Last week, Judge William Alsup of the US District Court for the Northern District of California joined federal courts in New York and Washington state in striking down the Denial of Care Rule put forth by the US Department of Health and Human Services earlier this year. Judge Alsup declared the rule, which would permit health care workers to decline to provide services, care, or information to patients due to the worker's personal religious or moral beliefs, discriminatory and unconstitutional.
Plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the organizers of a 2017 white power rally in Charlottesville, Virginia are seeking to invoke a Civil War-era statute in utilizing the defendants' online statements to prove that they engaged in an illegal conspiracy to commit racially motivated violence. Defendants insist that their actions are protected by the First Amendment, though the judge in this case has declined to dismiss the plaintiffs' complaint on free speech grounds. The outcome of this case will likely be a strong indicator of whether and to what extent the statute at issue can be relied upon to curb online hate speech and its consequences.
Detroit police plan to use facial recognition technology to help investigate allegations of home invasions and certain violent crimes, despite concerns over accuracy and fairness.
Last week, a federal judge in Santa Ana, California ruled that the Second Amendment does not prevent California from enacting reasonable gun safety laws. This case arose when the California Rifle and Pistol Association, part of the National Rifle Association, challenged a state law that prevents California residents from making, owning,…
According to news reports, since May the federal government has filed four condemnation lawsuits against local residents in the Brownsville, Texas area for the purpose of constructing a border wall along the southern border of the US. Some residents, who have been informed that the government wants access to their property for purposes of surveying land that would be involved in border wall construction, are contesting the government's terms for use of their land.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has canceled the deportation of a worker who was arrested and detained in a 2008 immigration enforcement raid on a California factory, ruling that immigration authorities violated federal regulations and the Constitution when they conducted the raid without reasonable suspicion that the approximately 130 people they detained were in the country without authorization.
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the city was justified in attempting to prevent sexual orientation discrimination by withholding referrals of foster children to agencies that do not work with same-sex parents. It did not find any religious persecution or bias that would make the policy unconstitutional under the First Amendment.
California has filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Northern California to challenge a new regulation the Trump administration plans to enact in order to block access to abortion and family planning services. Specifically, the case seeks to enjoin new rules adopted under Title X of the Public Health Service Act, a family planning program funded by the federal government. Oregon, Washington, and approximately 20 other states are expected to file suit as well.
Last week, the federal government issued a rule to withhold federal funding for family planning from groups that provide abortions or abortion referrals. To receive federal funding, clinics will need to physically and financially separate any services that receive government funding from organizations that provide abortions or referrals.