An anti-abortion advocacy group did not defame a congressman by tying his vote for Obamacare to supporting abortion, the 6th Circuit ruled Friday. 


     The Republican-controlled Wisconsin State Assembly passed a right-to-work bill, 62-35, Friday after an extraordinary session that lasted 24 hours.


     Texas cut millions of dollars in funding for more than 100 students in a border school district because of false claims that the students live in Mexico, the school district claims in court. 

     Opposition is building nationwide to the Common Core tests for elementary school children, and I can see why.
     Leaving ideology and hysteria aside - as if that's possible today - the Common Core tests cannot do what they claim to do: measure students' educational achievement and teachers' performance.
     Whether the intentions behind Common Core tests are noble or otherwise, they simply cannot do what their proponents claim for them.
     To link school funding, teachers' salaries, their hiring and firing - and even school closures - to results of these tests is vindictive and stupid. It is aimed, above all, at poor children.
     If more than 5 percent of parents in a school or school district refuse to submit children to these exams, the schools can be punished by loss of federal funding for poor students, according to The New York Times.
     That's our national education policy: Punish poor kids first, then their teachers and schools. Kick them around like a soccer ball.
     How does that help education?
     I taught English in public high schools for nine years - on the South Side of Chicago, on Indian reservations, in a dying mining town in Arizona and in a farmworker town in California's Central Valley. That gives me more credibility than my master's degree in teaching from Northwestern University, but I've got that too.
     Anyone who has taught in public schools, particularly in a small town, knows that yearly classes can, and do, assume characteristics, for reasons impossible to explain - probably random. A third-grade teacher will tell her fourth-grade colleague: "You'll have a great class next year." Or: "I don't know what to do with them. Good luck."
     Every public schoolteacher knows this. To punish, or reward, a teacher, her school or school district because a good class is followed by a bad one, or vice-versa, is insane, and punitive. It's probably unconstitutional. Where's the due process?
     Let's suppose that children in Mayberry are all the same, year after year.
     But the third-grade Common Core tests are different from one year to the next.
     No standardized test ever devised is accurate enough to measure how much of the difference between two years of test results is attributable to the children, and how much to the different tests.
     Why then, do we link school funding - and teachers' careers - to this?
     In New Jersey this year, 10 percent of teachers' evaluations will be based on how well their students do on the Common Core tests. Originally, 30 percent of teachers' evaluations were to be based on the test results.
     This is absolutely meaningless.
     Can anyone tell me what "10 percent" or "30 percent" of a teacher's value could possibly mean?
     Can you tell me what it means for a teacher to improve by 17 percent?
     You cannot. No one can. Because it does not mean anything. It's educationese. It's politics. It has no meaning at all.
     I asked a friend who outlasted me what he thought about Common Core. He's Mr. Chips: more than 30 years at his venerable institution.
     He wrote: "Common Core simply put is a crock o'crap. What it really is is a way to give people jobs who would not last five minutes in a classroom. It's a way to pay people to write articles that make absolutely no sense. I looked at the English core a while ago and my head hurt. I got mad. I got depressed."
     I went to the website of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College Careers - which writes the Common Core tests - and took their 7th -grade English test .
     I have earned my daily bread for 30 years as a writer and editor. My sixth book will be published in June. Let me assure you: This English test is nonsense.
     No one reads "The Count of Monte Cristo" the way this test asks children to read it. This test does not assess English skills. It assesses one's ability to take this type of test.
     The politicians who run the United States today do not value education. They value any excuse they can get to beat their puny little breasts in public - poor children be damned.

     In closing arguments Thursday in the "Blurred Lines" copyright case, Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams's attorney warned a federal jury of serious consequences to the music industry if it delivers a verdict in favor of Marvin Gaye's family.

     The Second Amendment does not protect the right to carry a stun gun, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled. 

     A prostitute and a man who would like to enjoy her services sued California on Wednesday, challenging the constitutionality of state laws against "private, consensual sexual activity ... as part of a voluntary commercial exchange between adults." 

     Wells Fargo cannot be stopped from foreclosing on troubled, Pick-a-Payment mortgage loans despite class allegations of breach of settlement, a federal judge ruled. 

     Freeplay Music claims in court that a digital content company that filed extortion allegations against it was caught "red-handed" infringing and chose to sue rather than pay for the copyrights. 

     A Presbyterian youth pastor who also worked at a hotel sexually abused a teenager at church and in the hotel, and the church covered it up, the girl, now a woman, claims in court.

     The appellate phase of Eddie Ray Routh's capital murder case began Wednesday with attorneys arguing that the conviction and sentence of the former Marine "are contrary to the law and evidence."

     Diet Pepsi and Pepsi One drinkers are not entitled to medical monitoring because there is no evidence that a carcinogen found in the drinks causes cancer in humans, a federal judge ruled, dismissing the class action claims. 


     A federal judge granted preliminary approval to a $12.5 million class settlement that claims OmniVision Technologies misled shareholders into believing it had an exclusive contract related to the Apple iPhone. 

     The sister of a Panamanian killed on a narcotics surveillance flight in 2013, says in a lawsuit that negligence led to the disabling of a warning system that would have prevented the plane's crashing into a mountain. 

     With the future of California college budgets being decided inside the governor's office, faculty and college-employee unions rallied at the Capitol on Thursday, urging Gov. Jerry Brown to provide more money to higher education.

     The Gallup Independent newspaper fired a sportswriter with a prosthetic foot because the paper's owner and publisher told him, falsely, that he could no longer "walk the sidelines," the reporter claims in court. 

     The Kansas Senate has approved legislation that would allow gun owners to carry concealed handguns without a permit.

     Nevada lawmakers want to charge 50 cents a page for public documents, plus staffers' time, for anything longer than 25 pages or anything that would take a state worker more than half an hour to provide.


     Casino mogul Steve Wynn's amended defamation complaint against an investment adviser was dismissed with prejudice this week, apparently ending the battle. 

     An Oakland man who claims he spent six months on the city's Most Wanted list without cause has no case, a federal judge ruled.

     A teachers union sued the Guam Commission for Educator Certification in Federal Court, challenging a law that makes violation of "good morals" punishable by revocation of a teaching license. 

     Disposable contact lens makers and eye doctors conspired to set minimum resale prices to stifle competition from the Internet and big-box stores, users claim in a federal antitrust class action. 

     A customer who discovered a Wegmans employee filming him using the urinal has sued the grocery store for not firing the employee after his first reported videotaping incident. 

     Los Angeles sued Price Waterhouse Coopers on Friday, claiming it fraudulently misrepresented its ability to set up a new $70 million water-billing system, costing the city hundreds of millions of dollars.


     Two men accused of releasing thousands of minks from an Illinois fur farm failed to show a federal judge that a terror label clouds the charges against them. 

     A police officer had probable cause to arrest a lawyer for allegedly assaulting his father-in-law with a candlestick, regardless of the fact that the officer later had an affair with the suspect's estranged wife, the 9th Circuit ruled.

     Keeping Amtrak in control of fiber-optic cables beneath D.C.'s Union Station, a federal judge booted a challenge to the rail's right to charge access fees. 

     Judicial immunity bars a man from suing a drug-testing expert over the results used in his child-custody battle, a Texas appeals court ruled. 

     A federal judge ordered two contractors squabbling over mine clearance work performed at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan to continue their mediation efforts. 

     Ex-New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's allegation that a top prosecutor's press comments wrecked his shot at a fair trial are a "calculated effort to malign the U.S. Attorney," a government brief states. 

     A federal judge has largely thrown out a lawsuit claiming Sony Music and others delayed complaining about copyright infringing uploads to YouTube into order to "extort" larger payments for the works later. 

     The Environmental Protection Agency's unacceptable attitude toward public-records requests earned terse words but no sanctions from a federal judge. 

     A newspaper that sued over ultimately nonexistent records faced a tough Wisconsin Supreme Court hearing Wednesday in its bid for attorneys' fees.

     The 9th Circuit on Thursday partly upheld the ruling in an 11-year-old case for a wheelchair-bound shopper at a Pier 1 Imports store in California. 

     The 9th Circuit held the FDIC can be held liable for violating the terms of a contract that a bank entered into before it failed and went into receivership. 

     Researchers of Alzheimer's disease have a new "Big Data" portal to share their drug discoveries more quickly, the National Institutes of Health said.

     A group of out-of-state college students sued Tennessee election officials in Federal Court, claiming the state's voter ID law discriminates against them. 

     Professional scooter athlete Dakota Schuetz claims Lucky Scooter Parts owes him royalties, custom products and other things, in Federal Court.  

     Child-care workers who do not want to be represented by a union sued Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and the SEIU Local 925, in Federal Court. 

     Holiday Inn Houston Intercontinental Airport hired a convicted murderer who sexually assaulted a guest, she claims in Harris County Court.  

     The federal government unconstitutionally prevents people who have been involuntarily committed to a mental institution from owning guns, two people claim in Federal Court.  

     Three men, two from Vietnam and one from Canada, have been charged in connection with what the U.S. Justice Department describes as the largest data breach "in the history of the Internet."

     Amid reports that federal corruption charges against him are imminent, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, denied any impropriety Friday.

     Colorado's pot-legalization efforts face a new federal complaint from several sheriffs and county attorneys of that state and its neighbors in Kansas and Nebraska. 

     A judge rightly refused to kill a lawsuit against a Napa restaurant that serves foie gras despite a statewide ban, a California appeals court ruled Thursday. 

     Dignity Health-operated Mercy Hospital of Folsom retaliated against a woman who reported her supervisor's sexual harassment, she claims.

 

     CSX Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency have agreed to rules to govern the cleanup and restoration of areas affected by the Feb. 16 train derailment in Mount Carbon, W. Va. 

     Advocates for a self-governed Taiwan have asked a federal judge to return the citizenship stripped from them by China after World War II. 

     Former U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm can't go to Europe this summer to pursue business opportunities, a federal judge ruled. 


     Five Papa John's franchises in Harlem skimped on overtime, minimum wage and expenses to the tune of more than $2.1 million, a judge ruled. 


     James Madison University officials did not support a student who was sexually assaulted or adequately punish the fraternity brothers behind the assault, the victim claims in a federal lawsuit. 

     State Department backpedalling on the need to register as an arms broker tramples the Fifth Amendment, a D.C. law firm says in Federal Court. 

     The judges of the Wisconsin Supreme Court face a call to recuse themselves from a case concerning benefactors they share with Gov. Scott Walker. 

     Class certification is not suitable for a lawsuit accusing Nextel of hiring their workers' lawyers in an employment dispute, the 2nd Circuit ruled Wednesday. 

     U.S. exports supported more than 11.7 million jobs in 2014 - a new record - according to the Department of Commerce.

     GlaxoSmithKline pushed its drug Zofran, approved to fight side effects of chemotherapy, for off-label treatment of morning sickness, and a woman's baby was born with "devastating" heart defects because of it, she claims in Alameda County Court. 


     New York City police officers beat the late Victor Woods so badly that he died in prison at Riker's Island after co-defendant Corizon Health gave him inadequate medical care, his widow claims in Federal Court.