Civil rights lawyers from the Department of Justice have lambasted a law in Boise, Idaho, that bans people who are homeless from sleeping in public places, The Washington Post's Emily Badger says. The DOJ said in a court filing such laws are unconstitutional when there aren't enough beds for homeless people to sleep indoors: "' When adequate shelter space does not exist, there is no meaningful distinction between the status of... Continue Reading
The Connecticut Supreme Court, 4-3, has ruled that the state's death penalty is unconstitutional for inmates who were already sentenced to death, The Huffington Post's Kim Bellware reports. Legislators already repealed the death penalty for future crimes.
The majority ruled that execution of inmates who committed capital felonies prior to April 2012 would violate the state's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Continue Reading
Arkansas, Kentucky, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington all have had a 10-percentage-point reduction in their rates of citizens who don't have health insurance, Gallup's Dan Witters reporst. Seven of the 10 states that have had the greatest reductions in uninsured rates have expanded Medicaid and established a "state-based marketplace exchange or state-federal partnership." Continue Reading
The New York Times' Farhad Manjoo writes that the right to be forgotten--or, more specifically, the right requiring search engines to erase the online search results about European citizens in favor of their privacy--could spread to the United States. For example, a French regulator has ruled that all of Google's sites, including American versions, should grant the right to be forgotten on Google sites that are not country specific... Continue Reading
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has taken a case that will examine that state's civil forfeiture procedures, The Legal Intelligencer's Lizzy McLellan reports. The case involves the seizure of a Philadelphia woman's home and vehicle that were seized because her son sold marijuana out of her home.
The issue of asset forfeiture is heating up with federal cases also challenging the Philadelphia district attorney's procedures... Continue Reading
Yesterday was the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, which was focused on the health of indigenous peoples, their access to health services and gaps in social services.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was adopted in 2007, "'affirms the right to maintain indigenous health practices as well as to have access to all social and health... Continue Reading
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently ruled that a reporter didn't have to disclose the identity of a confidential source for a 2004 story about a federal ethics investigation into a former U.S. attorney, MLive's Khalil AlHajal reports.
David Ashenfelter, who at the time was a reporter for the Detroit Free Press, wrote a story about how then-Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Convertino handled a terrorism case... Continue Reading
Companies including Dole and Ancestry.com are souring on Delaware as the place of their incorporation, The Wall Street Journal's Liz Hoffman reports: "Dole is one of several companies that say the state has become less hospitable toward business. Among their gripes: a growing tide of shareholder litigation, which some feel the state hasn’t done enough to curb. One new measure bars companies from shifting their legal fees to... Continue Reading
Idaho's "ag gag" law banning undercover surveillance inside of agricultural operations has been ruled unconstitutional, The Guardian's Rory Carroll reports. U.S. District Judge B Lynn Winmill ruled the ban violates the constitutional right to free speech and to equal protection: "'An agricultural facility’s operations that affect food and worker safety are not exclusively a private matter. Food and worker... Continue Reading
A remote tribe living in the Amazon jungle is about to be contacted by outsiders from the Peruvian government for the first time, The Washington Post's Ishaan Tharoor reports. The Mascho Piro people are not the first tribe to have existed "almost entirely outside the purview of the nation-states in which they technically live."
Critics says that contact with outsiders could cause many members of the Mascho Piro people to... Continue Reading
Earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that an immigration law that treats mothers and fathers differently in determining whether their children may claim U.S. citizenship is unconstitutional, Reuters' Joseph Ax reports.
The law requires unwed fathers who are U.S. citizens to spend at least five years residing in the U.S. before they can confer citizenship to children born out of country, out of... Continue Reading
The Washington Post's Kenneth R. Harney reports that mortgage problems make up 28 percent of the 600,000 complaints posted on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's website. Complaints about mortgage lenders, debt collectors, credit-card companies and credit bureaus are logged on the site.
The CFPB started posting narratives for those complaints June 25, but lenders can't post their own narratives. David Stevens,... Continue Reading
Law firms engaged in debt collection can be regulated by New York City, the New York Court of Appeals has ruled. Christy Young Berger, blogging on Accounts Receivable Management's blog, notes that two law firms, Eric M. Berman and Lacy Katzen, argued New York's law encroached on the state's exclusive authority to regulate the legal profession. The New York Court of Appeals, in answering a question posed to it by the U.S. Court of... Continue Reading
Here is some interesting legal news from last month:
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rebuked a Nevada district court judge for denying pro hac vice admission to Department of Justice lawyers based in Washington, D.C., The National Law Journal's Zoe Tillman reports.
Tillman reports that U.S. District Judge Robert Jones had concerns about the "'ethical commitments'" of out-of-state government lawyers,... Continue Reading
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that the federal government must continue to provide medical care to veterans exposed to chemical and biological-weapons experiments as well as any new information that may affect their health, Metropolitan News-Enterprise's Kenneth Ofgang reports. The experiments took place between 1942 and 1975.
The panel said the fact that care is available through the Department of Veterans... Continue Reading