Here’s the domestic legal news we covered this week:
[JURIST] The Democratic National Committee
(DNC) [political website] filed a lawsuit
[complaint] Friday against Donald Trump, Russia, Julian Assange, Wikileaks, and several Trump aids including Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort.
A Texas appeals court ruled
[opinion] Thursday that the Relationship Privacy Act
[text], which prescribes criminal and civil penalties for defendants who disseminate pornographic visual material featuring former significant others without consent, is overly broad and it violates First Amendment rights of third party individuals who are not original parties in the romantic relationships.
A US federal judge on Thursday sentenced
[press release] a former Liberian commander known as “Jungle Jabbah” to 30 years in prison for defrauding the US immigration authorities and lying about his role during the Liberian civil war.
Two federal regulators on Friday announced
[press release] a $1 billion settlement with Wells Fargo
[official site] after finding
[text, PDF] that the the bank violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act.
A federal judge on Thursday enjoined
[text, PDF] the US government from sending a US citizen who has been detained in Iraq for almost a year to another country.
[JURIST] A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
[official website] on Thursday granted
[opinion, PDF] a preliminary injunction against the Trump administration’s attempt to punish so-called “sanctuary cities.”
The lawsuit was filed by the city of Chicago after the Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] placed conditions on the receipt of funds from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, a fund which, according to the opinion, allocates substantial funds to state and local law enforcement for equipment, personnel, training and other uses.
The Supreme Court of Maine
[official website] on Tuesday upheld
[opinion, PDF] a voter-approved measure to implement ranked choice voting
Last summer, the Maine Supreme Court partially struck down [JURIST report] 2016 legislation that enacted ranked choice voting for the state.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
[official website] signed an executive order
[text, PDF] Wednesday that grants 35,000 paroled felons the right to vote.
The governor issued the order by invoking Article IV, Section 4 [text] of the Constitution of the State of New York authorizing the governor to grant pardons.
A federal judge on Wednesday found
[order, pdf] Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach
[official website] in contempt of court for violating a preliminary injunction regarding registering voters in his state.
The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
[official website] held
[opinion, PDF] Wednesday that an Ohio law
[JURIST report] banning the state’s Department of Health from funding any entity or its affiliate performing or promoting non-therapeutic abortions through grants received from six non-abortion-related federal health programs is unconstitutional.
The US Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution
[text, PDF] expressing disapproval for a rule intended to prevent racial discrimination in auto loans.
The Supreme Court of Ohio ruled
[opinion PDF] on Wednesday that the state’s death penalty statute does not violate the Sixth Amendment’s
[text] guarantee of “the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury[.]” Maurice Mason, a former death row inmate, unsuccessfully challenged the role given to the judge during the sentencing phase of capital punishment cases.
The court unanimously upheld Ohio’s law as being in line with the requirements laid out by the US Supreme Court [official website] in Hurst v.
The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday morning in two cases: the first concerns tribal fishing rights, and the second asks whether certain costs are compensable losses under the Mandatory Victim Restitution Act.
The first case, Washington v.
Another federal lawsuit
[complaint, PDF] has been filed against the US Census Bureau
[official website] regarding a controversial citizenship question added to the 2020 Census.
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
[official website] decided
[text, PDF] Tuesday that because the Justice Department will not defend former Maricopa County Sheriff’s criminal contempt conviction, it would appoint a special prosecutor to defend the question.
Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt in July.
US Senators Bob Corker
(R-TN) and Tim Kaine
(D-VA) proposed a new bill
[text, PDF] Monday that would replace the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for use of military force (AUMF).
The proposed legislation includes several new provisions including: the use of all necessary and appropriate forces against al Qaeda, the Taliban and Islamic State, along with any designated associated forces; a congressional review process every four years over the military force being used with the president submitting a proposal to modify, repeal, or leave the AUMF; reports from the president to congress on all new designated forces; and immediate force from the president against designated forces with 48 hour notice to congress.
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Monday voted 139-56
[text] to approve HB 2050
[text, PDF], which prohibits abortions if the fetus is diagnosed with or believed to have Down syndrome.
In April the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania (ACLU) [advocacy website] referred [ACLU report] to the bill as an unconstitutional restriction on reproductive rights, thereby making it unenforceable.
The US Supreme Court on Tuesday held
[opinion, PDF] that Microsoft is required to disclose a customer’s electronic information stored overseas when it was suspected in furthering illegal drug trafficking.
The per curium opinion vacated and remanded the judgment [opinion, PDF] of the US court of appeals, which held the disclosure to be unauthorized due to the information’s storage in Ireland.
The Albuquerque City Council
[official website] in New Mexico passed an immigrant-friendly proposal
[text] Monday, upholding and reinforcing the city’s commitment to “treat all persons with respect and dignity, regardless of their immigration status.”
The resolution prohibits city officials from inquiring about individuals’ “citizenship, immigration status, place of birth, religion, or national origin.” It also sets forth limited circumstances in which the city may inquire about an individuals’ social security number, including eligibility for state benefit programs and city employment.
The US Supreme Court on Monday declined
[order list, PDF] to hear the appeal of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and left in place the 14-year sentence
[JURIST report] imposed by Judge James Zagel of the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.