Law in the News: Foie Gras Producers, Restaurants Defeat California Ban

A California ban on foie gras can’t be enforced because it violates U.S. poultry regulations, a federal judge said in a victory for producers of the delicacy made from fattened duck and goose livers.

The ban, which took effect in 2012, was the first by a state to make it illegal to sell foie gras. Animal-rights advocates supported the ban, arguing that force-feeding ducks and geese with a tube inserted in the esophagus to fatten their livers was cruel.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson in Los Angeles agreed with American and Canadian producers and a restaurant group suing to overturn the prohibition that the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act preempts California from imposing its own rules on poultry ingredients and sales.
Read the article on Bloomberg.com

Law in the News: New Year, New Rules: A Look At Laws Going Into Effect In 2015

Banning leaf blowers? Redefining “milk?” Making living conditions better for hens? In 2015, a number of new state and local laws will go into effect across the country, and you may see some of these changes being made in your area.
Read article on ABC News.

Law in the News: Supreme Court considers extent of free speech over Internet

WASHINGTON — Anthony Elonis claimed he was just kidding when he posted a series of graphically violent rap lyrics on Facebook about killing his estranged wife, shooting up a kindergarten class and attacking an FBI agent.But his wife didn’t see it that way. Neither did a federal jury.

Elonis, who’s from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was convicted of violating a federal law that makes it a crime to threaten another person.

In a far-reaching case that probes the limits of free speech over the Internet, the Supreme Court on Monday was to consider whether Elonis’ Facebook posts, and others like it, deserve protection under the First Amendment.
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Law in the News: Where Might Obama and the G.O.P. Agree? Here Are Possibilities

Moments like this — when a president in his final two years of an eight-year run faces a sharply hostile Congress — are certainly not when big, ideologically polarizing legislation is likely to be enacted. Republicans may have a comfortable majority in both the House and Senate, after all, but not enough votes to override a presidential veto. My colleague Carl Hulse reports that Republicans are eager to show they can be a governing party and seek to move legislation that many Congressional Democrats might object to but which Mr. Obama is likely to sign.

Read full article on NYT

Law in the News: On Election’s Eve, G.O.P. Is Confident, but Voters Are Sour

WASHINGTON — The most expensive midterm campaign in American history stumbled into Election Day on Tuesday with voters’ interest at record lows and their divisions deep over what they want their government to do in President Obama’s final two years.

… The uncertainty about the outcome is a fitting match for the mood of the nation. A slowly but steadily improving economy — with six months of strong growth, gasoline below $3 a gallon for the first time in four years and substantial deficit reduction — has not translated into broader optimism. Voters are more inclined toward blame than credit.

Read article on the New York Times