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Resolution HC Incarceration draft _edits_2.28.2019 (1).pdf
WHEREAS, community-based treatment should be the first option to address an individual’s severe behavioral health and/or substance use issues; andWHEREASSFDPH operates programs aimed at improving the social determinants of health in all stages of life;THEREFORE,BE IT RESOLVED, that the Health Commission recognizes incarceration to be a public health issue impacting the health and wellbeing of individuals incarcerated and the families and communities of those incarcerated, with impacton low-incomecommunities and people of color, specifically African American men; and be itFURTHER RESOLVED, the Health Commission requests thatthe SFDPH research and submit a report to the Commission that outlines a roadmap, incorporating harm reduction and best practices,to maximize efforts within its control to prevent individuals from being incarcerated; to increase collaboration, efficiencyand effectivenessof medical and behavioral health services across the continuum of care;to enhance and expandpost-release discharge planning, linkage to relevant services in the community, and other reentry services; and to work on mitigating the knowncontributing factors and the impactof incarceration on families and communities.
SF  police  contacts  public  heath  risk  law 
10 weeks ago by Quercki
Coverture: The Word You Probably Don't Know But Should | National Women's History Museum
our broker, a woman of a certain age with long experience in her profession, sympathized, but stated that if she had made me the primary borrower, the lawyers would “fuss” at her and just revert to the traditional categories. “Honey,” she told me, a professor of women’s history, “it’s a man’s world.”

Point taken. What I had just encountered was a vestige of the legal practice of coverture. This is a term most Americans don’t know but it has been a goal of mine to ensure that all literate, well-educated Americans be as familiar with the idea of coverture as they are with other historical terms such as “liberty,” “democracy,” and “equal rights.”

Coverture is a long-standing legal practice that is part of our colonial heritage. Though Spanish and French versions of coverture existed in the new world, United States coverture is based in English law. Coverture held that no female person had a legal identity. At birth, a female baby was covered by her father’s identity, and then, when she married, by her husband’s. The husband and wife became one–and that one was the husband.
mortgage  credit  law  contracts 
10 weeks ago by Quercki
CA tribes were excluded in a bill meant to protect them | The Sacramento Bee
When ancestral remains found during building projects or held by government agencies are returned to a Redding-area tribe in a process called repatriation, members hold a formal ceremony to rebury the findings.

The 126 members of the Winnemem Wintu then ask forgiveness from the ancestors, said Chief Caleen Sisk, for something so taboo as disturbing them in their graves.

“It is a hardship on us, to rebury them, to put them back,” Sisk said. “You don’t mess around in graveyards. You don’t dig them up, you don’t move them, you don’t touch them. We ask for forgiveness that we have to do this.”

Read more here:
CA  Native_American  tribes  law 
10 weeks ago by Quercki
Becerra backs change in murder law that's widely opposed by state prosecutors - The San Diego Union-Tribune
State Senator Nancy Skinner
21 hrs ·

Good news for my legislation, SB 1437, which was signed into law last year:

"The court filings from Attorney General Xavier Becerra contend the state’s new felony-murder law is constitutional, a significant break from the positions of scores of prosecutors across the state."
Criminal justice reform advocates said the law unfairly swept up and punished individuals for a crime they did not personally commit. The new law says an accomplice can only face murder charges if they directly participated in the killing, aided and abetted it, or were a “major participant” and acted with reckless indifference. The law does not apply to killings of police officers.
murder  justice  law  Nancy_Skinner 
12 weeks ago by Quercki
What do Native Americans want from a president? - The Washington Post
I asked Nez for an example of a treaty obligation that presidential candidates could commit to that would, in his phrase, offer “a hand up rather than a handout.” The one at the top of his list sounds boring, but it is vital, because it underlies so much else: infrastructure, especially roads. Lousy roads undermine economic development, education, health care and public safety.

While the words “roads” and “infrastructure” don’t appear in the Navajo treaty, those obligations have been extrapolated in federal law as part of the duty the United States took on in its relationship with tribes. Shoddy infrastructure is a treaty breakdown across Indian Country, where some areas still lack running water and electricity, let alone broadband. The problem is especially acute in the Navajo Nation, given its size. It has 10,700 miles of roads — and 9,000 of those miles are dirt roads.

A look at the numbers suggests the United States is no more serious about fixing the roads and other infrastructure in Native America than it is about funding health care. The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs budget for road maintenance on all reservations is $36 million this year, compared with a maintenance backlog of $300 million to $400 million, according to the bureau. As for new highway construction, the Navajo Nation recently took over that responsibility from the federal government in a bid for self-sufficiency. The nation still receives about $55 million a year in federal highway funds to do the work. Since it costs about $3 million per mile to pave a dirt road, the nation can pave about 18 miles a year. Yet 450 dirt miles are so highly traveled as to require paving immediately. At current funding levels, it will take 25 years to pave just those most important routes — and five centuries to pave the rest.
Native_American  2020  treaty  president  law  policy  politics  Elizabeth_Warren 
june 2019 by Quercki
(12) #PresidentWarren
Update: a few people replied that Warren does have policies to this tweet, so no more tweets are needed: "@ewarren can make plans for people’s love lives, surely she can also come out with policy for Native Americans" She proposed reparations and expanded voting rights for Native Americans, and introduced a bill this very month? She has sponsored about twenty bills for Native Americans. Links here and in comments.
Elizabeth_Warren  Native_American  policy  law 
may 2019 by Quercki
Alabama law doesn't apply to egg in IVF lab because there is no woman to punish
Brian Lyman
‏Verified account @lyman_brian

Chambliss, responding to the IVF argument from Smitherman, cites a part of the bill that says it applies to a pregnant woman. "The egg in the lab doesn’t apply. It’s not in a woman. She’s not pregnant." #alpolitics
2:36 PM - 14 May 2019
abortion  law  Alabama  misogyny  pro-life 
may 2019 by Quercki
Senator Wyden proposes 20 prison sentences for CEOs who lie about data collection and protection / Boing Boing
Senator Ron Wyden [D-OR] (previously) has introduced the Consumer Data Protection Act, which extends personal criminal liability to the CEOs of companies worth more than $1B or who hold data on more than 50,000,000 people who knowingly mislead the FTC in a newly mandated system of annual reports on the steps the company has taken to secure the data.

CEOs whose companies lie to the FTC about these measures will face 20 years in prison and $5 million in fines for breaches.
privacy  data  law  jail  CEO 
november 2018 by Quercki
Oakland City Council / Rules for Surveillance Use / 4.26.2018
City Council Rules for Surveillance Use 4.26.2018
SECTION 1. This Ordinance shall be known as the Surveillance and
Community Safety Ordinance.
SECTION 2. Oakland Municipal Code Chapter 9.64, is hereby added
as set forth below (chapter and section numbers are indicated in bold type.

DEFINITIONS. The following definitions apply to this

1. “Annual Surveillance Report” means a written report concerning a specific
surveillance technology that includes all the following:
Oakland  police  surveillance  law 
may 2018 by Quercki
Oakland passes groundbreaking municipal law requiring citizen oversight of local surveillance / Boing Boing
Many people outside of California first became aware of the Oakland Police Department's terrible internal controls during the Occupy movement, when swivel-eyed, pistol waving undercovers vied with the attempted murder of a decorated veteran and vicious, unprovoked shooting of photographers for headlines. After Occupy, there was the official stonewalling and the revelation that the top cop had a policy of ignoring any complaints, queries or messages about Occupy.

In the years since Occupy, there have been unprovoked police killings and cops who raped teens with impunity.

Oakland isn't just a locus of police violence, though: it's also ground zero for some of the most extensive, least transparent urban mass surveillance outside of China, with "fusion centers" and license trackers being deployed without citizen oversight or consent, often in total secrecy.

But Oakland isn't a city that takes this kind of thing lying down. The city, after all, is the birthplace of the Black Panthers, and its tradition of organized resistance has only strengthened in the years since.

Thus it is that the Oakland City Council unanimously passed the city's "Rules for Surveillance", the country's most stringent police surveillance oversight law.
Oakland  police  surveillance  law 
may 2018 by Quercki
Financial Statement
A "Financial Statement" is a report on the financial activities of the association. It identifies all income and expenses for the reporting period.

Annual Financial Statement. At the end of the fiscal year, a CPA prepares a written report of the financial condition of the association based in part on management representations. This annual financial statement of the association's assets and liabilities, including any litigation that could have an unfavorable outcome for an association (pursuant to FASB Statement No. 5, Accounting for Contingencies) and is done on an accrual basis using GAAP as required by Civil Code §5305. If the association's gross income exceeds $75,000, the report is either audited or reviewed, depending on which level is called for in the association's governing documents. If an association's documents are silent, at a minimum a "review" must be performed. (Civ. Code §5305.)
law  associations  finance 
march 2018 by Quercki
Assault Weapons Not Protected by Second Amendment, Federal Appeals Court Rules - NBC News
In a 10-4 ruling, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, said the guns banned under Maryland's law aren't protected by the Second Amendment.

"Put simply, we have no power to extend Second Amendment protections to weapons of war," Judge Robert King wrote for the court, adding that the Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller explicitly excluded such coverage.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, who led the push for the law in 2013 as a state senator, said it's "unthinkable that these weapons of war, weapons that caused the carnage in Newtown and in other communities across the country, would be protected by the Second Amendment."

AR-15 rifles. Scott Olson / Getty Images
"It's a very strong opinion, and it has national significance, both because it's en-banc and for the strength of its decision," Frosh said, noting that all of the court's judges participated.

Judge William Traxler issued a dissent.
guns  law 
march 2018 by Quercki
Blackwater Founder Erik Prince Implicated in Murder | The Nation
A former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company have made a series of explosive allegations in sworn statements filed on August 3 in federal court in Virginia. The two men claim that the company’s owner, Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. The former employee also alleges that Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,” and that Prince’s companies “encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life.”

In their testimony, both men also allege that Blackwater was smuggling weapons into Iraq. One of the men alleges that Prince turned a profit by transporting “illegal” or “unlawful” weapons into the country on Prince’s private planes.
Iraq  Blackwater  murder  Erik_Prince  smuggling  Christian  military  law  intelligence 
march 2018 by Quercki
The case for renaming Boalt Hall - San Francisco Chronicle
Boalt prospered in California and soon was president of the Bohemian Club. In 1877, Boalt delivered an influential address, “The Chinese Question,” at the Berkeley Club. He argued that never before in history have two non-assimilating races lived in harmony unless one enslaved the other. That the Chinese could never assimilate was self-evident to Boalt: Americans look at the Chinese with “an unconquerable repulsion which it seems to me must ever prevent any intimate association or miscegenation of the races.” Boalt invoked the alleged criminality, intellectual differences, cruelty and inhumanity of the Chinese, and mused it would be better to “exterminate” a strongly dissimilar race than assimilate it.


Why San Francisco needs a full-time school board California should expand tax credits for the poor College access: Tuition only part of story
Now that the Civil War was over and slavery was unconstitutional, Boalt conceded the Chinese could not be enslaved and thus had to leave California. Recognizing the limits of California’s power in the federal system, Boalt proposed an unprecedented move — holding an advisory ballot measure to send a message to Eastern elites that California spoke with one voice on the Chinese. The Chronicle praised this proposal and the Legislature agreed; it was signed into law late in 1877, and two years later the voters by large majorities voted to advise Congress to put an end to Chinese immigration
Boalt  U.C.  Berkeley  law  Chinese  exclusion  immigration  racism 
may 2017 by Quercki
Info & Resources > CDSS Programs > Community Care Licensing > Home Care Services > Laws and Policies
California law established the Home Care Services Consumer Protection Act which, as of January 2016, requires Home Care Organizations to be licensed and creates a public online registry for Home Care Aides who have been background checked. This law is intended to promote consumer protection for elderly and disabled individuals who hire private aides to come into their homes and provide assistance with activities of daily living.

Currently implementation of this law is underway in the newly formed Home Care Services Bureau which will oversee the licensing and oversight of the Home Care Organizations, the application process for the Home Care Aides, and the maintenance of the Registry. The Caregiver Background Check Bureau will oversee the criminal background checks.
Bea  caregiver  CA  law 
may 2017 by Quercki
United Airlines Cites Wrong Rule For Illegally De-Boarding Passenger | Law News
Larry Mallette summarized
The best analysis of the legalities of what transpired:
Bottom line:
1. Unlawful order for Dr. Dao to deplane.
2. Assault with grave bodily injury by the sworn "peace officers."
3. Illegal behavior by United Airline for insisting any boarded passenger give up his/her seat and for requesting the "peace officers" remove anyone.
4. Illegal behavior by United for failure to offer event he FAA mandated minimum for yielding a seat and flying later (if the report as to compensation offered is accurate).
In my belief, United Airlines is citing the wrong federal rule to justify its illegal request to force a passenger already boarded and seated to disembark so they could make room for crew members being flown to a new assignment.

Under a federal rule [14 CFR 253], commercial airlines are governed by a document known as a “Contract of Carriage” [COC], a legally binding contract which, among other things, protects the legal rights of passengers, and imposes legal duties upon carriers.  United’s COC contains two distinct sections: Rule 21 entitled “Refusal of Transport,” and Rule 25 entitled “Denied Boarding Compensation.”

United is incorrectly citing the denied boarding compensation rule in its COC, and the federal rule upon which it is based [14 CFR 250.5], to justify requiring a passenger who has already been permitted to board and taken a seat to involuntarily disembark.

But that rule, as its title and history clearly establish, applies only if an airline wishes to deny boarding to a passenger, not to remove a passenger who has already boarded an airplane.

The current federal rule grew out of a situation in which Ralph Nader was denied the opportunity to board a flight, even though he had a valid ticket.  He sued, in a case which went to the U.S. Supreme Court, and it was eventually held that he was entitled to compensation if he was denied boarding.
law  United  airlines  assault  passenger 
april 2017 by Quercki
The Oxford comma: A Maine court settled the grammar debate over serial commas with a ruling on overtime pay for dairy-truck drivers — Quartz
A Maine court ruling in a case about overtime pay and dairy delivery didn’t come down to trucks, milk, or money. Instead, it hinged on one missing comma.
Delivery drivers for local milk and cream company Oakhurst Dairy have been tussling with their employers over whether they qualify for overtime. On March 13, a US court of appeals determined that certain clauses of Maine’s overtime laws are grammatically ambiguous. Because of that lack of clarity, the five drivers won their appeal and were found eligible for overtime.
comma  grammar  law 
march 2017 by Quercki
Republican Legislators Clamp Down on Protests - The Atlantic
Political protests are often designed to provoke a response from elected officials. But in some states, the reaction from state legislators is turning hostile.

A wave of bills aimed at curtailing protests and demonstrations has started to make its way through state legislatures across the country. A Washington Post analysis found at least 18 states where Republican legislators have either proposed legislation that targets certain protest tactics, sought to increase penalties for illegal protests under existing law, or publicly discussed pursuing such measures.
Republicans  First_Amendment  demonstration  assets_forfeiture  law  RICO  terrorism  riot  protest 
march 2017 by Quercki
AP News : Arizona leader kills protest bill after widespread criticism
PHOENIX (AP) - The speaker of the Arizona House said Monday he won't hear a bill that makes participating in or helping organize a protest that turns into a riot an offense that could lead to criminal racketeering charges, a move prompted by widespread criticism that the legislation sought to limit First Amendment rights.

The measure passed last week by the Senate drew nationwide attention, particularly from civil libertarians, because it classified violent protest as an organized crime and said protesters who didn't initially intend to riot could still face criminal charges. That attention led Speaker J.D. Mesnard to decide Monday to kill it for the session.
Arizona  First_Amendment  demonstration  assets_forfeiture  law  RICO  terrorism  riot  protest 
march 2017 by Quercki
Can Customs and Border Protection Agents at JFK Demand to See ID? - The Atlantic
The Supreme Court held in 1984 that “while most citizens will respond to a police request, the fact that people do so, and do so without being told they are free not to respond, hardly eliminates the consensual nature of the response.”
law  authoritarianism  ICE  TSA 
february 2017 by Quercki
Worcester v. Georgia - Wikipedia
The opinion is most famous for its dicta, which laid out the relationship between tribes and the state and federal governments, stating that the federal government was the sole authority to deal with Indian nations. It is considered to have built the foundations of the doctrine of tribal sovereignty in the United States.
Chief Justice John Marshall laid out in this opinion that the relationship between the Indian Nations and the United States is that of nations. . . .
In a popular quotation that is believed to be apocryphal, President Andrew Jackson reportedly responded: "John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!" This derives from Jackson's comments on the case in a letter to John Coffee, "...the decision of the Supreme Court has fell still born, and they find that they cannot coerce Georgia to yield to its mandate".[2]

The Court did not ask federal marshals to carry out the decision, as had become standard.[3] Worcester thus imposed no obligations on Jackson; there was nothing for him to enforce.[4][5] This may be seen as a prudential decision, for avoiding the possibility of political conflict between the Court and the Executive, while still delivering what appeared to be a pro-Indian decision.[6]....
Because Jackson proceeded with Cherokee removal, Worcester did not aid indigenous rights at the time. Case significant in the removal of Indians (Trail of Tears)

Worcester has been cited in several later opinions on the subject of tribal sovereignty in the United States.
Native_American  lawsuit  law  rights 
february 2017 by Quercki
The President’s Role in Advancing Criminal Justice Reform - The President’s Role in Advancing Criminal Justice Reform
We have made progress in helping people, especially young people, avoid getting entangled in the justice system in the first place. This Commentary talks about those achievements — and the tools Presidents can use to effect meaningful change throughout the system. And it emphasizes the continuing historic opportunity to make further progress.

Part I details the current criminal justice landscape and emphasizes the urgent need for reform. It would be a tragic mistake to treat criminal justice reform as an agenda limited to certain communities. All Americans have an interest in living in safe and vibrant neighborhoods, in raising their children in a country of equal treatment and second chances, and in entrusting their liberty to a justice system that remains true to our highest ideals. We simply cannot afford to spend $80 billion annually on incarceration, to write off the seventy million Americans — that’s almost one in three adults — with some form of criminal record,12×
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to release 600,000 inmates each year without a better program to reintegrate them into society, or to ignore the humanity of 2.2 million men and women currently in U.S. jails and prisons13×
13. Id.
and over 11 million men and women moving in and out of U.S. jails every year.14×
14. Peter Wagner, Jails Matter. But Who Is Listening?, PRISON POL’Y INITIATIVE (Aug. 14, 2015), [] (compiling data retrieved from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Jail Inmates at Midyear Series 2007–2014).
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In addition, we cannot deny the legacy of racism that continues to drive inequality in how the justice system is experienced by so many Americans.
criminal  justice  law  Obama 
january 2017 by Quercki
(17) TYT Politics
BRAVE Environmental Lawyer Explains Standing Rock Legal Issues
NoDAPL  law 
october 2016 by Quercki
(13) Gail Webb West - This is not a political post. This might be...
This might be considered a professional post. But the truth is - it's one of the most personal posts I've ever put on Facebook. Here it is: Before you run that misleading, disgusting video about Hillary Clinton representing the piece of scum who violated Kathy Shelton or repeat the blatant lies about Hillary Clinton laughing about "getting him off" you might want to think about who, and more importantly what, your mud slinging is hitting. It's hitting me, my husband, and every other attorney who has ever been appointed to represent an indigent criminal defendant. It's hitting the United States Constitution and the constitutions of every state, including the Tennessee State Constitution.
Hillary  rapists  laugh  law  defense 
october 2016 by Quercki
An incomplete list of responses to pro-gun arguments in my Facebook feed. — Medium
“You can’t change the constitution.”
Yes you can. It’s called a fucking amendment.
“But it’s in the bill of rights.”
Good news: we don’t have to change a thing! 2nd amendment here: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” “Well regulated militia.” “WELL REGULATED.” REGULATING GUNS IS IN THE FUCKING CONSTITUTION. Those guns, also, used to be musket things. Super hard to load and reload. Not like an AR-15, which is a weapon designed for modern combat and war. Designed to kill people. Not hunt deer. Not protect a house. To. Kill. Groups. Of. Humans.
“Background checks/assault weapon bans are a slippery slope — if you start there, where does it end?”
People invoke this shit like it is logical truth. The deep, poetic irony here is that slippery slope is a logical fallacy — you are actually calling yourself out for being wrong by saying it.
Secondly, no it is not. This gunman, was on an FBI watch list. He beat his wife. By all accounts, he had a history of mental illness. His father was a vocal and public Taliban supporter. Pretty sure those are the types of things that would maybe, probably, come up on a background check. But if you would like to defend the right of mentally unstable, wife-beating assholes to own an AR-15, then by all means invoke your freedom of speech—which is actually in the Bill of Rights—and alienate yourself from good people.
gun  guns  violence  regulation  law 
june 2016 by Quercki
California Supreme Court Rules for Police Transparency | ACLU of Northern California
May 29, 2014
Issues :  Criminal Justice and Drug Policy
By: Peter Bibring follow @PeterBibring

You’ve seen police uniforms on TV. Some have medals, some have stripes, some are blue and some are tan, but they always have a badge, and a little nameplate on the chest bearing the officers name. In California, officers are required by state law to wear that nameplate identifying them. Why? Accountability.

A strong democracy requires transparency. And today the California Supreme Court gave a boost to transparent policing by ruling that the names of officers involved in shootings aren't confidential under state law.

At issue in this case are officers from the Long Beach Police Department who shot and killed 35 year-old Douglas Zerby in December 2010 when they mistakenly believed the garden hose nozzle he was holding was a gun. In response to the concerns that the shooting might indicate deeper problems within the police department, a Los Angeles Times journalist filed a request under the California Public Record Act seeking the names of the officers involved in that shooting, and other shootings in the preceding five years. The City of Long Beach refused to disclose that information, and fought the Los Angeles Times all the way to the California Supreme Court to keep it secret. The ACLU of California filed an amicus brief arguing that the public has the right to know the names of officers involved in shootings. In today’s ruling the state Supreme Court agreed with us.
police  murder  transparency  law 
may 2016 by Quercki
The 36-Year-Old Abortion Rights Case Emerging Again in 'Whole Woman's Health'
It takes a great deal of mental gymnastics to distinguish between abortion being inaccessible because a woman is poor, and abortion being inaccessible due to restrictions on government assistance for health care to the poor. But the conservative majority in Harris did just that: It refused a serious examination of the systemic barriers low-income women face to accessing reproductive health care and insisted that poverty, not government obstruction, was the hurdle to low-income women having their right to an abortion respected by the courts.

Fast forward more than 30 years, and the Supreme Court is once again looking at roadblocks to abortion access. ​As in Harris v. McRae, the roadblocks in question disproportionately affect low-income women, especially women of color. But instead of government-created financial barriers to having an abortion, the Court will address certain government-created physical barriers to having an abortion, in the form of targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) laws. The question is whether the Court will again allow the government to refuse to take responsibility for those barriers.

In addition to Texas, 23 other states have TRAP laws that single out abortion doctors and clinics for heightened regulation
abortion  law 
march 2016 by Quercki
In oral arguments for the Texas abortion case, the three female justices upend the Supreme Court’s balance of power.
The case involves a crucial constitutional challenge to two provisions in Texas’ HB 2, the state’s omnibus abortion bill from 2013. The first requires doctors to obtain admitting privileges from a hospital 30 miles from the clinic where they perform abortions; the second requires abortion clinics to be elaborately retrofitted to comply with building regulations that would make them “ambulatory surgical centers.” If these provisions go into full effect, Texas would see a 75 percent reduction in the number of clinics serving 5.4 million women of childbearing age. The constitutional question is whether having 10 clinics to serve all these women, including many who would live 200 miles away from the nearest facility, represents an “undue burden” on the right to abortion deemed impermissible after the Casey decision. Each of the female justices takes a whacking stick to the very notion that abortion—one of the safest procedures on record—requires rural women to haul ass across land masses larger than the whole state of California in order to take a pill, in the presence of a doctor, in a surgical theater.

The morning starts with an arcane and technical debate that eats up most of Stephanie Toti’s time. Toti, arguing on behalf on the Texas clinics, first has to answer an argument—raised by Ginsburg—that the clinics were precluded from even bringing some of their claims. Between this and factual challenges from Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito as to whether there was any evidence on the record to show that the law itself triggered the closings of Texas clinics, she doesn’t have much time to get to the merits. So frustrated is Justice Elena Kagan by the conservatives’ repeated insistence that perhaps the clinics just coincidentally all closed within days of HB 2’s passage that she finally has to intervene. “Is it right,” she asks Toti, “that in the two­-week period that the ASC requirement was in effect, that over a dozen facilities shut their doors, and then when that was stayed, when that was lifted, they reopened again immediately?” Toti agrees. “It's almost like the perfect controlled experiment,” continues Kagan, “as to the effect of the law, isn’t it? It’s like you put the law into effect, 12 clinics closed. You take the law out of effect, they reopen?”
justice  abortion  law  supreme_court 
march 2016 by Quercki
Four Ways ALEC Tried to Ruin Your State This Year | PR Watch
In a year with unprecedented rightwing dominance in state legislative chambers, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has continued to wreak havoc in states across the country--despite an ongoing exodus of high-profile corporate members, including BP, Google, and several high-tech firms.

ALEC's legislative playbook for 2015 focused on blocking action on climate change, thwarting local democracy, attacking labor unions, and further privatizing public education in the U.S., as CMD reported last year in covering its legislative agenda for the year.

Here are some of the worst policies ALEC legislators tried to push into binding law in state legislatures this year, so far.

Blocking Action on Climate Change
ALEC  legislation  politics  data  environment  education  civil_rights  healthcare  law 
july 2015 by Quercki
The simple idea that could transform US criminal justice | Tina Rosenberg | US news | The Guardian
As Pratt read the report on Red Hook, she felt a growing excitement. “Newark really needs this,” she reported to Crump. A few months later, Pratt went to Red Hook to see the court in action. It wasn’t just what Judge Calabrese did that was different – it was how. Calabrese, a big man whose instinctive mode of interaction is a verbal bear hug, sat at eye level with defendants. He congratulated them on each victory, no matter how small. He explained things clearly, in plain language. He asked defendants to tell the court how they had ended up there. He quizzed them on their plans for the future. Over the years, Calabrese became famous in Red Hook as the judge who actually went into the public housing buildings when handling housing matters. He asked defendants: what do you think is best for you? “I had never seen anything like that,” Pratt said.

Calabrese was using what have become the four principles of procedural justice: first, that people who come before a judge trust that the process is impartial; second, that they are treated with respect; third, that they understand what is going on and what they are expected to do; fourth, that they have a voice. Defendants find the procedure fairer when they are allowed to state their views. Experimental evidence shows that this is true even when they are allowed to speak only after the judge has announced their decision. No one likes to lose a court case. But people accept losing more willingly if they believe the procedures used to handle their case are fair.
crime  law  procedural  justice  solutions 
june 2015 by Quercki
Anti-surveillance steamroller still rolling through Congress - Boing Boing
The USA Freedom Act set the first legal limits on spying in a generation, and were immediately followed by 3 more surveillance-blocking amendments from the House, and now, a week later, there's 2 more bipartisan curbs on surveillance.

On Wednesday, Zoe Lofgren's [D-CA] amendment barred the use of Congressionally allocated funds to put backdoors into crypto, while Thomas Massie's [R-KY] amendment closed a loophole that the NSA abuses to conduct mass surveillance.
spying  NSA  law 
june 2015 by Quercki
This is the NRA’s worst nightmare: The new gun safety study that gun nuts don’t want you to hear about -
A law requiring people to apply for a permit before buying a handgun helped Connecticut quietly reduce its firearm-related homicide rate by 40 percent, according to a new study out from Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. And this week, announced in conjunction with the research, lawmakers from Connecticut introduced a measure to encourage other states to adopt their own permit programs.

Connecticut’s “permit to purchase” law, in effect for two decades, requires residents to undergo background checks, complete a safety course and apply in-person for a permit before they can buy a handgun. The law applies to both private sellers and licensed gun dealers.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins reviewed the homicide rate in the 10 years before the law was implemented and compared it to longitudinal estimates of what the rate would have been had the law not be enacted. The study found a 40 percent reduction in gun-related homicides. Bolstering what researchers say is the correlation between the permit law and the drop in gun homicides, there wasn’t a similar drop in non-firearm homicides.

The relationship between tighter regulations around handguns and fewer gun-related homicides is in keeping with previous research out of Johns Hopkins on what happened after Missouri repealed its own permit law.

“Our study on the impact of Connecticut’s handgun purchaser licensing law on gun homicides, coupled with our earlier research showing that gun homicides increased when Missouri repealed a similar law, shows that handgun purchaser licensing that supports background checks of all handgun purchasers is one of the most effective policies states can adopt to reduce gun violence,” Dr. Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, said in a statement.

Connecticut lawmakers are hoping similar programs will take off across the country. The bill introduced Thursday would authorize a grant program to help states pay for the creation and implementation of licensing programs similar to what the state has in place.
gun  law  death  data  solution 
june 2015 by Quercki
A Great Injustice — The Message — Medium
In a report to investors in 2014, CCA wrote that “The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by the relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws.”

Private prisons often require an occupancy rate as a contract condition with states, making policies like Stop and Frisk necessary to fill obligatory cells.
prison  law  crime  police 
may 2015 by Quercki
A Nun Walks Free: The Government’s Sabotage Case Dismissed - The New Yorker
In March, during arguments before a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, Theodore implied that seeking the abolition of nuclear weapons might even be a form of sabotage. “These are people who have a desire, intent, to disarm, and they are taking action in furtherance of that goal,” he said. Shapiro countered that the sabotage charges were an example of government overreach, and he cited another recent case in which a woman who attempted to poison her husband’s mistress was convicted, under an anti-terrorist statute, of using a chemical weapon.

On May 8th, the court of appeals panel issued a two-to-one decision in the Y-12 case. The judge who wrote the opinion was appointed to the court by President George W. Bush; the judge who concurred with it was appointed by President Obama. They threw out the sabotage convictions, and their view of the government’s arguments was scathing. “The defendants’ actions in this case had zero effect, at the time of their actions or anytime afterwards, on the nation’s ability to wage war or defend against attack,” Judge Raymond Kethledge wrote. He criticized the government’s “vague platitudes” and the notion that Y-12’s guards were in any way diverted from their usual jobs: “responding to intrusions is what guards do.” The court vacated the defendants’ prison sentences and sent the case back to the original trial judge for resentencing.

The ruling and its tone surprised Quigley. This was the first time in thirty years that the sabotage conviction of an anti-nuclear protester had been overturned. He thought the decision conveyed a radical message for the federal judiciary: “Peaceful protest isn’t sabotage.” And the appeals court noted that the defendants had already served more time in prison than warranted by their conviction for destroying government property.
protest  nuclear  war  law  overturn  conviction 
may 2015 by Quercki
A New Conservative Approach to Justice: Serve the Poor | The Marshall Project
With jails filling up, right to counsel gains favor.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a first-of-its-kind hearing on Wednesday with a long title and a blunt new message: Conservatives now support significant reforms designed to strengthen the right to counsel for indigent defendants charged with misdemeanors.These low- or no-income people accused of relatively petty crimes represent a sizeable class of defendants in every jurisdiction in the nation, many of whom can languish in jails for months at taxpayer expense before they are even tried or convicted. Without adequate representation, they are pressured into guilty pleas, told their right to counsel is not free, and in many instances abandoned by harried judges who rubber-stamp convictions in the parade of cases they see each day. Here is Sixth Amendment Center director David Carroll’s new take on the scope of the problem.Wednesday’s hearing, called by the committee chairman, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), and titled “Protecting the Constitutional Right to Counsel for Indigents Charged with Misdemeanors,” confirms in several ways both the nascent conservative embrace of this issue and the urgency with which some lawmakers view the problem. Suddenly, indigent defense is being framed as a matter of economics and freedom from oppressive government overreach, a cause that involves “choice” and “vouchers” and the need to unburden taxpayers.
justice  law  poor  politics 
may 2015 by Quercki
What did the courts just do to NSA spying? - Boing Boing
When a panel of federal judges from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the NSA's bulk-phone records spying program was illegal, it was a legal game-changer, but what, exactly, does it all mean?

The Electronic Frontier Foundation's legal analysis is the best, easiest-to-understand and most comprehensive article I've yet seen on the ruling. The tldr is:

1. When Congress gave the NSA the power to gather "relevant” information and do so for an “investigation," they didn't mean "gather everything and store it forever in case it becomes relevant later."

2. Having your data collected by the NSA gives you the right to sue them -- even if the NSA never looked at that data.

3. Metadata is sensitive information, and the NSA can't argue that its mass-spying is harmless because it's collecting metadata instead of data (the fact that you called a suicide hotline is every bit as compromising as what you said while you were talking to them).

4. The judges have "concerns" about the constitutionality of mass spying (though the didn't go so far as to say that it is unconstitutional, partly because the ACLU had already won on the statutory language alone;

5. One judge added: The government shouldn't have secret laws. The government argued that its interpretation of surveillance laws was a secret, and the court spanked them for it, saying that a law that's "shrouded in secrecy" lacked legitimacy.
NSA  Snowden  spying  phone  law  ACLU 
may 2015 by Quercki
The Pretend Rule of Law
“First and foremost, we are a nation built on the rule of law.”  These reassuring words from President Obama came during unsettling anti-police riots in Ferguson, MO.  But times have stayed unsettled, and many people direct similar words at Baltimore today.  To question these words would seem like cheap cynicism.  And yet, preserving the rule of law depends more on actions than words, and our actions tell a different story.

Ferguson protesters were angry that the police officer who shot an unarmed teenager was not indicted.  Maybe they were wrong, in that case.  But they are not wrong about the larger pattern that Ferguson, Staten Island, Cleveland, and now Baltimore represent.  The pattern, despite exceptions (like North Charleston), is clear: the powerful are not indicted in America.

Besides the anti-police riots, another continuing news focus has been the epidemic of rapes on college campuses.  Young men are acting with aggressive selfishness and contempt for others.  This story reminds us of the hearings and investigations that have failed to curb rape in the military.  We talk a lot, but look at our actions, which the young men are hearing loud and clear.

Seven years into an economic crisis created by bankers acting with aggressive selfishness, not one of them has been prosecuted.  On the contrary, bank CEOs were visibly annoyed that Congress would carry the charade of accountability so tastelessly far as to actually question them.  “First and foremost, we are a nation built on the rule of law.”

Under the CIA interrogation program, we tortured thousands of detainees (over a hundred of them to death), and not one torturer has been indicted.  Dick Cheney boasted on national television of giving the go-ahead for torture, which many lawyers point out was sufficient probable cause to justify his indictment.  Nothing happened.  Italy convicted 23 CIA operatives in absentia for an extraordinary rendition kidnapping.  But when one was arrested in Panama, the State Department took less than 24 hours to spirit him back to the States, safe from extradition to Italy.

The National Security Agency broke many laws against domestic spying, but nobody gets punished.  James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, lied directly to Congress about spying on Americans – lies conclusively proven by documents Edward Snowden leaked – and the Justice Department doesn’t even hint that it might consider prosecuting.

Our actions show a culture that holds law in contempt.  We pay lip service to the rule of law while teaching that successful people make their own rules, dominate others and do whatever they want.  This is the lesson that young men in America are tuning in to.
law  Baltimore  Occupy_Wall_Street  Guantanamo 
may 2015 by Quercki
Policing, Mass Imprisonment, and the Failure of American Lawyers - Policing, Mass Imprisonment, and the Failure of American Lawyers
The failure of lawyers is a tragedy in two parts. First, there has been an intellectual failure of the profession to scrutinize the evidentiary and logical foundations of modern policing and mass incarceration. Second, the profession has failed in everyday practice to ensure that the contemporary criminal legal system functions consistently with our rights and values.
police  law  lawyers  fail  ***** 
april 2015 by Quercki
The Aquarian Tabernacle Church Outlines Wiccas New Rights under the Georgia Religious Freedom Restoration Act | Panegyria
It has come to the attention of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) that a new law known as The Georgia Religious Freedom Restoration Act has been passed by the Senate with an overwhelming majority, and is on its way to the House with hopes to pass just as easily. It is the firm belief of the ATC as one of the largest Wiccan bodies in the world, and the only Wiccan church with an Umbrella 501(c)3 legal status to create affiliate churches, that to help with the states transition to a more church-valued existence we should make it clear and easy to recognize the new rights of all Wiccans within your state.
We thank the state of Georgia for its forward thinking and dedication to religious freedom.  It has been a reality long-held by Wiccans that the laws did not extend far enough toward our own exercise of religion [50-15A-2. line 71] to be truly encompassing of our freedom to worship. The original Religious Freedom Restoration Act, as passed by our illustrious president Bill Clinton, was a landmark move that opened the door for minority religions, and small local churches to have more safety to worship within their communities than ever before. This new bill will create sweeping changes that will open the doors for the Wiccans within Georgian communities to worship, work, and LIVE their religion to its fullest.
The first course of action will be to itemize line by line, with bill precedents, the new rights of the Wiccans in state.[15-23]
1: Multi-Partner Wiccan relationships in Georgia (known communally as Polyamorous relationships) will now have legal right to marry. [43-49] Marriage is a religious institution. A uniting of souls before the almighty. It is also a way to legitimize heirs. Many Wiccans live in multi-partner households, and until now have been unable to realize their religious right to marry the partners they are in love with. Many of these partnerships have children from multiple partners all living under the same roof. SB 129 has now opened the way for those children to all be under family insurance/health plans, as outlined in lines [22-23]. And if lines [34-35] hold true to their intent, then the least restrictive means of enforcing this change, is a simple revision to existing policy.
religion  law  Georgia  Aquarian_Tabernacle  gotcha 
march 2015 by Quercki
What should the next Aaron Swartz do when the DOJ knocks? - Boing Boing
Aaron's attempt to mobilize public support for his case -- a press release in support of his case from Demand Progress, the organization he helped found -- provoked an all-out retaliation from the U.S. prosecutors. At the first whiff of resistance, they added 13 felony counts to his charge-sheet. They understood that Aaron was attacking them on their weakest flank. In the courtroom, they would likely win -- as they obtain findings of guilt in 93 percent of federal felony prosecutions. In the streets and in the court of public opinion, and especially on the Internet, they were fighting on Aaron's home turf.

It's easy to understand Aaron's decision, and the decision of his supporters and legal team, to retreat from provoking the rage of the U.S. prosecutors who had him in their crosshairs.

But the U.S. prosecutors have shown us what to expect from capitulation. They have shown us what happens when we let them intimidate us into giving up on the only force we have that they lack.

There will be more Aarons. The CFAA is still on the books, and it one of the stupidest, most grotesque statutes in the USA, overdue for a constitutional challenge. Aaron's tactics evolved with each fight, the ones he won and the ones he lost. He lost this one, and taught us a lesson we need to remember -- next time. The key idea is to build a movement that can change the balance of forces. To build such a movement you have to have a vision -- overturn a bad law in court by pleading not guilty and protect a victim of the bad law. It's tempting to see the farcical conviction of Barrett Brown as an example of why pushing back is a waste of effort, but Barrett Brown did exactly the opposite. Brown is an American writer, activist and journalist from Texas who facilitated analysis of information leaked by the hacktivist collective Anonymous and other sources that exposed the private machinations of the vast intelligence contracting network. His work was seminal in translating raw data about the U.S. military-industrial complex into an accessible, centralized format to the dismay of the cybersecurity industry. Following the 2012 Stratfor email leak, the U.S. Department of Justice filed 17 charges against him, seeking to silence him forever.

Brown's only offence was posting online a publicly available link containing publicly available data that he was researching as a journalist. He accepted his guilty plea as valid. Never questioned the law itself. Agreed that he was guilty and should be punished. He thereby effectively sanctified the law itself, which criminalized the posting of links.
Aaron_Schwartz  internet  links  EFF  law 
march 2015 by Quercki
Yo! Your Honor! A Response to the Chief Justice - Boing Boing
While we can petition the courts, ultimately the easiest solution would be to get Congress to simply declare that PACER needs to be free. So, the third activity is to write to House and Senate Judiciary Committees and ask them to hold hearings on PACER, something they haven’t done in years! In the Senate, you’d write to Senator Grassley and Senator Leahy. In the House, you’d write to Congressman Goodlatte and Congressman Issa (who chairs the Courts subcommittee this year!), and on the minority side to Congressman Conyers and Congresswoman Lofgren. Tell them you want to see hearings and that it will be a great show. Congress loves good theater.
In summary, there are three easy things you can do to agitate: send a letter to a judge, use your $15 of free PACER per quarter, and write to the Congress. Once again, this is an Internet-style campaign so feel free to propose (and implement!) your own strategies. If you prefer petitions to letters, go for it. If instead of hacking the $15 quarterly fee waiver, you want to raise money and buy documents, go for it.
This three-part strategy is based on a deep faith in the good will of judges. Every judge I have gone to see has been polite and friendly. When I explain why I don’t like PACER, or my travails with edicts of government or the IRS, they listen and ask intelligent questions. I believe if we bring the subject of PACER up to every Chief Judge in the federal judiciary and explain what the PACER problems are, they will see the light

also at
law  public  accessibility 
january 2015 by Quercki
Arrested Berkeley Protesters Stuck In Limbo By District Attorney's Office
OAKLAND, Calif. -- More than 200 people arrested after a protest in Berkeley last month may wait a year before the district attorney decides whether to prosecute them for misdemeanor offenses.

The hallway outside a Superior Court of California courtroom was packed Tuesday morning with people, many of them college students, who'd been locked up Dec. 8 during a demonstration over the police killings of unarmed men in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City. Many faced charges of being a public nuisance and obstructing a public place after shutting down part of a freeway.

They are free without bail and were told by defense attorneys that their cases remain under review by the Alameda County District Attorney's Office. Prosecutors have 12 months to decide whether to drop charges.

"It seems like a way to keep us under supervision," said Joy Fairfield, 33, a San Francisco theater director who said she plans to continue participating in demonstrations. "It's a fear tactic."
BlackLivesMatter  legal  law  *** 
january 2015 by Quercki
Judge sees police as protestors do - St. Louis American: Editorials
A major precedent was established in the Ferguson protest movement on Thursday, December 11 that is not being properly acknowledged, though it was widely reported.
A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order that requires police to give adequate warning before deploying tear gas at lawful protests and to ensure protestors have safe exit routes. That in itself is a major legal victory – unprotected lawful protestors asked a federal judge to restrain the actions of the Unified Command policing their movement, and the judge responded favorably by restraining the police – but an even more important precedent is established in this order issued by U.S. District Judge Carol E. Jackson on December 11.
Very importantly, in the evidence portion of the order – what the federal judge is entering into the record as uncontested fact – she describes reality according to the protestors, not the police. She writes that the evidence “establishes that law enforcement officials in St. Louis City and St. Louis County were authorized to use smoke canisters and tear gas to disperse crowds of protestors, including plaintiffs, who were not engaged in violent or criminal activity.” Anyone close to the protestors’ side of the story understands this to be a fact, true many times over. But this statement of fact is remarkably free of any of the smokescreens police officials use to cloud the facts, and which typically cloud the facts in mainstream news reports.
Judge Jackson continues: “The evidence also establishes that the law enforcement officials failed to give the plaintiffs and other protestors any warning that chemical agents would be deployed and, hence, no opportunity to avoid injury. As a result, the plaintiffs' ability to engage in lawful speech and assembly is encumbered by a law enforcement response that would be used if a crime were being committed.”
Ferguson  first_amendment  protest  law 
december 2014 by Quercki
National Lawyers Guild SF Bay Area Chapter
Support the National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter

The outrage which arose from Ferguson made its way to the streets of hundreds of cities throughout the country in recent weeks and the most consistent presence in support of those who protested that decision was the National Lawyers Guild – from our Green Hatted Observers to our legal representation in the courts and jails.

Now is the time to support not only that work but our 77 year history of being the legal voice for dissidents in support of justice and equality.
BlackLivesMatter  law  donate 
december 2014 by Quercki
California Approves Landmark 'Yes Means Yes' Law - ABC News
State lawmakers last month approved Senate Bill 967 by Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, as states and universities across the U.S. are under pressure to change how they handle rape allegations. Campus sexual assault victims and women's advocacy groups delivered petitions to Brown's office on Sept. 16 urging him to sign the bill.

De Leon has said the legislation will begin a paradigm shift in how college campuses in California prevent and investigate sexual assaults. Rather than using the refrain "no means no," the definition of consent under the bill requires "an affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity."

"Every student deserves a learning environment that is safe and healthy," De Leon said in a statement Sunday night. "The State of California will not allow schools to sweep rape cases under the rug. We've shifted the conversation regarding sexual assault to one of prevention, justice, and healing."
sexual_assault  rape  solution  law  California 
september 2014 by Quercki
Judiciary Committee Examines the Effect of Gun Violence on Women in America | Press Releases | United States Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
Under current federal law, individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors are not allowed to possess or purchase a gun – but the term “domestic violence” only applies to crimes committed by spouses, co-habitating partners, or co-parents.  Abusive dating partners are responsible for killing more women in America than spouses, but are not covered by the domestic violence restriction on gun ownership.  Convicted stalkers are also free to own guns, despite the fact that stalking is a proven predictor of violence.  Our national background check system is also frequently evaded by individuals not allowed to purchase firearms by law.

“Closing the dating partner loophole would save lives, plain and simple,” Whitehouse said in his opening remarks. 
domestic_violence  murder  guns  law  legislation 
august 2014 by Quercki
Not the 'Illuminati': How Fundamentalist Christians Are Infiltrating State and Federal Government
“[T]he Blackstone Fellowship inspires a distinctly Christian worldview in every area of law, and particularly in the areas of public policy and religious liberty,” states the Alliance’s public tax filing. “With this ongoing program, it’s [the Alliance’s] goal to train a new generation of lawyers who will rise to positions of influence and leadership as legal scholars, litigators, judges—perhaps even Supreme Court Justices—who will work to ensure that justice is carried out in America’s courtrooms.”

While participants hail from various denominations, they all commit to using their legal careers to “reorder society” according to a “christendomic” worldview, in which there is no separation between church and state.

“The Blackstone Legal Fellowship renewed my conviction that working for cultural change is not polishing brass on a sinking ship,” wrote Alana Hake on the Blackstone website. “Victories in the area of pro-life, religious liberty, and family values not only have the potential to preserve individuals’ lives and enable them to hear of salvation, but also to glorify God as society is reordered bit by bit according to His design.”
Christian  conspiracy  law  court  government  abortion 
may 2014 by Quercki
The (un)Privileged Body: Living Wills are not for Incubators | human with uterus
According to the report (follow the link above to get the specific information about your state):

12 states automatically invalidate a woman’s advance directive if she is pregnant.
14 states follow the Uniform Rights of the Terminally Ill Act (URTIA), which requires that a pregnant woman be given life sustaining treatment  if it is probable that the fetus will develop to the point of live birth.  Four of these states offer an exemption “if continuing treatment will be physically harmful to the woman or prolong severe pain which cannot be alleviated by medication.”  In the remaining 10 states, apparently the woman just has to suffer.
4 states use a fetal viability standard to determine the enforceability of an advance directive.
14 states (and D.C.) have no statutory language regarding advance directives and  pregnancy.  This opens the cases of pregnant women to protracted legal battles.
5 states offer clear options regarding pregnancy that allow fertile women to specify if they would have different wishes if they were pregnant.
abortion  pro-life  pregnancy  law  will 
december 2013 by Quercki
The Real Details of the Hot Coffee Lawsuit | Mental Floss
Liebeck had rung up around $11,000 in medical bills as a result of the accident, and she initially approached McDonald’s asking for $20,000 to cover her medical bills, future medical expenses, and lost income.

In a move McDonald’s surely lived to regret, the restaurant countered with a lowball offer of $800. The restaurant apparently used the same sort of common-sense logic that most people applied to the case when they heard about it; that is, if you spill coffee into your own lap the only person liable for the accident is you.

The please-go-away offer didn’t sit too well with Liebeck and her legal counsel, and although they made several other attempts to settle the case out of court at prices as high as $300,000, McDonald’s refused to blink. With no settlement in sight, attorney Reed Morgan filed a suit against McDonald’s to ask for $100,000 in compensatory damages and more in punitive damages since McDonald’s had been grossly negligent in selling Liebeck a “defectively manufactured” product. (Yes, the logic was that overheating coffee rendered the beverage defective and dangerous.)

McDonald’s asked for a summary dismissal of Liebeck case on the grounds that she was the actual cause of her injuries since she was the one who physically spilled the coffee. The trial judge rejected the motion, though, and told Liebeck and McDonald’s to attend a mediation session in a last-ditch attempt to hammer out a settlement. The mediator advised McDonald’s to settle for $225,000. McDonald’s – you may see a pattern emerging here – again scoffed at opening its coffers. Instead, the case went before a jury.
McDonald's  coffee  tort  law  settlement 
november 2013 by Quercki
Federal Judge Declares Texas Anti-Abortion Law Unconstitutional
CHRIS TOMLINSON – OCTOBER 28, 2013, 3:06 PM EDT10849
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- New abortion restrictions passed by the Texas Legislature are unconstitutional and will not take effect as scheduled on Tuesday, a federal judge has ruled.

District Judge Lee Yeakel wrote Monday that the regulations violated the rights of abortion doctors to do what they think is best for their patients and would unreasonably restrict a woman's access to abortion clinics.

Lawyers for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers brought the lawsuit, arguing that a requirement that doctors have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic would force the closure of a third of the clinics in Texas. They also complained that requiring doctors to follow the Food and Drug Administration's original label for an abortion-inducing drug would deny women the benefit of recent advances in medical science.

The Texas attorney general's office argued that the law protects women and the life of the fetus. Attorney General Greg Abbott was expected to file an emergency appeal of Yeakel's order to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

Mississippi passed a similar law last year, which a federal judge also blocked pending a trial scheduled to begin in March. Mississippi's attorney general asked the 5th Circuit to lift the temporary injunction so the law could be enforced, but the judges have left it in place signaling they believe there is a legitimate constitutional question.

Unlike the Mississippi case, Yeakel's order is a final decision, setting the groundwork for the 5th Circuit to review the merits of the law, not just an injunction against it.
abortion  law  pro-life  Texas  choice 
october 2013 by Quercki
Lawsuit Filed To Prove Happy Birthday Is In The Public Domain; Demands Warner Pay Back Millions Of License Fees | Techdirt
Lawsuit Filed To Prove Happy Birthday Is In The Public Domain; Demands Warner Pay Back Millions Of License Fees
from the about-time dept
Happy Birthday remains the most profitable song ever. Every year, it is the song that earns the highest royalty rates, sent to Warner/Chappell Music (which makes millions per year from "licensing" the song). However, as we've been pointing out for years, the song is almost certainly in the public domain. Robert Brauneis did some fantastic work a few years ago laying out why the song's copyright clearly expired many years ago, even as Warner/Chappell pretends otherwise.
The issue, as we've noted, is that it's just not cost effective for anyone to actually stand up and challenge Warner Music, who has strong financial incentive to pretend the copyright is still valid. Well, apparently, someone is pissed off enough to try. The creatively named Good Morning to You Productions, a documentary film company planning a film about the song Happy Birthday, has now filed a lawsuit concerning the copyright of Happy Birthday and are seeking to force Warner/Chappell to return the millions of dollars it has collected over the years. That's going to make this an interesting case.
Happy_Birthday  music  copyright  law 
june 2013 by Quercki
Shakesville: Wednesday Blogaround
OMG Scalia! Ok, I'm admittedly not a formally educated person but I was always under the impression that murder is not illegal because it is immoral; I always thought that in the eyes of the law murder is an amoral act and the reason it is illegal is because one party(ies) does not have the right to interfere non-consensually with another party(ies) autonomy. The fact that it is viewed as immoral by the majority of the population is merely a coincidence. As such comparing the "morality" of homosexuality to that of murder is just so much nonsense, as homosexuality is a state of being a person, and murder is a violation of another persons right to be alive. Morality doesn't even come into play.

All that to say "Scalia: What a douche."
murder  morals  ethics  law 
december 2012 by Quercki
Lafayette School District says 14-year-old child abuse victim may bear some responsibility - San Jose Mercury News
"Think about how today's families will feel if this is how they think school officials are going to respond were one of their children abused by school employees," he said.
Moraga School District trustees met in a closed session special meeting called Friday morning to discuss the Kristen Cunnane case, less than 24 hours after this newspaper's latest story about her case from the 1990s appeared online. Moraga Superintendent Bruce Burns, who said no action was taken at that meeting, released a statement late Friday afternoon.
"We certainly empathize with Ms. Cunnane and did not intend to cause her further distress," according to the statement. "However, this is a significant case that could have serious consequences for our school district. She is demanding several million dollars in damages."
Burns said the district raised nine possible arguments that might be used in court, and that the media have seized on only one, and "overexaggerated its importance."
No dollar amount is listed in Cunnane's lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages.
"I haven't demanded any amount of money since filing the lawsuit," said Cunnane, now 30 and an assistant coach with Cal women's swim team. "I think it's for a jury to decide.
"It's really hard to hear that they think I'm seizing and overexaggerating the importance. They don't know how hard it is to be me and how hard I cried when I originally read it."
children  abuse  sexual_assault  schools  rape.culture  law  bayarea 
november 2012 by Quercki
The rules of nutrition. | The Fat Nutritionist
First rule of nutrition: eat or die.

Second rule of nutrition: there are no other rules.

This is not something you are likely ever to hear from someone in my field, since we make our living by thinking up rules and then pretending they have been whispered in our ears by God himself, but nevertheless — it’s the truth, and I’m saying it.

Except for those of us who observe religious and/or ethical restrictions on the foods we eat, there really are no rules about what to eat.
nutrition  law  health  fat  food  blog 
july 2012 by Quercki
“Obstructing a Thoroughfare” Laws written to be used against Civil Rights protesters | #OccupyOakland Media
The law many protesters at Occupy Oakland have been arrested under, CA Penal Code Section 647c, is a copycat of a Birmingham, Alabama vagrancy law that was used against African American civil rights activists in the 1960′s. The law was written to prevent civil rights activists from assembling in to protest racial discrimination. It is being used for similar purposes in Oakland in 2012.
California Penal Code Section 647c states that every “person who willfully and maliciously obstructs the free movement of any person on any street, sidewalk, or other public place or on or in any place open to the public is guilty of a misdemeanor.” Section 647 as a whole embraces a variety of offenses under the general catch-all of “disorderly conduct.” The section was originally drafted as a vagrancy statute, and as recently as 1955 was titled “Vagrancy, definitions; punishment.”
While 647c is couched in this broader context of “disorderly conduct” and vagrancy laws more generally, it seems that it might have been written with a more politically motivated agenda. In a case called Jennings v. Superior Court, the Court of Appeals of California for the First Appellate District posited that 647c, enacted in 1967, may have been a result of the United States Supreme Court decision in Shuttlesworth v. City of Birmingham. (Jennings v. Superior Court, 104 Cal. App. 3d 50, at 53 (1980)).
The petitioner in Shuttlesworth v. City of Birmingham (1965) was Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, the famous civil rights activist who was instrumental in the sit-ins against segregated lunch counters in 1960 and took part in the organization and completion of the Freedom Rides in 1961.
According to the facts of the case as relayed by the Court in Shuttlesworth, Shuttlesworth, the petitioner, was standing in a group of 10-12 people near an intersection when a police officer asked them three times to clear the sidewalk for pedestrian passage. All of those gathered left except for petitioner who questioned the policeman about his order, and was thereby arrested and charged with violating two Birmingham, Alabama ordinances. One of the ordinances closely resembles 647c in that it criminalizes the state of being on a street or sidewalk in a way “as to obstruct free passage.” The other ordinance made it unlawful to refuse to stand or loiter after having been requested by a police officer to move on. (Shuttlesworth v. City of Birmingham 382 U.S. 87, 88 (1965)).
The facts of the case that are not presented in the Court’s opinion are this: the intersection where folks were gathered was in front of a department store, and there was an ongoing boycott of downtown department stores. Interestingly, the Justice who reversed Shuttlesworth’s conviction authored several opinions dealing with loitering arrests occurring at organized protests.
The Shuttlesworth case is a good example of how, starting in the 1960s, law enforcement officers began to use vagrancy laws in a new way: to quiet African Americans engaging in protest and free speech as part of the civil rights movement. As such, the Court of Appeals of California’s suggestion that 647c was enacted as a result of the Shuttlesworth case is quite chilling. The court is positing that the California law was authored with the intent to be used, or at least to be available for use, as a way of criminalizing protest and free speech activities. (Jennings v. Superior Court, at 53.)
Occupy_Oakland  police  arrest  law 
february 2012 by Quercki
69 F3d 1002 Mackinney v. Nielsen | OpenJurist
A reasonable officer could not have believed that he or she had probable cause to arrest Mackinney under Sec. 148 because he underlined the last part of his chalk message before complying with the police order to stop. Ruling on the merits, the district court found that the act of underlining the last word of his message "obstructed" the officers in the course of their duties because it interfered with their order that Mackinney stop committing an act made illegal by an anti-graffiti statute, California Penal Code Sec. 640.5(a).2 The district court stated, "defendant Nielsen possessed the requisite probable cause to order the arrest of plaintiff for Penal Code Sec. 148 when plaintiff refused to stop defacing the sidewalk." We disagree.

Mackinney's act does not establish probable cause for an arrest under Sec. 148, and no reasonable officer could have thought otherwise. First, when the officers yelled to Mackinney to stop writing, they were still in their unmarked car. Mackinney makes the plausible claim that he did not know that it was the police who gave the order; because we are reviewing a grant of summary judgment against Mackinney, we must resolve any doubt about this issue in his favor. Jesinger, 24 F.3d at 1130. In People v. Lopez, the California Court of Appeals found that "[b]efore one can be found culpable [for resisting arrest under Sec. 148] ... he or she must know, or through the exercise of reasonable care should have known, that the person attempting to make the arrest is an officer." 188 Cal.App.3d 592, 599, 233 Cal.Rptr. 207 (1986). The same reasoning applies to obstructing justice under Sec. 148. No reasonable officer could have thought that he or she had probable cause to arrest Mackinney when it was apparent that Mackinney probably did not realize that the order he was failing to obey came from the police.

police  chalk  arrest  law  Berkeley 
january 2012 by Quercki
U.S. Constitution clearly establishes 1st Amendment right to film public officials
The filming of government officials engaged in their duties in a public place, including police officers performing their responsibilities, fits comfortably within these principles. Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting "the free discussion of governmental affairs." Mills v. Alabama, 384 U.S. 214, 218 (1966). Moreover, as the Court has noted, "[f]reedom of expression has particular significance with respect to government because '[i]t is here that the state has a special incentive to repress opposition and often wields a more effective power of suppression.'" First Nat'l Bank, 435 U.S. at 777 n.11 (alteration in original) (quoting Thomas Emerson, Toward a General Theory of the First Amendment 9 (1966)). This is particularly true of law enforcement officials, who are granted substantial discretion that may be misused to
deprive individuals of their liberties. Cf. Gentile v. State Bar of Nev., 501 U.S. 1030, 1035-36 (1991) (observing that "[t]he public has an interest in [the] responsible exercise" of the discretion granted police and prosecutors).
law  video  police  violence  Occupy_Oakland  Occupy_Wall_Street  news 
january 2012 by Quercki
Public Reports ~ City of Oakland, California
OPD places the highest value on policing in a constitutional and ethical manner. In keeping with our commitment to transparency and accountability, we will soon provide access to the following departmental publications:
Oakland  police  policy  reports  law 
december 2011 by Quercki
Federal Court Rules Videotaping Police Is A First Amendment Right | PFPM
The Federal Appeals Court has ruled that video recording the police in a public place is a constitutional right for all U.S. citizens. This is a great win for the freedom movement.  Public officials need to be held accountable for their actions.   See ruling below.
police  arrest  Bill_of_Rights  constitution  law  wiretapping  Occupy_Wall_Street 
december 2011 by Quercki
Justice is served, but more so after lunch: how food-breaks sway the decisions of judges | Not Exactly Rocket Science | Discover Magazine
The graph is dramatic. It shows that the odds that prisoners will be successfully paroled start off fairly high at around 65% and quickly plummet to nothing over a few hours (although, see footnote). After the judges have returned from their breaks, the odds abruptly climb back up to 65%, before resuming their downward slide. A prisoner’s fate could hinge upon the point in the day when their case is heard.
food  law  psychology  statistics  justice  lunch  decision 
september 2011 by Quercki
Chilling Effects Clearinghouse
Chilling Effects Clearinghouse
A joint project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, University of San Francisco, University of Maine, George Washington School of Law, and Santa Clara University School of Law clinics.
Do you know your online rights? Have you received a letter asking you to remove information from a Web site or to stop engaging in an activity? Are you concerned about liability for information that someone else posted to your online forum? If so, this site is for you.
Chilling Effects aims to help you understand the protections that the First Amendment and intellectual property laws give to your online activities. We are excited about the new opportunities the Internet offers individuals to express their views, ....But we've noticed that not everyone feels the same way. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some individuals and corporations are using intellectual property and other laws to silence other online users. 
copyright  law  rights  reference  lawers  threat 
january 2011 by Quercki
Why the Charges are Civil (and Why That Doesn’t Mean She’s a Lying Golddigger) «
Civil vs. Criminal suits. The differences and why some prefer one over the other.
law  rape  trial 
july 2010 by Quercki
* California Codes
o California Family Code

910. (a) Except as otherwise expressly provided by statute, the
community estate is liable for a debt incurred by either spouse
before or during marriage, regardless of which spouse has the
management and control of the property and regardless of whether one
or both spouses are parties to the debt or to a judgment for the
(b) "During marriage" for purposes of this section does not
include the period during which the spouses are living separate and
apart before a judgment of dissolution of marriage or legal
separation of the parties.
community_property  law 
january 2009 by Quercki

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