May 9, 2017

Protection for Pot Smokers, Texas Bans “Sanctuary Cities,” Racist Taunts at Fenway; Racism at American University, White House Snubs 16-Year Cinco de Mayo Tradition, Kansas City Archdiocese Cuts Ties with Girl Scouts, 82 Kidnapped Nigerian Schoolgirls Released; Good Deed for a Color-Blind Teacher, and an American Tattoo Artist in Northern Iraq Inks Tattoos for the Oppressed.                           

Congress passed a trillion-dollar spending bill with one very interesting twist. Forty-four states that permit the use of medical marijuana have some protection in that the bill bars AG Jeff Sessions from using any of the funds to challenge any such state practices. Texas was also busy legislating, passing a bill banning sanctuary cities. Constitutional?  Something to think about as you cram for that Con Law final . . .

Racism apparently is alive and well in Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox.  Baltimore Orioles’ outfielder Adam Jones heard the taunts and complained. After an investigation, a fan accused of using racist language was been given a life-time ban, but not before Curt Schilling, a former baseball player and current sports commentator took the position that the story was made-up.

In DC, racism reared its ugly head at American University, where the student body elected their first women African-American president, Taylor Dumpson. Bananas were hung “from string ‘in the shape of nooses,’” with references to Alpha Kappa Alpha, a predominantly black on-campus sorority. Outrage followed and the University took swift action to ferret out and combat the racist conduct. The FBI announced an investigation and the matter is being treated as a hate-crime.

The White House ended a 16-year run of celebrating Cinco de Mayo that was started by former President George W. Bush.  However, an event was hosted by Vice-President Pence were on May 4th. Cuatro de Mayo? Well, we could celebrate both . . .  Maybe even Seis de Mayo too? Count me in! And the Girls Scouts came under fire in Kansas this week. The Kansas City Archdiocese cited “philosophical differences” with the beloved organization and took steps to both sever ties and denounce cookie sales. Stock up on your “Thin Mints” and “Samoas” now! For a fun article discussing how to pair girl scout cookies with your favorite wine, see our links below.

Moving toward the positive, 82 Nigerian Chibok schoolgirls who were kidnapped three years ago were released this week as part of a negotiation with the extremist group, Boka Haram. Still, over 300 schoolgirls were mass-abducted and have yet to be accounted for. Let’s hope this crisis is fully resolved and soon. 

Ending on a lighter note, high school students in Eagleville, Pennsylvania scrounged up $500 to buy a color-blind teacher a pair of specialty “Enchroma” glasses so that he could see the spectrum. Video included in link below. You might also want to check out an interesting story of an American woman working inking “forbidden tattoos” in Northern Iraq.

Good Luck in Finals!!!

By Category: 

Medical Marijuana – Spending Bill

Congress’ spending bill protects medical pot states:

Texas Ban re Sanctuary Cities:

Texas legislature passes ban on so-called ‘sanctuary cities’:

Racism: Fenway Park:

Adam Jones says he was taunted with racial slurs at Fenway Park:

Curt Schilling believes Adam Jones is lying about racial taunts:

Red Sox permanently ban fan for racial slur at another fan:

Racism: American University

American University is dealing with a racist incident on its campus. It is not alone.:

Black Students Say They Were Harassed With Bananas At American University:

Video: FBI Investigation:

White House / Cinco de Mayo

White House Breaks with 16-year Tradition of Marking Cinco De Mayo:

Kansas/ Girl Scouts

Kansas archdiocese to usher out Girl Scouts, and cookies

How to pair wine with your favorite Girl Scout cookies:

Nigeria: Release of 82 Chibok Schoolgirls:

Nigeria says 82 Chibok girls free in Boko Haram exchange:

Good Deed for Teacher:

Iraq / Tattoos:

The American woman inking ‘forbidden’ tattoos in Northern Iraq:

May 2, 2017

Professor Nockleby’s 1L Tort Class and their Diversity Mannequin Challenge; May Day Marches, Trump’s Threat to Break Up the Ninth Circuit, U.N. Disproval of Arkansas’ 4th Execution in 8 Days, SCOTUS Rejects Challenge of Cal Law Prohibiting “Conversion Therapy,” Targeting Gay Youth, a Victory for Medical Marijuana, and Jimmy Kimmel’s Poignant Plea re Pre-Existing Conditions.

Professor Nockleby tagged LLS as the “United Nations of Law Schools” and his first-year tort class proved him right. Last Thursday, they filmed their diversity mannequin challenge, which Professor Nockleby discussed in his profile: “I am a Fellow from Montana and this is why I’m fighting for equality for all.”  Can’t wait to see it!

Thousands of Angelinos took to the streets on Monday for the annual nationwide “May Day” marches supporting labor. Like the Women’s March and other marches we’ve seen, marchers stood in solidarity to raise awareness for all groups.

Sanctuary cities won the first battle regarding Trump’s executive order threatening to cut off funding. Trump’s response?  A threat to dismantle the Ninth Circuit.

On a related note, Chief Justice Roberts expressed concern in oral arguments in Maslenjak v. United States that the Administration was taking the position that it could revoke citizenship based on trivial lies or omissions.  Roberts posed the hypothetical of whether an immigrant could lose their citizenship if they failed to disclose driving over the speed limit on occasion when listing any instances of breaking the law.  Could this case turn out to be very important in the long-run?

Arkansas has been rushing executions lately in order to use up its supply of Midazolam before the expiration date.  There has been much coverage of this in the U.S. and the United Nations also has weighed in.  The Human Rights Office announced it was “deeply disturbed” by the “arbitrariness and cruelty” of the process.  Midazolam has been at the center of litigation in many high-profile cases, including Glossip v. Gross. (See link below.)

The Supremes also grabbed headlines for denying certiorari for a challenge to California’s ban against forcing “conversion therapy” on gay youths.  The Ninth Circuit ruled that the ban did not unduly impinge upon religious freedom or impact the activities of clergy members.  This ruling stands in light of the denial of certiorari.

Up in smoke? Just the opposite. States permitting medical marijuana use – including California – scored a victory in terms of the recent budget bill.  Currently, 44 states permit the use of medical marijuana and the new spending bill prohibits the Department of Justice from using any funds to challenging such state actions.

Jimmy Kimmel called attention to our health-crisis in an emotional plea relating to the birth of his son, Billy. Kimmel faced the worst three-hours of his life when his Billy had to undergo open-heart surgery just a few hours after his birth. Kimmel spoke about this in his opening monologue on his late-night television show. While it can be assumed money was no issue, Kimmel put himself in the shoes of other parents.  No parent should face the potential death of their child because of lack of medical coverage. Nor should any such child grow up to be denied medical coverage because of a pre-existing condition.  Kimmel pointed out that we – the people of America – agree on that fundamental principal. Can the lawmakers honor that collective agreement?  (See below for an article with embedded video.)

Do feel free to email us with any articles out there catching your attention.

See ya next!  And good luck with finals!!!!!!!

By Category:

Earth Day / Marches for Science

May Day around the world: Holiday marked with defiant rallies for workers rights:

Riot declared during US May Day protests in Portland:

Sanctuary City Court Victory / Trump’s Threat to Dismantle the Ninth Circuit / CJ Roberts 

Trump lashes out after judge bats down another immigration order:

Donald Trump says he is 'absolutely' considering breaking up 9th Circuit court after blocked executive orders

U.S. chief justice alarmed at Trump administration immigration case stance:

Argument analysis: Concerns about prosecutorial discretion likely to lead to ruling for Bosnian Serb in immigration case:

Arkansas Executions / United Nations

U.N. says 'deeply troubled' by Arkansas executions:

Glossip v. Gross ( coverage)

Supreme Court / “Conversion Therapy”

U.S. top court rejects 'gay conversion' therapy ban challenge:

Medical Marijuna

Congress’ spending bill protects medical pot states:

Jimmy Kimmel / Health Care Coverage:

An emotional Jimmy Kimmel discusses newborn son’s heart disease, makes passionate health-care plea: