On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that extending a completed traffic stop to conduct a dog sniff constitutes an unreasonable seizure and is, therefore, unconstitutional.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on time limits for suing the federal government under the Federal Torts Claims Act.
Also on Wednesday, a South Carolina lawmaker introduced a bill that would add the firing squad as an option for the state’s executions.
On Thursday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Loretta Lynch as the U.S. Attorney General.
A Texas bankruptcy court has classified the social media accounts of a business as business assets, and has jailed a former business owner for contempt after he refused to turn over Facebook and Twitter passwords to the new owner.
An Indiana lawyer has been disbarred following an email and voice mail harassment campaign carried out against his daughter’s former college roommate.
A mysterious vandal, dubbed the Tree Ninja for his habit of maliciously damaging newly-planted trees and shrubs, has been operating for years in Boston’s Brighton neighborhood and has finally been caught. Brighton’s homeowners can sleep a little easier now, knowing that their new plantings aren’t being targeted.
Guess what? If you dress up like a ninja and run around town in the middle of the night in the vicinity of a crime scene, you can expect to create reasonable suspicion in any law enforcement personnel who spot you.
Especially if you then start running. . .
Read all about it in People v. Jackson, 742 P.2d 929 (Colo. App. 1987). [Research hint: plug the party names or citation information into your favorite search engine.]
On Tuesday, a Texas county court judge was indicted on charges of illegal gun sales.
On Wednesday, the Obama administration spoke out in support of banning sexual orientation conversion therapy.
Also on Wednesday, a committee of the California Senate approved a bill that would ban the parents’ personal belief exemption to immunizing school children.
On Tuesday, an advocacy group filed a civil rights suit on behalf of deaf and hard-of-hearing inmates in the Michigan prison system on the grounds that their communications needs were not being accommodated by the state and the prison system.
On Wednesday, the Prime Minister of Thailand announced an end to the martial law that began after last year’s military coup.
On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court held that lifetime GPS monitoring of a North Carolina sex offender constituted a search the triggers Fourth Amendment rights. It is now up to the defendant to prove on remand that the search is unreasonable.
Indiana legislators have proposed an amendment to their religious freedom bill to counter perceptions that the bill allows discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Arkansas has amended its religious freedom bill to mirror the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
A county circuit judge in Wisconsin has ruled that the two teenaged defendants in the “Slender Man” stabbing will be tried as adults.
On Wednesday, the Georgia legislature passed a bill approving the limited use of medical marijuana.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court of the UK held that The Guardian newspaper has the right under the UK Freedom of Information Act to publish a year’s worth of correspondence (known as the “Black Spider” memos) between Prince Charles and various government officials.
A former Louisiana prosecutor has written a letter to the editor of a Shreveport newspaper in which he apologizes for his part in the wrongful conviction of a man who spent 30 years on death row.
On Tuesday, both the Oregon House and the Iowa Senate passed bills that would prohibit health care professionals from providing therapy aimed at changing a patient’s sexual orientation or gender identity. California is the first state in the nation to ban this type of therapy, by way of legislation enacted in 2012.
Also on Tuesday, the Indiana Senate voted unanimously to allow terminally ill patients to get access to experimental drugs and treatments that are not yet approved for sale on the open market.
On Wednesday, the South Carolina Supreme Court held that an exotic dancer wounded while performing was an employee, not an independent contractor, and therefore entitled to workers’ compensation.
On Tuesday, the Utah Legislature approved a bill that allows executions to be carried out by firing squad.
Also on Tuesday, a group of U.S. Senators introduced a bill that would lift the federal ban on medical marijuana.
On Thursday, the FCC released its 400-page order on net neutrality.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of Alabama issued an order halting same-sex marriages, in spite of Federal court direction to issue licenses.
Also on Tuesday, Slovenia became the eleventh nation in the European Union to recognize same-sex marriage.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice released a report indicating that it will not prosecute the former Ferguson, MO, police officer who shot and killed unarmed African-American teenager, Michael Brown, in August of 2014. Read the full report here. Another DOJ report investigating the Ferguson police department, also released Wednesday, found that African Americans were frequently victims of discriminatory and illegal conduct by the law enforcement system in Ferguson.
Also on Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in King v. Burwell, which challenges the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.
A Massachusetts teen has been charged with involuntary manslaughter after allegedly using text messages to encourage a friend’s suicide.
On Tuesday, President Obama vetoed legislation authorizing the Keystone LX pipeline.
On Tuesday night, a Texas jury convicted Eddie Ray Routh of murder and sentenced him to life in prison for the fatal shootings of “American Sniper” Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield.
Also on Tuesday, Alaska became the third state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana use, although the sale of marijuana remains illegal.
On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmed the nomination of Loretta Lynch for the position of U.S. Attorney General. The nomination now moves on for consideration by the full Senate.
Also on Thursday, the FCC approved net neutrality, and will now regard Internet providers as public utilities, subject to regulation.
An appeals court in Utah has granted a widow the right to sue herself for causing an auto accident that resulted in the death of her husband. Read the full opinion here.
The operator of a defunct revenge-porn website has filed a takedown request with Google, stating that his own photograph and personal information are being used without his permission.