US Legal News Round Up for Saturday, 30 September 2017

US Legal News Round Up for Saturday, 30 September 2017

Here’s the domestic legal news we covered this week:

[JURIST] The Senate Budget Committee released [press release] the 2018 Budget Resolution Friday that aims to cut taxes but potentially add $1.5 trillion to the deficit over 10 years.

The budget could potentially pass the Senate [Reuters report] under current special rules that would require only 50 votes.

Senator Mike Enzi [official website] of the budget committee stressed the need to balance spending and taxing.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) [official website] released a new regulation [press release] Thursday restricting drone flights near 10 major national monuments and sites, including the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore.
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner [official website] signed HB 0040 [text] into law Thursday, which removes many restrictions on the funding of abortions.
Chief Judge Brian Jackson of the US District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana [official website], held Thursday that a police officer could not sue Black Lives Matter (BLM) for injuries sustained during a protest on July 9, 2016 because BLM is not an entity.
The state of Washington sued Purdue Pharma in King County Superior Court [official websites] on Thursday alleging the pharmaceutical company is responsible for the opioid epidemic growth.
[JURIST] DeJenay Beckwith, a woman who was sexually assault in 2011, has filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] in the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas [official wesbite] against the city of Houston [official website] for the city’s backlog of rape kit tests.
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] granted certiorari in 11 cases [order list, PDF] on Thursday.
US President Donald Trump [official profile] on Thursday waived [WP report] the Jones Act [text, PDF], a near-century-old law, easing shipping restrictions for hurricane relief to be sent to Puerto Rico.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado (ACLU-CO) [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [press release] Wednesday alleging unlawful racial profiling.
A widespread investigation into a corruption scheme between coaches at NCAA Division-1 basketball programs, an international apparel company, and financial advisors led to the arrest of 10 men on Tuesday, according to an announcement [text] by an acting US Attorney and an FBI [government websites] assistant director.

According to the criminal complaints [US v.

A group of 25 refugees left [Guardian report] a detention center on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea [government website] on Tuesday to travel to the US for resettlement, becoming the first of several hundred such refugees who will make the journey as part of an agreement between former US President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull [JURIST report].
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website] on Tuesday announced [Federal Register, PDF] the creation of the Smart Sectors program to “re-examine how the EPA engages with industry in order to reduce unnecessary regulatory burden, create certainty and predictability, and improve the ability of both EPA and industry to conduct long-term regulatory planning while also protecting the environment and public health.”

The EPA identified 11 different industries that will be the initial focus of the program: aerospace; agriculture; automotive; cement and concrete; chemical manufacturing; construction; electronics and technology; iron and steel; oil and gas; ports and shipping; and utilities and power generation.

Each industry will be assigned liaisons who are experienced in those individual industries.

The Federal Register posted a notice [text] on Monday detailing an updated rule that will allow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to track social media accounts of immigrants.
[JURIST] The US Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] vacated [order, PDF] the 2015 corruption conviction [NYT report] of former New York state Senator Dean Skelos [Ballotpedia profile] and his son Adam Skelos on Tuesday.
During a speech [text, video] at the Georgetown University Law Center [press release] on Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Department of Justice will become more involved in the “national recommitment to free speech on campus[es].” Citing recent incidents at community colleges in Battle Creek, Michigan and Los Angeles, California [complaints, PDF], where students were arrested for or prohibited from handing out copies of the Constitution outside of designated “free speech zones,” Sessions said the DOJ will “enforce federal law, defend free speech, and protect students’ free expression from whatever end of the political spectrum it may come.”

Notably, Sessions gave the speech on the same day the DOJ filed [press release] a Statement of Interest [text] in a lawsuit related to “free speech zones” at Georgia Gwinnett College in Georgia.

[JURIST] Deep Green Resistance [advocacy website], a direct action environmental group, filed a lawsuit on Monday seeking the US District Court for the District of Colorado [judicial website] to grant personhood status to the Colorado River.
The FBI [official website] released estimated crime statistics [FBI annual report] for 2016 on Monday, which revealed [press release] a 4.1 percent increase in violent crimes committed when compared to 2015.
The US Supreme Court on Monday removed the travel ban cases from its calendar and ordered both sides to file new briefs in light of President Donald Trump’s proclamation [text] Sunday that created new restrictions to enter the US for citizens from eight countries [JURIST report].