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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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NEWS
April 18, 2014 | By Michael McGough
What does the federal Violence Against Women Act have to do with outlawing discrimination against gays and lesbians? A good deal, it turns out. The latest version of the law, which among other things provides grants to agencies that deal with victims of sexual assaults, has a nondiscrimination provision. It says that recipients may not discriminate in their hiring on the basis of “actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.” The Justice Department recently released a briefing paper on implementation of the law. There is a limited exception for necessary “sex-specific programming.” Also, religious agencies, consistent with the Religion Freedom Restoration Act, may prefer members of their own faith in hiring.
OPINION
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.
NATIONAL
April 15, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court next week will consider for the first time whether states may enforce laws that make it a crime to knowingly publish false statements about political candidates. The justices will hear an antiabortion group's free-speech challenge to an Ohio law that was invoked in 2010 by then-Rep. Steve Driehaus, a Democrat. He had voted for President Obama's healthcare law and was facing a tough race for reelection. The antiabortion group Susan B. Anthony List launched a campaign to unseat Driehaus, preparing to run billboard ads saying, "Shame on Steve Driehaus!
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
Ken Dobson, a retired police officer, said he received quite a welcome when he landed his single-engine Cessna in Detroit two days after leaving his home in Palm Desert. Five sheriff's cars surrounded the plane and deputies got out with guns drawn. Then a helicopter arrived with four federal agents and a drug-sniffing dog. They demanded to see Dobson's pilot's license, asked about the flight and mentioned that his long trip from Southern California was suspicious. Fearing he would lose his flight credentials if he didn't cooperate, Dobson consented to a search of his plane.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 13, 2014 | Catherine Saillant, Abby Sewell
Bobby Shriver, the first Los Angeles County supervisorial contender in 18 years to opt out of voluntary campaign spending limits, is calling for a major overhaul of county election laws, including lifting fundraising restrictions on candidates who use personal wealth to help pay for their campaigns. Last month, the Santa Monica lawyer and nonprofit director contributed $300,000 of his own money to his effort to succeed longtime west county Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. Shriver, a member of the Kennedy political family, criticized a $1.4-million voluntary spending limit in the June 3 primary as inadequate to get his message out to 2 million constituents.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 12, 2014 | Steve Lopez
Marsha Temple will soon fly to Philadelphia, trying to crack a case she's been working on for decades. She'd like to know who her biological father was. Temple has a pretty good hunch he may have been a child evangelist in Philadelphia nearly a century ago, so she plans to dig through files there with the help of her husband, KCRW radio host Warren Olney, who serves as Watson to his wife's Sherlock. The two have traveled great distances in the U.S. and to Poland and Ukraine, pursuing an obsession that for Temple, 68, began many years ago in the San Fernando Valley.
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.
NEWS
April 11, 2014 | By Christi Parsons and Michael A. Memoli, This post has been corrected. See note below.
WASHINGTON - President Obama named White House budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell to take over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act on Friday, saying there was "no manager as experienced and competent" to run the next phase of his signature domestic program. "Sylvia was a rock, a steady hand on the wheel" as the administration dealt with the government shutdown last year, Obama told a crowd gathered in the White House Rose Garden for the announcement. "Once the government was allowed to reopen, Sylvia was vital to winning the two-year budget agreement that put an end to these manufactured crises that we had seen here in Washington so that we could keep our full focus on growing the economy and creating new jobs and expanding opportunity for everybody who's seeking opportunity.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2014 | Steve Lopez
In Los Angeles, patrol officers are caught disabling recording equipment that was in place to keep them honest. In Santa Monica, a high school student demonstrates why the wrestling coach is the last faculty member to mess with. And in Glendale, a young woman challenges the definition of "hands-free" driving after getting a ticket for talking on a phone tucked into her head scarf. These three police blotter tales have little in common, except that I've assembled them in a nice spring bouquet, along with a prickly observation or two. First the LAPD.
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