23 entries in 'Opinions'
2018/09/27   Nominee's attack on Democrats poses risk to Supreme Court
2018/09/11   Court: Free speech protects Trump comments at Kentucky rally
2018/09/09   India’s Supreme Court strikes down law that punished gay sex
2018/08/21   Zimbabwe court to rule Friday on opposition's vote challenge
2018/08/06   It's our job to make your online vision come true, Attorney Website Design.
2018/06/20   High Court: Online shoppers can be forced to pay sales tax
2018/04/19   Trump's personal attorney has dropped a pair of libel suits
2017/10/15   Supreme Court to consider American Express fee dispute
2017/09/24   Vermont’s high court finds in favor of pipeline under park
2017/09/20   Court: State, Not Counties Accountable for Poor School Funds
2017/07/28   Court: Indiana layoffs of older workers not discrimination
2017/01/06   Ohio Supreme Court delays serial killer's execution date
2016/09/15   Court rules man treated for mental illness can have a gun
2016/07/10   Candidate filing begins Monday for appeals court seat
2016/05/03   High court seems poised to overturn McDonnell conviction
2016/04/09   US House staffers subpoenaed by federal court
2016/03/18   Lawyer: US citizen charged in UN case to plead guilty
2016/03/13   Man accused of terrorism charge with fiancée pleads guilty
2016/02/02   High court to hear arguments in Va. redistricting case
2015/12/09   EU court dismisses Barcelona football trademark case
2015/11/24   Lawyer: Don't judge Chicago officer based on shooting video
2015/09/12   Starting Up: The Balanced Approach
2011/07/01   Terms & Conditions


Nominee's attack on Democrats poses risk to Supreme Court
Opinions | 2018/09/27 23:20
Brett Kavanaugh's angry denunciation of Senate Democrats at his confirmation hearing could reinforce views of the Supreme Court as a political institution at a time of stark partisan division and when the court already is sharply split between liberals and conservatives.

The Supreme Court nominee called the sexual misconduct allegations against him a "calculated and orchestrated political hit" by Democrats angry that Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election. Kavanaugh went further than Clarence Thomas, who in 1991 attacked the confirmation process but didn't single out a person or political party, when he confronted allegations that he sexually harassed Anita Hill.

The comments injected a new level of bitter partisanship in an already pitched battle over the future of the Supreme Court and replacing Justice Anthony Kennedy, frequently the decisive and swing vote on the most important issues of the day. Kavanaugh is more conservative than Kennedy and his ascendance to the high court would entrench conservative control of the bench for years.

"No matter what happens ... I think the court is the ultimate loser here. I think Judge Kavanaugh could have made the exact same points without making reference to the Clintons or Democrats, without going down that road," said Josh Blackman, a law professor at the South Texas College of Law in Houston. "It's an optics thing. I don't think he'll vote any differently because of what happened in the past 10 days, but what will change is how people perceive it."

In his pointed remarks, Kavanaugh said he was a victim of character assassination orchestrated by Democrats. "This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups," he said.



Court: Free speech protects Trump comments at Kentucky rally
Opinions | 2018/09/11 18:44
A federal appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit alleging President Donald Trump incited a riot during a 2016 Kentucky campaign rally that led to assaults of three protesters.

Kentucky residents Kashiya Nwanguma (kah-SHY'-ah wan-GOO'-mah), Molly Shah and Henry Brousseau filed the lawsuit in 2016. They attended Trump's campaign rally in Louisville on March 1, 2016.

Security officers removed them after Trump said from the stage: "Get 'em out of here." The protesters were pushed and shoved on their way out. A 26-year-old white nationalist was later fined and given a suspended jail sentence for his actions.

The lawsuit sought damages against Trump for inciting a riot, which is a misdemeanor under Kentucky law. But the court ruled Trump's comments are protected as free speech under the First Amendment.


India’s Supreme Court strikes down law that punished gay sex
Opinions | 2018/09/09 03:01
India’s Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a colonial-era law that made gay sex punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a landmark victory for gay rights that one judge said would “pave the way for a better future.”

The 1861 law, a relic of Victorian England that hung on long after the end of British colonialism, was a weapon used to discriminate against India’s gay community, the judges ruled in a unanimous decision.

“Constitutional morality cannot be martyred at the altar of social morality,” Chief Justice Dipak Misra said, reading the verdict. “Social morality cannot be used to violate the fundamental rights of even a single individual.”

As the news spread, the streets outside the courthouse erupted in cheers as opponents of the law danced and waved flags.

“We feel as equal citizens now,” said activist Shashi Bhushan. “What happens in our bedroom is left to us.”

In its ruling, the court said sexual orientation was a “biological phenomenon” and that discrimination on that basis violated fundamental rights.

“We cannot change history but can pave a way for a better future,” said Justice D.Y. Chandrachud.

The law known as Section 377 held that intercourse between members of the same sex was against the order of nature. The five petitioners who challenged the law said it was discriminatory and led to gays living in fear of harassment and persecution.

Jessica Stern, the executive director of the New York-based rights group OutRight Action International, said the original law had reverberated far beyond India, including in countries where gay people still struggle for acceptance.

“The sodomy law that became the model everywhere, from Uganda to Singapore to the U.K. itself, premiered in India, becoming the confusing and dehumanizing standard replicated around the world,” she said in a statement, saying “today’s historic outcome will reverberate across India and the world.”

The court’s ruling struck down the law’s sections on consensual gay sex, but let stand segments that deal with such issues as bestiality.


Zimbabwe court to rule Friday on opposition's vote challenge
Opinions | 2018/08/21 09:37
Zimbabwe's Constitutional Court said it will rule on Friday after hearing the main opposition party's challenge to the results of last month's presidential election, the first without longtime leader Robert Mugabe on the ballot.

Police barricaded streets in the capital, Harare, on Wednesday amid high tensions over the case which will decide if the victory of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former Mugabe enforcer, is valid. The opposition claims "gross mathematical errors" and seeks a fresh election or a declaration that its candidate, 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa, won.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission declared Mnangagwa narrowly won with 50.8 percent of the vote, avoiding a runoff. It said Chamisa received 44.3 percent.

Many hoped the peaceful vote on July 30 would launch a new era for Zimbabwe after Mugabe stepped down in November under military pressure, but two days later six people were killed when troops swept into the capital to disperse opposition protesters.

Western election observers and diplomats condemned the "excessive" use of force. European Union election observers were in court on Wednesday; the 75-year-old Mnangagwa badly needs a credible electoral process as a key step in removing international sanctions.

The opposition claims the electoral commission bumped up Mnangagwa's figures through double counts and the creation of "ghost" polling stations. It also alleges that some polling stations recorded more voters than those registered.



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Opinions | 2018/08/06 07:07
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High Court: Online shoppers can be forced to pay sales tax
Opinions | 2018/06/20 04:33
The Supreme Court says states can force online shoppers to pay sales tax. The 5-4 ruling Thursday is a win for states, who said they were losing out on billions of dollars annually under two decades-old Supreme Court decisions that impacted online sales tax collection.

The high court ruled Thursday to overturn those decisions. They had resulted in some companies not collecting sales tax on every online purchase. The cases the court overturned said that if a business was shipping a product to a state where it didn't have a physical presence such as a warehouse or office, the business didn't have to collect the state's sales tax. Customers were generally supposed to pay the tax to the state themselves if they don't get charged it, but the vast majority didn't. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that the previous decisions were flawed.

"Each year the physical presence rule becomes further removed from economic reality and results in significant revenue losses to the States. These critiques underscore that the physical presence rule, both as first formulated and as applied today, is an incorrect interpretation of the Commerce Clause," he wrote.

In addition to being a win for states, the ruling is also a win for large retailers, who argued the physical presence rule was unfair. Retailers including Apple, Macy's, Target and Walmart, which have brick-and-mortar stores nationwide, generally collect sales tax from their customers who buy online. That's because they typically have a physical store in whatever state the purchase is being shipped to. Amazon.com, with its network of warehouses, also collects sales tax in every state that charges it, though third party sellers who use the site to sell goods don't have to.

But sellers that only have a physical presence in a single state or a few states could avoid charging customers sales tax when they're shipping to addresses outside those states. Online sellers that don't charge sales tax on goods shipped to every state range from jewelry website Blue Nile to pet products site Chewy.com to clothing retailer L.L. Bean. Sellers who use eBay and Etsy, which provide platforms for smaller sellers, also aren't required to collect sales tax nationwide.


Trump's personal attorney has dropped a pair of libel suits
Opinions | 2018/04/19 01:52
President Donald Trump's personal attorney dropped a pair of libel lawsuits against BuzzFeed and investigation firm Fusion GPS amid the stir caused by an FBI search of the lawyer's files.

Michael Cohen had sued in New York City over publication of the unverified dossier detailing alleged ties between Trump and Russia. He dropped the suits late Wednesday amid a separate legal battle over the seizure of documents and electronic files from his home, office and hotel room last week in a federal investigation of possible financial fraud.

The dossier claims that Cohen met with Russian operatives in Europe for a meeting to "clean up the mess" over disclosures of other Trump associates' reported ties to Russia.

Cohen's attorney, David Schwartz, said Thursday the decision to abandon the suits was difficult.

"We believe the defendants defamed my client, and vindicating Mr. Cohen's rights was - and still remains - important," he said in a statement. "But given the events that have unfolded, and the time, attention and resources needed to prosecute these matters, we have dismissed the matters, despite their merits."

In a statement, BuzzFeed called the suit against it meritless.

"Today's news suggests that Donald Trump's personal lawyer no longer thinks an attack on the free press is worth his time," it said.

Fusion GPS said in a statement that it welcomed Cohen's decision.

"With his decision, it appears that Mr. Cohen can now focus on his many other legal travails," it said.


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