JURIST – Federal appeals court strikes down portions of North Carolina voting law

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From the decision:

Before enacting that law, the legislature requested data on the use, by race, of a number of voting practices. Upon receipt of the race data, the General Assembly enacted legislation that restricted voting and registration in five different ways, all of which disproportionately affected African Americans.

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[JURIST] A three-judge panel for the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] on Friday struck down [opinion, PDF] several provisions of North Carolina’s House Bill 589 (HB 589) [text, PDF], most notably its voter identification requirements. In its decision to annul the voter ID provision of the statute, as well as provisions eliminating early voting, pre-registration same-day registration, and out-of-precinct voting, the court stated that the legislation was “passed with racially discriminatory intent.” The panel further explained that it, unlike the lower district court, was unconvinced by the argument that the statute’s enactment was “the innocuous back-and-forth of routine partisan struggle.” Instead the panel suggested that the Republic-controlled state-legislature was motivated to enact HB 589 after an “unprecedented African American voter participation in a state with troubled racial history and racially polarized voting.” While the decision was unanimous, one justice disagreed with the decision to permanently enjoin the voter identification provision, expressing belief that the “reasonable impediment” exception provided ample protection against any potential discrimination. The decision overturns a district court decision [JURIST report] upholding HB 589 in April.

Read complete Jurist-Paper Chase analysis here.

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State v. Newcomb | Animal Legal & Historical Center

Summary: In this case, the Supreme Court of Oregon reviewed a case in which defendant accused the State of violating her constitutional rights by taking a blood sample of her dog without a warrant to do so. Ultimately, the court held that the defendant did not have a protected privacy interest in the dog’s blood and therefore the state did not violate defendant’s constitutional rights. Defendant’s dog, Juno, was seized by the Humane Society after a worker made a visit to plaintiff’s home and had probable cause to believe that Juno was emaciated from not receiving food from plaintiff. After Juno was seized and taken into custody for care, the veterinarian took a blood sample from Juno to confirm that there was no other medical reason as to why Juno was emaciated. Defendant argued that this blood test was a violation of her constitutional rights because the veterinarian did not have a warrant to perform the test. The court dismissed this argument and held that once Juno was taken into custody, defendant had “lost her rights of dominion and control over Juno, at least on a temporary basis.” Finally, the court held that because Juno was lawfully seized and Juno’s blood was “not ‘information’ that defendant placed in Juno for safekeeping or to conceal from view,” defendant’s constitutional rights had not been violated. 

In reaching that conclusion, the Court recognized that animals “are sentient beings capable of experiencing pain stress and fear” and that it indeed made a legal difference that the property seized was a living thing.

Documents: 

 State v Newcomb 2016.pdf (135.69 KB)

Texas NAACP v. Steen (consolidated with Veasey v. Abbott) | Brennan Center for Justice

In 2011, the Texas legislature passed SB 14, the strictest photo ID law in the nation. For example, the law requires voters to present photo identification from a very limited list before being allowed to vote. A Texas concealed handgun license is acceptable, but an ID from a public university or a tribal identification card is not.

After a long procedural history, described in detail below, on July 20, 2016, the full 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision finding that SB 14 has a racially discriminatory effect in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, because the law disproportionately diminishes African Americans’ and Latinos’ ability to participate in the political process. The appellate court sent the case back to the district court to craft a rule for the November 2016 election that will remedy SB 14’s discriminatory results. The appellate court also reversed and remanded the district court’s discriminatory intent finding for further review and vacated the district court’s findings on plaintiffs’ poll tax and right to vote claims.

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Read entire article and scroll down for all original documents at all levels of the case…briefs, etc..

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The Showman – The New Yorker

 Jeffrey Toobin‘s May 9 article in The New Yorker, appropriately called, “The Showman,” about United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara’s infatuation with and misuse of the media.

Read more…long article.

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JURIST – When Prosecutors Parade, Criminal Justice Becomes a Circus

JURIST Guest Columnists Stephen Cooper and Donnie W. Bethel discuss the effect of the behavior of Prosecutors who parade their cases to the media has on the Criminal Justice system…

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Prosecutors routinely call conferences to vet prosecution evidence under the glow of the media’s klieg lights–as occurred in the much-publicized Brendan Dassey and Steven Avery case in Netflix’s Making A Murderer–tainting the jury pool and infringing on Avery and Dassey’s constitutional right to a fair trial (as ably reported upon earlier this year in John Ferak’s column, “Legal experts blast Avery prosecutor’s conduct.“)

The same questionable litigation tactics, dressed up in federal garb, are on full display in Jeffrey Toobin’s May 9 article in The New Yorker, appropriately called, “The Showman,” about United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara‘s infatuation with and misuse of the media.

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Read more here.

Gretchen Carlson’s Lawsuit Against Roger Ailes

Gretchen Carlson‘s Lawsuit Against Roger Ailes

Ms. Carlson, the Fox anchor, says that Roger Ailes, the chairman of Fox News, fired her from the network after she refused his sexual advances.

Read the Complaint here.

Original Document (PDF) »

Contributed by: News Documents, The New York Times

Family Sues After Disabled Teen Beaten Bloody at Memphis Airport

A partially paralyzed teenager who was returning home after being treated for a brain tumor was reportedly beaten bloody by airport security, then led out of the Memphis International Airport in handcuffs.  

According to a lawsuit filed by her family against the Transportation Security Administration, the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority, and Memphis airport police on 28 June 2016, 19-year-old Hannah Cohen was headed back to Chattanooga after visiting St. Jude Hospital for treatment in June 2015…

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11. More particularly, the Plaintiff, Hannah Cohen, has damage from radiation and removal of a brain tumor that substantially limits her ability to speak, walk, stand, see, hear, care for herself, learn and work, think, concentrate, and interact with others.

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Read the ADA complaint here.

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