The US Supreme Court heard the last two arguments of the October 2018 term on Wednesday.  First, in Quarles v. United States, the court must decide at which point the intent to commit a crime requirement must be present in a burglary case. The petitioner was convicted under a state burglary offense that included situations where the defendant [...]

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The US Supreme Court heard two oral arguments Wednesday morning. At issue in the first case, United States v. Davis, is whether the term “crime of violence” is unconstitutionally vague in 18 USC § 924(c)(3)(B). This statute deals specifically with the possession of firearms by the defendant during this type of crime. The two respondents [...]

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The Ohio General Assembly voted 18-13 Wednesday to pass a bill that bans abortions after the fetus has “a detectable fetal heartbeat,” which usually occurs during the sixth week of pregnancy.  The bill has an exemption to save the mother’s life, but no exemption for rape and incest. Senator Kristina Roegner introduced the bill into the Senate in February, which [...]

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A judge for the US District Court for the District of Maryland ruled on Friday that including a question about citizenship on the 2020 Census would violate administrative law.    The plaintiffs, who are individuals and organizations, said that the Department of Commerce and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross violated the Administrative Procedure Act and conspired “to violate their civil [...]

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Six female associates brought a $200 sex discrimination suit Wednesday on behalf of themselves and other female associates of Jones Day, an international law firm.  Plaintiffs allege the law firm engaged in sex discrimination, including pregnancy and maternity discrimination. The suit was filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs said that [...]

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The US Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday reported that conditions in the Alabama’s State Prisons for Men may violate the Eighth Amendment.  The DOJ wrote, “In particular, we have reasonable cause to believe that Alabama routinely violates the constitutional rights of prisoners housed in the Alabama’s prisons by failing to protect them from prisoner-on-prisoner violence [...]

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US Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rand Paul (R-KY) and Representatives Justin Amash (R-MI) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) introduced the Ending Mass Collection of Americans’ Phone Records Act on Thursday that would permanently prohibit the National Security Agency (NSA) from collecting phone records. Although Congress amended the PATRIOT Act in 2015, the NSA continued to collect phone records from American citizens. Some [...]

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James Boasberg, a judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia, issued two opinions on Wednesday blocking the Medicaid work requirements in Kentucky and Arkansas. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) approved Kentucky’s work requirement plan in January 2018, but the plan has yet to go into effect. The plaintiffs are Kentucky [...]

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As part of a settlement, Michigan agreed Friday that state-contracted adoption agencies must follow non-discrimination requirements and allow LGBT couples to adopt or foster children.  The case was brought in September 2017 by two same-sex couples who wished to adopt against the state of Michigan and St. Vincent Catholic Charities (an intervenor defendant). “The American Civil Liberties Union filed [...]

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The US Department of the Treasury sanctioned three senior officials from the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Thursday.  The sanctions were permitted by an executive order signed by former president George W. Bush that authorizes sanctions on “Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” Corneille Yobeluo Nangaa, Norbert Basengezi Katintima and Marcellin Basengezi [...]

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