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July 2006 Archives

August Spotlight: Real Estate

Each month FindLaw for the Public highlights a legal topic. The topic for August is Real Estate -- with information and resources on buying and selling a home, dealing with neighbors, conserving energy, and much more.

In the latest in a string of court decisions that have disappointed gay rights advocates, Washington's Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the state's 1998 Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits same-sex marriages. The court ruled that the state of Washington's legislature has the power to limit marriage in Washington State to opposite-sex couples.

The American Bar Association (ABA) accused President Bush of abusing his executive power under the Constitution by his use of "signing statements" -- the practice of approving a law while reserving the right to disregard certain parts of it at a later time. Officials in the U.S. Justice Department deemed the criticism unwarranted, declaring that the current President's use of signing statements is legitimate under the law, and is no different than practices employed by past presidents.

Study: Meth #1 Drug Problem

Methamphetamine abuse is the leading drug problem facing county law enforcement agencies nationwide -- requiring more police resources than marijuana, cocaine, and heroin combined, according to a survey released by the National Association of Counties. The survey also found a link between meth abuse and an increase in violent crimes such as assault.

Nebraska Gay Marriage Ban Reinstated

In a victory for gay marriage opponents, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit overturned a 2005 lower court decision that found Nebraska's ban on gay marriage to be a violation of the First Amendment rights of gays and lesbians. The Eighth Circuit's decision effectively reinstated a ban on gay marriage that had been approved my more than 70% of Nebraska's voters in 2000.

Merck Cleared in N.J. Vioxx Case

A jury in New Jersey cleared Vioxx manufacturer Merck & Co., Inc. of liability for the heart attack of a 68 year-old woman who had taken the painkiller for approximately two years, marking the fourth victory for Merck in seven completed court trials over the safety of Vioxx.

Key Same-Sex Marriage Decisions in NY and Georgia

On Thursday, the top courts in New York and Georgia handed down key decisions that are seen as setbacks for the same-sex marriage movement. In New York, the state's highest court upheld the state marriage laws as constitutional, and ruled that those laws limit marriage to the union of a man and a woman. In Georgia, the state's Supreme Court reinstated a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

California "Car Buyer Bill of Rights" Takes Effect

A California law protecting the rights of new and used car buyers went into effect on July 1st. The “Car Buyer’s Bill of Rights” applies to retail sales of new and used vehicles by licensed vehicle dealers in the state. The new law provides a number of protections for car buyers -- including a contract cancellation option, and rights to certain disclosures.