government of their objection would trigger the coverage in their health insurance plans and... Continue Reading
September 20th, 2015
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has determined that virtual money is a commodity  that can be regulated, Bloomberg's Luke Kawa reports. That determination was made as part of the CFTC settling charges against a Bitcoin exchange for facilitating the trading of options contracts. That means that a company that wants to operate a trading platform for Bitcoin derivatives or futures must register as a swap execution facility or... Continue Reading
September 19th, 2015
The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that the psychiatric records of the female serial killer who was the basis of "Arsenic and Lace" cannot be released, The Connecticut Law Tribune's Christian Nolan reports. Amy Archer Gilligan poisoned several of her boarders and was hospitalized as criminally insane. The Supreme Court held that the psychiatrist-patient privilege and Gilligan's privacy interests, even though she has... Continue Reading
September 19th, 2015
Iowa is scrapping its Medicaid program because there has been a spike in premiums of around 20 percent and because just two insurance carriers have joined in, FierceHealthPayer's Dori Zweig reports. Enrollees are going to be moved into the traditional Medicaid expansion program or into Medicaid managed care. Continue Reading
September 12th, 2015
California Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would have banned drones being flown lower than 350 feet above private property without permission, Wired's Klint Finley reports. In his veto message, Brown wrote that the bill "'could expose the occasional hobbyist and the FAA-approved commercial user alike to burdensome litigation and new causes of action.”' Continue Reading
September 7th, 2015
Ohio can't deny Medicaid benefits to a senior citizen by defining family to exclude his spouse, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has ruled. Courthouse News' Lorraine Bailey reports that Medicare beneficiaries Leslie Wheaton, George Hart and Joe Turner did not also qualify for Medicaid benefits under a Ohio Department of Medicaid rule. That rule says that a spouse doesn't count as a member of a beneficiary's... Continue Reading
September 7th, 2015
Robert Edward Precht, opining in The Washington Post, said that China is posing a moral dilemma for the American Bar Association because of its recent crackdown on human rights lawyers. He criticizes the ABA for not impugning a recent crackdown on lawyers in China and for its vote against making a statement at the annual meeting in August against the crackdown. Opponents argued that Beijing might close the ABA office in China if the... Continue Reading
September 7th, 2015
Robert Edward Precht, opining in The Washington Post, said that China is posing a moral dilemma for the American Bar Association because of its recent crackdown on human rights lawyers. He criticizes the ABA for not impugning a recent crackdown on lawyers in China and for its vote against making a statement at the annual meeting in August against the crackdown. Opponents argued that Beijing might close the ABA office in China if the... Continue Reading
September 7th, 2015
Robert Edward Precht, opining in The Washington Post, said that China is posing a moral dilemma for the American Bar Association because of its recent crackdown on human rights lawyers. He criticizes the ABA for not impugning a recent crackdown on lawyers in China and for its vote against making a statement at the annual meeting in August against the crackdown. Opponents argued that Beijing might close the ABA office in China if the... Continue Reading
September 7th, 2015
Robert Edward Precht, opining in The Washington Post, said that China is posing a moral dilemma for the American Bar Association because of its recent crackdown on human rights lawyers. He criticizes the ABA for not impugning a recent crackdown on lawyers in China and for its vote against making a statement at the annual meeting in August against the crackdown. Opponents argued that Beijing might close the ABA office in China if the... Continue Reading
September 7th, 2015
A charter school law backed by Bill Gates was found to be unconstitutional by the Washington Supreme Court, The Washington Post's Valerie Strauss reports. The court, 6-3, ruled that the Washington state constitution only allows public-school funds to support "common schools," and charter schools can't be common schools because their boards are not elected by the public. Strauss, citing the law review article, “The... Continue Reading

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