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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.
BUSINESS
September 27, 2013 | By David Lazarus
It seemed like a serious phone call. Coco said her husband was informed that he owed the state more than $800 and that he risked time in jail if he didn't pony up some cash. Finally giving in to the hard sell, Coco's husband agreed to pay $300 to buy himself some breathing room. It wasn't until after he hung up that he and his wife wondered, "Was that a legitimate call?" It's a common scam: A caller who sounds official makes a strong case for money being owed and severe consequences if you don't offer at least a little something.
NATIONAL
February 1, 2008 | By Ben DuBose, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
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.
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.
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