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July 22, 1990 | JOHN JOHNSON and RONALD L. SOBLE, John Johnson and Ronald L. Soble, Times staff writers, are working on a book about the Menendez case for New American Library.
ON A MILD SUNDAY last summer, a string of "popping sounds" drifted through the lazy night air of Beverly Hills around 10 o'clock. "I didn't think anything of it," said Tom Zlotow, a neighbor who soon learned that the noises he'd heard from the house right behind his were echoes of the most sensational crime in the history of Beverly Hills. "I didn't even think it could be gunfire, especially around here."
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OPINION
April 27, 2014 | By Laura W. Brill
Last year's Proposition 8 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court changed the lives of many same-sex couples and their families in California for the better. But the political fallout from that decision is also having a profound and worrisome effect on the state's initiative process. The reason has to do with the nature of the court's action. The Supreme Court did not rule on the constitutionality of Proposition 8 itself. Rather, it decided an issue of standing, concluding that the initiative's backers had not been directly harmed by a lower-court ruling that the law was unconstitutional and that they therefore lacked standing to appeal that ruling.
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AUTOS
July 12, 2006 | Jeanne Wright, Special to The Times
A new bill of rights for California car buyers provides grace periods for used-car purchases, caps dealer compensation on loans and features other provisions that are some of the strongest consumer protections in the country, according to state legislators and consumer advocates. The law, which went into effect July 1, applies to motor vehicles bought in California from a dealer for personal, family or household use.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 25, 2014 | By Sandy Banks
My column Tuesday on the courtroom tears of a gang member sentenced to 40 years in prison for a campus shooting resonated with readers - but not in the way I imagined it would. I considered the courtroom scene a cautionary message to other young men who glorify gangs and are enamored of guns: You could spend the rest of your life in prison over a stupid vendetta and a single violent act. But readers focused not just on the threat posed by hotheads with guns, but on the perceived injustice of such a long sentence for a young man who didn't kill anyone.
OPINION
April 12, 2014
Re "More laws, less treasure," Opinion, April 7 As an archaeologist with more than 30 years' experience, I can say that Adam Wallwork's analysis of laws protecting cultural heritage is misguided. Archaeologists don't seek "treasure. " We seek information about how people lived in the past to help us better understand our own existence. Patrimony laws are largely aimed at protecting archaeological sites from destruction by looters. Most sites don't have the "wow" factor needed to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but they can provide invaluable information about ancient ways of life.
NATIONAL
March 6, 2011
Utah is the only state that requires public universities to allow holders of concealed weapons licenses to carry guns on campus, although some private campuses elsewhere also allow concealed weapons. Laws to allow concealed weapons on college campuses are being considered in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. Advocates say such laws would let students, faculty and staff protect themselves in dire situations.
OPINION
June 13, 2013
Re "Those outdated HIV laws," Editorial, June 6 I agree that it is time to repeal outdated laws that make it a crime for a person infected with HIV to spit at, bite or throw his or her blood on others. However, your editorial wrongly excuses those who enacted those laws. You reported that such laws "might have seemed reasonable at the height of the AIDS panic. " They did not. They contributed to that panic. I should know, for I was already enforcing Los Angeles' landmark AIDS anti-discrimination law, which combated such fear and misinformation.
OPINION
January 3, 2013
Re "Lifeline for worried parents," Column, Dec. 30 The cause of the recent mass shootings perpetrated by mentally ill gunmen is not the guns themselves but our government, which has antiquated laws that make it extremely difficult for family members who try to help their loved ones with serious mental illness to get well. Fifty percent of those with serious mental illness have no reasoning ability, nor are they in touch with reality. The National Institute on Mental Health says this is the reason people are not capable of seeking or staying in treatment.
SPORTS
September 26, 2013 | By David Wharton
The International Olympic Committee now says it is "fully satisfied" Russia's new anti-gay legislation does not violate the Olympic Charter's anti-discrimination clause. The laws threaten prosecution of anyone who promotes gay rights around minors or in public displays such as parades. Russian officials have given mixed messages as to whether they will be enforced on visiting athletes. IOC official Jean-Claude Killy told the Associated Press his organization has carefully considered the matter.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 11, 2013 | By Los Angeles Times Staff
When soldiers are dishonorably discharged, the law prevents them from owning firearms. The same standard, however, doesn't apply to fired police officers. In Monday's column, George Skelton wonders if that would have prevented ex-Los Angeles cop Christopher Dorner from getting the weapons he allegedly used in last week's shooting rampage.  "Maybe, at least, Dorner should have been required to undergo psychological testing upon being sacked to determine whether he was mentally fit to own weapons," he writes.  Either way, Skelton says, it's too easy to get a gun in America.
NATIONAL
April 24, 2014 | By David Horsey
The right-wing insurrection at the Bundy ranch in Bunkerville, Nev., has taken another weird turn with new revelations about the family history of Cliven Bundy. Bundy justifies his two-decade-long refusal to pay the Bureau of Land Management for grazing rights on the public land where he runs his cattle by claiming his ancestors gained livestock water rights in the 1870s, long before the federal government horned in on the deal. Now, it turns out, that is not exactly true.  KLAS, the CBS affiliate in Las Vegas, checked out the Bundy family's history with the land and found Bundy's grandmother was born in 1901 to parents who had moved a few years earlier from Utah and farmed, not in Bunkerville, but in neighboring Mesquite County.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - State authorities Thursday imposed $40,000 in fines against Sen. Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto) and two GOP committees after finding that the lawmaker laundered that amount of political money into his brother's 2008 Assembly campaign. The state Fair Political Practices Commission voted unanimously to uphold an administrative law judge's ruling that Berryhill committed a "serious and deliberate" violation of California's campaign finance laws. The commissioners decided in a 20-minute closed session to include in the fines the Stanislaus County and San Joaquin County Republican central committees for their role as conduits in passing $40,000 from Berryhill to his brother's successful campaign.
OPINION
April 23, 2014 | Times Editorial Board
Even as the United States continues its historic move toward fairness and equity for gay people, antiquated anti-sodomy laws remain on the books in a dozen states. Theoretically, these laws were rendered unenforceable by the Supreme Court's 2003 ruling in Lawrence vs. Texas, but apparently not everyone has received that message. In the Lawrence case, the court declared that state laws banning consensual same-sex relations were unconstitutional. Yet somehow, between 2011 and 2014, 12 men were arrested in East Baton Rouge Parish in Louisiana under the state's remaining anti-sodomy laws.
NATIONAL
April 23, 2014 | By Richard Simon
In Georgia, it will soon be legal to carry a gun in more places -- including bars, churches and government buildings -- following Gov. Nathan Deal's signing Wednesday of a bill celebrated by supporters as a victory for the 2nd Amendment but decried by critics as the "guns-everywhere bill. "  "We Georgians believe in the right of people to defend themselves, and we believe in the 2nd Amendment," Deal said. The measure drew national attention because of its sweep and its passage after a number of high-profile shootings around the country.
BUSINESS
April 21, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
With open enrollment for Obamacare wrapped up, insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross stayed ahead of the pack in California sign-ups and widened its lead over rival Blue Shield of California. Anthem signed up 425,058 people through April 15, or 30.5% of Covered California's exchange market under the Affordable Care Act, new data show. Anthem is a unit of Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc., the nation's second-largest health insurer. San Francisco insurer Blue Shield of California trails Anthem with a 27.3% share, or 381,457 enrollees.
BUSINESS
April 21, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - In a case that could strengthen truth-in-labeling laws, Supreme Court justices on Monday voiced deep skepticism about Coca-Cola's Pomegranate Blueberry juice that is 99.4% apple and grape juice, saying the name would probably fool most consumers, including themselves. The high court is hearing an appeal from Stewart and Lynda Resnick of Los Angeles, makers of a rival pomegranate juice called Pom Wonderful, who complained that the name of the Coca-Cola product, sold under the Minute Maid brand, is false and misleading.
BUSINESS
February 6, 2013 | Michael Hiltzik
As martyrs go, Aaron Swartz was an extraordinary example of the breed. A computer programming genius, he had helped develop the social networking site Reddit and became known as a leading advocate for easy and free information sharing on the Web. When Swartz committed suicide in January, while awaiting trial on federal computer hacking charges that could have landed him in prison for 35 years and cost him fines of $1 million, his death was seen...
OPINION
April 23, 2014 | Times Editorial Board
Even as the United States continues its historic move toward fairness and equity for gay people, antiquated anti-sodomy laws remain on the books in a dozen states. Theoretically, these laws were rendered unenforceable by the Supreme Court's 2003 ruling in Lawrence vs. Texas, but apparently not everyone has received that message. In the Lawrence case, the court declared that state laws banning consensual same-sex relations were unconstitutional. Yet somehow, between 2011 and 2014, 12 men were arrested in East Baton Rouge Parish in Louisiana under the state's remaining anti-sodomy laws.
OPINION
April 20, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Does the 1st Amendment allow states to make it a criminal offense to disseminate false statements about a political candidate? Should citizens who fear that their free speech will be chilled by such a law be permitted to challenge it even if they aren't in danger of imminent prosecution? Only the second question will be argued before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, but it is inextricably linked to the first one. If the court rules that the Susan B. Anthony List, an antiabortion group, may not challenge Ohio's criminalization of false political speech, that law and similar ones in other states will remain on the books.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 19, 2014 | By Teresa Watanabe
A California congresswoman has announced plans to introduce federal legislation to toughen laws against what she called an epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses. In an appearance at UC Berkeley last week, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough) said she would press for more aggressive action against sexual assault with increased funding for federal investigators, annual campus surveys and more comprehensive data on the outcomes of cases. She also said she would seek to require universities to interview students who file complaints of sexual misconduct, addressing widespread concerns about inadequate investigations.
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