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BUSINESS
April 24, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
Countrywide Financial Corp., the mortgage lender acquired by Bank of America Corp., reached a preliminary settlement with employees who accused the company of withholding information about its financial health and causing the value of their retirement plan to drop. Plaintiffs' lawyers filed papers in federal court in Los Angeles indicating that an "agreement in principle" had been reached in the 2007 class-action lawsuit alleging violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, a federal law that protects employee pension plans.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 19, 2008 | From the Associated Press
A federal judge has tossed out California's challenge to a national abortion law that officials say could cost the state billions in federal funds. California sued the federal government after President Bush in 2004 authorized harsh financial penalties on states that discriminate against doctors who refuse to provide abortions. California allows doctors and hospitals to refuse to perform abortions for religious or moral reasons, but the state requires them to perform an abortion when childbirth threatens the woman's life or health.
BUSINESS
March 25, 2003 | From Bloomberg News
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to free MGM Mirage Inc. from a lawsuit by a gay former employee who says he was sexually harassed by male co-workers. The justices turned down arguments by the casino company that the suit should be thrown out because federal law doesn't protect against job discrimination based on sexual orientation. Medina Rene worked as a butler in the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas from 1993 until 1996, when he was fired.
NEWS
February 28, 2011 | By Michael A. Memoli, Washington Bureau
President Obama endorsed a significant change to his health reform law Monday, signing on to bipartisan legislation that would allow states to opt out of federal requirements -- including the individual mandate -- three years earlier than scheduled. The announcement came during a meeting with the nation's governors at the White House, in which Obama said he was responding to state leaders' requests for greater flexibility in meeting the requirements of the landmark 2010 legislation.
OPINION
March 27, 2013 | By Erwin Chemerinsky and Allen Hopper
It may be surprising, but no state is required to have a law making possession of marijuana, or any drug, a crime. Therefore, any state can legalize some or all marijuana possession if it chooses. The federal government, if it chooses, can enforce the federal law against its possession and use, but it is up to each state to decide what to criminally prohibit, based on the 10th Amendment. This basic insight has been lost in the public discussion about whether the initiatives legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana passed by Colorado and Washington voters in November are preempted by federal law. The two states will soon finalize regulations to implement those initiatives, including how to tax and regulate marijuana.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 27, 2013 | By Maura Dolan
Some members of the U.S. Supreme Court appeared concerned Wednesday that a  federal law barring recognition of same-sex marriages interfered with state rights, a law professor said. Loyola law professor Dougles NeJaime, after reading a transcript of Wednesday's hearing on the Defense of Marriage Act, said it suggested the court might rule in favor of gay rights but on the grounds the federal law improperly exerted control over the states. NeJaime said Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose vote is considered pivotal in gay rights cases, clearly seemed skeptical of the law. The section being challenged denies federal benefits to spouses of same-sex couples.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 4, 2013 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Supreme Court appeared inclined Wednesday to bar immigrants without green cards from obtaining law licenses. During a hearing, the state high court indicated it was bound by federal law to deny undocumented immigrants the right to practice law. Not one justice suggested the law favored Sergio C. Garcia, 36, a Mexican immigrant who graduated from a California law school and passed the bar exam but has been waiting...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 27, 2013 | By Maura Dolan
The U.S. Supreme Court appears likely to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages, a gay rights lawyer said Wednesday. Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said after attending the court's hearing that she believed there were five justices willing to rule on the constitutionality of the federal law. “By June, DOMA will be history,” Kendell said. FULL COVERAGE: Same-sex marriage ban She said the justices appeared more relaxed during the hearing on the federal law than they had been Tuesday in the arguments over Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage.
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