CourtSide - The FindLaw Breaking Legal News Blog

June 2011 Archives

Judge Blocks Parts of Georgia Immigration Law

A federal judge in Atlanta has blocked portions of Georgia's controversial new immigration law from going into effect while a lawsuit challenging the law's constitutionality makes its way through the courts. The blocked sections of the law, which were scheduled to take effect on July 1, created penalties for those who knowingly transport or shelter illegal immigrants while committing another crime, and also authorized law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of individuals without the proper forms of identification. The judge ruled that the portions in question conflict with federal immigration law, which takes precedence over state law when the two disagree.

Feds Sue Banks Over Mortgage-Backed Securities

The National Credit Union Administration has filed a lawsuit against J.P. Morgan and the Royal Bank of Scotland regarding their underwriting of residential mortgage-backed securities. The NCUA alleges that the banks' offering documents for the securities contained untrue statements of material fact or failed to state material facts, and misrepresented the securities as posing less of a risk than they actually did. As a result, the NCUA argues, several credit unions failed and required a bailout by the NCUA.

Congressmen Sue Obama Over Libya Conflict

Ten members of the United States House of Representatives have filed a lawsuit against President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates seeking to end the United States' involvement in the Libya conflict. The Representatives argue in the complaint that the US participation in the Libya campaign violates the US Constitution, the War Powers Act and the North Atlantic Treaty.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Reinstates Labor Law

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has overturned a lower court's decision that prevented the implementation of Wisconsin's controversial labor law. The Supreme Court ruled that the previous judge overstepped the constitutional limits on the judiciary by interfering with the legislative process.

Gay Judge's Prop 8 Decision Survives Bias Claim

Supporters of Proposition 8, California's voter-approved constitutional ban on same sex marriages, lost their bid to overturn a previous decision that the ban violated the United States Constitution.

The supporters alleged that the judge who authored the decision, Chief Judge Vaughn Walker, should not have heard the case because of his involvement in a long-term homosexual relationship, a fact that he revealed after his retirement from the bench.

The current judge presiding over the case ruled against this argument, stating that "it is not reasonable to presume that a judge is incapable of making an impartial decision about the constitutionality of a law, solely because, as a citizen, the judge could be affected by the proceedings."

John Edwards Charged with Conspiracy and False Statements

Federal prosecutors have filed a six-count indictment against former senator and Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards alleging that Edwards conspired to accept illegal campaign contributions and made false statements in an effort to conceal the illegal contributions. The allegations stem from payments made by two Edwards supporters that exceeded the contribution limits in the federal Election Act. The government argues that the supporters made the payments in an effort to conceal Edwards' extramarital affair and love child in order to protect his presidential campaign.