Recently in Cases to Watch Category

By BETSY WOODRUFF SWAN

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The Jan. 6 select panel has obtained the draft order... reported here in detail for the first time.

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The order empowers the defense secretary to "seize, collect, retain and analyze all machines, equipment, electronically stored information, and material records required for retention under" a U.S. law that relates to preservation of election records. It also cites a lawsuit filed in 2017 against Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. 

Additionally, the draft order would have given the defense secretary 60 days to write an assessment of the 2020 election. That suggests it could have been a gambit to keep Trump in power until at least mid-February of 2021.


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Jonah E. BromwichBen Protess and 

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The New York State attorney general, Letitia James, accused Donald J. Trump's family business late Tuesday of repeatedly misrepresenting the value of its assets to bolster its bottom line, saying in court papers that the company had engaged in "fraudulent or misleading" practices.

The filing came in response to Mr. Trump's recent effort to block Ms. James from questioning him and two of his adult childrenunder oath as part of a civil investigation of his business, the Trump Organization. Ms. James's inquiry into Mr. Trump and the company is ongoing, and it is unclear whether her lawyers will ultimately file a lawsuit against them.

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By ALM Staff

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Robins Kaplan and Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff filed a defamation lawsuit against My Pillow Inc. and its CEO Michael J. Lindell on Tuesday in Minnesota District Court on behalf of Smartmatic and its parent company SGO Corporation Limited. The suit accuses Lindell of spreading disinformation about the Smartmatic voting machines used in the 2020 presidential election. Counsel have not yet appeared for the defendants. The case is 0:22-cv-00098, Smartmatic USA Corp. et al v. Lindell et al.

This suit was surfaced by Law.com Radar, a source for high-speed legal news and litigation updates personalized to your practice. Law.com Radar publishes daily updates on just-filed federal cases like this one. Click here to get started and be first to know about new suits in your region, practice area or client sector.

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New York State's Eviction Moratorium Has Expired--BS&K

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By: Collin M. Carr

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New York State--the state with the highest share of renters in the United States--allowed its eviction moratorium to expire on January 15. State officials enacted the Tenant Safe Harbor Act (TSHA) at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and repeatedly extended it to the point where it became the second longest statewide moratorium in the nation. The National Equity Atlas estimates that approximately 591,000 households in New York State are behind on rent. Now that the moratorium has officially expired, many landlords who have been unable to evict holdover tenants or tenants for nonpayment of rent, and, as a result, have lost substantial amounts of rental income during the pandemic, are looking to once again exercise their rights that have been placed on hold for nearly two years.

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By Katelyn Polantz, Hannah Rabinowitz, Holmes Lybrand, and Tierney Sneed, CNN

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(CNN)The Justice Department has charged 11 defendants with seditious conspiracy related to the Capitol attack on January 6, 2021, including the leader of the Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes. 

The new indictment, handed down by a grand jury on Wednesday and made public Thursday, alleges that Rhodes and his co-conspirators engaged in a conspiracy to "oppose the lawful transfer of presidential power by force, by preventing, hindering, or delaying by force execution of laws governing the transfer of power."
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One of the most well-settled principles of US national security law is that courts give tremendous deference to the military's decisions regarding how to maintain discipline among its own personnel. "The essence of military service," the Court held in Goldman v. Weinberger(1986), "is the subordination of the desires and interests of the individual to the needs of the service." Servicemembers voluntarily give up some of their constitutional rights when they choose to join the armed services.

And yet, on Monday, a notoriously partisan federal judge in Texas thumbed his nose at decades of law and Supreme Court precedents, holding that members of the military may refuse an order to take the Covid-19 vaccination if they object to it on religious grounds. In a brief order in US Navy SEALs 1-26 v. Biden, US District Court Judge Reed O'Connor claims that a policy requiring nearly all servicemembers to be vaccinated against Covid-19 violates both the First Amendment and a federal religious liberty statute.

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- A federal judge in Oklahoma on Tuesday ruled against the state in its lawsuit challenging the vaccine mandates for members of the Oklahoma National Guard in a dispute that is the first critical test of the military's authority to require National Guard troops to get the shot.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot denied Oklahoma's request for a preliminary injunction, saying the claims by Gov. Kevin Stitt, Attorney General John O'Connor and 16 anonymous Oklahoma National Guard members were without merit.


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We appreciate that the Law Journal has reported extensively on the issue of the denial of certification to justices over 70. We write to highlight several important issues in response to your recent article, "Advocates Await Fate of Popular Legislation, Fiercely Opposed by Top Court Officials, to Keep Older Judges on the Bench."

The pending bill is consistent with the constitutional mandate, and it will not minimize the role of the Administrative Board. The board will still be charged with conducting an individualized determination as to whether each justice who applies for certification is necessary to the work of the courts and is both mentally and physically able and competent to do the job.

Importantly, this law will prevent a repetition of the Office of Court Administration's arbitrary action in 2020, when 46 justices were involuntarily retired, without individualized evaluations, while only three were permitted to continue working. This action severely impaired the ability of the courts to process their calendars and exacerbated the backlogs created by the COVID-19 pandemic.


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When the BBC decided to book some instant analysis of a major criminal verdict, it opened its contact list of willing experts on criminal law and dialed up a Harvard Law professor with decades of high-profile criminal defense representation. On paper this is a slam dunk of an interview! How could this go wrong?

It went very wrong.

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Supreme Court declines to block NY health worker vaccine mandate | TheHill

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BY JOHN KRUZEL

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The challengers' emergency request to the justices came after losing at the New York-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. Their application was filed to Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who referred the matter to the rest of the court.

The court's move Monday follows a similar ruling in October in which a divided court left intact a vaccine requirement for Maine health care workers over a religious objection. That ruling also drew opposition from Gorsuch, Alito and Thomas.


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Today's Edition: A shift in the constitutional firmament.

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My prior analysis of the Supreme Court's decision in Texas v. Whole Woman's Health fell short. I should have opened my analysis with the following statement: On Friday, the Supreme Court effectively overruled Marbury v. Madison.  It is a truly breathtaking development with staggering implications. Let me explain.

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By BRETT BACHMAN


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Both the Guardian and The New York Times report that a different, 36-page version of the PowerPoint circulating online is similar to the one received by the committee. Both include plans to declare a national emergency in order to delay the certification of the 2020 election and the outlines of a wild conspiracy that the country of Venezuela had taken over voting machines in a large number of important states, among other debunked and unverifiable allegations.

Though it remains unknown who first created the document, the Times notes it bears striking similarities to the theories of Jovan Hutton Pulitzer, which the paper describes as a "Texas entrepreneur and self-described inventor."

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"A solemn mockery" - by Robert B. Hubbell

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by Robert B. Hubbell

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The reactionary majority of the Supreme Court today ruled that the Texas law prohibiting abortion can remain in effect during the pendency of challenges in lower courts. See Whole Woman's Health v. Jackson. The Texas law was drafted for the express purpose of evading Supreme Court precedent that recognized a fundamental constitutional right.  The decision is nothing less than an affront to the authority of the Court and the supremacy of the Constitution. As Chief Justice Roberts wrote in his opinion dissenting from the ruling,

          The clear purpose and actual effect of S. B. 8 has been to nullify this Court's rulings. It is, however, a basic principle that the Constitution is the "fundamental and paramount law of the nation," and "[i]t is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is." Marbury v. Madison, (1803). Indeed, "[i]f the legislatures of the several states may, at will, annul the judgments of the courts of the United States, and destroy the rights acquired under those judgments, the Constitution itself becomes a solemn mockery." United States v. Peters, 1809. The nature of the federal right infringed does not matter; it is the role of the Supreme Court in our constitutional system that is at stake.

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U.K. Court Rules Julian Assange Can Be Extradited to U.S. - The New York Times

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Megan Specia and 

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LONDON -- A British court ruled on Friday that Julian Assange can be extradited to the United States to face charges that could result in decades of jail time, reversing a lower-court decision in the long-running case against the embattled WikiLeaks founder.

The ruling was a victory, at least for now, for the Biden administration, which has pursued an effort to prosecute Mr. Assange begun under the Trump administration. But Mr. Assange will seek to appeal the decision to Britain's Supreme Court, according to his legal team.

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Apple can continue charging in-app fees for now • The Register

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Katyanna Quach


Previous injunction that ordered company to allow non-Apple payments systems is suspended


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It means Apple will no longer have to allow external purchasing systems in apps; it can continue charging developers sales fees for now. The motion of stay stalls Roger's previous injunction, but doesn't overturn it completely. All is not lost for Epic yet.


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Mariah Lopez v. New York City Department of Homeless Services was a case concerning the failure of the NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to serve transgender people in safe shelters, meet standards for accessibility to residents with disabilities, and provide residents shelter free from harassment and abuse by staff, security, and other personnel. The lawsuit was brought against DHS in 2017 as a pro se case (without lawyers) by Ms. Lopez, an Afro-Latina transgender woman with disabilities and the executive director for STARR (Strategic Trans Alliance for Radical Reform), after DHS denied her shelter placement. Following important wins in the individual case, the Center for Constitutional Rights and co-counsel joined in order to provide support to Ms. Lopez in settlement negotiations.

Under the agreement, the City will establish shelter units that serve and affirm trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming (TGNC) people in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Manhattan; provide shelter staff (including contractors) training on the rights of TGNC people; require that shelter staff (including contractors) follow a non-discrimination policy; and strengthen the complaint investigation process when shelter residents allege anti-trans discrimination or harassment.


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The legal landscape of the past weeks and months has prompted questions of which people and entities are legitimate interpreters and enforcers of the law and what happens when you take the law into your own hands. Mississippi and other states took the recent changes in personnel on the Supreme Court as an invitation to defy the Court's constitutional rulings on abortion, and those states now seem likely to prevail.
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Meet the Lawyers Trying to Set Ghislaine Maxwell Free | Vanity Fair

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Ghislaine Maxwell's trial started with a gasp. "Ever since Eve was tempting Adam with the apple, women have been blamed for the bad behavior of men, and women are often villainized and punished more than the men ever are," Bobbi Sternheim, one of Maxwell's lawyers, said to begin her opening statement. To the reporters gathered in the viewing room inside the Thurgood Marshall federal courthouse in Lower Manhattan, the biblical comparison played like a bit of epic trolling. But it turned out to be the opening salvo in a through-the-looking-glass strategy that aims to position Maxwell as a feminist "scapegoat" of the patriarchy. It was surely no accident that Maxwell wore a white sweater, heavy with suffragette symbolism, for day one of the trial.  

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Jussie Smollett Trial Expected To Open Monday In Chicago - Deadline

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By Bruce Haring

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The stakes are low in this new trial. If convicted on any of the six disorderly conduct counts in the indictment, Smollett could face from one to three years in prison. But it's equally likely that he could receive probation, since he has no criminal past. ,

Jurors will be asked to determine if Smollett staged the phony hate crime on himself. The trial is expected to last at least a week. Cameras have been banned from the courtroom.

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A scorecard for watching the Ghislaine Maxwell trial in NYC | Miami Herald

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BY JULIE K. BROWN AND BEN WIEDER 


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The eyes of the world are on a Manhattan courtroom as the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell gets underway Monday. Here are the legal teams that are presenting their cases and the judge who is in charge.

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