Federal appeals court rejects Trump's last significant challenge to Pa. election
PHILADELPHIA — A federal appeals court on Friday roundly rejected President Donald Trump’s last remaining legal challenge to Pennsylvania’s election results, calling it “light on facts” and “breathtaking” in the presumptuousness of its request to disenfranchise millions of voters in the state.And yet, once again, Trump’s lawyers tried to spin a victory out of another loss in court, saying the ruling sets the case up for the venue at which they’ve always wanted it to be heard: the U.S. Supreme Court.Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas, a Trump appointee who authored the decision for the three-judge p...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Editorial: Of prayers and plagues: What the Supreme Court got wrong about Gov. Cuomo's COVID restrictions
The unsigned opinion by the nation’s highest court got it wrong, insisting that restrictions placed on religious gatherings imposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in New York’s COVID hot spots must be nullified, for they violate the First Amendment.The dissent by the Bronx’s Sonia Sotomayor got it right. The rules, capping gatherings at 10 people or less, are actually more generous for faith-based institutions than for any other type: “New York treats houses of worship far more favorably than their secular comparators.” How on Earth can that be an offense to the guaranteed freedom to exercise religion? ...
New York Daily News
Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert freed from Iranian jail in prisoner swap
Kylie Moore-Gilbert after her release from prison in Iran – Screenshot SBS News video November, 20 2020.The release of British-Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert after over 800 days in an Iranian prison has been greeted with joy and relief in Australia and internationally. Her release came as part of an exchange for three Iranian prisoners.Dr. Moore-Gilbert had been held in Iranian prisons for alleged spying since September 2018. Reports circulated that Moore-Gilbert was detained and charged with spying for Israel after Iran learned of her relationship with an Israeli citizen.The Universi...
Appellate ruling scraps conversion therapy bans in cities across Florida
MIAMI — As a result of a federal appeals court ruling that struck down laws in Palm Beach County banning LGBTQ conversion therapy, other Florida municipalities with similar laws can no longer enforce such bans on therapies that attempt to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity.That’s according to attorney Rob Rosenwald of the city of Miami Beach, which in 2016 became the first city in Florida to pass a law banning licensed medical providers from practicing conversion therapy on a child.The two laws struck down by a panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, in Palm Beach Count...
Supreme Court may decide Austin billboard battle
AUSTIN, Texas — A three-year legal battle involving Austin’s ban on digital advertising on commercial billboards appears to be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court, an escalation by the city that could have rippling consequences throughout Texas and two other states.Austin is among roughly 90% of cities in Texas that prohibit digital billboards anywhere except for on the premises of the business being advertised. The prohibition is aimed at protecting the aesthetics of the city’s skyline and keeping motorists from being distracted by rotating advertisements for such things as whiskey brands and pe...
Hong Kong pro-democracy trio defiant in face of upcoming jail sentence
Agnes Chow, Ivan Lam and Joshua Wong. Image from HKFP. Used with permission.On November 23, Hong Kong pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam were remanded in custody after pleading guilty to charges of inciting and organizing an unlawful protest in June 2019.The protest in question took place at the beginning of the anti-China extradition movement when the demonstrations were largely peaceful. The charge carries a penalty of a maximum of five years in prison. A court is expected to hand out sentences on December 2.The trio, all former members of the now-disbanded politica...
Georgia Trump supporters fight on in court
ATLANTA — Supporters of Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the results of the presidential election in Georgia say they have filed a federal lawsuit that accuses top state officials of abetting voter fraud.The lawsuit says Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger rushed to buy new election software that played a big role in a scheme “illegally and fraudulently manipulating the vote count to make certain the election of Joe Biden as president of the United States.”A separate lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Fulton County Superior Court, also seeks to overturn the presidential electio...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Interconnected Law: a paradigm shift in legal thinking
Our world abounds with injustices, and the struggle to challenge and transform these has only become more urgent with the multiple crises facing Western society. But in our efforts to realise better worlds, the role of law has been relatively unexamined. While particular laws are often focused on as rules or processes that need changing, and many social movements invoke arguments based on ‘human’ rights and seek social transformation through law, the bigger picture of law and the legal system has been overlooked.Despite operating in the background, law is pervasive. It influences almost the to...
Citing conspiracy theories, Michigan GOP electors ask court to name Trump winner
LANSING, Mich. — A new lawsuit brought by a group of Michigan Republicans asks a federal judge to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s win in the state based on a bevy of conspiracy theories and claims contradicted by election experts.Six Republicans — three who would be Electoral College electors for President Donald Trump and three local GOP officials — filed the suit in federal court Wednesday night, two days after the Board of State Canvassers certified Biden’s 154,000-vote victory in Michigan.Among their attorneys is Sidney Powell, who appeared at a news conference with Trump’s legal repr...
The Detroit News
Cuomo calls Supreme Court decision blocking NY restrictions on religious gatherings a political statement
NEW YORK — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said a U.S. Supreme Court decision handed down Wednesday night blocking state officials from enforcing a cap on religious gatherings in coronavirus hot spots in Brooklyn and Queens is “irrelevant from any practical impact” because those areas are no longer designated virus hot spots.He said the decision, among the first that includes newly appointed Justice Amy Coney Barrett, was “really more an opportunity for the court to express its philosophy and politics.”“The Brooklyn zone no longer exists as a red zone. That’s mooted. So that restriction is not in e...
New York Daily News