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When it comes to vehicle emissions, the state of California has long been a leader in setting the most stringent standards. But, with the recent change in the administration at the EPA, as well as the efforts of lobbyists maybe, those high California standards are facing a potential upheaval.

Rather than waiting to see what happens, California, 16 other states, and the District of Columbia, have joined together to seek appellate review of the EPA's final agency action in regard to changing the emissions standards for 2022-2025 model year vehicles.

A recent employment discrimination lawsuit filed against Cal Fire alleges that a gay male firefighter was told to stop flaunting his sexuality, was shunned, and even told his "kind" were not welcome.

While these allegations may seem rather wild, the case is also filed against Division Chief John Paul Melendrez, who has a reputation for being "psychotic," "tyrannical," and "yelling for effect." Melendrez was also the subject of an official investigation while leading the Owens Valley camp, where an investigator found that "The environment is so bad at Owens Valley camp it is beginning to affect people physically." Nevertheless, Melendrez didn't seem to suffer any real consequences as a result.

In typical appellate court fashion, while attempting to make a cute quip in the decision reversing the dismissal of the class complaint, Candelore v. Tinder, alleging age discrimination against the dating app Tinder, the court swiped the wrong way. Nevertheless, it's still pretty funny that at the end of the introduction, the opinion actually states: "Accordingly, we swipe left, and reverse."

And while this cute language is notable on its own, the facts and issues in the case are also legally fascinating, particularly for California litigators familiar with one of the plaintiffs' bar's favorite causes of action in the state: Unruh.

A recent lawsuit filed in the Fresno Superior Court by the National Rifle Association challenges the actual registration requirements for California assault rifle owners. The lawsuit attacks the requirements enacted by the state's department of justice in response to the legislation passed last year.

Along with the other NRA lawsuits challenging the ban on high capacity magazines and other aspects of the new gun control laws in the state, this most recent case seeks to invalidate the registration requirement on the grounds that the information sought is just overly invasive.

Court Agrees Not to Suspend Licenses of Drivers Too Poor to Pay Traffic Fines

Traffic tickets may not seem like a civil rights matter, but they were important enough for civil liberties groups to take action in Northern California.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and others sued the Solano County Superior Court last year for suspending driver's licenses of people too poor to pay traffic tickets. After a year of litigation and negotiation, the parties have settled the issue.

"We were able to work with the court to find a system that will provide notice to people about their rights and ability to pay," said Raegan Joern, a staff attorney at Bay Area Legal Aid.

Court: Medical Board's Right to Records Outweighs Patients' Privacy Rights

The California Supreme Court said the state medical board did not need a warrant or subpoena to obtain a doctor's prescription history for his patients.

In Lewis v. Superior Court, the court said that the board's interest in protecting the public outweighed any privacy rights. The board acquired the patient information through the state's Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System, "CURES."

"[W]e find that the balance tips in favor of the Board's interests in protecting the public from unlawful use and diversion of a particularly dangerous class of prescription drugs and protecting patients from negligent or incompetent physicians," Justice Goodwin Liu wrote.

Oakland Settles Police Sex Scandal

The Oakland City Council approved a settlement to pay nearly $1 million to a former prostitute who alleged that a parade of police officers used her for sex, including times when she was a minor.

Jasmine Absulin, formerly known as Celeste Guap, said that police in Oakland, Richmond, Livermore, and San Francisco, as well as Alameda and Contra Costa counties, were involved. She has filed claims for civil rights violations against the police agencies.

"Officers are supposed to protect young girls like this, not take advantage of them," her attorney John Burris said. "They were like wild rats that went from one department to the next department to the next department."

In the summer of 2014, Brandon Duncan and Aaron Harvey were arrested in connection to their rap lyrics and social media posts and were accused of violating an obscure California law making it illegal to promote gang activity. They were kept in detention for months, before their charges were ultimately dismissed.

Now the two are suing, alleging that their arrests violated their First and Fourth Amendment rights.

IMDb, the internet movie database, can tell you virtually every role an actor has played, what projects an actress has in the pipeline, and even your favorite celebrity's height. It can also tell you an actor's age and birthday, at least for now.

A new California law, signed by Governor Brown this September, seeks to deter age discrimination in the entertainment industry by requiring websites like IMDB to remove actors' ages on request. Now, IMDb is suing, alleging that the law violates its First Amendment rights.

Will California's Concealed-Carry Gun Restrictions Go Before SCOTUS?

Few states top California when it comes to a general anti-gun stance -- with possible exceptions in New Jersey and New York.

Now, it appears that the state's "good cause" statute, whose legitimacy has been bouncing around in the courts for some time, is finally on its way to be scrutinized by the highest court in the land. Even after a request was made of 28 of the Ninth Circuit's judges, no majority granting a rehearing of last June's contentious case could be met.