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352 entries in 'Court Watch'
2018/04/17   Michigan Democrats back Nessel for state attorney general
2018/04/08   Retailers hope for certainty as Supreme Court hears tax case
2018/04/04   Supreme Court rejects appeal from Middle East attack victims
2018/04/04   Liberal Dallet easily takes Wisconsin Supreme Court race
2018/04/01   Drug companies want Supreme Court to take eye drop dispute
2018/03/30   Stephen Reinhardt, liberal circuit court judge, dies at 87
2018/03/29   Court: Government can't block immigrant teens from abortion
2018/03/24   Randle, an enforcer on the court, is a gentle giant elsewhere
2018/03/18   Agency: School boards, counties should stay out of court
2018/03/10   Former Trump campaign aide Nunberg at court for grand jury
2018/03/09   TransCanada doesn't have to pay landowner attorneys
2018/02/05   Greek court postpones decision in Turkish extradition case
2018/02/03   Court: Lawsuit alleging coerced confessions can go to trial
2018/02/02   Samsung heir freed after appeal wins suspended jail term
2018/01/23   Pennsylvania GOP take gerrymandering case to US high court
2018/01/19   Court rules that Kushner firm must disclose partners' names
2018/01/18   Court halts execution of Alabama inmate with dementia
2018/01/16   Hong Kong court to rule later on 3 activists' prison terms
2018/01/14   Supreme Court to hear sales tax collection case
2018/01/11   Doctor charged in wife's death moved after threat to him
2018/01/08   Jailed Catalan separatists pledge to eschew unilateral moves
2018/01/02   North Carolina's altered legislative districts back in court
2017/12/22   Court extends halt in Louisiana executions after judge dies
2017/12/18   State high court won't hear Mateen Cleaves sex assault case
2017/12/08   Supreme Court declines gay rights work discrimination case
2017/12/04   Supreme Court won't hear dispute involving NC TV network
2017/11/17   German Court: Kuwait Airways Can Refuse Israeli Passengers
2017/11/11   Trump choosing white men as judges, highest rate in decades
2017/11/04   'Dirty soda' Utah court battle ends with legal settlement
2017/11/01   Connecticut Governor Will Get His 6th Supreme Court Pick
2017/10/26   Court gives government a win in young immigrants' cases
2017/10/16   Businesses ask Supreme Court to take gay rights case
2017/10/12   Indiana courts see changes with new e-filing system
2017/10/03   European Court Asked to Rule on Facebook Data Transfers
2017/09/20   Egypt court orders detention of 24 minority Nubians 15 days
2017/09/16   FBI Searched Ex-Oklahoma Senator's Office for Porn
2017/09/13   Man charged in slayings of 2 doctors 'just nervous' in court
2017/09/04   Palestinian court extends activist's detention by 4 days
2017/08/24   Supreme Court Overturns Billings Police Back-Pay Ruling
2017/08/21   Court file: Michigan girl who killed toddler heard voices
2017/08/15   Former Pakistan PM challenges disqualification by court
2017/08/05   Ronaldo tells judge he has 'never tried to avoid taxes'
2017/08/05   Spanish court backs extradition of Russian programmer to US
2017/07/29   Texas Executes TaiChin Preyor, Who Said Lawyer Used Wikipedia
2017/07/25   Australian court debates release of Queen's secret letters
2017/07/20   Idaho Supreme Court upholds grocery tax veto
2017/07/11   Rob Kardashian's ex-fiancee arrives at court for hearing
2017/07/11   Supreme Court deadline nears for suit over wetland loss
2017/07/10   Relatives of Slain US Troops Describe Loss to Jordan Court
2017/07/04   Appeals court backs Jimmy John's franchisee in labor dispute
2017/06/29   Mississippi man takes Confederate flag fight to high court
2017/06/28   Attention on Supreme Court as justice weigh Trump travel ban
2017/06/27   D.C. on edge: rumors of new Supreme Court vacancy swirl
2017/06/24   EU Court: Vaccines Can Be Blamed for Illnesses Without Proof
2017/06/15   Idaho Supreme Court to hear veto challenge arguments
2017/06/14   Groups sue seeking court oversight of Chicago police reforms
2017/06/13   Court filing: Marsh seeks OK to sell 26 grocery stores
2017/06/10   Fraternity brothers due in court in pledge's fatal fall
2017/06/08   Court: Ohio E-School Can't Delay Repayment of $60M to State
2017/06/07   Court to hear challenge to speed up California executions
2017/06/03   Mom sentenced in Australian court for drowning 3 children
2017/06/03   Court filing questions innocence panel insistence on secrecy
2017/06/01   Doctor arrested at Trump hotel on gun charges due in court
2017/06/01   Trump admin asks Supreme Court to restore travel ban
2017/06/01   East Timor court drops premier's libel case against media
2017/05/22   Puerto Rico seeks court's help to save public pension system
2017/05/16   Court likely to question if Trump's travel ban discriminates
2017/05/15   High court could soon signal view on Trump immigration plans
2017/05/11   Judge rejects effort to block Confederate statue's removal
2017/05/04   Supreme Court says cities can sue banks under anti-bias law
2017/05/01   Idaho Judicial Council accepting applications for high court
2017/04/29   Judge W. Brent Powell Appointed to Missouri Supreme Court
2017/04/28   Volunteers accompany US immigrants to court to allay fears
2017/04/20   Not guilty pleas entered for accused in Canada polygamy case
2017/04/14   2 inmates seek execution stays from Arkansas high court
2017/04/11   Newest justice joins high court amid competing caricatures
2017/04/10   Senate GOP 'goes nuclear,' clearing way for Trump court pick
2017/04/01   S Korea's Park questioned at court hearing on arrest request
2017/04/01   Political fights over Supreme Court seats nothing new
2017/03/30   Dems force 1-week delay on panel vote on Supreme Court pick
2017/03/22   International court orders reparations for Congo attack
2017/03/06   Immigration courts: record number of cases, many problems
2017/03/05   Court officer investigated for photographing lawyer's notes
2017/03/02   High court ruling could reshape Virginia political map
2017/02/26   Florida Legislature at "Open War" with State Supreme Court
2017/02/22   Serbs warn Bosnian Muslim bid at UN court revives old wounds
2017/02/20   German court excludes Jewish brothers from Auschwitz trial
2017/02/13   Supreme Court nominee has defended free speech, religion
2017/02/10   Court upholds guilty verdict for Russian opposition leader
2017/01/27   Court appeals temporarily delay Texas execution
2017/01/26   Driver due in court in Cleveland officer's hit-and-run death
2017/01/24   Kyrgyz court confirms life sentence for journalist
2017/01/22   Ethics measure backers ask high court to let them join case
2017/01/20   Court ponders mass murderer Breivik's prison conditions
2017/01/17   Man accused of killing Orlando officer defiant in court
2017/01/11   Supreme Court temporarily blocks new NC districts, elections
2017/01/05   Supreme Court rejects appeal from flight-sharing company
2017/01/05   Airport shooting suspect due for Florida court appearance
2017/01/03   South Korean executives jailed for humidifier cleaner deaths
2017/01/01   Former Haitian rebel leader due in US court on drug charges
2016/12/21   California Supreme Court halts death penalty measure
2016/12/20   High court turns away appeal from former AIG executives
2016/12/18   Dems to use hearings on Trump picks to court working class
2016/12/17   Kansas Supreme Court to hear death row inmate's appeal
2016/12/06   Muslim cleric is in US court fighting against deportation
2016/12/01   Ohio sheriff accused of drug theft changing not guilty plea
2016/11/21   Ohio sheriff accused of drug theft changing not guilty plea
2016/11/20   Philippine court urged to order Marcos' remains exhumed
2016/10/17   Lithuania wants Gorbachev to testify in war crimes trial
2016/10/14   Court enters default judgment in Kansas voting rights case
2016/10/13   Court fight over Ohio executions likely to focus on sedative
2016/10/06   Hawaii Supreme Court affirms Maui solar telescope permit
2016/09/26   Court asks judges to respond to Louisiana sheriff's claims
2016/09/14   LA Supreme Court considers teen robber’s 99-year sentence
2016/08/23   Court considers Kansas rule that voters prove citizenship
2016/08/19   Polish prosecutors investigate court head for abuse of power
2016/08/14   Appeals court rejects request to postpone voter ID decision
2016/08/13   Ex-officer charged in death of black motorist back in court
2016/07/19   Family files lawsuit against hospital and city in death
2016/07/15   Lawyer: Clinton already answered every question on email use
2016/07/12   Court denies hospital's bid to perform brain death test
2016/07/12   Kyrgyzstan sends case of jailed journalist back to court
2016/07/11   Candidate filing begins Monday for appeals court seat
2016/06/14   Court upholds net neutrality rules on equal internet access
2016/06/13   Court Vacates $1.8M Ventura Award in 'American Sniper' Case
2016/06/08   High court rejects Google's appeal in class action lawsuit
2016/06/05   NY court: Case against ex-AIG execs can continue
2016/06/04   Police union defends ex-officer in black musician's death
2016/05/31   High court sides with property owners in wetlands case
2016/05/11   Planned Parenthood shooting defendant returning to court
2016/05/10   Kansas Supreme Court reviews lawmakers' school aid changes
2016/05/08   Court: Slipknot bassist's child born after he died can sue
2016/04/16   Court sides with Argentina, speeding along bond settlements
2016/04/14   Supreme Court to swear in large group of deaf lawyers
2016/04/12   US House staffers subpoenaed by federal court
2016/03/28   Clinton: Americans should put Court nomination at forefront
2016/03/24   Karadzic convicted of genocide, sentenced to 40 years
2016/03/21   Supreme Court rejects states' challenge to Colorado pot law
2016/03/21   Supreme Court will hear Samsung-Apple patent dispute
2016/03/18   Man accused of terrorism charge with fiancee pleads guilty
2016/03/17   Lawyer: US citizen charged in UN case to plead guilty
2016/02/01   Ex-Attorney General McGraw files for Supreme Court race
2015/12/23   Court turns down appeal for Harvey family killer
2015/12/15   Columbus County lawyer enters pleas on obstruction charges
2015/12/13   Mexico issues first permits for marijuana under court ruling
2015/11/18   Texas man executed for setting fire that killed 3 children
2015/11/05   Kansas Supreme Court to take up school funding case
2015/11/03   Supreme Court troubled by DA's rejection of black jurors
2015/11/02   High court won't hear appeal on mortgage ratings
2015/10/15   Thousands turn up at court to support Catalan leader
2015/10/07   Virginia executes serial killer who claimed to be disabled
2015/09/18   Appeals court upholds injunction halting health mandate
2015/09/15   Ohio court: Wording of pot legalization ballot is misleading
2015/09/11   Appeals court upholds convictions in Ohio slavery case
2015/09/05   Court: Transgender asylum seekers can't be equated with gays
2015/09/02   Alaska Supreme Court won't block Medicaid expansion
2015/09/01   Court cuts prison sentence for Memphis 'sovereign citizen'
2015/08/19   Ex-Gov. Blagojevich to ask Supreme Court to hear case
2015/08/13   Federal court: Anti-Muslim group can't post ads on buses
2015/08/12   Appeals court won't reconsider ex-Virginia governor's case
2015/08/06   Court: Lawsuit over Arkansas killing by cop may proceed
2015/08/04   Republicans reject governor's pick for Va. Supreme Court
2015/07/25   Appeals court revives challenge to consumer age
2015/07/18   Court Halts Execution Of Tyler Woman's Killer
2015/07/08   Appeals court upholds parts of Arizona ethnic studies ban
2015/06/24   Dispute over union fees could return to Supreme Court
2015/06/15   600 court cases under review in California corruption probe
2015/06/12   Court says net neutrality rules will go into effect Friday
2015/06/04   Supreme Court to hear Texas Senate districts case
2015/06/01   Suge Knight returns to court to try to dismiss murder case
2015/05/17   Court: State can’t order unions, companies to reach binding contracts
2015/05/15   Attorney: Court orders release of anti-nuclear activists
2015/04/23   Arizona sheriff shifts blame over disobeying court order
2015/04/23   California court ruling could limit drought fighting tools
2015/04/15   Man kills his lawyer, judge, co-defendant in Milan court
2015/03/11   Attorney John Q. Kelly
2015/01/08   Nebraska court could hold up Keystone pipeline
2015/01/05   Suspect in trooper shooting case heads to court
2015/01/05   Argentine court says US fugitive can be extradited
2014/11/21   Indian guru in deadly standoff due in court
2014/10/27   Washington high court to hear charter schools case
2014/09/29   Court-martial for Missouri drill sergeant resumes
2014/07/21   2 ag-gag laws facing federal court challenges
2014/07/15   Court kills New Jersey bid to block ocean blasting
2014/04/29   Court declines to hear Microsoft antitrust case
2014/04/15   SC Supreme Court hears appeal in fatal dog attack
2014/04/03   The Law Offices of Tenecia P. Reid, PLLC
2014/03/28   Qatari court sentences US couple to 3 years jail
2014/03/14   High Court battle over Richard III's remains
2014/03/05   Court: Broad protection for whistleblowers
2013/11/04   Court-martial date set in Naval Academy case
2013/07/02   Adoption case returns to SC from US Supreme Court
2013/06/13   Court says human genes cannot be patented
2013/06/03   Court: Police can take DNA swabs from arrestees
2013/05/31   Court: Calif. erred in new lethal injection regs
2013/05/29   Chicago man pleads guilty in NY hacking case
2013/04/12   Top prosecutor in Del Norte County suspended
2013/04/02   Court: EPA can stop some power plant modifications
2013/03/25   Proposal would charge $10 to search court records
2013/02/15   Oklahoma considers foreign law court ban
2012/10/24   Chile OK's extradition bid for ex-US Navy officer
2012/10/12   Feds seek full court review of cigarette warnings
2012/10/06   High court begins new term with human rights case
2012/08/22   Court upholds summary for St. Louis police measure
2012/08/15   Judge won't halt Pa. voter identification law
2012/08/03   Gay marriage ban backers seek Supreme Court review
2012/07/20   Tenn. court says convicted killer can keep money
2012/07/06   NY court: Gay marriage caucus didn't break rules
2012/07/06   Cal Supreme Court rules in child death case
2012/07/03   La. high court upholds murder conviction
2012/06/15   Massive LA County court layoffs to begin Friday
2012/06/09   Powerbroker tied to Nevada Sen. Reid goes to court
2012/05/24   Court: Families cannot sue over loan discount fee
2012/05/19   Md. highest court recognizes same-sex divorce
2012/05/18   Texas high court orders state to pay ex-inmate $2M
2012/04/30   Ferrero sets aside $3 million for Nutella U.S. class action
2012/03/03   Calif. jury awards $167M in sexual harassment suit
2012/02/28   British arms-to-Iran suspect faces Texas court
2012/02/27   Supreme Court 101 in session at high court
2012/02/25   Court: California can force inmates to submit DNA
2012/02/17   Teen pleads not guilty in Ohio Craigslist killings
2012/02/15   Cisco challenges Microsoft takeover of Skype in EU
2012/02/10   High court asked to undo Mont. campaign money ban
2012/02/09   Appeals court halts deportation of 7 immigrants
2012/02/03   Appeals court set to hear Alabama trademark suit
2012/01/30   Former UBS trader pleads not guilty in UK court
2012/01/27   NY court: Judge can't block $18B Chevron judgment
2012/01/23   US army panel advises trial in Afghanistan suicide
2012/01/20   Police witnesses called in fake 'Rockefeller' case
2012/01/16   Court Upholds Burlington Man's Murder Conviction
2012/01/10   High Court Rejects Prisoner Lawsuit
2012/01/03   Ecuador court upholds ruling against Chevron
2011/12/27   Riders stuck on snow-trapped train sue NY agency
2011/12/24   Supreme Court says Manchester property tax data private
2011/12/21   Mentally disabled detainees granted class status
2011/12/20   NY top court allows private securities claims
2011/12/12   High court halts new Texas electoral maps
2011/12/05   Court: State prisoners count at home in redistricting
2011/11/28   Federal Court of Canada Certifies Class Action
2011/11/23   Defendant in $670M scam enters guilty plea in Va.
2011/11/21   Courts weighs scrapping huge California water pact
2011/11/13   Russia court rejects $16 billion claim against BP
2011/11/10   Court likely to overturn Calif. law on livestock
2011/11/09   Court upholds conviction in Pa. murder case
2011/10/29   Appeals court overturns key Cape Wind clearance
2011/10/14   NY motorist pleads not guilty in fatal Amish crash
2011/10/14   No class-action status in Countrywide case
2011/10/11   High court to decide double jeopardy question
2011/10/11   Utah bank sued over overdraft fees, policies
2011/10/03   Mass. man charged in terror plot pleads not guilty
2011/09/26   Appeals court hears challenge to health care law
2011/09/22   Court rules that UBS trader should stay in custody
2011/09/21   Appeals court in Va. tosses 2 Abu Ghraib lawsuits
2011/09/20   Kona coffee dispute prompts class-action lawsuit
2011/09/19   Va. high court considers ex-King confidant's case
2011/09/18   1 spank isn't domestic violence, Fla. court says
2011/09/15   Appeals court upholds sentence in Ponzi scheme
2011/09/01   Colombia court reinstates conviction in Galan hit
2011/08/24   Court asked to stop immigrant license checks
2011/08/18   EEOC sues, argues man on treatment should be hired
2011/08/12   Dougherty siblings to appear in Colorado court
2011/08/10   Wash. man pleads guilty to defrauding ID investors
2011/08/08   No class-action for suits over Calif. fish kill
2011/08/08   Court rules firing of NJ casino dealer unlawful
2011/08/02   Jury deliberates in post-Katrina shootings trial
2011/08/01   NJ high court to rule in case of retired judge
2011/07/25   Judge wants agency to investigate Meijer lawyer
2011/07/20   Court reverses conviction on online Obama threat
2011/07/20   Ex-CEO convicted in scam at auto-chemical company
2011/07/06   Defendant in 4 Calif. killings now wants lawyer
2011/06/27   Citigroup ex-VP arrested in NYC on fraud charges
2011/06/20   Woman pleads guilty in border cash smuggling case
2011/06/12   Texas teachers may get student criminal histories
2011/06/10   Pa. appeals court upholds $188M Wal-Mart verdict
2011/06/10   US appeals court overturns release of detainee
2011/06/07   Lawyer: Baseline Killer suspect a 'ravenous wolf'
2011/06/06   Ex-IMF leader pleads not guilty to sex assault
2011/05/27   Appeals court upholds sentence in NC bus stop case
2011/05/23   Attorneys to give openings in Mumbai terror case
2011/05/23   Ohio couple pleads guilty in terror funding case
2011/05/19   Mack Trucks, Volvo to pay $525M to settle suit
2011/05/17   Minn. court: Defendant may withdraw guilty plea
2011/05/13   Hedge fund founder convicted in inside-trade case
2011/05/09   Delaware pediatrician waives right to jury trial
2011/04/28   Court close to seating Blagojevich jury
2011/04/18   Treasury risks overpaying law firms
2011/04/18   Judge Considers $30M Dairy Antitrust Settlement
2011/04/18   Court denies appeal over inmate's long sentence
2011/04/10   Court ruling could mean NJ budget scramble
2011/04/06   Split over union law reaches Wis. court race
2011/04/06   Louisiana to get $12M in Health Net case
2011/04/02   Blockbuster showdown coming today in bankruptcy court
2011/03/24   Court nixes new rape trial in dispute over poem
2011/03/24   Oregon appeals court: Teeth not dangerous weapon
2011/03/11   Ex-judge Camp sentenced to 30 days in prison
2011/03/11   Court blames LA County for ocean pollution
2011/03/01   Ex-NY state Sen. Dem. leader due in court .
2011/02/24   Ohio defendant called about drug money from jail
2011/02/24   man charged in NY infant snatching due in court
2011/02/24   Lake County, Indiana cutting free lunches to jurors
2011/02/10   JPMorgan says it did nothing wrong in Madoff fraud
2011/01/12   Judge approves $179M settlement for AK Steel retirees
2010/12/19   Lawyer for disgraced celebrity adviser is arrested
2010/11/02   Idaho Supreme Court lifts hold on refinery haul
2010/08/30   Thousands sign on for $10 billion BP suit
2010/05/17   Appeals court grants Dish rare review of TiVo case
2010/05/10   Oprah Winfrey’s company targets Boston law firm in suit
2010/05/03   Brit on Texas death row loses high court appeal
2010/04/14   Wichita Bookkeeper Sentenced For Embezzling
2009/12/24   6 accused in Mass. mortgage scheme
2009/12/24   Teen charged with starting 2 California wildfires
2009/12/22   Judge denies jury strikes motion in abortion case
2009/11/30   La Salle settles injured player's lawsuit
2009/11/09   Domain Auction Site Faces Shill Bidding Lawsuit
2009/10/05   Securities Class Action Trial Starts This Week Against Vivendi
2009/09/21   Dannon Settles Activia Lawsuit
2009/05/07   Demjanjuk appeals German court decision
2009/03/19   Gilman Pastor File Class Action vs. Chinese Drywall
2009/02/02   Wrongful Death Suit Filed Against Peanut Corp.
2009/01/02   Judge Upholds Detention of Two Gitmo Detainees
2008/12/23   Alamo seeks removal of religious language in suit
2008/12/03   Justices chide California-based appeals court
2008/11/17   Paralyzed Calif. man loses high court appeal
2008/11/04   Supreme Court wrestles with TV profanity case
2008/10/27   Chicago torture victims face uphill legal battle
2008/10/08   Ohio top court mulls Planned Parenthood files
2008/10/07   High court could block 'light' cigarettes lawsuit
2008/09/09   J.K. Rowling Smites Copyright Violator
2008/08/20   Ninth Circuit rules on 'no-fly' list
2008/08/18   Second Circuit Protects Plaintiff's Anonymity
2008/08/15   9th Circ. upholds denial of Oregon domestic partnership
2008/08/05   Inmate Says He's Too Fat for Lethal Injection
2008/07/28   Comedian Says Heckler's Lawsuit Isn't Funny
2008/06/22   Court will review $2.8 million award to Iranian
2008/05/23   Court Nixes Dog-Killing Deputy's Job Transfer
2008/05/08   Taser Stuns Coroners with Win in Autopsy Reports Case
2008/04/29   9th Circuit Resurrects School Bible Club Lawsuit
2008/03/20   Appeals Court Rules Against Qualcomm
2008/03/19   Supreme Court to Hear Indecency Case
2008/03/17   Court Accepts Crime Lab Case
2008/03/17   CNet to Appeal Court's Bylaw Ruling
2008/03/12   Verdict upheld for Valley law firm suing over fees
2008/03/08   Saddam Kickbacks Earn Oil Exec Prison
2008/03/07   U.S. treasure firm ordered to identify disputed wreck
2008/03/06   Court of Appeals weighs scope of extortion law
2008/03/06   Gault Pleads Guilty; Facing 50 Years In Prison
2008/03/05   US Court Denies Injunction Sought by Verigy
2008/03/05   Judge Wants Shipwreck Evidence Worked On
2008/03/04   Judge accepts plea deal in Cody Warren's death
2008/03/03   Yanez beats Criss in Texas Supreme Court primary
2008/03/03   Suspect in Ivy League ID Theft in Court
2008/03/02   A Selection of Breyer's Hypotheticals

Michigan Democrats back Nessel for state attorney general
Court Watch | 2018/04/17 05:40
Thousands of fired-up Michigan Democrats endorsed Dana Nessel on Sunday in a hotly contested race for state attorney general, backing the former prosecutor-turned-civil rights lawyer to wrest back control of an office the party last held 16 years ago.

If elected in November, Nessel — who helped mount a successful legal challenge to the state's same-sex marriage ban — would be Michigan's first openly gay statewide officeholder. She defeated Pat Miles, the former U.S. attorney for western Michigan in the Obama administration, in a fight that drew a record number of delegates to Detroit.

"I want to bring empathy back to the office of Michigan attorney general," Nessel said after her victory inside a packed convention hall in the Cobo Center, where she became the rare candidate to win a convention fight despite not being supported by the influential United Auto Workers union and Michigan AFL-CIO, which had backed Miles. "With the help of not just Democrats in the state but independents and yes, even Republicans, I think we can do that and I look forward to being able to try."

The 48-year-old Nessel, who was a Wayne County assistant prosecutor for 11 years, co-owns a small Detroit law firm that among other things focuses on criminal defense, family law and adoptions for same-sex couples. Barring a surprise, she will be officially nominated at Democrats' next convention in August and face a Republican nominee — either state House Speaker Tom Leonard or state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker — in the November election. GOP Attorney General Bill Schuette cannot run again due to term limits and is instead vying for governor.

Nessel's win sets the stage for a female-dominated Democratic statewide ticket if favorite Gretchen Whitmer wins the gubernatorial primary election in August. Democrats, who flooded the convention despite icy, rainy weather, also endorsed Jocelyn Benson for secretary of state in an uncontested race, and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow is running for re-election to a fourth term.

Retailers hope for certainty as Supreme Court hears tax case
Court Watch | 2018/04/08 12:25
Retailers are hoping for a resolution this year from the Supreme Court, which hears arguments Tuesday in a decades-old dispute: Whether companies must collect sales tax on items sold in a state where they don't have a store or other building.

If the court backs government officials who say they're losing billions of dollars in uncollected taxes, thousands of small companies could be forced to start charging their out-of-state customers for them. Some businesses fear that could alienate customers used to tax-free shopping. On the other side: Retailers who do collect sales tax and believe those who don't have an unfair advantage.

The justices will hear online retailers Wayfair, and Newegg challenging a South Dakota law enacted last May requiring out-of-state retailers that have sales of more than $100,000 or over 200 transactions a year in the state to collect sales tax. Their decision could have national implications on e-commerce, although Congress can pass legislation afterward that broadens or narrows the law.

It's not only about the money, says Stephanie Harvey, owner of exit343design in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. There are more than 10,000 sales tax jurisdictions in the United States: 35 states, the District of Columbia, counties and municipalities.

"Adding this sales tax isn't just about the tax itself — it's about the cost of time to navigate and file (taxes) or the additional expense of hiring someone to do so on behalf of the business," says Harvey, whose design and printing company has an online store and sells merchandise to other retailers.

The justices are likely to rule by June on whether to overturn a 1992 decision, Quill v. North Dakota, that said companies cannot be forced to collect sales tax from customers in a state where they don't have a physical presence like a store or distribution center. Collecting tax from online sales hasn't been a question for big online retailers like Walmart or Macy's since they have physical stores in most or all states. They also have accounting systems and financial staffs to handle the work.

Small retailers have software options to help collect taxes and do the administrative work, but it's an added cost. Whether it's worth it may depend on how much revenue a seller gets from other states. The most comprehensive software can work with the programs retailers use to process sales transactions. The software sellers determine the correct sales tax rate and submit payments and reports to tax authorities.

Supreme Court rejects appeal from Middle East attack victims
Court Watch | 2018/04/04 12:14
The Supreme Court is rejecting an appeal from American victims of terrorist attacks in the Middle East more than a decade ago.

The justices are not commenting Monday in ending a lawsuit against the PLO and Palestinian Authority in connection with attacks in Israel in 2002 and 2004 that killed 33 people. A lower court tossed out a $654 million verdict against the Palestinians.

The Trump administration sided with the Palestinians in calling on the high court to leave the lower court ruling in place. The federal appeals court in New York said U.S. courts can't consider lawsuits against foreign-based groups over random attacks that were not aimed at the United States.

The victims sued under the Anti-Terrorism Act, passed to open U.S. courts to American victims of international terrorism.

Liberal Dallet easily takes Wisconsin Supreme Court race
Court Watch | 2018/04/04 12:14
Rebecca Dallet, a liberal Milwaukee judge, easily defeated conservative Michael Screnock on Tuesday in the race for Wisconsin Supreme Court, fueling optimism among Democrats for more victories in the fall midterms.

The win in the first statewide general election in the country this year forced Gov. Scott Walker, who endorsed Screnock, to warn his fellow Republicans.

"Tonight's results show we are at risk of a #BlueWave in WI," Walker, who is up for re-election in November, tweeted. "Big government special interests flooded Wisconsin with distorted facts & misinformation. Next, they'll target me and work to undo our bold reforms."

Although the race was viewed by some as a bellwether, results of past Supreme Court elections have not consistently proven to be predictive of what will happen in November. President Donald Trump won the state by less than 1 percentage point in 2016, while Dallet thumped Screnock by double digits.

She won by a nearly 12-point margin with 87 percent of precincts reporting, based on unofficial results.

The race for a 10-year seat was nonpartisan in name only, with millions in ad spending and public endorsements from the likes of Joe Biden, Eric Holder and the National Rifle Association.

Dallet said her victory, which Democrats quickly seized on as another sign of momentum, was a rejection of special interest influence on Wisconsin's Supreme Court.

"The candidate with the most experience in our courts and standing up for the fairness of our courts won," she said. "I think people are tired of what's been going on in our state in terms of the money coming in to buy these elections and people spoke out tonight."

Screnock said he was proud of his campaign, in the face of "tremendous outside influence from liberal special interest groups that were willing to say and spend anything to elect their preferred candidate to the bench."

Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairwoman Martha Laning said the win was a warning shot to Walker, calling it a "huge loss" for him because his "endorsement, philosophy and politics were on the ballot."

One of the Democratic challengers to Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, immediately tried to raise money off the Dallet win. Randy Bryce called the Dallet win "a rallying cry for working folks."

Screnock, a Sauk County circuit judge, was endorsed by Walker and backed by about $400,000 from the state GOP.

Drug companies want Supreme Court to take eye drop dispute
Court Watch | 2018/04/01 12:14
Eye drop users everywhere have had it happen. Tilt your head back, drip a drop in your eye and part of that drop always seems to dribble down your cheek.

But what most people see as an annoyance, some prescription drop users say is grounds for a lawsuit. Drug companies' bottles dispense drops that are too large, leaving wasted medication running down their faces, they say.

Don't roll your eyes. Major players in Americans' medicine cabinets — including Allergan, Bausch & Lomb, Merck and Pfizer — are asking the Supreme Court to get involved in the case.

On the other side are patients using the companies' drops to treat glaucoma and other eye conditions. Wasted medication affects their wallets, they say. They argue they would pay less for their treatment if their bottles of medication were designed to drip smaller drops. That would mean they could squeeze more doses out of every bottle. And they say companies could redesign the droppers on their bottles but have chosen not to.

The companies, for their part, have said the patients shouldn't be able to sue in federal court because their argument they would have paid less for treatment is based on a bottle that doesn't exist and speculation about how it would affect their costs if it did. They point out that the size of their drops was approved by the Food and Drug Administration and redesigned bottles would require FDA approval. The cost of changes could be passed on to patients, possibly resulting in treatment that costs more, they say.

Courts haven't seen eye to eye on whether patients should be able to sue. That's why the drugmakers are asking the Supreme Court to step in. A federal appeals court in Chicago threw out one lawsuit over drop size. But a federal appeals court in Philadelphia let the similar case now before the Supreme Court go forward. That kind of disagreement tends to get the Supreme Court's attention.

And if a drop-size lawsuit can go forward, so too could other packaging design lawsuits, like one by "toothpaste users whose tubes of toothpaste did not allow every bit of toothpaste to be used," wrote Kannon Shanmugam, a frequent advocate before the Supreme Court who is representing the drug companies in asking the high court to take the case.

Stephen Reinhardt, liberal circuit court judge, dies at 87
Court Watch | 2018/03/30 12:17
Judge Stephen Reinhardt, a liberal stalwart on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for nearly four decades, died Thursday in Southern California. He was 87.

Reinhardt died of a heart attack during a visit to a dermatologist in Los Angeles, court spokesman David Madden said.

"As a judge, he was deeply principled, fiercely passionate about the law and fearless in his decisions," 9th Circuit Chief Judge Sidney Thomas said in a statement. "He will be remembered as one of the giants of the federal bench."

Reinhardt was appointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 and went on to become the sixth longest-serving judge on the court.

He was considered to be one of the most liberal judges on the 9th Circuit and his rulings often placed him on the side of immigrants and prisoners. Reinhardt wrote a 2012 opinion striking down California's gay marriage ban.

He also wrote a 1996 opinion that struck down a Washington state law that prohibited doctors from prescribing medication to help terminally ill patients die.

Last year he wrote in an opinion that a Trump administration order to deport a man who entered the country illegally nearly three decades ago and became a respected businessman in Hawaii was "inhumane" and "contrary to the values of the country and its legal system."

Reinhardt was "brilliant - a great legal mind and writer - but he was equally hard working," said Hector Villagra, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California.

Villagra, who clerked for Reinhardt in 1995, said he once found the judge in his chambers at 11 p.m. on a Saturday writing a dissent to the court's decision not to rehear a death penalty appeal.

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