Voter Rolls

The Wisconsin Supreme Court refused to expedite a complaint against the state’s Election Commission brought by three voters — represented by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty — seeking to purge from the voting rolls thousands who moved within the state but have not updated their addresses. Oral arguments in the case will not occur before Sept. 29. 

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Flow Requirements

The California State Water Resources Control Board’s emergency orders during a drought, which set minimum water flow requirements for three tributaries of the Sacramento River, were not unreasonable or arbitrary, an appeals court in the state ruled. The orders were necessary to protect Chinook salmon and steelhead trout — two threatened fish species.

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Legal Services in Detention

A federal court in Washington granted a preliminary injunction to the Southern Poverty Law Center, ordering Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities to provide detainees telephone access so they can communicate with legal representatives, who are not able to visit in person because of Covid-19. The facilities must also ensure attorney-client confidentiality is maintained.

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Hazardous Waste

A federal court in California ruled that a resident of the Marina district in San Francisco may pursue his claim under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act against Pacific Gas and Electric relating to hazardous waste left in the area by the company’s plants 100 years ago. The man has standing to sue based on his “recreational and aesthetic interests.”

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Qualified Immunity

The Ninth Circuit reversed a ruling that had been granted in favor of the City of Hayward, California, and a police officer sued for excessive force by the brother of a car passenger who was shot to death. The officer is not entitled to qualified immunity for shooting at a person in a fleeing vehicle who did not “pose a danger to them or the public.” 

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No Prisoner Release

A federal judge in New York denied six inmates’ request to release all prisoners at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn whose age or medical condition puts them at a heightened risk from Covid-19. The judge noted there had been no Covid-related fatalities and only one Covid-related hospitalization at the facility. 

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Hand Gesture

A college soccer player who lost her athletic scholarship after showing her middle finger to a camera that was broadcasting her game on ESPNU cannot pursue her First Amendment, Title IX and other claims against the University of Connecticut Board of Trustees, a federal court in the state ruled.  

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Racial Justice

The repeal of North Carolina’s Racial Justice Act — which allowed defendants to challenge their death sentences if they could prove that race was the basis of the decision to seek or impose the penalty —  cannot be applied retroactively, the state’s Supreme Court ruled. Individuals who filed claims under the act before it was repealed in 2013 are entitled to its full protections.

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