CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 7, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court gave local governments the power Monday to zone medical marijuana dispensaries out of existence, a decision that upholds bans in about 200 cities but does little to solve Los Angeles' years-long struggle to regulate hundreds of storefront pot outlets. The unanimous decision provided clarity for cities and counties that want to rid themselves of the dispensaries, which sprouted up statewide after a 1996 voter-approved measure that sought to authorize medical marijuana but lacked specifics in how it would be regulated.
May 7, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Employers cannot be required to post a notice that tells their workers they have a right to join a union and bargain for better wages, a federal appeals court ruled in the latest setback for the National Labor Relations Board. The so-called poster rule would have required more than 6 million private employers to post a one-page notice in a prominent place. Labor leaders hoped it would help stem the long decline in union membership in the private sector. Only about 7% of private-sector employees belong to unions.
April 30, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Americans do not have a right to obtain public records from states other than their own, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, dealing a setback to businesses and researchers who gather data across the nation. The unanimous decision upheld laws in Virginia and a handful of other states that release some public records only to their own citizens. "This is disappointing. We have a national information economy now, and all sorts of activities depend on data from all 50 states," said Washington attorney Deepak Gupta, who represented two men who had challenged the "citizens only" provision of Virginia's public records law. Despite the ruling, Gupta said the trend has been for states to open their public records on an equal basis.
April 19, 2013 |
The federal government has the authority to detain and deport immigrants who violate the law. But it also has the responsibility to ensure that those it holds while they fight their deportation cases aren't locked up for months, or years, without an opportunity to appear before an immigration judge who can determine whether their prolonged detention is warranted. This week the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the Obama administration's obligation to provide such hearings to immigrants detained for more than six months, at least in Southern California.
April 17, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Police officers usually must have a search warrant before requiring a suspected drunk driver to have his blood drawn, the Supreme Court said Wednesday. In an 8-1 decision, the justices rejected Missouri prosecutors' contention that police should have the freedom to act quickly and dispense with a warrant because alcohol dissipates in the blood. Instead, the court said it would hold fast to its view that the 4th Amendment's ban on "unreasonable searches" means the police usually need a warrant from a magistrate before invading a person's privacy.
April 5, 2013 |
President Obama once fretted about the prospect that girls as young as 10 or 11 could walk into a drugstore and buy emergency contraception pills as easily as "bubble gum or batteries. " With his blessing, the Department of Health and Human Services set aside the advice of medical experts and blocked efforts to allow girls younger than 17 to get the so-called morning-after pill without a prescription. That age limit is poised to disappear now that a federal judge has cleared the way Friday for girls - and boys - of any age to purchase the medication without having to notify their parents or a doctor.