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28 entries in 'Opinions'
2018/01/30   Supreme Court delays order for North Carolina to redraw maps
2017/10/24   Florida court sides with Gov. Scott in nursing home battle
2017/08/18   Nevada pot regulators back in court as supplies dwindle
2016/09/10   Biden, Supreme Court nominee on Hill to pressure GOP
2016/07/08   Thai military court adds to singer's jail term for insults
2016/05/22   Breyer says Supreme Court not diminished with only 8 members
2016/04/25   Stoddard firefighter charged with arson due in court
2016/04/15   Obama's power over immigration drives Supreme Court dispute
2016/03/19   Teen changes plea to guilty in deaths of mother, stepfather
2015/11/30   South African appeals court nears Pistorius ruling
2015/11/17   Snowboarders fight ban at Utah resort in appeals court
2015/11/04   Romania's outgoing PM appears at court for corruption trial
2015/09/16   Charleston church suspect's friend charged with lying to FBI
2012/06/13   Ariz. gov. orders training ahead of court decision
2012/02/28   Proof of a Negative Not Required for Summary Judgment
2012/01/29   Law Firms Keep Squeezing Associates
2011/07/19   When is a Person an Employee of Another?
2011/06/10   Court Shows It Is Serious About Appellate Procedure
2009/10/02   Is the iPhone Ready for Law Firms?
2009/01/27   Six-figure Cabinet jobs sometimes mean a pay cut
2008/10/21   Senate Democrats subpoena Mukasey over detainees
2008/04/08   Second Circuit Deals a Severe Blow
2008/04/02   Where Lawyer Creativity Shines
2008/03/24   Brits vs. Americans: Who Can Better Weather a Recession?
2008/03/11   Health-Care Fraud: Keep an Eye on the Small Fry
2008/03/03   Doctor-lawyer project tackles malpractice
2008/03/01   What is Intellectual Property?
2008/03/01   A Legalpalooza Only Dickens Could Love


Supreme Court delays order for North Carolina to redraw maps
Opinions | 2018/01/30 09:41
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday delayed a lower-court order that would have forced North Carolina Republican lawmakers to redraw the state's congressional districts by next week because of excessive partisan bias in current lines.

The justices announced the stay after legal briefs were filed for and against the GOP legislators' request for a delay. Their lawyers successfully argued that a three-judge panel's ruling last week declaring the state congressional map an illegal partisan gerrymander should be on hold while similar cases involving Wisconsin legislative districts and one Maryland congressional district before the Supreme Court are considered. The court has never declared that the inherently political process of redistricting can be too partisan.

Voter advocacy groups and Democratic voters who sued over the map — heavily weighted toward Republicans in a closely divided state — argued no delay was necessary because it would be struck down however the justices rule in the other cases.

The Supreme Court's order said the delay remains in place while the case is appealed. The request was considered by the entire court, and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor would have denied the request for the delay, according to the order.

GOP Rep. David Lewis and Sen. Ralph Hise, redistricting leaders at the state General Assembly, praised the intervention in a release. "We are grateful that a bipartisan U.S. Supreme Court has overwhelmingly halted the lower court's 11th-hour attempt to intervene in election outcomes" and restored certainty to voters about their districts, they said.




Florida court sides with Gov. Scott in nursing home battle
Opinions | 2017/10/24 12:17
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has won the first round in a legal tug-of-war over his mandate that nursing homes and assisted living facilities install generators.

The 1st District Court of Appeal on Thursday rejected a legal challenge to emergency rules put in place by the Scott administration. A panel of judges split 2-1 over the challenge. The court has not yet issued a full opinion explaining the decision.

Groups that represent nursing homes and assisted living facilities asked the appeal court to review whether or not there was an emergency that warranted the rules. A separate legal challenge to the actual rules is still ongoing.

Scott issued his order after residents at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills died in the days after Hurricane Irma wiped out power to much of South Florida.



Nevada pot regulators back in court as supplies dwindle
Opinions | 2017/08/18 08:49
Nevada's marijuana regulators are headed back to court in a turf battle with liquor wholesalers over exclusive rights to distribute pot products to the state's new recreational retailers.

Nevada's Taxation Department says the protracted legal fight has created a delivery bottleneck that's undermining an otherwise robust marijuana industry and the state revenue that comes with it.

Legal sales started with a bang July 1. But Tax Director Deonne Contine (kahn-TEEN') says the tiny distribution network's inability to keep pace with demand is forcing up prices and sending buyers back to the black market.

She says it's also jeopardizing worker safety at dispensaries forced to stockpile supplies and huge amounts of cash to accommodate erratic deliveries.

A Carson City judge plans to hear her request Thursday to lift the latest injunction blocking licenses for anyone other than alcohol distributors.


Biden, Supreme Court nominee on Hill to pressure GOP
Opinions | 2016/09/10 23:35
Judge Merrick Garland found himself back on Capitol Hill on Thursday in a familiar place ? meeting with a Democratic senator who used the visit to complain about Republicans' inaction on President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee.

Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, the Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. said he met with Garland to "see how he's doing." Nearly six months ago, Obama nominated Garland to fill the vacancy created by Justice Antonin Scalia's death in February. Republicans have said they won't act until the next president chooses a nominee.

"He's had to wait longer than any nominee ever has," Leahy told reporters. "We've got plenty of time. If they want to do their job, we could easily have the hearing and the confirmation in September."

Asked if he'd seen any signs that Republicans are wavering in their refusal to consider a nominee this year, Leahy said, "You'll have to ask them." The spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who's led GOP opposition to Garland, said nothing has changed.

"The majority leader has been clear: The next president will make the nomination for this vacancy," said spokesman Don Stewart.

Vice President Joe Biden also planned to be on Capitol Hill on Thursday to help turn up the pressure on McConnell.

It was Garland's first visit to Congress since he held dozens of individual meetings with senators in the spring.

The court is currently divided 4-4 between liberal- and conservative-leaning justices. Garland's confirmation would tip the court in the more liberal direction.

Both parties have appealed to voters by making the court's leaning a campaign issue, stressing that either Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump will decide that by whomever they nominate.



Thai military court adds to singer's jail term for insults
Opinions | 2016/07/08 12:22
A Thai country singer and political activist was sentenced Monday by a military court to more than three years in jail for insulting the monarchy, adding to a 7½-year sentence a criminal court imposed on him earlier for the same offense.

Thanat Thanawatcharanon, known by his stage name Tom Dundee, was convicted and sentenced under Article 112, which makes criticism of the monarchy and the king punishable with up to 15 years in jail. The lese majeste law has been used prodigiously by the military government that came to power in a May 2014 coup.

Thanat got into trouble because of the speeches he made in 2013 at a rally organized by the so-called Red Shirts, who are supporters of a charismatic prime minister ousted in an earlier military coup supported by the Yellow Shirt royalists.

The case in criminal court followed complaints by a Yellow Shirt group. The second case involving the same speeches was transferred to a military court after the 2014 coup.

Thanat's lawyer Saowalux Po-Ngam said his client was sentenced to five years in jail for the second case, but the time was reduced to three years and four months because he confessed.



Breyer says Supreme Court not diminished with only 8 members
Opinions | 2016/05/22 23:29
Justice Stephen Breyer said Monday that the Supreme Court has not been diminished by having only eight members since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February.

Breyer suggested in response to questions at an awards ceremony at the Library of Congress that Scalia would have made a difference in only four or five cases out of more than 70 the court will decide this term.

"We may divide 4-4 in four or five cases, we may not," Breyer said of the term than will end in June.

That could include some of the term's biggest cases involving abortion and immigration. A tie vote would leave the lower court ruling in place and prevent the court from setting a legal precedent that applies to the entire country.

The court has already deadlocked in three cases, including a high-profile dispute over public-sector labor unions. And last week, the justices returned a dispute over access to birth control to lower courts, suggesting they could not form a majority that would have settled a major conflict over the scope of the nation's health care law.

Breyer stressed that the court in recent years has ruled unanimously about half the time and divided 5-4 in only a small percentage of cases. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito and Elena Kagan also have said in recent public comments that the court would find its way until a ninth justice is confirmed.

Breyer did not address the partisan debate over whether the Senate should confirm Judge Merrick Garland, nominated by Obama to take Scalia's seat. Senate Republicans have refused to hold a hearing on Garland's confirmation or schedule a vote, saying the choice should be left to Obama's successor.

Breyer was at the ceremony, the Burton Awards for Legal Achievement, to receive an award for his latest book about the use of foreign law in American courts.



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