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Immigrant Rights: What to Do When Stopped by Immigration Agents or Police

There is a lot of confusing information about rights in this country. It is difficult for Americans to know their rights or to respond appropriately when stopped by authorities. This is all the more true for immigrants, who are less likely to speak English as a first language or to understand how to interact with law enforcement.

But it is extremely important to know your rights, as well as your responsibilities. Learning what you can and should do when you encounter authorities could mean all the difference between a positive or a negative experience, and can have a serious impact on your life. So let's look at this guidance for immigrants, adapted from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Know Your Rights campaign.

Abortion Laws by State

Last week marked the 43rd anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade. And while that ruling made abortion legal nationwide, it also allowed states to regulate abortion, to a certain extent. Since Roe was decided in 1973, states have passed their own abortion laws, some of which require parental notification for minors, mandate waiting periods or counseling prior to the procedure, and restrict late term abortions.

And, as recent cases have shown, not only do these laws vary greatly by state, but they are almost constantly in flux. In fact, the Court will be hearing arguments on Texas's restrictive abortion laws this March. So where do these laws stand now, and are they likely to change?

When writing about broad legal topics for these blogs, we often bring up specific examples to explain the law. For instance, we used Bill Cosby's wife to talk about when spouses can be forced to testify. Of course, Camille Cosby and her husband are public figures, so that comes with the territory, so to speak.

Not everyone whose case we write about is famous (yet), and we often get angry calls, emails, or tweets, when someone sees their name or legal case on our websites. Here's the thing though: almost all civil and criminal legal filings are public records, and the First Amendment protects publishing them.

Last year, same-sex marriage, legal marijuana, and Black Lives Matter made the most legal headlines. But what about in 2016? Many new statutes are set to go into effect this year, and in January alone, the Supreme Court is hearing cases on labor rights, free speech, and double jeopardy.

So which new laws are going to make the most news in 2016? We've got a few guesses:

Six months after the Supreme Court granted same-sex couples the constitutional right to marry, whether same-sex couples in Alabama can get marriage licenses remains an open question. That's because Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy. S. Moore, either unconvinced by the United States Supreme Court's ruling or unaware of the supremacy clause, has, for the third time, ordered probate judges in the state to cease issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Is his order valid? And will Alabama probate judges follow it?

Couples Sue Over Gay Marriage Law in North Carolina

A North Carolina law that allows officials to refuse to perform marriage ceremonies as a religious accommodation is being challenged by 3 couples. Although the law arose from local opposition to same-sex marriage, the challenge is brought by a mixed group of plaintiffs.

They filed a lawsuit yesterday arguing that the state is violating the First Amendment of the US Constitution and using taxpayer money to advance a religious point of view, according to the Associated Press.

After a momentous 2015 that saw the Supreme Court save Obamacare (again), give same-sex couples the right to marry, and preserve the death penalty (for now), the Court's October term moves into 2016. While the January session doesn't appear as juicy as previous dockets, there are some cases that will no doubt have a lasting impact.

Here are three cases to watch in January 2016 as the Supreme Court closes out the October 2015 term:

Gender Neutral Pronouns in the Workplace: A Legal Overview

Hello humans. We are at the start of a new millennium, a complex and tense time in which speech matters a great deal. How do you communicate correctly with so many types of people and tools for exchange and evolving notions of what's okay?

The answer is, you should communicate consciously, acknowledging that we all make mistakes. The sages all say that the wise only know how little they know, so -- accepting that -- let's consider communication in the postmodern workplace from a human and legal perspective.

Can Police Deny the Press Access to a Crime Scene?

The First Amendment of the US Constitution guarantees a free press. But freedom of the press refers to journalistic expression and does not mean that members of the press are actually free to do whatever they please. Police can certainly deny reporters access to a crime scene and those who ignore warnings can be charged with trespass or other crimes.

A reporter can be arrested. Unless you are able to risk arrest, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press suggests that you follow the same rules that apply to everyone else. Here are some general tips adapted from the Committee's list that are useful to reporters and others, whether at a crime scene or event.

Genetic manipulation has been a dream to some and a nightmare to others. But the days of inserting, cutting, and swapping out DNA always seemed a bit farther off. Until now. CRISPR-Cas9 is a technology that allows users to quickly and cheaply edit, delete or replace any gene, and is already being used in hundreds of labs.

This has many people wondering if designer babies are right around the corner, and whether manipulating human genes is legal.