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NATIONAL
December 7, 2012
WASHINGTON -- Congress has voted to strike any reference to the word "lunatic" in federal law. The measure, which is headed to President Obama for his expected signature, is intended to reduce the stigma of mental illness. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) said during consideration of the bill this week that the term holds "a place in antiquity and should no longer have a prominent place in our U.S. Code. " The 21st Century Language Act, he added, "follows the precedence of Congress to study semantics and continuously improves the status and appropriateness of our nation's laws by addressing pejorative terms.
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NEWS
April 15, 2014 | By Mary Forgione, Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
If you're celebrating Easter this weekend in Denver, you might also ingest a bit of the city's pot-celebrating 420 Rally that has been expanded to a two-day event this year. The 420 Rally , once an underground event but now very much above ground, embraces Colorado's Amendment 64, which legalized recreational marijuana use when it was signed itno law last year. The 420 Rally has been around since the 1970s and describes itself as "a cannabis culture music featival. " It walks a fine line because, despite the law that allows people 21 and older to use pot, public use is still illegal.
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NATIONAL
May 1, 2012 | By Richard Simon
WASHINGTON -- A move is underway in Congress to strike any reference to "lunatic" in federal law in an effort to reduce the stigma of mental illness. "Federal law should reflect the 21st century understanding of mental illness and disease," Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said in introducing the 21st Century Language Act with Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). "The continued use of this pejorative term has no place in the U.S. Code. " The idea for the measure, Conrad said, came from a constituent seeking his help in removing "this outdated and inappropriate language from federal law. Ohio in 2007 removed words such as lunatic, idiot and insane from its code.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 5, 2014 | Kurt Streeter
Several of Southern California's most prominent religious leaders held a vigil for immigration reform in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, underscoring a growing interfaith effort to change the nation's laws. Immigrants who are in the United States illegally "need mercy and they need justice," said Archbishop Jose Gomez, welcoming an array of Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders to the gathering at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Gomez, who has made changing immigration laws a hallmark of his three-year tenure leading the L.A. Archdiocese, described the current system as "totally broken," adding that federal laws punished families and children unfairly.
NATIONAL
September 10, 2013 | By Becca Clemons
WASHINGTON - In the first congressional hearing on marijuana laws since voters in Colorado and Washington state legalized pot for recreational use in November, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) called for a "smarter approach" to marijuana policy and addressed federal laws that he said impeded effective regulation of the drug in states where it was legal. The Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing followed a Justice Department memo in late August that said the U.S. would not challenge state laws permitting marijuana and that it would focus enforcement on eight priorities, which include preventing its distribution to minors and keeping revenue away from criminal enterprises.
SPORTS
February 22, 1991 | ELLIOTT ALMOND, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Athletes using anabolic steroids to enhance performance will face increasing scrutiny when a get-tough federal law takes effect next week, Robert C. Bonner, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, said Thursday at a news conference in Washington. For the first time, possession of small amounts of steroids for uses not prescribed by a physician will be a federal crime. The maximum penalty for possession will be one year in prison and a minimum $1,000 fine.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 23, 1988 | NANCY RAY, Times Staff Writer
The U. S. attorney's office has absolved a San Diego developer of violating federal statutes in a political dirty trick during an Escondido annexation election. The office turned over its evidence in the mail-fraud investigation to the San Diego County district attorney Thursday. Assistant U. S. Atty. Charles Gorder said the case, which involved publication of a look-alike edition of the Lehner Valley News, did not qualify for federal prosecution because it did not cause property losses.
BUSINESS
April 25, 2006 | Kathy M. Kristof, Times Staff Writer
When Brenda McCauley was assigned to set up a retirement savings plan for Children's National Medical Center in Washington, she let would-be providers know that they would have to put employees' interests first. In a letter inviting companies to submit proposals, she said the winning candidate would have to offer a wide array of investments and be prepared to discount its fees.
BUSINESS
May 2, 1992 | From Associated Press
Nearly half of all farms surveyed by conservationists were potentially in violation of a law that requires owners to protect their farms from soil erosion or risk losing federal farm benefits. The Soil and Water Conservation Society said it found that 42% to 48% of the farms it surveyed represented potential violations of the government's conservation compliance policy if they are receiving farm program benefits.
BUSINESS
March 22, 2013 | David Lazarus
Sometimes it's hard to do good. For example, donating leftover banquet food to charity. Shirley Wei Sher, a Marina del Rey immigration lawyer, discovered how challenging this can be when she recently tried to prevent leftovers at an upcoming meeting of the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Assn. from being thrown away. Sher, 33, sits on the board of the organization and is helping plan the group's annual awards banquet at a Chinatown restaurant next month. As many as 1,000 people are expected to attend.
BUSINESS
April 2, 2014 | By Evan Halper
WASHINGTON - Airline customers complain about being mistreated daily, but Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg took his grievance all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Unfortunately for Ginsberg, the court sided Wednesday with Northwest Airlines Inc., now merged into Delta Air Lines Inc., in a case that had put carriers on edge. The ruling strengthens the industry's hand when fighting litigation filed by disgruntled passengers by bolstering a 36-year-old federal law that limits its exposure to such claims.
NATIONAL
March 25, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court's conservative justices sharply criticized part of President Obama's healthcare law Tuesday, suggesting they will rule later this year that requiring Christian-owned corporations to offer their employees contraceptives coverage violates the freedom of religion. “Your reasoning would permit requiring profit-making corporations to pay for abortions,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy told U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, who defended the contraceptives provision of the Affordable Care Act. The administration's lawyer warned that the court would be adopting a “dangerous principle” if it gave employers a right to exempt themselves from federal laws based on their religious beliefs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2014 | By James Rainey
A string of actions by state officials and the National Labor Relations Board has strengthened the hand of truck drivers who say they need union representation to improve pay and working conditions for the thousands who transport cargo out of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. In a settlement this week, one major trucking company agreed to post notices acknowledging the workers' right to organize - not previously a given because drivers were treated as contract workers, who are not subject to unionization.
NEWS
March 3, 2014 | By Michael McGough
SB 1062 , the Arizona bill that would have made it easier to discriminate against gays and lesbians (and other people), was vetoed last week by Gov. Jan Brewer. But some social conservatives won't let the subject go. They're making two (related) arguments: that critics of the bill who denounced it as “anti-gay” hadn't really read the legislation and that, if they had, they would have realized that it was simply a state variation on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act overwhelmingly passed by Congress in 1993 and signed by President Clinton.
OPINION
March 2, 2014
Re "Vaccinations, not scare tactics," Editorial, Feb. 27 As The Times says, religious beliefs should not legitimize acts contrary to the compelling societal interest of improving public health with vaccines. Religion-rooted controversies lately have arisen largely due to the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. This law was prompted by legitimate concern over federal infringement on Native American religious practices. However, opportunistic members of Congress decided to go further.
NATIONAL
February 26, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
Delta Air Lines has denounced legislation that would permit businesses to cite religion in refusing to serve gays, saying  proposals in Georgia and Arizona would cause “significant harm” and “result in job losses.” The company, which is Atlanta's largest employer and one of the biggest private companies in Georgia, joins the likes of Apple, American Airlines and Marriott in opposing such measures. Arizonans  are awaiting  Gov. Jan Brewer's decision on whether to sign or veto legislation that would bolster business owners' rights to cite their religion as a defense in discrimination lawsuits.
NEWS
August 17, 2008 | Kenji Yoshino, Kenji Yoshino is a professor of constitutional law at New York University School of Law.
Just because a majority of Californians voted to make marijuana available for medical purposes does not mean it is legal. Charles Lynch, the owner of a Morro Bay medical marijuana dispensary, learned this lesson the hard way on Aug. 5 when he was convicted of violating the federal Controlled Substances Act. His lawyers defended him in part by saying his business had the blessing of elected officials in Morro County. But the jury convicted him under federal drug laws; in October, he will be sentenced to a period of five to 85 years in prison, though he has vowed to appeal.
OPINION
January 29, 2012
The 280 million egg-laying hens in the United States - and their farmers - are one step closer to having uniform standards for humane housing and care. A group of Democratic and Republican members of Congress has introduced the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012. The legislation is the result of a long-needed meeting of the minds between animal welfare advocates and Big Egg: American egg farmers would have a level playing field and hens would have more space. After years of battles with animal welfare advocates pushing for legislation to upgrade the squalid conditions in which most egg-producing hens are kept, a number of states passed new laws, while others did not. Farmers complained that the country was left with a patchwork of conflicting laws governing the farming and selling of eggs that threatened to undermine their businesses.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 2014 | By Jason Felch
Thirty-one current and former UC Berkeley students filed two federal complaints against the university Wednesday alleging a decades-long pattern of mishandling sexual assault investigations by campus administrators. The complaints allege that officials for years have discouraged victims from reporting assaults, failed to inform them of their rights and led a biased judicial process that favored assailants' rights over those of their victims. The reports were filed with the U.S. Department of Education, which investigates violations of Title IX, the federal anti-discrimination law, and the Clery Act, a federal law that requires campuses to accurately report incidents of serious crimes, including sexual assault.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 2014 | By Jason Felch and Jason Song, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
Thirty-one current and former UC Berkeley students filed two federal complaints against the university Wednesday alleging a decades-long pattern of mishandling sexual assault investigations by campus administrators. The complaints allege that officials for years have discouraged victims from reporting assaults, failed to inform them of their rights and led a biased judicial process that favored assailants' rights over those of their victims. The reports were filed with the U.S. Department of Education, which investigates violations of Title IX, the federal anti-discrimination law, and the Clery Act, a federal law that requires campuses to accurately report incidents of serious crimes, including sexual assault.
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