US Legal News Round Up for Saturday, 13 January 2018

US Legal News Round Up for Saturday, 13 January 2018

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

The US Supreme Court [official website] added 12 cases to its docket on Friday, including two Texas redistricting cases.

The court had previously blocked [JURIST report] two lower court rulings that mandated the redrawing of Texas’ congressional and state legislative [dockets] districts.

A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Alabama on Wednesday dismissed [opinion PDF] a lawsuit challenging the state’s voter ID law.
Eleven Guantánamo inmates filed a writ of habeus corpus [text, PDF] in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] on Thursday claiming that their indefinite detention is due toward President Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim stance.

The inmates argue they can only be kept at Guantánamo if their individual circumstances show that they would return to the battlefield.

The US House of Representatives [official website] approved a bill [S 139 text, PDF] Thursday that extends Title VII of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.
[JURIST] The Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD) [official website] agreed [Kenosha News report] Tuesday to settle a lawsuit filed by a former transgender student who said the district discriminated against him by not allowing him to use the men’s restroom at his high school.
A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] on Wednesday denied a motion for preliminary injunction [text, PDF] brought by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) [official website] Deputy Director Leandra English to remove Mick Mulvaney as interim director.

Judge Kelly Timothy wrote in the 46-page decision that, “[t]he court finds that English is not likely to succeed on the merits of her claims, nor is she likely to suffer irreparable harm absent the injunctive relief sought.” The decision further reasoned that removing Mulvaney through a preliminary injunction would fail to “pay particular regard for the public consequences” and potential chaos that such an action could bring to the agency and the public’s expectations for the CFPB.

English’s motion for injunction [text] claimed that President Donald Trump’s interim appointment of Mulvaney while a permanent director is nominated and approved by the Senate, violated the succession plan for agency directors established in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act [text, PDF], and the Appointments Clause [art.

Russian metal tycoon Oleg Deripaska filed suit [complaint, PDF] in New York state court Wednesday against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and associate Rick Gates alleging fraud.
US President Donald Trump signed the International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology, orINTERDICT Act [text, PDF], on Wednesday, with the purpose of affording border protection agents enhanced opioid screening technology.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio [official website] on Wednesday announced a lawsuit [complaint] against BP, Chevron Corporation, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corporation and Royal Dutch Shell [corporate websites] for their role in climate change.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said Wednesday that a 17-year-old immigrant in government custody was blocked [ACLU] by the Trump administration from obtaining an abortion.
Canada filed a 32-page complaint [text, PDF] against the US at the World Trade Organization (WTO) [official website] on Wednesday concerning certain laws, regulations and other measures in relation to US anti-dumping or countervailing duty investigations, reviews or other proceedings.

Canada alleges [press release] that the challenged laws, regulations and measures are inconsistent with US obligations under the WTO Anti-Dumping Agreement [text], the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM Agreement), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade of 1994 (GATT) [PDFs] and the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (DSU) [text].

Specifically, Canada challenges: 1) the liquidation of final anti-dumping and countervailing duties in excess of WTO-consistent rates; 2) the failure to refund cash deposits collected in excess of WTO-consistent rates; 3) retroactive provisional anti-dumping and countervailing duties following preliminary affirmative critical circumstances determinations; 4) the treatment of export controls such as export levies, export quotas, export restraints and export bans as financial contributions leading to additional improper investigations and/or countervailing duties; 5) the improper calculation of benefit in countervailing duty proceedings involving the provision of goods for less than adequate remuneration; 6) the practice of closing the evidentiary record before the preliminary determination thereby restricting interested parties from submitting factual information or other evidence, which would allow them to fully defend their interests in anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations; and 7) the inherent institutional bias present in the US International Trade Commission tie-vote provision leading to biased findings of injury or threat to injury to US industries that are inconsistent with Article X:3(a) of the GATT.

The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website] on Wednesday upheld [text, PDF] a 2014 citizen vote to amend the state constitution to remove the right to abortion.
The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments on Wednesday in Husted v.
A three-judge panel in the US District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina [official website] struck down [opinion, PDF] North Carolina’s 2016 congressional redistricting plan Tuesday.

The case was brought by consolidated plaintiffs Common Cause and the League of Women Voters of North Carolina [advocacy websites], among others, who argued that the districts constitute a partisan gerrymander in violation of the First Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and Article I, Sections 2 and 4 of the Constitution.

Judge William Alsup of the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website] on Tuesday temporarily blocked [order, PDF] the Trump administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) [official website] program, which gives undocumented immigrants brought into the US as children, known as “Dreamers,” protection from deportation.

In September the Trump administration announced plans to end [JURIST report] the DACA program, which was subsequently challenged by state attorneys general and individuals [JURIST reports].

Alsup ruled that although new applications for Dreamer status did not have to be processed, the program must continue to renew applications from those previously covered until lawsuits regarding those affected are resolved, finding that the plaintiffs’ arguments have merit.

The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted Tuesday to legalize recreational marijuana [HB 656 materials].
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, filed two defamation lawsuits on Monday regarding BuzzFeed’s [media website] publication of the Steele Dossier [materials, PDF], a condemning but unsubstantiated report indicating collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian agents.

The first suit [complaint] names BuzzFeed along with four staffers as defendants for the publication of the materials and was filed in the New York Supreme Court [official website], while the second [complaint] was filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] against Fusion GPS [official website], its parent company and co-founder Glenn Simpson for compiling the allegedly fallacious information.

In both complaints, Cohen alleges that the dossier contains “blatantly false and defamatory statements” that resulted in “harm to his personal and professional reputation, current business interests, and the impairment of business opportunities.”

The New York state claim alleges that while the Buzzfeed story [text] explicitly stated that the report was unverified, they nevertheless neglected to “determine the veracity of these reports with Plaintiff himself.” In the federal suit against Fusion GPS, Cohen alleges that despite containing unverified information the defendants “recklessly placed it [the dossier] beyond their control and allowed it to fall into the hands of media devoted to breaking news on the hottest subject of the day: the Trump candidacy.”

Buzzfeed has publicly affirmed its decision to publish the material, claiming it to be clearly within the public interest and looks forward to defend its decision to do so on First Amendment freedom of press grounds.

[JURIST] Eight states have filed an amicus brief [text, PDF] in a case concerning a 17-year-old undocumented immigrant’s attempt to obtain an abortion without parental consent while in government custody.
The US Supreme Court [official website] heard two Fourth Amendment [text] cases Tuesday involving the search of motor vehicles.
US authorities are deliberately concealing information about how they obtained evidence in criminal proceedings, according to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report [text] Tuesday.

HRW divulged findings from over a year of investigating a police practice known as “parallel construction,” in which law enforcement illegally obtain evidence and then hide the illegality through legally obtaining supporting evidence.

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen on Monday, announced [press release] the termination of the Temporary Protected Status [text] (TPS) for El Salvador.
The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments on Monday in two original jurisdiction cases concerning state disputes over water rights and allocation.
The US Supreme Court on Monday denied review [order list, PDF] in two cases challenging a Mississippi law that would permit businesses and government employees to deny services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people to protect those individuals’ sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions.
The US Supreme Court [official site] on Monday blocked the execution of Georgia inmate Keith Tharpe, ordering [opinion, PDF] the federal appeals court in Atlanta to examine claims that a juror voted for the death sentence because Tharpe was black.
The Trump administration asked [cert.
The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] ruled unanimously [opinion, PDF] Friday that a Baltimore law [text] that requires pro-life pregnancy clinics to post signage in their waiting rooms stating that they do not offer or refer women for abortions, is unconstitutional.

The court found the law violates the First Amendment [text], ruling in favor of the Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns [advocacy website], which provides prenatal services and counseling for women regarding alternatives to abortions.