October 10, 2012
If reducing sex trafficking and forced labor were as simple as adopting a ballot measure that promised to deal with those predatory practices, there would be every reason to vote for the popular Proposition 35. But the initiative system doesn't work that way. Voters must ask more than whether they would like to see those cruelties come to an end. They must be satisfied that the particular, far-reaching and inflexible penalties and procedures that would...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 12, 2013 |
OAKLAND - The nation's largest medical marijuana dispensary won a round in federal court this week, with a judge rejecting efforts by Harborside Health Center's landlords in Oakland and San Jose to immediately shut down operations. The property owners have been under pressure since federal prosecutors last summer threatened to seize the buildings, arguing that pot sales were in violation of federal law. But in her ruling, Chief Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James said that "any argument about the urgency of stopping Harborside's activity rings hollow" - since the landlords had known for years that it was a medical cannabis dispensary.
July 5, 2013 |
What is it about guns, healthcare and marijuana that bring out the antebellum nuttiness in state lawmakers? Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed a bill Friday that would have declared virtually every federal gun law invalid and subjected federal agents to state charges for enforcing them. Among other things, the measure would have invalidated federal rules banning the possession of machine guns and silencers, requiring gun dealers to be licensed and mandating a waiting period on gun sales.
April 24, 2009 |
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 19, 2008 |
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.
March 25, 2003 |
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.
February 28, 2011 |
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.
March 27, 2013 |
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.
February 1, 2008 |
Gun-control advocates have been largely stymied in their efforts to get significant new firearms restrictions, but they still believe they can achieve one goal: closing a loophole that allows sales at gun shows without background checks on purchasers. This week, two Senate Democrats introduced legislation to close that loophole in federal law, despite a recent failure in Virginia -- where a gunman killed 32 students and teachers at Virginia Tech in April -- to change a similar state law. Accompanied by family members of some of the Virginia Tech victims, along with gun-control advocate Paul Helmke of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Democratic Sens.