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November 2013 Archives

Wind Farm Owner to Pay $1M for Killing Eagles, Birds

The company behind a Wyoming wind farm pleaded guilty to killing more than a dozen eagles and other birds with the farm's wind turbines, agreeing to pay $1 million in fines.

Duke Energy plead guilty to killing more than 160 birds, including 14 golden eagles from 2009 to 2013 at two wind farms in Wyoming, reports the Los Angeles Times. This plea marks the first successful criminal conviction for a wind farm under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Gay Dad's Partner Can Cohabitate When Son Visits: Ark. High Court

An Arkansas man can have his gay partner and son under the same roof after the Arkansas Supreme Court reversed a prior court order.

Little Rock's KTHV-TV reports that Arkansas' highest court reversed an earlier court decision barring John Moix from having his same-sex partner in the home when Moix's son had an overnight visit.

This case is a victory for many gay parents who have been barred by their ex-spouses from having their children and new partners in one place.

Texas Abortion Laws Still in Effect After Supreme Court Review

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on Tuesday left Texas' new abortion laws in effect, including the provision requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

According to Bloomberg, the High Court decided in a 5-4 vote to allow the controversial Texas abortion laws to remain in effect while the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hears arguments about the laws' validity. This ruling was made despite pleas from Planned Parenthood and other Texas abortion providers to stop a law that has "prompted at least a dozen clinics to close."

What does the U.S. Supreme Court's decision mean for Texas women?

Why Is J&J's DePuy Hip Implant Settlement So Significant?

Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay more than $4 billion to settle lawsuits over its recalled metal hip implants. Why is this such a big deal?

According to Reuters, J&J is expecting to resolve more than 7,500 lawsuits against the company's DePuy orthopedics unit in both state and federal courts. Those lawsuits were brought by plaintiffs who have "already had the defective devices removed."

What does this proposed settlement hold for similar implant cases?

Duke Lacrosse Case Won't Get U.S. Supreme Court Review

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided it won't hear the Duke Lacrosse players' appeal of their federal case, which followed the investigation of their alleged rape of a stripper in 2006.

According to Durham's WTVD, the High Court declined review of three ex-players' claims that a North Carolina law which required DNA samples from the men without probable cause was invalid.

Did the Duke Lacrosse players have a claim worth hearing?

Most Red-Light Camera Laws in Mo. Are Invalid, Court Rules

A Missouri appellate court has ruled that most red-light camera laws in the state are invalid. As a result, Kansas City and other municipalities are suspending their red-light camera ticketing programs.

According to The Kansas City Star, the Missouri Court of Appeal's Eastern District reversed its 2011 ruling that allowed red-light cameras in the state. The new ruling, issued Tuesday, cites a fundamental contradiction between many local red-light camera ordinances and Missouri state law.

What was the court's reasoning in striking down red-light camera laws?

Ala. Immigration Law: Settlement Would Block Parts of HB 56

A proposed settlement is set to block key parts of Alabama's controversial immigration law. If approved, it would end a legal challenge over the law.

Civil rights groups including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued Alabama over HB 56, one of the toughest anti-illegal immigration laws in the country. They're seeing this deal as a "significant victory," CNN reports.

The proposed settlement, filed in federal court last week, would preclude the enforcement of several portions of HB 56.

Texas Abortion, NYC Stop-and-Frisk Rulings Blocked

Rulings against Texas' abortion law and New York City's stop-and-frisk policies were blocked by two separate federal appeals courts on Thursday.

In the Texas case, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a ruling preventing a Texas law from requiring abortion providers to have "admitting privileges" at local hospitals. In the New York case, which chastised the NYPD for unconstitutional search and arrest practices, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that the ruling judge was biased.

What do these appellate decisions mean for Texans and New Yorkers?