A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

US Legal News Round Up for Saturday, 26 May 2018

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

Austrian lawyer and privacy activist Max Schrems filed several multi-billion euro complaints in courts around Europe against Google (Android), Facebook, and two Facebook subsidiaries WhatsApp and Instagram [complaints, PDF] Friday—the same day as EU data protection laws, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) [official website], went into effect.

Combined, the lawsuits seek to fine a total 6.7 billion euro (€3.9 billion against Facebook, €3.7 billion against Google), or around USD $8.8 billion.

California's 4th District Court of Appeal [official website] on Wednesday denied a request to stay [opinion, PDF] a lower court ruling that threatens to invalidate the state's End of Life Option Act [text] which allows physicians to prescribe life-ending drugs to the terminally ill.

California Attorney General Xavier Beccera [official profile] sought to block last week's ruling [JURIST report] from Judge Daniel Ottolia of Riverside County Superior Court, which said that the End of Life Option Act was procedurally unconstitutional because the act was passed during a special legislative session meant to address health care.

US President Donald Trump signed a bill [text, PDF] into law Thursday that decreases some Obama-era regulations imposed on banks by the Dodd-Frank Act [text, PDF].
A three-judge panel on the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit [official website] on Thursday rejected [judgment, PDF] a student's argument that a school district's transgender bathroom policy was an unconstitutional violation of his privacy, affirming the lower court's decision.

The lawsuit involved Pennsylvania Boyertown Area School District, which had a practice of allowing transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.

Following a trial in the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website], a jury returned a verdict [decision, PDF] on Thursday ordering Samsung to pay Apple approximately $539 million for infringing on Apple's smartphone patents.

The jury awarded Apple $533,316,606 for design patent infringements and $5,325,050 for utility patent infringements.

The verdict comes in a retrial ordered after a 2016 Supreme Court decision [JURIST reports] in favor of Samsung in 2016 had remanded the case [opinion, PDF] back to the district court level for damage adjustments taking into account the court's interpretation of "article of manufacture," under Section 289 of the Patent Act [text, PDF].

Regarding these particular patents, Samsung has already paid $399 million to Apple and the current verdict would require an additional payment of the remaining $140 million if the verdict is upheld on appeal.

Samsung released a statement [press release] saying, "Today's decision flies in the face of a unanimous Supreme Court ruling in favor of Samsung on the scope of design patent damages.

US President Donald Trump on Thursday posthumously pardoned Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion, who was convicted [press releases] under the Mann Act in 1913 for transporting a white woman across state lines and served 10 months in federal prison.
Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Representative Joe Barton (R-TX) [official websites] reintroduced a bill [text, PDF] on Wednesday that would strengthen privacy protections for minors online.
A judge for US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri [official website] held [opinion, PDF] Tuesday that a prison's policy of refusing hormone therapy treatments to its transgender inmates was an unconstitutional violation of the Eighth Amendment.

The lawsuit was filed by Jessica Hicklin, a transgender woman in the custody of the Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC), which refused to provide her with hormone therapy because of what the MDOC had named the "freeze-frame policy." Rather than basing decisions on individualized assessments of each prisoner's medical needs, the policy automatically denied hormone therapy to any transgender prisoner who was not receiving such therapy before entering the correctional facility, even though it was provided for those who had been receiving such therapy prior to entry.

The court held that this policy was an unconstitutional violation of the Eighth Amendment, and that the prison "knowingly disregard[ed] Ms.

Senators Amy Klobuchar and Roy Blunt [official websites] released a bipartisan bill [text, PDF] Wednesday overhauling sexual harassment policy for members of Congress and Capitol Hill staff, including requiring lawmakers to pay for financial settlements out of their own pockets.

The Senate bill requires members of the House and Senate to reimburse the US Treasury for payment of any settlements, and an annual reporting of these payments will be released.

A judge in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled [opinion, PDF] Wednesday that President Donald Trump cannot block people from viewing his Twitter feed over their political views.

The court held that the @realDonaldTrump twitter handle possesses components that are "interactive space" where Twitter users may directly engage with the content of the president's tweets.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] filed a federal lawsuit [complaint, PDF] Wednesday challenging Ohio's US congressional map as unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering.

The ACLU is challenging the Ohio federal congressional map on the basis of violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments and Article I of the US Constitution.

In the complaint, the ACLU points out that Ohio is consistently a swing state—it went for George W.

In a 258-159 vote, the US House on Tuesday approved a bill [text, PDF] to decrease some regulations that Dodd-Frank imposed on banks during the Obama administration.
Judge Arenda Wright Allen ruled [order, PDF] in favor of transgender teen Gavin Grimm Monday, denying the Gloucester County School Board's motion to dismiss a challenge to the school board's bathroom policy.

The school board had prohibited Grimm from using the boys' restrooms on the justification that his biological gender was female.

The state of Alabama and US Representative Mo Brooks (R-AL) [official website] filed a lawsuit [complaint] against the US Department of Commerce and the US Census Bureau on Monday over its inclusion of undocumented immigrants in the 2020 census.

Alabama's complaint, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Alabama [official website], surrounds the 2020 Census Residence Criteria and Residence Situations [text], which is a rule promulgated by the US Census Bureau.

A jury in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] on Tuesday found Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc.'s former executive officer Gary Tanner and former CEO of Philidor Rx Services, LLC (Philidor) Andrew Davenport guilty [press release] for their roles in the multimillion-dollar kickback scheme.
US President Donald Trump signed a resolution [press release] Monday that overturns a 2013 lending rule intended to prevent racial bias in auto loan interest rates.

The original rule was issued [bulletin, PDF] by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) [official website] and was titled the "Indirect Auto Lending and Compliance with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act." Under this rule, automobile lenders were not allowed to discriminate against minorities by increasing their interest rates or otherwise charging them higher fees.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam [governor website] neither signed nor vetoed Tennessee House Bill 2315 [materials] on Monday, allowing the measure banning so-called "sanctuary cities" to become law.
The US Supreme Court on Monday vacated and remanded [opinion, PDF] the Washington State Supreme Court ruling for the Lundgren family in Upper Skagit Indian Tribe v.
The US Supreme Court [official website] added [text, PDF] an additional four new cases to its docket on Monday, ranging from preemption of a state ban on uranium mining to allowing for attorney's fees in social security claimants' cases.

In Virginia Uranium v.

The Trump administration announced [press release] its support on Friday to move forward with the proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) [official website] that would ban Planned Parenthood and similar organizations from receiving federal family planning funds that they currently receive through Title X [text, PDF].

The statement provides that,

This important proposal would ensure compliance with the program's existing statutory prohibition on funding programs in which abortion is a method of family planning.
The US Supreme Court ruled Monday in Epic Systems Corp.

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.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.