January 11, 2014 |
The long and contentious legal battle between Alex Rodriguez and Major League Baseball came to a head on Saturday when arbitrator Fredric Horowitz reduced the original 211-game suspension for the New York Yankees star to 162 games, which would ban Rodriguez for the entire 2014 regular season and postseason. But Rodriguez, punished for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal, has vowed to continue his fight, saying through a spokesman that he will contest Saturday's decision in federal court.
January 6, 2014 |
CHICAGO - A federal judge Monday stripped away a key element of Chicago's gun ordinance, ruling that it was unconstitutional to prohibit licensed gun stores from operating in the city. U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang said Chicago had failed to persuade him that banning the sale of guns by licensed dealers was necessary to reduce gun violence that has plagued the city. The ruling also would make it legal for individuals to transfer ownership of firearms as gifts or in private sales as long as the recipients were over 18 and had state firearm owner identification cards.
January 5, 2014 |
As President Obama ponders a task force's recommendations for reining in electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency, a federal judge in New York has allowed another government agency to invade the privacy of Americans. Judge Edward R. Korman ruled that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents may confiscate and examine the contents of laptop computers of Americans returning to the country even if they lack reasonable suspicion that the devices contain evidence of criminal activity.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 23, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge has rejected legal claims by environmental groups that sued Caltrans and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in hopes of stopping construction of a controversial freeway bypass in Willits, Calif. The four-lane bypass that will carry U.S. 101 traffic around the Mendocino County town rather than through its Main Street heart was first proposed a half-century ago, and local officials long expressed unanimous support for it. But demographic shifts and heightened environmental consciousness recently split public opinion.
December 23, 2013 |
The federal judge who threw out Utah's ban on same-sex marriages has refused a state request to block gay weddings while the matter is taken to a high court. U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby on Monday denied a request by the state that sought to bar gay weddings until the appeals process is completed. State officials are expected to seek action by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. The appellate court had refused to issue a stay Sunday, saying it would wait until Shelby ruled.
December 20, 2013 |
A federal judge on Friday struck down Utah's same-sex marriage ban, making the state where the powerful Mormon Church has fought gay marriage the latest front in the legal battle over marriage rights. In a 53-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby held that Utah's law passed by voters in 2004 violates the federal right of gay and lesbian couples to due process and equal protection under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. “The state's current laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens their fundamental right to marry and, in so doing, demean the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason,” Shelby wrote.
December 20, 2013 |
Utah, one of the most conservative states on the issue of gay rights, found itself the latest front in the battle over same-sex marriage when a federal judge Friday struck down its ban on such unions. Officials said they would seek an emergency stay while they appealed the ruling. Amid the flurry of legal activity, the Salt Lake County clerk's office started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker began officiating at the state's first gay weddings within hours of the ruling, his spokesman said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 11, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - Federal judges have extended until April 18 the deadline for Gov. Jerry Brown's administration to ease prison crowding, after asking the state to limit the time some mentally ill prisoners spend in solitary confinement. U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton announced that he had accepted the state's offer of a 30-day isolation maximum for severely mentally ill inmates who have committed no rule violations. He then joined two other jurists in pushing back the overcrowding deadline and also in extending negotiations between the state and prisoners' lawyers until Jan. 10. In September, the judges ordered the state and the inmates' attorneys to negotiate long-term solutions to the crowding problem, including the early release of frail or elderly prisoners.
November 21, 2013 |
An Arizona company that offered to help fraud victims recover stolen money instead defrauded them again by selling worthless do-it-yourself kits that cost hundreds of dollars, the Federal Trade Commission said. Business Recovery Services of Mesa, Ariz., and its owner, Brian Hessler, preyed on victims of telemarketing fraud but then failed to help them recover any money, the FTC said. "In effect, this scheme rubbed salt in the wound of people who had already been victimized, targeting them and defrauding them all over again," said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC's consumer protection division.
October 28, 2013 |
Some controversial new Texas abortion restrictions are unconstitutional and will not take effect as scheduled Tuesday, a federal judge ruled Monday. "Today's ruling marks an important victory for Texas women and sends a clear message to lawmakers: It is unconstitutional for politicians to pass laws that take personal, private decisions away from women and their doctors," said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. After Texas lawmakers approved the new restrictions last summer, Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers challenged them in court, arguing that they unfairly limited medication-induced abortions and forced doctors to have admitting privileges at hospitals near the abortion clinics where they worked, effectively closing a third of clinics statewide.