Recently in Primary Source Documents Category

By Ariane de VogueTierney Sneed and Devan Cole, CNN

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The Supreme Court said Monday that a Washington state school district violated the First Amendment rights of a high school football coach when he lost his job after praying at the 50-yard line after games. 

The opinion was 6-3 along conservative-liberal ideological lines.

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Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization - SCOTUSblog

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Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization

Docket No.Op. BelowArgumentOpinionVoteAuthorTerm
19-13925th Cir. Dec 1, 2021Jun 24, 20226-3AlitoOT 2021

Holding: The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey are overruled; the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.

JudgmentReversed and remanded, 6-3, in an opinion by Justice Alito on June 24, 2022. Justices Thomas and Kavanaugh filed concurring opinions. Chief Justice Roberts filed an opinion concurring in the judgment. Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan filed a dissenting opinion.

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BY JOHN KRUZEL 

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The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a New York state law that made it difficult to obtain a permit to carry a handgun outside the home, marking the justices' first major opinion on Second Amendment rights in more than a decade.

The 6-3 decision to invalidate New York's law will almost certainly render unconstitutional similar restrictions in more than a half dozen other states that give licensing officials wide discretion over concealed carry permitting.

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Well, the Establishment Clause had a good run.

This morning, the Supreme Court stretched the Free Exercise Clause to swallow the Establishment Clause altogether in Carson v. Makin. Before today, the Court already hamstrung the Establishment Clause by ruling that government programs that funnel funds to religious entities don't necessarily violate the First Amendment, if citizens simply had the choice of sending those funds to religious institutions. Now, for the first time, the Court ruled that government programs must send money to organized religion if a citizen wants to.

You know, that deeply held religious tenet to... have your neighbors pay for your kid to go to religious school.

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A New York federal judge Wednesday upheld a New York law that allows victims of gun violence to sue the gun industry.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation and gun manufacturers, like Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co. brought the case because they claimed the state law violated the US Constitution. They also argue that the law preempts the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which protects gun manufacturers and dealers from being held liable in gun violence crimes committed with their products. 

In the decision written by US District Judge Mae D'Agostino, the court held that the New York law did not preempt D'Agostino also dismissed the claims that the New York law violated the Constitution's Commerce Clause because it regulated interstate commerce and discriminated against in-state competitors, as well as regulating commerce outside of the state.

The ruling was released in the wake of this week's Texas shooting.


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On Monday, the Supreme Court released an opinion that will cause profound suffering and perhaps even death as people are denied their constitutional rights. No, the court did not release the final version of the opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, the case in which a leaked draft revealed that the court is poised to overrule Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which recognize the right to end a pregnancy through an abortion. Instead, the decision today is a little-known habeas decision, Shinn v. Martinez Ramirez, involving two men in Arizona who have been condemned to death row. The consequences of Martinez Ramirez will also be disastrous for anyone relying on their constitutional right to effective counsel. And, like the Dobbs leak, today's decision also makes clear that the court's conservative supermajority is hellbent on smashing and grabbing precedent and constitutional rights no matter the consequences.

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Martinez Ramirez held that there is nothing a federal court can do when a defendant received ineffective assistance at their trial in violation of the Sixth Amendment and was then appointed an ineffective attorney during post-conviction proceedings who did not present evidence to support the claim that the defendant received ineffective assistance at trial. Specifically, the court held that the federal statute governing post-conviction review, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, prohibits the federal court from considering evidence that the ineffective post-conviction lawyer failed to uncover. As it did in the case of Jones, this evidence may indicate that the defendant is innocent of the crime for which he was sentenced to death.

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CRYPTOCURRENCIES HAVE LONG been seen as the Wild West of money transfers, but few online payment and money transfer platforms have been as blatant in appealing for illicit cash as one highlighted but not named in a memorandum opinion unsealed on May 13 in the US District Court in Washington, DC. The platform is apparently based in a "comprehensively sanctioned country"--likely North Korea, according to those within the crypto law space--and advertised its services as evading US financial sanctions. It was built using a US front company that facilitated the purchase of domain names, according to court records.

The platform, which was designed to sidestep financial bans aimed at crippling pariah countries, handled more than $10 million worth of bitcoin that was transferred between the United States and the sanctioned country using a US-based crypto exchange, which, the opinion implies, was not aware that it was helping users avoid sanctions.

The opinion, written by Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui, was likely unsealed because someone has been arrested for operating the crypto platform. It all marks a shift in the way US law enforcement--and the law--handles cryptocurrencies.


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Repro Legal Helpline

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The Repro Legal Helpline is a free, confidential helpline where you can get legal information or advice about self-managed abortion, young people's access to abortion or judicial bypass, and referrals to local resources.

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If you have been arrested, questioned by the police, or charged with a crime for your abortion, we may also be able to help you by finding you a lawyer in your state, or working with your lawyer to help with your defense.

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By JOSH GERSTEIN and ALEXANDER WARD

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The Supreme Court has voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wadedecision, according to an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito circulated inside the court and obtained by POLITICO.

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The US Supreme Court Thursday ruled Thursday that damages for emotional distress are not recoverable in a private lawsuit to enforce either the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or the Affordable Care Act. This decision clarifies what damages are available to individuals who sue under federal anti-discrimination statutes.

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Judge moves congressional, State Senate primaries to August | WSKGWSKG

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VESTAL, NY (WSKG) -- The Steuben County judge overseeing the redrawing of New York's congressional and State Senate maps has ordered that primary elections for those races to be held in August.

The decision came two days after the state's highest court ordered the lower court to create new maps for congressional and State Senate districts, ruling that the old lines were improperly approved by the Democratic-controlled Legislature and drawn with partisan intent. 

The court left State Assembly districts intact.


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A public-private partnership is throwing the book at climate change, but a treatise for reducing carbon emissions had to be written first.

New York State Energy Research and Development AuthorityEmpire State Realty Trust, the Durst OrganizationVornado Realty Trust and Hudson Square Properties produced a free online guidebook for making buildings compliant with Local Law 97, using the Empire State Building's efforts to go greener as an example.

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Read more...get the guidebook...



Brendan J. Lyons

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ALBANY -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany's effort to keep secret the psychological treatment records of suspected pedophile priests was rejected Thursday by a state appellate court in a ruling that could affect thousands of Child Victims Act cases in New York.

The appellate panel also upheld state Supreme Court Justice L. Michael Mackey's decision ordering the diocese to turn over the personnel records of at least 48 priests whom the church determined had been credibly accused of child sexual abuse over a period stretching from 1946 to 1999.

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Read more about this major interpretation of the NYS Child Victims Act...



A judicial trainwreck. - by Robert B. Hubbell

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The decision by the Trump-appointed judge "was so bad it is not even wrong." (Credit: Wolfgang Pauli.) The ruling was a politically motivated "position paper" that ignored the law, science, and the rules of the English language. Ian Millhiser discusses this "train wreck" of a decision in his excellent article in Vox, The Trump judge's opinion striking down the airplane mask mandate is a legal disaster. I recommend Millhiser's article in its entirety...

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Trump Judge Finds That CDC Lacks Power To...Control Disease Spread

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A Trump-appointed district court judge found Monday that in issuing its mask mandate for travel on public transportation, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) overstepped its authority. 

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On March 15, the Senate unanimously passed S. Res 546, which "encourages member states to petition the ICC or other appropriate international tribunal to take any appropriate steps to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Russian Armed Forces."

When he introduced the resolution, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) said, "This is a proper exercise of jurisdiction. This is what the court was created for." The United States has refused to join the ICC and consistently tries to undercut the court. Yet a unanimous U.S. Senate voted to utilize the ICC in the Ukraine conflict.

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READ: Mark Meadows' texts with Mike Lee and Chip Roy - CNNPolitics

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(CNN)CNN has obtained text messages of separate conversations that then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows had with Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and Republican Rep. Chip Roy of Texas after the 2020 presidential election and through early January 2021.

The messages reveal how two GOP allies of then-President Donald Trump lobbied and encouraged the White House in its efforts to overturn the election. The text messages were obtained by the House select committee and reviewed by CNN.
Note: CNN has removed personal information from the texts and adjusted profanity. Errors in spelling and grammar reflect the messages as reviewed by CNN.

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Former US President Donald J. Trump Thursday sued Hilary R. Clinton, the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and others for conspiring "to vilify Donald J. Trump" through nefarious "political stratagems," claiming damages in excess of $24,000,000.

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Several of the country's most respected legal scholars say that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas must immediately recuse himself from any cases relating to the 2020 election and its aftermath, now that it has been revealed that his wife, Virginia (Ginni) Thomas, colluded extensively with a top White House adviser about overturning Joe Biden's victory over then President Donald Trump. On March 24th, the Washington Post and CBS News revealed that they had obtained copies of twenty-nine text messages between Ginni Thomas and Mark Meadows, the Trump White House chief of staff, in which she militated relentlessly for invalidating the results of the Presidential election, which she described as an "obvious fraud." It was necessary, she told Meadows, to "release the Kraken and save us from the left taking America down." Ginni Thomas's texts to Meadows also refer to conversations that she'd had with "Jared"--possibly Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, who also served as a senior adviser to the Administration. ("Just forwarded to yr gmail an email I sent Jared this am.")

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The Daily Beast reported three weeks ago the Dunne and Pomerantz left resignation letters explaining that they were leaving because Bragg had torpedoed their case, and that the letters were so detailed and damning that the DA's office refused to release them under New York's Freedom of Information Law. But the Times got its hands on Pomerantz's letter to Bragg, and it's every bit as bad as described.

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