US Legal News Round Up for Saturday, 31 March 2018 News
US Legal News Round Up for Saturday, 31 March 2018

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

[JURIST] The US State Department [officiail website] submitted [Federal Register notice] a proposal to the Federal Register on Friday that would require nonimmigrant visa applicants to list their social media identities for the last five years.
A federal judge in Manhattan on Thursday rejected [PDF, text] Exxon’s lawsuit claiming officials in New York and Massachusetts were pursuing bad faith investigation in violation of the oil corporations rights.

The Hawaii Senate on Thursday gave final approval to a bill [text] that would legalize medically assisted death for terminally ill patients.

The bill applies to patients with less than six months to live.

The Supreme Court of Arkansas ruled [opinion] Thursday that the state prison system may be permitted to conceal information that could be used to identify third parties who obtain drugs for the state, but must continue to identify the manufacturers of the drugs.

The ruling comes from an appeal by the Director of the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC) from a lower court order requiring the ADC to provide Arkansas lawyer Steven Shultz with label inserts for its supply of potassium chloride.

A Los Angeles judge ruled [text, PDF] Wednesday that coffee companies are required to display cancer warning labels on coffee because of the chemical produced in the roasting process.
Four transgender people filed a lawsuit [complaint] in the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Thursday against the Ohio Department of Health [official websites] and Office of Vital Statistics due to the plaintiffs’ inability to change their birth certificates to match their gender identity.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions [official website] appointed [text, PDF] US Attorney for Utah John Huber [official website] on Thursday to investigate determinations made by the Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] in 2016 and 2017.

The investigation will look into the DOJ’s “compliance with certain legal requirements and Department and FBI policies and procedures with respect to certain applications filed with the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

The NAACP filed a lawsuit [complaint, pdf] Wednesday in the US District Court for the District of Maryland against the US Census Bureau [official websites] and President Donald Trump, arguing that the federal government’s unpreparedness for the 2020 Census is a violation of the Constitution.

According to the complaint, the Bureau faces insufficient staffing, funding and preparation, including the lack of both a permanent director and a deputy director, and limited capacity to fill routine staff vacancies due to a presidential hiring freeze.

A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] on Wednesday denied [order, PDF] Saudi Arabia’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit for involvement in the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Victims and families of victims originally brought suit against Saudi Arabia and the Saudi High Commission for Relief in Bosnia and Herzegovina (SHC).

The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit [official website] on Tuesday rejected [opinion, PDF] a claim by a number of Philadelphia taxi companies and the Philadelphia Taxi Association that Uber Technologies was violating antitrust laws.
The Wisconsin Court of Appeals [official website] on Wednesday denied [opinion, PDF] Governor Scott Walker‘s [official website] attempt to delay special elections for two vacant seats in the state’s legislature [official website].

A federal judge in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland [official website] on Wednesday partially granted [order, PDF] President Donald Trump’s motions to dismiss an emoluments challenge [materials], allowing the remainder of the claims to proceed.

The District of Columbia and Maryland brought suit [JURIST report] in June 2017 alleging that the President is in violation of both the foreignand domestic [texts] Emoluments Clauses of the Constitution, which bar payments to the President from individual states and foreign governments, due to his interest in the Trump Organization [corporate website].

The Maryland Senate passed a bill [SB 1028 text] on Wednesday that would prohibit licensed mental health professionals from offering conversion therapy to minors.

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday issued a memorandum [text] announcing his decision not to extend the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) [materials] protection for Liberians that had been in place since the 1990s.

In the memo, Trump justified this action by explaining that the situations in Liberia, namely the civil war that had prompted the protected status in the 1990s and the Ebola outbreak in 2014, have improved and an extension of the DED status is no longer necessary.

The Kentucky House of Representatives [official website] on Tuesday approved one of the strictest abortion bills in the US, which bans a termination procedure after the eleventh week of pregnancy.
Paul Manafort on Tuesday filed [text, PDF] a motion to dismiss in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia requesting that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment [text, PDF] against him be struck due to the criminal charges exceeding the authority of Mueller’s appointment as they occurred several years prior to Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Attorneys from the Southern Poverty Law Center [advocacy website] and New York City-based firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP [firm website] filed a federal lawsuit [complaint, pdf] Tuesday arguing that Mississippi’s disenfranchisement laws for people convicted of particular felonies, and the extensive process for restoring voting rights, is unconstitutional.
After nearly 10 hours of extensive debate, the Vermont House of Representatives [official website] voted 89-54 [roll call, PDF] on Tuesday to approveS.55 [materials], a piece of major gun legislation.
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] heard arguments in two matters today; Hughes v.
Three plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit [complaint, PDF] on Tuesday in the US District Court for the District of New Jersey [official website] alleging that BMW [official website] cheated during emissions tests of their diesel vehicles.
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced [text, PDF] Monday that the 2020 census will include a question regarding citizenship status, a measure the Justice Department said will better aid enforcement of the Voting Rights Act [materials].

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases Monday.

In United States v.

The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday declined to hear [order list, PDF] the appeal of Maurice Greenberg’s Starr International Co.

Government watchdog group Common Cause [advocacy website] filed a pair of legal complaints [complaints, PDF] on Monday accusing Cambridge Analytica LTD and its affiliates of violating federal election laws that prohibit foreigners from participating in the decision-making process of US political campaigns.

Filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the Department of Justice [official websites], Common Cause names multiple other defendants including parent company SCL Group Limited [corporate website], former CEO Alexander Nix, SCL co-founder Nigel Oakes, acting CEO Alexander Tayler and former employee Christopher Wylie.

US President Donald Trump on Friday directed [presidential memorandum] JSecretary of Defense ames Mattis [official website] to ban transgender troops from serving in the military if they require surgery or significant medical treatment.

The memorandum revokes the president’s August order [JURIST report], which reinstated a pre-2016 blanket ban on transgender military service but has been challenged in, and blocked by [JURIST report], federal courts as a likely violation of Fifth Amendment [background, PDF] due process and equal protection rights.