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US Legal News Round Up for Saturday, 16 December 2017
US Legal News Round Up for Saturday, 16 December 2017

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

The legal world is a busy place.
In the midst of a growing and devastating opioid epidemic, officials in Lorain County, Ohio, filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] in the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas [official website] Friday against 25 large drug companies and distributors of opioids for deceptive and misleading marketing practices.

Loraine County joins a growing list of municipalities filing suit against drug companies for the opioid crisis, including the city of Lorain, Ohio’s Lake County and Cuyahoga County, as well as Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine [JURIST report] earlier this year.

States reacted swiftly Thursday to challenge the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) decision to undo [JURIST report] the set of internet regulations known as net neutrality.
United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer [official website] on Wednesday called on the US to end impunity [press release] for those officials who have committed acts of torture.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) [official website] on Thursday voted 3-2 to repeal [press release, PDF] Obama-era net neutrality regulations in favor of returning to what it calls “longstanding, bipartisan light-touch regulatory framework that has fostered rapid Internet growth, openness, and freedom for nearly 20 years.”

Calling it an act to “restore internet freedom” and increase “Transparency to Protect Consumers, Spur Investment, Innovation, and Competition,” the FCC stated that it undertook detailed legal and economic analysis and extensively examined comments from consumers and stakeholders before deciding to repeal what it calls “the [Obama-era] FCC’s 2015 heavy-handed utility-style regulation of broadband Internet access service.”

Stating that the net neutrality rules “imposed substantial costs on the entire Internet ecosystem” the FCC proclaimed that it:

is returning to the traditional light-touch framework that was in place until 2015.

The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit [official website] on Wednesday vacated [opinion, PDF] a lower federal court injunction that imposed county-based signature-gathering requirements that minor political parties in Pennsylvania must fulfill to get their candidates on the ballot.

This is the latest development in a case that has been in litigation since 2012 when the Constitution, Green and Libertarian [party websites] parties of Pennsylvania, collectively referred to as the “Aspiring Parties,” filed a § 1983 [text, PDF] suit against the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Commissioner [official profiles] of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Commissions, Elections, and Legislation (the state), claiming that certain of Pennsylvania’s election laws violated their First and Fourteenth Amendment [GPO backgrounders, PDFs] rights.

The US District Court for the Western District of Washington [official website] on Monday blocked [order, PDF] President Donald Trump’s transgender military ban.

US District Judge Marsha Pechman partially granted the preliminary injunction, finding the ban likely violates the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights to equal protection, substantive due process, and First Amendment protections.

The Trump administration on Monday appealed the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] order that denied [text, PDF] a request to delay the preliminary injunction blocking President Donald Trump’s transgender military ban, originally set to take effect January 1.
The US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] on Monday denied [order, PDF] the government’s request to delay implementation of a preliminary injunction [JURIST report] halting portions of President Donald Trump‘s [official profile] transgender military ban.
The US Supreme Court [official website] on Friday granted certiorari [orders list, PDF] in seven cases.