This afternoon, Judge Rosemary Collyer issued her ruling on the motion by the Administration to forego a ruling on the merits in the United States House of Representatives v. Burwell, a challenge brought by the House to unilateral action taken by the Administration under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). After losing its motion to dismiss the case on standing grounds, the Administration sought (over the objections of the House) to remove the case to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia without ruling on the merits of the case. Judge Collyer denied the motion and set the case for final briefing and ultimately a final ruling.
There is another controversy brewing in California over allegations that the University of California at Berkeley is again trying to circumvent a state law that bars the use of race in educational decisions. Berkeley has announced a $20 million fund to endow scholarships for African-American students and to hire a diverse faculty. Critics say that it clearly runs afoul of the law and is another example the refusal of administrators to comply with a state policy for absolute racially blind decision-making in admissions and other educations decision making.
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
We have followed the plight of several reporters for the news medium Al Jazeera who were imprisoned and subjected to various appeals on behalf of the prosecution to ensure their place amongst the incarcerated, accused under dubious evidence of involvement with terrorist organizations and the crime of reporting of false information. The courts even went so far as to accuse them of doing the work of the devil. (HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE)
For over a year there has been much outcry in the world media and the public about the abuses against free speech, journalists, and citizens; especially focused it was on these reporters. Now, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi grants a pardon to these Al Jazeera reporters.
Passaic County Superior Court Judge Joseph A. Portelli (New Jersey) is facing formal judicial conduct charges over what was allegedly “poor judgment and a lack of dignity and respect for his office.” What is interesting is the range of comments, including some that would not have been previously considered a basis for discipline but now raise serious judicial conduct questions. The charges could raise an interesting hearing as subject to different interpretations with Portelli claiming that he is merely salty or familiar in his language while others would call it sexist or intrusive.
We have previously discussed how anti-discrimination laws sometime collide with businesses that strive to maintain a certain look in its employees from newscasters to shop clerks to waitresses. This includes the recent judgment against Abercombie over an employee seeking to wear an Islamic cover over her hair. Now a business has prevailed in New Jersey in claiming the right to enforce appearance standards, including weight limitations, for its waitresses. Twenty-one servers sued Borgata Casino in claiming that they were objectified and demeaned by the casino in being forced to maintain slim figures in their role as “Borgata Babes.” A state appellate court ruled that the casino could impose the requirement so long as it is down fairly and equally. It remanded the case to determine however if there were otherwise acts that constitutes a hostile work place. The appellate opinion is available below.
When the case of the shooting of a Chicago police officer in 2012 came to the chambers of Cook County Circuit Judge Thaddeus Wilson, the court saw something that it said was obvious to anyone who has done any practice in the criminal law: the statement of the mother of the suspect Paris Sadler was free of any corrections or edits. Since the mother Talaina Cureton said that she had edited and corrected the statement prepared by Assistant Cook County state’s attorney Joseph Lattanzio, it was a curious fact. However, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, long criticized for her policies such as prosecuting citizens who dare to video police in public, fought to block any effort to reexamine the statement and denied that her office omitted critical information. Now, it appears that one of those videotapes that Alvarez hates, existed showing Cureton editing the statement. Lattanzio has been fired. However, once again, without the videotape, Alvarez’s office would have likely succeeded in blocking the challenge and protecting the prosecutorial misconduct.