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July 6, 2010 | By David G. Savage, Tribune Washington Bureau
The Supreme Court wrapped up its term last week after landmark decisions protecting the right to have a gun and the right of corporations to spend freely on elections. But the year's most important moment may have come on the January evening when the justices gathered at the Capitol for President Obama's State of the Union address. They had no warning about what was coming. Obama and his advisors had weighed how to respond to the court's ruling the week before, which gave corporations the same free-spending rights as ordinary Americans.
April 24, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday appointed as head of California's political ethics agency a judge who has overseen the discipline of attorneys. Jodi Remke, presiding judge of the State Bar Court of California, is Brown's choice for chairwoman of the state Fair Political Practices Commission. Her appointment fills a void created six months ago when Chairwoman Ann Ravel moved to the Federal Elections Commission. Good-government activists including Robert Stern, a former general counsel for the California agency and a coauthor of the state Political Reform Act, said they knew nothing about Remke.
December 16, 2012
Re "O.C. judge admonished for rape case comments," Dec. 14 Orange County Superior Court Judge Derek G. Johnson received a public admonishment Thursday for saying in a rape case that "if someone doesn't want to have sexual intercourse, the body shuts down. " Although his comments are likely to diminish respect for the judiciary, the real damage to that respect is to continue to allow anyone holding such beliefs to sit as a judge. If Johnson is ever again allowed to preside over any case involving sexual violence, it will be a travesty of justice in its own right.
April 24, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
In the ongoing battle over offshore drilling, a federal judge in Alaska told regulators Thursday to redo an environmental impact study that underestimated the amount of recoverable oil and, potentially, the risks to delicate Arctic habitat. The decision by U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline stopped short of scrapping the $2.6 billion in leases, however. His ruling followed an appeals court decision in January that federal officials had arbitrarily decided drilling companies could extract 1 billion barrels of oil from the shallow waters off the northwest coast of Alaska.
July 16, 2012 | By Paul Whitefield
Remember the movie "Desperately Seeking Susan," in which a young woman (played by Madonna, in what some thought wasn't much of a stretch) wreaks havoc on the lives of most of the folks she comes in contact with? I always thought Susan was fictional. But it turns out she has a real-life counterpart: Lindsay Lohan. Lohan's troubles have been well documented. What's new is the collateral damage on the legal system. Two judges have been disciplined by California's Commission on Judicial Performance for their handling of Lohan's DUI case.
March 27, 2014 | By Michael McGough
When a federal district judge in Michigan ruled recently that the state's ban on same-sex marriage violated the Constitution, the New York Times noted that the judge, Bernard A. Friedman, had been appointed by President Reagan. That detail wasn't included in the L.A. Times story. Was that an oversight? I don't think so. If a reporter were writing a profile of Friedman, it would make sense to note that fact, along with other background information such as when the judge was born and where he attended law school.
November 4, 2009 | Sebastian Rotella
The Pakistani government has lost control of rogue military and intelligence officers who aid Al Qaeda and its allies and play a double game with the West, a renowned French judge asserts in an upcoming book. For three decades, Jean-Louis Bruguiere was an investigative magistrate, a powerful role that combines the duties of prosecutor and judge and allowed him to cultivate high-level contacts from Algiers to Moscow. He stepped down from that post in 2007, and now serves as the European Union's envoy to Washington on issues related to the financing of terrorism.
May 10, 2010
In choosing Solicitor General Elena Kagan as his second Supreme Court nominee, President Obama — barely — has obliged supporters who wanted him to look outside one of several boxes in which recent appointments to the court have been made. Unlike all of her prospective colleagues at the time of their appointment, Kagan has never served as a judge. But the selection of a solicitor general — often referred to as "the 10th justice" because of the office's intimate relationship with the court — is a much less dramatic departure than the appointment of a politician in the mold of Chief Justice Earl Warren or an experienced private practitioner such as Justice Lewis Powell would have been.
November 14, 2012
The battle between environmentalists and the developers of the sprawling Newhall Ranch property in Santa Clarita has been long and contentious, and it shows signs of only getting more so. The stakes are high for all - the developers of one of the largest residential and commercial projects in the county, the environmentalists who have fought to preserve wild open space there, the endangered creatures and flora that flourish in that habitat....
July 25, 2012 | By Randy Lewis
Country singer and songwriter Brad Paisley is the latest name to bubble up in the endless speculation about who'll join the “American Idol” judging panel following the recent departures of Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler. There's a certain amount of sense to the suggestion of Paisley -- he'd make a viable counterpart to Blake Shelton on “The Voice,” and because many “Idol” contestants skew country, he'd represent a community that's a big part of the “Idol” audience.
April 24, 2014 | By Teresa Watanabe
The Los Angeles Unified School District does not need to release the names of teachers in connection with their performance ratings, according to a tentative court ruling issued Thursday. A three-judge state appellate court panel tentatively found a stronger public interest in keeping the names confidential than publicly releasing them. Disclosure would not serve the public interest in monitoring the district's performance as much as it would affect the recruitment and retention of good instructors and other issues, the ruling said.
April 23, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- With ethics scandals rocking the Capitol, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday appointed as the new head of California's ethics watchdog agency a judge who has overseen the discipline of attorneys. Joann M. “Jodi” Remke, who is presiding judge of the State Bar Court, is Brown's choice to serve as chairwoman of the state Fair Political Practices Commission. The appointment fills a void created six months ago when Chairwoman Ann Ravel was appointed to the Federal Election Commission.
April 22, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Comprehensive immigration reform is probably dead for yet another year, the victim - once again - of a dysfunctional Congress that can't even reach agreement on the things it agrees on. There is nothing President Obama can do about that, although if therapy were available for political relationships, there'd be a referral waiting to be made. In the meantime, the president still has to administer immigration laws as they exist, and he reportedly is considering dropping his opposition to bond hearings for detained undocumented immigrants.
April 22, 2014 | By Catherine Saillant
A lawsuit alleging that a former employee in L.A. City Councilman Mitchell Englander's office was sexually harassed by the lawmaker's top deputy can move forward, although the plaintiff may be required to identify herself, a Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday. During a hearing, city attorneys asked Superior Court Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis to dismiss the lawsuit filed last fall, arguing that the allegations did not qualify as harassment under the state's fair employment laws.
April 16, 2014 | By Brian Bennett and Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - Obama administration officials are considering allowing bond hearings for immigrants in prolonged detention, officials said, a shift that could slow the pace of deportations because immigration courts expedite cases of incarcerated immigrants. Several thousand immigrants could be released from jails across the country if judges are allowed to hear their cases and grant bond, advocates say. The proposal is one of several being floated as the White House scrambles to ease the concerns of Latino groups and other traditional allies that have turned on President Obama in recent weeks.
April 16, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The first open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act ended this week with roughly 7.5 million people obtaining policies through the new state insurance exchanges, including more than 1.3 million at Covered California. That's an amazing and welcome result, considering how badly many of the exchanges stumbled when sign-ups began in October. Nevertheless, it's far too early to judge the success or failure of the healthcare law, given that key tests of the program's sustainability have yet to be passed.
November 2, 2012 | By Kim Murphy
Honolulu's $5.2-billion rail project, which already launched construction earlier this year, has been dealt another setback with a court order requiring substantial new studies - including the possibility of a tunnel underneath parts of downtown to avoid the disruptions of a highly visible elevated guideway. U.S. Circuit Judge A. Wallace Tashima also said the city would have to reexamine the "quite serious" impacts the rail project might have on historic Mother Waldron Park, and also try harder to identify traditional cultural sites that might be affected along the rail route.
July 15, 2013 | By Richard Winton
Singer Chris Brown expressed outrage Monday as a judge revoked his probation in his 2009 conviction for beating then-girlfriend Rihanna after prosecutors said he violated the terms by committing an alleged hit-and-run while driving without a valid license. Brown wrote on Twitter that he's done nothing wrong and that it was wrong to punish him. “I did everything I was suppose to do during the so called hit n run,” Brown wrote on Twitter Monday morning. “I provided the correct info.
April 16, 2014 | By Sam Farmer, This post has been updated. See the note below for details
A federal judge in Philadelphia declined Wednesday to approve a proposed $765-million concussion settlement between the NFL and a group of retired players. [UPDATED, 4:30 p.m. PDT, April 16:  Although this was originally characterized as a setback for those pushing for a concussion settlement, attorneys for the plaintiffs clarified Wednesday afternoon that U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody's ruling was more of a procedural housekeeping item. The ruling was submitted electronically late Tuesday and was announced Wednesday.
April 16, 2014 | By Paresh Dave
North Dakota's law banning abortions after 6 weeks of pregnancy is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, striking down what critics had called the nation's most extreme limit on the procedure. The law, which was approved last year but never took effect, made it a crime for a woman to abort a fetus with a detectable heartbeat. Offending doctors faced up to five years in prison. An exception was allowed for medical emergencies. U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland said the law was “in direct contradiction” of the Supreme Court's 40-year-old decision in Roe vs. Wade, which established “viability” as the critical point at which states could begin restricting abortions.
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