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US Legal News Round Up for Saturday, 9 December 2017

[JURIST] Here's the domestic legal news we covered this week:

California's Public Counsel partnered with Morrison & Foerster on Tuesday to file a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] in the Superior Court of Los Angeles claiming the state has failed to uphold its suggested standards for improving literacy rates for grade school children.
Deputy Director Leandra English filed an amended complaint [text, pdf] Wednesday challenging President Donald Trump and his pick to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) [official website] as interim director.

When former director Richard Cordray formally resigned November 24, he named English as his temporary replacement [press release].

A state judge in California has dismissed [text, PDF] a case against Google alleging gender discrimination in pay and hiring practices.

The suit was brought by three female employees on behalf of all women employed by Google.

The US House of Representatives [official website] voted 423-3 [roll call] on Wednesday to approveH.
A highly divided US House of Representatives [official website] on Wednesday voted 231-198 [roll call, text] to pass HR 38 [text, PDF], a bill loosening gun regulations and allowing individuals with concealed weapons carrying permits to legally travel between states.
The number of people stopped from illegally crossing the border and the number of deportations are down, but immigration arrests are up from previous years, according to end-of-year statistics [press release] released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [official website] Tuesday.

According to the report, 98percent of US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) apprehensions nationwide were at the southwest border, which "underscor[ed] the need for a physical barrier at the border." Apprehensions at the border have decreased from previous years [report].

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases on Wednesday morning.

The first case involves award of attorney's fees in civil rights cases.

The California Department of Insurance [official website] announced [press release] Wednesday that it has served Wells Fargo Bank and Wells Fargo Insurance with an accusation [text, PDF] seeking to suspend or revoke the companies' licenses due to improper insurance sales practices.

An investigation was opened [press release] against Wells Fargo last year after Prudential employees accused Wells Fargo of signing up customers for insurance policies without permission.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) [official website] Cyber Unit announced [press release] Monday that it has obtained an emergency asset freeze against Dominic Lacroix, Lacroix's partner Sabrina Paradis-Royer, and his company, PlexCorps, after filing charges [complaint, PDF] alleging that the company's initial coin offering (ICO) for the cryptocurrency PlexCoins was a cyber scam.

Lacroix, Paradis-Royer and PlexCorps have been charged with violating anti-fraud provisions of US federal securities laws.

Several immigration and civil rights organizations filed suit [complaint, PDF] Wednesday against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) [official websites] division for illegally withholding a memo recommending the closure of an Alabama immigration detention facility run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE].
The US Supreme Court [official website] on Tuesday heard oral arguments [transcript, PDF] in the case surrounding a Colorado cake baker [JURIST report] who refused to supply a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd.

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Tuesday revived [order, PDF] a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] brought against Alibaba Group Holding Ltd [corporate website] by the Chinese online retailer's shareholders last year.

The suit alleged that in addition to knowing about counterfeiters selling knock-off versions of luxury products on their website, Alibaba defrauded their shareholders by concealing information [Reuters report] regarding a meeting they had with China's State Administration for Industry & Commerce [official website] in which the agency threatened to fine Alibaba if they continued to allow counterfeiters to conduct business on their website.

Thirteen states filed a motion for leave to file bill of complaint [text, PDF] with the US Supreme Court Monday challenging a California egg law.
Two more lawsuits have been filed against opioid manufacturers and distributors by the state of Montana and a county in Kentucky alleging that the opioid epidemic was part of a business plan, alleging statutory negligence, civil conspiracy, fraud and other complaints.
Five Native American tribes filed suit [complaint, PDF] Monday against US President Donald Trump after he announced his decision to reduce the size of both Utah's Bears Ears National Monument by nearly 90 percent and the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument [proclamations] by nearly 50 percent.
The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments in two cases Monday, including a Tenth Amendment challenge to a federal sports betting prohibition.

The first case, Christie v.

The US Supreme Court on Monday allowed enforcement of the Trump administration's revised travel ban [JURIST news archive] pending further court proceedings.
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] on Friday petitioned [text, PDF] the US Supreme Court [official website] to block an order [text, PDF] from Judge William Alsup of the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website], to produce additional documentation regarding suspension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) [official website] program, which gives undocumented immigrants brought into the US as children, status known as Dreamers, protection from deportation.

The order requested the government turn over a complete administrative record regarding the DACA program, including its decision to suspend the program [JURIST report] and materials relating to arguments to keep it.

The US Supreme Court on Monday let stand [order list, PDF] a Texas Supreme Court ruling that did not extend spousal benefits to same-sex couples under employee insurance plans.

The case began in 2013 when Jack Pidgeon and Larry Hicks sued the city of Houston after the city's mayor gave municipal spousal benefits, health and life insurance, to same-sex married couples.

Charlottesville authorities failed to protect public safety and free speech during the August white supremacist rally that turned deadly, according to an independent report [text, PDF] by US Attorney Timothy Heaphy [profile] found that , citing breakdowns in planning and coordination.

Heaphy revealed that Virginia state police and police chief Al Thomas refused to make commanders available for interviews following the rally, made officers wary of retaliation for speaking with investigators, and that Thomas deleted text messages relevant to the investigation.

The US Supreme Court on Monday denied review [order list, PDF] in the Alabama death penalty case of Floyd v.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson [official profile] on Sunday informed [statement] the UN of the US' withdrawal from participation in the UN process to develop a Global Compact on Migration (GCM) [official website]

The GCM is the first, intergovernmentally negotiated agreement "to cover all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner."

Tillerson's decision to withdraw cites "inconsistent" policy goals between the US and the GCM, as the GCM negotiation process will be based on the New York Declaration [text,PDF], a non-binding document adopted by the UN in 2016, which lists strict commitments that emphasize refugee and migrant assistance and immersion, specifically ensuring education and jobs.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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