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NATIONAL
January 15, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - In a case pitting free speech against abortion rights, Supreme Court justices signaled Wednesday they were inclined to strike down a Massachusetts law that sets a 35-foot buffer zone to prevent protesters from approaching clinics that offer the procedure. Opponents called the law a violation of free speech and complained it prohibits "peaceful conversation on a public sidewalk," said Mark Rienzi, the attorney representing antiabortion activist Eleanor McCullen, 77, from Boston.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 14, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy and Maura Dolan
SACRAMENTO - California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, flanked by legislative leaders and judges, warned Tuesday that Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget for the coming fiscal year would probably trigger more courthouse closures and layoffs in the state's beleaguered judicial branch. "We are rationing justice, and it has become more than a fiscal problem," Cantil-Sakauye said, standing in front of more than 30 judges, court administrators, union officials, business representatives and key state lawmakers at a news conference in Sacramento.
NATIONAL
January 13, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court hinted Monday it may move to limit a presidential power used since the days of George Washington to fill high-level vacancies during Senate recesses. A top Obama administration attorney ran into sharp skepticism from justices while defending the presidential power, granted in the Constitution, to bypass the Senate and make recess appointments when lawmakers are not in session. Use of this power has grown more controversial in recent decades as both Republican and Democratic presidents have clashed with Senates controlled by the opposing party.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 13, 2014 | By Randall Roberts
Twelve songs recorded straight to two-track, the adrenalized country music on "This Is Lone Justice: The Vaught Tapes, 1983" captures a fiery band at the beginning of its impressive run. The L.A. country rock band, birthed by vocalist Maria McKee and guitarist Ryan Hedgecock, is best known for its run of near-misses (despite being managed by a young Jimmy Iovine) in the mid-'80s, but before signing with Geffen Records it buzzed through town on the wings of McKee's soprano. Recorded in the San Fernando Valley, "This Is Lone Justice" introduces McKee & Co. with a combination of covers and originals.
NATIONAL
January 13, 2014 | By David G. Savage and Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court's refusal Monday to revive an Arizona law that largely banned abortions after 20 weeks put off for at least another year a clear constitutional ruling on whether conservative states may adopt new restrictions on women seeking to end their pregnancies. The decision, marking the third time this term that justices have declined to take up an abortion case, suggested the closely split court is not anxious to jump into the divide between red states and blue states over abortion rights.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 2014 | By Paloma Esquivel and Adolfo Flores
As the not-guilty verdicts were read for two former Fullerton police officers, Kelly Thomas' father leaned back in his seat and shook his head. "I just don't get it," Ron Thomas said, moments after an Orange County jury acquitted former police officers Manual Ramos and Jay Cicinelli in the beating of his son, who died five days later. "I've never seen such a miscarriage of justice. " "They got away with murdering my son," Cathy Thomas said. Ramos had been facing second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter charges, and Cicinelli was charged with involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force under the color of authority.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 12, 2014 | By Teresa Watanabe
Federal officials kicked up their campaign against discriminatory school discipline policies last week, issuing first-ever guidelines for school districts on how to avoid racial disparities in student punishment. In a 23-page letter, officials with the U.S. departments of justice and education said they recognized that schools must use discipline to promote a "safe and orderly" environment but that federal data and investigations showed that African Americans were punished more harshly and frequently than whites in similar situations.
BUSINESS
January 9, 2014 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON - The head of a criminal probe into allegations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups and tea party supporters personally donated a total of $6,750 to President Obama's election campaign and the Democratic National Committee, spurring Republicans to call for her removal. Republicans said Thursday that political contributions by Barbara Bosserman, a prosecutor in the Justice Department's civil rights division, raised questions about her objectivity and the integrity of the investigation into the IRS. "It is unbelievable that the department would choose such an individual to examine the federal government's systematic targeting and harassment of organizations opposed to the president's policies," Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista)
NATIONAL
January 9, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
Federal investigators have come down with a case of coulrophobia and now have to explain how the fear of clowns and their fans is not a violation of the U.S. Constitution: The Insane Clown Posse, a hip-hop rap duo, and their fans, known as Juggalos, are suing the U.S. Justice Department for including them in a 2011 FBI report “as a loosely organized hybrid gang.” The government argued that some Juggalos have been involved in assaults and a...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 2, 2014 | By Hannah Fry
Nearly two years after a jury found former Beverly Hills schools Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard guilty of misappropriating public funds, a state appellate court panel has reversed his two felony convictions. Hubbard was convicted in January 2012 of two counts of misappropriating public funds while acting as superintendent of the Beverly Hills Unified School District from July 2003 to June 2006. The charges stemmed from allegations that Hubbard paid Karen Christiansen, former district director of planning and facilities, an unauthorized bonus and increased car allowance, the Daily Pilot reported.
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