Supreme Court sides with government in immigration case
Legal Interview | 2020/04/26 00:45
The Supreme Court is making it harder for noncitizens who are authorized to live permanently in the United States to argue they should be allowed to stay in the country if they've committed crimes.

The decision Thursday split the court 5-4 along ideological lines. The decision came in the case of Andre Barton, a Jamaican national and green card holder. In 1996, when he was a teenager, he was present when a friend fired a gun at the home of Barton's ex-girlfriend in Georgia. And in 2007 and 2008, he was convicted of drug possession in the state.

His crimes made him eligible to be deported, and the government sought to remove him from the country in 2016. Barton argued he should be eligible to stay. Justice Brett Kavanaugh noted in his opinion for the court's conservatives that it was important that Barton's 1996 crime took place in the first seven years he was admitted to the country.

Kavanaugh wrote that “when a lawful permanent resident has amassed a criminal record of this kind,” immigration law makes them ineligible to ask to be allowed to stay in the country.



Meghan's privacy case against tabloid heard at UK Court
Court News | 2020/04/24 20:13
A preliminary hearing opened Friday at Britain's High Court in the Duchess of Sussex’s legal action against a British newspaper that published what she describes as a “private and confidential” letter she wrote to her father.

Meghan is suing the Mail on Sunday and its parent company, Associated Newspapers, for publishing parts of an August 2018 letter she wrote to Thomas Markle. The civil lawsuit accuses the newspaper of copyright infringement, misuse of private information and violating the U.K.’s data protection law.

Associated Newspapers published sections of the letter in February last year. It denies the allegations ? particularly the claim that the letter was presented in a way that changed its meaning.

Lawyers for Associated Newspapers want the court to strike out parts of Meghan’s case ahead of a full trial, arguing that allegations of “dishonesty and malicious intent” should not form part of her case.


Washington Supreme Court to hear COVID-19 inmate case online
Court Watch | 2020/04/23 03:14
In an historic setting, the Washington Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Thursday while sitting alone in their separate chambers using Zoom technology in a case that addresses the safety of inmates in the state’s prisons during the coronavirus outbreak.

At the same time, conservative lawmakers, law enforcement officials and some victims plan to hold news conferences on both sides of the state to protest the release of some offenders.

At least 24 corrections employees and 13 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, almost 100 offenders were placed in isolation and more than 1,000 are being quarantined. The majority of the positive cases occurred at the Monroe Correctional Complex where seven staff and 12 inmates have the disease.

After the virus hit the facility, the second largest in Washington, inmates filed a petition with the Supreme Court asking the justices to order Gov. Jay Inslee and Corrections Secretary Stephen Sinclair to release inmates who are older than 60, have underlying conditions and are within 60 days of their release date.

In an unanimous ruling on April 10, the justices ordered the state to devise a plan to protect inmates from the disease. Several days later, Inslee announced plans to release almost 1,000 non-violent offenders who are close to their release date.

As of Wednesday, about 41 inmates received work release furloughs, 293 had their sentences commuted and another 600 were on a list to be considered for a release into the community using electronic monitoring.

The corrections department has also told the court that it has imposed a list of measures designed to keep incarcerated people healthy, including mandatory face masks and hand-sanitizer dispensers.

Lawyers for the inmates say their efforts fall short. They say the prisons are too crowded to allow for social distancing.



Court issues temporary restraining order on Gov. Kelly's order
Headline Legal News | 2020/04/20 06:09
A federal judge issued a limited temporary restraining order on Governor Kelly's order banning religious gatherings of ten or more people. The ruling was made by Judge John W. Broomes Saturday evening.

Kelly responded, saying, "This is not about religion. This is about a public health crisis,” Kelly said. “This ruling was just a preliminary step. There is still a long way to go in this case, and we will continue to be proactive and err on the side of caution where Kansans’ health and safety is at stake.”

A telephone conference call had be arranged to hear arguments from attorneys. Broomes also set a time for a preliminary injunction hearing on Wednesday at the federal courthouse in Wichita.
Court issues temporary restraining order on Gov. Kelly's order

The churches and their pastors filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against Kelly, arguing that the directive violates their religious and free-speech rights, as well as their right to assembly.

A federal judge issued a limited temporary restraining order on Governor Kelly's order banning religious gatherings of ten or more people.


Virginia high court rejects bid to keep slave block in place
Areas of Focus | 2020/04/18 13:10
The Virginia Supreme Court has rejected a petition to prohibit the city of Fredericksburg from moving a historic slave auction block.

The sandstone block was installed in the city’s downtown in the 1840s. After years of debate the city council voted to moved the block to a museum.

A judge upheld the move after business owners in the city sued to keep the stone where it is. But in February the judge delayed implementation of the order so the Supreme Court could take up the case.

City officials say plans to move the block are currently on hold because of the coronavirus.


Hawaii Judiciary postpones state court trials amid pandemic
Court News | 2020/04/17 13:09
Hawaii Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald has announced an order to postpone all state court trials amid the coronavirus pandemic, the state Judiciary said.

The order states all state trials in civil, criminal and family courts be postponed until May 29 or the termination of Gov. David Ige’s state of emergency, whichever is sooner, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

The exception would be if the chief judge of a circuit court orders otherwise.

“While our community has responded well to stay-at-home orders and the results of these public health measures have been encouraging, the Judiciary must continue to do our part to protect the health and safety of our court personnel and court users," Recktenwald said.

The Committee on Operational Solutions was also formed under the order. The committee would accelerate the courts’ capabilities to conduct proceedings remotely due to the pandemic and would plan for the timely transition to return to increased court operations in the coming months.

Recktenwald has encouraged teleconferencing and videoconferencing to address as many cases as possible and appropriate to combat the spread of COVID-19.



Democratic super PAC: We will fight Trump in court over ads
Areas of Focus | 2020/04/15 13:10
A leading Democratic super PAC has promised it will tangle in court with President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign to keep airing television ads the Republican president is trying to keep off the airwaves.

Priorities USA Action chief Guy Cecil said Thursday that his group will intervene as a defendant in a lawsuit that Trump’s campaign filed in Wisconsin state court to block a local NBC affiliate from airing one of the super PAC’s ads that blasts the president’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Trump campaign is trying to railroad a TV station into censorship of ads critical of the president, and we will not let that stand,” Cecil said. “We stand by the facts in the ad and will defend it in court if necessary.”

The lawsuit, filed against WJFW-TV, an NBC affiliate in northern Wisconsin, sets up a notable battle between Trump’s financially flush reelection campaign and one of the biggest spending groups in Democratic politics. Priorities USA has spent much of Trump’s term researching voters’ views in key battleground states, including Wisconsin, that delivered Trump his Electoral College victory in 2016, and the PAC has committed to an extended television and digital advertising campaign to potential swing voters in those states.

The ad in question pieces together audio clips of the president downplaying the threat posed by the COVID-19 virus, while a chart that is splashed across the screen gradually begins to shoot upward as cases of the virus skyrocketed across the nation.


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