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Court Ruling

December 24, 2013 | By Saba Hamedy
Determined to reinstate its anti-gay marriage law, Utah officials said Tuesday they would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court "as soon as possible" after an appellate court refused to grant an emergency stay of a lower court ruling.  U.S. District Judge Richard Shelby invalidated Utah's law last week and refused to suspend his decision. On Tuesday, the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the state's plea for an emergency stay. A spokesman for the Utah attorney general's office told the Los Angeles Times that his office is disappointed.
December 19, 2013 | By Larry Gordon
Researchers looking into the possible effects of affirmative action programs on law schools and the legal profession should have access to state bar exam scores and other records if individuals' privacy can be ensured, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The unanimous decision was a boost for UCLA law professor Richard Sander, who has been battling the state bar for five years to obtain the data. Sander wants the information to test his controversial theory that racial preferences in law school admissions might hurt minority students by putting them in overly competitive environments.
December 2, 2013 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO--A divided federal appeals court upheld a federal ban Monday on paid commercial, political and issue advertising on public broadcast radio and television stations. Rejecting a free-speech challenge to the ban, an 11-member en banc panel of the U.S. 9thCircuit Court of Appeals ruled that Congress was entitled to establish regulations to ensure that public broadcasting would be educational and noncommercial. Monday's ruling overturned a smaller panel's decision last year that would have permitted paid political and issue advertising.
November 26, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
To no one's profound surprise, the Supreme Court has agreed to take up the question of whether the Affordable Care Act's mandate that health plans cover contraceptives violates the religious freedom of some corporations. The court accepted two cases brought by families that contend their religious objections to certain contraceptives flow through to their family companies, and therefore can be imposed on their employees. Anticipating that the issue would land in the laps of the Big Nine, we examined the issue back in October.
November 10, 2013 | By Soumya Karlamangla
Echoing a similar ruling in California earlier this year, a New Jersey judge has upheld the state's ban on so-called gay conversion therapies for minors. In August,  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed into law a bill outlawing the controversial therapies , making the Garden State the second to do so after California. California's ban, which was passed in 2012, was  upheld in federal court in August. The New Jersey law prevents any licensed therapist, psychologist, social worker or counselor from using sexual orientation change efforts with children under age 18. The lawsuit challenging the New Jersey ban was filed by two therapists,  the National Assn.
November 6, 2013 | By Adolfo Flores
A federal appeals court has ruled that a 2009 Orange County gang injunction couldn't be enforced against dozens of people because it violated their rights by not allowing them to challenge their alleged gang member status. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a federal court's findings that the injunction against suspected members of the Orange Varrio Cypress gang restricted the plaintiffs' constitutional rights and used inconsistent standards to determine whether someone was a gang member.
October 31, 2013 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON -- Virginia Tech cannot be held liable for failing to warn the campus and its student body that a crazed gunman was on the loose, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled Thursday, throwing out a jury's wrongful-death verdict in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. The state justices said university officials have a legal duty to alert the student body only when they have reason to suspect a campus-wide danger. And the mass shooting that occurred on April 16, 2007, in which a gunman killed 32 and then himself, could not have been “reasonably foreseen” in time to warn the campus, the justices said.
October 31, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson
MEXICO CITY - The recent decision by the highest court in the Dominican Republic to cancel the citizenship of three generations of residents is meeting a firestorm of protest, with human rights advocates warning of a humanitarian nightmare for the entire Caribbean region. The Dominican Constitutional Court, citing the country's 2010 constitution, retroactively stripped the citizenship of people born after 1929 to parents without Dominican ancestry, declaring that they were residing in the country illegally or with temporary permits.
October 31, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
A federal appeals court handed New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg at least a temporary victory in the stop-and-frisk case by blocking a lower court order requiring changes to police policy. The U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals also removed District Judge Shira Scheindlin from the case, saying she appeared to violate rules requiring judges to avoid the appearance of partiality. Under the policy, police can aggressively stop and question people suspected of crimes. It was praised by those who wanted to allow police to question suspects and by city officials for the drop in crime during the Bloomberg years.
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