Friday, February 28, 2014

Legal links of interest for the week ending February 28, 2014

Attorney Steven Getman reports on some of the stories about lawyers and the law for the last week of February:
Arizona Religious Bill That Angered Gays Vetoed: The Republican governor said she gave the legislation careful deliberation in talking to her lawyers, citizens, businesses and lawmakers on both sides of the debate.

Calif. student wins $50G in Constitution lawsuit: A California college student who was blocked last year from handing out copies of the Constitution gave his school a lesson in civics and the law, winning a $50,000 settlement and an agreement to revise its speech codes.

Homeland Security wants national database using license-plate scanners: The Department of Homeland Security wants a nationwide database with information from license-plate readers that scan every vehicle crossing their paths, according to a solicitation last week from the agency.

In New Orleans courts, the legal gusher BP cannot contain: the source of much of BP’s ire lies with a legal donnybrook over a settlement designed to compensate individuals and businesses for economic harm caused by the spill. BP alleges that many of the 256,478 claims filed — by a parade of fishermen, hotels, surf shops, law firms, nursing homes, strip clubs and others — are unjustified or even fraudulent.

Justices appear divided over greenhouse gas regulation: this issue could be major test of executive authority, with some groups painting President Obama as misusing his power and ignoring the will of the legislature.

Law professor says US is at “constitutional tipping point”: Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, testified before the House Judiciary Committee that the presidential use of executive orders threatens has created “a massive gravitational shift of authority to the Executive Branch that threatens the stability and functionality of our tripartite system.”

Man Framed by Detective Will Get $6.4 Million From New York City After Serving 23 Years for Murder: The comptroller’s quick acceptance of liability in the high-profile conviction is also significant because the case is the first of what is expected to be a series of wrongful conviction claims by men who were sent to prison based on the flawed investigative work of the detective, Louis Scarcella.

For more on each of these stories, click the links above.