CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 19, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown indicated that he would support protecting public access to government records in a constitutional amendment to be voted on next fall, but still supports temporarily weakening the law that ensures public access to official documents. Brown's comments, which came in a statement released Wednesday evening, capped a wild day at the state Capitol, which had lawmakers scrambling to cope with the fallout of last week's vote to water down the law. At Brown's urging, both houses approved a measure making local compliance with part of the state's public records laws optional.
June 12, 2012 |
Trayvon Martin's parents appeared before a task force in Florida on Tuesday to denounce the way the state's controversial "stand your ground" law can be used to protect aggressors. Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton believe that's what happened in the case of their son, who was unarmed when he was shot and killed in February by a neighborhood watch volunteer. "They need to amend these laws," Fulton said, according to the Orlando Sentinel, which was covering the task force hearing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 4, 2011 |
Reporting from Sacramento -- The display of graphic photos of aborted fetuses outside a Rancho Palos Verdes middle school in 2003 resulted in outrage, a years-long court battle and now a new state law. Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed the legislation that makes it a misdemeanor to create a disturbance on or next to an elementary or middle school campus where the action threatens the physical safety of students. Violators of the law, which takes effect Jan. 1, face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500.
May 8, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - Responding to complaints from businesses, Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing an overhaul of California's 26-year-old landmark clean water and anti-toxins law that he said is being misused by "unscrupulous lawyers" filing lawsuits. At issue is the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, or Proposition 65, approved by voters in 1986. It requires product manufacturers, retailers and property owners to post signs warning the public if goods or premises contain chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer or birth defects.
March 4, 2010
In three cases argued this year, members of the Supreme Court have expressed qualms about a law used to convict politicians and corporate executives of fraud. The law, which makes it a crime to "deprive another of the intangible right of honest services," is so vague and open-ended that the court should strike it down. As is often the case with challenges to over-broad statutes, the attacks on the "honest services fraud" law come from unsympathetic defendants. This week, the law was challenged by Jeffrey K. Skilling, the former Enron chief executive who was convicted not just of insider trading and securities fraud but of a conspiracy count that included honest services fraud.
March 19, 2012 |
A century-old law allowing up to 15-year prison sentences for those offending Thailand'sKing Bhumibol Adulyadej has sparked controversy and calls for change as its use has increased. Many who support the lese-majeste statute say it is necessary to uphold the dignity of a king they portray as enlightened and selfless, transcending raucous, corruption-prone Thai politics. Others say the 1908 law meaning "injured majesty," with ancient roots that made it a crime to offend a reigning monarch, undercuts free expression and has no place in modern times.
November 3, 2010 |
The Supreme Court debated sex, violence and free speech Tuesday, as several justices strongly argued for breaking new ground and upholding a California law that would forbid the sale of violent video games to those under age 18. "Why isn't it common sense," said Justice Stephen G. Breyer, that if the law can forbid selling pictures of a "naked woman" to a young teen, it can also forbid the sale of scenes "of gratuitous torture of children" in...
July 6, 2013 |
Our family exists at the crossroads of two of the most controversial aspects of American society - sexuality and race. We're two gay white men raising two black children - a girl, 13, and a boy, 10. Both children were adopted out of the foster care system as toddlers, and they both landed in that system because their birth mothers could not care for them. Each day we struggle with the legacies of their troubled beginnings, which gives us all the more joy as we see them thrive. Dan and I are a long-lived couple.
December 14, 2012 |
"The Law in These Parts" sounds like the title of a routine western, maybe something starring Tom Mix or Johnny Mack Brown, but it turns out to be considerably more compelling and provocative. Directed by Ra'anan Alexandrowicz and winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, this is the second superb Israeli documentary (after "The Gatekeepers") to come to town in less than a month and deal fearlessly with an aspect of that country's legal and political system. While "The Gatekeepers" centered on the activities of Shin Bet, Israel's FBI, "Law" has a narrower but equally potent focus: how the legal system Israel uses to rule the occupied Palestinian territories was put into place and how it has functioned over the 40-plus years of its existence.
May 3, 2010 |
There are some left-wing ideologues on law faculties, but UC Berkeley's Goodwin Liu is not one of them. He is a fine choice for the federal bench. A noisy argument has persisted for weeks in the Senate, on blog sites and in newspaper columns over President Obama's nomination of Liu to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. This political spat over a single appellate judge makes no sense if one looks at Liu's academic writings and speeches, which reflect a moderate outlook. Indeed, much of this may have nothing to do with Liu but rather with politicians and interest groups jostling for position in the impending battle over the president's next nominee to the Supreme Court.