Bar Exams in the Pandemic JURIST Digital Scholars
US Legal News Round Up for Saturday, 14 April 2018
US Legal News Round Up for Saturday, 14 April 2018

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

Massachusetts’ top court on Friday ruled [text, PDF] against Exxon’s request to ban the state’s attorney general from investigating whether the oil conglomerate knew of the effect fossil fuels have on climate change and if they failed to disclose critical information to the public.

Attorney general Maura Healey [official website] filed a civil investigative demand (CID) into whether Exxon violated the state’s primary consumer protection law [official website] after reports released that Exxon had known for decades that fossil fuels contributed to global warming and climate change.

The New Jersey Senate and Assembly [official website] on Thursday approved a bill [S 2313, PDF] granting zero emission certificates (ZECs) to nuclear power plants in New Jersey.

The bill states that the nuclear power plants in New Jersey are necessary to meet the Energy Master Plan of New Jersey’s goal of 100 percent clean energy generation by 2050 and the GLobal Warming Response Act’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.

[JURIST] The Arkansas Supreme Court [official website] on Thursday ruled [opinion] that the Arkansas Whistle-Blower Act (AWBA) [materials] does not protect a former employee of the Department of Arkansas Community Corrections (ACC) [official website] who alleged she was fired for protesting and participating in an investigation to uncover workplace discrimination.
The ACLU of Massachusetts [advocacy website] filed a class action lawsuit [text, pdf] Tuesday against President Trump and other administration officials on behalf of a Rhode Island resident and Guatemalan native, along with six similarly-situated plaintiffs, in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts [official website].

The lead plaintiff, Lilian Calderon, a mother of two, had been taking the first steps to lawfully become a permanent resident when she was detained by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) [official website].

The Navajo Nation [official website] filed a lawsuit [claim, PDF] on Wednesday in the US District Court for the District of New Mexico [official website] seeking damages from 11 major opioid drug manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies.

The claim asserts that the defendants’ conduct is the cause of the opioid epidemic.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt [official website] filed a lawsuit [text, pdf] on Tuesday in state court seeking a declaration that residency is a requirement for gubernatorial candidacy in the state.
US District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly [official profile] on Tuesday dismissed [opinion, PDF] a suit alleging that President Trump [official profile] violated the Ethics in Government Act (EIGA) [text] by reporting personal and business debt on his 2016 financial disclosure form [text].
The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled [opinion, pdf] on Tuesday that a concealed carry permit is required in order to lawfully transport a loaded gun in a car.

In 2014, police stopped Brian Grandberry as a part of a traffic stop.

The National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) [advocacy website], on behalf of seven residents of Maryland and Arizona, filed suit [text, pdf] on Wednesday against the US Census Bureau [official website], arguing that its last-minute decision to add a citizenship status question on the 2020 Census is unconstitutional.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra [official website], along with the attorneys general of 14 other states and the District of Columbia, filed a motion Monday to intervene and defend the Affordable Care Act (ACA) [JURIST news archive] against a challenge [text, PDF] to its constitutionality.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam [official website] on Monday vetoed [press release] Virginia House Bill 1257 [text], which would have banned so-called “sanctuary cities.”

The bill would have prohibited cities and municipalities from implementing any policy that “restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws.” The governor stated that the bill would have sent “a chilling message to communities across Virginia that could have negative impacts on public safety.”

The governor also explained that many localities have found it better to develop a relationship with immigrant communities for the good of overall public safety.

The Arizona Supreme Court [official website] issued an order [text] Monday denying in-state tuition for individuals who benefit from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) [official website] program.

The Court reviewed the case brought from the Arizona Court of Appeals where that court had ruled [JURIST Report] against in-state tuition for DACA recipients in June 2017.

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] on Monday struck down [text, PDF] a California school district’s employee pay system, holding that using employee pay history to determine salary violates the Equal Pay Act [text].
[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of Texas [advocacy websites] and Arnold & Porter filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] Sunday in federal district court challenging the Galveston County Jail’s policy of releasing those arrested for felonies and misdemeanors who can afford to pay the cash bail and detaining those who cannot.
Jackson Women’s Health Organization [website] and others filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] on Monday challenging a number of Mississippi abortion restrictions.
A coalition of 23 consumer, child safety and privacy advocacy groups filed a complaint [text, PDF] Monday with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) [official website] alleging that YouTube violated children’s privacy laws by collecting and selling data from children under the age of 13.
A judge for the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts [official website] on Friday dismissed a lawsuit [opinion, PDF] challenging the Massachusetts weapon ban, finding that the weapons banned fall outside of the scope of the Second Amendment [text].

The law [text] faced controversy from gun owners after Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy [official profile] expanded the definition [press release] of guns to be included under the assault weapons ban in 2016 by including such weapons’ copies or duplicates.