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Judge Invalidates California Life-Ending Drug Law

Whether it's euthanasia, abortion, or the death penalty, life-and-death issues are highly controversial and hotly debated. Talking heads rankle over the issues and politicians use them as rallying devices. In an ongoing debate out of California, an end-of-life law seems to be meeting its own end as a judge has ruled it was unconstitutionally approved by lawmakers.

Border Agents Need Good Reason to Search Your Phone, Court Rules

We're all used to taking off our shoes, belts, jackets, and watches when we go through an airport. And we expect random car searches at the border. But what about your electronic devices? Do you have to hand your phone over to TSA agents and let them do any type of search they want? One federal appeals court says no, border agents need a good reason to conduct certain types of searches your phone.

Top 5 Polling Place Laws

The 2018 mid-term elections are right around the corner, and voting rights advocates are putting polling places front and center. In California, a coalition of groups including the ACLU have filed a lawsuit claiming the Secretary of State improperly limited the scope of language assistance at state polling places, meaning some 80,000 Californians could be deprived of translation services necessary to voting.

California law requires translation services at polling places where a certain percentage of the surrounding residents have limited English proficiency. Here are five other laws regarding polling places that will have you ready to exercise your voting rights come November:

If you're being sued for no reason or innocent of criminal charges, you want a jury to find in your favor on the merits of the case, not what you happen to be wearing. Then again, if you listen to what criminal defense lawyer Harvey Slovis has to say, you'd be silly not to consider your courtroom attire.

"Glasses soften their appearance so that they don't look capable of committing a violent crime," Slovis told the New York Daily News back in 2011. "I've tried cases where there's been a tremendous amount of evidence, but my client wore glasses, dressed well and got acquitted."

What you should wear to court will often depend on what kind of case it is and what your role is, so here are a few considerations.

What, exactly, is a media influencer? According to Influencer Marketing Hub, influencers are individuals who have a following in a particular niche, with which they actively engage. Influencers can include "industry experts and thought leaders," like journalists, academics, and industry experts.

These definitions are handy if you're trying to make sense of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's announcement that it will be compiling a searchable database of media influencers that can be used to monitor social media and traditional news sources. So how scared should these media influencers be to show up on a government list?

There's more than one way to skin a cat, they say, and there's more than one way to run an election. Although the majority of state and federal elections stick with the model of she-who-gets-the-most-votes-wins, some jurisdictions are testing other voting methods.

Maine, for example, just authorized "ranked choice" voting, otherwise known as "instant runoff" voting. So how does that work, and is it a better way to elect a public official?

When to Sue a School for Racial Discrimination

It's unfortunate, but racial discrimination can occur anywhere, including at schools. In fact, you don't even have to be a student to experience racial discrimination at a school. Just ask four Native American parents who have sued a Montana school district for racial discrimination.

In their lawsuit, the parents claim that they were not allowed into a basketball game because they weren't white. More specifically, they allege that a school official told them, "We don't have any workers yet so we are only letting in white people." If this is true, it seems like a pretty clear case of racial discrimination. But, you may wonder about other instances when a school can be sued for racial discrimination.

What Is Prior Restraint?

If Michael Wolff'sTrump tell-all book, Fire and Fury, reminds you of Shakespeare, it's probably the bard's take on life from Macbeth: "it is a tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, / Signifying nothing." The same might be true of the bluster around the book, with Trump's lawyers (as usual) sending a threatening cease and desist letter, and publishers responding in kind.

Trump clearly didn't want the book to be published (or maybe he has a stake in the book and is boosting sales by tweeting about it), but does the president or the courts have the power to ban a book before it comes out?

Over the past six months, the U.S government has been split on transgender military service, with the president tweeting a ban, transgender service members suing over the tweets, the Secretary of Defense defying the president's order, and ultimately a federal court blocking the order.

All that political and legal back-and-forth looks to be over -- starting January 1 of this year, transgender people are now allowed to enlist in the military. And, according to the Department of Justice, the Trump administration won't continue to challenge transgender military service in court.

In the wake of more and more mass shootings, the House of Representatives passed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, a bill that would require each state to recognize concealed carry permits issued in other states.

Proponents of the new law claim it would reduce confusion caused by conflicting state laws on gun ownership and ease travel for gun owners. Opponents say that states with strict gun control laws would be forced to follow much looser firearm restrictions passed by other states. So how would concealed carry reciprocity actually work?