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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 19, 2013 | By Anthony York
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.
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NATIONAL
June 12, 2012 | By Rene Lynch
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.
NATIONAL
November 4, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
HOUSTON -- Planned Parenthood and others opponents of new Texas abortion restrictions have appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate an injunction blocking portions of the law concerning doctors' admitting privileges. The appeal was filed with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who gave state officials until next Tuesday to file a response before he rules. Scalia could rule on the injunction himself or refer the issue to the full court. Opponents said Monday that because of the new restrictions, a third of the state's licensed health centers have had to stop providing abortion services, including at least 14 providers, which will restrict abortion access to about 20,000 women annually.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 14, 2012 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
"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.
NATIONAL
April 30, 2010 | By Nicholas Riccardi, Los Angeles Times
Attorneys on Thursday filed the first lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of a new Arizona law that makes it a state crime to lack proper immigration papers and requires local police to determine whether people are in the country legally. The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders sued in U.S. District Court, arguing that the law is an unconstitutional intrusion into the federal government's ability to regulate immigration and that it would lead to racial profiling.
OPINION
July 6, 2013 | By Rick Settersten
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 4, 2011 | By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
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.
BUSINESS
May 8, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
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.
OPINION
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.
WORLD
March 19, 2012 | By Simon Roughneen and Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times
  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.
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