On Tuesday, December 18, 2018, Damien Guedes, a Pennsylvania citizen who purchased a bump stock device in 2014, the Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation, and Madison Society Foundation filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives challenging the Trump administration's ban on bump stock devices.
An appellate court in California recently ruled that Apple should not be held liable for a car accident based on a driver’s use of the FaceTime app on the iPhone 6. This case arose from a car accident in Texas on Christmas Eve 2014, which resulted in the tragic death of a…
On Wednesday, Judge Emmet Sullivan of the US District Court for the District of Columbia issued a permanent injunction against the federal government to prevent it from continuing its asylum policies announced last summer by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions. According to Judge Sullivan, all but two of the policies violated the Immigration and Naturalization Act, and as such, he ordered the government “to return to the United States the plaintiffs who were unlawfully deported and to provide them with new credible fear determinations consistent with the immigration laws.”
Last week Congress voted to pass a farm bill that addresses the legalization of cultivating hemp in the U.S. as well as other issues such as nutrition, conservation, trade, energy, and forestry. The bill received support from both major parties, and is expected to be signed into law by President Trump.
Federal Judge in Massachusetts Rules Secretly Recording Government Officials in Public Protected by First Amendment
On Monday, a federal judge in Massachusetts ruled unconstitutional a state law that had the effect of prohibiting all secret recordings of any encounter with a police officer or other government official. According to Chief Judge Patti B. Saris, of the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts law is not sufficiently "narrowly tailored to serve a significant government interest" to curtail the plaintiffs' free speech rights under the First Amendment.
California legislators have proposed a tax on text messages to increase funds for programs that provide underserved residents with connectivity. The new tax plan, proposed by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), would not charge per text message, but would implement a monthly fee based on a cellular bill that includes any charges for text messages. Most cellular carriers charge a flat fee for texting and include similar fees for other services, such as calls. The specifics of the charge associated with the tax would vary across carriers.
U.S. Supreme Court Remands Case to Eighth Circuit to Consider Whether Mandatory State Bar Association Fees Involve Compelled Association and Compelled Speech
On Monday, December 3, 2018, the United States Supreme Court vacated the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals's decision in Fleck v. Wetch, No. 16-1564 (8th Cir. 2017) and remanded the case to the 8th Circuit to decide whether mandatory state bar association fees translate to compelled association and compelled speech.
The US Supreme court will not hear two cases stemming from state efforts to prevent Planned Parenthood clinics from receiving funding under Medicaid. Justices Thomas, Gorsuch, and Alito voted to hear the cases, but Chief Justice Roberts and the newly-confirmed Justice Kavanaugh voted with the Court's liberal justices to turn the cases away; four votes are needed to hear a case. This split among the conservative wing of the Court may reflect Chief Justice Roberts' intention to keep the Court out of hotly contested issues, and of Justice Kavanaugh's willingness to follow along, at least for the time being.