Category: Uncategorized

Federal appeals court allow Puerto Rico pension bondholders case to proceed

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Wednesday that bondholders of Puerto Rico’s Employee Retirement System deserve a hearing to determine if their case has merit to proceed. The lawsuit focuses on Puerto Rico’s fiscal emergency law [text, PDF] that was passed last year. Lawsuits over debt payments, particularly any lawsuits toward the Government Development Bank, are frozen and its protects the government [AP report] from being sued for defaulting on payments. The court also ruled that the board under PROMESA [NBC News report], the bill the Senate approved in November to…

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Senate takes first step to repeal ACA

[JURIST] Senate Republicans on Thursday took the first step required to begin the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act [text] (ACA) by passing a resolution [materials] by a vote of 51 to 48, allowing the process not to be subjected to a filibuster. Democrats took the the floor to voice their disapproval of the repeal, worried about all of the Americans who might lose their health insurance under the repeal. This action is procedural, setting the stage to put forth a reconciliation bill, which would leave it immune to filibuster. Senator Michael Enzi (R-WY)[official website] stated that “the Obamacare…

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Georgia judge denies state’s request to block in-state tuition for certain immigrants

[JURIST] Chief Judge Gail Tusan of the Superior Court of Fulton County [official website] on Wednesday refused [order, PDF] to place a hold on her previous ruling [text] granting in-state tuition to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) [official website] recipients. In her ruling [AJC report], Tusan stated that the defendants failed to show how and to what extent the state of Georgia would face “irreparable harm” if the ruling were to take effect during the appeals process. She contrasted the potential harm faced by defendants with what she described as “great” harm plaintiffs would face and denied the…

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ACLU publishes report on dangers of solitary confinement

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] on Thursday released [press release] its first report [text, PDF] on the effects of solitary confinement on inmates with physical disabilities. The report, titled “Caged In: The Devastating Harms of Solitary Confinement on Prisoners with Physical Disabilities,” details how prisoners in solitary confinement are kept in small cells roughly the size of parking spots for approximately 22 hours a day, which has a negative impact on prisoners without disabilities and an even larger impact on those with disabilities. The report stated that “[s]tress, enforced idleness, and limited access to health care,…

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HRW world report: populist leaders threaten human rights

[JURIST] A surge in populist leaders in Europe and the US threatens human rights while inviting autocratic abuse in other nations, according to the 2017 World Report [report, PDF] released Thursday by Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website]. The report argues that “mounting public discontent over the status quo” has led to the appeal of populists in powerful positions: In this cauldron of discontent, certain politicians are flourishing and even gaining power by portraying rights as protecting only the terrorist suspect or the asylum seeker at the expense of the safety, economic welfare, and cultural preferences of the presumed majority.…

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DOJ, FBI to be investigated for Clinton e-mail probe

[JURIST] The internal watchdog of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] announced [press release] Thursday that it will be investigating the DOJ and the FBI [official website] for their handling of the probe into Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server. The DOJ Office of the Inspector General [official website] will give special focus on allegations that these entities disclosed private information and that the FBI Deputy Director should have recused himself from some participation. DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz [official profile] stated that the decision to investigate comes after both public and congressional requests. The announcement by FBI Director…

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Federal appeals court rules Apple antitrust suit may proceed

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Thursday that plaintiffs may sue Apple [corporate website] for violating antitrust regulations by forcing users to purchase apps exclusively through their app store. The court held that plaintiffs have standing to sue Apple because the communications company only permits developers to sell applications for Apple devices exclusively through the Apple app store, which may cause higher pricing for Apple users. The plaintiffs allege this exclusivity created a monopoly on apps for Apple users, which then created a profit for Apple. According to the appeals court:…

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DOJ files to join voter protection suit against NYC

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] on Thursday filed to join a suit [motion] in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York against the New York Board of Election (NYCBOE) [official websites] for improperly purging voters. The NYCBOE is accused by Common Cause New York [advocacy website] of purging voters who had not voted since the 2008 elections and failed to respond to letters asking for identity verification. The DOJ argues the reasoning for the purge is in violation of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) [text] and is asking the…

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