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.
June 26, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court took a major step toward legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide Wednesday as it struck down a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and cleared the way for same-sex marriages in California. In this country, there is an "evolving understanding of the meaning of equality," said Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, a growing recognition that the public now believes it is unjust to deny equal rights to "same-sex couples who wished to be married. " Kennedy's ruling struck down, by a 5-to-4 vote, the federal marriage law, which had denied legal recognition of same-sex marriages, even in states where such marriages are legal.
April 12, 2001 |
More than 200 federal law enforcement officers will help local police patrol the streets of the nation's capital, and when necessary, arrest those who break local laws. The FBI, National Zoological Park Police and U.S. Defense Protective Service have signed agreements with the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department giving federal officers the authority to patrol areas surrounding their jurisdictions.
October 15, 2009 |
Gunmen attacked a federal law enforcement building in Lahore and a police academy on the outskirts of the city. Two people were killed at the Federal Investigation Agency, which deals with matters such as immigration and terrorism. Police said one wore a jacket laden with explosives. On the city outskirts, the Manawan Police Academy was attacked for the second time this year.
March 25, 2013 |
SEATTLE - A court in Washington, D.C., has rejected the last legal challenge to prohibitions on logging and road building in backcountry roadless areas, ending more than 12 years of fighting over one of the nation's signature wilderness protection policies. The state of Alaska had challenged the rule adopted in 2001 by President Clinton to preserve the last large tracts of untouched forest in states including Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and Alaska - along with about 1.7 million acres in California - that still have not been opened to logging and other development.
January 22, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Marijuana will continue to be considered a highly dangerous drug under federal law with no accepted medical uses, after a U.S. appeals court Tuesday refused to order a change in the government's 40-year-old drug classification schedule. The decision keeps in place an odd legal split over marijuana, a drug deemed to be as dangerous as heroin and worse than methamphetamine by federal authorities, but one that has been legalized for medical use by voters or legislators in 20 states and the District of Columbia.
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.