Category Archives: Law in the News

Merrick Garland Is Named As President Obama’s Supreme Court Nominee

Federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland is President Obama’s pick to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

The president officially named Garland as a Supreme Court nominee Wednesday as they stood before the media and a large gathering of attendees in the Rose Garden at the White House. Read article on NPR

SCOTUS blog: Supreme Court vacancy on Scalia’s Death

SCOTUS blog has a special section to news relating to Justice Antonin Scalia’s death this past Saturday, and President Obama’s possible Supreme Court nominees. Read the blog posts here.

Bluebook Revision Wars

From the Washington Post, Feb. 9, 2016:

“War is brewing over the most boring piece of intellectual property imaginable: the “Bluebook,” the 580-page quasi-authoritative source of proper legal citation formats published by the Harvard Law Review, described by Adam Liptak of the New York Times a few months ago as “a comically elaborate thicket of random and counterintuitive rules about how to cite judicial decisions, law review articles and the like [that] is both grotesque and indispensable.

Students at NYU Law School have prepared a new, streamlined, open-access citation system and gotten it ready for publication…”

Read full article

Law in the News: California Vaccine exemption bill temporarily stalls in California Senate Education Committee

Facing a barrage of questions he could not answer from his Senate Education Committee colleagues — particularly about the right of California children to attend public schools even if they are unvaccinated — Sen. Richard Pan on Wednesday agreed to delay by one week the committee’s vote on his controversial vaccine legislation.

The unexpected retreat seemed a promising turn of events for hundreds of opponents who again showed up in the Capitol to challenge lawmakers and insist the bill would deprive them of their right to choose not to vaccinate their children. And some believe the delay could imperil the chances of the legislation’s passage.

Pan, a pediatrician, co-authored Senate Bill 277, which would repeal the state’s personal belief exemption and require that only children who have been immunized for diseases such as measles and whooping cough be admitted to a school in California. It would also require schools to notify parents of immunization rates at their children’s schools.

Read article at the San Jose Mercury News.

Law in the News: Clinton e-mail flap reveals common practice

Reports this week that Hillary Rodham Clinton relied on her personal account entirely, and did not even have a government e-mail address during her tenure as secretary of state, have triggered a firestorm over the accountability of public officials and the security of valuable information. It turns out Jeb Bush had a personal account, too, while governor of Florida.

Both used their own digital servers, revealing the high degree of personal control they held over all their official e-mails.

The disclosures highlight an ethical controversy in all levels of government and underscore just how easily politicians can set up systems that operate beyond the scrutiny of the public they were elected to serve.
Read article on Boston Globe

Law in the News: Court dismisses 3rd lawsuit against hen cage law

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld a decision to dismiss a lawsuit by a farmer that challenged a law banning the inhumane confinement of egg-laying hens.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the 2012 decision by a lower court to throw out the lawsuit by egg farmer William Cramer. Cramer’s lawsuit said the law is unconstitutionally vague.

It’s the third time courts have rejected lawsuits by egg farmers against California’s landmark Proposition 2.

The initiative approved in 2008 bans the inhumane confinement of egg-laying hens, breeding pigs and veal calves in cages so small the animals cannot stretch their limbs, lie down or turn around.

Read article on San Francisco Chronicles

Law in the News: Judge tosses challenge to SF ‘Airbnb law’ but future suits likely

Just days before San Francisco’s “Airbnb law” is scheduled to take effect, a federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a challenge to the law from rival vacation-rental firm HomeAway but left the door open for HomeAway customers to file their own lawsuit.

The ordinance legalizes and regulates vacation-rentals in private homes. HomeAway claimed that it was tailored for Airbnb’s business model and asked for a preliminary injunction to stop it from taking effect Sunday. That implementation date can go forward, the court ruled.

HomeAway’s objections focused on residency and tax requirements.

Most of the 1,200 San Francisco rentals advertised on HomeAway and its subsidiary VRBO are second homes, whose owners live elsewhere and thus don’t meet the permanent residency requirement. And the law said that “hosting platforms” must collect and remit San Francisco’s 14 percent hotel tax. HomeAway argued that it is not a middleman like Airbnb, which handles the entire rental transaction, but merely a marketplace — more like Craigslist or the newspaper classifieds — where homeowners can list the spaces.

Read full article on SFGate