ACSBlog

  • June 11, 2014
     
    On Tuesday, Judge Rolf M. Treu of the Los Angeles Superior Court ruled that teacher tenure laws violated students’ civil rights. Lawyers for the teacher’s union asserted that the decision placed blame solely on teachers without considering the grave effects of economic inequalities and public school funding on student performance. Jennifer Medina at The New York Times reports on the decision that may lead to big changes throughout America’s classrooms.
     
    Microsoft is fighting another warrant from federal prosecutors forcing the company to hand over a customer’s email.  The case marks the “first time a corporation has challenged a domestic search warrant seeking digital information overseas.” Steve Lohr of The New York Times has the story.
     
    Indigent prisoners who wish to file claims without paying fees may do so in forma pauperis (IFP). At CAC’s Text and History Blog, Brianna Gorod notes why the “three strikes” provision of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, which limits the number of times a prisoner can be eligible for IFP status, is unconstitutional. 
     
    On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that children waiting for immigration visas with their families must go to the back of the line when they turn 21 years-old. Lawrence Hurley at Reuters analyzes Scialabba v. de Osorio.
  • June 10, 2014

    by Charles Withers

    Last Friday, the Obama administration announced that it will provide lawyers for children facing deportation. According to Attorney General Eric Holder, the step will “protect the rights of the most vulnerable members of society.” Kirk Semple at The New York Times explains how the policy will affect immigration reform.

    In 2011, families of former marines at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina sued an electronics plant for poisoning their water. Yesterday, the Supreme Court in a 7-to-2 decision ruled in favor of the electronics plant, saying that the families had missed a deadline to file suit. Sam Hananel at The Associated Press has the story.  

    Writing for The New York Times, David E. Sanger and Nicole Perlroth note the steps being taken by Google and other internet companies to protect their systems from the National Security Agency. 

    At The New Republic, Simon Lazarus breaks down Bond v. United States and how ”neo-isolationists” have “chosen a route to victory through the Supreme Court—not Congress, state legislators, or voters.”

  • June 9, 2014
    Although U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crab struck down Wisconsin’s ban on gay marriage Friday, some counties are still turning away same-sex couples. John M. Becker at The Bilerico Project describes the state of marriage equality in the Badger State.
     
    In an op-ed for The New York Times, ACS board member Linda Greenhouse pays a visit to the Berkshire International Film Festival and recommends two must-see legal documentaries.
     
    A new report released Friday reveals the immense preparation behind the Clinton administration’s nomination of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen BreyerTony Mauro and Todd Ruger at Legal Times comment on the report.
     
    At PrawfsBlawg Dan Rodriguez notes John McGinnis’ new article on the decline of lawyers entitled Machines v. Lawyers .
     
    At Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost addresses allegations of inadequate health care for Arizona prisoners.

     

  • June 6, 2014

    by Paul Guequierre

    This afternoon U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crab overturned Wisconsin’s ban on marriages by gay and lesbian couples.  The ban, which was approved by voters in 2006, is now opposed by the majority of Wisconsin voters.  A recent Marquette University Law School poll found 55 percent of registered voters statewide now favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, while 37 percent oppose it and 6 percent say they do not know.

    According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen acknowledged last month that he would not be surprised to lose the case. He had asked the judge to immediately stay her own decision if she ruled to invalidate the ban. The report notes that normally, lawyers wait until a judge rules before asking for a stay. The state was given until June 16 to submit a proposed injunction of the ruling.

    The Journal Sentinel also reports that clerks in Milwaukee, Dane, Waukesha and other counties say they were prepared for the ruling and for an expected stream of gay couples coming in to obtain marriage licenses.

    In 1982, Wisconsin became the first state in the country to enact a gay rights law, banning discrimination in employment and housing based on sexual orientation.

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday also refused to block marriages of same-sex couples in Oregon

  • June 6, 2014

    by Rebekah DeHaven

    On Tuesday, June 3, the Senate voted to invoke cloture on three district court nominees:

    Mark G. Mastroianni, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, 56-39;

    Bruce Howe Hendricks, U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, 59-35; and 

    Tanya S. Chutkan, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 54-40.

    The Senate followed on Wednesday, June 4 with confirmation votes on all three:

    Mark G. Mastroianni, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, 92-2;

    Bruce Howe Hendricks, U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, 95-0; and 

    Tanya S. Chutkan, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 95-0.

    Also on Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Geoffrey Crawford’s nomination to the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont.